Universalis
Saturday 20 January 2018    (other days)
Saturday of week 2 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Fabian, Pope, Martyr 
 or Saint Sebastian, Martyr 
 or Saturday memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Let us listen for the voice of the Lord and enter into his peace.

Year: B(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.

Pope St Fabian (- 250)
He became Pope in 236 and was martyred on 20 January 250, during the persecution of the Emperor Decius. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
St Sebastian
Nothing is known about St Sebastian except the fact that he was martyred early on in the persecutions of Diocletian. St Ambrose knew of him and states that he was already venerated in Milan in the fourth century. One of the seven chief churches of Rome was built over his grave in 367.
  All else (his youth, his martyrdom by arrows) is fiction, some of it dating from more than a thousand years after his death. But what we know is what we need to know. For the Christians of the fourth century the important, the true, the sufficient fact about Sebastian was that he was a martyr, and they venerated him as such. It should be enough for us as well. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
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
Other saints: Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi (1903 - 1964)
Nottingham, Nigeria, Southern Africa
Father Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in 1903. He was brought up by the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) and trained as a teacher and a catechist. Later he decided to join the seminary and in 1937 he was ordained a priest. In 1950 he left his Diocese in order to go to England where he joined the Cistercian Abbey of Mount St Bernard, near Nottingham. He had been singled out as the ideal candidate to be trained in England and then return to establish a Trappist Monastery in the Diocese of Onitsha in Nigeria. Fr Tansi lived the monastic life with great faith and humility. Absorbed in prayer, he was a living example of patience and charity. Early in 1964 he was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm and died two weeks later on 20 January 1964. See the article in Wikipedia.

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 season in which we are being neither especially penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Deuteronomy 8:5-6 ©
The Lord your God was training you as a man trains his child. Keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and so follow his ways and reverence him.

Noon reading (Sext)1 Kings 2:2-3 ©
Be strong and show yourself a man. Observe the injunctions of the Lord your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his customs and his decrees, so that you may be successful in all you do and undertake.

Afternoon reading (None)Jeremiah 6:16 ©
Put yourselves on the ways of long ago and enquire about the ancient paths: which was the good way? Take it then, and you shall find rest.

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Office of Readings for Saturday of week 2

Morning Prayer for Saturday of week 2

Evening Prayer 1 for 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Full page including sources and copyrights

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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