Christ has been born for us: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
He was a 7th-century saint and the first bishop of Limerick. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: St Geneviève (c.420 - c.510)
She was born in Nanterre, near Paris. As a child she heard the preaching of St Germanus of Auxerre and St Lupus of Troyes when they stopped at Nanterre on their way from Gaul to Britain to combat the Pelagian heresy. She was blessed by Germanus and encouraged in her resolve to live a religious life. She pursued this first in seclusion at home (there being no convents nearby) and later formally received the religious veil. On the death of her parents she moved to Paris, where she devoted herself to works of charity and lived a life of severe austerity.
In 451 Attila and his Huns were sweeping over Gaul; and the inhabitants of Paris prepared to flee. Geneviève encouraged them to hope and trust in God; she urged them to do works of penance, and added that if they did so the town would be spared. Her exhortations prevailed; the citizens recovered their calm, and Attila’s hordes turned off towards Orléans, leaving Paris untouched. Some years later Merowig (Mérovée) took Paris; during the siege Geneviève distinguished herself by her charity and self- sacrifice. Through her influence Merowig and his successors, Childeric and Clovis, displayed unwonted clemency towards the citizens. It was she, too, who first formed the plan of erecting a church in Paris in honour of Saints Peter and Paul. It was begun by Clovis at Mont-lès-Paris, shortly before his death in 511. Geneviève died the following year, and when the church was completed her body was interred within it.
Other saints: St Kuriakose Elias Chavara (1805-1871)
3 Jan (where celebrated)
Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara is remembered as co-founder and first prior general of the congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in India, as well as a social reformer, defender of church unity and a man of prayer and devotion.
Kuriakose was born at Kainakary in Kerala, India, February 10, 1805. He entered the seminary in 1818, and was ordained priest in 1829. In 1831 Kuriakose joined two other priests in founding a monastic community, in Mannanam, under the title of Servants of Mary Immaculate. By 1855, the community had grown to twelve members who made religious profession in the Carmelite tradition. Kuriakose was nominated as prior of the Mannanam monastery and in 1861 the community became affiliated as a Third Order Institute of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. The congregation then became know as the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. Kuriakose was also an advocate for the establishment of Carmelite convents for women in India, co-founding the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel in 1866.
In 1861, Kuriakose was named vicar general for the Syro-Malabar church and in this role he defended ecclesial unity that was being threatened by schism when Mar Tomas Rochos was sent to India to consecrate Nestorian bishops. He also advocated for education for the poor of Kerala as part of the Church’s mission in the region.
Kuriakose died in 1871 at Koonammavu, Kerala, India. During an address at his canonisation in November 2014, Pope Francis memorialised Fr Kuriakose as “a religious, both active and contemplative, who generously gave his life for the Syro-Malabar Church, putting into action the maxim ‘sanctification of oneself and the salvation of others’.”
Other saints: Bl. Stephana Quinzani OP (1457 - 1530)
3 Jan (where celebrated)
Dominican Sister and Virgin
Blessed Stephana was born in 1457 near Brescia, Italy. She was particularly devoted to the Passion of our Lord and bore the marks of his stigmata. At the same time she experienced spiritual aridity as well as doubts and temptations. She founded a convent at Socino where she and her sisters led a regular life. Well-known for her service to the poor, she died at Socino on January 2, 1530.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
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)||Isaiah 2:3-4 ©|
The Law will go out from Zion, and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will wield authority over the nations and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 9:1 ©|
The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 60:4-5 ©|
O Jerusalem, your sons are coming from far away and your daughters are being tenderly carried. At this sight you will grow radiant, your heart throbbing and full; since the riches of the sea will flow to you, the wealth of the nations come to you.