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Sunday 22 May |
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint John Damascene

Defender of sacred images


Ted CC

Priest and Doctor of the Church (ca. 676-749)

His life

+ John was born in Damascus, Syria.

+ Renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge and theological method, he was a fierce opponent of the iconoclasts (heretics who rejected the use of sacred images in the Church), becoming famous for his defense of icons.

+ Tradition relates that has punishment for his opposition to the iconoclasts, his right hand was cut off, only to be later restored through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.

+ John invested his time, energy, and intellectual gifts in the composition of hymns and theological works, with the most important being the Fount of Wisdom.

+ Saint John Damascene died in his monastery around 749. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1890.

For prayer and reflection

Show me the icons you venerate, that I may be able to understand your faith.”—Saint John Damascene

Spiritual bonus

Today the Church also remembers Blessed Adolph Kolping. The son of a poor shepherd, he was apprenticed as a shoemaker. After being ordained a priest, he established a special ministry of outreach and support for apprentices, later known as the International Kolping Society. He worked to improve the physical and spiritual lives of craftsmen of all kinds. Blessed Adolph died 1865 and was beatified in 1991.


Grant, we pray, O Lord,

that we may be helped by the prayers

of the Priest Saint John Damascene,

so that the true faith,

which he excelled in teaching,

may always be our light and our strength.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Prayer from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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