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Ordinary Time: January 11th

Thursday of the First Week of Ordinary Time

Other Commemorations: St. Hyginus, pope and martyr (RM); St. Theodosius, abbot (RM)

MASS READINGS

January 11, 2007 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Father of love, hear our prayers. Help us to know your will and to do it with courage and faith. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possesed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him (Mark 1:32-34).

Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was the feast of St. Hyginus. During the four years of his pontificate (138-142), he had to oppose the heresy of Valentinus who at this period came to propagate his errors in the heart of the Christian community in Rome.


St. Hyginus
The crown of the empire belonged to Antonius Pius. Hyginus, as Telesphorus' successor, not only had to endure his relentless persecutions but also had to cope with the heretics who made their way to Rome.

Hyginus was a Greek from Athens who, like his contemporary Justin Martyr, was a philosopher. He is said to have done some organizing of the clergy, and it is likely that he addressed the Roman clergy on the subjects of sin in general and of obedience to the Church.

The emergence of Gnosticism is probably the most significant development of Hyginus' pontificate. Cerdo came from Syria and Valentinus from Egypt, and together they taught this system of mystical belief, which was a combination of Greek philosophy and Oriental superstitions regarding Christ. For years Cerdo vacillated between teaching error and repenting, returning to the Church, then falling from grace. Valentinus, however, staunchly defended his cause. Hyginus perceived this as heresy, for it deviated greatly from the true teachings of the Apostles.

Hyginus was said to have suffered gloriously and he was buried on Vatican Hill.

Things to Do:


St. Theodosius
St. Theodosius was so inspired by Abraham's example of leaving his loved ones and homeland for God that he left his homeland of Cappadocia to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There St. Theodosius took as his guide the holy man Longinus, who placed him in charge of a church near Bethlehem. Theodosius did not stay there long, however, but he went to live in a cave on a nearby mountain. He was known for his holiness, and many desired to dedicate their lives to God as monks under Theodosius. He built a monastery at Cathismus, as well as three hospices: for the sick, the elderly and the mentally ill. When Emperor Anastasius was persecuting Christians who did not accept the Eutychian heresy, which states that Christ has only one nature, St. Theodosius preached orthodoxy throughout Palestine, even stating from the pulpit in Jerusalem: "If anyone receives not the four general councils as the four gospels, let him be anathema." The Saint renewed the courage of those in whom the Emperor's edicts had instilled fear. Anastasius banished Theodosius, though he was later recalled by Anastasius' successor. Theodosius died at the age of 105; many miracles occurred at his funeral.

—Excerpted from Saints Calendar and Daily Planner, Tan Books

Things to Do:

  • Read more about St. Theodosius here.