The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Red.
Bl. Rudolph Acquaviva & Companions (- 1583)
Blessed Rodolfo Aquaviva was an Italian Jesuit. He joined a mission to India in 1578. After teaching at St Paul’s College in Goa he was sent to the court of the Emperor Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1605). As the ruler of a diverse empire Akbar sought to promote harmony and organized debates on questions of religion between Hindus, Muslims and Christians. However, the Jesuit mission itself seemed to be a failure (other than as an intellectual spectacle) and Acquaviva returned to Goa. Upon his return he led a mission to the Hindu Kshatriyas of Salcette, south of Goa, with four companions, Father Pacheco, Father Berno, Father Francisco and Brother Aranha. The local villagers attacked them and killed them in July 1583.
Other saints: Blessed Titus Brandsma (1881 - 1942)
He was born in Bolsward in the Netherlands. He was baptized Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He joined the Carmelites in 1898 and took the religious name Titus. He was a professor of philosophy and active in journalism. He was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War. He was arrested in January 1942, when he tried to persuade Dutch Catholic newspapers not to print Nazi propaganda (as was required by the law of the Nazi German occupiers). He had also drawn up the Pastoral Letter, read in all Catholic parishes, by which the Dutch Roman Catholic bishops officially condemned the German anti-Semitic measures and the deportation of the first Jews. After this Pastoral Letter, the first few thousand Jews to be deported from the Netherlands were all Jewish converts to Roman Catholicism, including St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). Titus Brandsma was killed by lethal injection in Dachau on July 26, 1942.
Other saints: Bl Titus Brandsma (1881-1942)
Titus was born in Bolsward, Holland on the 23rd February 1881. He joined the Carmelites in Boxmeer at the age of seventeen and was ordained a priest in 1905. Following his ordination, he went to Rome and studied for a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University, which he was awarded in 1909. Returning to Holland, Titus pursued the career of a teacher and writer. He taught at a numbers of schools before taking on the position of Professor of Philosophy and the History of Mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he was later appointed Rector Magnificus in 1932.
Underlying his career as a teacher and writer was his deeply personal search for the God of Jesus who was the centre of his life. He lived out this mission in a practical ways giving to all who needed his help. It was from this deep relationship and conviction that he would argue against the National Socialist ideology, as Holland came under Nazi occupation. As adviser to the Bishops on the Catholic Press, Titus defended the right to freedom of education and of the Catholic Press. Titus believed such freedoms were implicit to the message of the Gospel. His strong and sustained prophetic stance against Nazi ideology ultimately led to his arrest in January 1942. Amidst the suffering of his imprisonment, prisoners and jailers spoke of his ability to bring an awareness of peace amidst the horror of the prison camps. Eventually Titus was transferred to Dachau where he was killed by lethal injection on the 26th July 1942. The witness of his life is an example of prophetic action arising from a commitment to the Gospel and revealing the merciful presence of God, even in the most horrific of times.
Other saints: Blessed Robert Sutton (1545-1588)
Robert Sutton was born at Burton-on-Trent in 1545, the son of a carpenter. He studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and was ordained in the Established Church, becoming Rector of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. He was converted to Catholicism in 1577 through the influence of his younger brother; they were both ordained at the English College at Douai in France, together with a third brother. In 1578 Robert returned to England and worked for ten years, saying Mass secretly in the houses of Catholic families in various places. He was arrested in Stafford in 1588 and was hanged, drawn and quartered there on 27 July of that year. Before execution, he made a speech about the candle which is given at baptism and in the hour of death, and he held up his handkerchief in remembrance of it, saying that he lived and died in the light of the Catholic faith. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Caesarius of Arles (c.470 - 542)
Caesarius was born around 470 at Chalon-sur-Saône, which is now in eastern France. He was a monk at the abbey of Lérins, on the French Riviera, and then bishop of the local diocese of Arles for forty years. His influence extended from southern Gaul to Spain. He convoked many Councils, and founded monasteries. His Regula virginum is the first Western monastic rule written specifically for women; the first monastery following the rule was established under his sister, Caesaria.
At a time when the Roman Empire had collapsed and no single, stable civil authority had taken its place, Caesaria protected his people from the demands of the barbarians. At the same time he sustained them with simple but lively sermons. Extracts from some of them form Second Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours to this day.
He died at Arles on 26 August 542.
Liturgical colour: red
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Romans 13:8,10 ©|
Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.
|Noon reading (Sext)||James 1:19-20,26 ©|
Be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper; God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger. Nobody must imagine that he is religious while he still goes on deceiving himself and not keeping control over his tongue; anyone who does this has the wrong idea of religion.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 Peter 1:17,18,19 ©|
You must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home. Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you was not paid in anything corruptible, neither in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ.