Universalis
Wednesday 9 March 2022    (other days)
Wednesday of the 1st week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Saint Frances of Rome, Religious)

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.

Year: C(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

St Frances of Rome (1384 - 1440)

She was born in Rome in 1384 and was married at the age of 13. Although she had wanted to be a nun, she was happily married for 40 years and had three sons. She distributed gifts to the poor and ministered to the sick. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience in adversity (including her husband’s banishment, the death of two of her sons from plague, and the loss of all her property). She was a mystic and contemplative, part of the great flourishing of mysticism in that period, and after her husband’s death she retired to a convent she had founded, where she died on 9 March 1440. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: Aphraates (c.280 - c.345)

Aphraates or Aphrahat was a Syriac Christian writer of the early fourth century. He lived through the Persian persecutions which followed the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire. His “Demonstrations” are a collection of twenty-three sermons, each expounding an aspect of Christian life or doctrine. They are solid and straightforward, not straying far from biblical sources, and they are valuable not only in themselves but also as a witness to Syriac Christian belief before the outbreak of the Arian heresy. Demonstration 11, which is used in the Office of Readings, is one of a set of four which examine Judaism, perhaps because some members of the Persian Church wanted to incorporate more Jewish elements into Christianity.

Liturgical colour: violet

Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Ezekiel 18:30-32 ©
Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!

Noon reading (Sext)Zechariah 1:3-4 ©
Return to me, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will return to you. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the prophets in the past cried ‘Turn back from your evil ways and evil deeds’ but they would not listen.

Afternoon reading (None)Daniel 4:24 ©
By virtuous actions break with your sins, break with your crimes by showing mercy to the poor, and so live long and peacefully.
Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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