Saturday, January 11, 2003

Two of this day's saints: acceptance and success are not necessary

Today is the memorial day of two holy men who proved that acceptance and success are not necessary to become heroically virtuous.

First, there's St. Marcian of Constantinople, who was treasurer of Hagia Sophia, and then a bishop. He modeled his life after St. John the Baptist, with great asceticism. He suffered greatly from repeated false accusations of being a Novatian heretic. He also was one of those "giveaway" saints, like St. Bride and St. Pius X. As Kathy R writes about one of St. Marcian's incidents in her saints index:
One day when he was hurrying to the consecration of a new church, he passed a miserable, nearly naked beggar. Saint Marcian gave him all his clothing. All he had left was a chasuble. The congregation, however, seemed to see a fine golden robe under Marcian's chasuble. Afterwards Patriarch Gennadius even rebuked the saint for dressing so ostentatiously. Marcian plucked off the chasuble and revealed that he was wearing nothing else

And today we also remember St. Gregory X, the pope who called the Council of Lyons and attempted, with minimal success, to heal the Church's stupidest schism (with which we still suffer a thousand years after Umberto the Rude and the pope who didn't read him the riot act....), and also called for a crusade that never came off, to deliver the Churches of the East from the attacks of the Muslims.

We do not have to succeed; we do not have to be accepted; we only have to know, love, and serve the One who made us.

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