Let us rejoice in the Lord, with songs let us praise him.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
St Stephen of Hungary (969 - 1038)
He was the son of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He worked hard for the conversion of his country to Christianity, setting up both episcopal sees and monasteries. He was crowned the first King of Hungary in 1001.
He is the patron saint of Hungary, where his feast day, a public holiday, is celebrated on 20 August.
Other saints: St Rock (- 1378)
He was the son of the governor of Montpellier in France. At the age of 20 he went on a pilgrimage to Rome. When a plague broke out in Italy he took care of the infected and cured many. He himself caught the disease, but not wishing to be a burden to others, he went to the woods to die. There a dog brought him food and licked his sores. Later its owner found Rock and looked after him. He died around the year 1378. He is a model of those who carry out works of mercy, and is invoked in time of pestilence.
Other saints: Bl Maria Sagrario of St Aloysius Gonzaga (1881-1936)
16 Aug (where celebrated)
Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St Anne and St Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Pope St Gregory the Great (540 - 604)
Gregory was born in Rome and followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, finally becoming Prefect of the City of Rome, a post he held for some years.
He founded a monastery in Rome and some others in Sicily, then became a monk himself. He was ordained deacon and sent as an envoy to Constantinople, on a mission that lasted five years.
He was elected Pope on 3 September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy, and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down. His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of Augustine and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care, spirituality, and morals, and designated himself “servant of the servants of God.”
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)||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.