Saturday, November 08, 2014

The Octave of All Saints 2014 - The Confessors

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the conclusion of the sermon for the fifth day in the Octave of All Saints:

The blessed Confessors of Christ, having become the columns of the churches, set upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, outstanding in the excellence of their merits, most glorious for the fame of their miracles, built the whole fabric of the growing Church by the subtlety of their preaching and teaching, stronger and higher than that useless might of giants that once raised up the tower of confusion to the heavens. For the latter had “bricks in place of stones, and slime in place of mortar”, (Genesis 11, 3) but the former had holy souls in place of stones, and charity as the glue, and the Holy Spirit’s grace for mortar. Of these truly should it be said, “Blessed are the clean of heart” (Matthew 5, 8), and therefore they shall see God forever.
St Martin of Tour Heals the Possessed - stained glass window from the Cathedral of Tour (image from wikipedia)
From a sermon of St Asterius of Amasea (ca. 350-410): Sermon X on the Holy Martyrs (Patrologia Graeca XL, col. 321 D et seq.)

We do not adore the martyrs, but we hold them in honor as the true worshippers of God. We do not worship men, but we admire them, who in times of persecutions, nobly worshipped God. We place (their relics) in beautiful vessels, and raise up houses around their resting places, magnificent in their decorations, that we may zealously honor those who died nobly. Not without reward do we show them this zeal; rather, we enjoy their patronage before God. For since our prayers are insufficient to move God in time of need and difficulty, (for our supplication does not call Him to our aid, but rather reminds Him of our sins), therefore we flee to our fellow servants who are beloved of the Lord, that in their righteousness, they may heal our trespasses.

The relic chapel of the Cathedral of Naples:

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