Sts. Peter and Paul
Pope St. Leo the Great
Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church
This excerpt from a sermon of St. Leo the Great (Sermo 82, in natali apostolorum Petri et Pauli 1, 6-7: PL 54, 426-428) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for November 18, the memorial of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Peter's in Vatican City.
Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones. No type of cruelty can tear down the religion established by the mystery of Christís cross. The Church is not diminished by persecutions, but rather increased. The field of the Lord is always being enriched with a more abundant harvest, while the seeds which are sown one by one yield a manifold return.
From this field those two famous shoots of the divine seed burst forth into a great progeny, witnessed by thousands of blessed martyrs. To emulate the apostlesí triumph, these martyrs have adorned our city far and wide with people clothed in purple and shining brilliantly, and they have crowned it with a diadem fashioned by the glory of many precious stones.
On the commemoration of all the saints it is right for us to rejoice in this heavenly band, fashioned by God as models of patience and a support for our faith; but we must glory and exult even more in the eminence of these two forebears, whom the grace of God raised to so high a summit among all the members of the Church, and established like two eyes that bring light to the body whose head is Christ.
As to their merits and virtues, which no words can describe, we should not think of any difference or distinction between them; their calling was the same, their labours were similar, theirs was a common death.
Our experience has shown, as our predecessors have proved, that we may believe and hope that in all the labours of the present life, by the mercy of God, we shall always be helped by the prayers of our special patrons. Just as we are humbled by our own sins, so we shall be raised up by the merits of these apostles.
Be sure to read the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul by St. Augustine, Click Here!
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The Early Church Fathers
A society characterized by the loss of respect for life, violence, exotic religious cults, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and even pedophilia. Sound familiar?
The Early Church Fathers succeeded in bringing a Pagan society to Christ. If we pay attention to what they taught, we will succeed in doing the same for our own de-Christianized society!
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Early Church Fathers - VOL II
Dr. Marcellino DíAmbrosio, host of EWTNís Early Church Fathers TV series, continues to acquaint us with the colorful personalities of the earliest Christian teachers, making their dynamic message accessible, enjoyable, and relevant to the challenges of everyday life. This, the second volume of series, consists of shows produced in 2006 and covering fascinating personalities such as the courageous St. John Chrysostom, the outspoken bible scholar, Jerome, and 17 other heroes of the Early Church.
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