Nereus and Achilleus, Mm; Pancras, M

+Jn 14: 1-6

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

Where (I) am going you know the way.”

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth  and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The New American Bible

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

WHY DID THE WORD BECOME FLESH?

456 With the Nicene Creed, we answer by confessing: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.”

457 The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world”, and “he was revealed to take away sins”:

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?

458 The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.” “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: “Listen to him!” Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.

460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”

Saints Nereus and Achilleus and Saint Pancras

In the present General Roman Calendar, revised in 1969, Saints Nereus and Achilleus (together) and Saint Pancras have distinct celebrations (optional memorials) on 12 May.

According to these legends, Nereus and Achilleus were eunuchs and chamberlains of Flavia Domitilla, a niece of the Emperor Domitian; with the Christian virgin, they had been banished to the island of Ponza (Pontia), and later on beheaded in Terracina. The graves of these two martyrs were on an estate of the Lady Domitilla near the Via Ardeatina, close to that of Saint Petronilla.

The basilica of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus in the Via Ardeatina (not to be confused with the church of the same name near the Baths of Caracalla to which the relics of the saints were translated in the 6th century), was erected above the burial site of the two saints and is of the latter part of the 4th century; it is a three-naved basilica, which was abandoned in the mid 9th century and rediscovered in 1874 by de Rossi in the Catacomb of Domitilla. Amongst the numerous objects found in the ruins were two pillars which had supported the ciborium ornamented with sculptures representing the death of the two saints by decapitation; one of these pillars is perfectly preserved, and the name of Achilleus is carved on it. There was also found a large fragment of a marble slab, with an inscription composed by Pope Damasus, the text of which is well-known from an ancient copy. This oldest historical mention of the two saints tells how Nereus and Achilleus as soldiers were obedient to the tyrant, but suddenly being converted to Christianity, joyfully resigned their commission and died the martyr’s death; as to the date of their glorious confession we can make no inference.

Source: Wikipedia

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