Happy Sunday! Today is the traditional feast of Christ the King, a reminder that God should be the center of our lives, as He was for all the saints we celebrated this past week.
There were two feasts specifically celebrating different titles of Jesus Christ this week, Holy Redeemer (Oct. 23) and Christ the King (Oct. 29, traditional calendar). Because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, Heaven was closed to mankind until the God-man Jesus came through God’s Chosen People (the Jews) to redeem all mankind and open Heaven again. Jesus Christ is the Divine King of Heaven and Earth. He was born into the Jewish royal family of David, and the Angel Gabriel predicted Christ’s eternal reign to Christ’s mother Mary (Lk. 1:32-33).
Sts. Simon and Jude the Apostles are celebrated together on Oct. 28. St. Simon the Zealot, called so because of his enthusiasm (some traditions say he was also a member of the Zealot party of Jews), evangelized in Egypt and Mesopotamia after Jesus’s ascension and was martyred. St. Jude or Judas Thaddeus was the son of Cleophas (see Luke 24, the Road to Emmaus) and the second Mary who stood at the foot of Jesus’s cross (John 19:25, “Mary of Cleophas”), and was thus a cousin of Jesus’s. Tradition says Jude even looked like his cousin Jesus. After Jesus’s Ascension, Jude wrote the Epistle of Jude included in the New Testament and preached the Gospel in Syria, Persia, and Mesopotamia with Simon.
King St. Alfred the Great (Oct. 26) was the youngest of King Ethelwulf’s sons but succeeded to the throne of Wessex (England). Considered an ideal Christian king, Alfred had to defeat a powerful Danish invasion to establish his rule. He fostered the growth of Christianity in England and was a patron of learning, gathering scholars at the school he founded.
Bl. Severinus Boethius (Oct. 23) was a famous and influential Roman philosopher who was martyred in 6th century Italy. Boethius, born in the late 400s AD, was from a Roman consular family. Both he and his two sons served as Roman consuls (chief magistrates), and he was a confidant to King Theodoric. His life changed dramatically when political rivals falsely accused him of various crimes, including disloyalty to the king; he was imprisoned without trial and eventually executed. Boethius’s great gift to posterity was the book he wrote in prison, “De Consolatione Philosophiae (Concerning/On the Consolation of Philosophy).”
St. Raphael the Archangel (Oct. 24) is featured in the Biblical book of Tobit, assisting the young Tobias to wed Sara and to exorcise the demon plaguing her, before healing the elder Tobias.
Sts. Crispin and Crispian (or Crispinian) (Oct. 25) were brothers who evangelized in Gaul (France) in the 3rd century. Cobblers by profession, Crispin and Crispian would preach during the day and make shoes during the night. Their virtues, their charity, their humility, their religious fervor, and their detachment from material wealth were so impressive that they converted many people. The brothers were eventually martyred for their Christianity, however, during the persecutions of Emperor Maximian Herculeus.
St. John of Capistrano or Juan Capistrano (Oct. 23) led a successful crusade against the Muslim Turks.
St. Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Oct. 27) was a Christian African king.
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