The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
Saint Damien of Molokai (1840 - 1889)
Joseph de Veuster was born in Belgium and took the name Damien on entering the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary at Leuven (Louvain). He landed in Hawaii in 1864, fulfilling his dream of becoming a missionary. In 1873, at his own request, he took up residence at the leper colony at Kalaupapa and ministered to its spiritual and material needs until he caught leprosy himself and eventually died of it.
Saint John of Avila (c.1500-1569)
John was born in Almodóvar del Campo, in the Spanish province of Ciudad Real, around 1500. As a priest he travelled throughout Andalusia, drawing crowds by his preaching. His enemies, disturbed by his success and challenged by his teaching, denounced him for heresy, and he made no attempt to avoid imprisonment or trial, but preached the Catholic faith even more fervently.
He played an important part in the setting up of the Council of Trent, where his voice was heard through the treatises he wrote for its guidance even though he was not well enough to attend; and wrote a further work to guide the Bishop of Córdoba in the implementation of the Council’s reforms. He spent his last years in Montilla, and there he fell asleep in the Lord on 10 May 1569.
Other saints: Saint Comgall (510/520 - 597/602)
He was the founder and abbot of the great Irish monastery at Bangor in what is now Northern Ireland. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: St. Antoninus of Florence OP (1389 - 1459)
10 May (where celebrated)
Dominican Friar and Bishop.
Antonino Fierozzi was born in Florence in 1389 and in 1405 was received into the Order of Preachers “for the future priory of Fiesole” by Blessed John Dominic, who at that time was reforming the Dominican priories of the area according to the wishes of Blessed Raymond of Capua. He served the friars in various priories in Italy, often as local superior, and became a distinguished master of canon law. In 1436 he founded the famous priory of San Marco in Florence and under his leadership Fra Angelico decorated the priory and an outstanding library was collected. His wisdom and pastoral zeal made him a natural choice for Archbishop of Florence in 1446. He was noted for his service to the poor and established a society under the patronage of Saint Martin to assist him in this work. Among his writings the best known is his Summa moralis.
His whole life was mirrored in his last words, “to serve God is to reign.” He died on May 2, 1459.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Didymus of Alexandria (c.310-395)
Didymus, known as “Didymus the Blind” because he went blind at the age of four, was the head of the famous catechetical school of Alexandria for over fifty years. He remained always a layman, and was one of the most learned and widely respective ascetics of his time: St Jerome once stayed with him for a month, to have his doubts resolved on difficult passages in Scripture, and referred to him as “the Seer” rather than “the Blind”.
Didymus was a leading opponent of Arianism, which held that Christ is not truly divine but a created being. He was, however, also a follower of Origen and took on some of his errors, so that, although he was not condemned by name at the time that Origenism as a whole was condemned, his works fell out of fashion and, as they were not copied, gradually disappeared over the centuries.
Didymus’ Trinitarian and Christological doctrine is, however, perfectly orthodox. He was a pioneer in expressing the doctrine of the Trinity in a way that was clear and unambiguous and could not be misunderstood. This was a delicate business requiring a careful choice of terms, especially in Greek, which lacked a direct equivalent of straightforward Latin words such as persona. “On the Trinity”, which is used in the Office of Readings, is his most important work.
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)||(Apocalypse 1:17-18) ©|
I saw the Son of Man, and he said to me, ‘Have no fear! I am the First and the Last. I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld.’
|Noon reading (Sext)||Colossians 2:9,12 ©|
In Christ lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Timothy 2:8,11 ©|
Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’. Here is a saying that you can rely on: ‘If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.’