(c. 99 – c. 216)
Feastday: October 29
Saint Narcissus was consecrated bishop of Jerusalem about the year 180.
He was already an old man, and God attested his merits by many miracles,
which were long held in memory by the Christians of Jerusalem. One Holy
Saturday in the church the faithful were in great trouble, because no oil
could be found for the lamps which were used in the Paschal feast. Saint
Narcissus bade them draw water from a neighboring well, and, praying over
it, told them to put it in the lamps. It was changed into oil, and long
after some of this oil was preserved at Jerusalem in memory of the
miracle. But the very virtue of the Saint made him enemies, and three
wretched men charged him with an atrocious crime. They confirmed their
testimony by horrible imprecations: the first prayed that he might perish
by fire, the second that he might be wasted by leprosy, the third that he
might be struck blind, if they charged their bishop falsely. The holy
bishop had long desired a life of solitude, and he withdrew secretly into
the desert, leaving the Church in peace. But God spoke for His servant,
and the bishop’s accusers suffered the penalties they had invoked. Then
Narcissus returned to Jerusalem and resumed his office. He died in
extreme old age, bishop to the last.
Reflection – God never fails those who trust in Him; He guides them
through darkness and through trials secretly and surely to their end, and
in the evening time there is light.