Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|Other saints: Saint Donan|
Argyll & the Isles
St Donan, or Donnan, came from Ireland and established a monastery on the Isle of Eigg in the Inner Hebrides. On Easter Sunday 617 he and his 52 companions were celebrating Mass when Danish pirates arrived. The pirates allowed them to finish the Mass and then beheaded them all.
Donan is the patron saint of Eigg.
|Other saints: Bl Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua (1447-1516)|
17 Apr (where celebrated)
Baptist came from a family who served the Dukes of Mantua, in a northern region of Italy. He entered a Carmelite community in Ferrara and professed his religious vows in 1464. This community was part of what would later be known as the ‘Mantuan Reform’, living a stricter observance of the Carmelite Rule and seeking a spirituality of integrity amidst laxity and lethargy that characterised many religious groups of the time.
It was during his studies and doctoral work at the University of Bologna (completed in 1475) that Baptist discovered his passion for poetry in the style of classic Latin antiquity. In the wake of the rise of Christian Humanism in literature, his passion drew him into friendships with many writers. The great humanist, Erasmus of Rotterdam, reading Baptist’s work, gave him the nickname “the Christian Vergil”. In addition to his poetic works, Baptist also used his writing skill to critique the violent political situation of Renaissance Italy. He used his pen to encourage his fellow Carmelites in their interior lives of solitude, prayer and recollection, and he also wrote prayers and poems that honoured Mary and the saints.
Baptist also demonstrated a gift for leadership. Six times he was elected Vicar General for the Reformed Congregation (the Mantuan Reform). He was well known for his direct and eloquent condemnation of the corruption and immorality that was prevalent in the Church of the time. In 1513 Baptist was elected Prior General for the whole Order, a role that lasted until his death in 1516.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)|
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
|Liturgical colour: violet|
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Timothy 2:4-6 ©|
God our saviour wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 15:3 ©|
Christ did not think of himself. The words of scripture apply to him: the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Hebrews 9:28 ©|
Christ offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.