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Saintly Deacons

Item Number: 20463
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Saintly Deacons

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Saintly Deacons
by Owen F. Cummings

Focusing on the stories of eight different people, this book demonstrates the contribution of deacons throughout the two millennia of Christianity. 

In the years since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) reestablished deacons as a permanent order of the clergy, the diaconate has evolved into one of the most visible and fastest growing areas of ordained ministry within the Church. However, to many who grew up thinking of deacons as merely on a transitional step up the ecclesiastical ladder, the sudden proliferation of permanent members of this order has been both surprising, and mystifying--and edifying.

In SAINTLY DEACONS, Owen Cummings explores the remarkable history and evolution of the diaconate through the lives of eight notable deacons over the two millennia of Christian history. It traces the tradition from its origins with New Testament "deacons," Stephen and Philip, to patristic deacons, Lawrence and Ephrem, through the medieval deacons, Alcuin of York and Francis of Assisi, and ends with the Reformation Era deacons, Reginald Pole and Nicholas Ferrar.

Cummings shows that, throughout their long history, deacons have not been defined by a narrow job description, but rather have offered themselves to serve the local church as best they can, in accordance with their God-given gifts, the request of their bishops, and the tasks that need to be done. And he demonstrates the particular value and relevance of this versatile role in today's church. SAINTLY DEACONS takes a historical perspective and demonstrates the remarkable breadth of diaconal service through the ages. By including the Anglican deacon, Nicholas Ferrar of Little Gidding, Cummings has given this book an ecumenical relevance.

Written in a focused and reader-friendly style, his book will appeal to all Catholics, and will be of particular interest to members of the diaconate, participants in permanent deacon programs, and parishioners who want to understand more about the background of the deacons within their own parish.



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0-8091-4322-4
0-8091-4322-4
75
7"  (17.7 cm) x 5"  (12.7 cm)
More Paulist Press Gifts
2005

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St. Lawrence

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/10


Patron Of: Students, Butchers, Poor, Fire, Winemakers, Comedians, Tanners, Blindness, Ceylon, Cooks, Lumbago, Glaziers, Stained Glass Workers, Brewers, Archivists, Libraries, Laundry Workers, Librarians, Schoolchildren, Deacons

Profile
Third-century archdeacon of Rome, distributor of alms, and "keeper of the treasures of the church" in a time when Christianity was outlawed. On 6 August 258, by decree of Emperor Valerian, Pope Saint Sixtus II and six deacons were beheaded, leaving Lawrence as the ranking Church official in Rome.

While in prison awaiting execution Sixtus reassured Lawrence that he was not being left behind; they would be reunited in four days. Lawrence saw this time as an opportunity to disperse the material wealth of the church before the Roman authorities could lay their hands on it. On 10 August Lawrence was commanded to appear for his execution, and to bring along the treasure with which he had been entrusted by the pope. When he arrived, the archdeacon was accompanied by a multitude of Rome's crippled, blind, sick, and indigent. He announced that these were the true treasures of the Church. Martyr.

Lawrence's care for the poor, the ill, the neglected have led to his patronage of them. His work to save the material wealth of the Church, including its documents, brought librarians and those in related fields to see him as a patron, and to ask for his intercession. And his incredible strength and courage when being grilled to death led to his patronage of cooks and those who work in or supply things to the kitchen. The meteor shower that follows the passage of the Swift-Tuttle comet was known in the middle ages as the "burning tears of Saint Lawrence" because they appear at the same time as Lawrence's feast.
Born
at Huesca, Spain
Died
10 August 258; cooked to death on a gridiron; buried in the cemetery of Saint Cyriaca on the road to Tivoli; tomb was opened by Pelagius to inter the body of Saint Stephen the Martyr; his mummified head removed to the Quirinal Chapel; the gridiron believed to have been his deathbed is in San Lorenzo in Lucina; garments in Our Lady's Chapel in the Lateran Palace



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Stephen

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 12/26


Patron Of: Bricklayers, Casket Makers, Stone Workers, Stone Masons, Headaches, Austria, Germany, Masons, Horses, Deacons

Profile
First Christian Martyr. Deacon. Preacher. All we know of him is related in the Acts of the Apostles. While preaching the Gospel in the streets, angry Jews who believed his message to be blasphemy dragged him outside the city, and stoned him to death. In the crowd, on the side of the mob, was a man who would later be known as Saint Paul.
Born
unknown
Died
stoned to death c.33


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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