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Tag Archives: Doctor of the Church

HARDSHIPS FOR FORTY YEARS, INTENT ONLY ON GOD’S GLORY

HARDSHIPS FOR FORTY YEARS, INTENT ONLY ON GOD’S GLORY

ST PETER CANISIUS, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 21 

Peter Canisius was born at Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He entered the Society of Jesus and immediately commenced defending the Catholic faith against the reformers by giving missions and sermons, and writing books. It is almost impossible to describe how he suffered for more than forty years, intent only on increasing God’s glory. He was at the Council of Trent several times, travelled throughout Germany, and helped all men, publicly and privately, by his teachings.

HE HELPED ALL MEN, PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY, BY HIS TEACHINGS

He protected many cities and provinces from heresy or restored those in error to the Catholic Faith. St Ignatius made him superior of the upper province of Germany, where he founded many houses and colleges. He wrote two excellent books against the Centuriators of Magdeburg and published a Catechism of Christian doctrine thoroughly approved by theologians and long popular use, as well as many other works in the vernacular. For all this he is called the Hammer of the Heretics and the Second Apostle of Germany. At seventy-seven, he died at Fribourg [Freiburg] in Switzerland, December 21, 1597. Pope Pius XI canonised him and at the same time declared him a Doctor of the Universal Church.

PRAYER:

O God, who strengthened blessed Peter, your Confessor, with virtue and learning for the defence of the Catholic faith, graciously grant that by his example and counsels the erring may be restored to salvation, and the faithful persevere in confession of the truth. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [titles in bold added afterwards]

 

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ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 7

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, was the son of another Ambrose, a Roman citizen, and received a liberal education at Rome. Under the Prefect Probus, he was made governor of Liguria and Aemilia, and by his command, came with authority to Milan. When the Arian Bishop, Auxentius, died, the most violent disputes arose among the people about a choice of a successor.

“AMBROSE, BISHOP”

Ambrose came to the church  in his official capacity, and urged upon the contending factions, in a long and powerful speech, the necessity of keeping the public peace, whereupon a child suddenly cried out “Ambrose, Bishop,” and the whole assembly took it up and unanimously called for his election. Whereupon he was baptised (for he was still a catechumen) and was admitted to sacred orders. Having ascended all the degrees of orders as prescribed by the Church, he was raised to the rank of Bishop.

DEFENDER OF THE TRUTH

In this office he strenuously defended Catholic truth and the Church’s laws, not only by word, but also in his writings. He converted to the true faith many Arians and other heretics, among whom he begot St Augustine in Jesus Christ. Having borne so many labours and cares for the Church of God, he died on the day before the Nones of April in the year 397.

PRAYER:

O God, you who have given blessed Ambrose to your people as a help for eternal salvation, grant, we beseech you, that we may be worthy to have him as our intercessor in heaven whom we have had as a teacher of life on earth.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST TERESA OF AVILA, VIRGIN

ST TERESA OF AVILA, VIRGIN

ST TERESA OF AVILA, VIRGIN – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 15

Teresa was born of pious and noble parents at Avila, in Spain. While she was still a very little girl, she was so enkindled with a desire for martyrdom that, running away from home, she tried to go to Africa. She was brought back to her home. After her mother’s death, she committed herself wholly to the patronage of the Blessed Virgin.

SHE EMBRACED THE RULE OF THE NUNS OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

When she was twenty years old, she embraced the rule of the nuns of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Solicitous for the salvation of souls, she built many monasteries and proposed that the original rule of the Carmelite foundation be observed by its women and men. She continually offered to God the voluntary sufferings of her own body on behalf of infidels and heretics and, burning with divine love, she took a most difficult vow of always doing that which she considered the most perfect.

SHE WROTE MANY BOOKS OF HEAVENLY WISDOM 

She merited that her bosom should be pierced with a fiery dart by an angel. She wrote many books of heavenly wisdom and taught much by word and example, having this often on her lips: “Lord, either to suffer or to die.” Renowned for virtue, the gift of prophecy and other charismatic gifts, she gave back her most pure soul to God at Alba, in the year 1582, in the sixty-seventh year of her age, on the Ides of October.

PRAYER:

Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, that as we rejoice on the feast-day of blessed Teresa, your Virgin, we may be so nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching as to learn how to serve you. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST EPHREM THE SYRIAN

ST EPHREM THE SYRIAN

ST EPHREM THE SYRIAN; DEACON, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: JUNE 9

Ephrem was of Syrian descent and the son of a citizen of Nisibis. While yet a young man, he went to the holy Bishop James, by whom he was baptised. In a short while, he made such progress in holiness and learning that he was appointed teacher of a flourishing school at Nisibis, a Mesopotamian city. He was ordained deacon of the Church of Edessa, and refusing the priesthood out of humility, he was conspicuous with the splendour of every virtue and strove to acquire piety and religion by professing true wisdom.

HE WAS CONSPICUOUS WITH THE SPLENDOUR OF EVERY VIRTUE

His works, taken as a whole, are so infused with the bright light of his learning, that this holy man, even while yet living, was held in great honour and even considered a Doctor of the Church. He was noted, above all, for his great and tender devotion to the Immaculate Virgin. Full of merits, he died at Edessa in Mesopotamia on the fourteenth of the Calends of July [373], in the reign of Valens. Pope Benedict XV declared him, by a decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, to be a Doctor of the Universal Church.

PRAYER:

O God, who willed to enlighten your Church by the wondrous learning and glorious merits of the life of blessed Ephrem, your Confessor and Doctor, we humbly pray you that, by his pleading, you will shield her with your lasting power against the snares of error and evil. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold headings added]

 

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ST LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST LAWRENCE BRINDISI, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: JULY 21

Lawrence was born at Brindisi, in Apulia. A a young man he entered the Capuchin Order. H acquired a thorough knowledge of philosophy and theology and became proficient in several languages, ancient as well as modern. When he became a priest, he undertook the task of preaching, in which he laboured unflinchingly throughout almost all of Italy and other European countries.

POPES ENLISTED HIS HELP

Possessed of unusual prudence and the gift of counsel as well, he was made Superior of his whole Order, and was often employed by the Popes on very important diplomatic missions. One of his greatest achievements was to persuade Christian leaders to unite their forces against the threatening onslaughts of the Turks. When the Christian army was assembled in Hungary, Lawrence rode at their head with the cross and, encouraging the soldiers and their officers, they gained a very celebrated victory.

HE COMBINED THE INTERIOR LIFE WITH EXTERNAL ENTERPRISES

In spite of the pressure of so many great activities he practised to an heroic degree the virtues of a religious. Whatever spare time he had, he would devote to prayer, wonderfully combining the interior life with external enterprises. Finally at Lisbon, the which he was sent by the people of Naples as their spokesman before the King of Spain, a strenuous defender of Christian liberty and justice, he succumbed as it were in battle, in the year 1619.

He left many writings defending the Catholic faith against heresies, and explaining Sacred Scripture. Pope Leo XIII added him to the number of the saints, and Pope John XXIII declared him a Doctor of the universal Church.

PRAYER:

O God, who, to enable him to accomplish tasks, no matter how difficult, for the glory of your name and the salvation of souls, endowed blessed Lawrence, your Confessor and Doctor, with the spirit of wisdom and fortitude; grant us, in the same spirit, ever to know our duty, and through his prayers do it. Through our Lord.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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HOW GOD’S EXISTENCE CAN BE PROVEN BY MOTION

“It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is moved is moved by another, for nothing can be moved except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is moved; whereas a thing moves in as much as it is in act.

For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality.

Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it.

Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects.

For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold.

It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is moved must be moved by another. If that by which it is moved be itself moved, then this also must need be moved by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover, seeing that subsequent movers move only in as much as they are moved by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is moved by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”

– St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 1, 2, 3, in The Path from Science to God, by Roger Nesbitt (Faith Pamphlets)

 

 

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A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF ST JEROME

SAINT JEROME, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH; MEMORIAL: SEPTEMBER 30

St Jerome was born about 342, he studied in Rome, where he was baptised. He lived for some years as a hermit in the Syrian desert, then returned to Antioch and was ordained priest by Paulinus. He lived in Constantinople and then in Rome, preaching asceticism, and studying. Eventually he settled in Bethlehem, where he was head of the monastery and devoted himself to study. His scholarship was unparalleled in the early Church. He translated the Bible from its original tongues into Latin (the Vulgate), wrote biblical commentaries, and other works. He fought against the heresies of Arianism, Pelagianism and Origenism.

PRAYER:

Father,
you gave Saint Jerome delight
in his study of holy scripture.
May your people find in your word
the food for salvation and the fountain of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

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