Daily Martyrology for December 4

In 749, St. John of Damascus, doctor of the church. John was born of Christian parents in Arab-controlled Damascus, and lived during the Iconoclast troubles. He was well educated, and followed his father into service at the caliph’s court. When he was in his early forties, John left court, gave his possessions away, and joined the monastery of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem. There he wrote in defense of icons, and produced many theological works, as well as hymns and poems, in the course of a long lifetime. He was very devoted to Mary.

In 1865, in Cologne, Blessed Adolf Kolping. The son of a shepherd, he went to work at a shoe factory, working twelve-hour days and studying at night. At the age of twenty-four, he earned his high school diploma. He then studied for the priesthood and was ordained when he was thirty-two. His ministry was to industrial workers and artisans who found themselves adrift in the cities. He defended their rights, encouraging and helping them to gain an education. He established what came to be known as “Kolping Families” and “Kolping Houses” which offered adult education and accommodation. Today, these are found in forty countries.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.