Sunday, January 25, 2009

Commemoration of Saint Ananias

Saint Ananias Baptizing Saint Paul

Today, January 25th, is the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. However, related to that conversion is the Saint who is also commemorated today, Saint Ananias. [Not to be confused with the Ananias in the Acts of the Apostle who incurred God's wrath because of his lack of generosity before Saint Peter.

The Bible says this about Saint Ananias:

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon Your Name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus Who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was Baptized, and took food and was strengthened.
- Acts 9: 10-19

The 2004 Roman Martyrology has this entry:

2004 Roman Martyrology
Commemorátio sancti Ananíæ, qui, discípulus Dómini, Damásci Paulum convérsum baptizávit.

The commemoration of Saint Ananias, who, a disciple of the Lord, Baptized the converted Paul at Damascus.

Part of the skull of Saint Ananias is preserved at, appropriately, Saint Paul's Outside the Walls. This last October I was able to get a better picture:

You can read the label [click the picture to "embiggen"] on Saint Ananias' skull in the middle which says:
"Caput S. Ananiae Discipuli Domini"
"The head of S. Ananias, Disciple of the Lord"

Sancti Paule et Anania, orate pro nobis.


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