The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Red.
St. Alphege became a monk at Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, about 970, and eventually Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Winchester where he was known for his personal austerity and almsgiving. The king sent him to parley with the Danish raider Anlaf, and this he did with such success that Anlaf never raided England again.
In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. The Danes were raiding once more and in 1011 they besieged Canterbury and captured it. Alphege was imprisoned and an enormous ransom was asked for his release, which he forbade to be paid. On 19 April 1012, at Greenwich, his captors, drunk with wine, and enraged at ransom being refused, pelted him with bones of oxen and stones, till one of them, called Thurm, dispatched him with an axe. He was buried in St. Paul’s and by his death he became a national hero.
As an act of reconciliation Canute in 1023 translated the body to Canterbury where it was buried near the high altar. Later Lanfranc confirmed the cult, and had a Life and Office written in his honour, and Thomas Becket just before his death commended his cause to God and Alphege.
|Other saints: St Henry Walpole (1558 - 1595)|
19 Apr (where celebrated)
He was born in Norfolk and was educated at Cambridge University, after which he studied law at Gray’s Inn. On 1 December 1581 he was present at the execution of St Edmund Campion: he was so close that his white doublet was stained with the martyr’s blood. He was converted to Catholicism by the incident, and left England to become a priest and a Jesuit in Europe. He was sent back to England with the Jesuit mission of 1590, but was arrested on his arrival. He was imprisoned at York, then sent to London, where he was severely tortured in the Tower of London. Eventually, in 1595, he was sent back to York for trial and was executed there on 7 April 1595.
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Corinthians 12:13 ©|
In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Titus 3:5,7 ©|
God saved us by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Colossians 1:12-14) ©|
We thank the Father who has made it possible for us to share in the saints’ inheritance of light. He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves. In him, we gain our freedom and the forgiveness of our sins.
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Office of Readings for 3rd Thursday of Easter
Morning Prayer for 3rd Thursday of Easter
Evening Prayer for 3rd Thursday of Easter
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