Universalis
Saturday 5 August 2017    (other days)
Saturday of week 17 in Ordinary Time 
 or Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness: come, let us adore him.

Year: A(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.

The Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major
The Council of Ephesus in 431 formally proclaimed the mother of Jesus as the Mother of God, and the church (basilica) of St Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill in Rome was built shortly afterwards to celebrate her motherhood. This is the oldest church in the West that is dedicated to Our Lady.
  The title “Mother of God” may seem technical or even excessive; but it emphasises the central truth of the Incarnation, that Jesus Christ was not only a true man, but God also; and not only God, but man born of a woman.
Saturday memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary
‘On Saturdays in Ordinary Time when there is no obligatory memorial, an optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary is allowed.
  ‘Saturdays stand out among those days dedicated to the Virgin Mary. These are designated as memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This memorial derives from Carolingian times (9th century), but the reasons for having chosen Saturday for its observance are unknown. While many explanations of this choice have been advanced, none is completely satisfactory from the point of view of the history of popular piety.
  ‘Whatever its historical origins may be, today the memorial rightly emphasizes certain values to which contemporary spirituality is more sensitive. It is a remembrance of the maternal example and discipleship of the Blessed Virgin Mary who, strengthened by faith and hope, on that “great Saturday” on which Our Lord lay in the tomb, was the only one of the disciples to hold vigil in expectation of the Lord’s resurrection. It is a prelude and introduction to the celebration of Sunday, the weekly memorial of the Resurrection of Christ. It is a sign that the Virgin Mary is continuously present and operative in the life of the Church.’
  
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2001), §188
Other saints: Blessed Frédéric Janssoone (1838 - 1916)
Canada
He was born in Flanders, the youngest of thirteen children. When he was nine years old, his father died, and he left school to help support his mother, until her death in 1861. He then joined the Franciscans and became a priest. After serving as a military chaplain and preaching in the Holy Land, he was sent to Canada on a fund-raising tour in 1881, settling there permanently in 1888. By his preaching and his writing he led many people to bear authentic witness to the Gospel and share his closeness to Christ.

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 season in which we are being neither especially penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).

Mid-morning reading (Terce)1 Kings 8:60-61 ©
May all the peoples of the earth come to know that the Lord is God indeed, and that there is no other. May your hearts be wholly with the Lord our God, following his laws and keeping his commandments as at this present day.

Noon reading (Sext)Jeremiah 17:9-10 ©
The heart is more devious than any other thing, perverse too: who can pierce its secrets? I, the Lord, search to the heart, I probe the loins, to give each man what his conduct and his actions deserve.

Afternoon reading (None)Wisdom 7:27,8:1 ©
Although she is alone, Wisdom can accomplish everything. She deploys her strength from one end of the earth to the other, ordering all things for good.

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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