Give thanks to the Lord, for his great love is without end.
Year: C(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Other saints: St Ethelbert (c.560 - 616)
Ethelbert, or Aethelberht, was King of Kent from about 580 or 590 until his death. He was the first king in England to convert to Christianity: according to Bede, this happened shortly after St Augustine arrived on his mission to the English. He helped the Church to establish itself by making it a gift of land at Canterbury.
Other saints: Bl. Maria Adeodata Pisani (1806 - 1855)
She was the daughter of noble Maltese parents, who separated while she was still a small child. She renounced her wealth and position and became a nun at the age of 21 despite her mother’s disapproval. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001.
Other saints: St Walburga (- 776)
Walburga was the daughter of the saintly Saxon prince Richard of Wessex. At the invitation of St Boniface, she accompanied her brothers SS. Willibald and Winebald to Germany, where she founded monasteries. She died on May 11th 776, as Abbess of Heidenheim, and her body was placed in a rocky niche in Eichstadt. It was said that there began to exude from this place a miraculously therapeutic oil, which drew many pilgrims.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Gregory of Agrigentum (late 6th century)
Gregory was born near Agrigentum (Girgenti) in Sicily. He was ordained deacon while on a pilgrimage to Palestine, by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and was ordained Bishop of Agrigentum while on a visit to Rome. Pope St Gregory the Great addressed several letters to him.
There is a long biography of him, written some years after his death, but it is short on the kind of dry biographical detail that is valued in the modern West and long on the stories of personalities, feuds, injustice, divine assistance and eventual vindication which may well be true (there is no reason for them not to be) but which do not accord well with our current ideas of what history ought to be. Even the date of Gregory’s death is uncertain. By 594 he was no longer Bishop, but whether this was due to death, dismissal or retirement, nobody knows.
On the other hand, the “Gregory of Agrigentum” who wrote the exposition on Ecclesiastes which appears among the Second Readings may be another Gregory of Agrigentum from the late seventh, and not the late sixth, century. Or he may even be someone else altogether, from later still.
Faced with such rich material for controversy among scholars, this is one of those cases when it is better not to worry too much about the exact authorship, instead absorbing and deriving spiritual benefit from the rich line of interpretation which this work provides. It is the quality of the Exposition on Ecclesiastes, not the identity of its author, which has secured it its place in the Liturgy of the Hours.
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).
Other notes: Stanisław Leon Kochanski (1923 - 1999)
On this day in 1999 died Staszek Kochanski, father of Martin Kochanski, the founder of Universalis. Please pray for the repose of his soul; and for his son and daughter, who survive him.
If you would like to follow the funeral service, you can do so here
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Romans 1:16-17 ©|
The power of God saves all who have faith – Jews first, but Greeks as well – since this is what reveals the justice of God to us: it shows how faith leads to faith, or as scripture says: The upright man finds life through faith.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 3:21-22 ©|
God’s justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outside the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone who believes.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Ephesians 2:8-9 ©|
It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.