A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Zechariah (d Sixth Century BCE). Roman Catholic Church Feast Day and Lutheran celebration for the martyred eleventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets of the Kingdom of Judah who is traditionally considered the author of the Book of Zechariah, all the Minor Prophets’ name books being collected in the Jewish canon in one book. Zechariah was, like the prophet Ezekiel, of priestly extraction and Zechariah’s prophecies covered the period 520 to 518 BCE, from the second year of Darius as king of Persia, his greatest concern being the building of the Second Temple. Through images of a messianic King riding into the new Jerusalem and a rejected shepherd, Zechariah asked if the Israelites will reject their king forever or if one day the new Jerusalem will be established, God’s justice will defeat evil, his people will repent and all nations will gather in peace. Those of the Bahá’í faith compare the prophecies of Zechariah with the Súriy-i-Haykal (سورةى هيكل) Summons of the Lord of Hosts collection of the Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh. Eastern Orthodox Feast Day 8 February. Armenian Apostolic Church Commemoration on the Tuesday after the fifth Sunday of Pentecost and with the other Minor Prophets on 31 July. Image: youtube.com.
Sant’Eleuterio di Spoleto (St Eleutherius of Spoleto) (d585). Feast Day commemorating the death of the holy Abbot born in Rome who had a wonderful simplicity and spirit of compunction and was favoured by God with the gift of miracles and exorcism. He was chosen as Abbot of Saint Mark’s Monastery near Spoleto, 60 km south of Perugia, under the direction of Pope Gregory the Great. A child who was possessed by the devil was taken to the Monastery to be educated and was delivered from this affliction, the Abbot saying: “Since the child is among the servants of God, the devil dares not approach him.” These vain words led the devil to once again enter and torment the child, the Abbot humbly confessing his fault, fasting and praying with his whole community until the child was again freed from the tyranny of the fiend. Due to extreme weakness, Pope Gregory was not able to fast on Easter-eve and he engaged the Abbot to offer up in Rome his prayers to God for his health, so that he might join the faithful in that solemn penance. Eleutherius prayed with many tears and the Pope, coming out of the church, found that that he was enabled to perform the fast as he desired. Gregory, remarking that the Abbot was said to have raised a dead man to life, stated: “He was so simple a man, one of such great penance, that we must not doubt that Almighty God granted much to his tears and his humility!” After resigning his Abbacy, St Eleutherius died in Rome on 6 September 585 and his relics were later translated to Spoleto. Image: lottogazzetta.it.
Prayer Adorned with the robe of priest, O wise and blessed Eleutherius, over-thrower of Satan, you went to Christ your Master. We all praise and entreat you that you pray unceasingly for all who faithfully honour you! Amen
Naomh Maccallin de Lusca (St Maccallin of Lusk, Macculin Dus, MacCulindus) (d496). Feast Day for the miracle-worker who left Leinster in eastern Ireland to study theology and scripture in Munster in southwest Ireland. He visited Scotland twice, working miracles there and back in Ireland. He visited Rome, where the Pope appointed him Bishop and directed him to return to his home province. As Bishop of Lusk 25 km north of Dublin, he lived in a cave whilst building a church in the village and founded a monastery of which he became Abbot. He founded further churches, monasteries in the lost towns of Durpconyle and Albamene and seven other monasteries in the Dublin area. Lusk takes its name from the Lusca, a huge vault below the six-storey round tower there, each storey being reached by an iron ladder. Maccallin died of natural causes and was buried in the vault, which holds the remains of about 18 bishops who succeeded him. Venerated in Ireland and Scotland. In Scotland the parish of Macalan (Macallan) 15 miles south of Elgin was named after him before in 1872 being annexed to Knockandu 15 miles further south. Image: catholicsaints.mobi.