28 January 2020
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Venerable Gabriel of Lesnovo and St. Prochorus of Pchinja
A Slav and a friend of St Prochorus of Pchinja and St John of Rila, he lived a life of asceticism in the 10th century at Kratovo on the mountain of Lesnovo, where he built a church to the Archangel Michael. He was a wonder-worker both during his lifetime and after his death. King Dugan’s commander-in-chief, Jovan Oliver, built the present beautiful church in this place. St Gabriel entered into rest in the Lord at the end of the tenth century.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas Aquinas is one of the most famous saints of the Catholic Church. He is called a ‘Doctor of the Church.’ He was a theologian, and philosopher. His parents sent him to a monastery when he was five years old to study and learn. How quickly he learned and his great faith surprised his teachers. But when Thomas announced that he wanted to become a Dominican, his family tried to stop him. His brothers captured him and locked him up in a castle. His mother, sister and brothers kept him there for two years! Finally, they changed their minds, and at last Thomas was allowed to join the Dominicans. Even there though, he still had some trouble. Thomas was a very big man with a kind and humble manner. Because he didn’t talk very much, everyone thought he was stupid. They called him ‘the ox.’
But when they heard him preach everyone realised how wise and pious he really was. After he became a priest, Thomas studied in Paris and then taught at universities in many cities of Europe. He wrote more than 40 books and several beautiful hymns. All of his work praises God and has helped many people understand their faith better. He died on 7 March 1274, and numerous miracles proved his sanctity. He was canonised in 1323. After some discussion between the monks of the house where he died and those of his Order, his remains were transferred to the Dominican church in Toulouse. The shrine built over the spot was destroyed during the French revolution and his body was then moved to the Church of Saint Semin where it is today. A bone of his left arm is preserved in the cathedral of Naples and a bone of his right arm in Rome.