Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4: Saint John Damascene

Russian icon of St. John Damascene

History 

When Saint John Damascene was a little boy, all he cared about was soldiers, war and pirates. His dad didn’t like this. He made John study things like music, math, and theology. John grew up to be one of the greatest writers and poets in the Eastern Catholic Church. Once, an emperor who was angry with John had a letter written that said terrible things, and signed John’s name to it. John was arrested and his hand was cut off as punishment. That night, John knelt and asked the Blessed Mother to pray that Jesus would give him back his hand.  He fell asleep, and when he woke up, his hand was normal again. He went on to write many wonderful things. He also painted a beautiful image of the Blessed Mother holding the Christ Child out of gratitude for the favor granted to him.

Activity

St. John Damascene's icon
of the Blessed Mother
with the Infant Jesus
Here is a photo of the icon of the Blessed Mother with the Infant Jesus attributed to St. John Damascene. Our Lady prays for us all the time - more than we realize - and we owe her our gratitude. Today, draw your own picture of the Blessed Mother with her Son (or color a coloring page like  this onethis one, or that one) and add a frame of construction paper and glitter so it can be part of your family Christmas decorations this year. 

Saint John Damascene, pray for us! 


More reading for parents: