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.
- "excerpts taken from Victories of the Martyrs," by St. Alphonsus de Liguori Taken from the Acts of St. Anastasia, who is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, and commemorated by the Church [old calendar] on December 25, St. Anastasia was a spiritual child of St. ... continue readingMore Female Saints
All we know of Barnabas is to be found in the New Testament. A Jew, born in Cyprus and named Joseph, he sold his property, gave the proceeds to the Apostles, who gave him the name Barnabas, and lived ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier