Beautiful sunny day here in Roanoke, so let’s consider some significant sunny-day anniversaries.
Today at Holy Mass we mark the anniversary of the death of St. Athanasius, the hero of the Council of Nicaea. The bishops met in Nicaea on sunny May and June days. And they gave us our Symbol of faith, our creed.
On another sunny day, the Fourth of July, we mark the anniversary of…
Thomas Jefferson and Co. did the signing and declaring in the summer of 1776. In the year 2026, we will mark a significant milestone in the history of our beloved country, the 250th anniversary of Independence Day. For a nation to endure so long, a quarter of a millennium—an inspiring thing to contemplate.
But let’s focus on an anniversary that will come a year earlier, one year before the USA’s 250th birthday. In 2025.
When Thomas Jefferson and Co. declared independence in the summer of 1776, they did it on a Thursday. On the preceding Sunday, every Roman Catholic priest on earth had recited the Nicene Creed. And every Catholic priest recited it the following Sunday, along with all the faithful who were following along with the Mass. In the summer of 1,776, the Nicene Creed was already 1,451 years old.
In 2025, the Nicene Creed will turn 1700 years old.
And yet it’s still as fresh as the day when St. Athanasius helped to write it. Jesus Christ: God from God; light from light; true God from true God; begotten—not made; consubstantial with the Father.
In these words we find the hope of the world, the foundation for a real spiritual life, the truth about God Almighty, the key to understanding the four gospels, the center of Christian joy.
When we think about the legacy that our Founding Fathers gave us Americans, nearly a quarter-millennium ago, it humbles us.
But, may it please God that our Founding Fathers made it to heaven, when they contemplate what St. Athanasius and the Fathers of Nicaea gave the world almost 1700 years ago, it humbles them.