Let us come before the Lord, giving thanks.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul|
Already in the twelfth century there was being celebrated today the anniversary of the dedication of the basilicas of St Peter at the Vatican and St Paul in the Via Ostiense by Pope St Silvester and Pope St Siricius in the fourth century. More recently this commemoration has been extended to the whole Church, honouring the two greatest apostles of Christ just as the anniversary of the dedication of St Mary Major (5 August) celebrates the motherhood of the Virgin Mother of God.
|Other saints: Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769 - 1852)|
She was born to a noble family at Grenoble in France. She joined the Visitation nuns at the age of 18 but the community was abolished by the French Revolution. After several attempts to re-establish it, Philippine with some of her companions joined the recently-founded Religious of the Sacred Heart. She had always dreamt of being a missionary and in 1818 she sailed for the New World. She landed at New Orleans and she and her companions settled at St Charles, Missouri. They founded an orphanage: other foundations followed, and she is credited with saving the Jesuit mission to Missouri from failure, helping them in any way she could and sharing her community’s few resources with them.
Philippine longed to spread the gospel among the Indian tribes. At the age of 72 she went with three companions to start a school for Indian girls at Sugar Creek, Kansas. She only stayed there a year, but although she was unable to learn the language her habit of constant prayer was a lasting inspiration to the pupils. She spent the last 10 years of her life back at St Charles, in constant prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (462/7 - 527/ 533)|
Fulgentius was bishop of the city of Ruspe in the Roman province of Africa, which is in modern-day Tunisia. At that time Africa and parts of the Near East were ruled by the Vandals, who were Arians, calling themselves Christians but denying the divinity of Christ. As a result Fulgentius’ early career was marked by a series of flights from persecution, as Catholics tried to maintain their faith under Vandal rule. It was a complicated time. In 499 he was tortured for saying that Jesus was both God and man; the next year the Vandal king Thrasamund, impressed by his talents, invited him to return from exile and become a bishop (Fulgentius declined, since he knew that Thrasamund had ordered that none but Arians should be bishops); two years later he was persuaded to become bishop of Ruspe in Tunisia but shortly afterwards he was exiled to Sardinia. Thrasamund invited him back in 515 to debate against the Arians but exiled him again in 520.
In 523, following the death of Thrasamund and the accession of his Catholic son Hilderic, Fulgentius was allowed to return to Ruspe and try to convert the populace back to the faith. He worked to reform many of the abuses which had infiltrated his old diocese in his absence. The power and effectiveness of his preaching were so profound that his archbishop, Boniface of Carthage, wept openly every time he heard Fulgentius preach, and publicly thanked God for giving such a preacher to his 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 13:8,10 ©|
Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.
|Noon reading (Sext)||James 1:19-20,26 ©|
Be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper; God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger. Nobody must imagine that he is religious while he still goes on deceiving himself and not keeping control over his tongue; anyone who does this has the wrong idea of religion.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Peter 1:17,18,19 ©|
You must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ.