Skip to comments.[Catholic Caucus: Day by Day -- Saints for All, Saint John Damascene, 12-04-18
Posted on 12/04/2018 8:16:19 PM PST by Salvation
John spent most of his life in the Monastery of Saint Sabas near Jerusalem, and all of his life under Muslim rule, indeed protected by it.
He was born in Damascus, received a classical and theological education, and followed his father in a government position under the Arabs. After a few years, he resigned and went to the Monastery of Saint Sabas.
He is famous in three areas:
First, he is known for his writings against the iconoclasts, who opposed the veneration of images. Paradoxically, it was the Eastern Christian emperor Leo who forbade the practice, and it was because John lived in Muslim territory that his enemies could not silence him.
Second, he is famous for his treatise, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the Greek Fathers, of which he became the last. It is said that this book is for Eastern schools what the Summa of Aquinas became for the West.
Third, he is known as a poet, one of the two greatest of the Eastern Church, the other being Romanus the Melodist. His devotion to the Blessed Mother and his sermons on her feasts are well known.
John defended the Churchs understanding of the veneration of images and explained the faith of the Church in several other controversies. For over 30 years, he combined a life of prayer with these defenses and his other writings. His holiness expressed itself in putting his literary and preaching talents at the service of the Lord.
Saint of the Day Ping!
John of Damascus is universally commemorated by Orthodox and Catholics alike on the same day (as will be Nicholas on Decemberr 6 and Ambrose on December 7—a trifecta of truly small “c” catholic commemorations)
Here are some of the hymns for John of Damascus used today by the Orthodox:
Guide of Orthodoxy and a sacred teacher of piety and dignity, luminary of the world, and God-inspired jewel of monastics, O wise John, the Spirit’s instrument: by your teachings you enlightened all. Intercede with Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
A sweetly playing pipe, and a loud horn and trumpet, * melodious guitar, and a harp of divine song, * harmonious violin, well-tuned musical instrument, * moved to play as the all-holy Spirit inspires you: * that is what you are, O blessed John, and you thereby * enchant our minds and thoughts.
We worthily extol the august holy struggles * that you endured in truth for the Church, holy father. * We honor in sacred song the august hymns and poetry * that you left behind, for use in praising the Master, * and in bringing joy and great delight to the faithful, * all-honored and blessed John.
You refuted the heresies, * O blessed one, by your wisdom, * devout and all-wise Father John; * To the Church you have given * the dogma that is Orthodox * so that we might correctly * all glorify and worship * the Trinity in one essence * and Unity in three persons.
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