Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
Other saints: All Saints of Wales
This feast commemorates the hundreds of Welsh saints recognised by the Church across the ages, as well as those known only to God. Many of them date from the so-called ‘Age of the Saints’ in the fifth and sixth centuries, and often have connections with the Christian communities in Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and Brittany.
Other saints: Blessed George Napier (-1610)
Blessed George Napier was born at Holywell Manor in Oxford and studied at Corpus Christi College. He later went to Douai and was ordained priest in 1596. He returned to England secretly in 1603 and worked as a priest in Oxfordshire. He was arrested at Kirtlington on 19 July 1610 after he had brought the sacraments to a sick Catholic woman; the possession of the holy oils and a breviary was considered sufficient evidence of priesthood and he was condemned to death at the Oxford assizes. While imprisoned in Oxford Castle, he reconciled a condemned criminal to the Church and prepared him for a Christian death. This was reported to the judges, who angrily brought forward the date of George Napier’s execution, lest he should influence other prisoners in the same way. When the martyr was told, he said that he would be glad to do the same for the judges if ever they required it “for he came into the county to execute his functions and to save men’s souls.” He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Oxford on 8 November 1610. He was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
Other saints: St Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906)
8 Nov (where celebrated)
Elizabeth Catez was born in 1880 in Cher, France. In 1901, she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903. A faithful adorer in spirit and in truth, her life was a “praise of glory” of the Most Blessed Trinity present in her soul and loved amidst interior darkness and excruciating illness. In the mystery of divine inhabitation she found her “heaven on earth,” her special charism and her mission for the Church. Elizabeth died on 9th November 1906, speaking her last words, “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!”
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Cyril of Jerusalem (315 - 386)
Cyril was born in 315 of Christian parents and succeeded Maximus as bishop of Jerusalem in 348. He was active in the Arian controversy and was exiled more than once as a result. His pastoral zeal is especially shown in his Catecheses, in which he expounded orthodox doctrine, holy Scripture and the traditions of the faith. They are still read today, and several of the Second Readings of the Office of Readings are taken from them. He died in 386. He is held in high esteem by both the Catholics and the Orthodox, and he was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Pope in 1883.
Liturgical colour: white
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.