Orphaned in his childhood, Cosmas was adopted by the Syrian father of Saint John of Damascus. Cosmas and his brother by adoption, John, are said to have been educated together by an elderly monk. Subsequently the two young men left Damascus to enter the Monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem. In 743, Cosmas became bishop of Majuma, Palestine (near Gaza City). Cosmas was to be remembered as a great ecclesiastical poet, many of whose compositions became a permanent part of the Byzantine liturgy. For example, the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth "odes" used for the Byzantine Rite's Holy Saturday office of Orthros (the eastern equivalent of Matins, the first "hour" of the Divine Office) are attributed to Cosmas. These texts express awe in contemplating the humble entombment of the Son of God, depicting Christ's death and burial as a triumph over death and hell: "Truly, hell was pierced and destroyed by the divine fire when it received in its heart him who was pierced in his side with a spear for our salvation." The ninth "ode" constitutes a dialogue between Christ in death and his grieving Mother.
Peter, who was also known as Simon Peter of Cephas, is considered the first Pope. Despite his papacy, Peter had humble beginnings and became one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was ordained by ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Dymphna was born in Ireland sometime in the seventh century to a pagan father and devout Christian mother. When she was fourteen, she consecrated herself to Christ and took a vow of chastity. Soon afterward, her mother died and her father - who had loved his wife ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
So often we hear people or even ourselves excuse an action by saying "I was only following orders." But for Nereus and Achilleus this excuse could not stand in the face of the cross. Everything we know from authority about the two first- century martyrs comes from ... continue reading
Although little is known about Simon Stock's early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning "tree trunk," derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes