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Saint of the Day for 25 September: St. Cleophas

The disciple who met the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus

Name

St. Cleophas

Title

Disciple of Jesus

Birth

1st century , Unknown

Death

1st century, Emmaus

Recurrence

25 September

Martyrology

2004 edition

Prayer

O God, who gave your people St Cleopas as a disciple of Jesus, with his help make us strong and persevering in the faith, to work assiduously for the unity of the Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who is God, and lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

Roman Martyrology

Commemoration of Saint Cleophas, a disciple of the Lord, whose heart burned when, while travelling with another disciple, Christ appeared to them on Easter evening and explained the Scriptures to them on the way; he was also the one who, in the village of Emmaus, recognised the Lord in the act of breaking bread.

 

The Saint and Mission

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Saint Cleopas, sometimes also called Cleopas, is a relatively minor figure in the biblical accounts, but with a significant presence in the narrative of the Emmaus experience as described in the Gospel according to Luke. It is during this journey that Cleopas, together with another disciple, encounters the Risen Christ, recognising him only at the moment when he breaks the bread. This revelation and direct experience with the risen Christ signals the important mission of witnessing that Cleophas and the other disciple would be called to undertake. Here are some reflections on the mission associated with St Cleophas:

Resurrectional Witness

St Cleophas, through the Emmaus experience, is called to a mission of witnessing the resurrection of Christ. This personal experience places him in a unique position to share the living reality of the risen Christ with others.

Communication of the Faith

St Cleophas’ mission includes the communication of the faith, a task that goes to the heart of the Christian mission. Through the narration and sharing of his experience, Cleophas helps to spread the message of hope and redemption embodied by Christ.

Recognition of the Divine in the Ordinary

St Cleophas’ encounter with Christ during an everyday situation such as sharing food emphasises the mission to recognise the divine in the ordinary, and invites others to do the same.

Spiritual Education

St Cleophas, in narrating his encounter with Christ, engages in a form of spiritual education, helping others to understand the scriptures and the reality of the resurrection.

Community Sharing

The act of breaking bread is a symbol of community and sharing. St. Cleophas, through this experience, is called to a mission of community building, promoting fraternity and unity in sharing the faith.

Encouraging Spiritual Discernment

St Cleophas’ mission also encourages spiritual discernment among the faithful, emphasising the importance of recognising Christ at work in their lives, often in subtle or unexpected ways.

St Cleophas’ mission is a valuable reminder of the power of personal witness and the ability to recognise the sacred in everyday situations, inviting deep reflection and authentic sharing of the Christian faith.

The Saint and Mercy

Saint Cleophas represents a human connector in the narrative of Christ’s resurrection, and his interaction with the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus lends itself to various reflections on mercy. Here are some thoughts on the subject:

Mercy Revealed

St Cleophas’ encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus is a manifestation of God’s mercy. God, through Christ, goes to meet Cleophas and his companion in their confusion and despair, revealing to them the truth of the resurrection.

Sharing and Welcoming

Saint Cleophas and his companion offer hospitality to Jesus, even though they do not recognise him. This act of sharing and welcoming is an expression of human mercy, reflecting divine mercy.

Enlightenment and Understanding

When Jesus explains the scriptures to Cleophas and his companion, he shows mercy in bringing enlightenment and understanding to their troubled minds. Mercy here is manifested through the illumination of truth and the resolution of doubt.

Recognition

The moment of recognition, when Jesus breaks the bread, is a moment of divine mercy. In that gesture, Jesus alleviates the anguish of Cleophas and his companion, revealing his risen identity and promising hope and redemption.

Mercy in the Witness

Confronted with the reality of the resurrection, St Cleophas is called to bear witness to God’s mercy in his community. This witness is an act of mercy, as it brings hope and renewed faith to those who hear it.

Echo of Divine Mercy

The story of St Cleophas reminds all Christians of the inexhaustible mercy of God, who reaches out to each person in their difficulties, doubts and anxieties, offering revelation, comfort and hope.

The narrative of St Cleophas’ encounter with the Risen One is interwoven with the theme of mercy, showing how divine mercy works in daily life, even in situations of doubt and despair, bringing revelation and renewed hope.

Hagiography

Saint Cleophas was a disciple of Jesus. On Resurrection Day, following the Easter celebrations, he was returning with another disciple, named Alphaeus, to the land of Emmaus. Both were accompanied to the Risen One but were only able to recognise him after offering him generous hospitality at their home.

“And, behold, on that same day two of them were on their way to a village about seven miles distant from Jerusalem, named Emmaus; one of them, named Cleophas, said to him, <We hoped that it was he who would deliver Israel; with…

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