Martyrdom and Encyclical Anniversary

Cathedral_Santiago_de_Compostela

In Italy I visited the tombs of Saints Peter, Andrew, and Matthew. But not St. James. Because…

He’s the patron of Spain. All able-bodied Catholics in Spain have to go to Mass today.

Among the Apostles, St. James suffered martyrdom first. He drank Christ’s chalice: Offering your mortal life for the glory of God, with total trust in heaven. We will consider this in more detail on Sunday–the trust of the holy Apostle, submitting to death, like the Lord Jesus did.

Speaking of trust. Fifty years ago today… Pope Paul VI gave us the encyclical Humanae Vitae. Soon-to-be-saint Pope Paul preserved the true meaning of marriage. He saved human sexuality from the clutches of modern technocratic mistrust of God and His Providence.

As the Catechism puts it:

Spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. They co-operate with the love of God the Creator. Parents are, in a certain sense, that love’s interpreters. (para 2367)

Trusting God, trusting the spouse, trusting your own body. Fifty years ago today, on St. James’ feastday, Pope Paul affirmed the wisdom and beauty of that kind of trust. He was a hero then, and everyone who trusts like that is a hero now.

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