Summer Saints – Peter Chrysologus

When today’s Saint was a young man, the pope of the time (Sixtus III) had a vision of the original Saint Peter showing him who he was to ordain bishop of Ravenna, Italy.  Later, when the pope arrived in the city, he recognized Peter as the young man in the vision and ordained him bishop in spite of the fact that everyone expected someone else to be named.

As a priest, Peter was concerned that he would bore his audience so he kept his homilies short.  It soon became apparent that the opposite was true as Peter became known for his powerful homilies and was eventually known as the Doctor of Homilies (“doctor”, in this case meaning “master”). The Greek name “Chrysologus” means “golden-worded,” and there is a story that this nickname was given to him by an Empress after she heard one of his eloquent homilies.

Peter was unafraid of preaching the truth, and was a powerful influence against the many false teachings of the time.  He also encouraged Catholics to go to confession often and receive Holy Communion daily, if possible.

A creed, such as the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed, is a simple statement, summing up the core beliefs of our Catholic Faith.  These creeds were both written at times where there was much confusion about the truths of the Faith, for people to easily memorize and understand, so they wouldn’t be led astray by the heresies* of the times.  Saint Peter was known for using simple statements like these in his memorable homilies.

 

Our father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven.  [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the  Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven.

Saint Peter Chrysologus, in a sermon about John 6:51

 

* Heresy [HEHR-uh-see]: A deliberate denial by a baptized Catholic of any truth of the Faith that must be believed as part of Divine Revelation.

 

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