From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sat Dec 31 01:20:32 2022
Thankfulness is the joyful and humble response of a heart that has
been transformed by grace. Does gratitude characterize your thoughts
of God? Thankfulness is a good test of your faith. Its absence
demonstrates that your faith is more lip service than experiential
knowledge. Your days, whether easy or difficult, should be filled with thanksgiving because while life changes drastically, your God remains
the same forever. He is constant -- constantly good, loving and
31 December – Saint Columba of Sens
Virgin Martyr Born as Eporita in c257 in Spain and died by beheading
in 273 at Sens, France near a fountain named d’Azon. Patronages – for
rain, of bears. St Columba is a Colonnade Saint at St Peter’s – you
can find her as Saint Number 40 on the North Colonnade.
Columba was a virgin and martyr at Sens. Though little historical
information is known, popular devotion made her one of the most famous
and revered Martyrs in the Middle Ages.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Sens in Lugdunense Gaul, now in
France, Saint Colomba, Virgin and Martyr.”
Colomba is presented as belonging to a noble but pagan family of Spain
and lived in the third century. To escape the cult of the gods, she
left her family and went to Gaul (France) first to Vienne, where she
received Baptism, then to Sens. It appears that her real name was
Eporita and that she would later be called the Dove (the meaning of
Columba) due to her innocence.
In Sens, she was arrested as a Christian in the ongoing persecution
throughout the Roman Empire. The Emperor Aureliano Lucio Domizio
(270-275), being present in Sens at that time, had Columba and others,
brought before him,. In an attempt to make her renounce her Christian virginity, he proposed marriage to her. But then irritated by her
refusal, he condemned her to be locked up in the amphitheater in a
prostitution cell. When a young soldier arrived there to abuse her, a
she-bear who had been kept in the amphitheater, intervened to protect
her, putting the man to flight.
Since none of the soldiers, fearful of their lives, now wanted to take
his place, Aureliano furiously ordered, that both the Virgin and the
Bear be burned but a cloud coming from Africa, procured a providential
rain, which extinguished the fire already prepared, while the bear ran
away into the forests. The stubborn Emperor then sentenced Colomba to
be beheaded, after one last attempt to make her change her faith.
The young woman, just 16 years old, suffered Martyrdom not far from
Sens and was buried by a Christian who, immediately invoking her
intercession, recovered his sight. This happened in the second half of
the third Century, in the years between 270 and 275, referring to the
Emperor Aurelian, who found himself in Sens for his wars in Gaul.
Highly venerated in France at the time, in 620 King Lothair III
founded the famous Royal Abbey of Sainte-Colombe-les-Sens on the Tomb
of the Saint. In 623 the Bishop of Sens, St Wolf († 623) wanted to be
buried at the Martyr’s feet; in 853 the Bishop Wessilone in
Consecrating the new Church, found the relics of the two Saints united
and had them wrapped in a precious shroud in oriental fabric. Pieces
of this shroud were found in the 19th Century and are kept in the
Treasury of the Cathedral.
The Abbey Church was built a third time and Consecrated in 1164 by
Pope Alexander III, then destroyed in 1792 at the time of the French Revolution. The remains of the Abbey and Church complex were purchased
in 1842 by the Nuns of the Holy Childhood of Jesus and Mary, who built
their Mother House there, safeguarding the remains of the ancient
crypt. The relics of St Columba had, however, in 1803, been
transferred to the Cathedral of Sens.
There are numerous Churches dedicated to the holy Martyr in France,
Spain, Flanders, Germany and Italy, where her cult spread, most
especially in Rimini. According to local traditions, some merchants
who sailed in the Adriatic had, with them, a relic of the head of St
Columba but were forced to land in Rimini, where the relic was
welcomed by Bishop Stennio and placed in the Cathedral.
In 1581 Msgr. Castelli, Bishop of Rimini, being Apostolic Nuncio to
France, obtained, from the Monks of the Abbey of Sens, the relics of a
rib and two teeth of the Martyr, which since the 18th Century, are
preserved in a Reliquary bust now placed in the Malatesta Church the
new Cathedral, which replaced the other, which was demolished in 1815
and dedicated to St Trinità and St Columba.
There was talk of a translation of the body of Columba to Bari in the
17th Century but without any serious foundation.
Starting from the Geronymian Martyrology, up to the Roman one, the
feast of St Columba is reported to be celebrated on 31 December. The
popularity of the cult in France then slowly waned and an attempt to
bring it back into widespread circulation in the 14th Century failed.
In Sens, however, due to a local festival, concomitant with New Year’s
Eve, St Columba’s feast was postponed to 27 July and is still honoured
on this day as well as further devotions and celebrations, on the
anniversary of the transfer of her relics and the dedication of her
Church. All of these memorials are still observed with great devotion
in Sens and the neighbouring area.
“Whoever believes in him …
might have eternal life” John 3:16
“God alone is wise and the Son His wisdom,
for “Christ is the power
and the wisdom of God” (Rm 16:27; 1 Cor 1:24).
So, it is in receiving the Spirit of wisdom,
that we possess the Son and gain wisdom in Him. …
The Son is Life.
He said: “I am the Life” (Jn 14:6).
But, it is said, that we are brought to life by the Spirit,
as Paul wrote: “The one who raised Christ
from the dead will give life
to our mortal bodies also through his Spirit
that dwells in us” (Rm 8:11).
But when we have been brought to life by the Spirit,
then Christ will be our life …
“I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).”
--St Athanasius (295-373)
Bishop of Alexandria,
Father and Doctor of the Church
( Letters to Serapion, no.1, 19).
As long as a single passion reigns in our hearts, though all the
others should have been overcome, the soul will never enjoy peace.
--St. Joseph Calasanctius
'If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not
into the house, nor say to him, God speed you.' [2 John 1:10]
Who abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.--1 John 4:16
25. If you desire to arrive at union with God, let your conversation
and manner of life be as interior as possible. Do not reveal yourself,
or come forth from yourself, either by words, gestures or manners, but
strive to keep yourself within yourself, turning to God alone, who is
present within you, and excluding from your heart all that you shall
see or hear.
--Bl. Henry Suso
Father Alvarez, being asked the reason why he had seemed unusually
thoughtful for some days, answered: "I am trying to live as if I were
in the deserts of Africa, and to keep my heart as much at a distance
from all creatures as if I were really in a desert." And in this he
St. Thomas Aquinas, from his earliest youth, was constantly seeking to
know God. When he had become a Religious, his sole gratification was
to think, to speak and to hear of God; so that if anything was
introduced in general conversation which was not connected with God,
he paid no attention to it, as a matter which did not concern him. He
so directed to God and His good pleasure all his works and actions,
that when the Lord Himself asked him what reward he would desire for
the many works he had written for Him, "No other," he replied, "but
Thyself alone, my Lord and my Love!"