Christ is the chief shepherd, the leader of his flock: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
Saint Mac Nissi
He founded the diocese of Connor in Ireland in 480, and is patron saint of the diocese, which is now part of the diocese of Down and Connor.
Other saints: St Cuthbert (634? - 687)
England, St Andrews & Edinburgh: 4 Sep
Hexham & Newcastle: 20 Mar
According to tradition, he was a shepherd boy. Certainly he became a monk, and later prior, at Melrose. After the Synod of Whitby in 664 he became prior of Lindisfarne and gradually won over the community to Roman ecclesiastical customs. He was zealous in preaching the Gospel but most attracted to living the life of a hermit, and in 676 he left the monastery and lived in solitude on the nearby island of Inner Farne. For the last two years of his life he served as bishop of Lindisfarne, but he returned to his island to die, on 20 March 687. His remains were removed from their resting place at Lindisfarne to escape Viking raiders and were eventually enshrined at Durham Cathedral. Because the anniversary of his death always falls within Lent, his feast is celebrated on the anniversary of the enshrinement of his remains at Durham.
Other saints: Blessed Dina Bélanger (1897 - 1929)
She was born on 30 April 1897 in Québec and at the recommendation of her parish priest she went to New York to study at the Institute of Musical Art, with the intention of becoming a concert pianist. On her return home, she decided to enter the religious life in the Congregation of Jésus-Marie at Sillery, where the nuns had their mother house. She entered the convent on 11 August 1921, at the age of 24, and, as Sister Marie Sainte-Cécile of Rome, took her final vows on 15 August 1928.
She went to teach music at the Couvent Jésus-Marie at Saint-Michel, near Québec, but soon caught scarlet fever after caring for a sick pupil. She returned to Sillery where, her constitution weakened by the illness, she developed tuberculosis.
For the rest of her life she taught whenever she was not too ill to do so. She died on 4 September 1929, at the age of 32.
She wrote an autobiography at the request of her superiors, and this was published in 1934 under the title Une vie dans le Christ (a life in Christ). The book revealed her hidden life as a mystic, entering into the mystery of love at the heart of the Trinity. It was a worldwide success, being translated into five languages, fulfilling the promise made by Christ before she entered the convent, that ‘You will do good above all by your writing’.
She was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II on 20 March 1993.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)
Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.
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)||Deuteronomy 1:31 ©|
The Lord carried you, as a man carries his child, all along the road you travelled.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Baruch 4:28-29 ©|
As by your will you first strayed away from God, so now turn back and search for him ten times as hard; for as he brought down those disasters on you, so will he rescue you and give you eternal joy.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Wisdom 1:13-15 ©|
Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living. To be – for this he created all; the world’s created things have health in them, in them no fatal poison can be found, and Hades holds no power on earth; for virtue is undying.