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Annunciation & Mary’s Fiat – Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard here dramatically celebrates Mary's Fiat, or statement of consent in response to the announcement by the archangel Gabriel, behold the handmaiden of the Lord; "let it me done to me according to your word."  Appropriate for Advent or for the Solemnity of the Annunciation...

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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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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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St. George, Martyr – Peter Damian

Peter Damian on St. George.  The veneration of Saint George, the courageous soldier of Christ and martyr,  began as early as the fourth century at Lydda in Palestine, where a church was built in his honor.  From antiquity this veneration has spread throughout both the...

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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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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....

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Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue – Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest theologians in the history of the church, here focuses on the passion of Jesus Christ not only to redeem us but also to teach us.  Indeed, the cross exemplifies every virtue and teaches us all we have to know...