Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.
Year: B(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.
|Other saints: St Katharine Drexel (1858 - 1955)|
She was born in Philadelphia to a rich banking family. In 1891, at the age of 33, she founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, an order dedicated to mission work among Indians and black people. (A survey of the situation in the United States at this time described “250,000 Indians neglected, if not practically abandoned, and over nine million of negroes still struggling through the aftermath of slavery”). She spent her entire life and her entire fortune to this work, opening schools, founding a university, and funding many chapels, convents and monasteries. She died on 3 March 1955, by which time there were more than 500 Sisters teaching in 63 schools throughout the United States. See the article in Wikipedia
. The Catholic Encyclopaedia has articles on her father
and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
|Other saints: St Vignal (c.460 - 532)|
Vignal is a patois corruption of the Latin Guingualeus, itself a translation of the French Guénolé or Guignole, from the Anglo-Saxon Winwaloe / Winwallus / Winwalloc. There are some fifty variants of his name, which survives in the dedication of some churches in Brittany, Cornwall and Monmouthshire.
St Vignal was born about the year 460, possibly in Plouguin, to Fracan, a prince of Dumnonia [Brittany] and his wife Gwen Teirbron [“Gwen the Triple-Breasted”]. He became the first Abbot founder of the Abbey of Landévennec, just south of Brest, and died there on 3 March 532.
He is supposed to have assisted St Sampson and St Magloire in evangelising the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which includes Alderney, in the 6th century. Some relics were preserved at Montreuil-sur-Mer and in St Peter’s, Ghent, and until the 19th century his tomb was visible in the church at Landévennec.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
|Second Reading: St Ambrose of Milan (340? - 397)|
Ambrose was born in Trier (now in Germany) between 337 and 340, to a Roman family: his father was praetorian prefect of Gaul. Ambrose was educated at Rome and embarked on the standard cursus honorum of Roman advocates and administrators, at Sirmium, the capital of Illyria. In about 372 he was made prefect of Liguria and Emilia, whose capital was Milan.
In 374 the bishopric of Milan fell vacant and when Ambrose tried to pacify the conflict between the Catholics and Arians over the appointment of a new bishop, the people turned on him and demanded that he become the bishop himself. He was a layman and not yet baptized (at this time it was common for baptism to be delayed and for people to remain for years as catechumens), but that was no defence. Coerced by the people and by the emperor, he was baptized, ordained, and installed as bishop within a week, on 7 December 374.
He immediately gave his money to the poor and his land to the Church and set about learning theology. He had the advantage of knowing Greek, which few people did at that time, and so he was able to read the Eastern theologians and philosophers as well as those of the West.
He was assiduous in carrying out his office, acting with charity to all: a true shepherd and teacher of the faithful. He was unimpressed by status and when the Emperor Theodosius ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, Ambrose forced him to do public penance. He defended the rights of the Church and attacked the Arian heresy with learning, firmness and gentleness. He also wrote a number of hymns which are still in use today.
Ambrose was a key figure in the conversion of St Augustine to Catholicism, impressing Augustine (hitherto unimpressed by the Catholics he had met) by his intelligence and scholarship. He died on Holy Saturday, 4 April 397.
|Liturgical colour: violet|
Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Apocalypse 3:19-20 ©|
I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Isaiah 44:21-22 ©|
Remember these things, Jacob, and that you are my servant, Israel. I have formed you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. I have dispelled your faults like a cloud, your sins like a mist. Come back to me, for I have redeemed you.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Galatians 6:7-8 ©|
What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.