Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. John Damascene, Feast day December 4




 

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The feast day of St. John Damascene is celebrated on December 4.  He was a monk and priest.  St. John Damascene has been given the title Doctor of the Church.

 

St. John grew up under Muslim rule in Damascus, born to Christian parents in 690 . He is known for his arguments defending sacred art, especially icons.

During the 720’s religious art became very controversial and was forbidden by Emperor Leo. John argued in favor of religious art, stating that Christians did not worship images but through them they worshiped God and honored the memory of the Saint.  His arguments made him an enemy of the emperor who had a letter forged in John’s name offering to betray the Muslim government of Damascus. Because of the forgery, John’s hand was cut off.  However, the saints biography states that through the intervention of the Virgin Mary his hand was miraculously healed. After convincing the ruler of his innocence, John decided to become a monk. Eventually he was ordained a priest.

St. John is also known for his poetry and his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our Lady is rest for those who work,

consolation for those who weep,

medicine for the sick,

a harbour for those assailed by tempests,

pardon for sinners,

sweet relief for the sad,

succor for those who implore.

Quote of St. John Damascene

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December is the Month of the Divine Infancy

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