Universalis
Thursday 7 November 2019    (other days)
Saint Willibrord, Bishop and Missionary 
Solemnity

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

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

St Willibrord (658 - 739)
He was born in Yorkshire and after being a pupil of St Wilfrid, studied for twelve years at Rathmelsige in Ireland, where he was ordained priest. He returned to England but set out again in 690 to evangelize Frisia. He was ordained bishop by Pope Sergius in 695 and founded the metropolitan see of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He preached the Gospel in Denmark and North Germany and founded several dioceses and monasteries in the Netherlands and Luxembourg. He died at Echternach in Luxembourg in 739.
  He was the first of the great Anglo-Saxon missionaries to Europe and is remembered not just for his devotion in preaching the Gospel but also for his joyfulness of character and his holiness of life.

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

Second Reading: St Cyril of Jerusalem (315 - 386)
Cyril was born in 315 of Christian parents and succeeded Maximus as bishop of Jerusalem in 348. He was active in the Arian controversy and was exiled more than once as a result. His pastoral zeal is especially shown in his Catecheses, in which he expounded orthodox doctrine, holy Scripture and the traditions of the faith. They are still read today, and several of the Second Readings of the Office of Readings are taken from them. He died in 386. He is held in high esteem by both the Catholics and the Orthodox, and he was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Pope in 1883.

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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