Old Calendar: St. Climacus, abbot (Hist); St. Quirinus martyr (Hist); Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Historically today is the feast of St. John Climacus, a learned abbot and great spiritual director. He was a monk of Mount Sinai and wrote The Ladder to Paradise which described the thirty degrees to religious perfection. It is also the feast of St. Quirinus of Neuss, Roman tribune and martyr.Stational Church
St. John Climacus
Saint John, whose national origin remains unknown, was called Climacus because of a treatise he wrote called The Ladder (Climax) of Paradise. He made such progress in learning as a disciple of Saint Gregory Nazianzen that while still young, he was called the Scholastic. At the age of sixteen he turned from the brilliant future which lay before him, and retired to Mount Sinai, where he was placed under the direction of a holy monk named Martyrius. Once that religious journeyed to Antioch and took the young John with him; they visited Saint Anastasius, a future Patriarch of Antioch, and the Saint asked Martyrius who it was who had given the habit to this novice? Hearing that it was Martyrius himself, he replied, “And who would have said that you gave the habit to an Abbot of Mount Sinai?” Another religious, a solitary, made the same prediction on a similar visit, and washed the feet of the one who would some day be Abbot of Mount Sinai.
- Read St. John Climacus, Abbot.
St. Quirinus of Neuss
Little is known about St. Quirinus of Neuss, but legend relates that he was a Roman tribune as well as Pope Alexander I's jailer. He converted to Christianity along with his daughter, St. Balbina. He is credited with translating St. Peter's chains to Rome from Jerusalem. St. Quirinus was martyred during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian shortly before the martyrdom of Pope Alexander (who is mentioned in the Roman Canon and who is credited with instituting the blessing of holy water and the mixing of water and wine at Mass). Quirinus was buried on the Via Appia in the Praetextatus Catacomb. In 1050, Pope Leo IX gave St. Quirinus' relics to his sister, Gepa, who was the abbess of Neuss, on the Rhine River, where there is a Romanesque church bearing his name. St. Quirinus is the patron of Neuss and a minor patron of Orte, in the Italian province of Umbria.
Saturday in the Third Week of Lent
Station at St. Susan (Santa Susanna):
The Station is in the church of St. Susanna, virgin and martyr of Rome. The first Christian place of worship was built here in the 4th century. It was probably the titulus of Pope Caius (283-296). Caius was St. Susanna's uncle, and tradition claims that the church stands on the site of her martyrdom. The church is now the national parish of the United States since 1922.