The Lord is the king of virgins: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: White.
St Brigid (451? - 525)
She was born in 451 or 452 at Faughart, near Dundalk, in Ireland. Her name is that of the pagan goddess of fire. She converted to Christanity, inspired by the preaching of St Patrick. She founded a double monastery, of monks and nuns, at Kildare, the first women’s monastic community in Ireland, and she died there in 525. See the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St Henry Morse (1595-1645)
1 Feb (where celebrated)
Henry Morse was born into a Church of England family in 1595 at Brome, Suffolk. He converted to Catholicism, studied for the priesthood in Rome and was sent on the English mission in 1620. He was almost immediately arrested and imprisoned in York Castle. He had already declared that he wished to become a Jesuit, and spent the three years he was then in prison as his novitiate. On his release he was banished and went to Flanders for a while before returning to England. He worked as a covert priest in London, and among plague victims in 1636, when he caught the plague himself though soon recovered. He was again arrested and exiled but within two years had returned to England. For a time he ministered in the south of the country, then after a brief ministry in the north he was arrested in Cumberland and although he escaped he was soon rearrested and taken to London, where he was convicted for practising as a Catholic priest and condemned to death. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered on 1 February 1645 at Tyburn, London.
Other saints: Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990)
Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa was born on 16 June 1946 at Mbahe village near Thohoyandou, South Africa. Baptized in 1963 by Fr Augustine O’Brien MSC, he qualified as a teacher and later became a school principal. As a married man with eight children, he was very involved in both Church and community activities. On 2 February 1990, he was bludgeoned to death for refusing to take part in anti-Catholic practices of witchcraft.
Other saints: Bl Candelaria of St Joseph (1863-1940)
1 Feb (where celebrated)
Blessed Candelaria was born Susanna Paz Castillo Ramirez in 1863 at Altagracia de Orituco, south-east of Caracas, Venuzuela. Susanna learnt from her parents that the good things that she had were a blessing from God and should be shared with others, as Jesus had done. When Susanna was twenty-four her mother died and she quickly took up the care of the household and her extended family.
In 1899, Venezuela was thrust into a regime of cruelty and corruption when General Cipriano Castro seized power. An ensuing rebellion in Altagracia, left many dead and wounded which caused a rapid spread disease. With no relief agencies or medical services Susanna saw a clear duty to aid the suffering. She took many wounded into her own home, as well as setting up a makeshift hospital in an unused building next to her home. In the midst of the devastation of the war, Susanna provided love and care for the suffering. Her work expanded and in 1910 Susanna and five other women took religious vows and established a congregation, supported by the local bishop, called the “Little Sisters of the Poor of Altagracia”. Susanna took the religious name Candelaria of St Joseph because of her particular personal devotion to the feast of the Presentation (Candlemas).
Word and reputation of Madre Candelaria’s work spread to surrounding towns, particularly the reputation of the sisters’ love and concern toward the sick and the poor. Other towns pleaded for their help and four more communities and hospitals were established between 1915 and 1922. Much of the work was financially supported by Candelaria’s own extended begging excursions, who travelled the length and breadth of Venezuela asking people directly for their support. She insisted that she wasn’t ashamed to beg for money, since helping the poorest of the poor was a beautiful thing, and everyone should be welcomed to help, even if only a little. Her solution to even the most difficult patients was: to love them back to health, as Jesus had done.
In 1922, Mother Candelaria approached the Carmelites friars who were founding missions in Venezuela and with the approval of the local Bishop, the congregation became the Third Order Regular Carmelite Sisters of Venezuela.
When Candelaria could no longer travel or work actively, she remained an inspiration to her sisters, encouraging them in an awareness of God’s ever present healing kindness. After a full life of prayerful service she died in 1940 and was beatified in 2008.
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.
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)||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.