Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 11: Pope Saint Damasus I

Pope Saint Damasus I
Lithograph by
Pedro Augusto Guglielm


Damasus I was elected pope in the year 366. But there were some people who didn’t want him – they tried to make a different man pope. The two sides fought, and even though Pope Damasus I remained pope, he had to deal with people who didn’t want him throughout until the day he died. Still, he was able to do some really important things. He had Saint Jerome translate the Bible into Latin, the most commonly used language at that time. Pope Damasus I also used to write rhyming epigrams – little sayings about different saints. If you ever go to Rome, you can visit the Church of Saint Mary in Palmis, where a marble slab is carved with this epigram that Damascus I wrote (it rhymes in Latin but not in English):
"You that are looking for the names of Peter and Paul,
You must know that the saints have lived here."


Today, read Luke 1. There are five saints and one archangel mentioned: Saint Zechariah, Saint Elizabeth, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Joseph and Saint Mary, plus the angel Gabriel. the mother of Jesus. Can you write an epigram about one of them?

Pope Saint Damasus I, pray for us!

More reading for parents: