Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.
|St Stephen of Hungary (969 - 1038)|
He was the son of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He worked hard for the conversion of his country to Christianity, setting up both episcopal sees and monasteries. He was crowned the first King of Hungary in 1001.
He is the patron saint of Hungary, where his feast day, a public holiday, is celebrated on 20 August.
|Other saints: St Rock (- 1378)|
He was the son of the governor of Montpellier in France. At the age of 20 he went on a pilgrimage to Rome. When a plague broke out in Italy he took care of the infected and cured many. He himself caught the disease, but not wishing to be a burden to others, he went to the woods to die. There a dog brought him food and licked his sores. Later its owner found Rock and looked after him. He died around the year 1378. He is a model of those who carry out works of mercy, and is invoked in time of pestilence.
|Other saints: Bl Maria Sagrario of St Aloysius Gonzaga (1881-1936)|
16 Aug (where celebrated)
Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St Anne and St Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Gregory of Nyssa (335 - 395)|
Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of St Basil of Caesarea (“St Basil the Great”). He, Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, “Gregory of Nazianzus”, are known as the Cappadocian Fathers. They were active after the Council of Nicaea, working to formulate Trinitarian doctrine precisely and, in particular, to pin down the meaning and role of the least humanly comprehensible member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Basil was the leader and organizer; Gregory of Nazianzus was the thinker, the orator, the poet, pushed into administrative and episcopal roles by circumstances and by Basil; and Gregory of Nyssa, although not a great stylist, was the most gifted of the three as a philosopher and theologian. Together, the Cappadocian Fathers hammered out the doctrine of the Trinity like blacksmiths forging a piece of metal by hammer-blows into its perfect, destined shape. They were champions – and successful champions – of orthodoxy against Arianism, a battle that had to be conducted as much on the worldly and political plane as on the philosophical and theological one.
The works of Gregory of Nyssa whose extracts appear as Second Readings are not as rhetorically beautiful as those of Gregory of Nazianzus, who was an acclaimed orator; but they are helpful and clear. Most of them are commentaries on Scripture passages. They involve the mind and deepen the understanding.
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)||Wisdom 19:22 ©|
Lord, in every way you have made your people great and glorious. You have never disdained them, but stood by them always and everywhere.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Deuteronomy 4:7 ©|
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?
|Afternoon reading (None)||Esther 10:3 ©|
The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations.