Universalis
Thursday 21 August 2014    (other days)
Saint Pius X, Pope
 (Thursday of week 20 in Ordinary Time)

Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him

Year: A(II). Psalm week: 4.

Pope St Pius X (1835 - 1914)
He was born in the village of Riese, near Venice, one of ten children of a very poor family. He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 23. He was successively bishop of Mantua and of Venice, and was elected Pope, against his wishes, in 1903. In his time as Pope, he sought to “restore all things in Christ.” He insisted on the separation of Church and State, and banned the formation of political associations that claimed exclusive religious sanction for their political programme, whether of the Left or of the Right. He revised the code of Canon Law, founded an institute for scriptural studies, and initiated the revision of the Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate) and the reform of the liturgy.
  He lived in great poverty even when he was Pope, and preached sermons every Sunday in the courtyards of the Vatican, to any who would listen. In his simplicity and goodness of heart, he performed miracles even when he was alive, and the clamour for his canonization started immediately after his death, on 20th August 1914, broken-hearted at the outbreak of the First World War.
  See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
Other saints: Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo (1848 - 1894)
She was born in Tananarive in Madagascar to one of the most powerful families of the country.
  She was educated by the Jesuits and by the Sisters of the Congregation of St Joseph of Cluny. Her Catholic education made a strong impression on her, and she subsequently asked to be received into the Church.
  She was baptized in 1863. During the persecutions that were aimed at the Catholic Mission, her parents tried to get her to give up her faith but she refused. She asked to become a nun but the missionaries felt it wiser not to permit this. She was given in marriage to the son of the Prime Minister, a high officer in the army. Because of her husband’s character and behaviour (he was violent and an alcoholic) the marriage was a true martyrdom for her. Nevertheless she remained faithful to her vows and refused to divorce her husband despite the urgings of her parents and of the queen herself. Christian matrimony, she said, was indissoluble.
  Her exemplary Christian life gained her the admiration of the court and the people. This admiration, and her moral authority, made her a providential support of the Catholic Church in Madagascar after the expulsion of the Catholic missionaries. She publicly defended the Catholic Church against the authorities and kept the people’s faith alive. When the missionaries returned in 1886 they found a vigorously flourishing community thanks to Victoria’s virtues and activities. She prayed for her husband’s conversion and when he died in 1888 as a result of an accident, he asked for baptism on his deathbed.
  She herself died on 21 August 1894 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1989. See also the article in Wikipedia.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)1 John 3:23-24 ©
God’s commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.

Noon reading (Sext)Wisdom 1:1-2 ©
Love virtue, you who are judges on earth, let honesty prompt your thinking about the Lord, seek him in simplicity of heart; since he is to be found by those who do not put him to the test, he shows himself to those who do not distrust him.

Afternoon reading (None)Hebrews 12:1-2 ©
We should throw off everything that hinders us, especially the sin that clings so easily, and keep running steadily in the race we have started. Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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