Charity is to be preferred before all gifts.
If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries,
and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could
remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I
should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it
profiteth me nothing.
Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not
perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her
own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all
things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made
void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that
which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I
thought as a child.
But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We
see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face.
Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.
And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but
the greatest of these is charity.
First Epistle Of Saint Paul to The Corinthians 13: 1-13
SAINT JULIAN AND SAINT BASILISSA, (early 4th
century) though married, lived, by mutual consent,
in perpetual chastity; they sanctified themselves by
the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and
employed their revenues in relieving the poor and the
sick. For this purpose they converted their house into
a kind of hospital, in which they sometimes entertained a
thousand poor people. Basilissa attended those of her sex
in separate lodgings from the men; these were taken care of
by Julian, who from his charity is named the Hospitalarian.
Egypt, where they lived, had then begun to abound with examples
of persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts, devoted
themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance,
and mortification. Basilissa, after having stood seven persecutions,
died in peace; Julian survived her many years and received the crown
of a glorious martyrdom, together with Celsus, a youth, Antony, a priest,
Anastatius, and Marcianilla, the mother of Celsus.
From the Pictorial Lives of the Saints - Saints Julian and Basilissa, Martyrs
Excerpt from the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium
by Pope Francis, November 24, 2013, section entitled, "The special place of
the poor in God’s people"
God’s heart has a special place for the poor, so much so
that he himself "became poor" (2 Cor 8:9). The entire history of
our redemption is marked by the presence of the poor. Salvation
came to us from the "yes" uttered by a lowly maiden from a small
town on the fringes of a great empire. The Saviour was born in a
manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families;
he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the
offering made by those who could not afford a lamb (cf. Lk 2:24;
Lev 5:7); he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked
with his own hands to earn his bread. When he began to preach the
Kingdom, crowds of the dispossessed followed him, illustrating his
words: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed
me to preach good news to the poor" (Lk 4:18). He assured those
burdened by sorrow and crushed by poverty that God has a special
place for them in his heart: "Blessed are you poor, yours is the
kingdom of God" (Lk 6:20); he made himself one of them: "I was hungry
and you gave me food to eat", and he taught them that mercy towards
all of these is the key to heaven (cf. Mt 25:5ff.).
For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category
rather than a cultural, sociological, political or philosophical one. God
shows the poor "his first mercy".This divine preference has consequences for
the faith life of all Christians, since we are called to have "this mind"
which was in Jesus Christ" (Phil 2:5). Inspired by this, the Church has
made an option for the poor which is understood as a "special form of primacy
in the exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole tradition of the Church
bears witness". This option - as Benedict XVI has taught - "is implicit in our
Christian faith in a God who became poor for us, so as to enrich us with his
poverty". This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They
have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their
difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be
evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge
the saving power at work in their lives and to put them at the centre of the
Church’s pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice
to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for
them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us
O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we
might care for the earth and be nourished with its bounty.
You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and blood and to
teach us your Law of Love. Through His death and resurrection, we
have been formed into one human family.
Jesus showed great concern for those who had no food – even transforming
five loaves and two fish into a banquet that served five thousand and many more.
We come before you, O God, conscious of our faults and failures, but full of hope,
to share food with all members in this global family.
Through your wisdom, inspire leaders of government and of business, as well as
all the world’s citizens, to find just, and charitable solutions to end hunger by
assuring that all people enjoy the right to food.
Thus we pray, O God, that when we present ourselves for Divine Judgment, we can
proclaim ourselves as "One Human Family" with "Food for All." Amen
Prayer from the One Human Family, Food for all
campaign against hunger announced by Pope Francis, December 10, 2013;
"Let us remember well,
however, that whenever
food is thrown out it is as if
it were stolen from the table
of the poor, from the hungry!"
- Pope Francis
Christ with Saints Julian, Basilissa, Celsus and Marcionilla
by Pompeo Battoni, 1736-38; Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
Sculptures of Saints Julian and Basilissa from the no longer
existent church by the same name, in Valladolid, Spain. In that
church these were found over the tabernacle, place which they now
also occupy at the new parrish named Saint Michael and Saint Julian,
in Valladolid (below).
High Altar with the nativity panel to the left, sculptures of San Julian and Santa Basilissa, over the tabernacle and the presentation panel to the right. Church of San Miguel and San Julián in Valladolid, Spain.
Virgin with the Christ Child in Swaddling Clothes
by Luca Cambiasi; between 1575-1580;
Museo dell’Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti, Genoa, Italy
January 9 - In Loving Service, Ending World Hunger - honoring Saints Julian and Basilissa, Martyrs
Click "Play" to listen to Don't Toss the Bread
(No Tires El Pan), sung by Ginamaria Hidalgo
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The Apostolic Blessing by the Holy See in Rome is bestowed (October 28, 2013)
Omnia ad majoren Dei Gloriam!
(All for the greater glory of God)
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