Let us listen for the voice of the Lord and enter into his peace.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Saturday memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary
‘On Saturdays in Ordinary Time when there is no obligatory memorial, an optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary is allowed.
‘Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This memorial derives from Carolingian times (9th century), but the reasons for having chosen Saturday for its observance are unknown. While many explanations of this choice have been advanced, none is completely satisfactory from the point of view of the history of popular piety.
‘Whatever its historical origins may be, today the memorial rightly emphasizes certain values to which contemporary spirituality is more sensitive. It is a remembrance of the maternal example and discipleship of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, strengthened by faith and hope, on that “great Saturday” on which Our Lord lay in the tomb, was the only one of the disciples to hold vigil in expectation of the Lord’s resurrection. It is a prelude and introduction to the celebration of Sunday, the weekly memorial of the Resurrection of Christ. It is a sign that the Virgin Mary is continuously present and operative in the life of the Church.’
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001), §188
Other saints: Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881 - 1942)
He was born in Bolsward in the Netherlands. He was baptized Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He joined the Carmelites at Boxmeer in 1898 at the age of seventeen, and took the religious name Titus. He was ordained a priest in 1905. Following his ordination, he went to Rome and studied for a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University, which he was awarded in 1909. Returning to Holland, Titus pursued the career of a teacher and writer. He taught at a numbers of schools before taking on the position of Professor of Philosophy and the History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he was later appointed Rector Magnificus in 1932. At the same time he was active in journalism. He was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War.
Underlying his career as a teacher and writer was his deeply personal search for the God of Jesus who was the centre of his life. He lived out this mission in a practical ways giving to all who needed his help. It was from this deep relationship and conviction that he would argue against the National Socialist ideology, as Holland came under Nazi occupation. As adviser to the Bishops on the Catholic Press, Titus defended the right to freedom of education and of the Catholic Press. Titus believed such freedoms were implicit to the message of the Gospel.
He was arrested in January 1942, when he tried to persuade Dutch Catholic newspapers not to print Nazi propaganda (as was required by the law of the Nazi German occupiers). He had also drawn up the Pastoral Letter, read in all Catholic parishes, by which the Dutch Roman Catholic bishops officially condemned the German anti-Semitic measures and the deportation of the first Jews. After this Pastoral Letter, the first few thousand Jews to be deported from the Netherlands were all Jewish converts to Roman Catholicism, including St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).
Amidst the suffering of Titus’s imprisonment, prisoners and jailers spoke of his ability to bring an awareness of peace amidst the horror of the prison camps. Eventually he was transferred to Dachau where he was killed by lethal injection on the 26th July 1942. The witness of his life is an example of prophetic action arising from a commitment to the Gospel and revealing the merciful presence of God, even in the most horrific of times.
Other saints: Blessed Robert Sutton (1545-1588)
Robert Sutton was born at Burton-on-Trent in 1545, the son of a carpenter. He studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and was ordained in the Established Church, becoming Rector of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. He was converted to Catholicism in 1577 through the influence of his younger brother; they were both ordained at the English College at Douai in France, together with a third brother. In 1578 Robert returned to England and worked for ten years, saying Mass secretly in the houses of Catholic families in various places. He was arrested in Stafford in 1588 and was hanged, drawn and quartered there on 27 July of that year. Before execution, he made a speech about the candle which is given at baptism and in the hour of death, and he held up his handkerchief in remembrance of it, saying that he lived and died in the light of the Catholic faith. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
Other saints: Bl. Rudolph Acquaviva & Companions (- 1583)
Goa & Daman
Blessed Rodolfo Aquaviva was an Italian Jesuit. He joined a mission to India in 1578. After teaching at St Paul’s College in Goa he was sent to the court of the Emperor Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1605). As the ruler of a diverse empire Akbar sought to promote harmony and organized debates on questions of religion between Hindus, Muslims and Christians. However, the Jesuit mission itself seemed to be a failure (other than as an intellectual spectacle) and Acquaviva returned to Goa. Upon his return he led a mission to the Hindu Kshatriyas of Salcette, south of Goa, with four companions, Father Pacheco, Father Berno, Father Francisco and Brother Aranha. The local villagers attacked them and killed them in July 1583.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St John Chrysostom (349 - 407)
John was born in Antioch. After a thorough education, he took up the ascetic life. He was ordained to the priesthood, and became a fruitful and effective preacher.
He was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 397, and was energetic in reforming the ways of the clergy and the laity alike. He incurred the displeasure of the Emperor and was twice forced into exile. When the second exile, to Armenia, had lasted three years, it was decided that he should be sent still further away, but he died on the journey, worn out by his hardships.
His sermons and writings did much to explain the Catholic faith and to encourage the living of the Christian life: his eloquence earned him the surname “Chrystostom” (the Greek for “golden mouth”).
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 orderly sequence of weeks through the year, a season in which we are being neither single-mindedly penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Daniel 6:27-28 ©|
Our God is the living God, he endures for ever, his sovereignty will never be destroyed and his kingship never end. He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 15:5-7 ©|
May God, who helps us when we refuse to give up, help you all to be tolerant with each other, following the example of Christ Jesus, so that united in mind and voice you may give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It can only be to God’s glory, then, for you to treat each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated you.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Philippians 4:8,9 ©|
My brothers, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise. Then the God of peace will be with you.