Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of Archaeologists
Saint Damasus I’s Story
To his secretary Saint Jerome, Damasus was “an incomparable person, learned in the Scriptures, a virgin doctor of the virgin Church, who loved chastity and heard its praises with pleasure.” Damasus seldom heard such unrestrained praise. Internal political struggles, doctrinal heresies, uneasy relations with his fellow bishops and those of the Eastern Church marred the peace of his pontificate.
The son of a Roman priest, possibly of Spanish extraction, Damasus started as a deacon in his father’s church, and served as a priest in what later became the basilica of San Lorenzo in Rome. He served Pope Liberius (352-366) and followed him into exile.
When Liberius died, Damasus was elected bishop of Rome; but a minority elected and consecrated another deacon, Ursinus, as pope. The controversy between Damasus and the antipope resulted in violent battles in two basilicas, scandalizing the bishops of Italy. At the synod that Damasus called on the occasion of his birthday, he asked them to approve his actions. The bishops’ reply was curt: “We assembled for a birthday, not to condemn a man unheard.” Supporters of the antipope even managed to get Damasus accused of a grave crime—probably sexual—as late as A.D. 378. He had to clear himself before both a civil court and a Church synod.
As pope, his lifestyle was simple in contrast to other ecclesiastics of Rome, and he was fierce in his denunciation of Arianism and other heresies. A misunderstanding of the Trinitarian terminology used by Rome threatened amicable relations with the Eastern Church, and Damasus was only moderately successful in dealing with that challenge.
During his pontificate, Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman state, and Latin became the principal liturgical language as part of the pope’s reforms. His encouragement of Saint Jerome’s biblical studies led to the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Scripture which 12 centuries later the Council of Trent declared to be “authentic in public readings, disputations, preaching.”
St Damasus I
(d. 384, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)
San Lorenzo in Damaso
(St Lawrence in Damaso)
Piazza della Cancelleria 1
*This church is at the Palazzo della Cancelleria near Campo de' Fiori.
It is believed to have been founded in the very home of St Damasus I whose remains now rest under the main altar.
Songs of the season:
Joyful Joyful We Adore him
Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas Is You
Recipe of the Day:
Italian Wedding Cookies
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners sugar, plus 1/3 cup, for rolling
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely ground blanched almonds
5 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream butter in a bowl.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add almonds and vanilla.
Blend in flour gradually and mix well.
Shape into crescents using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie.
Place on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Do not brown.
Cool slightly, and then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar.
Activity of the Day:
Find a dig site near you and enjoy the wonder!
Go to a National Park and support the parks with an annual park pass!
Where ever life takes you look around, ask questions, listen, and enjoy!
There are hidden treasures all around us and some are even in plan sight!
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