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Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr


Responsorial Psalm 5:4b-6a, 6b-7, 8 R. Lead me in your justice, Lord. At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you. For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you; the arrogant may not stand in your sight. R. Lead me in your justice, Lord. You hate all evildoers; you destroy all who speak falsehood; The bloodthirsty and the deceitful the LORD abhors. R. Lead me in your justice, Lord. But I, because of your abundant mercy, will enter your house; I will worship at your holy temple in fear of you, O LORD. R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.

Alleluia Psalm 130:5 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word. R. Alleluia, alleluia.


REFLECTION


Lead me in your justice, Lord. At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you. For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you; the arrogant may not stand in your sight.


Who was St. Irenaeus?

St. Irenaeus was the second Bishop of Lyons and lived in the second century. He was a great defender of the Catholic Faith. Pope Benedict XIV said this of St. Irenaeus's works and writings, "But his work went far beyond the confutation of heresy: in fact, one can say that he emerges as the first great Church theologian who created systematic theology; he himself speaks of the system of theology, that is, of the internal coherence of all faith."


St. Irenaeus was a student and ardent follower of St. Polycarp. Polycarp saw the intelligence and love Irenaeus had for the Church and His Redeemer. He nurtured his student by giving him ridiculous philosophical statements about the faith which Irenaeus was to examine and detect what was false and then define the truth. This training proved to be of great value to the Church.


Later Irenaeus became a priest and then a bishop. He wrote several books. "Against Heresies" and then "Proof of the Apostolic Preaching" both works are studied today by theologians. His books were written out of charity to instruct those whose thinking strayed from the Truth


Let us pray for all priests to have that zeal like St. Irenaeus for helping others to see the Truth. Lead priests in your justice, Lord. Join us in praying our PAPA Prayer for Priests.






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