Universalis
Wednesday 9 June 2021    (other days)
Wednesday of the 6th week of Eastertide 
 or Saint Ephraem, Deacon, Doctor 

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.

St Ephraem the Deacon (306 - 373)

Saint Ephraem was a poet and a theologian. He lived all his life in Mesopotamia, first founding a school and then, when the Persians invaded his native town of Nisibis, moving to Edessa. He preached there, and laid the foundations of its great school of theology.
  He is famous not only for the beauty of expression of his homilies but also for his hymns, which have spread far beyond his native Syriac church and are in use in East and West alike.

Other saints: St Columba (521? - 597)

England, Ireland, Scotland
Columba (Gaelic Colm Cille) He was born in Gartan, in County Donegal, and was of royal lineage. He studied under Finnian of Moville and Finnian of Clonard. He founded monasteries at Derry, Durrow, and possibly Kells, before leaving Ireland as a missionary, “an exile for Christ.” His greatest foundation was Iona, from where he converted much of western Scotland, and his followers took the Gospel as far as northern England. He died at Iona in 597. He was renowned as a poet and scribe as well as a spiritual guide. In Gaelic literature he appears as Ireland’s most popular saint, noted for his great personal love of all creatures, both human and animal.

Other saints: Saint José de Anchieta (1534-1597)

Brazil
José de Anchieta y Díaz de Clavijo was born on 19 March 1534 on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, to a noble family. He became a Jesuit at the age of 17 and, to help him recover from a serious illness, he was sent to Bahia in Brazil in 1553 as an assistant to the missionaries there.
  Brazil at this time was in a very bad way spiritually. On the one hand, there were the Indians to be evangelized and led away from pagan practices including cannibalism (to which they were much attached). On the other hand, both the European settlers and many of the priests, finding themselves in a land where there was no real authority, lived scandalous lives, practising both slavery and concubinage. When the Jesuits arrived in Brazil in 1549 they worked hard to regularize the situation.
  Brother Anchieta became the assistant and interpreter of the Jesuit superior Father Nóbrega. They set up a mission which later grew into the city of São Paulo, and Anchieta made the school there his headquarters. He learned the local Tupi language and wrote the first ever grammar of it; he wrote dramas to teach the faith to the illiterate and the uneducated; he gave medical assistance to the Indians and taught them skills such as agriculture, carpentry, and the use of stone and metal. With Nóbrega he gave himself up as a hostage in 1563 so that a peace settlement could be reached between two warring tribes, and he narrowly escaped martyrdom on more than one occasion.
  He was ordained a priest in 1566 and was the Jesuit Provincial in Brazil from 1577 to 1587. He died on 9 June 1597, exhausted by his labours.
  He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980 and recognized as a saint by Pope Francis on April 2014.

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

Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)

Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
  Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.

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.

Other notes: Universalis anniversary

On this day in 1996 the Universalis Web site was opened to the public.
  Pray for those who contribute to it.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)(Romans 4:24-25) ©
We believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, Jesus who was put to death for our sins and raised to life to justify us.

Noon reading (Sext)1 John 5:5-6 ©
Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus Christ came by water and blood: not with water only, but with water and blood.

Afternoon reading (None)(Ephesians 4:23-24) ©
Let your spirits be renewed so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.
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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