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St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

Friday June 28, 2024

Saint Irenaeus was tireless defender against the Gnostics and a champion of apostolic teaching who serves as a source of inspiration for apologists and catechists around the world. His feast day is June 28.

During the second century, the early Christian community faced the formidable challenge of Gnosticism, a heretical movement that threatened to undermine the core tenets of the faith. Saint Irenaeus emerged as a staunch opponent of Gnosticism, countering its erroneous doctrines with his extensive writings. In his seminal work, "Against Heresies," he exposed the false teachings propagated by the Gnostics, upholding the unity and truth of the apostolic tradition handed down from Christ to His disciples.

Saint Irenaeus' example serves as a reminder that the task of defending and explaining the faith is both noble and vital. Apologists, those who defend the truth of the Catholic faith, can draw inspiration from Saint Irenaeus' meticulous refutations of false teachings, reminding us to engage with love, knowledge, and clarity. Catechists, entrusted with the task of transmitting the faith to others, can look to Saint Irenaeus as a model of fidelity and dedication in passing on the teachings of the Church to future generations.

Our Lady Untier of Knots

The devotion to Our Lady Untier of Knots, also known as Our Lady Undoer of Knots, is believed to have its roots in Saint Irenaeus' profound understanding of Mary's role in our redemption. This devotion speaks to the countless knots we encounter in our lives—challenges, conflicts, and uncertainties—that often entangle us and impede our spiritual growth. Our Lady, as the untier of knots, intercedes for us before her Son, unraveling the complexities of our lives and guiding us towards spiritual freedom and peace.

He said

The knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.

These words highlight the pivotal role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our salvation history, as she undoes the knots of sin and leads us closer to her Son, Jesus Christ.

Each year on June 28, the Catholic Church honors the memory and legacy of Saint Irenaeus. On this day, we celebrate his unwavering commitment to preserving the truth of apostolic teaching and defending the faith against heresy. It is an opportune time for apologists and catechists to seek his intercession, asking for his guidance and wisdom as they strive to proclaim and explain the teachings of the Church in an increasingly secular world.

Patron Saint of ...

He is the patron saint of apologists and catechists.

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Daily Mass Readings for the Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

  • First Reading - 2 Timothy 2:22b-26: Chase righteousness, faith, love, peace with pure-hearted believers. Shun pointless arguments that stir disputes. A servant of the Lord is gentle, patient, and instructs kindly, hoping God grants opponents truth and freedom from the Devil's trap.
  • Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 37: Trust in the Lord, do good, and find delight in Him; He'll fulfill your heart's desires. Commit your path to Him for justice like dawn's light. The just speak wisdom, their unwavering steps guided by God's law.
  • Gospel - John 17:20-26: Jesus prays to God, asking for unity among his followers and future believers. He desires that they all may be one, just as he and the Father are one, so that the world may believe in his mission. Jesus expresses his desire for his followers to experience the fullness of his love and be with him where he is, so that they may witness and share in his glory.

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infinite love
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Jesus Christ, in His infinite love, has become what we are, in order that He may make us entirely what He is.

The Genius of St. Irenaeus (Video)

Irenaeus taught that God has no need of anything outside of himself. What does this mean, and why is it good news? Bishop Robert Barron explains.

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