Mario da Mercato Saraceno: Lenten Sermon

First Sunday in Lent on the Gospel of Matthew 4:1-11

Translated by Patrick Colbourne OFM Cap

Translator’s note: This translation is based on the introduction, text and footnotes which were published by P. Costanzo Cargnoni O.F.M. Cap. in I Frati Cappuccini: Documenti e testimonianze dell primo secolo, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, vol III/1, pp.2321-2335. The only additions to the notes made by the translator are references to Francis of Assisi: The Early Documents, edited by Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., J. A. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M. and William J. Short O.F.M. Conv., New York City Press, New York, London, Manila, for an English version of quotations from the Writings or Biographies of St Francis.

Introduction by Costanzo Cargnoni OFM Cap

The Capuchin preachers planned their repertory of sermons with great care, beginning to collect material while they were still studying. Above all such a collection had to include a Lenten Course, a “tour de force” of Catholic preaching which, as it was based on Sacred Scripture, became the indispensable companion of the apostolic itinerary of the preacher. Today it is a piece of luck to discover these Lenten manuscripts, but when they are discovered, they open many interesting possibilities to reconstructing the spirit of these sermons as well as their style and content. This is the case with the Lenten course by Mario Fabiani da Mercato Saraceno, a person who appears frequently and who is most well known as the ancient chronicler of the Capuchin Reform. The codex carries the date 1563, but it is probable, as C. Urbanelli noted, that the collection of sermons was begun some years before that in 1553, from the time that Eusebio d’Ancona, Vicar General of the Capuchins, promised the city of Tolentino to send Fabiano in that year as their Lenten preacher.

We have taken two examples of sermons from this manuscript. This is something more than a discourse that is set out in the contemporary style of the official, technical format of preaching. In fact the tone of these sermons resembles a simple conversation of a homiletic nature based on a text taken from Sacred Scripture with the addition of reflections and practical applications supplementing the exegesis with admonitions and moral teachings according to the norms of the Franciscan Rule and the Capuchin Constitutions. The principal source always remains Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospel. On occasion some quotes from the Fathers of the Church are added sparingly. This simple manner of speaking suits the needs of the Christian people. Because it is full of energy and fervour it fits in nicely with the renewal of preaching as the fundamental duty of the Church.

One characteristic feature that frequently appears in Capuchin authors is that of bringing the sermon to an end with a conversation with God or with Jesus in acclamation or prayer as if the preacher had put the sermon together like a mental prayer that became an ardent, emotional prayer.

The first Sunday in lent, on the Gospel.[1]

5828 When I recall how whenever the great captain Jephthah had to go into battle against the wicked King of the Ammonites he made a most solemn vow to God that if he were victorious over the enemy he would sacrifice the first person that he encountered outside his house. When he returned victorious and happy there stood his beloved only daughter and she happily presented herself to him. Having heard from her father that he had won victory and what was the offering that he owed to God she lovingly accepted that she had to carry out what her father wanted.[2]

When I think (I say) of what happened and of the victim, I think of the valiant Jephthah, Christ, who is entering into a duel with the prince of the abyss in order to bring peace back to his people. In order to more easily achieve the desired victory he proposed offering his divine flesh, the most beautiful, the most pure and gentle spoils ever to come from the eternal mind, to be placed on the cross. This made us the most glorious victors possible. Together with him we are the most loving combatants of our adversary, as, in today’s Gospel, he teaches us to conquer in the same way that he became the victor. Therefore let us speak about this battle and victory. Listen to me etc.

5829 Amongst all the other Gospels and divine stories which kind and sweet mother Church has laid out before us for our own good, the one we have read today, which speaks about the battle that took place between her divine spouse and the dragon from the abyss, this is one of the more useful and profitable stories that we might read. In reading we learn to stand up to the attacks of our enemy and not to suddenly fall down on the ground and give him victory and let him win and take advantage of us. This morning’s gospel teaching shows us the way to fight. It teaches us the blows to use, the tactics, shows us what to expect, shows us what weapons to carry. It gives us courage, promises us victory and shows us not to rely on ourselves when we have to stand before a ferocious, angry and deceitful enemy who is always armed with treachery and betrayal. On the other hand, it gives us great hope of victory when we recognise that our heavenly captain conquered him completely and reduced him to shame. We might then believe that it would be easy if we were armed with that glorious name to conquer him as he was conquered in today’s gospel when the blessed spirit led him into the desert to do just that. St Matthew says: Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempered by the devil. [3]

5830 When did our valiant Lord go into the desert to engage in battle? Immediately after he was baptised, when the dove had come over him, which everyone saw as a sign of his Father giving witness. Following his example, we too, after we have been healed by Baptism, strengthened by Confirmation, sent on the journey by heavenly discipline and instructed in the divine word of God, ought to make every effort to never return to the enemy so as not to incur both damage and shame, all the more since we have such a trustworthy guide in Jesus Christ, who was represented by the Angel who was mentioned in chapter eleven of the Second Book of Machabees. He appeared going before them in white clothing, with golden armour, shaking a spear. [4] Our Christ was white with innocence, armed with the golden armour of charity, with the spear of Sacred Scripture in his hand, that he used today to overcome the enemy whom he went to meet when moved by the Holy Spirit, who filled him, as John says: We saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.[5]

Behold Christ going to the desert to be tempted by the devil. Why? He did this in order to conquer him. The devil is often called a lion or a dragon because he always attacks us out of pride or envy. However, this shrewd and poisonous dragon, this ferocious and cruel lion-dragon was conquered by the lion of the tribe of Judah and by the image of the bronze serpent which Moses set up in the desert. Thou shalt trample underfoot the lion and the dragon.[6] This is what the prophet said when he spoke in this way to indentify the heavenly captain who won victory for us.

5831 Let us come to the actual temptation and the battle. How did the opportunity arise for the devil to do battle with him? Did the enemy want to make sure whether he was the Messiah or not? He would have had certain indications that he was the Messiah from his birth and childhood, as well as being able to assess this from the sanctity he displayed and that he had done nothing wrong. He was trying to find this out by getting to know him and when he had satisfied himself that he was the Messiah he would never have been able to bring about his death, but would have been prevented in a thousand ways or the human race would never have been redeemed.

On the other hand, if he had found out that he was not the Messiah he would have wanted to use every means to try to make him fall into his grasp or to persecute him as he always has done and does every hour with those whom he knows to be lovers of God. When he saw Christ fasting and becoming hungry he thought that this was his chance to tempt him and he began to believe that he was dealing with just another man. However, when he saw him fasting without becoming hungry (as Chrysostom says)[7] it made him think that he was the Messiah and this was a divine not a human phenomenon. Fasting and hunger are natural things to be endured with patience. However to fast without becoming hungry is (as I have said) not human but divine. The Gospel indicates that he was hungry after he had fasted and not before when it states: When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry.[8] Thus the hunger came after he had fasted and not before.

5832 It has been stated that Moses went without eating for a period of time. However, during that time he received consolation from speaking with God.[9] It was also stated that Elias observed a long period of fasting and was fed with food supplied by an angel.[10] If these two fasted for so long, one being given a piece of baked bread by an angel, and the other fasted for so long while talking to the Lord, how much more would the human Son of God, who had the power to feel hunger or not feel hunger, and the power to die or not to die, fast? I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it up again.[11]

Having been impressed by this holy fast, the wicked serpent approaches him and putting on an outward show of mercy and compassion, he pretends to make a reasonable suggestion while at the same time indicating the ease with which Christ could perform such things. Presenting them in a human manner as hypocrites would do, he says: If you are the Son of God, command these stones be made bread.[12] It is thus (as I have suggested) that he proposes something that is as easy as if to say: “As you are the one who created everything, the one from the beginning who made the earth and many signs in heaven, transforming one being into very many other creatures, the one who made a flood of water gush out of a very hard rock in the desert, you could now quite easily make bread out of this rock.”

5833 What he was suggesting was something useful, since what could be more useful to someone who is hungry than to provide him with bread? Break your bread for the hungry,[13] the prophet said when he was explaining the kind of charity that God wants a person to show towards someone who is hungry. It was something that appeared to be reasonable. It would just satisfy him, not offering anything special or delicacies, but simply offering bread. When we consider this proposition we can see that we ought to stay clear of what the flesh desires. Chapter eighteen of the book of Ecclesiasticus says: Go not after your lusts, but turn away from your own will.[14] However, what he meant was very bad and wicked as was his objective. He wanted to know if he was the Messiah or not so that he would be able to put a stop to the redemption of the human race.

See how when they meet the powerful cavalier draws his sword first and strikes the first blow. He takes the divine arrows in his hand to strike the adversary and put him on the ground. Behold the giant enemy hit with a stone by young David. For it is written (Jesus says), Not on bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.[15] (My very dearly beloved)! Two things are joined within us, matter and form, flesh and spirit, body and soul. Each has its own food: for one it is bread, for the other the word of God. The first maintains the life that God has given, just as the second lives on God’s word. This bears fruit and confers on us divine grace which is its soul, its life, its sustenance and its nourishment.

5834 The tempter comes and simply talks about food and the body thinking that he has caught Christ in a trap. Jesus replies and talks about what pertains to the soul which is more delicate and sweeter than the other, indicating that to maintain both of them in his life he needs more than bread because he needs food from heaven and the word of God. (As I have said), believing in this and observing what it says is the principal way that God (who is the primary efficient cause of everything) confers his holy grace on us. O what a beautiful lesson our Christ gives us today! We ought to listen to this and try to profit from this very mild food that never fails. This is what builds up the soul and makes it beautiful and pleasing to God. By means of this food we acquire his grace and dwell in his friendship.

Oh, what shall I say today about wicked worldly people, and about the many epicureans and effeminate people? They are only worried about feeding the flesh, whose god is their belly, (as Paul said of them), and whose glory is their shame, who mind earthly things.[16] They do not hear the same Apostle saying: the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but justice and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.[17] O wicked world, not satisfied to gain what is necessary for the body to survive, but which wants to acquire wealth, to gain praise, to accumulate treasures every day! Unfortunate sinners offend God a thousand times in an hour and subject themselves to the devil, doing whatever he wants, paying little attention to the word of God. My most dearly beloved, nothing that is essential, I did not say interesting, or the object of greed or is spectacular, I said nothing that is essential has the capacity to rob you of the word of God, or the cheek to make you a servant of the devil or make you obey him. If what is a necessity cannot do this to you, how can what amounts to nothing do it to you?

5835 O my people remember the great kindness of your Lord who nourished so many of his enemies. O how much more will he help you if you serve him! He is generous to so many irrational animals who were created for your benefit and who do not go on living after they die, becoming nothing and passing out of existence. How much more generous will he be with you who were created for him. His is the reason for your existence. After your bodily death you will live as a beautiful image of him becoming a most noble creature.

Heed his words, obey him, place your trust in him who said: seek first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things will be added to you.[18] Do not live to regret having taken the roads that they tread if you want to conquer the devil. What roads? What weapons? How should you behave and keep going? Undertake holy fasting. Did you not hear: when he had finished forty days etc?[19] Do you not know that a man who fasts kills the serpent? Do you not know that a bird who is fasting can fly better and escape from his rapacious enemy? Do you not know that a ship that is light can protect itself better when in danger and hasten more safely to port? If you wish to conquer the serpent from hell do not take up guzzling, but fasting. If you want to escape from the tricks of his deception do not be preoccupied with worldly matters, but with virtue. If we want to cope with the tempestuous sea and reach port let us leave aside the desires of the flesh and the beckoning of the world and take the more beautiful road and fast along with Christ so that, being assisted by his grace and armed with his word, we may yet conquer our enemies as he conquered Satan today not only in that temptation but also in others that will come etc.

Second part

5836 One who is proud and too puffed up, who even boasts about not being humble of heart, and is convinced of this, cannot free himself from this obstinate opinion. If he is overcome by a superior force, he does not want to believe it and becomes more enraged. Behold the most proud lion of hell, who never wished to recognise or listen to reason, refused to become humble or practice any virtue, when the immaculate Angel had won, he became more audacious in making another assault to try to get his way and engage in a second battle.

Then the devil took him up into the holy city.[20] He took him to Jerusalem, which is the city of peace, the holy city, the city of the Most High. It was known as the peaceful city because the God of peace reigned there; the holy city because the temple was there, the holy of holies, the sacrifices to his Majesty were offered there; in the end the cross was there which was the greatest sacrifice of all. It was the city of the Most High because this is the place where God came to live amongst mankind. Today the infernal beast is allowed to bring him and place him on top of the temple: and set him up on the pinnacle of the temple.[21] However, the Saviour used his power well. Without the devil knowing he made himself invisible so that he could be observed by human eyes while his enemy struggled in his wickedness and tried to carry him to that place.

5837 My listener, do not be overcome with wonder at hearing that your Lord and God allowed himself to be carried by the devil. He did more than this for your salvation. The devil dared to carry him and he allowed himself to be carried. However, the Jews, who were the limbs of the devil, did a lot worse to him. They persecuted him, bound him, mocked him, flogged him, and he allowed them to do it. The devil placed him on the pinnacle of the temple; the Jews placed him on the cross. The devil said to him: If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down,[22] as if to say: “if you are God come from the heights of heaven to the earth below, how much effort would it take to cast yourself down? You ought to do this in order to show who you are.” He wanted him to throw himself down from that height either to know who he really was or to kill him. The Jews took him and there was a reason why he came down from the cross into the tomb. Indeed he wanted to go down even further to penetrate the abyss to release those who belonged to him and he only did this to make us believe in him. Thus just as he wanted to die for our salvation, he wanted to be tempted, and to win, so that we might learn how to win and trust him. This is why Paul said: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to have compassion on our infirmities, but one tempted in all things as we are, without sinning.[23]

Then having placed him there, in order to slightly conceal his intention, the devil added: For it is written: that he has given angels charge over you, and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.[24] This is as if to say: “Do not be afraid to throw yourself down since you know very well that it is written about you; that the angel will be always ready to save you. Now throw yourself down and they will help you not only protecting just your head from being harmed, but your other limbs including even your feet.”

5838 O how the very wicked heretics, who are accessories of the devil, twist the facts! When they want to deceive, they still quote something from Sacred Scripture, changing it to suit their depraved ideas. Look at Arius, in order to prove that the eternal Word was not equal to the Father, he quoted what Christ said: the Father is greater than I.[25] He did not want to understand the part that indicated equality: I and the Father are one.[26] The very evil Vigilantius dares to spread poison against Mary Ever Virgin by quoting: He had no marital relations with her until she bore a son.[27] He did not want to listen to the Church which says: She was a virgin before the birth, during the birth and after the birth.[28] He did not want to understand what was said in chapter 44 of the prophet Ezekiel who used the symbol of the closed gate to represent Mary’s permanent virginity when he said: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel has entered by it, and it shall be shut.[29] This is what Cherthus, Appinaris, Pellagius and other satanic people did. The German dragon, Martin, denied human works and made others beasts by proposing faith alone. He claimed that Christ said: your faith has made you whole.[30] He failed to say that Christ also said: if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.[31] This is what the devil does today. His angels … etc.[32]

However, what did the kind Lord do? He did not become angry, or upset, but with his accustomed composure and prudence he took another arrow of the law and struck the guilty one, quoting what David said: You have made me wiser than my enemies.[33] It is written: For it is written: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.[34] A person tempts God when he wants to unnecessarily question God, and God’s majesty does not want this.

How many there are who tempt God, pretending to do penance every day, to be sorry for their sins, to abandon doing what is evil! When they could be converted to the Lord, they do not want to do what is required. They want to continue doing what is comfortable but are exhausted with age and when their breath expires they think that they will be saved like the thief on the cross. How many there are who quote this example! Remember, O wicked sensual person, if one of the thieves on the crosses was saved, the other went to hell. Remember whereas Manasseh cried and was forgiven, Zedekiah did not do penance. Remember that if Nebuchadnezzar was sorry and was forgiven, Pharaoh remained hard and his body was buried in water and his soul in the abyss.[35] Embrace discipline (said the prophet) lest you depart from the just way![36]

5839 Let us return to the two combatants. After having been defeated once again the one who lives in darkness launched another attack on the Redeemed of the universe. However, the more he tried and committed himself to being in command the more frightened he became, because, to tell the truth, the one he had engaged in battle possessed infinite strength. At first he had used the weapon of hunger and it was snatched out of his hand. He then took up the weapon of vainglory, and it was torn apart. Then he took up the weapon of greed. These are the three main weapons that our enemy uses. O how often he presents these kinds of propositions to the many rascals that follow him! O, my very dear people, how watchful we have to be so that he does not capture us with these or other weapons so that he does not fight us and kill us! Whoever sees his blows will win the victory.

This is the kind of watchfulness that John is referring to in chapter 16 of the Apocalypse: Blessed is the one who stays awake and is clothed.[37] Let us always have the eyes of our heart fixed on our God, who is the defender of our life, and never fear that he will desert us. David said: My eyes are ever towards the Lord.[38] See how he overcomes the rascal for us and takes away the third weapon that he intended to use to attack us. What does the rascal do? What does the rascal say? Now listen: Again the devil took him etc and showed him all the kingdoms of the world.[39] When he said this he showed him the main places, the main realms and kingdoms in the east and the west, the north and the south. He told him about the principal towns, the belligerent people, the precious stones, the gold and the wealth that they possessed and then the enemy concluded: All of these will I give you ext.[40] O wicked liar! They did not belong to you, because the earth is the Lord’s etc.[41] It was not up to him to give them, but up to him who said: Ask of me etc.[42] Then all will be yours etc. O how many are deceived by these words. To some he promises pleasure, to others wealth, to other honours or other things according to what each one likes, in order to make them fall into his clutches! O, how many there who are caught and how many lured! Many falling down adore him.[43]

5840 Whoever loves these earthly things beyond what is reasonable is given over to sensuality at the service of the senses. O how he loves the devil and what the devil wants! What became of Absalom who fell into the clutches of pride and became a victim? He turned to rapes, fratricides and persecuting his father, wanting to take over the kingdom, to despising God and finally was hanged and died going down to hell, joining the one he had accepted as his guide.[44] Beware you who desire wealth, seek honours, have ambitions, want status; beware, I say again, that you do not go to suffer with Satan. Say, say with David: Shall not my soul be subject to God?[45] Say, say with Paul: the king of the ages immortal etc.[46] Say, say with the prophet: I will be satisfied with your glory.[47] Say, say what Christ said to the cursed dragon and infernal uncouth rogue: Away with you Satan, for it is written. The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.[48] See, our Saviour is showing that he recognises him, whereas the devil still does not recognise him. As we can see when the devil has been identified, the dog Cerbaro stops barking and runs away to the realm of the dead. He can no longer stand in front of the prince of life, to whom the angels come as he is their creator and joy, and they minister to him.[49] He is the one concerning whom both the prophet and Paul said: He who makes your angels spirits, and your ministers a burning flame.[50]

3841 I told you at the beginning that this Gospel was one of the most useful that you could read because it made you aware of the tricks of the devil so that you could learn how to combat them, what tactics to use and what weapons we could use against the devil when he attacks; namely the Scriptures. What is more, it enables us to see how when Christ came to earth he allowed himself to be tempted, how (as I have said) he defeated our death to give us life by means of his death, how by being tempted he gave us victory when we are tempted, as St Paul says: Thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.[51]

Thus as we have seen Christ being tempted and enjoying victory, let us no fall through weakness when we are tempted, afflicted or badly treated in a thousand ways, which will all pass away in the long run and we will win with the help of Jesus. Let us not be surprised if God permits us to be afflicted when the evil spirits often attack us. Our merciful God allows everything for our own good and it will turn out to be our glory.

My most beloved, how profitable temptations are for those who are committed to God and who wants to come to him. Temptation keeps us humble just as it did Peter, who being proud trusted in himself.[52] It makes us praiseworthy and deserving of respect, as it did to Job.[53] It will make us perfect in the way of the Lord, as it did to Abraham.[54] It will make us praise and thank the King of heaven as did Tobias.[55] It will teach us how to fight, as it did Paul.[56] It will make us shame and stun the devils as did Anthony.[57] It will be our crown in heaven and our glory as it seems that it has done for all of God’s friends. Thus James says: Blessed is the man that endures temptation, for when he has been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which God has promised to them who love him.[58] So what should we do when we are tempted? Implement the remedies that our victorious captain taught us this morning.

5842 The remedies consist of our prayers: Watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation.[59] The remedies consist in having faith in Christ: If enemies in camp stand together against me, my heart shall not fear.[60] The remedies consist of the Sacred Scriptures, the word of our Lord. These are the weapons of faith that Paul says: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish the fiery darts of the wicked one.[61] Then let us always take up these weapons and having armed ourselves with virtue let us advance against the enemy. Let us stay away from him and he will not harm us. St James says: Resist the devil and he will fly from you.[62] Let us repeat what our Jesus said: “Go Satan, messenger of death, poisonous snake, bearer of eternal poison, most deadly dragon.” For it is written: the Lord your God etc. shall you serve.[63] I want to adore my God who created me, who preserved me in the existence that he gave me, who watched over me together with all his creatures and who enriched me with so many gifts and favours.

I want to serve my Christ, who not only became man for me, but who in the end gave his life for me willing to mount the cross, to be nailed, crowned with thorns, wounded, given vinegar, having his side and his heart opened and to surrender his own life. So I want to adore and serve him always with lively faith, firm hope and ardent charity. Thus I will become the victor and serve you together with the angels.

5843 I beg of you, sweet, merciful Lord, to be generous with your holy grace so that we may remain victorious over the dragon that you conquered today. Lord, you well know how cruel he is and how dangerous our battle is and how many methods and ways he uses to attack. Oh how can one oppose his deceit! Therefore we need your grace in order to overcome his cursed tricks. You know that in order to hurt us he often makes use of our afflictions and tires us down at times with food, with pleasure, with making us become angry, at other times with evil desires, transitory pleasures, illicit thoughts, and profane words, often us inciting to do very unworthy deeds. So you, who are our God, destroy this enemy and grant us the grace to overcome him and having achieved this to fully carry out your will in becoming your good servants. When we have become like this, after this life, let us reign with you and give you glory forever. Amen.


  1. The Gospel is Mt 4: 1-11 If we look at the date that was written on the manuscript, which was 1536 the date would have been 28 February.
  2. Jud 11: 29-40.
  3. Mt 4: 1.
  4. 2 Mach 11: 8.
  5. Jn 1: 14
  6. Ps 90: 13
  7. Cf. Ioannes Chrysostomia, In Mt. hom, 13, nn. 1-2 (PG 37, 207-210).
  8. Mt 4: 2
  9. Ex 24: 18
  10. 3 Kgs 19: 4-8
  11. Jn 10: 18
  12. Mt 4: 3
  13. Is 58: 7
  14. Eccl 18:30
  15. Mt 4: 4
  16. Phil 3: 19
  17. Rom 14: 17
  18. Mt 6: 33
  19. Cf note 8
  20. Mt 4: 5a
  21. Mt 4: 5b
  22. Mt 4: 6
  23. Heb 4: 15
  24. Cf note 22
  25. Jn 14: 28
  26. Jn 10: 30
  27. Mt 1: 25
  28. A phrase from the Liturgy.
  29. Ez 44: 2
  30. Mt 9: 22
  31. Mt 19: 17
  32. Cf note 22
  33. Ps 118: 98
  34. Mt 4: 7
  35. Cf 2 Chron 33: 11-18 (Manessah); 2 Kgs 25: 2-7 (Zedekiah); Ex 10: 1-11 (Pharaoh); Dan 4:25-34 (Nebuchadnezzar).
  36. Ps 2: 12
  37. Rev 16: 15
  38. Ps 24: 15
  39. Mt 4: 8
  40. Mt 4: 9
  41. Ps 23: 1
  42. Ps 2: 8
  43. See note 40.
  44. 2 Sam 18: 9-18
  45. Ps 61: 2
  46. 1Tim 1: 17
  47. Ps 16: 15
  48. Mt 4: 10
  49. Mt 4: 11
  50. Ps 103: 4; Heb 1: 7
  51. 1 Cor 15: 57
  52. Mt 14: 29-31
  53. Job 42: 1-6
  54. Gen 17: 1-8
  55. Tob 13: 1-13
  56. 2 Tim 2:5; 4: 7
  57. Cf St Athanasius, Vita S Antonii, nn. 5-6, 8-10 (PL 26, 846-851, 854-859)
  58. Jam 1: 12
  59. Mt 26: 41
  60. Ps 26: 3
  61. Eph 6: 16
  62. Jam 4: 7
  63. Cf note 48