Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent and St. James Intercisus

I'm linking up to RAnn's Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival today!  RAnn does a fabulous job gathering Catholic Bloggers every week to share posts about our faith.  Thank you RAnn!

Today is the beginning of a new year for us Catholics!  Today is the first Sunday in Advent!  While the world is busy with the holiday sales, let us not forget what's most important ~ the birth of Jesus Christ.   I first saw this really cool Advent video on Tracy's A Slice of Smith Life blog and wanted to share it here too. I think it explains the difference of those who get caught up in the secular meaning of Christmas and those who are celebrating Advent for what it is... the expectant and joyful waiting for Our Savior to be born!

This is a sacred holiday season for Christians and I was curious if there was a saint who shared today's date with the first Sunday of Advent.  And there is:

St. James Intercisus

St. James Intercisus who was born around 375 and died a martyr's death in 421.   He was a Persian military officer that was favored by King Yezdigerd I and was put to the test when the king began persecuting Christians.  St. James initially failed this test and renounced his belief in Jesus in order to save his life.  After King Yezdigerd died, King Bahram ascended to the throne of Persia and this time, St. James refused to deny Jesus as the Son of God.  For this confession, St. James suffered a horrible gruesome death.  His body was cut into pieces and when that didn't kill him, King Bahram had him beheaded.  He is the patron saint of lost vocations and torture victims.

I come away with this connection of St. James and the first day of Advent... Jesus was born in order to die for our sins.  St. James was born and died for his love of Jesus.  He is an extreme example of following Jesus admist real trials and sufferings.  Real ones.  How easy we have it here in America to celebrate Advent and not have to worry about dying for this conviction.  We are blessed more than we can possibly imagine or appreciate.

Michael of Reach Paradise posted on Community of Catholic Bloggers last month of an eye opening fact.   Something to the effect of American Catholics commenting on "how they hope the mass isn't too long because they have a party" and Catholics in Sudan, India and Egypt "pray that they won't get killed at mass today."  They live in the life of St. James Intercisus ~

 loving and following Jesus could cost you your life.

This Advent Season I want to be very mindful of the blessings I have here in America, in my family and in my own home!



  1. Hi Noreen,

    I enjoyed your post and reading about St James Intercisus. I'd never heard of him before. So encouraging to hear about his second chance.

    I scrolled back to re-read your post and something caught my eye - your patron saint! Margaret Clitherow! My eldest daughter Felicity chose this saint as her confirmation saint. The Reformation is one of our most read periods of history and we are very attached to all the saints of this time. I am surprised Margaret Clitherow's husband never converted. Maybe Margaret's prayers and martyrdom won him many graces anyway. You will have to share your own Margaret Clitherow story. I'd love to hear it!

    God bless.

  2. I'm so glad you liked the Advent video enough to share it on your blog too! I really like the video and the catchy music :) I love learning about the saints and I was not aware of St. James Intercisus before your post so thanks for sharing! Have a blessed Advent!

  3. Sue~ St. James Intercisus was new to me too. As for my new patron saint, St. Margaret Clitherow, that choice was made randomly or divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. I tried one of those saint generators and I was given St. Margaret. I hadn't been familiar with her so I was pleased to get to know a new saint.

    I did not know that her husband never converted. Her daughter became a nun and both her son's priests, is what I read.

  4. Tracy ~ thank you for first finding the Advent video and sharing it so I could see it!

  5. New saint for me too. Always interesting learning about members of the family who have gone before us.

  6. This was a beautiful post, Noreen. Thank you for sharing such a great reminder to thank God for our freedom to worship! Wishing you and your family a holy and peaceful Advent!