Feast of St. Paul of Cyprus (March 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  An Eastern Orthodox Crucifix

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT PAUL OF CYPRUS (DIED CIRCA 760)

Eastern Orthodox Martyr

The Byzantine Empire was an officially Christian state; there was no separation of church and state.  With Muslim forces at the gates and imperial borders shrunken to mainly Asia Minor and the Balkans, the empire’s leaders pursued a distraction:  the destruction of icons.  Many faithful people refused to support Iconoclasm, however.  I have written of some of them in other posts; now I add another to that distinguished roster.

During the reign of Emperor Constantine V (741-775), imperial officials hauled one St. Paul into court and arraigned him.  He had not committed a violent crime or a theft.  No, he had opposed Iconoclasm.  He had disagreed with the Emperor on a matter of theology.  The court offered the saint a choice:  desecrate a crucifix or die.  He died.  Consider the irony, O reader; agents of an officially Christian government burned a man alive because he refused to desecrate a crucifix.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 18, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF MARC BOEGNER, ECUMENIST

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY SAYERS, NOVELIST

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Gracious God,

in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Saint Paul of the Cross,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives

to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 59

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Revised on December 24, 2016

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Posted December 18, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Saints of the 700s

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