Christ, the Son of God, redeemed us with his blood. Come, let us adore him.
Liturgical Colour: Red.
In other years: St Alphege (- 1012)
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: Bl. Isnard of Chiampo OP ( - 1244)
19 Apr (where celebrated)
Dominican Friar and Priest
Blessed Isnard was born at Chiampo, near Vicenza, Italy, toward the end of the twelfth century and entered the Dominican Order at Bologna around 1218. He was known as “a fervent religious, a grace-filled preacher, and a virgin in body and mind,” as well as a worker of miracles. He founded the priory of Pavia which he wisely governed until his death on March 19, 1244.
Other saints: Bl. Sibyllina Biscossi OP (~1287 - 1367)
19 Apr (where celebrated)
Lay Dominican and Virgin
Blessed Sibyllina, born at Pavia, Italy, about 1287, was left an orphan when quite young and at the age of twelve was afflicted with total blindness. The Sisters of Penance befriended her and clothed her in the habit of the Dominican Order. She had a special devotion to Christ crucified and to the Holy Spirit. She lived as a recluse at the church of the Preachers where many people sought her out, asking for her prayers. She died on March 19, 1367.
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: red
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)||Isaiah 53:2-3 ©|
Like a sapling he grew up in front of us, like a root in arid ground. Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him), no looks to attract our eyes; a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, a man to make people screen their faces; he was despised and we took no account of him.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 53:4-5 ©|
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried. But we, we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God, and brought low. Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 53:6-7 ©|
We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and the Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us. Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers never opening its mouth.