The Mountain in the Oldest City in the World

When I opened our front door today, what I saw was mountains.  Where I live, we are surrounded by mountains.   When you look right, there are mountains. When you look left, there are mountains. I never thought mountains in the winter could be so beautiful. The shades of gray and white turn into almost lavender, and the trees look like leaves upon a bushy hill. In my younger days, I had my fill of mountains but if there is one mountain I would’ve wanted to climb, it is found in the oldest city in the world. This is the mountain found in Jericho.   It is not a pretty sight as it is mostly ground with rock surfaces but it surprisingly has a water source.   On the mountain, there are centuries-old monasteries and a chapel built out of the rock, ravaged by wars.  There is an ancient, sacred seat that was where Jesus sat during his time of temptation ( Luke 4:1-13) Many places in Israel have churches over sacred spots where Jesus walked, but on this mountain, I fancied myself touching a tree

Pope Saint Damasus I, Patron of Archeologists

Pope Saint Damasus I, Patron of Archeologists

If you have a Bible in your home, it is in large part because of the efforts of Pope Saint Damasus I.  It was during his papacy that the Council in Rome decreed which books were to be part of sacred scripture.  He commissioned Saint Jerome to finish the Vulgate translation.  That was the year 382.

It was a time of great confusion in the Church with many opposing views being pushed forward such as Arianism and Apollinarianism.  Arianism was advocated by Arius which falsely stated that Jesus was not divine but a created being. Apollinarianism was a heretical view by Apollinaris that Jesus had a divine mind but a human body.

Pope Saint Damasus was faithful to his duty as the 37th pope in defending the faith.  His reign saw the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman state.

He honored the saints and martyrs by restoring their graves, catacombs, and shrines.  He also wrote poetry dedicated to them.

He is the patron of archeologists.

Today, December 11th is his feast day.  Pope Saint Damasus I, please pray for us!


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