Mike Aquilina

Chrys Mass in July

Sunday July 30th 2006, 3:01 am

We keep coming back to Ravenna, don’t we? Today’s saint, named Peter, became archbishop of the fair city in 433. His preaching earned him the name he bears to this day: Chysologus, “golden word.”

Peter held a prestige position in the Church and the empire, because of his wisdom and because Ravenna was the Byzantines’ nerve center in the West. Peter was a friend of Pope St. Leo the Great and of the Empress Galla Placidia (under whose patronage art and architecture flourished in Ravenna). Many of his homilies have survived. They are deeply biblical and often Eucharistic and Marian — sometimes all at once: “[Jesus Christ] is the Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful.” Peter also explores the creed and the incarnation. And he weighs in on heresies past and present, including Arianism and Monophysitism.

You’ll find the goods on him here.

His sermons will blow your mind. The Fathers of the Church series, published by Catholic University of America, has them out in three volumes. Check them out.