Christ is the son of Mary: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: White.
In other years: St Mark the Evangelist
He was a cousin of Barnabas and accompanied the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey; later he followed him to Rome. He was a disciple of Peter, and his gospel is told from Peter’s point of view. He is credited with founding the Church in Alexandria. His body was stolen from Alexandria in 828 (though some say that the wrong bones were stolen) and taken to Venice, which adopted him as its patron saint. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: Bl. Robert Anderton (1560 - 1586) and William Marsden (-1586)
Isle of Wight
Robert Anderton (c. 1560- 1586) was born in either Lancashire or the Isle of Wight or, according to some, the Isle of Man. He graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1578. Shortly after he went abroad and converted to Roman Catholicism. He entered the English College at Rheims in 1580 and there met William Marsden, a Lancashireman. The two were ordained priest together.
After ordination they set sail for England, but were caught in a storm. They prayed that they would be allowed to die on land rather than at sea. Driven ashore on the Isle of Wight by the storm, they were immediately arrested by the authorities. In court at Winchester, they pleaded that they had not violated the law by landing in England, since their landing had been involuntary. They defended their faith and the Pope and acknowledged that they had come to exercise their ministry and reconcile people to God and the Church. This led to their being taken to London, where they were asked to take the Oath of Supremacy, acknowledging Elizabeth as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. They acknowledged the queen as their lawful queen in all secular affairs but refused to swear the Oath. As this was a treasonable offence under the Second Act of Supremacy, they were condemned to death, were returned to the Isle of Wight near the place where they had landed, and were hung, drawn and quartered on 25 April 1586.
They were beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Sophronius of Jerusalem (c.560 - 638)
Sophronius was born in Damascus around 560. He became an ascetic in Egypt about 580 and subsequently entered the monastery of St Theodosius near Bethlehem. He was active in the battle against the heretics who rejected the nature of Christ as both God and man. He became Patriarch of Jerusalem in 634. At that time the Saracen armies under the caliph Umar I were advancing into Palestine, and Jerusalem itself fell in 637, Sophronius negotiating with Umar the terms of a surrender which gave religious freedom to Christians and preserved the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as a Christian church.
Sophronius’ writings show little sign of these grand historical events. He wrote a series of poems in classical style on Christian subjects, and a number of sermons and doctrinal works.
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)||Zephaniah 3:14,15 ©|
Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst; you have no more evil to fear.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Zechariah 9:9 ©|
Rejoice heart and soul, daughter of Zion! Shout with gladness, daughter of Jerusalem! See now, your king comes to you; he is victorious, he is triumphant.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Judith 13:18-19 ©|
May you be blessed, my daughter, by God Most High,
beyond all women on earth;
and may the Lord God be blessed,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
by whose guidance you cut off the head
of the leader of our enemies.
The trust you have shown
shall not pass from the memories of men,
but shall ever remind them
of the power of God.