The feast of St. Luke is celebrated on October 18th. Luke was a beloved Gospel writer, a physician, a Gentile, and a traveler with Paul on his second and third missionary journeys. He wrote the book of Acts and interjects his presence when the pronoun he (Paul) suddenly changes to we without explanation. He writes as if he was an apostle, but we have no record that he actually met Jesus. It appears that he received some of the information unique to his Gospel from spending time with the Blessed Mother.
The feast of St. Simon and St. Jude is celebrated on October 28th. Simon and Jude are comparatively unknown except they are included in the Gospel lists of the apostles. Simon is identified as a Cananean and a zealot, which means he was strict keeper of the law, most likely from Cana. Jude, or Thaddeus as he is sometimes listed, identifies himself as the brother of James and is not to be confused with Judas Iscariot. Simon and Jude are linked because tradition tells us that they were both missionaries to Persia and were martyred there together. It is encouraging that unknown Jude is the most often prayed to saint today, because he is the patron saint of hopeless causes and the namesake of the famous St. Jude’s Children Hospitals.
Clement was a disciple of the apostles and the third bishop of Rome. He was known for his pastoral letters.
He wrote: “The strong must make sure that they care for the weak. The rich must be certain to give enough to supply all the needs of the poor. The poor must thank God for supplying their needs. We all need each other: the great need the small, the small need the great.”
He prayed: “O God, make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.”
The importance of second place
“Simon Peter’s brother” is the phrase most often used to identify Andrew.”
Peter was a powerful personality and a natural leader whose activity and comments take a prominent position in the NT. Andrew receives mention in only a few places But it was Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus. Andrew’s only concern seems to have been in serving Jesus Christ.”
from Butler’s Lives of the Saints
St. Nicholas is one of the most popular of saints. He is widely recognized as the patron saint of children and of sailors. He is also the patron saint of Russia. But all we know about him historically is that he was a third-century bishop of the Greek city of Myra. An American mis-translation of the Dutch form of St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaus) became our Santa Claus who came to be associated with giving gifts at Christmas time.
St. Ambrose was a bishop in Milan and a great hymn writer. This text for the hymn during the Monday service of Lauds is attributed to him:
O true Sun, descend,
sparkling with uninterrupted brightness;
O radiance of the Holy Spirit,
pour in upon our senses.
May this day pass joyfully:
let modesty be as the dawn,
faith as the noonday;
let the spirit not know dusk.
Dawn carries on its course;
let the dawn go forward to everything;
all the Son is in the Father,
and all the Father is in the Word. Amen.
“A Boy is Born in Bethlehem. Rejoice for that Jerusalem. Alleluia!” (Puer natus est)
All are welcome to join us on Christmas Eve for a candle-lit Eucharist service!
Stephen was the first person martyred for his Christian faith. He was dragged out of Jerusalem and stoned to death but his testimony bore much fruit. Saul, later called Paul, joined in condemning Stephen, but Stephen’s example of steadfast faith in Jesus and his prayer for forgiveness for his murderers found fruit in the mission and witness of Paul after his conversion. The Christian community in Jerusalem, fearful of the hostility of the Judean authorities, scattered. Thus, as a result of Stephen’s martyrdom, the gospel first began to spread beyond Jerusalem