A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Matthew the Apostle (Levi, Matthew the Evangelist, Gift of God). Coptic Orthodox celebration of one of the Four Evangelists, the Babylonian Talmud’s Mattai, one of five disciples of Jeshu. A First-Century non-Judean Galilean from Capernaum (כְּפַר נַחוּם, Kfar Nahum) on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, Matthew was literate in Aramaic and Greek. He had been a publican and was a tax collector sitting to receive custom in Capernaum when he was called to follow Jesus as a disciple. Jesus said: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew was one of the witnesses of the Ascension, preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, went to other countries and died in Ethiopia. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr. The short Gospel according to Matthew is anonymously accorded to him and Matthew is known to have collected the sayings of or about Jesus in the Hebrew language (Hebraïdi dialektoi) and interpreted them. Jewish-Christian gospels are also attributed to Matthew and fragments survive. Venerated in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Catholic Churches, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism. Western Christianity Feast Day and Lutheran Lesser Festival 21 September, Eastern Christianity 16 November. Patron of accountants, Salerno, bankers, tax collectors and civil servants. Image: ofmphil.com.
Papież Święty Jan Paweł II (Saint John Paul II, Ioannes Paulus II, Giovanni Paolo II, Jan Paweł II; Karol Józef Wojtyła) (1920-2005). Feast Day on the anniversary of the 1978 papal inauguration of the Polish head of the Catholic Church, Bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State from then until his death. He had been Auxiliary Bishop of Kraków, Titular Bishop of Ombi, Archbishop of Kraków and Cardinal-Priest of San Cesareo in Palatio. As a boy, he was athletic, often playing football as goalkeeper. He performed with various theatrical groups and worked as a playwright. At 20, he was introduced to Carmelite mysticism and the Living Rosary youth groups and, after his father’s death, he asked to study for the priesthood in the clandestine underground seminary run by the Archbishop of Kraków. Recognised as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe. He was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX and the first non-Italian pope since the Sixteenth-Century Pope Adrian VI. John Paul significantly improved the Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism, Islam and the Eastern Orthodox Church, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate. He learned the 12 languages of Polish, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, German, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak and Esperanto. Pope John Paul died on 2 April 2005 in the Apostolic Palace and was buried in St Peter’s Basilica, both in the Vatican City. A miracle was his healing from Parkinson’s disease of the French nun Marie Simon-Pierre and a second miracle was approved. Venerated in Catholic Church. Posthumously unofficially referred to by some Catholics as St John Paul the Great. Patron of Poland, Archdiocese of Kraków, World Youth Day (co-Patron), World Meeting of Families 2015 (co-patron), young Catholics, families, Świdnica, Trecastelli, Borgo Mantovano, Rivignano Teor, Paradahan, Tanza, Cavite. Image: ksiegarniainternetowa.co.uk
Our Lady of the Underground. A First-Century chapel provided shelter for the Holy Family, St Joseph, the foster father of Christ, his spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus, whist they lived in exile in Egypt after fleeing the wrath of King Herod. The Coptic Church of Sts Sergius and Bacchus (Abu Serga) in Cairo, thought to be one of the oldest in Egypt, was built in the Fourth Century over the crypt of the chapel. Sts Sergius and Bacchus were both soldiers who were martyred for the faith in Syria during the persecutions against Catholicism during that century. In this Church of Abu Serga, many of the patriarchs of the Coptic Church were then elected, the first of them being Isaac in 681 and many bishops were consecrated. The church was burned down around 750 but it was soon restored, as it has been many times over the years. The Twelfth-Century image of Our Lady of the Underground, half a league (a mile and a half) from Grand Cairo follows the tradition that the Blessed Virgin lived in the crypt of the chapel, which is now about 30 feet deep under the present church and often flooded when the waters of the Nile rise. A well outside the chapel that was blessed by the Christ Child Himself whilst living there may still be seen. Image: immaculate.one.