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Thursday of week 34 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin, Martyr 

Using calendar: Australia. You can pick a diocese or region.

Come before the Lord, singing with joy.

Year: C(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.

St Catherine of Alexandria (d. 305)

Legends coming from a number of sources say that St Catherine was very outspoken at the time of the persecutions of Christians. She even protested openly to the emperor Maxentius who had her arrested, tortured on the wheel and decapitated in 305. St Catherine’s courage is a great challenge to all African Christians in their struggle for justice and peace. The witness of her life and her readiness to die for the faith encourages us to be brave witnesses to the Lord and to speak out on behalf of all those who suffer.

Other saints: Saint Colman of Cloyne (522 - 600)

Ireland
He was a royal bard who in later life became a bishop. He founded several churches, including the church at Cloyne: he is patron saint of the diocese. See the article in Wikipedia.

Other saints: Blessed Niels Stensen (1638-86)

Denmark, Finland, Sweden
Niels Steensen was born as the son of a Copenhagen goldsmith. After studying medicine in Copenhagen, he went on a European study trip, where in the Netherlands he encountered a religious and philosophical diversity that brought him into a religious crisis. He overcame the crisis and found a fervent faith in God’s providence, but he could no longer find the Protestant faith of his homeland convincing.
  After a series of anatomical discoveries and a stay in Copenhagen, he set out in 1664 on a new study trip, and in Florence he found friends and well-wishers. There he converted to the Catholic Church in 1667 and in the following years made a number of further anatomical and geological discoveries. After a stay in Copenhagen 1672-74, he gave up science and was ordained a priest in 1675 to devote himself to pastoral care among foreign travellers in Tuscany.
  In 1677 he was made a bishop and sent to Northern Germany, where he worked in Hanover, Münster, Hamburg and finally Schwerin, where he died in the reputation of sanctity. His mortal remains were taken to Florence and today lie in the Medici burial church of San Lorenzo. In 1988 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. He is loved not only for his pastoral zeal, his deep spirituality and his love for poverty and the poor, but also as an example of the cohesion of natural science and religious knowledge.

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

Second Reading: St John Chrysostom (349 - 407)

John was born in Antioch. After a thorough education, he took up the ascetic life. He was ordained to the priesthood, and became a fruitful and effective preacher.
  He was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 397, and was energetic in reforming the ways of the clergy and the laity alike. He incurred the displeasure of the Emperor and was twice forced into exile. When the second exile, to Armenia, had lasted three years, it was decided that he should be sent still further away, but he died on the journey, worn out by his hardships.
  His sermons and writings did much to explain the Catholic faith and to encourage the living of the Christian life: his eloquence earned him the surname “Chrystostom” (the Greek for “golden mouth”).

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)Galatians 5:13-14
My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself.

Noon reading (Sext)Galatians 5:16-17
Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions.

Afternoon reading (None)Galatians 5:22,23,25
What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.

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