+ On this day, the Catholic dioceses in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia celebrate the memorial of three popes who were born in North Africa.
+ Saint Victor I:
Victor was the 14th pope and served from 189-199. Victor helped resolve conflicts surrounding the celebration of the date of Easter. It was also during his pontificate that the church in Rome began to use Latin as the language of the liturgy. He is included in the Roman Martyrology on July 28.
+ Saint Miltiades:
Miltiades was the 32nd bishop of Rome. Miltiades led the church of Rome during a time of great unrest, serving from 311 to 314. During his reign, the emperors ended the persecution of Christians and he helped secure the rights of the Church under the Emperor Constantine. He also worked to oppose the heresy of Mani. The memory of Pope Saint Miltiades is celebrated by the Universal Church on January 10.
+ Saint Gelasius I:
Gelasius was born in Rome to African parents and he was member of the Roman clergy from his youth. Serving as bishop of Rome—the 49th pope—from 492 to 496, he continued Pope Miltiades work of opposing the Manichean heresy. One of his most important accomplishments was separating the works (and future) of the Church from those of the Roman Empire. Known for his commitment for the poor, Pope Gelasius is celebrated on November 21.
For prayer and reflection
“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”—Matthew 20:28
O God, who to pasture your people filled the Bishops blessed Victor, Meltiades, and Gelasius with a spirit of truth and of love, grant that, as we celebrate their feast day with honor, we may benefit by imitating them and be given relief through their intercession. 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.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For Several Pastors)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.