The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
St Wenceslaus (907 - 935)
He was born into the Bohemian royal family, and brought up as a Christian by his aunt. When he became king, he worked hard to promote order in his kingdom and the free exercise of Christianity. This raised considerable opposition, and he was eventually murdered by his brother’s henchmen. He was immediately acclaimed as a martyr and is the patron saint of the Czech republic.
Saints Lawrence Ruiz and his Companions, Martyrs
The followers of Christ, arriving unexpectedly in Japan, without any permission, have spread and propagated their wicked law, destroying the good and legitimate one and plotting to overthrow authority in the country. This is the beginning of great calamity, which we should avoid by all means. All these Christians should be eliminated without any delay. If anyone dares to contravene this order, he will be put to death.
Lawrence Ruiz was born in Manila of a Chinese father and Filipino mother. He was married and had three children. He joined a Dominican missionary expedition to Japan in order to escape arrest for a crime of which he was accused. He was arrested by the Japanese authorities in Nagasaki, tortured and executed in September 1637. He is the first Filipino martyr.
August and October 1633
Dominic Ibañez de Erquicia was a Spanish Dominican priest. He worked secretly in Japan from 1623. He was 44 at the age of his execution.
Francis Shoyemon was Japanese. He was a companion of Domingo Ibañez in his apostolate. He received the Dominican habit while in prison.
James Kyushei Tomonaga of St Mary was a Japanese Dominican priest. He was born of a noble Christian family in Kyudetsu, and studied at the Jesuits’ College at Nagasaki. He was expelled from Japan in 1614 for working as a catechist. In 1632 he returned to Japan to help his fellow-Christians. He was arrested, tortured and later killed, “because he was a religious and propagated the faith”. He was 51 years old when he died.
Michael Kuroboiye was a Japanese lay catechist, a companion of Father James of St Mary. Under torture he revealed Father James’s hiding-place. Repenting, he proclaimed his faith and joined his companion in his martyrdom.
Lucas Alonso of the Holy Spirit was a Spanish Dominican priest. He went to Japan in 1623 and worked there, encountering great risks and hardships for ten years. He was arrested in Osaka and killed in Nagasaki after being tortured, at the age of 39.
Matthew Kohioye of the Rosary was a Dominican novice, a catechist and helper of Lucas Alonso. He was arrested in Osaka and endured terrible tortures without apostatizing. He was 18 at the time of his death.
The Dominicans in Manila organised a missionary expedition to the Christians in Japan. They arrived in Okinawa in 1636 and were arrested and held in prison for a year before being condemned to death.
Antonio González was a Spanish Dominican priest. He died in prison after being tortured, at the age of 45.
William Courtet, or Thomas of St Dominic, was born in France. He was a Dominican. He endured horrible tortures, singing psalms and praises to Our Lady of the Rosary. He was 47 when he was executed.
Niguel de Aozaraza was a Spanish Dominican priest. He was executed at the age of 39 after tremendous suffering.
Vincent Schiwozuka of the Cross was a Japanese Dominican priest. He was expelled from Japan in 1614. He became a priest in Manila and worked among the Japanese exiles. He became a Dominican before his return to Japan in 1636. He apostatized after a year of imprisonment and torture but soon returned to the faith and died a martyr.
Lázaro of Kyoto was a Japanese layman. He contracted leprosy and was deported to the Philippines with other lepers. In 1636 he joined Antonio González as his guide and interpreter. Unable to endure the torture he apostatized for a few hours, but then repented and died for Christ together with the others.
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
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Hilary of Poitiers (- 367)
Hilary was born at the beginning of the fourth century. He was elected Bishop of Poitiers in 350. He fought strongly against Arianism and was exiled by the Emperor Constantius. His works are full of wisdom and learning, directed to the strengthening of the Catholic faith and the right interpretation of Scripture. He died in 367. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1851.
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).
|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.