Universalis
Friday 23 April 2021    (other days)
4th Sunday of Easter 
Solemnity

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.

In other years: St George (- c.303)

He was martyred at Lydda (now in Israel) in about 303, during the persecution of Diocletian. Like so many saints of that period, the only fact that we can be certain of is his martyrdom. His cult spread quickly through both the East and the West, and the legend of St George and the Dragon only appeared some time afterwards.
  During the crusades, George was seen to personify the ideals of Christian chivalry, and he was adopted as the patron saint of several city states and countries, including England and Catalonia. King Richard I of England placed his crusading army under the protection of St George, and in 1222 his feast was proclaimed a holiday.
  See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

In other years: St Adalbert of Prague (956 - 997)

(His name is Vojtech in Czech and Wojciech in Polish). He became bishop of Prague in 983. He met with intense opposition from the nobility. He withdrew to Rome but was sent back to his diocese by Pope John XV. He encouraged the evangelization of the Magyars, and founded the great abbey of Brevnov, but the opposition continued and he was at length forced into exile. He went as a missionary to Pomerania to preach the Gospel to the heathen Prussians, and it was there that he was martyred at the age of 41. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Other saints: Bl Teresa Maria of the Cross (1846-1910)

23 Apr (where celebrated)
She was born at Campi Bisenzio, Florence, where in 1874 she founded the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa, whom she also sent to Lebanon and the Holy Land. She lived joyfully, body and soul, the mystery of the Cross in full conformity to the will of God, and she was outstanding for her love for the Eucharist, and her maternal care for children and for the poor. She died at Campi Bisenzio on 23rd April, 1910.
Carmelite Breviary

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

Second Reading: Pope St Gregory the Great (540 - 604)

Gregory was born in Rome and followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, finally becoming Prefect of the City of Rome, a post he held for some years.
  He founded a monastery in Rome and some others in Sicily, then became a monk himself. He was ordained deacon and sent as an envoy to Constantinople, on a mission that lasted five years.
  He was elected Pope on 3 September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy, and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down. His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of Augustine and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care, spirituality, and morals, and designated himself “servant of the servants of God.”

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)(1 Corinthians 15:3-5) ©
Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; he was buried; and he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures. He appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve.

Noon reading (Sext)Ephesians 2:4-6 ©
God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.

Afternoon reading (None)Romans 6:4 ©
When we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.
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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