Saint Abraham (2000 B.C.)

The great patriarch of pre-Christian times was Abraham, who lived two thousand years before the coming of Christ. He was first called Abram, which means “father”. His name was later changed by God to Abraham, which means “great father”, father of a multitude. Abraham was a type of God the Father’s generosity in sacrificing His Divine Son for our salvation. Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham agreed to do so because it was God’s request. But God stopped Abraham, and Abraham sacrificed a ram instead. Abraham’s name is mentioned in the genealogy of Our Lord, in the very first sentence of the New Testament, in the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew. Abraham’s name is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass, in the second prayer after the consecration of the Most Precious Blood. Mary, the Mother of God, uses Abraham’s name in her beautiful canticle, the “Magnificat”. Mary calls those who acknowledge her Divine Maternity and share its fruits, “the seed of Abraham forever.”  Abraham was one hundred and seventy-five years old when he died.

The Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio, in the Baroque tenebrist manner (source)

See also: Our Patriarch Abraham and the Continuity of Religion

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