كانون الاول - ديسمبر
Saint Francis Xavier, priest
He was born in the castle of “Xavier” in the “Navarra” region in northern Spain in 1506 AD, from a noble family. He studied literature at the University of Paris, and there he met Saint Ignatius de Loyola and joined him in the beginnings of his founding of the Jesuit Order. He was ordained a priest in Rome and supervised charitable works. Burning with love for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, he departed in 1541 to the east, destined for India and Japan, where he preached Christ, without getting tired, for ten years and guided many to faith. He excelled in adapting the salvation message of the Gospel to the prevailing customs and traditions in those countries. After giving his strength to spread the kingdom, he rested in the Lord in 1552 on the Chinese island of Sanxian, while he intended to start evangelization in China. He is considered the patron saint of Catholic missions in the world, along with St. Teresa of the Child Jesus. Among his sayings: “I have an idea: to tour the universities of Europe... to cheer, like a madman, on those whose knowledge exceeds their love, and I say to them: “How many souls perish because of your sin!” I wish they cared about caring for souls as much as they care about morals, so they could pay an account to God for their knowledge and for the weights that He handed them over.
Saint Nicholas, the bishop
He belonged to a noble family. From an early age, he excelled in practicing Christian virtues, especially acts of love towards the poor and the young. That is why he was chosen bishop of the city of Myra (in today's Turkey). He was a good shepherd, the people loved him and considered him a saint while he was still alive. He was imprisoned during a period of religious persecution against Christians, which was led by the Roman Emperor Dioclesian, then he was released after Emperor Constantine allowed Christians freedom of worship. Rest in the Lord in the middle of the fourth century. His honor has spread throughout the entire Church since the tenth century. His relics have been preserved in the city of Bari in southern Italy since the year 1087, in the cathedral that was built in his name and which many pilgrims visit in honor of this saint. Thanks to his generosity and generosity towards children, the legend arose in English countries that made him “Santa Claus”, or “Santa Claus”, who extends his gifts to the poor during the Christmas period.
Saint Damasius I, Pope
He is of Spanish origin, and was probably born in Rome around the year 305 AD. He joined the clergy in Rome, then was ordained a bishop over its church in the year 366, that is, after Emperor Constantine allowed Christians freedom of worship. Nevertheless, those days were not without disasters, as the Church was passing through a dangerous stage in its history. Pope Damesus convened councils to resist heretics and dissidents and to spread the orthodox faith defined by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. During his time, churches were built extensively, so Christians neglected the Deames, that is, the tombs of the martyrs and the early Christians, where prayers were held before. As for him, he worked to preserve these ruins, which contain the memory of an important era in the history of the church. He restored importance to the graves of the martyrs and encouraged them to be honored, and decorated their tombs with biblical verses and poetic sayings that he himself composed. It is worth noting that Pope Damesus was the pontiff who directed Saint Hieronymus to translate the Bible into Latin, which was the language circulating at the time. He rested in the Lord in the year 384.
Saint Lucia, the Virgin Martyr
“Lucia” or “Lucia” is a name of Latin origin, meaning “illuminating”. This saint was born in the city of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, in southern Italy, at the end of the third century AD (about the year 283). It is said that her father died when she was six years old, so her mother sold their possessions as alms to the poor. It is likely that she was martyred during the era of persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian, in the year 304, due to the slander of a pagan youth who wanted to marry her. Honoring her has spread since ancient times in the entire Church, and her name is mentioned in the first Eucharistic prayer, which is one of the oldest prayers in the Roman rite. This saint is depicted carrying a dish with two eyes on it, based on the narration that the ruler, Pescasius, was depressed about herself because of the beauty of her eyes, so Lucia had no choice but to pluck them out and throw them in his face. For this reason, it is also considered the patron saint of the blind and visually impaired.
Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Teacher of the Church
He was born in Fontiveros, in Spain, around 1542 AD, from a Jewish family that converted to Christianity. He entered the Carmel Order in 1568. After four years of studying philosophy and theology, he was ordained a priest in the city of Salamanca. There he met St. Teresa of Avila, who had started a reform movement in the Carmel Order, so he joined her and was the first reformed monks in his congregation. He endured many hardships and hardships, as his enemies unjustly accused him and imprisoned him, where he spent nine months of cold and hunger. This experience motivated him to self-denial and flight in spirituality. He left poetic and spiritual works, considered the best written in Christian mysticism and one of the pinnacles of Spanish literature, among the most famous of which are the “Spiritual Anthem”, “The Ascent to Mount Carmel” and “The Dark Night”, which he wrote during his captivity. He rested in the Lord in Andalusia, 1590. Among his sayings: “The soul that desires divine wisdom chooses to enter the heart of the cross... The cross is the door through which one can enter the treasures of this wisdom. It is a narrow door. Many desire the spiritual pleasure that this narrow door leads to. But there are few who desire to enter it.
Saint John de Kiti, priest
He was born in “Kitty” in the Archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, in 1390 AD. Since his youth, he excelled in sciences and studies, so he became a professor of philosophy at the age of twenty-seven. He was ordained a priest at the age of thirty-four, after which he completed his academic work, for several years, at the University of Krakow, proving great merit, not only with his vast knowledge, but also with his Christian virtues, especially humility, simplicity, love for the poor, and austerity. In all of this, he was an example for his colleagues and students, and left a great impact on them, at a time when heresies and misleading teachings abounded. He was appointed parish priest in Olkosh. He attached great spiritual importance to the practice of pilgrimage to the holy shrines, so he made a pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and four trips to Rome. He rested in the Lord during his celebration of the Mass on the eve of the birth of Christ, and that was in the year 1473. People considered him a saint immediately after his death, until Pope Clemens XIII officially proclaimed his holiness in 1767, saying about him: “He [John Conti] in his humility did not see himself as better than Other than him, although he was the undisputed prince of knowledge... He was far from seeking glory for himself, and that is why he faced with a calm and reassuring soul everyone who opposed him or despised him.
Saint Silvestrus I, Pope
He was a Roman priest, who ascended the throne of Peter in the year 314, and he was the first pontiff in the era of peace that followed the first eras of persecution, which witnessed the building of many Christian churches and temples. Pope Silvestrus made his headquarters on the Lateran Hill, where Emperor Constantine built the Church of Christ the Savior, now known as the Church of St. John in the Lateran. During his reign, St. Peter's Church was also built on the Vatican Hill, where the body of the Apostle Peter rests. He bore the burdens of the Church in an era in which some heresies emerged, especially Donatism (in relation to its leader Donuts, who denied the human nature of Christ) and Arianism (in relation to its leader Arius, who denied the equality of Christ to God the Father). When the first ecumenical council was convened, in the year 325, in Nicaea, Sylvester was very old, and he sent two Roman priests to represent him. His pontificate lasted twenty-one years, then he fell asleep and was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla, on the Via Salaria, in the year 335. He was the first person to whom the title of “confessor of faith” was attributed.