Saint of the day:
The Story of St. Narcissus
St. Narcissus (c. 99 – c. 216 A.D.) was a holy and esteemed priest of Greek origin who became the 30th bishop of Jerusalem in the year 180 A.D., about a century after the city's destruction by the Romans. He was known as a miracle-worker, as well as for governing his diocese with vigor and discipline despite being in his 80th year when he was made bishop. Of his many miracles, the one for which he is most famous was turning water into oil on Holy Saturday, as recorded by the historian Eusebius: when the deacons had no oil to burn in the altar lamps for the Easter liturgy, St. Narcissus had them use water instead. After he prayed over the water and it was put into the lamps, it was miraculously converted into oil. In 195 A.D. St. Narcissus was part of a council of bishops who settled the date for the observance of Easter, deciding on Sunday and not the ancient Jewish Passover. Despite his reputation as a holy bishop, St. Narcissus drew opposition. Three enemies accused him of a serious crime and prayed that he might be cursed by God in punishment. This took a toll on the saint, and, forgiving his persecutors, he retired from public life and lived as a hermit for many years. His enemies meanwhile were struck by the calamities that they wished upon him. When St. Narcissus eventually returned to Jerusalem he was exuberantly welcomed by the faithful. He served the people of Jerusalem in many ways until his death at over 116 years old.