Universalis
Friday 20 January 2017    (other days)
Friday after the Second Sunday after Epiphany 
 or Saint Fabian, Pope, Martyr 
 or Saint Sebastian, Martyr 

Indeed, how good is the Lord: bless his holy name.

Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.

Pope St Fabian (- 250)
He became Pope in 236 and was martyred on 20 January 250, during the persecution of the Emperor Decius. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
St Sebastian
Nothing is known about St Sebastian except the fact that he was martyred early on in the persecutions of Diocletian. St Ambrose knew of him and states that he was already venerated in Milan in the fourth century. One of the seven chief churches of Rome was built over his grave in 367.
  All else (his youth, his martyrdom by arrows) is fiction, some of it dating from more than a thousand years after his death. But what we know is what we need to know. For the Christians of the fourth century the important, the true, the sufficient fact about Sebastian was that he was a martyr, and they venerated him as such. It should be enough for us as well. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
Other saints: Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi (1903 - 1964)
Nottingham, Nigeria, Southern Africa
Father Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in 1903. He was brought up by the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) and trained as a teacher and a catechist. Later he decided to join the seminary and in 1937 he was ordained a priest. In 1950 he left his Diocese in order to go to England where he joined the Cistercian Abbey of Mount St Bernard, near Nottingham. He had been singled out as the ideal candidate to be trained in England and then return to establish a Trappist Monastery in the Diocese of Onitsha in Nigeria. Fr Tansi lived the monastic life with great faith and humility. Absorbed in prayer, he was a living example of patience and charity. Early in 1964 he was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm and died two weeks later on 20 January 1964. See the article in Wikipedia.

Liturgical colour: green
The theological virtue of hope is symbolized by the colour green, just as the burning fire of love is symbolized by red. Green is the colour of growing things, and hope, like them, is always new and always fresh. Liturgically, green is the colour of Ordinary Time, the season in which we are being neither especially penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Deuteronomy 1:31 ©
The Lord carried you, as a man carries his child, all along the road you travelled.

Noon reading (Sext)Baruch 4:28-29 ©
As by your will you first strayed away from God, so now turn back and search for him ten times as hard; for as he brought down those disasters on you, so will he rescue you and give you eternal joy.

Afternoon reading (None)Wisdom 1:13-15 ©
Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living. To be – for this he created all; the world’s created things have health in them, in them no fatal poison can be found, and Hades holds no power on earth; for virtue is undying.

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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