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Sermon for Fabian, Bishop and Martyr – Br. David Allen

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2 Esdras 2:42-48
Mt. 10:16-22

Fabian was a young layman from a distant part of Italy visiting Rome in the year 236 (A.D.) when the election of a new Pope was being held.  In those days elections were held in the public square, and all Church members who were present   could participate.

It should not be surprising, especially in a country like Italy, and a city like Rome, that when Fabian saw the crowd assembled he joined it to see what was going on.

Just as the election process was beginning a dove flew over and landed on the head of Fabian.  This was taken as a holy sign by all who saw it.  Fabian was elected Pope by unanimous acclimation. He was then ordained for all the orders of ministry, and enthroned.

In the annals of the early Church Fabian was considered to be an exemplary Pope.  He fought courageously against heresy.  He governed the Diocese of Rome wisely. He organized the parochial system in the Diocese.  He appointed deacons to record the names of martyrs.

14 years later a new persecution was launched by Emperor Decius. Fabian was one of the first to be arrested, and he witnessed bravely for his faith.

As I reflect on the story of Bishop Fabian, which we have received through Eusebius, historian of the Early Church, I am impressed by the fact that Fabian accepted the sign that showed that he was God’s choice as the next Bishop of Rome. He did not resist it!  Having said that, I think it was the spirit of truth, and the love of God within him, that enabled him to do all that he did as he became Pope.

You also can develop the love of God within you for doing God’s will!

Give thanks for the Faith of Fabian, Bishop and Martyr whom we honor today!

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