The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: White.
Blessed Catherine of Saint Augustine (1632 - 1668)
Catherine de Longpré was born May 3, 1632 at Saint-Sauveur, France. Following the advice of Saint John Eudes, she entered the Augustinian Hospitaller Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus in 1644. She volunteered to go to her community’s mission in Quebec. Her family was strongly opposed to the idea, but she prevailed, and arrived there in 1648.
She spent her life ministering to the poor and sick in Quebec, and died there at the age of 36.
Other saints: Blessed John Sullivan (1861-1933)
8 May (where celebrated)
John Sullivan (1861 – 1933) was born into a wealthy Dublin family and baptized in the Church of Ireland. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1896, at the age of thirty-five. Four years later, he entered the Jesuits. He was known for his life of deep spiritual reflection and personal sacrifice; he is recognised for his dedicated work with the poor and afflicted; during his lifetime, cures were attributed to his intercession, though he himself did not accept this. He spent much of his time walking and riding his bike to visit those who were troubled or ill in the villages around Clongowes Wood College school where he taught from 1907 until his death.
Other saints: Bl Aloysius Rabatà (c.1443-1490)
8 May (where celebrated)
Aloysius was born at Erice, near Trapani, Sicily, around the year 1443. Little is known of his early life. Accounts from the canonical process of beatification identify him as the prior of the Carmelite Community of St Michael in Randazzo, Sicily. Brother Aloysius is remembered as a model Carmelite prior, living the care, concern and responsibility of a prior as outlined in the Carmelite Rule. His simple, virtuous and exemplary life was a model for the other brothers of his community. He shared in all aspects of work in the community, including the humbler tasks such as begging for the community’s bread. His welcome, hospitality and spiritual counsel were well remembered by visitors to the community. As well, his generosity of spirit overflowed into his care for the poor of Randazzo.
Toward the end of his life, while out collecting wood for the community, he was assaulted and wounded on the forehead and suffered for a long time as a consequence. In iconography Aloysius is often represented with a palm in his hand and an arrow driven into his forehead, believed to be the cause of his death. According to tradition, an unknown assailant had wounded Aloysius because he thought Aloysius had been excessive in reproving a brother for immoral conduct. He would never reveal who had hurt him and when questioned would only reply, “I pray that God will pardon him, and will be glorified by what has happened.”
Brother Aloysius died at Randazzo and was buried there in the church. Devotion to the memory of the Christ-like care Aloysius lived out brought healing to many at his tomb following his death.
Other saints: Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the entire Order of Preachers
8 May (where celebrated)
It has been customary for the Church to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary under titles such as Mediatrix, thereby indicating the continuing saving role of her maternity in the order of grace, for “by her many acts of intercession she continues to gain for us gifts of eternal salvation.” (Lumen gentium, 62)
Blessed Humbert of Romans declares that “the Blessed Virgin was of great help in beginning the Order ... and it is to be hoped that she will bring it to a good end.” (Opera II, 70-71) From its foundation the Order has not hesitated to acknowledge the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin, to continuously experience it and to commend it to the hearts of the brothers and sisters, so that encouraged by this maternal help they might adhere more closely to their Mediator and Redeemer as they labor to carry out their mission of salvation in the world. (See Lumen gentium, 62)
Until the recent restoration of the liturgical calendar, the Order celebrated the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 22, the anniversary of the approval of the Order by Pope Honorius III (December 22, 1216). Keeping in mind the special character of the weekdays of Advent which take precedence over all other memorials, it is suggested that the commemoration of this Patronage be celebrated on May 8 – during the month which is specially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and on the day when she is honored under similar titles in other proper liturgical calendars.
Today's Mass reading: The God-fearers
Today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles shows us the ‘God-fearers’, the non-Jews who revered Judaism without actually becoming Jews themselves. We tend to forget them in our view of history because they don’t fit easily into our ‘either-or’ categories, but the Jews were aware of them to the extent – for example – of having rules about which parts of the Temple they were or were not allowed to enter.
In today’s pagan world there are also many who are ‘God-fearers.’ We have a duty to them just as the Jews did. On the one hand we must deny them nothing that might nourish them, on the other hand (just like the Jews) we must not pretend that there is no difference between them and us: to say that there is no difference would be to deny the very thing that they revere. On the other hand, to go all-out enthusiastic about bringing them into the fold is usually the best way of chasing them away from it. You lead a horse by walking beside it, not by pulling it from the front. To catch a fish, you do not jump into the water and splash around trying to grab it.
There is no simple instant formula. We don’t know what God’s plan for our friend’s soul is – nor for ours. But there is a plan, and one way or another each of us can be a means of grace for anyone, a channel through which the Spirit will do his work.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Pope St Clement I
Clement was Bishop of Rome after Peter, Linus and Cletus. He lived towards the end of the first century, but nothing is known for certain about his life. Clement’s letter to the Corinthian church has survived. It is the first known Patristic document, and exhorts them to peace and brotherly harmony.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Acts 2:32,36 ©|
God raised this man Jesus to life, and all of us are witnesses to that. For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Galatians 3:27-28 ©|
All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Corinthians 5:7-8 ©|
Get rid of all the old yeast, and make yourselves into a completely new batch of bread, unleavened as you are meant to be. Christ, our passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast, then, by getting rid of all the old yeast of evil and wickedness, having only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.