Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
St Hugh of Lincoln (1140 - 1200)
He was born near Grenoble in France and entered the Carthusian monastery of La Grande Chartreuse at the age of 25. In 1175 he was asked by King Henry II of England to become prior of a Carthusian house in England, and a decade later he was appointed bishop of Lincoln, a post which he accepted only when directly commanded to do so by the prior of La Grande Chartreuse. His diocese was the largest in England, and he spent the rest of his life in ceaseless work there. He delegated much authority. He was a friend (and critic) of successive kings, but also worked with his own hands on the extension of his cathedral. He gained a great reputation for justice, the care of the sick, and the support of the oppressed: he risked his life to help the Jewish community. He died in London on 16 November 1200 and was declared a saint in 1220, the first Carthusian to be canonized.
Other saints: St Roque González and his companions (-1628)
Saint Roque González de Santa Cruz was born in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, on 17 November 1576. He came from a noble Spanish family but also spoke the local language, Guaraní, from an early age.
He was ordained priest at the age of 22 and joined the Jesuits in 1609 to work as a missionary. He was the first European to enter the region that is now the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Delicate diplomacy was required to convince the local Indian leaders that he, as a priest, was not there to prepare the way for European settlement of the land.
From 1613 onwards he founded several of the Jesuit ‘reductions’ which brought Indians together to learn to live in settlements. The ‘reductions’ later became part of Brazil as a result of a territorial exchange between the Spanish and Portuguese empires, and because of the support they gave the Indians as against the colonial authorities, they were one of the reasons for the suppression of the Jesuits by the Portuguese Empire in the mid-18th century.
In the region of Iyuí (now in Brazil) he had difficulties with the local chieftain and sorcerer (‘cacique’) Nheçu (Spanish ‘Ñezú’), who had him killed on 15 November 1628, along with his Spanish companions Juan de Castillo and Alfonso Rodríguez.
They were beatified in 1934 and canonized by Pope John Paul II on 16 May 1988.
Other saints: St Raphael Kalinowski (1835-1907)
19 Nov (where celebrated)
Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in 1835. Following military service, he was condemned in 1864 to ten years of forced labour in Siberia. In 1877, he became a Discalced Carmelite and was ordained a priest in 1882. He contributed greatly to the restoration of many Discalced Carmelite communities in Poland that had previously been suppressed under Russian occupation. His life was distinguished by zeal for Church unity and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as a confessor and spiritual director. He died in Wadowice, Austria-Hungary, in 1907.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Saint Andrew of Crete (650? - 720/740?)
St Andrew of Crete is of great importance in the Orthodox Church because he invented – or at least introduced into the liturgy – the canon, a new form of hymnody of which there is no sign before his time. Canons are huge, elaborately structured musical and poetic compositions. Andrew’s immense “Greek Canon”, for instance, is a hymn 250 verses long interspersed with litanies and odes, takes three hours to chant, and goes chronologically through the entire Old and New Testaments, showing examples of the need for repentance and conversion.
The canon, as a genre, has never taken real root in the rest of Christendom, but in addition to his achievements as a hymnographer Andrew was a noted preacher of sermons and discourses, and it is extracts from these that form some of our Second Readings. As might be expected from such a poet they are clear and inspiring, deriving their effect more from the arrangement of images and episodes so that one reflects and illuminates another, rather than from closely-argued pieces of reasoning.
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)||Jeremiah 17:7-8 ©|
A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord, with the Lord for his hope. He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Proverbs 3:13-15 ©|
Happy the man who discovers wisdom, the man who gains discernment: gaining her is more rewarding than silver, more profitable than gold. She is beyond the price of pearls, nothing you could covet is her equal.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Job 5:17-18 ©|
Happy indeed the man whom God corrects! So do not refuse this lesson from the Omnipotent: for he who wounds is he who soothes the sore, and the hand that hurts is the hand that heals.