Let us rejoice in the Lord, with songs let us praise him.
Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|Other saints: St Marcellus (d. 300)|
A centurion from Tingis (Morocco), he not only refused to worship Roman gods but also threw down his soldier’s insignia in front of the legion’s standards. As he did this, he proclaimed his Christian identity, his allegiance to the Lord and rejected the worship of gods made of stone and wood. He was put to death by the sword around the year 300.
|Other saints: The Blessed Martyrs of Winchester|
Among the many English martyrs who died for their Catholic faith, five suffered in Winchester.
Roger Dicconson (sometimes spelled Dickenson) was an “undercover priest”, secretly celebrating Mass and the sacraments all over England. He was born and raised in Lincoln, studied in Rheims and was ordained there in 1583. At first he worked in Winchester but was arrested and deported. He came back to work in Worcestershire. Returning to Winchester in 1591, he was arrested while celebrating Mass. He was hung, drawn and quartered alongside Ralph Milner and Laurence Humphreys on 7 July 1591.
John Slade was a native of Manston, Dorset and was educated at New College, Oxford. A schoolmaster, he was arrested in June 1582 and imprisoned along with Blessed John Body (whose feast is on 3 November). They were tried in Winchester, and again in Andover in 1583, and from there John Slade was taken back to Winchester, where he was hung, drawn and quartered on 2 November 1583. He was beatified by Pius XI in 1929.
Ralph Milner was brought up in Flacsted, Hampshire. A practicing Anglican, he converted to Catholicism and was arrested on the very day of his First Communion. His imprisonment was hardly rigorous, for during it he found the opportunity to do much charitable work in the county. Arrested with Roger Dicconson, he was hung, drawn and quartered alongside Dicconson and Laurence Humphreys on 7 July 1591.
Laurence (sometimes spelled Lawrence) Humphreys was born in Hampshire in 1571. He converted to Catholicism at the age of 18 and worked as a catechist. He was arrested after falling ill and uttering insulting language about Queen Elizabeth while in a state of delirium. Condemned to death, he made a public profession of faith on the scaffold. He was executed in 1591 and beatified by Pius XI in 1929.
James Bird (sometimes known as Byrd or Beard) was born in 1574 in Winchester where his father held public office. He became a Catholic in 1584. Arrested in 1592, he was executed for his faith on 25 March that year and beatified by Pius XI in 1929.
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)||Jeremiah 31:33 ©|
This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Jeremiah 32:40 ©|
I will make an everlasting covenant with them. I will not cease in my efforts for their good, and I will put respect for me into their hearts, so that they turn from me no more.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Ezekiel 34:31 ©|
You, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord who speaks.