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Archive for April, 2014

Pope Saint Martin IFeastday: April 13

Death: 655

Elected pope in 649, Pope Saint Martin I had gotten in trouble for refusing to condone silence in the face of wrong. At that time there existed a popular heresy that held that Christ didn’t have a human will, only a divine will. The emperor had issued an edict that didn’t support Monothelism (as it was known) directly, but simply commanded that no one could discuss Jesus’ will at all.

Monothelism was condemned at a council convened by Saint Martin I. In his anger, the emperor sent his soldiers to Rome to bring the pope to him. When Saint Martin I arrived in Constantinople after a long voyage he was immediately put into prison. There he spent three months in a filthy, freezing cell while he suffered from dysentery. He was not allowed to wash and given the most disgusting food. After he was condemned without being allowed to speak in his defense he was imprisoned for another three months.

From there he was exiled to the Crimea where he suffered from the famine of the land as well as the roughness of the land and its people. But hardest to take was the fact that the pope found himself friendless. His letters tell how his own church had deserted him and his friends had forgotten him. They wouldn’t even send him oil or corn to live off of.

He died two years later in exile in the year 656, a martyr who stood up for the right of the Church to establish doctrine even in the face of imperial power.

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St. JuliusFeastday: April 12

From catholic.org

Saint Julius was the son of a Roman named Rusticus. He was elected Pope to succeed Pope St. Mark on February 6, 337. He was soon involved in the Arian controversy when Eusebius of Nicomedia opposed the return of Athanasius to the See of Alexandria in 338. Eusebius and his followers elected George, whereupon the Arians elected Pistus.

Saint Julius convened a synod in Rome in 340 or 341 that neither group attended, and in a letter to the Eusebian bishops, Julius declared that Athanasius was the rightful bishop of Alexandria and reinstated him. The matter was not finally settled until the Council of Sardica (Sofia), summoned by emperors Constans and Constantius in 342 or 343, declared Julius’ action correct and that any deposed bishop had the right of appeal to the Pope in Rome.

Saint Julius built several basilicas and churches in Rome and died there on April 12.

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St. Sixtus IFeastday: April 6

From catholic.org

Not much is known about Pope Saint Sixtus.
St Sixtus was a Roman whose name suggests he was of Greek descent, Pope/St. Sixtus led the Roman see during the reign of Hadrian. The probable dates of Sixtus’ papacy are c.115 – c.125. Legends say he was a martyr, but modern scholars think martyrdom during a time when persecution had ceased unlikely.

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St. Vincent FerrerFeastday: April 5

Patron of Builders

From catholic.org

St. Vincent Ferrer is the patron saint of builders because of his fame for “building up” and strengthening the Church: through his preaching, missionary work, in his teachings, as confessor and adviser.

He was born on January 23, 1357 at Valencia in Spain to St. Dominic. In 1374, he entered the Order of St. Dominic in a monastery near his native city. Soon after his profession he was commissioned to deliver lectures on philosophy.

On being sent to Barcelona, he continued his scholastic duties and at the same time devoted himself to preaching. At Lerida, the famous university city of Catalonia, he received his doctorate. After this he labored six years in Valencia, during which time he perfected himself in the Christian life.

In 1390, he was obliged to accompany Cardinal Pedro de Luna to France, but he soon returned home. When, in 1394, de Luna himself had become Pope at Avignon he summoned St. Vincent and made him Master of the sacred palace. In this capacity St. Vincent made unsuccessful efforts to put an end to the great schism. He refused all ecclesiastical dignities, even the cardinal’s hat, and only craved to be appointed apostolical missionary.

Finally, crowned with labors, he died April 5, 1419. His feast day is April 5.

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