Pope S. Anicetus I| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of S. Anicetus, Pope and martyr. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.
Today is the feast day of Pope Saint Anicetus. Ora pro nobis.
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
St. Anicetus, the twelfth Pope after St. Peter, first saw the light of day in Syria, toward the end of the first century. He was carefully educated by his parents, and was gifted by God with great natural abilities, especially with a clear, penetrating mind. He made, by his untiring perseverance, such progress in all sciences that he was accounted among the best scholars of his time. In addition to this, the life he led was so blameless, that he was a model to every one of Christian perfection. The most shining of all his virtues was his truly apostolic zeal in protecting and disseminating the true faith. Therefore, when Pius I. had ended his life by a glorious martyrdom, Anicetus was unanimously elected his successor amid great rejoicing. And in truth, the Church needed at that period, a Pope as learned, zealous and holy as himself, as she was assailed and persecuted in all possible ways by divers heretics. Valentinus and Marcion, two Heresiarchs, had already commenced to sow the poison of their corruption in Rome, and even a wicked woman named Marcellina, who had adopted the teachings of Carpocrates, had already many followers. The saddest fact of all, however, was that the Catholics, themselves, became very indolent in the practice of their faith, and their conduct was not such as their religion required. This inspired the heretics with hope of being able to instill their spurious doctrines into their minds, as we know by experience that the surest road to apostasy from the true faith, is indifference and debased morals.
St. Anicetus, although he perceived all this with great pain, did not become disheartened. Calling on God for aid, he began earnestly to work. By daily sermons, by teaching and exhortation, he endeavored to move the Catholics to more fervency in their religion, as well as to a reformation of their lives. The example of his own holy life gave the greatest force to his words. He lived like a Saint, and all his thoughts were directed to lead his flock to salvation. He was an enemy to even the most innocent amusement, and found his only pleasure in prayer and in working for the honor of God and the salvation of souls. He employed the greater part of the night in devotional exercises, and during the day he was only found in Church, in the dwellings of the sick, or poor, or at home occupied in study or prayer. He chastised his body by fasting and other penances. To his enemies he was kind and charitable; to the poor, liberal; while in danger and persecution he was fearless and strong. This beautiful example of their shepherd was soon followed by the Catholics residing at Rome with such zeal, that, according to the testimony of Hegesippus, the historian, the whole city became a habitation of sanctity. This change in the morals of the people was the most efficacious means of preserving them in the true faith, as the best safeguard of faith is a pious and blameless life. As far as the heretics were concerned, who endeavored to implant in the hearts of the Romans the seeds of their false doctrines, the holy father had the greatest compassion on them on account of their lost souls. He left nothing untried to bring them to the knowledge of their error, but he thought it prudent to banish those who remained inflexible from the city. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John, came to Rome at the time of Anicetus, to discuss several points with him, which were to be settled for the welfare of the faithful. All was happily concluded and Polycarp paid the greatest honors to the holy Pope, everywhere praising his saintly conduct.
For eight years had Anicetus governed the Church with wonderful wisdom and power, when during the persecution of Marcus Aurelius he was seized, and being inflexible in the confession of his faith, he was decapitated.
During that his time as pope he had to combat in particular the dangerous errors of gnosticism, Christ's ancient enemy, already rampant in the days when Saint John the Apostle wrote his letters to the churches of Asia. Saint Anicetus was visited in Rome by Saint Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who desired to consult with him, and whom he in turn asked to celebrate the feast of Easter in the Church of Rome, as Saint Ireneus, Polycarp's disciple, relates. They had not been able to find a solution to the question of a difference in the date of Easter in the Orient and the Occident, which Pope Saint Victor would later settle, but remained close friends. Saint Anicetus' vigilance protected his flock from the wiles of the false preachers Valentine and Marcion, who were attempting to corrupt the faith in the capital of the empire.
Power of Love:
Anyone who enters into love, and through love experiences the inextricable suffering and the fatality of death, enters into the history of the human God. In the suffering and death of Jesus we find the power to love in the midst of suffering because love is stronger than death.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
(Guardian Angel to Padre Pio) I am always hovering around you with the affection aroused by your gratitude to the Beloved of your heart.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 107: Revealing Your Soul in Confession
God sends to us His representatives in the person of His priests. Though priests are not perfect, they are God’s representatives nonetheless. This is especially true in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s essential that we approach that Sacrament with confidence and honesty. We must allow the confessor to see the sin in our souls so that he can enter, cleanse and heal by the sacred power of absolution (See Diary #494-496).
Do you go to confession? If so, how often? Do you clean your house more often than you clean your soul? The Lord has given you an immeasurable gift in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He invites you to receive this gift with an open heart. Do not fear this invitation; rather, run to it with eager anticipation of the many graces our Lord wishes to bestow. And do so as regularly as you can.
Lord, why do I fear Your Mercy as it is bestowed through the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Why do I fear Your sacred Mercy poured forth through the act of absolution? Give me courage and humility so that I may confess my sins clearly and completely and so be cleansed and restored to Your Heart. Jesus, I trust in You.