Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
Saint Francis of Paola (1436 - 1507)
He was born in Paola in Calabria. He founded an order of hermits which later became the Order of Minims (“minimi,” meaning “least,” because they were to be the least of the religious orders). He died on Good Friday, 2 April 1507, at Plessis in France. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St John Payne (c.1550-1582)
Brentwood: 6 May
John Payne (or Paine) was born in Peterborough into a Church of England family but in his early adult life became a Catholic. He went to the English College at Douai in 1574 and was ordained priest in 1576; the short time he was at the college may suggest that he had studied theology elsewhere. He returned to England in the company of Cuthbert Mayne (1st December). He went to Essex where he stayed at the home of the Petre family in Ingatestone Hall. From here he ministered to local Catholics, while apparently working as an estate steward. In 1577 he was imprisoned for a short time, afterwards returning briefly to Douai. He came back to Essex and continued working as a priest until in 1581 he was once again arrested. He was imprisoned at Greenwich, being charged with conspiracy against the Queen, was racked in the Tower, and was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. He denied the evidence brought against him completely, stating at his trial “that he always, in mind or word, honoured the queen’s majesty above any woman in the world; that he would gladly always have spent his life for her pleasure in any lawful service; that he prayed for her as for his own soul; that he never invented or compassed any treason against her majesty, or any of the nobility of England.” He was executed at Chelmsford on 2 April. He was so well known and respected in the neighbourhood that the crowd compelled the hangman to wait until he was dead before cutting him down.
Other saints: Blessed Pedro Calungsod (- 1672)
He was a teen-aged native of the Visayas region of the Philippines, one of the boy catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries from the Philippines to the Ladrones Islands – later renamed “Marianas” – in the western Pacific in 1668, to evangelize the Chamorros. On 2 April 1672, while helping Fr Diego Luis de San Vitores, the rector of the Mission, to recover a runaway servant and to perform some baptisms at the village of Tomhon on the Island of Guam, he was killed by two natives for being a Christian, for catechizing the Chamorros and for helping in the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism. His body was thrown into deep ocean together with that of the rector, who was also killed after him.
He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on 21 October 2012.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Irenaeus (130 - 202)
Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, in Asia Minor (now Izmir in Turkey) and emigrated to Lyons, in France, where he eventually became the bishop. It is not known for certain whether he was martyred or died a natural death.
Whenever we take up a Bible we touch Irenaeus’s work, for he played a decisive role in fixing the canon of the New Testament. It is easy for people nowadays to think of Scripture – and the New Testament in particular – as the basis of the Church, but harder to remember that it was the Church itself that had to agree, early on, about what was scriptural and what was not. Before Irenaeus, there was vague general agreement on what scripture was, but a system based on this kind of common consent was too weak. As dissensions and heresies arose, reference to scripture was the obvious way of trying to settle what the truth really was, but in the absence of an agreed canon of scripture it was all too easy to attack one’s opponent’s arguments by saying that his texts were corrupt or unscriptural; and easy, too, to do a little fine-tuning of texts on one’s own behalf. Irenaeus not only established a canon which is almost identical to our present one, but also gave reasoned arguments for each inclusion and exclusion.
Irenaeus also wrote a major work, Against the Heresies, which in the course of denying what the Christian faith is not, effectively asserts what it is. The majority of this work was lost for many centuries and only rediscovered in a monastery on Mount Athos in 1842. Many passages from it are used in the Office of Readings.
Liturgical colour: violet
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Isaiah 55:3 ©|
Come to me and listen to my words: hear me, and you shall have life. I will make a covenant with you, this time for ever, to love you faithfully as I have loved David.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(Jeremiah 3:12,14) ©|
Come back, says the Lord, and I will frown on you no more, since I am merciful and I shall not keep my resentment for ever. Come back, disloyal children, says the Lord.
|Afternoon reading (None)||James 1:27 ©|
In the eyes of God our Father, pure unspoilt religion is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.