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Damasus I, lithograph, 1840

Feast of Pope St. Damasus I

(306-384 A.D.)

Pope St. Damasus I was born into a Christian family in Rome. He became a deacon and served at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Rome where his father served as priest. After the death of Pope Liberius, Damasus was elected Pope in the year 366 A.D. Violence broke out as a rival pope was also elected, and the two factions fought to enforce their candidate. Damasus was confirmed as the rightful pope by the Roman Emperor, and the anti-pope was banished from the city. Pope Damasus chose the scripture scholar St. Jerome as his personal secretary, to whom he commissioned the translation of the Bible into Latin (the Latin Vulgate). It was during Damasus’ reign that Christianity was declared the religion of the Roman state. Pope Damasus also called the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. to clarify the canon of Sacred Scripture. He opposed heresy, worked to preserve the catacombs, and advocated for devotion to the Christians martyred under the Roman persecutions. His feast day is December 11.
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He who walking on the sea could calm the bitter waves, who gives life to the dying seeds of the earth; he who was able to loose the mortal chains of death, and after three days darkness could bring again to the upper world the brother for his sister Martha: he, I believe, will make Damasus arise again from the dust.”

Saint Damasus I, pope
St Damasus at crypt

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope

Pope St. Damasus I, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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