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Late September brings us the Feasts of several Holy Martyrs for the Faith

by Ian on August 25, 2007

About Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs, September 26

Sts. Cosmas and Damian were Early Christian physicians and martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 26 September. They were twins, born in Arabia, and practiced the art of healing in the seaport Aegea, now Ayash, on the Gulf of Iskenderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, "the silverless". In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith. When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword. Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honor. Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage. At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honor, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems. They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints.

Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.

A History of Apologetics

 

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John Salza

Biblical Basis For the Catholic Faith

 

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Rev. William G. Most

Catholic Apologetics Today: Answers To Modern Critics

 

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Peter J. Kreeft, Ph.D.

Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics

 

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Peter J. Kreeft, Ph.D.,  Fr. Robert K. Tacelli, S.J.

Handbook Of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds Of Answers To Critical Questions

 

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Frank J Sheed

A Map of Life: A Simple Study of the Catholic Faith

 

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Karl Keating

Nothing But the Truth: Essays in Apologetics

 

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George Weigel

The Truth Of Catholicism: Inside The Essential Teachings And Controversies Of The Church Today

 

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The One-Minute Apologist: Essential Catholic Replies to Over Sixty Common Protestant Claims

The One-Minute Apologist: Essential Catholic Replies to Over Sixty Common Protestant Claims

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"The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known.

All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation.

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bear witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude. 'Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom it will be given me to reach God." said St. Ignatius of Antioch upon his martyrdom.

- Catechism of the Catholic Church 2472, 2473


Books and other resources on the "End Times" and the "Book of Revelation"

 

Navarre Bible, Text and Commentaries

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Leo R. Zanchettin, Gen. Editor

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Fr. Alfred McBride, O.Praem.

The Second Coming of Jesus: The Book of Revelation

 

 

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Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

Revelation: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

What Does The Bible Say About The End Times?  Author:  Fr. William Kurz, S.J.

What Does The Bible Say About The End Times?

 

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About St. Andrew Kim and Companions, Martyrs, September 20.

This first native Korean priest, Andrew Kim, was the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and was beatified in 1925. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew traveled 1,300 miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country through Manchuria. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital.

Christianity came to Korea during the Japanese invasion in 1592 when some Koreans were baptized, probably by Christian Japanese soldiers. Evangelization was difficult because Korea refused all contact with the outside world except for an annual journey to Peking to pay taxes. On one of these occasions, around 1777, Christian literature obtained from Jesuits in China led educated Korean Christians to study. A home Church began. When a Chinese priest managed to enter secretly a dozen years later, he found 4,000 Catholics, none of whom had ever seen a priest. Seven years later there were 10,000 Catholics. Religious freedom came in 1883.

When Pope John Paul II visited Korea in 1984 he canonized, besides Andrew and Paul, 98 Koreans and three French missionaries who had been martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were lay persons: 47 women, 45 men.

Among the martyrs in 1839 was Columba Kim, an unmarried woman of 26. She was put in prison, pierced with hot tools and seared with burning coals. She and her sister Agnes were disrobed and kept for two days in a cell with condemned criminals, but were not molested. After Columba complained about the indignity, no more women were subjected to it. The two were beheaded. A boy of 13, Peter Ryou, had his flesh so badly torn that he could pull off pieces and throw them at the judges. He was killed by strangulation. Protase Chong, a 41-year-old noble, apostatized under torture and was freed. Later he came back, confessed his faith and was tortured to death.


The Prayer of Saint Polycarp

Saint Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of the apostles, was burned at the stake about the year 155. This is the prayer he prayed before he died:

 

"Lord, almighty God, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in your sight, I bless you for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, your anointed one, and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among the martyrs in your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice. God of truth, stranger to falsehood, you have prepared this and revealed it to me and now you have fulfilled your promise.

I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. "


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