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

September 02, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear cchildren, my words are simple but are filled with motherly love and care. My children, all the more the shadows of darkness and deception are being cast over you, and I am calling you to the light and truth - I am calling you to my Son. Only He can transform despair and suffering into peace and clarity; only He can give hope in the deepest pain. My Son is the life of the world. The more that you come to know Him - the more that you come close to Him - all the more you will love Him, because my Son is love. Love changes everything; it makes most beautiful also that which, without love, seems insignificant to you. That is why, anew, I am saying to you that you must love a lot if you desire to grow spiritually. I know, apostles of my love, that it is not always easy, but, my children, also the painful paths are paths which lead to spiritual growth, to faith, and to my Son. My children, pray - think of my Son. In all the moments of the day, raise your soul to Him, and I will gather your prayers as flowers from the most beautiful garden and give them as a gift to my Son. Be true apostles of my love; spread the love of my Son to everyone. Be gardens of the most beautiful flowers. With your prayers help your shepherds that they may be spiritual fathers filled with love for all people. Thank you.

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