Thursday, 14 June 2018

# Saints

Saint Joseph the Hymnographer

Image: Saint Joseph the Hymnographer, Russian Icon

The 14th of June is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (c. 816 – 3 April 886). He is also known as “the sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church.”

Saint Joseph the Hymnographer was born in Sicily to pious Christians. His family moved to Greece to avoid persecution when the Muslims invaded. He entered a monastery at the age of 15, growing in holiness and virtue. Saint Gregory the Dekapolite went to Constantinople with Joseph to defend the traditional reference of icons and oppose the iconoclast heresy. Saint Joseph was chosen by the local clergy to obtain Pope Leo III’s assistance in their battle against the iconoclast heretics who were gaining in power. On his way there, the Muslims captured Saint Joseph and gave him to the iconoclast heretics. While he was a prisoner, Saint Nicholas appeared to Saint Joseph and asked him to sing in the name of God. He was a prisoner for six years and after being set free returned to Constantinople and founded a monastery dedicated to Saint Gregory. He dedicated a church in the name of Saint Bartholomew as well, as he had a devotion to him. In a dream, Saint Bartholomew appeared to Saint Joseph and encouraged him to write hymns for the Church. He dedicated his first hymn in honour of Saint Bartholomew and then wrote other hymns dedicated to Saint Nicholas, Our Lady and other saints. He composed nearly 1000 hymns in his life. He was first exiled when he rose against the heresy of iconoclasm for eleven years, and was exiled a second time for defending the doctrine of the orthodox Christians. He died in Constantinople.

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

June 02, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, I am calling you to accept my words which I am speaking to you as a mother, with a simplicity of heart, so that you may set out on the way of complete light and purity, of the singular love of my Son, man and God. A joy - a light indescribable in human words - will penetrate your soul and the peace and love of my Son will take hold of you. I desire this for all of my children. Therefore, you, apostles of my love, you who know how to love and forgive, you who do not judge, you whom I encourage, you be an example to all those who are not going on the way of light and love or who have diverted from it. By your life show them the truth. Show them love because love overcomes all difficulties, and all of my children thirst for love. Your unity in love is a gift to my Son and me. But, my children, remember that to love also means to desire the good for your neighbor and to desire conversion of your neighbor's soul. As I am looking at you gathered around me, my heart is sad, because I see so little brotherly love, merciful love. My children, the Eucharist - my Son alive among you - His words will help you comprehend, because His word is life, His word makes the soul breathe, His word brings about cognition of love. Dear children, anew, I am imploring you as a mother who desires the good for her children: love your shepherds, pray for them. Thank you.

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