A mighty God is the Lord: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
St Bridget of Sweden (1303 - 1373)
She was married to a nobleman and had eight children. At the age of 30 she was summoned to the court of the King of Sweden, where she served as lady-in-waiting to the queen. She tried without much success to moderate the riotous and indecent life of the royal court.
After a pilgrimage to the shrine of St James at Compostela in Spain, Bridget and her husband Ulf decided to spend the rest of their lives in monasteries. Ulf died in 1344, but Bridget went on to found a double monastery (for men and women in separate but adjacent institutions) as the start of a new monastic order.
In 1350 she travelled to Rome for the Holy Year, and spent the rest of her life there caring for the poor and the sick, denouncing the excesses of the aristocracy, and robustly telling the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon.
She had many mystical visions, which alarmed her because she feared that they might be the work of the Devil; but a learned Cistercian monk reassured her, and she subsequently dictated and published the revelations she received, which were partially devotional and partly prophetic.
Other saints: SS. Philip Evans and John Lloyd (- 1679)
Philip Evans was born in Monmouth in 1645 and became a Jesuit. He arrived in South Wales as a missionary in 1675. John Lloyd, from Breconshire, was a secular priest who took the missionary oath in 1649 and was sent to minister in Wales. In the scare caused by the lies of Titus Oates, both were arrested. They were tried in 1679 on the charge of being priests and coming into Wales, of which they were undoubtedly guilty. They were executed in Cardiff on 22 July 1679. See the article in WIkipedia
Other saints: St Philip Evans (1645-1679) and St John Lloyd (c.1630-1679)
Philip Evans was born in Monmouth, 1645, and was educated at St Omer where he joined the Society of Jesus. After ordination he was sent to South Wales to work. Despite the official anti-Catholic policy he was left alone for some years by the local officials. In 1678 in the wake of the so-called ‘Popish Plot’ he was taken prisoner, £200 (then a huge sum of money) having been offered as a reward for his arrest. He refused to take the Oath of Allegiance and was kept in Cardiff Castle. He was not put on trial for several months because, it is said, no one could be found to testify against him.
John Lloyd was a Welshman, born in Brecon about the year 1630. He studied for the priesthood in Valladolid, Spain and then returned to Wales where he ministered as a diocesan priest for over twenty years without any recorded problems. Following the ‘Popish Plot’ of Titus Oates, Lloyd was arrested in Glamorgan and charged with having said Mass at Llantilio, Penrhos, and Trievor. He was imprisoned at Cardiff Castle with Philip Evans. They were tried together and were both condemned for their priesthood. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered together on 22 July, 1679 on Gallows Field in Cardiff. Philip Evans spoke at some length to the crowd in both English and Welsh. In the course of his speech he said: “I die for God and religion’s sake; and I think myself so happy that if I had many lives I would willingly give them all for so great a cause.” His companion John Lloyd said very little: “I never was a good speaker in my life”, but that he died in “the true Catholic and Apostolic faith”.
Other saints: Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace
23 Jul (where celebrated)
The Blessed Virgin Mary was eternally predestined, in the context of the incarnation of the divine Word, to be Mother of God. As decreed by divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving Mother of the divine Redeemer, his associate, uniquely generous, and the Lord’s humble servant. She conceived, bore, and nourished Christ; presented him to the Father in the Temple; and was united with him in his suffering as he died on the cross. In a completely unparalleled way she cooperated, by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, with our Saviour’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is Mother to us all in the order of grace.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Ignatius of Antioch (- 107)
He was the second bishop of Antioch after St Peter (the first being Evodius). He was arrested (some writers believe that he must have been denounced by a fellow-Christian), condemned to death, and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. In one of his letters he describes the soldiers who were escorting him as being like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”
In the course of his journey he wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life. They are important documents for the early history of the Church, and they also reveal a deeply holy man who accepts his fate and begs the Christians in Rome not to try to deprive him of the crown of martyrdom.
He was martyred in 107.
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).
Other notes: Gabryela Teresa Kochanski (1927 - 2006)
On this day in 2006 died Thérèse Kochanski, mother of Martin Kochanski, the founder of Universalis. Please pray for the repose of her soul; and for her son and daughter who survive her.
If you would like to follow the funeral service, you can do so here
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 John 3:17-18 ©|
If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Deuteronomy 30:11,14 ©|
This Law that I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach. No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Isaiah 55:10-11 ©|
|The word that goes out from my mouth does not return to me empty|
Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’