A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Hoshana Rabbah (the great salvation). To 27 September, on the seventh and last day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Booths), 21 Tishrei (תִּשְׁרֵי) 5782, the first month of the Jewish civil year and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year that starts on 1 Nisan in the Hebrew lunisolar calendar. Hoshana (please save us) and rabbah (great) express the celebration of a joyous thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The seventh day of Sukkot reminds observant Jews that just as when they wandered in the wilderness more than 2,000 years ago, G-d is their source of protection and determines what the new year will bring. Image: twitter.com.
Beato Papa San Paolo VI (Pope Saint Paul VI, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, Paolo VI, Paulus VI) (1897-1978). Historic Feast Day for Italian Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal-Priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti, Cardinal, and 1963 Bishop of Rome who helped prepare for the Second Vatican Council and completed it after the death of his predecessor, Pope Saint John XXIII. Paul VI implemented its numerous reforms and fostered improved ecumenical relations with the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. He instituted the Synod of Bishops and, following Ambrose of Milan, named Mary as the Mother of the Church during the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI described himself as a humble servant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes from the rich in North America and Europe in favour of the poor in the Third World. In 1965, he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly during a visit to New York City as the first pontiff leave Europe, the first to leave Italy since 1809 and the first to travel by aeroplane. Addressing Catholic, Protestant and Jewish organisations, he said: “The work of peace is not restricted to one religious belief, it is the work and duty of every human person, regardless of his religious conviction. Men are brothers, God is their Father, and their Father wills that they live in peace with one another as brothers should.” Paul VI’s position on birth control, promulgated in the 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae, was often contested, especially in Western Europe and North America. The same opposition emerged in reaction to the political aspects of some of his teaching. Paul VI died on 6 August 1978 at Castel Gandolfo and he was buried in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. Pope Benedict XVI declared that the late pontiff had lived a life of heroic virtue and thus conferred the title of Venerable on him in 2012. Pope Francis beatified Paul VI in 2014, after the recognition of a miracle attributed to his intercession, and canonised him in 2018. Venerated in Catholic Church and Palmarian Catholic Church. Feast Day 29 May, Ambrosian Rite 30 May. Patron of Archdiocese of Milan, Paul VI Pontifical Institute, Second Vatican Council, Diocese of Brescia, Concesio Magenta, Paderno Dugnano. Image: santuariodellegrazie.brescia.it.
Sts Cosmas and Damian (قُزما ودميان, Κοσμάς και Δαμιανός, Cosmas et Damianus) (dc300). Roman Catholic Feast Day for two early Christian Martyrs, reputedly twin Arabian physicians. They practised their profession in the seaport of Aegeae, then in the Roman province of Syria. Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named anargyroi (Ανάργυροι, the silverless, unmercenaries) and by this they attracted many to the Christian faith. They suffered martyrdom in Cyrrhus (Κύρρος), Syria during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian, after being arrested by decree of the Prefect of Cilicia and ordered under torture to recant. They stayed true to their faith, enduring being hung on a cross, stoned and shot by arrows, to finally suffer execution by beheading. Anthimus, Leontius and Euprepius, their younger brothers, who were inseparable from them throughout life, shared in their martyrdom. The veneration of Cosmas and Damian quickly spread beyond Constantinople and as early as the Fourth Century churches dedicated to the twin saints were established in Jerusalem, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Devotion to the two saints spread rapidly in both East and West and their relics in Cyrrhus were deemed miraculous. Their church in Constantinople became a celebrated place of pilgrimage and the Rome Library of Peace (Bibliotheca Pacis) became the Basilica of Santi Cosma e Damiano in the Forum of Vespasian in their honour. The church is much rebuilt but still famed for its Sixth-Century mosaics illustrating the saints. Accounts of their martyrdom were written in Syriac, Coptic, Georgian, Armenian and Latin c1300. What are said to be their skulls are venerated in the convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, where they have been since 1581, having previously been in Bremen in the Tenth Century. Similar relics are claimed by St Stephens’ Cathedral in Vienna and the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. Venerated in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Major shrines Madrid Convent of the Poor Clares, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Rome, and Bitonto, Bari, Italy. In Brazil, on the historic Feast Day of 27 September, especially Rio de Janeiro, children are given bags of sweets with the saints’ effigy on them and, across the entire State of Bahia, Catholics and adepts of the Candomblé religion based on African beliefs offer typical food such as caruru (okra, onion, shrimp, palm oil and toasted nuts confection). The 1535 Church of Sts Cosmas and Damian in Igarassu, Pernambuco is Brazil’s oldest church. Feast Day 25 September Canada, 17 October and 1 July Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches, the saints are included in the First Sunday in November Feast of the Synaxis of the Unmercenary Physicians. Patrons of surgeons, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centres, confectioners, children in house, and against hernia, the plague. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
Prayer We venerate above all others the memory of the glorious ever-virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ, then of blessed Joseph, Your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Cosmas and Damian and all Your Saints. Grant us that in all things we may be defended by Your protection. Amen