Thursday 8 October 2015    (other days)
Thursday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity
 or Saints Denis, Bishop, and his Companions, Martyrs
 or Saint John Leonardi, Priest

Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 3.

St Denis (- 258)
As might be expected for a saint of such an early period, practically no hard facts about Saint Denis survive. According to St Gregory of Tours, writing some 300 years later, Denis came to Gaul from Rome in the middle of the third century. He arrived at what is now the Ile de la Cité in Paris, where he built a church, arranged the regular celebration of Mass, and preached the Gospel. Together with two members of his clergy he was martyred near the city.
  Denis (in Latin, Dionysius) is not Dionysius the Areopagite, whom St Paul converted to Christianity, nor is he the author of the writings of the “Pseudo-Dionysius,” but both these confusions helped to popularise devotion to him from the seventh century onwards.
  Nevertheless, the real St Denis did exist, he brought the Gospel to Paris, and he was its first martyr. For these things alone devotion to him is proper and justified.
  See also the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
Saint John Leonardi (1541 - 1609)
He was born at Lucca in Tuscany. Trained initially as an apothecary, he fought hard to become a priest and was ordained in 1572. A few laymen attached themselves to him in 1574 and something began to grow that looked as if it might become a religious order. A storm of persecution erupted. It seems possible that the Republic of Lucca felt that being the birthplace of a religious order might be dangerous for the independence of the state, given the complicated international politics of the time. Whatever the reason, Leonardi spent most of the rest of his life in exile from Lucca, only occasionally obtaining permission to visit it after extreme pressure from the Pope.
  The order that he founded, now known as the Order of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, is in charge of eight churches in Italy and is also involved in missionary work. In addition, his work was taken up and extended by the Popes into the Work of the Propagation of the Faith (de propaganda fidei), of which he is therefore honoured as the founder.
  The web site of Order of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God is here. See also the article in Wikipedia, which at present is essentially a reformatting of the Catholic Encyclopaedia article.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Wisdom 19:22 ©
Lord, in every way you have made your people great and glorious. You have never disdained them, but stood by them always and everywhere.

Noon reading (Sext)Deuteronomy 4:7 ©
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?

Afternoon reading (None)Esther 10:3 ©
The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
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