How wonderful is God among his saints: come, let us adore him.
Liturgical Colour: White.
In other years: Saint Martin de Porres (1579 - 1639)
He was born in Lima in Peru, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a black ex-slave. His mother gave him a Christian education and he became a pharmacist and a nurse. Despite his father’s opposition he entered the Dominican Order as a lay brother in 1603 and spent his life working for the sick and the poor. Many people of all ranks would come to him for advice. He had a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. He has been named as a patron saint of those of mixed race.
Other saints: St Winefride
Very little is known about her except that she lived in the 6th or 7th century near Treffynon (Holywell) in Clwyd in Wales. Various miraculous stories are told about her, and her cult has been widespread since the Middle Ages. Its main centres were Shrewsbury, where her remains were enshrined in 1138, and the well at Holywell that sprang up where, according to one version of her life, she was beheaded and then restored to life by her uncle, St Beuno. The well has remained a place of healing and pilgrimage through the Reformation to the present day.
Other saints: Saint Malachy (c.1094 - 1190)
He was a priest in Armagh and in 1123 he was sent to the abbey of Bangor in Co. Down, then in urgent need of reform, as its abbot. He was made Bishop of Connor in 1124 and did much to revive that neglected diocese. He was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in 1132, with a similar aim, but it took him two years to obtain possession, since the Archbishopric of Armagh had become hereditary, and the family that owned it objected to an outsider taking over. He restored order to the Church and Christian morals to the people, and founded monasteries, including the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, at Mellifont. On a journey to Rome he stopped at Clairvaux to visit his friend St Bernard, fell sick and died in his arms. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: Blessed John Body (1549 - 1583)
John Body (sometimes spelled Bodey) was born in Wells, Somerset, in 1549, and was a student of Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He became a Fellow in 1568, but was deprived of his fellowship in June 1576. Thereupon he went abroad to study civil law at Douay College, and returned to England in February 1578. Arrested in 1580, he was kept in iron shackles in Winchester gaol, and was condemned to death in Winchester in April 1583 along with Blessed John Slade, a schoolmaster (whose feast is celebrated on 30 October). The verdict was considered unsafe, and both were tried again in Andover on 19 August 1583 and the death sentence confirmed. John Body was hung, drawn and quartered in Andover on 2 November 1583. He was beatified by Pius XI in 1929.
Other saints: Blessed Rupert Mayer (1876-1945)
3 Nov (where celebrated)
Rupert Mayer (1876-1945) was born in Stuttgart, Germany, ordained a diocesan priest in 1899, and a year later entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Austria. In 1912 he was assigned to take care of immigrants in Munich. He formed a network of clergy and laity to cooperate in serving the migrants throughout the city, providing them food, clothing, shelter and jobs. He fearlessly opposed the rise of Communism, National Socialism, and Hitler in particular. His protests against the Nazis landed him several times in prison, but he continued to speak out against the régime in his lectures and sermons. He was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp on November 3 1939, where because of his advanced age he developed heart problems. From late 1944 he was interned at Ettal monastery, the Nazis fearing that he might die in the camps and become a martyr. Liberated in May 1945, he returned to his parish in Munich, where he suffered a brain haemorrhage and died that November.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 - 1153)
Bernard was born near Dijon, in France, in 1090, of a noble family. In 1112 he joined the new monastery at Cîteaux. This had been founded fourteen years before, in a bid to reject the laxity and riches of much of the Benedictine Order of the time (as exemplified by the great monasteries such as Cluny) and to return to a primitive poverty and austerity of life.
Bernard arrived at Cîteaux with four of his five brothers and two dozen friends. Within three years he had been sent out to found a new monastery at Clairvaux, in Champagne, where he remained abbot for the rest of his life. By the time of his death, the Cistercian Order (“the Order of Cîteaux”) had grown from one house to 343, of which 68 were daughter houses of Clairvaux itself.
Bernard was a man of great holiness and wisdom, and although he was often in very poor health, he was active in many of the great public debates of the time. He strongly opposed the luxurious lives of some of the clergy, and fought against the persecution of the Jews. He was also a prolific writer, and the Liturgy of the Hours uses extracts from many of his sermons.
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 65:18-19 ©|
Be glad and rejoice for ever and ever for what I am creating, because I now create Jerusalem ‘Joy’ and her people ‘Gladness.’ I shall rejoice over Jerusalem and exult in my people. No more will the sound of weeping or the sound of cries be heard in her.
|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)||Apocalypse 21:10-11,22:3-4 ©|
In the spirit, the angel took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.