Monday, May 5, 2014

St. Maximus of Jerusalem

Happy Feast of St. Maximus of Jerusalem!

Maximus was bishop of Jerusalem around 335.  He lost one eye and had one foot burned and was condemned to forced labor during the tortures of the Diocletian persecutions earlier in his life.  As a priest in Jerusalem, his sufferings and character endeared him to the people, which made him the people's choice, so to speek, for bishop of Jerusalem.  He opposed St. Athanasius originally at the Council of Tyre, but realized his error and became a dedicated enemy of the Arian heresy and a firm supporter of the Nicene creed.  He was not favored during this controversy although he repented of his mistake.  While bishop of Jerusalem, he dedicated the newly built basilica of the Church of the Holy Seplechre.

Now, this is a priest that you can really understand.  My son said it best the other day, "it's hard to understand the saints when they always seem to be perfect."  This one was tortured, a priest, a bishop, and made a HUGE mistake on who to trust.  But, what can we get from him--even when we mess up, even when it's really bad like denying the true being of Jesus (Arainism asserted that the Son of God was subordinate to God the Father, he was not "consubstantial with the father") if we accept and confess our mistake and come back into accordance with the church's teachings we can be forgiven and we can even still become saints.  I am so glad that our God is a forgiving and loving God!

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