Universalis
Friday 20 January 2017    (other days)
Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, Priest 
Feast

Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him

Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.

Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi (1903 - 1964)
Father Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in 1903. He was brought up by the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) and trained as a teacher and a catechist. Later he decided to join the seminary and in 1937 he was ordained a priest. In 1950 he left his Diocese in order to go to England where he joined the Cistercian Abbey of Mount St Bernard, near Nottingham. He had been singled out as the ideal candidate to be trained in England and then return to establish a Trappist Monastery in the Diocese of Onitsha in Nigeria. Fr Tansi lived the monastic life with great faith and humility. Absorbed in prayer, he was a living example of patience and charity. Early in 1964 he was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm and died two weeks later on 20 January 1964. See the article in Wikipedia.
In other years: Pope St Fabian (- 250)
He became Pope in 236 and was martyred on 20 January 250, during the persecution of the Emperor Decius. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
In other years: St Sebastian
Nothing is known about St Sebastian except the fact that he was martyred early on in the persecutions of Diocletian. St Ambrose knew of him and states that he was already venerated in Milan in the fourth century. One of the seven chief churches of Rome was built over his grave in 367.
  All else (his youth, his martyrdom by arrows) is fiction, some of it dating from more than a thousand years after his death. But what we know is what we need to know. For the Christians of the fourth century the important, the true, the sufficient fact about Sebastian was that he was a martyr, and they venerated him as such. It should be enough for us as well. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

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 Timothy 4:16 ©
Take great care about what you do and what you teach; always do this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

Noon reading (Sext)1 Timothy 1:12 ©
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service.

Afternoon reading (None)1 Timothy 3:13 ©
Those who carry out their duties well as deacons will earn a high standing for themselves and be rewarded with great assurance in their work for the faith in Christ Jesus.

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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