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Narcissus of Jerusalem - Beliefnet

St Narcissus of Jerusalem (99-216). Roman Catholic Feast Day for Greek Bishop of Jerusalem and Confessor, an early patriarch of Jerusalem. The average reign of the Bishops of Jerusalem was short after St Simeon the second Bishop was martyred in 117 by the Emperor Trajan and Narcissus was at least 80 when made the thirtieth Bishop, more than a century having elapsed since the city had been destroyed by the Romans before its rebuilding as Aelia Capitolina, a Roman colony founded during Emperor Hadrian’s visit to Judah in 129 and centred around Jerusalem. In 195, St Narcissus, with the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, presided over a council held in Caesarea by the Bishops of Palestine, which decreed that Easter was to be kept on a Sunday and not coincident with the Jewish Passover. St Narcissus performed many miracles, including one during the Easter Vigil when he changed water into oil to supply all the lamps of the church. He was the subject of several serious allegations by members of the Christian community but these proved to be false and he forgave his accusers but left Jerusalem and lived in seclusion for several years. Three Bishops governed the See of Jerusalem in succession during his absence and, upon his return to Jerusalem, the people unanimously sought him out and asked him to resume his episcopal duties. This he did but, owing to his extreme age and the weight of his duties, he made St Alexander his coadjutor bishop. St Narcissus continued to serve his flock and churches outside his jurisdiction by his constant prayer and exhortations to the faithful for unity and peace. He died at 117 in Aelia Capitolina. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. His Feast Day is 7 August in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.

Prayer O God, You Who made St Narcissus an outstanding exemplar of Divine love and the Faith that conquers the world and added him to the rôle of saintly pastors, we pray to You to grant by his intercession that we may persevere in Faith and in Love and by this all become sharers of his glory. Amen

Stcolman.com: ~Irish Catholic Saint, St. Colman Mac Duagh~

St Colman mac Duagh (Colmáin) (560-632). Feast Day commemorating the death of the County Galway monk, a son of the Irish chieftain Duac and his Queen Rhinagh. Whilst she carried the child in her womb, Colman’s mother heard a prophecy that her son would be great man and surpass all others of his lineage. The pregnant Rhinagh, fearing that her husband would seek to harm the child, fled. However, the king’s men caught her and tried to drown her in the Kiltartin river by tying a stone to a rope around her neck, but she was washed onto the riverbank. The rock with the rope marks is on display by the Kiltartin river. Soon after she gave birth to Colman, Rhinagh took him to a priest for baptism, but they realised there was no water. Fearing to return home, she sheltered under an ash tree and prayed, a fountain bubbling up from the earth for Colman to be baptised and entrusted to the care of monks. The fountain is now the miraculous Well of Colman mac Duagh. Colman was educated at St Enda’s monastery on Inishmore Árainn, the largest of the Aran Islands and then lived there as a hermit, praying and fasting for lengthy periods. He built a church, Teampuill Mor Mac Duagh, and a small oratory, Teampuill beg Mhic Duagh, near Kilmurvy. These formed part of a group of wooden churches known as the Seven Churches, although this does not indicate the actual number of churches, many having been destroyed during the time of Cromwell. Seeking greater solitude, around 590 Colman moved to the Burren in County Clare, which was then covered in forest, accompanied by a servant. The new hermitage was located in the townland of Keelhilla, part of the parish of Carran, at the foot of a Slieve Carran cliff. Today there is a small, more recent, stone oratory with a St Colman’s Well, Colman’s shallow cave, the grave of his servant and a hemispherical cup bullaun stone. After austere fasting throughout Lent, on Easter morning Colman had enquired as to whether his servant had found anything special for their Easter meal. The servant had replied that he only had a small fowl and the usual herbs. Perceiving that the servant’s patience was near exhausted, Colman prayed that the Lord would provide an appropriate meal. At the same time, Colman’s cousin King Guaire Aidhne mac Colmáin (d663) was sitting down to a banquet in his principal residence at Kinvara, near the location of today’s Dunguaire Castle, and no sooner had the dishes been served than they were spirited away by unseen hands. The king and his retinue followed and found the banquet spread before Colman and his servant. An area of limestone pavement nearby is called to this day Bohir na Maes (Bóthar na Mias, the Road of the Dishes). The King was so impressed by Colman’s holiness that he asked him to take episcopal charge of the territory of the Aidhne. In 610, the King bade Colman found a monastery and Colman asked God to show him where to build the monastery and received a sign that it should be in the Burren woods. The monastery became the centre of the tribal Diocese of Aidhne, practically coterminous with the See of Kilmacduagh. It is now known as the monastery of Kilmacduagh (the church of the son of Duac) and it is said that Colman declared that no person nor animal in the diocese of Kilmacduagh would ever die from a lightning strike, something that appears true to this day. Colman became the Abbot of the monastery and, although reluctant to accept the title, was ordained a Bishop. Colman died in the monastery on 29 October 632. As with many relics, Colman’s abbatial crozier has been used through the centuries for the swearing of oaths and it can now be seen in the National Museum in Dublin. Venerated in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The Martyrology of Donegal assigns Colman’s Feast Day to 2 February but the weight of evidence and the tradition of the diocese point to 29 October. An annual pilgrimage to Colman’s hermitage takes place on 21 October. Image: cqcounter.com.

Madonna di Oropa | Hand coloured photograph of the Black Mad… | Flickr

Nostra Signora di Orapa (Our Lady of Orapa). In a chapel high in the Alps north of Biella, Savoy that St Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli, built around 380 and to which he often retired during the troubles caused by the Arians, is this 6 ft high cedarwood image. Whist exiled into Syria, the Emperor Constantine permitted St Eusebius some freedom and he discovered among ruins in Jerusalem three statues of Our Lady. On his triumphant return after the Arians had been temporarily overthrown, he gave two of the statues away. The third he kept to be placed in the little hermitage at Orapa. In the Fifth and Sixth Centuries, when Arianism returned, the faithful Catholics took refuge at the shrine of Our Lady of Orapa. Throughout the Middle Ages, the sanctuary of the black Virgin of Orapa was associated with a Community of Canons Regular. When it was decided to move the statue, it became so heavy that the men who carried it could not move on. Only when they decided to take Our Lady back to her original shrine at Orapa were they able to move. The vast range of buildings there today was started by the Dukes of Savoy early in the Seventeenth Century and form one of the world’s most complete pilgrimage centres, with many miracles. In 1895, a young Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor and electrical engineer credited as the pioneer of radio and who shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics was among the pilgrims contemplating the space and beauty of the mountains there and heard the first call to his life’s work. The black painted statue has been crowned 4 times, the last in 1920, the 3 diadems not adding beauty to the image, the fourth being represented by a halo of twelve stars. Image: flickr.com.