Give thanks to the Lord, for his great love is without end.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Pope John XXIII (1881 - 1963)
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in the village of Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo, in 1881. At the age of 11 he entered the seminary at Bergamo and later pursued his studies at the Pontifical Seminary in Rome. He was ordained priest in 1904. He was secretary to the Bishop of Bergamo but from 1921 onwards he served the Holy See directly in various posts, both in Rome and in Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece, culminating as Apostolic Nuncio to France from 1944 until 1953, when he was created cardinal and made the Patriarch of Venice. He was elected Pope in 1958. He convoked the Roman Synod, instituted the revision of Canon Law, and called the Second Vatican Council, which opened on 11 October 1962. He died while the Council was still in session, on the evening of 3 June 1963.
Other saints: Saint Kenneth (515-599)
Ireland: 11 Oct
Argyll & the Isles: 12 Oct
Saint Cainnech of Aghaboe is also known as Saint Canice in Ireland, Saint Kenneth in Scotland, Saint Kenny and in Latin Saint Canicus. He was an Irish abbot, monastic founder, priest and missionary.
He was born in 515 or 516, at Glengiven, near Dungiven in Ireland. He spent his early years watching his chieftain’s flocks. In 543 he became a pupil at Finian’s monastic school at Clonard. During the sixth century, some of the most significant names in the history of Irish Christianity studied at this monastery. Twelve students who studied under St. Finian became known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, Kenneth was one of these. It was at Clonard that he became a friend and companion of St Colmcille (Columba).
In 544 he studied under St. Mobhi at the school of Glasnevin, with Kieran of Clonmacnoise and St. Comgall of Bangor. When plague scattered that community, he went to Saint Cadoc’s monastery of Llancarfan in Glamorganshire in Wales, where he was ordained priest in 545. He left for Rome to obtain the blessing of the reigning pontiff. In 550 he had returned to Glengiven, where he converted his foster-brother, Geal-Breagach, who afterwards assisted him in founding Drumachose, in nearby Limavady.
In 565 he joined Columba in Scotland. He built a church in the place now known as Saint Andrew’s. He built monastic cells on the island of Ibdon and Eninis, an oratory called Lagan-Kenny on the shores of Loch Laggan, and a monastery in Fife on the banks of the Eden. His name is still recalled in the ruins of an ancient church, Kil-Chainnech on Tiree Island, in a burial ground, Kil-Chainnech, in Iona and Inch Kenneth off Mull
He spent a good deal of his time in Ireland, in County Meath and in Ossory in what is now County Laois. In Ossory he had a good repute with the king, Colman son of Feradach, who gave him grants of land including Aghaboe (“the field of the Ox”) which became his principal monastery. Aghaboe grew in importance, and in the 7th century sent St. Fergal as a missionary to the church of Salzburg, Austria. Aghaboe was for a time the site of the bishop’s see until under Norman influence in the twelfth century the see transferred from Aghaboe to Kilkenny.
He died and was interred at the Abbey of Aghaboe in 599/600.
Other saints: Blessed William Howard (1612-1680)
Blessed William Howard was born in 1612, the second son of the Earl of Arundel. William went to St John’s College, Cambridge, and married on 12 October 1637 Mary, daughter of Lord Stafford. Through her he obtained his title and his Staffordshire estates. William and Mary were devoted parents, who had nine children. They lived in the Low Countries for much of the troubled period during the Civil War and the Commonwealth because of the difficulties which faced Catholics in England. In 1678 Lord Stafford was accused with four other Catholic peers of being involved in the “Popish Plot”, a fabrication by Titus Oates which triggered a widespread persecution of Catholics. At the age of 65, he was impeached by the House of Commons before the House of Lords on a charge of high treason. Stafford was probably picked on because it was considered that he was the most likely to be cowed into acquiescence. In fact he acquitted himself well, steadfastly denied the existence of a plot and discredited witnesses addressed by the prosecution, so that the outcome was shown up as a miscarriage of justice. When the verdict of guilty was brought, Blessed William said with impressive serenity: “I confess I am surprised at it... but God’s will be done and your Lordships’; I will not murmur at it. God forgive those who have falsely sworn against me”. He was beheaded on Tower Hill on 29 December 1680. Pope Pius XI beatified him as a martyr in 1929.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Vincent of Lérins (- c.445)
Vincent was born in Toulouse and after a secular career he joined the abbey of Lérins, on an island just offshore from the French Riviera town of Cannes. He took part in the major theological controversies of the day, which were far from sterile academic squabbling but were part of the vital process of finding out what precisely Christianity is. He opposed Nestorianism, defending the status of Mary as Mother of God. He enunciated the famous principle that “In the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all (quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus)”.
The other great controversy of the time, which took more than a century to settle, was on the nature of grace. At one extreme was Pelagianism, named after Pelagius, a British monk (who held at least some form of it): this made justification something we could achieve for ourselves. If you take that argument far enough, there seems little room for the grace of God. At the other extreme was what might be called Augustinism, a selective view of St Augustine’s counter to Pelagianism, according to which all that is good comes from God and we, of ourselves, can achieve nothing good at all. Now, if you take that particular argument far enough, God has already decided whether we are saved or not, and nothing we can do can have any effect on it, so that there is no point in performing good works or avoiding sin.
Current opinion is that in striking the balance between these extremes Vincent himself was what would now be called a “semi-Pelagian”, semi-Pelagianism being a kind of half-way doctrine which was formulated in southern Gaul in the early fifth century and formally condemned in 529 at the Second Council of Orange. It was only in the 17th century that this particular label was applied to Vincent, and in any case the presence or absence of such a label does not detract from the value of everything that Vincent taught and wrote. The branding of one’s doctrinal opponents as being in every sense depraved and unclean is a characteristic of only certain historical periods – admittedly, including the 21st century. Vincent’s own analysis of the development of doctrine brings good sense into an area where it is much needed, and this is why this reading has been chosen for the Liturgy of the Hours.
Liturgical colour: green
The theological virtue of hope is symbolized by the colour green, just as the burning fire of love is symbolized by red. Green is the colour of growing things, and hope, like them, is always new and always fresh. Liturgically, green is the colour of Ordinary Time, the orderly sequence of weeks through the year, a season in which we are being neither single-mindedly penitent (in purple) nor overwhelmingly joyful (in white).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Romans 1:16-17 ©|
The power of God saves all who have faith – Jews first, but Greeks as well – since this is what reveals the justice of God to us: it shows how faith leads to faith, or as scripture says: The upright man finds life through faith.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 3:21-22 ©|
God’s justice that was made known through the Law and the Prophets has now been revealed outside the Law, since it is the same justice of God that comes through faith to everyone who believes.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Ephesians 2:8-9 ©|
It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.