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St. Irenaeus Against Heresies and the warning against the Antichrist
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O Christ Jesus, radiant light of the immortal glory of the Father of heaven! As the sun sinks to its setting we are face to face with the twilight of evening: we honour God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are worthy ever to be hymned by voices that are pure, Son of God who gives us life. The universe proclaims your glory.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Eternal faith and beliefs: Gregory III of Rome


St. Mark

We give Thee thanks, yea, more than thanks, O Lord our God, the Father of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, for all Thy goodness at all times and in all places, because Thou hast shielded, rescued, helped, and guided us all the days of our lives, and brought us unto this hour, permitting us gain to stand before Thee in Thy holy place, that we may implore forgiveness of our sins and propitiation to all Thy people. We pray and beseech Thee, merciful God, to grant in Thy goodness that we may spend this holy day and all the time of our lives without sin, in fullness of joy, health, safety, holiness, and reverence of Thee. But all envy, all fear, all temptation, all the influence of Satan, all the snares of wicked men every spirit visible and invisible thereof, do Thou, O Lord, drive away from us, and from Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church each of us holding Thou the head Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour alone. Bestow upon us, O Lord, what is good and meet. Whatever sin we commit in thought, word, or deed, do Thou in Thy goodness and mercy be pleased to pardon. Leave us not, O Lord, while we hope in Thee; nor lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one and from all his works and minions, through the grace, mercy, and love of Thine only-begotten Son. O Sovereign Lord Christ Jesus, the co-eternal Word of the eternal Father, who wast made in all things like as we are, but without sin, for the salvation of our race; who hast sent forth Thy holy disciples and apostles to proclaim and teach the Gospel of Thy kingdom, and to heal all disease, all sickness among Thy people, be pleased now, O Lord, to send forth Thy light and Thy truth. Enlighten the eyes of our minds, that we may understand Thy divine oracles. Fit us to become hearers, and not only hearers, but doers of Thy word, that we, becoming fruitful, and yielding good fruit from thirty to an hundred fold, may be deemed worthy of the kingdom of heaven. Let Thy mercy speedily overtake us, O Lord. For Thou art the bringer of good tidings, the Saviour and Guardian of our spirits, souls and bodies and we offer glory, thanks, and the “Thrice Holy Hymn” to Thee, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, now, henceforth, and for evermore. Holy God, holy almighty, holy immortal. Holy, holy, holy, O Lord of Sabaoth, the heaven and the earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Look down in mercy and compassion, O Lord, and heal the sick among Thy people. May we and all our brethren who have gone or who are about to go abroad, safely reach their destination in due season and come home again safely at all times. Send down the gracious rain upon the thirsty lands, and make the rivers flow in full stream, according to Thy grace. The fruits of the land do Thou, O Lord, fill with seed and make ripe for the harvest. In peace, courage, justice, and tranquillity preserve the kingdom of Thy servants, all priesthood of the faithful and kings upon the earth, whom Thou hast deemed worthy to reign over this earth. From evil days, from famine and pestilence, from the assault of barbarians, defend, O Lord, this Christ-loving city Thy body Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour, lowly and worthy of Thy compassion, as Thou didst spare Nineveh of old. For Thou art full of mercy and compassion, and rememberest not the iniquities of men against them. Thou hast said through Thy prophet Isaiah, I will defend this city, to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. Wherefore we pray and beseech Thee to defend in Thy good mercy this city, for the sake of Thee confessed by patriarchs, prophets, martyrs, disciples, apostles, evangelists and saints from Adam on, Thou who has shown us the way of salvation through the grace, mercy, and love of Thee only-begotten Son Jesus Christ Our Only Lord and Saviour. Through whom and with whom be glory and power to Thee MOST BLESSED LORD YAHWEH GOD IMMORTAL Abba Our Father, with Thy all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit our Paraclete. Guide and direct in all peace from above in Thy Righteousness the kings, armies, magistrates, councils, peoples, and neighborhoods, and all our outgoings and incomings.

O King of Peace Baruch Adonai Yahweh Elohim Melek Olam eth, grant us Thy peace in unity and love. May we be Thine, O Lord; for we know no other God but Thee, and name no other name Baruch Adonai Yahweh Eloheinu Yahweh Echad, Thou YAHWEH, YESHUA, RUACH YAHWEH but Thine Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Give life unto the souls of all of us, and let no deadly sin prevail against us, or against all Thy people.

Look down in mercy and compassion, O Lord, and heal the sick among Thy people. Deliver them and us, O Lord, from sickness and disease, and drive away the spirit of weakness.

Raise up those who have been long afflicted, and heal those who are vexed with unclean spirits.

Have mercy on all who are in prison, or in mines, or on trial, or condemned, or in exile, or crushed by cruel bondage or tribute. Deliver them, O Lord, for Thou art our God, who settest the captives free; who raisest up the downtrodden; who givest hope to the hopeless, and help to the helpless; who liftest up the fallen; who givest refuge to the shipwrecked, and vengeance to the oppressed. Pity, relieve, and restore every Christian soul that is afflicted or wandering. But do Thou, O Lord, the physician of our spirits, souls and bodies, the guardian of all flesh, look down, and by Thy saving power heal all the diseases of spirit, soul and body.

Guide and prosper our brethren who have gone or who are about to go abroad. Whether they travel by land, or river, or lake, by public road, or in whatever way journeying, bring them everywhere to a safe and tranquil haven. Be pleased to be with them by land, sea and air, and restore them in health and joy to joyful and healthful homes.

Ever defend, O Lord, our journey through this life from trouble and storm.
Send down rich and copious showers on the dry and thirsty lands.
Gladden and revive the face of the earth, that it may spring forth and rejoice in the raindrops.

Make the waters of the river flow in full stream.
Gladden and revive the face of the earth with the swelling waters.
Fill all the channels of the streams, and multiply the fruits of the earth.
Bless, O Lord, the fruits of the earth, and keep them safe and unharmed. Fill them with seed, and make them ripe for the harvest.

Bless even now, O Lord God Our Father, Thy yearly crown of blessing for the sake of the poor of Thy people, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, and for the sake of all of us who have our hope in Thee and call upon Thy holy name; for the eyes of all are upon Thee, and Thou givest them bread in due season.

O Thou who givest food to all flesh, fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that at all times, having all sufficiency, we may abound to every good work in Thou Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour. O Only Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords, defend the kingdom of Thy servants, we Thine orthodox believers and who love Thee Christ Thy priesthood and kings, whom Thou hast deemed worthy to reign over these lands in peace, courage, and justice.

Subdue under us, O Lord, every enemy and adversary, whether at home or abroad. Gird on Thy shield and armour, and rise to our aid guide us in all things to do what is gracious and pleasing in Thy sight. Draw Thy sword, and help us to fight against them that persecute us. Shield us in the day of battle, and grant that the fruit of our loins one like to us in Thee may sit upon Thy throne with Thee and us.

Be kind to us, O Lord, for the sake of Thy love for Thy Holy and Apostolic Church, all Thy Christ-loving people, that we too in Thy peaceful reign may live a calm and tranquil life, in all reverence and godliness.

O Lord our God, give peace to the souls of our fathers and brethren who have fallen asleep in Jesus, remembering our forefathers of old, our fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, and the souls of all the holy and just men who have died in the Lord.

Be mindful, O Lord, of the return of the back-sliding, and of every Christian soul that is afflicted and oppressed, and in need of Thy divine mercy and help.

Be mindful, O Lord, of our brethren in captivity. Grant that they may find mercy and compassion with those who have led them captive and immediate release and return home in peace and health and happiness.

Be mindful also of us, O Lord, Thy sinful and unworthy servants, and blot out our sins in Thy goodness and mercy.

Be mindful also of me, Thy lowly, sinful, and unworthy servant, and in Thy mercy blot out my sins. Be with us, O Lord, who minister unto Thy holy name.

Bless our meetings, O Lord.

Utterly uproot all idolatry all witchcraft from the world.

Crush under our feet Satan and all his minions, and all their wicked influence.
Humble now, as at all times, the enemies of Thy Church Thou and us, unto immediate absolute total complete destruction.

Lay bare their pride.

Speedily show them their weakness.

Bring to naught the wicked plots they contrive against us.
Arise, O Lord, and let Thine enemies be scattered, and let all who hate Thy holy name be put to flight.

Do Thou bless a thousand times ten thousand Thy faithful and orthodox people while they do Thy holy will.

Deliver the captive; rescue the distressed feed the hungry; comfort the faint-hearted, convert the erring; enlighten the darkened; raise the fallen; confirm the wavering; heal the sick; and guide them all, good Lord, into the way of salvation, and into Thy sacred fold. Deliver us from our iniquities; protect and defend us at all times.

Bless those who do us good for the sake of Thy Most Holy Name Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour.


Eternal faith and beliefs: Gregory III of Rome

Gregory III of Rome

Our father among saints Gregory IIIPope of Rome (731-741), a Syrian by birth, succeeded Pope Gregory II in March 731. He vigorously opposed the iconoclastic controversy in the Byzantine Empire. He died on November 28, 741. St. Gregory is remembered by the Church on December 10.


Gregory was acclaimed pope by the crowds at his predecessor's funeral.
He was the last pope to seek the Byzantine exarch's mandate. Gregory immediately appealed to the Byzantine Emperor Leo III to moderate his position on the iconoclastic controversy. When this elicited no response, Gregory called a synod in November 731, denouncing iconoclasm and excommunicating destroyers of icons. When a messenger carrying the decrees reached the emperor, the latter decided to bring the pope under control. This included appropriating papal territories and transferring ecclesiastical jurisdictions to the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Gregory's support of the empire led him to help contribute to the recapture of Ravenna after it had fallen to the Lombards in 733. However, he also sought to fortify Rome and seek alliance with opponents of the Lombard monarch Liutprand, king of the Lombards, and then from the Franks. He sent embassies to Charles Martel, who made no response, having his own priorities.
Gregory promoted the Church in northern Europe, such as the missions of Saint Boniface in Germany and Willibald in Bohemia. He also bestowed palliums on Egbert of York and Tatwine, Archbishop of Canterbury. He beautified Rome and supported monasticism.


Wikipedia article

Succession box:
Gregory III of Rome
Preceded by:
St Gregory II
Pope of Rome
Succeeded by:
St Zacharias

Saint Gregory II. Pope and Confessor. February 13. Rev. Alban Butler. 1866. Volume II: February. The Lives of the Saints

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume II: February.
The Lives of the Saints.  1866.
February 13
St. Gregory II. Pope and Confessor
HE was born in Rome, to an affluent fortune, and being educated in the palace of the popes, acquired great skill in the holy scriptures and in ecclesiastical affairs, and attained to an eminent degree of sanctity. Pope Sergius I. to whom he was very dear, ordained him subdeacon. Under the succeeding popes, John the sixth and seventh, Sisinnius, and Constantine, he was treasurer of the church, and afterwards library keeper, and was charged with several important commissions. The fifth general council had been held upon the affair of the three chapters, in 553, in the reign of Justinian, and the sixth against the Monothelites, in those of Constantine Pogonatus and Pope Agatho, in 660. With a view of adding a supplement of new canons to those of the aforesaid two councils, the bishops of the Greek church, to the number of two hundred and eleven, held the council called Quini-sext, in a hall of the imperial palace at Constantinople, named Trullus, in 692, which laid a foundation of certain differences in discipline between the Eastern and Western churches; for in the thirteenth canon it was enacted, that a man who was before married should be allowed to receive the holy orders of subdeacon, deacon, or priest, without being obliged to leave his wife, though this was forbidden to bishops. (can. 12.) It was also forbidden (can. 55.) to fast on Saturdays, even in Lent. Pope Sergius I. refused to confirm this council; and, in 695, the emperor Justinian II. surnamed Rhinotmetus, who had succeeded his father, Constantine Pogonatus, in 685, was dethroned for his cruelty, and his nose being slit, (from which circumstances he received his surname,) banished into Chersonesus. First Leontius, then Apsimarus Tiberius ascended the throne; but Justinian recovered it in 705, and invited Pope Constantine into the East, hoping to prevail upon him to confirm the council in Trullo. The pope was received with great honour, and had with him our saint, who, in his name, answered the questions put by the Greeks concerning the said council. After their return to Rome, upon the death of Constantine, Gregory was chosen pope, and ordained on the 19th of May, 715. The emperor Justinian being detested both by the army and people, Bardanes, who took the name of Philippicus, an Armenian, one of his generals, revolted, took Constantinople, put him and his son Tiberius, only seven years old, to death, and usurped the sovereignty in December, 711. In Justinian II. was extinguished the family of Heraclius. Philippicus abetted warmly the heresy of the Monothelites, and caused the sixth council to be prescribed in a pretended synod at Constantinople. His reign was very short; for Artemius, his secretary, who took the name of Anastasius II., deposed him, and stepped into the throne on the 4th of June, 713. By him the Monothelites were expelled; but, after a reign of two years and seven months, seeing one Theodosius chosen emperor by the army which had revolted in January, 716, he withdrew and took the monastic habit at Thessalonica. The Eastern army having proclaimed Leo III., surnamed the Isaurian, emperor on the 25th of March, 717, Theodosius and his son embraced an ecclesiastical state, and lived in peace among the clergy.  1
  Pope Gregory signalized the beginning of his popedom by deposing John VI. the Monothelite, false patriarch of Constantinople, who had been nominated by Philippicus, and he promoted the election of St. Germanus, who was translated to that dignity from Cyzicus, in 715. With unwearied watchfulness and zeal he laid himself out in extirpating heresies on all sides, and in settling a reformation of manners. Besides an hospital for old men, he rebuilt the great monastery near the church of St. Paul at Rome, and, after the death of his mother, in 718, changed her house into the monastery of St. Agatha. The same year he re-established the abbey of Mount Cassino, sending thither, from Rome, the holy abbot St. Petronax to take upon him the government, one hundred and forty years after it had been laid in ruins by the Lombards. This holy abbot lived to see monastic discipline settled here in so flourishing a manner, that in the same century Carloman, duke or prince of the French, Rachis, king of the Lombards, St. Willebald, St. Sturmius, first abbot of Fulda, and other eminent persons, fled to this sanctuary. 1Our holy pope commissioned zealous missionaries to preach the faith in Germany, and consecrated St. Corbinian bishop of Frisingen, and St. Boniface bishop of Mentz. Leo the Isaurian protected the catholic church during the first ten years of his reign, and St. Gregory II. laid up among the archives of his church several letters which he had received from him, from the year 717 to 726, which proved afterwards authentic monuments of his perfidy. For being infatuated by certain Jews, who had gained an ascendant over him by certain pretended astrological predictions, in 726 he commanded holy images to be abolished, and enforced the execution of his edicts of a cruel persecution. St. Germanus, and other orthodox prelates in the East, endeavoured to reclaim him, refused to obey his edicts, and addressed themselves to Pope Gregory. Our saint employed long the arms of tears and entreaties; yet strenuously maintained the people of Italy in their allegiance to their prince, as Anastasius assures us. A rebellion was raised in Sicily, but soon quelled by the death of Artemius, who had assumed the purple. The pope vigorously opposed the mutineers, both here and in other parts of the West. When he was informed that the army at Ravenna and Venice, making zeal a pretence for rebellion, had created a new emperor, he effectually opposed their attempt, and prevented the effect. Several disturbances which were raised in Rome were pacified by his care. Nevertheless he by letters encouraged the pastors of the church to resist the heresy which the emperor endeavoured to establish by bloodshed and violence. The tyrant sent orders to several of his officers, six or seven times, to murder the pope: but he was so faithfully guarded by the Romans and Lombards, that he escaped all their snares. St. Gregory II. held the pontificate fifteen years, eight months, and twenty-three days, and died in 731, on the 10th of February; but the Roman Martyrology consecrates to his memory the 13th, which was probably the day on which his corpse was deposited in the Vatican church.  2
Note 1. Bulteau, Hist. Mon. d’Occid. t. 2. l. 4. c. 2. p. 8. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume III: March.
The Lives of the Saints.  1866.
March 15
St. Zachary, Pope and Confessor
HE succeeded Gregory III. in 741, and was a man of singular meekness and goodness; and so far from any thought of revenge, that he heaped benefits on those who had persecuted him before his promotion to the pontificate. He loved the clergy and people of Rome to that degree, that he hazarded his life for them on occasion of the troubles which Italy fell into by the rebellion of the dukes of Spoletto and Benevento against King Luitprand. Out of respect to his sanctity and dignity, that king restored to the church of Rome all the places which belonged to it, Ameria, Horta, Narni, Ossimo, Ancona, and the whole territory of Sabina, and sent back the captives without ransom. The Lombards were moved to tears at the devotion with which they heard him perform the divine service. By a journey to Pavia, he obtained also of Luitprand, though with some difficulty, peace for the territory of Ravenna, and the restitution of the places which he had taken from the exarchate. The zeal and prudence of this holy pope appeared in many wholesome regulations, which he had made to reform or settle the discipline and peace of several churches. St. Boniface, the apostle of Germany, wrote to him against a certain priest, named Virgilius; that he laboured to sow the seeds of discord between him and Odilo, duke of Bavaria, and taught, besides other errors, that there were other men under the earth, another sun and moon, and another world. 1 Pope Zachary answered, that if he taught such an error he ought to be deposed. This cannot be understood as a condemnation of the doctrine of Antipodes, or the spherical figure of the earth, as some writers have imagined by mistake. The error here spoken of is that of certain heretics, who maintained that there was another race of men, who did not descend from Adam, and were not redeemed by Christ. Nor did Zachary pronounce any sentence in the case: for in the same letter he ordered that Virgilius should be sent to Rome, that his doctrine might be examined. It seems that he cleared himself: for we find this same Virgilius soon after made bishop of Saltzburgh. 2 Certain Venetian merchants having bought at Rome many slaves to sell to the Moors in Africa, St. Zachary forbade such an iniquitous traffic, and, paying the merchants their price, gave the slaves their liberty. He adorned Rome with sacred buildings, and with great foundations in favour of the poor and pilgrims, and gave every year a considerable sum to furnish oil for the lamps in St. Peter’s church. He died in 752, in the month of March, and is honoured in the Roman Martyrology on this day. See his letters and the Pontificals, t. 6. Conc. also Fleury, l. 42. t. 9. p. 349.  1
Note 1. Quod alius mondus et alii homines sub terra sint, seu alius sol et luna. (Ep. 10. t. 6. Conc. p. 15. 21. et Bibl. Patr. inter Epist. S. Bonif.) To imagine different worlds of men upon earth, some not descending from Adam, nor redeemed by Christ, is contrary to the holy scriptures, and therefore justly condemned as erroneous, as Baronius observes. (add. ann. 784. n. 12.) [back]
Note 2. Many ancient philosophers thought the earth flat, not spherical, and believed no Antipodes. Several fathers adopted this vulgar error in philosophy, in which faith no way interferes, as St. Austin, (1. 16. de Civ. Dei. c. 9.) Bede, (l. 4. de Principiis Philos.) and Cosmas the Egyptian, surnamed Indicopleustes. It is, however, a mistake to imagine, with Montfaucon, in his preface to this last-mentioned author, that this was the general opinion of Christian philosophers down to the fifteenth century. For the learned Philophonus demonstrated before the modern discoveries, (de Mundi Creat. l. 3. c. 13.) that the greater part of the fathers teach the world to be a sphere, as Saint Basil, the two SS. Gregories, of Nazianzum and of Nyssa, Saint Athanasius, &c. And several amongst them mention Antipodes, as Saint Hilary, (in Ps. 2. n. 32.) Origen, (l. 2. de princip. c. 3.) Saint Clement, pope, &c. [back]

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