Universalis
Monday 11 October 2021    (other days)
Monday of week 28 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saints Denis, Bishop, and his Companions, Martyrs 
 or Saint John Leonardi, Priest 
 or Saint John XXIII, Pope 

Let us rejoice in the Lord, with songs let us praise him.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.

St Denis (- 258)

As might be expected for a saint of such an early period, practically no hard facts about Saint Denis survive. According to St Gregory of Tours, writing some 300 years later, Denis came to Gaul from Rome in the middle of the third century. He arrived at what is now the Ile de la Cité in Paris, where he built a church, arranged the regular celebration of Mass, and preached the Gospel. Together with two members of his clergy he was martyred near the city.
  Denis (in Latin, Dionysius) is not Dionysius the Areopagite, whom St Paul converted to Christianity, nor is he the author of the writings of the “Pseudo-Dionysius,” but both these confusions helped to popularise devotion to him from the seventh century onwards.
  Nevertheless, the real St Denis did exist, he brought the Gospel to Paris, and he was its first martyr. For these things alone devotion to him is proper and justified.
  See also the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Saint John Leonardi (1541 - 1609)

He was born at Lucca in Tuscany. Trained initially as an apothecary, he fought hard to become a priest and was ordained in 1572. A few laymen attached themselves to him in 1574 and something began to grow that looked as if it might become a religious order. A storm of persecution erupted. It seems possible that the Republic of Lucca felt that being the birthplace of a religious order might be dangerous for the independence of the state, given the complicated international politics of the time. Whatever the reason, Leonardi spent most of the rest of his life in exile from Lucca, only occasionally obtaining permission to visit it after extreme pressure from the Pope.
  The order that he founded, now known as the Order of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, is in charge of eight churches in Italy and is also involved in missionary work. In addition, his work was taken up and extended by the Popes into the Work of the Propagation of the Faith (de propaganda fidei), of which he is therefore honoured as the founder.
  The web site of Order of Clerks Regular of the Mother of God is here.

Pope John XXIII (1881 - 1963)

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in the village of Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo, in 1881. At the age of 11 he entered the seminary at Bergamo and later pursued his studies at the Pontifical Seminary in Rome. He was ordained priest in 1904. He was secretary to the Bishop of Bergamo but from 1921 onwards he served the Holy See directly in various posts, both in Rome and in Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, culminating as Apostolic Nuncio to France from 1944 until 1953, when he was created cardinal and made the Patriarch of Venice. He was elected Pope in 1958. He convoked the Roman Synod, instituted the revision of Canon Law, and called the Second Vatican Council, which opened on 11 October 1962. He died while the Council was still in session, on the evening of 3 June 1963.

Other saints: Saint Kenneth (515-599)

Ireland: 11 Oct
Argyll & the Isles: 12 Oct
Saint Cainnech of Aghaboe is also known as Saint Canice in Ireland, Saint Kenneth in Scotland, Saint Kenny and in Latin Saint Canicus. He was an Irish abbot, monastic founder, priest and missionary.
  He was born in 515 or 516, at Glengiven, near Dungiven in Ireland. He spent his early years watching his chieftain’s flocks. In 543 he became a pupil at Finian’s monastic school at Clonard. During the sixth century, some of the most significant names in the history of Irish Christianity studied at this monastery. Twelve students who studied under St. Finian became known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, Kenneth was one of these. It was at Clonard that he became a friend and companion of St Colmcille (Columba).
  In 544 he studied under St. Mobhi at the school of Glasnevin, with Kieran of Clonmacnoise and St. Comgall of Bangor. When plague scattered that community, he went to Saint Cadoc’s monastery of Llancarfan in Glamorganshire in Wales, where he was ordained priest in 545. He left for Rome to obtain the blessing of the reigning pontiff. In 550 he had returned to Glengiven, where he converted his foster-brother, Geal-Breagach, who afterwards assisted him in founding Drumachose, in nearby Limavady.
  In 565 he joined Columba in Scotland. He built a church in the place now known as Saint Andrew’s. He built monastic cells on the island of Ibdon and Eninis, an oratory called Lagan-Kenny on the shores of Loch Laggan, and a monastery in Fife on the banks of the Eden. His name is still recalled in the ruins of an ancient church, Kil-Chainnech on Tiree Island, in a burial ground, Kil-Chainnech, in Iona and Inch Kenneth off Mull
  He spent a good deal of his time in Ireland, in County Meath and in Ossory in what is now County Laois. In Ossory he had a good repute with the king, Colman son of Feradach, who gave him grants of land including Aghaboe (“the field of the Ox”) which became his principal monastery. Aghaboe grew in importance, and in the 7th century sent St. Fergal as a missionary to the church of Salzburg, Austria. Aghaboe was for a time the site of the bishop’s see until under Norman influence in the twelfth century the see transferred from Aghaboe to Kilkenny.
  He died and was interred at the Abbey of Aghaboe in 599/600.

Other saints: Blessed William Howard (1612-1680)

Birmingham
Blessed William Howard was born in 1612, the second son of the Earl of Arundel. William went to St John’s College, Cambridge, and married on 12 October 1637 Mary, daughter of Lord Stafford. Through her he obtained his title and his Staffordshire estates. William and Mary were devoted parents, who had nine children. They lived in the Low Countries for much of the troubled period during the Civil War and the Commonwealth because of the difficulties which faced Catholics in England. In 1678 Lord Stafford was accused with four other Catholic peers of being involved in the “Popish Plot”, a fabrication by Titus Oates which triggered a widespread persecution of Catholics. At the age of 65, he was impeached by the House of Commons before the House of Lords on a charge of high treason. Stafford was probably picked on because it was considered that he was the most likely to be cowed into acquiescence. In fact he acquitted himself well, steadfastly denied the existence of a plot and discredited witnesses addressed by the prosecution, so that the outcome was shown up as a miscarriage of justice. When the verdict of guilty was brought, Blessed William said with impressive serenity: “I confess I am surprised at it... but God’s will be done and your Lordships’; I will not murmur at it. God forgive those who have falsely sworn against me”. He was beheaded on Tower Hill on 29 December 1680. Pope Pius XI beatified him as a martyr in 1929.
Birmingham Ordo

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

Second Reading: Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (462/7 - 527/ 533)

Fulgentius was bishop of the city of Ruspe in the Roman province of Africa, which is in modern-day Tunisia. At that time Africa and parts of the Near East were ruled by the Vandals, who were Arians, calling themselves Christians but denying the divinity of Christ. As a result Fulgentius’ early career was marked by a series of flights from persecution, as Catholics tried to maintain their faith under Vandal rule. It was a complicated time. In 499 he was tortured for saying that Jesus was both God and man; the next year the Vandal king Thrasamund, impressed by his talents, invited him to return from exile and become a bishop (Fulgentius declined, since he knew that Thrasamund had ordered that none but Arians should be bishops); two years later he was persuaded to become bishop of Ruspe in Tunisia but shortly afterwards he was exiled to Sardinia. Thrasamund invited him back in 515 to debate against the Arians but exiled him again in 520.
  In 523, following the death of Thrasamund and the accession of his Catholic son Hilderic, Fulgentius was allowed to return to Ruspe and try to convert the populace back to the faith. He worked to reform many of the abuses which had infiltrated his old diocese in his absence. The power and effectiveness of his preaching were so profound that his archbishop, Boniface of Carthage, wept openly every time he heard Fulgentius preach, and publicly thanked God for giving such a preacher to his church.

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.
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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