Today is the feast day of saint Fabian. Yes, I was thinking of Fabio, but this is saint Fabian.
According to Eusebius, Fabian was a layman, a farmer by trade, who came to visit Rome on the death of Pope Anterus. It was decided to make him the pope when, during the election, a dove flew through an open window and landed on his head. Those who saw it were reminded of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at His baptism and took it to be God making His choice known.
Cantalamesa in his book, ‘Come Creator Spirit’ writes, “Once on a Pentecost Sunday Saint Teresa of Avila experienced an ecstasy: she saw a dove come down and rest on her head, its wings like flakes of mother-of-pearl glowing brightly. But far from upsetting her, as such visions often do, she writes that her spirit’ was filled with great peace and began to rejoice in sweetness and quiet”
Tertullian writes, “After the flood, which was a kind of baptism of the whole world, washing it clean of the old human wickedness, the dove was sent out from the Ark and it returned with an olive twig. So it was that the dove became the messenger bearing tiding if peace and of the end if God’s anger: a symbol of peace, this, that in time became familiar to all the nations. With the same purpose at heart, but in a spiritual sense, the dove of the Holy Spirit, sent out from heaven upon the Church, prefigured in the Ark, rest now upon each one who comes up out of the baptismal flood in which all the sins of the past have been left behind, bringing back God’s peace.”
Prayer: Let me hear these words from the Song of Songs today spoken to my heart
“Behold, you are beautiful my love, Behold you are beautiful; your eyes are like doves. Behold you are beautiful, my beloved.” (Song 2:13-14)