Saint of the Day for 20 August: St Samuel
Voice in the Silence: The Vocation and Prophecy of Saint Samuel
Judge and prophet of Israel
c. 1070 BC, Rama, Palestine
c. 950 BC, Israel
O Lord, grant that through the intercession of Saint Samuel the Prophet, humanity may return to the practice of the Christian faith for a new evangelisation of this third millennium to the praise and glory of your name and the triumph of the Church. Amen.
Commemoration of Saint Samuel, prophet, who, called by God as a child and later becoming a judge in Israel, anointed Saul king over his people by the Lord’s command; and after God had repudiated him for his unfaithfulness, he also gave the royal anointing to David, from whose lineage Christ would be born.
The Saint and Mission
Saint Samuel, one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament, had a divinely ordained mission that shaped the history of Israel. From his miraculous birth, promised to his mother Anne in answer to her fervent prayers, Samuel was destined for a special role in the history of the chosen people.
His vocation began as a boy, when God called him in the silence of the night in the temple of Shiloh. This moment marked not only the beginning of his prophetic ministry, but also symbolised God’s renewed presence among His people, at a time when ‘the word of the Lord was rare’.
Samuel not only united the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, but also served as a bridge between the period of the judges and the establishment of the monarchy. His mission was to guide, correct and, when necessary, rebuke the kings and the people, always trying to bring them into line with the divine will.
Samuel’s life teaches us the importance of fidelity to the divine mission, even in the face of challenges and adversity. His example remains a beacon of dedication, listening and service, reminding us that when God calls, He also provides the strength and wisdom to fulfil His mission.
The Saint and Mercy
Saint Samuel, as a central figure of the Old Testament, manifested God’s mercy in multiple ways. Born of a mother’s pleas for a son, Samuel became a living symbol of God’s answer to the sincere prayers of His people.
Throughout his life, Samuel was often a spokesman for divine mercy, calling the people of Israel to conversion and mediating between heaven and earth. Even when King Saul strayed from the straight path, Samuel, while rebuking the king for his actions, showed deep compassion and a desire for reconciliation.
His intercession for the people, even in times of great apostasy, reflects the very mercy of God, who is always ready to forgive and renew those who return to Him with a repentant heart.
Saint Samuel not only represents prophetic righteousness and justice, but also the tenderness and mercy of a God who ardently desires the salvation of His people. Through his life and ministry, we are reminded that, at the heart of every prophet’s mission, there is always a merciful heart that reflects the unconditional love of the Creator.
He carried out his mission in the second half of the 11th century BC, during the reign of Saul and the first years of David’s reign. The different chapters dedicated to him present him in different roles: military leader, judge, seer, priest, prophet. He is later considered intercessor of the…