Today we are honouring St Martin: come, let us adore the Lord our God.
Year: C(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: White.
St Martin of Tours (c.316 - 397)
He was born in the Roman province of Pannonia (approximating to the western half of modern Hungary) in about 316 and was educated at Pavia in Italy. He was baptized, left the army and after spending some time as a hermit on an island off the Ligurian coast, founded a monastery at Ligugé in western France, where he lived a monastic life guided by St Hilary. Later he was ordained priest and became bishop of Tours. In his actions he gave an example of what a good shepherd should be. He founded other monasteries, educated the clergy, and preached the Gospel to the poor. He died in 397.
The famous story about St Martin is that while a soldier in Amiens he gave half of his military cloak to a beggar and later had a dream in which the beggar revealed himself as Christ.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Sulpicius Severus (c. 363 - c.425)
Sulpicius Severus was a Christian writer of the early fifth century. He came from a noble family in the province of Aquitaine (now part of France) and was a respected lawyer. Widowed early, and coming under the influence of St Martin of Tours, he devoted his wealth to the poor. He became a priest but nothing is known of his priestly activity. He wrote a chronicle of sacred history from the beginning of the world to his own time – omitting, out of respect, the events narrated more fittingly in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. He also wrote a Life of St Martin, and an extract from this is used in the Liturgy of the Hours.
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)||Leviticus 20:26 ©|
Be consecrated to me, because I, the Lord, am holy, and I will set you apart from all these peoples so that you may be mine.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Wisdom 15:1,3 ©|
You, our God, are kind, loyal and slow to anger, and you govern all things with mercy. To acknowledge you is indeed the perfect virtue, to know your power is the root of immortality.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Baruch 4:21-22 ©|
Take courage, my children, call on God: he will deliver you from tyranny, from the hands of your enemies; for I look to the Eternal for your rescue, and joy has come to me from the Holy One at the mercy soon to reach you from your saviour, the Eternal.