Let us rejoice in the Lord, with songs let us praise him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
St Ansgar or Oscar (- 865)
He was born in Amiens at the start of the ninth century and educated at the monastery of Corbie in Picardy. He went as a missionary to Denmark in 826 but had little success; but in Sweden he did better. He was elected Bishop of Hamburg (this was at that time a missionary see dedicated to evangelizing the North) and appointed papal legate to Denmark and Sweden by Pope Gregory IV. He encountered huge difficulties in his work of evangelization but he overcame them. He died in Bremen on 3 February 865.
He is known as “the apostle of the North.” His diaries are an important documentary source for early Scandinavian history. See also the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
He was bishop of Sebaste and was martyred, probably early in the fourth century. Devotion to him spread throughout the Church during the Middle Ages. He is particularly invoked for disorders of the throat. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St Laurence of Canterbury (- 619)
He was one of the original missionaries who came from Rome with St Augustine in 597. He succeeded Augustine as Archbishop of Canterbury in about 604. He died at Canterbury on 3 February 619. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St Dunstan of Canterbury (- 988)
His career began at Glastonbury, where he became abbot in 945. In 960 he became Archbishop of Canterbury, where he remained until his death on 19 May 988. He worked hard for the spiritual and temporal well-being of his people, restoring churches, judging lawsuits, defending the weak and friendless, reforming institutions and even promoting the draining of parts of the Somerset Levels so that they could be used for agriculture. In folklore he figures in many duels with the Devil, which he wins by ingenuity as much as by holiness. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St Theodore of Canterbury (602 - 690)
He was born in Tarsus in about 602. In 667 he was living in Rome, still a layman, when the Pope chose him to be Archbishop of Canterbury. He was ordained priest, consecrated as Archbishop, and arrived in Canterbury in May 669. The English Church at this time was troubled and divided, and he travelled round the country filling vacant bishoprics and promoting peace and unity. He died at Canterbury on 19 September 690. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: Saint Werburg
Saint Werburgh belonged to the royal family of Mercia, the last kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England to accept Christianity. Her father, King Wulfhere, was the first Christian King of Mercia. Werburgh became a nun at Ely, but her uncle Etheldred, who had succeeded her father as King in 674, recalled her to Mercia and put her in charge of several monasteries: Weedon (Northants), Hanbury (Staffs) and Threckingham (Lincs). There are no other known facts about her life. Werburgh was venerated as a saint from the time of her death which occurred c. 700; she was buried at Hanbury. When the pagan Danes invaded England in the late 9th century, her relics were taken for safety to Chester. The Cathedral at Chester is dedicated to her.
Other saints: St Anne Line, née Heigham (1565? - 1601)
She was the daughter of William Heigham of Dunmow, Essex, a gentleman of means and an ardent Calvinist. When she and her brother announced their intention of becoming Catholics they were both disinherited and driven from home. In 1585 Anne married Roger Line, also a convert, and lived for a time in his home town of Ringwood, now in the Diocese. Shortly after their marriage he was arrested for attending Mass and imprisoned. After a short confinement he was allowed to go into exile in Flanders, where he died in 1594.
Anne became housekeeper to Fr John Gerard SJ, who had established a house in London offering refuge to priests. She took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in order to be more completely dedicated to her work. After Fr Gerard’s escape from the Tower in 1597, Anne moved to another house which became a rallying-point for neighbouring Catholics.
On 2 February 1601 Fr Francis Page was saying Mass in the house when priest-catchers broke in to arrest him. Fr Page quickly unvested and slipped into a hiding place prepared for him by Anne, but the altar prepared for the service was still visible. Although Fr Page subsequently escaped, Anne was arrested with two other lay people and tried at the Old Bailey on 26 February 1601. She was so weak that she was brought to trial in a chair. She told the court that, far from regretting having concealed a priest, her only grief was that she “could not receive a thousand more”. She was sentenced to hang the next day at Tyburn. Anne was executed immediately before two priests, Fr Roger Filcock SJ and Fr Mark Barkworth OSB, though as a woman she was spared the disembowelling that they endured. At the scaffold she repeated what she had said at her trial, declaring loudly to the bystanders: “I am sentenced to die for harbouring a Catholic priest, and so far I am from repenting for having so done, that I wish, with all my soul, that where I have entertained one, I could have entertained a thousand.”
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Hilary of Poitiers (- 367)
Hilary was born at the beginning of the fourth century. He was elected Bishop of Poitiers in 350. He fought strongly against Arianism and was exiled by the Emperor Constantius. His works are full of wisdom and learning, directed to the strengthening of the Catholic faith and the right interpretation of Scripture. He died in 367. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1851.
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)||Leviticus 20:26 ©|
Be consecrated to me, because I, the Lord, am holy, and I will set you apart from all these peoples so that you may be mine.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Wisdom 15:1,3 ©|
You, our God, are kind, loyal and slow to anger, and you govern all things with mercy. To acknowledge you is indeed the perfect virtue, to know your power is the root of immortality.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Baruch 4:21-22 ©|
Take courage, my children, call on God: he will deliver you from tyranny, from the hands of your enemies; for I look to the Eternal for your rescue, and joy has come to me from the Holy One at the mercy soon to reach you from your saviour, the Eternal.