The Lord is the king of virgins: come, let us adore him.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
Very little is known about her except that she lived in the 6th or 7th century near Treffynon (Holywell) in Clwyd in Wales. Various miraculous stories are told about her, and her cult has been widespread since the Middle Ages. Its main centres were Shrewsbury, where her remains were enshrined in 1138, and the well at Holywell that sprang up where, according to one version of her life, she was beheaded and then restored to life by her uncle, St Beuno. The well has remained a place of healing and pilgrimage through the Reformation to the present day.
|In other years: Saint Martin de Porres (1579 - 1639)|
He was born in Lima in Peru, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a black ex-slave. His mother gave him a Christian education and he became a pharmacist and a nurse. Despite his father’s opposition he entered the Dominican Order as a lay brother in 1603 and spent his life working for the sick and the poor. Many people of all ranks would come to him for advice. He had a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. He has been named as a patron saint of those of mixed race.
|Other saints: Saint Malachy (c.1094 - 1190)|
He was a priest in Armagh and in 1123 he was sent to the abbey of Bangor in Co. Down, then in urgent need of reform, as its abbot. He was made Bishop of Connor in 1124 and did much to revive that neglected diocese. He was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in 1132, with a similar aim, but it took him two years to obtain possession, since the Archbishopric of Armagh had become hereditary, and the family that owned it objected to an outsider taking over. He restored order to the Church and Christian morals to the people, and founded monasteries, including the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, at Mellifont. On a journey to Rome he stopped at Clairvaux to visit his friend St Bernard, fell sick and died in his arms. See the article in Wikipedia
|Other saints: Blessed John Body (1549 - 1583)|
John Body (sometimes spelled Bodey) was born in Wells, Somerset, in 1549, and was a student of Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He became a Fellow in 1568, but was deprived of his fellowship in June 1576. Thereupon he went abroad to study civil law at Douay College, and returned to England in February 1578. Arrested in 1580, he was kept in iron shackles in Winchester gaol, and was condemned to death in Winchester in April 1583 along with Blessed John Slade, a schoolmaster (whose feast is celebrated on 30 October). The verdict was considered unsafe, and both were tried again in Andover on 19 August 1583 and the death sentence confirmed. John Body was hung, drawn and quartered in Andover on 2 November 1583. He was beatified by Pius XI in 1929.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Cyprian (210 - 258)|
Cyprian was born in Carthage and spent most of his life in the practice of the law. He was converted to Christianity, and was made bishop of Carthage in 249. He steered the church through troubled times, including the persecution of the emperor Decius, when he went into hiding so as to be able to continue looking after the church. In 258 the persecution of the emperor Valerian began. Cyprian was first exiled and then, on the 14th of September, executed, after a trial notable for the calm and courtesy shown by both sides.
Cyprian’s many letters and treatises shed much light on a formative period in the Church’s history, and are valuable both for their doctrine and for the picture they paint of a group of people in constant peril of their lives but still determined to keep the faith.
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)||Wisdom 8:21 ©|
I knew I could not master Wisdom but by the gift of God – a mark itself of understanding, to know whose the bounty was.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 Corinthians 7:25 ©|
About remaining celibate, I have no directions from the Lord but give my own opinion as one who, by the Lord’s mercy, has stayed faithful.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Apocalypse 19:6,7 ©|
The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb.