Come before the Lord, singing with joy.
Year: C(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
In the early thirteenth century seven young Florentines formed a confraternity of laymen devoted to the praise of Mary. In 1233, after a vision on the feast of the Assumption, they took up the life of hermits on Monte Senario outside Florence. They went preaching through the whole of Tuscany and founded the order of the Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Servites, whose foundation was approved by the Pope in 1304. Their feast is celebrated today because one of the seven founders, Saint Alexius Falconieri, died on 17 February 1310. See the articles on the Servites in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: Saint Fintan of Clonenagh
Ireland, Argyll & the Isles
Saint Fintan was born in Leinster. He received his religious formation in Terryglass, Co. Tipperary under the abbot Colum, and was deeply influenced by his penitential practices and the severity of the Rule. Fintan made his own foundation in Clonenagh, Co. Laois. He died in 603. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: Blessed William Richardson (1572 - 1603)
He was born in Yorkshire and studied for the priesthood at seminaries in Valladolid and then Seville. He was ordained priest at some time between 1594 and 1600. He was then sent back to England, where he used the alias William Anderson, but he was quickly betrayed, arrested and imprisoned. He was tried and convicted within a week and hanged, drawn, and quartered.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Ambrose of Milan (340? - 397)
Ambrose was born in Trier (now in Germany) between 337 and 340, to a Roman family: his father was praetorian prefect of Gaul. Ambrose was educated at Rome and embarked on the standard cursus honorum of Roman advocates and administrators, at Sirmium, the capital of Illyria. In about 372 he was made prefect of Liguria and Emilia, whose capital was Milan.
In 374 the bishopric of Milan fell vacant and when Ambrose tried to pacify the conflict between the Catholics and Arians over the appointment of a new bishop, the people turned on him and demanded that he become the bishop himself. He was a layman and not yet baptized (at this time it was common for baptism to be delayed and for people to remain for years as catechumens), but that was no defence. Coerced by the people and by the emperor, he was baptized, ordained, and installed as bishop within a week, on 7 December 374.
He immediately gave his money to the poor and his land to the Church and set about learning theology. He had the advantage of knowing Greek, which few people did at that time, and so he was able to read the Eastern theologians and philosophers as well as those of the West.
He was assiduous in carrying out his office, acting with charity to all: a true shepherd and teacher of the faithful. He was unimpressed by status and when the Emperor Theodosius ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, Ambrose forced him to do public penance. He defended the rights of the Church and attacked the Arian heresy with learning, firmness and gentleness. He also wrote a number of hymns which are still in use today.
Ambrose was a key figure in the conversion of St Augustine to Catholicism, impressing Augustine (hitherto unimpressed by the Catholics he had met) by his intelligence and scholarship. He died on Holy Saturday, 4 April 397.
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)||Galatians 5:13-14 ©|
My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Galatians 5:16-17 ©|
Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Galatians 5:22,23,25 ©|
What the Spirit brings is very different: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control. Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit.