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

November 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, My motherly heart suffers as I am looking at my children who do not love the truth, those who are hiding it - as I look at my children who do not pray with their feelings and actions. I am sad as I am saying to my Son that many of my children no longer have faith, that they do not know Him - my Son. That is why I call you, apostles of my love: you strive to look to the very depth in human hearts and there you are certain to find the little hidden treasure. To look in this way is mercy from the Heavenly Father. To seek the good even where there is the greatest evil - to strive to comprehend each other and not to judge - that is what my Son is asking of you. And I, as a mother, am calling you to listen to Him. My children, the spirit is mightier than the flesh, and, carried by love and actions, it overcomes all obstacles. Do not forget: my Son has loved you and loves you. His love is with you and in you when you are one with Him. He is the light of the world and no one and nothing will be able to stop Him in the final glory. Therefore, apostles of my love, do not be afraid to witness the truth. Witness it with enthusiasm, with works, with love, with your sacrifice, and, above all, in humility. Witness the truth to all those who have not come to know my Son. I will be alongside you. I will encourage you. Witness the love which never ends because it comes from the Heavenly Father who is eternal and who offers eternity to all of my children. The spirit of my Son will be alongside you. Anew I am calling you, my children: pray for your shepherds, pray that the love of my Son may lead them. Thank you.

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