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Thursday 02 February |
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: St. 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

Although he was God, he became man, and in his human will, became obedient to you, God his Father, unto death, even death on a cross. In this way you have humbled yourself, Christ my God, so that you might carry me, your stray sheep, on your shoulders. You let me graze in green pastures, refreshing me with the waters of orthodox teaching at the hands of your shepherds.”—Saint John Damascene

Spiritual bonus

Today the Church also remembers Saint Barbara. According to pious legends, she was a beautiful maiden. After she became a Christian, her pagan father imprisoned her in a tower and, later, killed Barbara himself. As punishment, he was struck dead by lightening; for this reason, Barbara is also the patron saint of artillerymen, and she is invoked for protection against fire and lightening.


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,
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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