SEPTEMBER 16 – ST. CYPRIAN, BISHOP, MARTYR.
CYPRIAN was an African of noble birth but of evil life, a pagan, and a teacher of rhetoric. In middle life he was converted to Christianity, and shortly after his baptism was ordained priest, and made Bishop of Carthage, notwithstanding his resistance. When the persecution of Decius broke out, he fled from his episcopal city, that he might be the better able to minister to the wants of his flock, but returned on occasion of a pestilence. Later on he was banished, and saw in a vision his future martyrdom. Being recalled from exile, sentence of death was pronounced against him, which he received with the words “Thanks be to God.” His great desire was to die whilst in the act of preaching the faith of Christ, and he had the consolation of being surrounded at his martyrdom by crowds of his faithful children. He was beheaded on the 14th September, A.D. 258, and was buried with great solemnity. Even the pagans respected his memory.
REFLECTION: The duty of almsgiving is declared both by nature and revelation: by nature, because it flows from the principle imprinted within us of doing to others as we would they should do to us; by revelation, in many special commands of Scripture, and in the precept of divine charity which binds us to love God for His own sake, and our neighbor for the sake of God.
WORD OF THE DAY
RIVERS OF PARADISE. Emblems of the four Evangelists whose gospels spread knowledge of the Word of God throughout the world. The symbol shows four streams of water flowing from a rock on which the Lamb of God stands mounted. Verdure is often introduced in the symbol to signify the fruitfulness of the “good news.” The rivers Pison, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates are thought to be the streams so designated with John, Matthew, Mark, and Luke assigned to them in religious writings.Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)
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