Feast of the Bishops of Jerusalem – May 17
On May 17, the Catholic Church remembers the bishops of Jerusalem who have been recognized for their saintly lives.
The list of these bishops includes the following:
- Zacchaeus, bishop from 112 until 119, the fourth bishop of Jerusalem, who was of Jewish origin.
- Matthias, bishop until 124, eighth bishop, who was of Jewish origin.
(In fact the first fifteen bishops of Jerusalem were Jews according to Eusebius of Caesarea, the Church historian in the 4th century: “The first, then, was James, the so-called brother of the Lord; the second, Symeon; the third, Justus; the fourth, Zacchaeus; the fifth, Tobias; the sixth, Benjamin; the seventh, John; the eighth, Matthias; the ninth, Philip; the tenth, Seneca; the eleventh, Justus; the twelfth, Levi; the thirteenth, Ephres; the fourteenth, Joseph; and finally, the fifteenth, Judas (who died during the Bar Kokhba rebellion). These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them belonging to the circumcision.”)
- Mark, bishop until 156, who was the first bishop of Jerusalem who was of Gentile origin.
- Narcisius, who died as bishop in 214 and is reputed to have reached the age of 120.
- Alexander, successor of Narcisius, who died in 250, during one of the waves of persecution. He is the bishop who ordained Origen, the great Christian interpreter of the Bible.
- Zambda, elected 37th bishop in 300, who died in 302.
- Macarius, who was an ardent defender of orthodoxy at the Council of Nicea and who welcomed Empress Helena, mother of Constantine to Jerusalem in 326. He was present at the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and died in 348.
- Elijah, the first bishop of Arab origin, who spent time as a monk in Egypt. He was named Patriarch of Jerusalem. Exiled at the end of his life, he died in 518.
- Modestus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, who restored the Holy Sepulcher after the Persian invasion of 614, He died in 630.
Saintly bishops, pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
Vicariate of the Latin Patriarchate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics