March 27 -- St. John Damascene
In the eighth century, Emperor Leo the Isaurian had a campaign to destroy Catholic statues, the beginning of the iconoclast heresy. St. John Damascene immediately began to defend the Church against this heresy with his prolific writings. As a result, the Emperor had the saint's hand cut off.
However, Our Lady appeared to St. John and reattached his hand. St. John continued his polemics : " As for the Saints who combated for Him, I honor and venerate them, kissing their precious relics. In the Bible the sacred writer gives an account of the Incarnation of Christ.
The sculptor pictures the glory of the Church from the first Adam to the birth of Christ. The writer and artist concur on the same truth. the Church benefits from both, but you, O heretic, venerate the book and destroy the statue. What an extravagance!"
In other words, St. John points out the inconsistency of a position which wants to destroy statues but allows veneration of the Bible. A literary description is accepted but an artistic rendering is condemned.
Let us ask St. John Damascene to give us the strength to combat the errors of our time.