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Feast of Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem

(c. 99 – c. 216 A.D.)

St. Narcissus was a holy and esteemed priest of Greek origin who became the 30th bishop of Jerusalem in the year 180 A.D., about a century after the city’s destruction by the Romans. He was known as a miracle-worker, as well as for governing his diocese with vigor and discipline despite being in his 80th year when he was made bishop. Of his many miracles, the one for which he is most famous was turning water into oil on Holy Saturday, as recorded by the historian Eusebius: when the deacons had no oil to burn in the altar lamps for the Easter liturgy, St. Narcissus had them use water instead. After he prayed over the water and it was put into the lamps, it was miraculously converted into oil. In 195 A.D. St. Narcissus was part of a council of bishops who settled the date for the observance of Easter, deciding on Sunday and not the ancient Jewish Passover. Despite his reputation as a holy bishop, St. Narcissus drew opposition. Three enemies accused him of a serious crime and prayed that he might be cursed by God in punishment. This took a toll on the saint, and, forgiving his persecutors, he retired from public life and lived as a hermit for many years. His enemies meanwhile were struck by the calamities that they wished upon him. When St. Narcissus eventually returned to Jerusalem he was exuberantly welcomed by the faithful. He served the people of Jerusalem in many ways until his death at over 116 years old. His feast day is October 29th.

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Christian, hence, learn to do your part, and leave the rest to heaven.”

Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem
Saint Narcissus, Bishop of Jerusalem; An image of St. Narcissus, Bishop of Jerusalem, mounted on a white horse, and holding a red banner with an inscription which says “St. Narcis.” The aforesaid saint was a bishop of Jerusalem during the 2nd century, both venerated in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faiths. Without a thistle or a pitcher of water, iconographic elements associated to him, St. Narcissus is portrayed here donning Episcopal garments—a red cloak, a surplice, a mitre, and a ring. Illustrated in the background is the city of Jerusalem where he was ordained at an old age (roughly between 80 and 100) and served as bishop of the holy land. Visible too are images of horses situated at the lower right portion of the canvas. Such depiction of St. Narcissus alludes to his story of leaving Jerusalem in pursuit of a solitary life. This artwork is painted on canvas with oil as medium and it is dated back to the 17th century Italy. Credit: Casa de Memoria

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

Saint Clement I, pope
Stained glass window depicting St Nacrissus

Saint Narcissus, bishop of jerusalem, 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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