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Early Fathers

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Feast of the Annunciation, God Becomes Man – Leo

The Solemnity or Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord is celebrated on March 25. Here, in his typically lyrical language and powerful imagery, Leo the Great ponders the unfathomable mystery of God becoming man in the womb of a Virgin who had the...

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Prepare for the Wedding Feast – Cyril of Jerusalem

Here Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem in the mid-4th century, urges catechumens to prepare themselves to receive the Holy Spirit at the Easter Vigil. He speaks of the sacrament of baptism in nuptial terms, describing it as a wedding feast at which the bridegroom will...

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Hold Fast to God, our one true good – Ambrose

Hold fast to God, our one true good, counsels Ambrose.  In the following words, he explains the essence of the great commandment of Deuteronomy 6:4-5.  Loving God with your whole heart, soul, and strength means holding on to him, seeking him and pursuing him with...

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Peter, the Keys, and the Chair – Leo the Great

Leo the Great on the famous passage from Matthew 16 in which Jesus gives Cephas the new name of Peter, meaning rock, along with the keys to the kingdom of heaven. It is read each year on the Feast of the Chair of...

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Repentance & God’s Mercy – Ash Wednesday

This excerpt from St. Clement’s First Letter to the Corinthians on repentance, written around AD 95, urges us to repent, change our lives, seek God’s mercy & fix our attention on the blood of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally read on Ash Wednesday...

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Nicene Creed – Cyril of Jerusalem

This excerpt from a catechetical instruction by St. Cyril of Jerusalem dates from the mid 4th Century, just a generation after the Council of Nicaea. At that time, the bishop of Jerusalem himself instructed the catechumens before baptism (today's RCIA), and this is a record...

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Catholic and Apostolic Faith – Irenaeus

Here Irenaeus underlines the Catholicity of the Church with many cultures professing a single truth, a common tradition of catholic and apostolic faith going back to the apostles and their disciples. Though this was written about 185 AD, one can recognize here the outline of...

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Salt of the Earth and Light of the World – John Chrysostom

John Chrysostom here comments on the famous lines in the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus calls his disciples the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World (Matt. 5: 15-16).[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']Y[/dropcaps]ou are the salt of the earth....