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Saint Genesius of Rome Novena
Feast Day:  August 25

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Day 1

To know who Jesus is, we must delve into eternity, to the Holy Trinity, and reflect on the Son, the Second Person, who would be incarnate as Jesus Christ.  The Nicene Creed reminds us that the Son, only begotten Son of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not made, of being with the Father, through Whom all things were made.  In the early Church, the popes and orthodox Christians found themselves in the middle of countless assaults on the person of Jesus and so time after time, and Council after Council, the doctrine of who Jesus is had to be clarified.  On this first day of our novena, we reflect on Jesus the Word, True God, the Eternal Son of God, for Whom and through Whom all things were made, for Whom and through Whom we were made.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your Divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You, and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 2

God, in His wisdom, did the unthinkable: He became man.  In the mystery of the Incarnation, which Saint John celebrates in this verse from his Prologue, the Eternal Word took flesh from the Virgin Mary, and became a human being - not the appearance of a human being, not the image, but the reality.  The encounter with Jesus Christ is an encounter with a flesh and blood man, one like us in all things except sin.  The Son of God did this to redeem us, to speak to us in our own language, to break down with his own body the barriers which we had built between us and God.  In Christ, God comes to us and seeks to look us straight in the face.  In the Incarnate one, Jesus Christ, the Lord comes to us to speak heart to heart.  The sacred humanity of Jesus Christ is more than identification; it is the revelation of God's love for us.  In the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ, God embraces us.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 3

In the Gospel of Saint John, Jesus reveals who He is through numerous images, many of them prefaced with "I Am."  I Am is the name of God, as revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:14), when Jesus used these words He was revealing to His disciples that He was God.  In images like "I am the Light of the world," the statement of divinity could be lost, but in answering the question of the guards who came to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane (cf John 18:4-6) I Am He, it is all too clear: the temple guards fall to the ground because He has uttered the Divine Name.  Jesus, God-made-Man, is the Light of the world, come to bring into the darkness and difficulties of our lives the very light of God's presence.  Jesus comes as the Bringer of hope and joy, and if we walk with Him, He will lead us into the light since He is that Light.  Coming to know Christ requires trust on our part, trust in the One who envelopes us in His light.  We must learn to trust Him as Saint Genesius came to trust Him.  At our baptism, after we received the sacrament, our baptismal candle was lit from the Paschal Candle and words "Receive the Light of Christ" prayed over us.  At that moment, Christ the Light of the World came into our lives and asked us to enter into His life.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 4

Saint Thomas the Apostle has the unfortunate reputation of being a doubter, and yet if we are honest, we would have to admit that he represents us in our struggle with faith.  The conversion of Saint Genesius and others are wondrous events, but most of us never experience such miraculous confirmations of the truths of our faith.  More often than not, Saint Thomas’s confusion resonates more with our experience.  Interestingly, as we see in the Gospel, Saint Thomas’ questions and doubts tend to lead Jesus to greater clarifications and revelations which can help us grow in faith.  As disciples of Jesus, baptised, confirmed and committed, we may ask the question: how do we live the Christian life?  What do we do?  The answer is in our relationship with Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Through prayer, reflective living of the Gospel and imitation of Him, Jesus shows us the way.  The advice He gave the disciples of Saint John the Baptist (John 1:38-39) is the advice given to all of us: how do we live as His disciples? “Come and see.”  Jesus’ invitation to relationship, to know Him, to see where He lives, is the invitation to follow Him by imitating Him, living with Him, giving ourselves to Him.  If we are looking for the way to eternal life, to discover the truth of life, then we find it in Jesus himself, in our “divine romance” with Him.  The Christian is one who lives in Christ, seeking to remain in His company while listening to his words – Jesus himself praised Saint Mary of Bethany for doing exactly that.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 5

The image of Jesus the Good Shepherd is one of gentleness and strength, of the one so devoted to his sheep that he will lay down his life for them as the hired man flees before the prowling wolves.  That image of the Good Shepherd inspires us with confidence so we can approach the Lord Jesus.  It must then lead us to allow Him to teach us.  The Good Shepherd knows His sheep, and so leads them on the right path, and gently, but firmly, brings back the strays.  Psalm 139 reminds that God knows us, knows us better than we know ourselves, and so He alone can bring us to true happiness.  Coming to know Christ Jesus, to enter into His life, we must allow Him to delve into the depths of our being and teach us; form us and re-form us according to His will.  This will be difficult and painful.  It will involve personal suffering as we must face up to the reality of our imperfections and then be stripped of them.  The gentle Shepherd Jesus will do this with great care and love.  He draws our attention to His words, “Do not be afraid” and reassures us of His love through His passion and death.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 6

One of the titles given to pope Saint John Paul II is that of "Witness of Hope."  His biographer, George Weigel, had asked the Pontiff what he would like to be remembered as, and Saint John Paul II replied, "As a witness of hope."  Hope is considered by some to be the forgotten virtue and yet it is one we need most today.  When the darkness surrounds you and the light cannot be seen, it is hope that keeps the soul fresh and at peace, reminding us that the dawn is never far off.  Though we hear so much of progress, as our society is redesigned and human nature redefined and reshaped, in reality there are many crumbling beneath the burden of despair.  Our brave new world is not a better world.  It is more brutal and despite the enthusiasm and optimism, there is a shadow moving over the hearts and souls of our people.  Though despised and persecuted, dismissed or mocked, Christianity is the only thing that can offer hope and light because it offers Christ.  His disciples are prophets of hope, who go out into the midst of the world to share the hope which sustains them.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 7

The conversion of Saint Genesius seems to have been quite like that of Saint Paul’s on the road to Damascus.  Saint Paul tells us in his writings that he saw the Risen Jesus and was commissioned as an Apostle by Him.  Saint Paul had to remind his enemies of this many times.  Saint Genesius, too, became an apostle: his experience of the Lord Jesus led him to proclaim Christ as the Lord – the living Lord, and as we have noted, his martyrdom was his greatest act of witness to Christ.  Saint Genesius’ willingness to give his life for Christ reveals his own faith in the Lord’s promise of eternal life.  In his words to Saint Martha on the death of Lazarus, Jesus proclaims that He is the Resurrection, and so, as His promise to rise from the dead is fulfilled on Easter Sunday, we see that the resurrection is not a mere event, it is a person – Jesus is the Resurrection.  How can we say this?  As He assures Martha (and us): if we believe in Him, live in Him, then we live His life, die His death and then rise to new life with Him – His new life.  To come to know Christ Jesus, is to come to know what it means to live, and not just life here and now, but life in the world to come – the life the Father has prepared for us.  This is what Saint Paul, Saint Genesius, Saint Martha, and all the saints were led to understand, and so death no longer held any fear for them.  Living in an age where many fear death, or do not believe in eternal life, as Apostles of the Risen Christ – the people living the life of Jesus in the here and now with our hearts set on the life to come, it is our duty to proclaim to the men and women of our time that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life; that there is no need to be afraid, and to invite them to come and meet Him.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 8

The greatest gift that Jesus has given us is the gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist.  When His disciples first heard his teaching on the Sacrament, many of them were shocked, some even left Him, and those who stayed did not understand Him.  The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Christ’s presence par excellence: He is truly present - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.  It is the Sacrament of union in which He comes to us, into our souls and bodies.  He is the Bread of Life because He comes to feed us with Himself: only Christ can give life to our souls and He does in Holy Communion.  In those moments, as He dwells within us, we are called to savor His presence and allow Him to transform us.  This is the most intimate union – more intimate and even closer than that of husband and wife.  In those moments, Jesus the Lover comes to us, to woo us.  In faith, may we discern his loving caresses.

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Day 9

This was the testimony of the actor, Genesius:

“I desire to receive the grace of Christ, through which I may be reborn and freed from the ruin of my iniquities.”

‘Hear, O Emperor, and all the army, wise men and peoples of this city.  Whenever I so much as heard mention of a Christian I was appalled, and I insulted those who were steadfast in that faith.  I even cursed my parents and relatives because they were Christian, and I held Christians in such scorn that I made a diligent study of their mysteries, so that I could put on a show for you based on their rites of sanctification.  But when the water touched my naked body, and when I replied to the question that I believed, I saw a hand coming over me from Heaven, and radiant angels standing above me, who read from a book all the sins which I had committed from my infancy; but then they washed them in the very water in which I was bathed in your sight, and afterwards showed it to me whiter than snow.  Now; therefore, distinguished Emperor, and all you peoples who laugh at these mysteries,  join me in believing that Christ is the true Lord, that He is Light, that He is Truth, that He is Love, and that through Him you can attain forgiveness.’

‘There is no king other than He whom I saw; I adore and worship Him; and even if I am slain a thousand times for worshiping Him, I will belong to Him, as I have now begun to be.  The torments will not be able to take Christ from my mouth, nor to take Him from my heart.  For I greatly repent of having sinned, since formerly I shuddered at the Holy Name in use among holy men, and, proud soldier that I was, I have come rather late to adore the true King.’

“Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, and we shall have life in His name!”

Holy Saint Genesius, martyr for Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, through your acting you came to discover the truth of the Christian faith.  In your first profession of that faith, you were baptized through the shedding of your blood, offering your life for the praise and glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Pray for those who dedicate their lives to the theatrical and cinematic arts.  Like you, may they find the presence of the Lord in their work and generously open their hearts in his teaching, living it in the midst of the challenges and demands of their calling.

In this novena, I remember most especially (name), commending him/her to your care.

Eternal Father, in Your love, You call all men and women to come to know You and to share in Your divine life.  Through the intercession of Your martyr, Saint Genesius, who responded so generously to the grace of conversion, grant that the same grace may be given to those who as of yet do not know You and may be renewed in those who do.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 


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