July 24, 2016

July 28 is the Feast of Saint VictorHere is some information I put together about Saint Victor. This was originally printed in a 2012 bulletin…

Pope Saint Victor I was the first pope to come from the Roman provinces of Northern Africa. He could have been a native or a descendant of Roman colonists; some have speculated that Victor was black, but a person's race was rarely recorded in Roman times. He served as Pope from about 189 to 199. Conscious of the nature of baptism, Victor decreed that anyone baptized in an emergency should be treated as a Christian in full standing, not as a neophyte undergoing catechesis.

Saint Victor and the Date for Easter… A troublesome controversy over when Easter should be celebrated occurred during the reign of Victor, with the result that Christians observed different days for the most important feast of the year. Victor decreed that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday, but a gathering of Eastern bishops convened by the bishop of Ephesus refused to abandon their custom of celebrating Easter according to the date of the Jewish celebration of Passover, meaning that Easter could be celebrated on any day of the week. Victor excommunicated them, but at the urging of St. Irenaeus he later lifted the ban. Eventually the two sides came together and the custom of all Christians celebrating Easter on a Sunday soon took hold.

Saint Victor and Mass in Latin… Pope Saint Victor was also the first to celebrate Mass in Rome in the language of the people, Latin. This would have been the language of his upbringing in Northern Africa. Up until this time Mass had been celebrated in Greek, even in the city of Rome. It would be not be until the late fourth century that masses celebrated in Latin (rather than Greek) would be universal in the Roman Catholic Church. Note: we always associate Latin as the most ancient language used for the celebration of Mass, but in fact GREEK was the official language for the celebration of Mass until the 4th century! Our patron Saint Victor had an important role in the change from Greek to Latin!

According to unconfirmed tradition, St. Victor I died a martyr and most likely is buried in the Vatican near Saint Peter, the first pope. Saint Victor Parish was named after Father Victor Majka who was the missionary in charge of the “Bairdford Mission” from 1922-1924. Father Majka collected the funds for the building which became the Saint Victor Mission Chapel that was used by the parish until the basement church was built on our present property in 1952. Saint Victor, pray for us!

Other News… Seminarian Brendan Dawson will be traveling with other seminarians to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, this week. I told him to try to get a selfie with Pope Francis…. ALSO: I will be leaving for a two week vacation this Saturday, July 30. There will be visiting priests here for Masses on July 30-31 and August 6-7. UNFORTUNATELY, I have been unable to secure priests for daily Masses during my time away. It is becoming harder and harder to get clergy to come for 8:00 am weekday Masses. Thus, there will be NO morning Masses August 1-5 and August 8-12. There will be information in next week’s bulletin about Mass schedules in neighboring parishes. NOTE: there will be priests available for funerals and emergencies while I am away