How wonderful is God among his saints: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
|St Aloysius Gonzaga (1568 - 1591)|
St Aloysius was the eldest son of a Mantuan nobleman, and was intended by his father to be a soldier. Aloysius, on the other hand, had determined to be a missionary, and even to die for his faith. He renounced his birthright in favour of his brother and at the age of 16 became a Jesuit novice in Rome, living the same life of severe austerity and penance that he had followed even when serving in the courts of dukes and princes. In 1591 an epidemic of plague broke out in Rome, and the Jesuits opened a hospital to care for the sick. Aloysius, still a novice, worked hard in the hospital until he himself caught the plague. He did not recover; but, his determination to die for the faith having been fulfilled, died at midnight on the 20th of June with the name of Jesus on his lips.
|Other saints: St John Rigby (1570-1600)|
Liverpool: 18 Jun
John Rigby was an English Catholic and martyr who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was born at Harrock Hall, in Chorley, Lancashire in 1570, of Nicholas and Mary Rigby. His father worked for Sir Edmund Huddleston, whose daughter was summoned to the Old Bailey for refusing to conform to the state religion. Because she was ill, Rigby appeared for her. He was compelled to confess his Catholicism, and sent to Newgate. The next day, February 14, 1600, he signed a confession saying that he had been reconciled by John Jones, a Franciscan, and that he had not attended Church of England services. He was chained and sent back to Newgate. Twice he was given the chance to recant; twice he refused. He was executed by hanging at St Thomas Waterings 1600.
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|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.
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Office of Readings for Thursday of week 11
Morning Prayer for Thursday of week 11
Evening Prayer for Thursday of week 11
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