Universalis
Wednesday 26 August 2020    (other days)
Wednesday of week 21 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint David Lewis, Martyr 

Let us adore the Lord, for it is he who made us.

Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.

St David Lewis (1616-1679)

David Lewis was born at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, in 1616 and raised in the Church of England. At sixteen years of age, while visiting Paris, he became a Catholic and subsequently went to study in Rome, where in 1642 he was ordained priest. Three years later he became a Jesuit. In 1647 he returned home and, for over thirty years, worked in South Wales, with his base at the Cwm on the borders of Herefordshire, an area sheltered between the high ridges of the Welsh Black Mountains to the west and Malvern Hills to the east. Here the Jesuits maintained two remote farmhouses, which also functioned as shelters for hunted Catholic priests. Lewis used the name Charles Baker. He was arrested in November 1678 in Monmouthshire, and condemned as a Catholic priest and for saying Catholic masses, at the Assizes in Monmouth in March 1679. He was then taken to Newgate Prison in London with John Kemble (Herefordshire) and questioned about the “gunpowder plot” (this was a fictitious plot invented by Titus Oates and is now known as the “Popish Plot” to distinguish it from Guy Fawkes’ plot of 1605). Oates and his companions could find nothing against him. The judge advised him that if he gave evidence about the “plot” or renounced his Catholic faith, his life would be spared and he would be greatly rewarded. Lewis said in his dying speech, “discover the plot I could not, as I knew of none; and conform I would not, for it was against my conscience”. He was returned to Usk and waited for three months for his call to death by execution. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered on 27 August 1679. After the Titus Oates affair (1679—80), the remaining Welsh-speaking Catholic clergy were either executed or exiled.
DK

Other saints: Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792 - 1849)

England
Dominic Barberi was born near Viterbo, Italy, in 1792 and joined the Passionist Order, urged on by an inner assurance that God called him to work as a missionary in England. He was ordained a priest in 1818 and worked in Italy and Belgium before coming to England in 1841. His first foundation was at Aston Hall in Staffordshire; he established four Passionist houses in all, and received many Anglicans into full communion, the most famous being John Henry Newman, who was received at Littlemore near Oxford on 9 October 1845. Blessed Dominic was noted for the personal warmth of his approach to non-Catholics and for his zeal in preaching; he drew crowds in spite of his strong Italian accent. He favoured a higher profile for the small Catholic body in England; he went around in his Passionist habit and, while at Aston Hall in 1844, organised a Corpus Christi procession through the streets of the neighbourhood, which is believed to have been the first public procession of its kind in England in modern times. Blessed Dominic died at Reading on 27 August 1849 and was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1963.

Other saints: Our Lady of Częstochowa

Belarus, Poland
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a revered icon of the Virgin Mary housed at the Jasna Góra Monastery at Częstochowa, in Poland. It has been venerated for at least 600 years and many miracles are attributed to the intercession of Our Lady. Częstochowa is the most popular shrine in Poland and a noted centre of pilgrimage.
Ballade to Our Lady of Częstochowa
Lady and Queen and Mystery manifold
  And very Regent of the untroubled sky,
Whom in a dream St Hilda did behold
  And heard a woodland music passing by:
  You shall receive me when the clouds are high
With evening and the sheep attain the fold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
  And this is that in which I mean to die.
Steep are the seas and savaging and cold
  In broken waters terrible to try;
And vast against the winter night the wold,
  And harbourless for any sail to lie.
  But you shall lead me to the lights, and I
Shall hymn you in a harbour story told.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
  And this is that in which I mean to die.
Help of the half-defeated, House of Gold,
  Shrine of the Sword, and Tower of Ivory;
Splendour apart, supreme and aureoled,
  The Battler’s vision and the World’s reply.
  You shall restore me, O my last Ally,
To vengeance and the glories of the bold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
  And this is that in which I mean to die.
Envoi
Prince of the degradations, bought and sold,
  These verses, written in your crumbling sty,
Proclaim the faith that I have held and hold
  And publish that in which I mean to die.
Hilaire Belloc

Other saints: St Caesarius of Arles (c.470 - 542)

France
Caesarius was born around 470 at Chalon-sur-Saône, which is now in eastern France. He was a monk at the abbey of Lérins, on the French Riviera, and then bishop of the local diocese of Arles for forty years. His influence extended from southern Gaul to Spain. He convoked many Councils, and founded monasteries. At a time when the Roman Empire had collapsed and no single, stable civil authority had taken its place, he protected his people from the demands of the barbarians. At the same time he sustained them with simple but lively sermons. Extracts from some of them form Second Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours to this day.
  He died at Arles on 26 August 542.

Other saints: Bl Jacques Retouret (1746-1794)

26 Aug (where celebrated)
Jacques Retouret is one of a group of 64 priests representing hundreds of clerics who, during the height of the French Revolution, were herded like animals onto prison ships in Rochefort Bay. Upon learning of the invalidity of the oath required under the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, he publicly retracted his assent to it. Consequently, he was considered an enemy of the people whom he had served as an observant religious and popular preacher of Limoges, France. After having suffered insults, abuse, and the deprivation of all rights along with his brother priests he died of the plague on August 26, 1794, and was buried on Madame Island. Along with 63 fellow prisoners, he was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 1995.
MT

Other saints: St Teresa of Jesus' Transverberation

26 Aug (where celebrated)
“The chief among Teresa’s virtues was the love of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ increased by means of many visions and revelations. He made her his Spouse on one occasion. At other times she saw an angel with a flaming dart piercing her heart. Through these heavenly gifts the flame of divine love in her heart became so strong that, inspired by God, she made the extremely difficult vow of always doing what seemed to her most perfect and most conducive to God’s glory” (Gregory XV in the Bull of Canonization).
Carmelite Breviary

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: Saint Columbanus, Abbot (540? - 615)

Columbanus was born in Ireland before the middle of the sixth century. He was a monk from his youth and was learned in both sacred and secular literature. At the age of 45 he left Ireland and went to Europe, where he founded three monasteries in what is now France. His monastic rule was strict, based on Irish practice.
  King Thierry II of Burgundy had a veneration for Columbanus and often visited him. Columbanus’s criticisms of Thierry’s debauched living and practice of concubinage enraged the king’s grandmother Brunhild, and eventually Columbanus and all other Irish-born monks were ordered to be deported to Ireland. They eluded their captors, and after an unsuccessful attempt to evangelize the pagan tribes near modern-day Zürich they reached Italy, where Columbanus founded the monastery at Bobbio. He died there in 615.
  Columbanus’s writings are among the earliest evidence of Irish knowledge of Latin. His style combines an underlying passion with a strong and rhythmic rhetorical structure.

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)1 Peter 1:13-14 ©
Free your minds, then, of encumbrances; control them, and put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Do not behave in the way that you liked to before you learnt the truth, but make a habit of obedience.

Noon reading (Sext)1 Peter 1:15-16 ©
Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says: Be holy, for I am holy.

Afternoon reading (None)James 4:7-8,10 ©
Give in to God: resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer he will come to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.
Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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