Saint of the Day ~ October 29

SAINT NARCISSUS of JERUSALEM (99-c.215), bishop – Patron saint against insect bites

Today, the Church honors Saint Narcissus, a bishop who faithfully served the needs of his flock in Jerusalem, despite the vile calumnies and lies which were intended to attack his personal holiness and impugn his integrity as a servant of God.

Narcissus was born in the year 99. Details of his early life are sketchy, but it was not until the year 180, when he was eighty-one years of age, that he was consecrated bishop of Jerusalem. He was renowned for his piety, but respect for his role as shepherd and a life of personal sanctity did not shelter him from the malice of those who desired to see him removed.

Fearing his severity in the observance of ecclesiastical discipline, he was accused by his enemies of committing a crime. None of the Christians in his diocese believed the charges, but Bishop Narcissus did not feel he should serve after being placed under such a cloud of suspicion. As a result, he became a desert hermit.

After a complete acquittal, Narcissus returned to his see (diocese) and resumed his duties as bishop – older, weathered, but stronger and more zealous than before, and he served several more years as shepherd of his flock.

When his age began to wear upon him, Narcissus begged God to send a bishop to help him. Alexander of Cappadocia responded, and the two governed the diocese together.

About the year 215, Bishop Narcissus died of old age, reportedly living to the age of one hundred sixteen.

We commemorate his feastday on October 29.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Pastors ~ bishop)

“Lord God, You counted Saint Narcissus among Your holy pastors, renowned for faith and love which conquered evil in this world. By the help of his prayers, keep us strong in faith and love and let us come to share his glory.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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