Pope S. Fabian| S. Sebastian| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Fabian was a Roman layman who came into the city from his farm one day as clergy and people were preparing to elect a new pope. Eusebius, a Church historian, says a dove flew in and settled on the head of Fabian. This sign united the votes of clergy and laity, and he was chosen unanimously.
He led the Church for 14 years and died a martyr’s death during the persecution of Decius in 250 A.D.. St. Cyprian wrote to his successor that Fabian was an “incomparable” man whose glory in death matched the holiness and purity of his life.
In the catacombs of St. Callistus, the stone that covered Fabian’s grave may still be seen, broken into four pieces, bearing the Greek words, “Fabian, bishop, martyr.”
We can go confidently into the future and accept the change that growth demands only if we have firm roots in the past, in a living tradition. A few pieces of stone in Rome are a reminder to us that we are bearers of more than 20 centuries of a living tradition of faith and courage in living the life of Christ and showing it to the world. We have brothers and sisters who have “gone before us with the sign of faith,” as the First Eucharistic Prayer puts it, to light the way for us.
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Tertullian).
Almost nothing is historically certain about St. Sebastian except that he was a Roman martyr, was venerated in Milan even in the time of St. Ambrose (December 7) and was buried on the Appian Way, probably near the present Basilica of St. Sebastian. Devotion to him spread rapidly, and he is mentioned in several martyrologies as early as a.d. 350.
The legend of St. Sebastian is important in art, and there is a vast iconography. Scholars now agree that a pious fable has Sebastian entering the Roman army because only there could he assist the martyrs without arousing suspicion. Finally he was found out, brought before Emperor Diocletian and delivered to Mauritanian archers to be shot to death. His body was pierced with arrows, and he was left for dead. But he was found still alive by those who came to bury him. He recovered, but refused to flee. One day he took up a position near where the emperor was to pass. He accosted the emperor, denouncing him for his cruelty to Christians. This time the sentence of death was carried out. Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs. He was buried on the Appian Way, close to the catacombs that bear his name.
Another legend describes Sebastian's effectiveness in bolstering the courage of those in prison. Two men under sentence of death seemed about to give in to their captors. Sebastian's impassioned exhortation to constancy not only confirmed the two in their original convications but won over many other prisoners in the jail. Again, this particular story may not be historically accurate. But it is true that all saints witness to Jesus both by word and action.
The fact that many of the early saints made such a tremendous impression on the Church—awakening widespread devotion and great praise from the greatest writers of the Church—is proof of the heroism of their lives. As has been said, legends may not be literally true. Yet they may express the very substance of the faith and courage evident in the lives of these heroes and heroines of Christ.
Patron Saint of:
Providing For Others:
Lord, we long to serve you and to provide for those persons entrusted to our care. Give us the strength and confidence along the path you have prepared for us, and help us find the means to support ourselves.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Once again, then I urge you to have greater confidence in God, for it is written that those who trust in Him will never be forsaken.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
The 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, 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 based on her 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 19: The Lord Accepts You in His Mercy
If you have truly sought out our Divine Lord, then ask Him if He will accept you into His Heart and into His holy Will. Ask Him and listen to Him. If you have surrendered all and offered yourself to Him, He will respond to you telling you that He accepts you. Once you are given to Jesus and accepted by Him, your life will change. Perhaps not in the way you expect it to change, but it will change for the good in a way beyond what you could have hoped for or expected (See Diary #14).
Reflect upon three things today: 1) Do you seek Jesus wholeheartedly? 2) Have you asked Jesus to accept your life without reserve by your total surrender? 3) Have you allowed yourself to hear Jesus say to you that He loves and accepts you? Follow these simple steps and let the Lord of Mercy take control of your life.
Lord, I do seek You with my whole heart. Help me to find You and to discover Your most holy Will. As I find You Lord, help me also to let You draw me to Your merciful Heart so that I may be totally Yours. Jesus, I trust in You.