St. Zeno of Verona
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Zeno of Verona (300-371 A.D.) was either an early Christian Bishop of Verona or a martyr. Ambrose, in a letter written ca. 380, refers to him as the “recently deceased bishop of Verona” and the city of Verona’s tradition lists Zeno as it’s eighth bishop. According to a Veronese author named Coronato, a notary of the 7th century, Zeno was a native of Mauretania in northern Africa. Zeno’s sermons have been gathered into two collections, which became very popular during the Middle Ages. They treat a wide variety of subjects including exegesis, morality, sacramental theology, and liturgical practices.
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Quotes and Excerpts:
-WORSHIP IN THE EARLY CHURCH. An Anthology of Historical Sources Volumes 1-4
Lawrence J. Johnson A PUEBLO BOOK Liturgical Press Collegeville, Minnesota
51-A-1. SERMON I. 24. AFTER BAPTISM
1. “After the delightful vigils of the night, the night that shines brightly due to its own sun, and after the life-giving bath that you took in the font from which honey flows forth, you have been led to the hope of immortal life. Upon coming out of the water, you, being of various ages and coming from diverse countries, suddenly seemed to be brothers and sisters sharing the same blood, as if all of you were twins to one another. [..]
51-A-2. SERMON I. 32. INVITATION TO THE FONT
Brothers and sisters in Christ, rejoice and eagerly hasten to receive the heavenly gifts. The eternal font that gives birth to new life already invites you by its saving warmth. Our mother is anxious to bring you into the world but not according to the ordinary rules of childbirth. [..] Your heavenly mother begets you with happiness, abundant joy, and willingly.
She brings you forth free from the bonds of sin. You will be nourished not in foul-smelling cradles but at the aromatic railing of the holy altar.
51-A-3. SERMON I. 38. TO THE NEOPHYTES. ON THE TWELVE SIGNS
1. People of heaven, first fruits of Christ, rejoice. Always be vigilant. Take care not to stain in any way the brightness of your illustrious spiritual birth which took place today. What happened on this day cannot be repeated. Behold the boys, the adolescents, the young men, the old men, both males and females. You were guilty.
You were soiled by this world’s impure birth. But now, freed from all sin, you are innocent children. What is especially wonderful and pleasing is that suddenly, in an instant, you, being of various ages, attained the same age.
51-A-4. SERMON I. 49. INVITATION TO THE FONT
Brothers and sisters, enter the heavenly gates as quickly as possible. Do not believe that those who go down into this eternal pool produce eternal grace by their personal merits. Here it is that you decide to be reborn. You know that your nobility of soul is measured by the greatness of your faith. Be firm and faithful in laying aside the old self with its odoriferous garments. You will soon go forth as newly born, clothed in white, filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
51-A-5. SERMON I. 55. TO THE NEOPHYTESt
Why are you waiting? Although birth, age, sex, and profession differentiate you, nonetheless, you will soon be one body. All of you, hasten to the sweet womb of your virgin mother. There you will be ennobled because of your faith. The greater your faith, the greater your happiness. It is a wonderful, holy, and truly divine birth where the mother does not suffer the pains of childbirth. The person born again knows no tears. Here is renewal, resurrection, and life eternal. Here is the mother of us all who gathers us from every race and nation, who brings us together to form us into one body.
51-A-6. SERMON II. 6. ON BUILDING THE HOUSE OF GOD’
[…] Just as pagan temples are fitting for the unfeeling idols, so living temples are required by the living God. [.] An incomparable glory, one truly worthy of God, is the fact that all–namely, the priest and the temple- turn to God with one accord and devotion as all pray for one another. And so, my brothers and sisters, rejoice.
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