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St. Damasus I

Pope, Confessor

December 11

Damasus the Spaniard was a man of great eminence, learned in the Sacred Scriptures. He called the first Council of Constantinople, in which he abolished the evil heresy of Eunomius and Macedonius. He repeated the condemnation, already pronounced by Liberius, of the council of Rimini. A proclamation of that council, chiefly due, as St. Jerome writes, to the intrigues of Valens and Ursacius, had condemned the faith of Nicea. Damasus built two basilicas: one dedicated to St. Lawrence near the theater of Pompey, the other on the Ardeatine Way at the Catacombs.

He decreed that, as was already the custom in many places, psalms should be sung day and night in all churches by alternate choirs, and that at the end of each psalm should be repeated, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.” It was at his command that St. Jerome revised the translation of the New Testament to make it faithful to the Greek text. He discovered many bodies of Holy Martyrs and celebrated their memory in verses.

When he was nearly eighty years old and famous for his virtue, learning and prudence, he fell asleep in the Lord, during the reign of Theodosius the Great.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1671-1672.

Related Link:

Epistle and Gospel for December 11