The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Red.
St George (- c.303)
He was martyred at Lydda (now in Israel) in about 303, during the persecution of Diocletian. Like so many saints of that period, the only fact that we can be certain of is his martyrdom. His cult spread quickly through both the East and the West, and the legend of St George and the Dragon only appeared some time afterwards.
During the crusades, George was seen to personify the ideals of Christian chivalry, and he was adopted as the patron saint of several city states and countries, including England and Catalonia. King Richard I of England placed his crusading army under the protection of St George, and in 1222 his feast was proclaimed a holiday.
In other years: St Adalbert of Prague (956 - 997)
(His name is Vojtech in Czech and Wojciech in Polish).
He became bishop of Prague in 983. He met with intense opposition from the nobility. He withdrew to Rome but was sent back to his diocese by Pope John XV. He encouraged the evangelization of the Magyars, and founded the great abbey of Brevnov, but the opposition continued and he was at length forced into exile. He went as a missionary to Pomerania to preach the Gospel to the heathen Prussians, and it was there that he was martyred at the age of 41. See the articles in Wikipedia
and the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: Bl Teresa Maria of the Cross (1846-1910)
23 Apr (where celebrated)
She was born at Campi Bisenzio, Florence, where in 1874 she founded the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa, whom she also sent to Lebanon and the Holy Land. She lived joyfully, body and soul, the mystery of the Cross in full conformity to the will of God, and she was outstanding for her love for the Eucharist, and her maternal care for children and for the poor. She died at Campi Bisenzio on 23rd April, 1910.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Peter Damian (1007 - 1072)
Peter Damian was born in Ravenna in 1007 and studied theology and canon law, becoming a renowned teacher in both Parma and Ravenna. In his late twenties he abandoned all this and joined the hermitage of Fonte Avellana, near Gubbio, where he became prior in 1043: a position he held until his death. He strongly promoted the religious life in many parts of Italy. The Church at that time was in a terrible state and he supported the Popes in their efforts at reform, both by his writings and as a papal envoy. Pope Stephen IX named him a cardinal and Bishop of Ostia. He died on 21 February 1072 and was immediately acclaimed as a saint.
Liturgical colour: red
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Corinthians 12:13 ©|
In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Titus 3:5,7 ©|
God saved us by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Colossians 1:12-14) ©|
We thank the Father who has made it possible for us to share in the saints’ inheritance of light. He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves. In him, we gain our freedom and the forgiveness of our sins.