• July 8th - SS. Aquila and Priscilla

    From rich@1:15/0 to All on Fri Jul 7 09:58:10 2017
    From: rich <richarra@gmail.com>

    July 8th - SS. Aquila and Priscilla
    (1st Century)

    The Acts of the Apostles and their letters sometimes mention the names
    of the earliest Christian converts. One might wish to know more about
    these pioneer Christians, but the writers of the New Testament did not
    have the time to indulge our curiosity.

    There was, however, one praiseworthy husband and wife who were
    especially active in promoting the Church. Because of their total
    dedication, enough is said about them by St. Luke and St. Paul to give
    us a fair acquaintance with their lives as converts. Today the Church
    venerates them on July 8 as SS. Aquila and Priscilla.

    Paul met Aquila and Priscilla when he landed in Corinth, Greece, on
    his first missionary journey (AD 50-52): =E2=80=9Ca Jew named Aquila, a nat= ive
    of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
    because Claudius had ordered the Jews to leave Rome=E2=80=9D (Acts, 18:1-3)=
    ..
    (The expulsion took place in AD 49 or 50. The pagan biographer of
    Claudius says that this Roman emperor exiled the Jews in Rome because
    they were fighting among themselves, and that a man named =E2=80=9CChrestos= =E2=80=9D
    had started the fight. It seems quite likely, however, from the
    garbled report, that the name of the =E2=80=9Ctroublemaker=E2=80=9D should = have been
    =E2=80=9CChristos=E2=80=9D, that is, Christ, and that the Jews were quarrel= ing because
    Jewish converts to Christianity were arguing that Jesus was the
    Messiah.)

    There is a legend in Rome that St. Peter baptized Aquila and Priscilla
    before they were driven out of Rome. Like many Jews who lived outside Palestine, they had adopted non-Jewish names. Thus =E2=80=9CAquila=E2=80=9D=
    is Latin
    for =E2=80=9Ceagle.=E2=80=9D (Many Jews who immigrated into Germany centuri=
    es later,
    took this same name in German as =E2=80=9CAdler=E2=80=9D. =E2=80=9CPriscill= a=E2=80=9D is a diminutive
    form of the Roman name =E2=80=9CPrisca=E2=80=9D, as Paul always called her.=
    It means
    =E2=80=9Csteadfast=E2=80=9D or, in a good sense, =E2=80=9Cold-fashioned=E2= =80=9D.) When Paul met the
    couple and learned that they were by profession tentmakers like
    himself, he decided to live in their home/shop and work with them
    part-time (as he did wherever he went) to earn his keep.

    St. Paul remained 18 months in Corinth, preaching first to Jews and
    then to Gentiles. At length the Jews who rejected his teaching tried
    to silence him by bringing him before the Roman magistrate.

    The magistrate refused to listen to the charges, so Paul set out for
    Antioch to complete his missionary journey. Aquila and Priscilla went
    with him as far as Ephesus. There they opened their home to the
    Ephesian Christians.

    One day Apollos, a Jewish convert from Alexandria, arrived in town and
    began to preach powerfully to the Jews about Jesus as Messiah. Aquila
    and Priscilla noticed, however, that his Christian knowledge was
    limited. He did not know, for example, about the sacrament of baptism.
    So they took him aside and filled in the gaps of his knowledge.

    When Paul returned to Ephesus on his third journey, he stayed with
    Aquila. From Ephesus, he wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, in
    which he said, =E2=80=9CAquila and Prisca, together with the church in thei=
    r
    house, send you many greetings in the Lord.=E2=80=9D (I Cor. 16-19).

    Later on, these two =E2=80=9Ccoworkers=E2=80=9D of St. Paul (as he called t= hem)
    returned to Rome. There, too, their home became a Christian center or
    a =E2=80=9Chouse-church=E2=80=9D as Paul indicates in Rom. 16:3,5. Subseque= ntly they
    went back to Ephesus, for St. Paul greets them in his second letter to
    Timothy, written from Rome around AD 67, not long before his death (2
    Tim. 4:19).

    This letter from Rome is the last scriptural reference to Prisca and
    Aquila. It is not certain what happened to them later after Paul died.
    In the Roman tradition they were martyred at Rome. St. Paul had all
    but canonized them during his lifetime for their holy labors. They =E2=80=9Crisked their lives for my life, to whom not only I am grateful but also the churches of the Gentiles.=E2=80=9D (Rom. 16:3).

    Not by chance does Paul compare, in the Letter to the Ephesians, the matrimonial relationship to the spousal communion that happens between
    Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5: 25-33). Even more, we can maintain
    that the Apostle indirectly models the life of the entire Church on
    that of the family. And the Church, in reality, is the family of God.

    Therefore, we honour Aquila and Priscilla as models of conjugal life responsibly committed to the service of the entire Christian
    community. And we find in them the model of the Church, God's famil=
    y
    for all times.

    Priscilla and Aquila are regarded as saints in most Christian churches
    that canonize saints. The Orthodox Church commemorates them both
    together on February 13. The Lutheran Church commemorates them the
    same day along with Apollos. Other Orthodox Churches commemorate
    Aquila only as an apostle on July 14. In the Catholic Church the Roman Martyrology lists their feast as July 8.[


    Saint Quote:
    When I pronounce the name of Mary,
    I feel myself inflamed with such love and joy,
    that between the tears and happiness
    which I pronounce this beautiful name,
    I feel as though my heart might leave my breast.
    For this sweet name is like a honeycomb dissolving
    in the innermost recesses of my soul.
    --Blessed Henry Suso

    Bible Quote:
    "Then for Zion will come a redeemer, for those who stop rebelling in
    Jacob, declares Yahweh. 'For my part, this is my covenant with them,
    says Yahweh. My spirit with which I endowed you, and my words that I
    have put in your mouth, will not leave your mouth, or the mouths of
    your children, or the mouths of your children's children, says Yahweh, henceforth and for ever.'" [Isaiah 59:20-21]


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    Prayer of Supplication to the Holy Spirit

    Holy Spirit, you who solve all problems, who light all roads so that I can attain my goals, you who give me the divine gift to forgive and to forget
    all evil against me and that in all instances of my life you are with me.
    I want in this short prayer to thank you for all things and to confirm
    once again that I never want to be separated from you, even in spite of
    all material illusion I wish to be with you in eternal glory. Thank you for=
    your
    mercy toward me and mine.
    --- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
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