One of the greatest Fathers of the Church, Saint Irenaeus, was martyred for the Faith he so zealously defended in A.D. 202. St. Irenaeus was bishop of what is now Lyon in France, then the city of Lugdunum in the province of Gaul of the Roman Empire.
St. Irenaeus went to great lengths to make sure that we Christians would know the truth about God and His son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He preached and wrote against various heresies which arose even in the early days of the Church (and which have a tendency to come back regularly as fashion shifts and changes). St. Irenaeus wanted the Christians who had been entrusted to his care to understand the great gift of God which has been given to the Church, and grounded his instruction in the Tradition of the Apostles against the novelties and “new” wisdom of his day. Because he grounded his teaching in the truth of Christ, his words continue to help us today. St. Irenaeus explains the blessing and dignity of being a Christian called to do the work of God in the world: “God did not tell us to follow Him because He needed our help, but because He knew that loving Him would make us whole.”
And “The tradition of the Christians is no mere earthly discovery that was committed to them, nor is it a mortal idea that they think fit to guard so carefully, nor have they been entrusted with merely human secrets. But in reality the omnipotent, all-creating, invisible God from heaven introduced among men the truth and the holy and incomprehensible word and has established it in their hearts.”
We carry priceless gifts of truth and love in ourselves because we have been configured to our Lord Jesus Christ in Baptism, sealed with the Holy Spirit by our Confirmation, and fed with the true Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Son of God in Eucharist.
In humble prayer and supplication, trust in the unfathomable gifts that have been given to you by Christ and His Church, trust in God’s unceasing care and solicitude for you, his chosen one, and join in offering the sacrifice of the Mass on the Lord’s Day fervently and faithfully.
Peace and Love,
Fr. Liam Quinlan