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Saint of the Day - Pope Saint Damasus I

Pope Saint Damasus is the pope who charged Saint Jerome with translating the Bible from its original Greek into Latin, or the Vulgate ("the language of the people"). He also changed the liturgical language of the Church from Greek to Latin, which would continue for more than 1,600 years until it was changed in 1970 by Pope Saint Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council.

Image cound at; used as public domain

Damasus was elected pope in 366. At the time, he was a sixty-year-old Deacon at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence in Rome, where his father served as priest. After the death of Pope Liberius in 366. Interestingly, Liberius is not mentioned in the martyrology of the Chuirch and is, thus, the earliest pope not to be venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church, but I digress.. Pope Saint Damasus I served as the Bishop of Rome from 366 until his death in 384.

There was a lot of violence during his papacy. At the time he was elected pope, a different group elected a different man as pope. This was the cause of the violence at the outset of his papacy. He was declared the rightful Successor to Peter by the Roman Emporer. The anti-pope was banished from the city.

While Pope Saint Damasus I was pope, Christianity was declared to be the religion of the Roman Empire. When we say Christianity before the fifteenth century, we mean what is now referred to as Catholicism. The Church does not refer to itself as catholic (which is Greek for "universal"). The Church simply calls itself the Church. Notice that all Papal encylcicals are addressed to "the Church"). If you don't believe me, look for yourself.

Pope Saint Damasus I was also a writer in his own right. However, his writings were generally short ephitaphs and not volumes of books like Pope Saint John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI.

Damasus had a spot picked out to be buried in the catacombs, All of him that is there is this ephitaph: "I, Damasus, wished to be buried here, but I feared to offend the ashes of these holy ones." Instead, he was buried with his mother and one of his siblings, his sister, to be exact.

Another example comes from the Decree of Damasus:

The arrangement of the names of Christ, however, is manifold: Lord, because He is Spirit; Word, because He is God; Son, because He is the only-begotten son of the Father; Man, because He was born of the Virgin; Priest, because He offered Himself as a sacrifice; Shepherd, because He is a guardian; Worm, because He rose again; Mountain, because He is strong; Way, because there is a straight path through Him to life; Lamb, because He suffered; Corner-Stone, because instruction is His; Teacher, because He demonstrates how to live; Sun, because He is the illuminator; Truth, because He is from the Father; Life, because He is the creator; Bread because He is flesh; Samaritan, because He is the merciful protector; Christ, because He is anointed; Jesus, because He is a mediator; Vine, because we are redeemed by His blood; Lion, because he is king; Rock, because He is firm; Flower, because He is the chosen one; Prophet, because He has revealed what is to come.

This may or may not have been written by him.

In 382, Pope Saint Damasus called the Council of Rome to clarify the Canons of Sacred Scripture. He also opposed heresies.

He was born in 306 and died in the year 384.

Information taken from and

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear our prayers and grant our desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

(Prayer copied from EWTN).

Join me at 3:30 p.m. Eastern fore the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to learn about Pope Saint Damasus I and to pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena at:

If you want to listen top some great interviews, John Benko and I interviewed the original modern-day Catholic Defender, Steve Ray and we interviewed acclaimed Catholic musical artist Donna Cori Gibson. You can find those interviews at: 


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