“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2″9-10
We are living in the age of grace and God has given us free will. We are given a choice to follow and serve the Lord. Joshua once exclaimed, “And if you be unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
Lent is a time of renewal, a new beginning, we are reminded of our need to fill our hearts with the Lord’s life within us. We who believe have been ransomed by the Lord, St. John writes, “And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.”
The promise has been made, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…” This is the basis and foundation of our Catholic Faith, this is the hope of all the world. At the end of this age, Jesus will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
St. Paul writes, “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14
To bring a historical look into the future, St. John wrote down this prophecy, “And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” Revelation 21:5-7
Today lies a mystery rich in history, yet in wonder of the Man of Faith who is entombed in the Church of St. Blaise in Croatia, Dubrovnik. I ask myself, what is the connection between St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr and this young man whose witness to the world is through his own martyrdom. He is remembered as St. Silvan.
Was St. Silvan an early disciple who loved the heroism and story of Bishop Blaise (d 316 A.D.)? It would appear that St. Silvan was martyred in 350 A.D. in Rome. He was a Roman by birth at a time when there were turbulent times in Rome. At the time Pope Julius I was combating the Arian heresy, going by tradition, December 25th was declared the actual day of the Lord’s birth, so who martyred this young man?
Was St. Silvan martyred by barbarians? History records that in 350 A.D., Barbarians made the first of their invasions into Rome. Between the years 350 and 400 Christianity was the religion of only a handful of Goths, Paganism still held greater importance to the barbarian. Also the Arian heresy influenced what little Christianity has among the barbarians.
St. Silvan apparently fell by the sword of the barbarian in Rome. It is clear that St. Silvan’s neck was cut by a sword, which was the cause of his martyrdom. Embroidered on his chest is a cross which seems to indicate he was a Catholic priest.
Just taking a look at the times that St. Silvan lived, it would seem that he was raised Catholic. The Edict of Milan given by Constantine gave the Church freedom in 313 A.D. So, it is possible that St. Silvan was raised in a Christian household.
St. Paul had written to the Colossians, “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
The Incorruptables of the Saints are a sign that points to the truth of the Lord’s own Resurrection, Mother Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, and the reuniting of the glorified risen body with the soul at the Parousia.
We might not know much from the life of St. Silvan, but there is much to say about his death. St. Paul writes, “But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” Romans 6:8
At an early point in time, the body of St. Silvan was moved from Rome to Croatia to where he now is entombed as a sign and witness to the Resurrection of the Body. For 1600 years, the body of St. Silvan has remained incorrupt. The Body could have been moved originally to safeguard this wondrous sign of the Lord from the impending storms coming to Rome. It is not uncommon for the faithful to move relics for the purpose of preserving them.
The Season of Lent is a season of new beginnings, a season of renewal, a season of growth. Let us seek out the Lord where He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 states, “Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near…”
Behold me, my beloved Jesus, weighed down under the burden of my trials and sufferings, I cast myself at Your feet, that You may renew my strength and my courage, while I rest here in Your Presence. Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred Heart, for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me; only Your love can help me bear my cross; only Your powerful hand can lighten its weight. O Divine King, Jesus, whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted, I wish to live in You; suffer and die in You. During my life be to me my model and my support; At the hour of my death, be my hope and my refuge. Amen.