Indeed, how good is the Lord: bless his holy name.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Green.
St Bridget of Sweden (1303 - 1373)
She was married to a nobleman and had eight children. At the age of 30 she was summoned to the court of the King of Sweden, where she served as lady-in-waiting to the queen. She tried without much success to moderate the riotous and indecent life of the royal court.
After a pilgrimage to the shrine of St James at Compostela in Spain, Bridget and her husband Ulf decided to spend the rest of their lives in monasteries. Ulf died in 1344, but Bridget went on to found a double monastery (for men and women in separate but adjacent institutions) as the start of a new monastic order.
In 1350 she travelled to Rome for the Holy Year, and spent the rest of her life there caring for the poor and the sick, denouncing the excesses of the aristocracy, and robustly telling the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon.
She had many mystical visions, which alarmed her because she feared that they might be the work of the Devil; but a learned Cistercian monk reassured her, and she subsequently dictated and published the revelations she received, which were partially devotional and partly prophetic.
Other saints: SS. Philip Evans and John Lloyd (- 1679)
Philip Evans was born in Monmouth in 1645 and became a Jesuit. He arrived in South Wales as a missionary in 1675. John Lloyd, from Breconshire, was a secular priest who took the missionary oath in 1649 and was sent to minister in Wales. In the scare caused by the lies of Titus Oates, both were arrested. They were tried in 1679 on the charge of being priests and coming into Wales, of which they were undoubtedly guilty. They were executed in Cardiff on 22 July 1679. See the article in WIkipedia
Other saints: St Philip Evans (1645-1679) and St John Lloyd (c.1630-1679)
Philip Evans was born in Monmouth, 1645, and was educated at St Omer where he joined the Society of Jesus. After ordination he was sent to South Wales to work. Despite the official anti-Catholic policy he was left alone for some years by the local officials. In 1678 in the wake of the so-called ‘Popish Plot’ he was taken prisoner, £200 (then a huge sum of money) having been offered as a reward for his arrest. He refused to take the Oath of Allegiance and was kept in Cardiff Castle. He was not put on trial for several months because, it is said, no one could be found to testify against him.
John Lloyd was a Welshman, born in Brecon about the year 1630. He studied for the priesthood in Valladolid, Spain and then returned to Wales where he ministered as a diocesan priest for over twenty years without any recorded problems. Following the ‘Popish Plot’ of Titus Oates, Lloyd was arrested in Glamorgan and charged with having said Mass at Llantilio, Penrhos, and Trievor. He was imprisoned at Cardiff Castle with Philip Evans. They were tried together and were both condemned for their priesthood. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered together on 22 July, 1679 on Gallows Field in Cardiff. Philip Evans spoke at some length to the crowd in both English and Welsh. In the course of his speech he said: “I die for God and religion’s sake; and I think myself so happy that if I had many lives I would willingly give them all for so great a cause.” His companion John Lloyd said very little: “I never was a good speaker in my life”, but that he died in “the true Catholic and Apostolic faith”.
Other saints: Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace
23 Jul (where celebrated)
The Blessed Virgin Mary was eternally predestined, in the context of the incarnation of the divine Word, to be Mother of God. As decreed by divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving Mother of the divine Redeemer, his associate, uniquely generous, and the Lord’s humble servant. She conceived, bore, and nourished Christ; presented him to the Father in the Temple; and was united with him in his suffering as he died on the cross. In a completely unparalleled way she cooperated, by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, with our Saviour’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is Mother to us all in the order of grace.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
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).
Other notes: Gabryela Teresa Kochanski (1927 - 2006)
On this day in 2006 died Thérèse Kochanski, mother of Martin Kochanski, the founder of Universalis. Please pray for the repose of her soul; and for her son and daughter who survive her.
If you would like to follow the funeral service, you can do so here
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Romans 12:17,19-20,21 ©|
Never repay evil with evil. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine – I will pay them back, says the Lord. But there is more: If your enemy is hungry, you should give him food, and if he is thirsty, let him drink. Resist evil and conquer it with good.
|Noon reading (Sext)||1 John 3:16 ©|
This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 John 4:9-11 ©|
God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away. My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.