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Saint Stephen - The Weapons of Charity
Saint Stephen - The Weapons of Charity
Saint Stephen - The Weapons of Charity
 
 
 

 
 

Stoning of Saint Stephen by Paolo Uccello (1397 –1475), circa 1435; Duomo di Prato; Cattedrale di Santo Stefano, Tuscany, Italy;
commons.wikimedia.org
 
 
The Weapons of Charity
From a sermon by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
(Sermo 3,1-3,5-6: CCL 91A,905-909)


Yesterday we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King. Today we celebrate the triumphant martyrdom of His soldier.

Yesterday our King, clothed in gala with the robe of our flesh, left the palace of the virginal womb and deigned to visit the world. Today His soldier, abandoning the tent of his body, has triumphantly entered Heaven.

Our King, despite His most High condition, comes to us humbly, yet not with empty hands. He brings for His soldiers a most splendid gift, since He only brings them copious riches, but also gives them an invincible fortitude in combat. In effect, He brings with Himself the gift of charity, which elevates man up to the participation of divine nature.

And, by sharing these gifts, He is not impoverished in any way, but rather, in a most admirable way He enriches the poverty of His faithful without any decrease in His inexhaustible treasures.

The same charity that made God descend from Heaven to earth has made Stephen rise from earth to Heaven. The same charity that had come before in the persona of the King shone brilliantly afterwards in His soldier.

Stephen, to deserve the crown that means his name, had charity as his weapon, and this weapon always gave him victory. For his love for God he did not cave in before the fury of the Jews of that time; for his love to neighbor he interceded for those who were stoning him. For this charity he refuted those who were in error, so that they repair themselves from said errors; for this charity he prayed for those who stoned him, so that they would not be punished.

Supported by the strength of this charity, he overcame and won over the fury and cruelty of Saul and, having had him as a persecutor on earth, he achieved having Saul as a companion in Heaven. Moved by this holy and unbreakable charity, he desired to conquer with his prayer those who he was not able to convert with his words.

And now Paul rejoices with Stephen, enjoying with him the glory of Christ. With Stephen he overflows with happiness; with him he reigns. Where Stephen first entered, crushed by the stones of Paul, later Paul entered also, assisted by the prayers of Stephen.

This, surely, is the true life, my brothers and sisters; a life in which Paul is not ashamed because of Stephen’s death; where Stephen is most pleased by Paul’s companionship, because in both is found the charity that is the font of their happiness. The charity of Stephen, in effect, surpassed the fury of the Jews; the charity of Paul covered the multitude of his sins; the charity of both made them jointly deserve the possession of the Kingdom of the Heavens.

Charity, therefore, is the source and origin of all Good; the best defense, the path that leads to Heaven. The one who walks in charity cannot err nor fear, because charity is their guide and protection: charity is the sure path.

For this, my brothers and sisters, Christ has placed for us the stairway of charity, by which all Christians may ascend to Heaven: hold firmly to this pure charity, practice it among one another and arise through it, ascending more and more to the Highest.

PRAYER

Grant us, Lord, to imitate the virtues of Saint Stephen, whose entry into glory we celebrate; and, just like he knew how to plead for his own persecutors, may we also know how to love our own enemies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the Unity of the Holy Spirit and is God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Translated to the Spanish Liturgies of the Hours by Jan Paul von Wendt - liturgiasdelashoras.com.ar



 
The Weapons of Charity
From a sermon by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe, bishop
(Sermo 3,1-3,5-6: CCL 91A,905-909)


Yesterday we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King. Today we celebrate the triumphant martyrdom of His soldier.

Yesterday our King, clothed in gala with the robe of our flesh, left the palace of the virginal womb and deigned to visit the world. Today His soldier, abandoning the tent of his body, has triumphantly entered Heaven.

Our King, despite His most High condition, comes to us humbly, yet not with empty hands. He brings for His soldiers a most splendid gift, since He only brings them copious riches, but also gives them an invincible fortitude in combat. In effect, He brings with Himself the gift of charity, which elevates man up to the participation of divine nature.

And, by sharing these gifts, He is not impoverished in any way, but rather, in a most admirable way He enriches the poverty of His faithful without any decrease in His inexhaustible treasures.

The same charity that made God descend from Heaven to earth has made Stephen rise from earth to Heaven. The same charity that had come before in the persona of the King shone brilliantly afterwards in His soldier.

Stephen, to deserve the crown that means his name, had charity as his weapon, and this weapon always gave him victory. For his love for God he did not cave in before the fury of the Jews of that time; for his love to neighbor he interceded for those who were stoning him. For this charity he refuted those who were in error, so that they repair themselves from said errors; for this charity he prayed for those who stoned him, so that they would not be punished.

Supported by the strength of this charity, he overcame and won over the fury and cruelty of Saul and, having had him as a persecutor on earth, he achieved having Saul as a companion in Heaven. Moved by this holy and unbreakable charity, he desired to conquer with his prayer those who he was not able to convert with his words.

And now Paul rejoices with Stephen, enjoying with him the glory of Christ. With Stephen he overflows with happiness; with him he reigns. Where Stephen first entered, crushed by the stones of Paul, later Paul entered also, assisted by the prayers of Stephen.

This, surely, is the true life, my brothers and sisters; a life in which Paul is not ashamed because of Stephen’s death; where Stephen is most pleased by Paul’s companionship, because in both is found the charity that is the font of their happiness. The charity of Stephen, in effect, surpassed the fury of the Jews; the charity of Paul covered the multitude of his sins; the charity of both made them jointly deserve the possession of the Kingdom of the Heavens.

Charity, therefore, is the source and origin of all Good; the best defense, the path that leads to Heaven. The one who walks in charity cannot err nor fear, because charity is their guide and protection: charity is the sure path.

For this, my brothers and sisters, Christ has placed for us the stairway of charity, by which all Christians may ascend to Heaven: hold firmly to this pure charity, practice it among one another and arise through it, ascending more and more to the Highest.

PRAYER

Grant us, Lord, to imitate the virtues of Saint Stephen, whose entry into glory we celebrate; and, just like he knew how to plead for his own persecutors, may we also know how to love our own enemies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the Unity of the Holy Spirit and is God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Translated to the Spanish Liturgies of the Hours by Jan Paul von Wendt - liturgiasdelashoras.com.ar



 
 
 
 
December 26 - Saint Stephen (+34), Protomartyr - The Weapons of Charity - from a Sermon by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (468-533), Bishop


 
 

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X
OUR FATHER

Our Father, Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Liberate us from all temptation[*]
And deliver us from all evil. Amen



[*] Liberate us is in keeping with the original Latin text.
       God usually does not "lead us" to temptation
       (unless we are tested),
       but gives us the grace to overcome and/or resist it
X
HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art though among women,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
 
Holy Mary, Mary of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and in the hour
Of our death. Amen


 
X
APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the
[work and grace of the] Holy Ghost,[*]
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into the Dead.[**]
On the third day, He rose again;
He ascended into Heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
 
I believe in the Holy Ghost,[*]
The Holy Catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins.
The resurrection of the body,
And life everlasting. Amen


[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
[**] the Dead: "inferi", the underworld or the dead in Latin.
X
GLORIA

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice
of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May then rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Thy Spirit.

(50 days indulgence to all who pray the De Profundis with V. and R.
"Requiem aeternam" (Eternal Rest) three times a day.
Pope Leo XIII, February 3, 1888)


Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all
the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant
to the souls of Thy servants the remission
of their sins, so that by our prayers
they may obtain pardon for which they long.
O Lord, who lives and reigns,
world without end. Amen

May they rest in peace. Amen

CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
PADRE NUESTRO

Padre Nuestro,
que estas en los Cielos
Santificado sea Tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu Reino;
Hágase Tu Voluntad
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros
perdonamos a los que nos ofenden,
No nos dejes caer en la tentación,
y líbranos del mal. Amén
 
CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
AVE MARÍA

Dios te salve, María,
llena eres de gracia;
El Señor es Contigo;
Bendita Tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
Y bendito es el fruto
De tu vientre, Jesús.
 
Santa María,
Madre de Dios,
Ruega por nosotros
pecadores,
Ahora y en la hora
De nuestra muerte.
Amén
 
CERRAR
CREDO

Creo en Dios, Padre Todopoderoso,
Creador del cielo y de la tierra.
Creo en Jesucristo,
Su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor,
Que fue concebido por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo,
Nació de la Santa María Virgen;
Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato,
Fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado,
Descendió a los infiernos,
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos,
Subió a los cielos
Y está sentado a la derecha de Dios,
Padre Todopoderoso.
Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar
a los vivos y a los muertos.

Creo en el Espíritu Santo,
La Santa Iglesia Católica,
La comunión de los santos,
El perdón de los pecados,
La resurrección de la carne
Y la vida eterna. Amén
 
 
CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor; Señor,
escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos
a la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?
Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia.
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

X
GLORIA

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor;
Señor, escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos a
la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?

Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia,
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

V. Dadles, Señor, a todas las almas
el descanso eterno.
R. Y haced lucir sobre ellas
vuestra eterna luz.
V. Que en paz descansen.
R. Amén.