Come, ring out our joy to the Lord; hail the God who saves us, alleluia.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|In other years: Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (1572 - 1641)|
She was born in Dijon, in France, in 1572. She married a nobleman called de Chantal, by whom she had six children whom she brought up in the faith. When her husband died she placed herself under the guidance of Saint Francis de Sales and progressed rapidly along the way of perfection. She performed many good works for the poor and the sick. She founded the Order of the Visitation and guided it wisely. She died in 1641. See the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
|Other saints: Blessed Isidore Bakanja (c.1886 - 1909)|
Today the Church in Africa remembers one of her youngest martyrs in the person of Isidore Bakanja. A member of the Boangi tribe, he was born in Bokendela in what was then the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) around the year 1886.
He was baptized on 6 May 1906 after receiving instruction from Trappists missionaries. Rosary in hand, he used any chance to share his faith; though he was untrained, many considered him as a catechist. He left his native village because there were no fellow-Christians there.
He then worked as a domestic on a Belgian rubber plantation. Many of the Belgian agents were atheists, who hated missionaries due to their fight for native rights and justice. (The agents used the term “mon père” for anyone associated with religion). Isidore encountered their hatred when he asked leave to go home. The agents refused, and he was ordered to stop teaching fellow workers how to pray: “You’ll have the whole village praying and no one will work!” He was told to discard his Carmelite scapular, and when he did not, he was flogged twice. The second time, the agent tore the scapular from Isidore’s neck, had him pinned to the ground, and then beaten with over 100 blows with a whip of elephant hide with nails on the end. He was then chained to a single spot 24 hours a day.
When an inspector came to the plantation, Isidore was sent to another village so that he would not be seen. He managed to hide in the forest, then dragged himself to the inspector. “I saw a man,” wrote the horrified inspector, “come from the forest with his back torn apart by deep, festering, malodorous wounds, covered with filth, assaulted by flies. He leaned on two sticks in order to get near me – he wasn’t walking; he was dragging himself”. The agent tried to kill “that animal, mon père”, but the inspector prevented him. He took Isidore home to heal, but Isidore knew better. “If you see my mother, or if you go to the judge, or if you meet a priest, tell them that I am dying because I am a Christian.”
Two missionaries who spent several days with him reported that he devoutly received the last sacraments. The missionaries urged Isidore to forgive the agent; he assured them that he already had. “I shall pray for him. When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much.” After six months of prayer and suffering, he died on 15 August 1909, rosary in hand and scapular around his neck.
|Other saints: Saint Muredach|
He was a disciple of St Patrick and possibly a member of his family. He was put in charge of the church at Killala in 442 or 443. It is probable that he resigned his see after a few years, and retired to end his life in the lonely island in Donegal Bay which has ever since borne his name, Innismurray.
|Other saints: Saint Attracta|
She lived in the fifth or sixth century and the details of her life have been obscured by legend. She may have received the veil from St Patrick. She is said to have founded several churches in the Counties of Galway and Sligo.
|Other saints: Saint Lelia|
St Lelia is particularly venerated in the diocese of Limerick, but all details of her life have been lost. She clearly lived, but when and how is no longer known for certain.
|Other saints: Saint Blaan (-590)|
Argyll & the Isles
Saint Blane (Old Irish Bláán) was born on the Isle of Bute, a nephew of St Cathan, and was educated in Ireland under Saints Comgall and Kenneth. He became a monk, went to Scotland, and was eventually bishop among the Picts.
|Other saints: Bl Isidore Bakanja (c.1887-1909)|
12 Aug (where celebrated)
Isidore Bakanja was born about 1887 in Bokendala (Congo), into the Boangi tribe. He worked as a labourer during much of his childhood. At the age of 18, he heard the Gospel through the work of the Cistercian missionaries and was baptised. He became a devout convert and fervent catechist. He also expressed a particular devotion to Mary in the Rosary and his enrolment in the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
While he was working on a plantation, he was forbidden to speak of his Christianity or to wear the scapular, that he wore as a witness to his faith. Isidore refused to comply with these demands and as a result was severely beaten. His health began a rapid decline and when the plantation inspector discovered the young man’s failing condition, medical intervention could not save his life. As Isidore lay dying, he expressed forgiveness for his aggressor declaring, “When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much.” He died soon after, the year was 1909.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Catherine of Siena (1347 - 1380)|
Catherine was born in Siena and, seeking perfection, entered the Third Order of the Dominicans when she was still in her teens. In 1370 she was commanded by a vision to leave her secluded life and enter the public life of the world. She wrote letters to many major public figures and carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, urging him to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States. She burned with the love of God and her neighbour. As an ambassador she brought peace and harmony between cities. She fought hard to defend the liberty and rights of the Popes and did much for the renewal of religious life. She also dictated books full of sound doctrine and spiritual inspiration. She died on 29 April 1380. In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church.
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)||Romans 8:15-16 ©|
The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 8:22-23 ©|
From the beginning until now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Timothy 1:9 ©|
God has saved us and called us to be holy, not because of anything we ourselves have done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time.