Universalis
Saturday 25 May 2024    (other days)
Saturday of week 7 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Gregory VII, Pope 
 or Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, Virgin 
 or Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest, Doctor 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Using calendar: Australia - Sydney. You can change this.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness: come, let us adore him.

Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.

Pope St Gregory VII (1020 - 1085)

He was born in Tuscany and given the name Hildebrand. He became a monk, and assisted several successive Popes in reforming and purifying the Church. He was elected pope in 1073 and took the name of Gregory VII. He fought single-mindedly to free the Church from harmful influences and dependence on the state. This brought him into conflict with the Emperor Henry IV, who was excommunicated by Gregory, then submitted to him, then changed his mind and besieged and captured Rome. Gregory was “rescued” by the Norman Robert Guiscard, who captured Rome amid scenes of appalling violence, and Gregory had to flee to Salerno, where he died. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Saint Mary Magdalen of Pazzi (1566 - 1607)

She was a Carmelite nun who led a hidden life of prayer and self-denial, praying especially for the reform of the Church and the conversion of the whole world. She guided her fellow sisters along the path to perfection. She was granted many spiritual gifts by God. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

St Bede the Venerable (673 - 735)

He was born in the north of England, near the monastery of Wearmouth. He joined that monastery, and spent all his life there or at Jarrow, teaching and writing. He was the outstanding ecclesiastical author of his time. He wrote commentaries on Scripture; an ecclesiastical history of the English people, which is a unique and irreplaceable resource for much of early English history; and the first martyrology (collection of saints’ lives) to be compiled on historical principles. He was also the first known writer of English prose, though this has not survived. He died at Jarrow on 25 May 735: he taught and worked until the last moments of his life, which are narrated by Cuthbert in today’s Office of Readings. He is venerated as the “light of the Church” in the Dark Ages, and as a forerunner of the 8th and 9th century renaissance of the Western Church.
  See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Saturday memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary

‘On Saturdays in Ordinary Time when there is no obligatory memorial, an optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary is allowed.
  ‘Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This memorial derives from Carolingian times (9th century), but the reasons for having chosen Saturday for its observance are unknown. While many explanations of this choice have been advanced, none is completely satisfactory from the point of view of the history of popular piety.
  ‘Whatever its historical origins may be, today the memorial rightly emphasizes certain values to which contemporary spirituality is more sensitive. It is a remembrance of the maternal example and discipleship of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, strengthened by faith and hope, on that “great Saturday” on which Our Lord lay in the tomb, was the only one of the disciples to hold vigil in expectation of the Lord’s resurrection. It is a prelude and introduction to the celebration of Sunday, the weekly memorial of the Resurrection of Christ. It is a sign that the Virgin Mary is continuously present and operative in the life of the Church.’
  Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001), §188

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

Second Reading: St Gregory of Agrigentum (late 6th century)

Gregory was born near Agrigentum (Girgenti) in Sicily. He was ordained deacon while on a pilgrimage to Palestine, by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and was ordained Bishop of Agrigentum while on a visit to Rome. Pope St Gregory the Great addressed several letters to him.
  There is a long biography of him, written some years after his death, but it is short on the kind of dry biographical detail that is valued in the modern West and long on the stories of personalities, feuds, injustice, divine assistance and eventual vindication which may well be true (there is no reason for them not to be) but which do not accord well with our current ideas of what history ought to be. Even the date of Gregory’s death is uncertain. By 594 he was no longer Bishop, but whether this was due to death, dismissal or retirement, nobody knows.
  On the other hand, the “Gregory of Agrigentum” who wrote the exposition on Ecclesiastes which appears among the Second Readings may be another Gregory of Agrigentum from the late seventh, and not the late sixth, century. Or he may even be someone else altogether, from later still.
  Faced with such rich material for controversy among scholars, this is one of those cases when it is better not to worry too much about the exact authorship, instead absorbing and deriving spiritual benefit from the rich line of interpretation which this work provides. It is the quality of the Exposition on Ecclesiastes, not the identity of its author, which has secured it its place in the Liturgy of the Hours.

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 Samuel 15:22
Is the pleasure of the Lord in holocausts and sacrifices or in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness better than the fat of rams.

Noon reading (Sext)Galatians 5:26,6:2
We must stop being conceited, provocative and envious. You should carry each other’s troubles and fulfil the law of Christ.

Afternoon reading (None)Micah 6:8
What is good has been explained to you, man; this is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.

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