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Blog Post - June 26th

SS. John and Paul, Martyrs| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection

Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of SS. John and Paul, Martyrs. A story about this Feast Day can be found by below.

Story about SS. John and Paul, Martyrs:

Today is the feast day of Saints John and Paul. Orate pro nobis.

These two Saints, not to be confused with the Apostles, were brothers and were officers of the Roman army in the days of Constantine the Great. They served in the house of Constance, daughter of Constantine, who was consecrated to God. Their virtues and services to her father rendered them very dear to her.

With the aid of Constance, they practiced many works of charity and mercy, until the deaths of both Constantine and Constance. Then, at the accession of Julian the Apostate to the imperial throne, they resigned their position in the palace. Julian had returned to the cult of idols and was attempting to re-establish it in the empire. The brothers saw many wicked men prosper in their impiety. They considered that worldly prosperity accompanied by impunity in sin is the most dreadful of all judgments, indicating reprobation. And history reveals how false and short-lived was the glittering prosperity of Julian.

While still in power the apostate attempted to win back John and Paul into active service. When he was refused, he gave them ten days to reconsider. The officer Terentianus, who at the end of that time brought to their house a little idol of Jupiter for their adoration, found them in prayer. In the middle of that night on June 26 they were decapitated secretly in their own garden. The emperor feared their execution might cause a sedition in Rome. He instigated a rumor that they had been exiled.

The martyrs, by their renouncement of favors and their heroic resistance, purchased never-fading glory. Their house on the Caelian Hill became a magnificent Christian basilica by the end of the fourth/fifth century.

House and Christian basilica on the Caelian Hill

In the second half of the fourth century, Byzantius, the Roman senator, and Saint Pammachius, his son, fashioned the house on the Caelian Hill into a Christian basilica and the tomb of John and Paul was venerated there from as early as the fifth century. The church was damaged during the sack of Rome by Alaric I (410) and because of an earthquake (442). It was restored by Pope Paschal I (824), sacked again by the Normans (1084), and again restored, with the further building of a monastery and a bell tower.

Names in the Roman Canon and Sacramentarium Veronense

John and Paul’s early veneration is also indicated by the fact that the names of the two saints were inserted into the Roman Canon (First Eucharistic Prayer) of the Mass. Also the Sacramentarium Veronense, which dates back to Pope Leo the Great (440-461, indicates in the preface to the feast of the saints that they rested within the city walls.

Home to the Passionists and link with New York

Since 1773 the Basilica of St John and Paul has been home to the Passionist order and is the burial place of its founder St. Paul of the Cross. Among previous cardinal priests of this church are two who became pope: Pope Honorius III (Cencio Savelli, elevated to cardinal in 1198) and Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli, elevated to cardinal in 1929).

Daily Meditation

Hope Provides Freedom:

Hope provides the freedom to live at peace with ourselves, others and God, regardless of what may be going on around us.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

If you want to become perfect, always keep present in your mind what God said to Abraham: Walk before me, and be blameless.

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188

We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.

You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.

Reflection 177: Holy Obedience

One of the greatest safeguards against doing our own will rather than God’s is holy obedience. Those in religious life are blessed to live this in a literal and external way, allowing the external practice to be interiorized so as to become certain that they are living the Will of God. But obedience must be lived in every life, not only religious. Obedience is achieved in many ways. It’s achieved in family life when we submit our will to the preferences of others, subjecting ourselves in a form of obedience so as to foster love and unity. It’s achieved in a profound way when we submit our will to the voice and teaching of our Church. We will never go wrong by living holy obedience to that which the Lord speaks through His Church. When we live this obedience, the Will of God will not be imposed upon us from outside; rather, we will hear Him speak first in our heart and then it will be confirmed exteriorly (See Diary #932-933).

Do you hear God calling you, gently and subtly, to submit to the preference of another? You ought not submit to those things that are contrary to the Will of God, but there are numerous opportunities each day to die to yourself and “obediently” embrace the will of another. If you can do this always in regard to the Will of God spoken through His Church, you will see the gates of Mercy opened and your humble submission will bring you great holiness.

Lord, it is so very hard at times to let go of my own will and to embrace the will of another. Help me to see these small acts as acts of true love and holy submission to You. May I allow You to mold my will into Yours as I act in holy obedience, especially when this requires great sacrifice. I also choose Your Will as it is revealed through Your Church and always submit to that revelation over my own ideas. Jesus, I trust in You.

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