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.
Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Yes, there is a St. Julia and here is her story: St. Julia was born of noble parents in South Africa. When she was still quite young, her city was conquered by barbarians. Julia was captured and sold as a slave to a pagan merchant, but she did not complain or feel ... 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
Alvarez was born in either Lisbon, Portugal, or Cordova, Spain. He entered the Dominican convent at Cordova in 1368. He became known for his preaching prowess in Spain and Italy, was confessor and adviser of Queen Catherine, John of Gaunt's daughter, and tutor of King ... continue reading
Paul was the son of a Japanese military leader. He was born at Tounucumada, Japan, was educated at the Jesuit college of Anziquiama, joined the Jesuits in 1580, and became known for his eloquent preaching. He was crucified on Februay 5 with twenty-five other Catholics ... 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