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SAINT SYLVESTER, Pope and Confessor, (280-335)[Catholic Caucus] ^ | 1894 | Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea

Posted on 12/30/2010 8:18:10 PM PST by Salvation

Spiritual Bouquet: If any man listens to My voice and opens the door to Me, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and He with Me. Apoc. 3:20

December 31Saint Sylvester

Pope and Confessor

Saint Sylvester was born in Rome. When he reached the age to dispose of his fortune, he took pleasure in giving hospitality to Christians passing through the city. He would take them with him, wash their feet, serve them at table, and in sum give them in the name of Christ, all the care that the most sincere charity inspired. One day Timothy of Antioch, an illustrious confessor of the Faith, arrived in Rome. No one dared receive him, but Sylvester considered it an honor. For a year Timothy, preaching Jesus Christ with unflagging zeal, received at Sylvester’s dwelling the most generous hospitality. When this heroic man had won the palm of martyrdom, Sylvester took up his precious remains and buried them during the night. But he himself was soon denounced to the prefect and accused of having hidden the martyr’s treasures. He replied, “Timothy left to me only the heritage of his faith and courage.” The governor threatened him with death and had him imprisoned, but Sylvester said to him, “Senseless one, this very night it is you who will render an account to God.” And the persecutor that evening swallowed a fish bone, and died in fact that night.

Fear of heavenly chastisements softened the guardians, and the brave young man was set at liberty. Sylvester’s courageous acts became known to Saint Melchiad, Pope, who elevated him to the diaconate. He was a young priest when persecution of the Christians grew worse under the tyrant Diocletian. Idols were erected at the street corners, in the market-places, and over the public fountains, so that it was scarcely possible for a Christian to go abroad without being put to the test of offering sacrifice, with the alternative of apostasy or death. During this fiery trial, Sylvester strengthened the confessors and martyrs, and God preserved his life from many dangers. It was indeed he who was destined to succeed the Pope who had recognized his virtues.

His long pontificate of twenty-one years, famous for several reasons, is remembered in particular for the Council of Nicea, the Baptism of Constantine, and the triumph of the Church. Some authors would place Constantine’s Baptism later, but there are numerous and serious testimonies which fix the emperor’s reception into the Church under the reign of Saint Sylvester, and the Roman Breviary confirms that opinion. Constantine, while still pagan and little concerned for the Christians, whose doctrine was entirely unknown to him, was attacked by a kind of leprosy which soon covered his entire body. One night Saint Peter and Saint Paul, shining with light, appeared to him and commanded him to call for Pope Sylvester, who would cure him by giving him Baptism. In effect, the Pope instructed the royal neophyte and baptized him. Thus began the social reign of Jesus Christ: Constantine’s conversion, culminating in the Edict of Milan in 313, had as its happy consequence that of the known world.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; saints
St. Sylvester, pray for the church today.
1 posted on 12/30/2010 8:18:17 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All
SAINT SYLVESTER, Pope and Confessor, (280-335)[Catholic Caucus]
St. Sylvester I (335), Pope
2 posted on 12/30/2010 8:21:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation

Indeed, and in truth. Thank you Salvation, for this great post.

4 posted on 12/30/2010 8:55:30 PM PST by sayuncledave (A cruce salus)
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To: sayuncledave

**His long pontificate of twenty-one years, famous for several reasons**

This reminded me of Pope John Paul II.

5 posted on 12/30/2010 8:57:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

It is very inspiring to read the lives of the saints; the earliest Christians were so heroic.

6 posted on 12/30/2010 9:09:24 PM PST by Judith Anne (Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.)
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To: Salvation

Amazing, as many stories of the Saints are.

7 posted on 12/30/2010 9:19:57 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Salvation


Comment #3 was removed by moderator.

Now what on earth could cause the number 3 poster to say something so derogatory about Pope Sylvester I that their comment would be removed?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Salvation, who is always so loving and faithful in reminding us all of our DAILY salvation by the hand of a faithful and loving GOD.

[I mean, really, St. Slyvester I????...Perhaps I have been discounting the saving efficacy of his intercession before the throne of God.]

8 posted on 12/30/2010 9:22:47 PM PST by bigoil
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To: bigoil

Satan and his lackeys hate Christ’s Church.

9 posted on 12/30/2010 9:33:34 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: Salvation

Great Bio!

10 posted on 12/30/2010 9:36:24 PM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: Salvation
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

The truth of things hath revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Sylvester, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

As a companion of the holy ascetics, thou O God-bearer, hast been worthily shown forth as a true priest of priests before our King and God. Wherefore, thou rejoicest now with the choirs of the Angels, filled with gladness and delight in the Heavens, O Father. Renowned Sylvester, famed shepherd of Rome, save them that honour with love thy memorial.

The Orthodox Church celebrates his feast day on January 2.

11 posted on 12/31/2010 6:20:06 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: Judith Anne; Salvation; steve86

The Synaxaria of The Church is a treasury of inspiration. Here’s a link to one of the greatest collections of hagiography, the Prologue from Ochrid:

12 posted on 12/31/2010 6:25:24 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: bigoil

I posted the wrong links in that spot. So I had it removed.

13 posted on 12/31/2010 8:28:59 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Kolokotronis; johngrace; bigoil; Judith Anne; IrishCatholic; steve86; sayuncledave
Saint Sylvester I, Pope

Saint Sylvester I, Pope
Optional Memorial
December 31st

Pope Saint Sylvester's Miracle
Maso di Banco
about 1340
Cappella di Bardi di Vernio, Santa Croce, Florence


(+335). Elected pope in 314, St. Sylvester served the church at a time when the Arian heresy and the Donatist schism had provoked great discord. After the peace of Constantine, he contributed greatly to the expansion of the faith throughout the Roman world.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

help and sustain Your people
by the prayers of Pope Sylvester.
Guide us always in this present life
and bring us to the joy that never ends.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16
"For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I Myself will search for My sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the fountains, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I Myself will be the shepherd of My sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

14 posted on 12/31/2010 8:30:57 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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