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Saint Flavian of Constantinople (d.449)

for February 18

Saint Flavian was the patriarch of Constantinople around the year 446. He received harsh treatment from the imperial court when he declined to bribe Emperor Theodosius II to keep his position, and made Theodosius's sister a deaconess against the emperor's wishes. Angry with his disobedience, the emperor had Flavian removed from his position and exiled. When he tried to request assistance from Pope Leo I to regain his position, Flavian was severely beaten and died shortly afterward from his wounds. Flavian was declared a saint and a martyr by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

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“Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” . . . Then [Jesus] said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:17–21). The Pharisees questioned Jesus about paying taxes. Jesus made a good distinction by pointing to the face of the emperor on a coin. He seemed to be saying that we shouldn't confuse worldly governments with God’s kingdom. Today we may have questions about the requirements of the government versus the teachings of the Church. The Church teaches that we should follow the laws of our nation unless they come into conflict with the laws of God. Thus, some actions are not against civil law but are against Church teaching--abortion, for example. How will you respond if faced with this conflict? (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)


Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me with wisdom to know when a civil law goes against God’s law, and in those times, give me the courage to follow the laws of the Church. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)