We are the people of the Lord, the flock that is led by his hand: come, let us adore him, alleluia.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Other saints: St Katharine Drexel (1858 - 1955)|
She was born in Philadelphia to a rich banking family. In 1891, at the age of 33, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, an order dedicated to mission work among Indians and black people. (A survey of the situation in the United States at this time described “250,000 Indians neglected, if not practically abandoned, and over nine million of negroes still struggling through the aftermath of slavery”). She spent her entire life and her entire fortune to this work, opening schools, founding a university, and funding many chapels, convents and monasteries. She died on 3 March 1955, by which time there were more than 500 Sisters teaching in 63 schools throughout the United States. See the article in Wikipedia
. The Catholic Encyclopaedia has articles on her father
and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
|Other saints: St Vignal (c.460 - 532)|
Vignal is a patois corruption of the Latin Guingualeus, itself a translation of the French Guénolé or Guignole, from the Anglo-Saxon Winwaloe / Winwallus / Winwalloc. There are some fifty variants of his name, which survives in the dedication of some churches in Brittany, Cornwall and Monmouthshire.
St Vignal was born about the year 460, possibly in Plouguin, to Fracan, a prince of Dumnonia [Brittany] and his wife Gwen Teirbron [“Gwen the Triple-Breasted”]. He became the first Abbot founder of the Abbey of Landévennec, just south of Brest, and died there on 3 March 532.
He is supposed to have assisted St Sampson and St Magloire in evangelising the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which includes Alderney, in the 6th century. Some relics were preserved at Montreuil-sur-Mer and in St Peter’s, Ghent, and until the 19th century his tomb was visible in the church at Landévennec.
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.”
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 season in which we are being neither especially penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Other notes: Quinquagesima Sunday|
Today is the last Sunday before Lent. Ash Wednesday is only three days away. It is a good time to make sure that you are ready for Lent. At some times, and in some parts of the world, Quinquagesima had a semi-lenten character, because Lent started gradually rather than, as now, all at once on the Wednesday. The liturgy also reflected the coming start of Lent, and the liturgical colour was already violet.
The modern calendar has curbed this tendency of Lent to spread backwards, and there is no sign at all that this is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time for quite a few months. Nevertheless, it is still worth reflecting that Lent is coming very soon and we should make our plans for it.
Incidentally, Quinquagesima means ‘fiftieth’, and indeed if you count Easter as 1, and count backwards, you will reach exactly 50 when you get to today.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ©|
Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property; you have been bought and paid for. That is why you should use your body for the glory of God.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Deuteronomy 10:12 ©|
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you? Only this: to fear the Lord your God, to follow all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Song of Songs 8:6-7 ©|
Love is strong as death,
jealousy as relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
a flame of the Lord himself.
Love no floods can quench,
no torrents drown.