9 May: St. Isaiah, Old Testament Prophet, and others

Many people don’t realize that Holy Church considers some Old Testament figures to be saints with their own feast days.

We don’t celebrate them at the altar, but they have their day.

Actually, if there were no other saint in the liturgical calendar taking precedence, we are told that we indeed could celebrate a saint from the Martyrology.  But I digress.

In any event, today is the commemoration of the 8th c. BC St. Isaiah, the prophet of the Old Testament.

The Martyrologium Romanum has this entry for him.

1. Commemoratio sancti Isaiae, prophetae, qui, in diebus Oziae, Iotham, Achaz et Ezechiae, regum Iudae, missus est ut populo infideli et peccatori Dominum fidelem et salvatorem revelaret, ad implementum promissionis David a Deo iuratae. Apud Iudaeos sub Manasse rege martyr occubuisse traditur.

You readers can give your own polished and flawless renderings of this brief but interesting text.

We also learn from the Martyrology that today is the feast, or rather “commemoration” – but let’s not be too fussy – of St. Hermas, from the New Testament, whom St. Paul greets in Romans 16.  The 3rd c. Origen of Alexandria thought that he was the author of the ancient Christian word The Shepherd of Hermas.

Among others we also give honor to God today through the martyrdom, in London, of Bl. Thomas Pickering, a Benedictine monk, a simple and pious soul, who was it seems falsely implicated in a plot against Charles II.  He died “ad Tyburni patibulum“.

From more modern times we also learn that today is the day that Bl. Stephan Grelewski, a priest and martyr, died in Dachau concentration camp. The Martyrology uses the dire phrase “diris tormentis extenuatus“.  Brrrrr.

Many around the world today suffer at the hands of others precisely the profess Christ as their Lord and God.  Think of Chinese Catholics, handed over – perhaps sold – to their atheistic overlords.

Give some thought today about your state in life as it is here and now.

Think also for a little while about what you may have to do and endure if an when your time comes to be challenged to give witness to your Faith and then suffer negative consequences.  In fact, with the Communist Chinese COVID-1984 “lockdown” on religious liberty going on, we may be called upon to do that soon.

We may not be repressed with the threat of death, yet, but there are going to be risks to our jobs – if you still have one after the Chinese virus hit – or some relationship or other worldly good.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Commemoration of St. Isaiah the prophet, who, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, was sent to reveal to a faithless and sinner people a faithful Lord and savior, for the fulfillment of the promise sworn by God to David. A martyr, he is said by the Jews to have died under King Manasseh.

    In the interest of polishing, I translated the subjunctive “revelaret” as an infinitive. [Sure. “to” is “in order to”, “so that” and the imperfect gives futurity after the perfect verb. And for variety we have an -nd- construction after that!] I tried to preserve the parallelism of “populo infideli et peccatori” and “Dominum fidelem et salvatorem.” [Good catch.] I wondered if “martyr” (nominative) in the last sentence was a misprint for “martyrem” (accusative), but I worked out a workable translation that strikes me nonetheless as slightly awkward. Had “martyr” been in the accusative, I would have translated thus: “It is said [or related] among the Jews that he died a martyr under King Manasseh.” [Good question about “martyr”. I double checked the text and that is what it says.]

  2. Zephyrinus says:

    ” . . . but there are going to be risks to our jobs . . . ”
    It was only a few years ago that a person suffered discrimination at British Airways because they were wearing a Crucifix. I kid you not.
    In addition, two years ago, a Scottish Shopping Centre BANNED a NATIVITY SCENE on their Shopping Premises, on the grounds of: “Customers would not approve”.
    I kid you not.
    Consider. Discuss. Pray. Prepare.

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