The Lord is the king of virgins: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
Saint Ita (c.475 - 570)
She was born in County Waterford and founded a community of women in County Limerick, at a place now called Killeedy after her. She was known for her sanctity and for her gift of prophecy and was held in veneration by a large number of saints, both men and women. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: St Remigius, Remy or Remi (437 - 533)
He was the son of an aristocratic family in Laon in Picardy. He studied at Rheims and soon became so noted for his learning and sanctity, and his high status, that he was elected Bishop of Rheims in his 22nd year, though still a layman. He also held high office in the kingdom of France. He was a friend of Clovis I, the pagan King of the Franks, and baptized him on Christmas Day of a year which historians have variously estimated as being between 496 and 499, not long after Clovis’s victory over the Alamanni at the battle of Tolbiac. According to St Gregory of Tours some three thousand Franks were baptized at the same time. This was the beginning of the Catholic history of France, and ever since the 11th century every French king has been crowned at Rheims.
Other saints: Ss. Francis Fernández de Capillas OP, Peter Sanz OP and Companions
15 Jan (where celebrated)
Martyrs in China
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Irenaeus (130 - 202)
Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, in Asia Minor (now Izmir in Turkey) and emigrated to Lyons, in France, where he eventually became the bishop. It is not known for certain whether he was martyred or died a natural death.
Whenever we take up a Bible we touch Irenaeus’s work, for he played a decisive role in fixing the canon of the New Testament. It is easy for people nowadays to think of Scripture – and the New Testament in particular – as the basis of the Church, but harder to remember that it was the Church itself that had to agree, early on, about what was scriptural and what was not. Before Irenaeus, there was vague general agreement on what scripture was, but a system based on this kind of common consent was too weak. As dissensions and heresies arose, reference to scripture was the obvious way of trying to settle what the truth really was, but in the absence of an agreed canon of scripture it was all too easy to attack one’s opponent’s arguments by saying that his texts were corrupt or unscriptural; and easy, too, to do a little fine-tuning of texts on one’s own behalf. Irenaeus not only established a canon which is almost identical to our present one, but also gave reasoned arguments for each inclusion and exclusion.
Irenaeus also wrote a major work, Against the Heresies, which in the course of denying what the Christian faith is not, effectively asserts what it is. The majority of this work was lost for many centuries and only rediscovered in a monastery on Mount Athos in 1842. Many passages from it are used in the Office of Readings.
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)||1 Peter 1:13-14 ©|
Free your minds, then, of encumbrances; control them, and put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Do not behave in the way that you liked to before you learnt the truth, but make a habit of obedience.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 Peter 1:15-16 ©|
Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says: Be holy, for I am holy.
|Afternoon reading (None)||James 4:7-8,10 ©|
Give in to God: resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer he will come to you. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.