Universalis
Wednesday 18 August 2021    (other days)
Wednesday of week 20 in Ordinary Time 
 or Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo 

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth: serve the Lord with gladness.

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

Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo (1848 - 1894)

She was born in Tananarive in Madagascar to one of the most powerful families of the country.
  She was educated by the Jesuits and by the Sisters of the Congregation of St Joseph of Cluny. Her Catholic education made a strong impression on her, and she subsequently asked to be received into the Church.
  She was baptized in 1863. During the persecutions that were aimed at the Catholic Mission, her parents tried to get her to give up her faith but she refused. She asked to become a nun but the missionaries felt it wiser not to permit this. She was given in marriage to the son of the Prime Minister, a high officer in the army. Because of her husband’s character and behaviour (he was violent and an alcoholic) the marriage was a true martyrdom for her. Nevertheless she remained faithful to her vows and refused to divorce her husband despite the urgings of her parents and of the queen herself. Christian matrimony, she said, was indissoluble.
  Her exemplary Christian life gained her the admiration of the court and the people. This admiration, and her moral authority, made her a providential support of the Catholic Church in Madagascar after the expulsion of the Catholic missionaries. She publicly defended the Catholic Church against the authorities and kept the people’s faith alive. When the missionaries returned in 1886 they found a vigorously flourishing community thanks to Victoria’s virtues and activities. She prayed for her husband’s conversion and when he died in 1888 as a result of an accident, he asked for baptism on his deathbed.
  She herself died on 21 August 1894 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1989.

Other saints: Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga (1901-1952)

18 Aug (where celebrated)
Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga (1901-1952) was born in Viña del Mar, Chile. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Chilean in July 1923, did his religious studies in Spain and Belgium, and was ordained a priest in 1933. On returning to Chile in 1936, he was a teacher, counsellor, retreat director, author and youth organizer. In Santiago he founded the Hogar de Cristo for homeless children. He was also involved in various social action organizations and activities. He died in 1952, and was given full state honours at his burial.

Other saints: Bls John-Baptist Duverneuil, Michael-Aloysius Brulard and James Gagnot (d.1794)

18 Aug (where celebrated)
Fr. Jean-Baptiste Duverneuil (b. 1737 at Limoges), in religion Fr. Leonard, Fr. Michel-Louis Brulard (b. 1758 at Chartres), and Fr. Jacques Gagnot (b. 1753 at Frolois), in religion Fr. Hubert of Saint Claude, were among a group of 64 Martyrs beatified 1st October 1995, victims of the French Revolution who came from 14 French dioceses and from various religious Orders. In their loyalty to God, the Church and the Pope, they refused to take the oath of the Civil Constitution for the Clergy imposed by the Constituent Assembly of the Revolution. As a result they were imprisoned, massed like animals, on a slave-trader in Rochefort Bay, awaiting in vain to be deported into slavery. During 1794, the first two Carmelites died on board ship: Fr. John-Baptist on 1st July, and Fr. Michael-Aloysius on 25th July, both being buried on the island of Aix. After plague broke out on the ship, those remaining disembarked on the island of Madame, where Fr. James died and was buried on 10th September. Noted for their loving ministry to their fellow prisoners and their patience in accepting every type of outrage, privation and cruelty, not to mention the vicissitudes of weather, hunger and sickness, our three Discalced Carmelite priest martyrs and their companions in martyrdom gave unsurpassed Christian witness to their faith and love.
Carmelite Breviary

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

Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)

Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
  Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.

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 Corinthians 10:24,31 ©
Nobody should be looking for his own advantage, but everybody for the other man’s. Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.

Noon reading (Sext)Colossians 3:17 ©
Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Afternoon reading (None)Colossians 3:23-24 ©
Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.
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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