Universalis
Saturday 18 May 2024    (other days)
Saint Erik of Sweden, King and Martyr 
 on Saturday of the 7th week of Eastertide

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

The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.

Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Red.

Saint Erik of Sweden (-1160)

Historical records of 12th-century Scandinavia are scanty. Erik existed; he was king; he was a Christian; he is said to have done much to consolidate Christianity in his realm. He led the first Swedish crusade into Finland – an act implicitly confirmed by a Papal bull of the 1170s. He was killed fighting Danish invaders. A chronicle of 1240 says: “The twelfth king was Erik. He was rashly killed in an unhappy moment. He always gave a good example while he lived, and God rewarded him well. Now his soul is at rest with God and his angels, and his bones rest in Uppsala. And he has, with God’s help, made and manifested many precious miracles.”

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

Second Reading: St Gregory of Agrigentum (late 6th century)

Gregory was born near Agrigentum (Girgenti) in Sicily. He was ordained deacon while on a pilgrimage to Palestine, by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and was ordained Bishop of Agrigentum while on a visit to Rome. Pope St Gregory the Great addressed several letters to him.
  There is a long biography of him, written some years after his death, but it is short on the kind of dry biographical detail that is valued in the modern West and long on the stories of personalities, feuds, injustice, divine assistance and eventual vindication which may well be true (there is no reason for them not to be) but which do not accord well with our current ideas of what history ought to be. Even the date of Gregory’s death is uncertain. By 594 he was no longer Bishop, but whether this was due to death, dismissal or retirement, nobody knows.
  On the other hand, the “Gregory of Agrigentum” who wrote the exposition on Ecclesiastes which appears among the Second Readings may be another Gregory of Agrigentum from the late seventh, and not the late sixth, century. Or he may even be someone else altogether, from later still.
  Faced with such rich material for controversy among scholars, this is one of those cases when it is better not to worry too much about the exact authorship, instead absorbing and deriving spiritual benefit from the rich line of interpretation which this work provides. It is the quality of the Exposition on Ecclesiastes, not the identity of its author, which has secured it its place in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Liturgical colour: red

Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Romans 5:10-11
When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.

Noon reading (Sext)1 Corinthians 15:20-22
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ.

Afternoon reading (None)2 Corinthians 5:14-15
The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead. The reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.

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