Dies Domini 78: Saints

After feasts pertaining to Christ, we have the Blessed Mother, then martyrs and other saints:

78. Likewise, “in celebrating this annual cycle of the mysteries of Christ, the holy Church venerates with special love the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, united forever with the saving work of her Son”. (Sacrosanctum Concilium 103) In a similar way, by inserting into the annual cycle the commemoration of the martyrs and other saints on the occasion of their anniversaries, “the Church proclaims the Easter mystery of the saints who suffered with Christ and with him are now glorified”. (Sacrosanctum Concilium 104) When celebrated in the true spirit of the liturgy, the commemoration of the saints does not obscure the centrality of Christ, but on the contrary extols it, demonstrating as it does the power of the redemption wrought by him.

When devotion to and honor of the saints is healthy, it points to Christ, the center.

As Saint Paulinus of Nola sings, “all things pass, but the glory of the saints endures in Christ, who renews all things, while he himself remains unchanged”. (Carm. XVI, 3-4: “Omnia praetereunt, sanctorum gloria durat in Christo qui cuncta novat, dum permanet ipse“: CSEL 30, 67)

Channeling George Harrison? “Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It’s not always going to be this grey. All things must pass …” Christ’s grace arrives at the right time, which is whenever we are prepared to watch for the light in the grey.

The intrinsic relationship between the glory of the saints and that of Christ is built into the very arrangement of the Liturgical Year, and is expressed most eloquently in the fundamental and sovereign character of Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Following the seasons of the Liturgical Year in the Sunday observance which structures it from beginning to end, the ecclesial and spiritual commitment of Christians comes to be profoundly anchored in Christ, in whom believers find their reason for living and from whom they draw sustenance and inspiration.

Sunday is the anchor. Saints come to point to Christ, and to help lead the way for us. Even when the occasional saint rises to prominence on Sunday (Mary, Peter and Paul, John the Baptist, the collective Communion of Saints) it remains Sunday, only with a taste of a new flavor, where the recipe is permitted to work.


The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Dies Domini, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s