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.
Other saints: Saint Aengus (- 824)
He was born near Clonenagh and educated there at the monastic school founded there by St Fintan, not far from the present town of Mountrath. He lived for some time as a hermit and then joined the monastery of Tallaght, near Dublin, under St Maelruain. He was a co-author of a martyrology (written in 790 and the oldest in Ireland) and wrote a long poem, the Féilire, or Festology of the Saints, which he finished in about 805. After St Maelruain’s death he returned to his hermitage, where he died on 11 March 824. See the article in Wikipedia
Other saints: St Constantine (6th century)
Argyll & the Isles
St Constantine has been revered at Govan since time immemorial and there is no reason to doubt that the tradition was based on a real person. But attempts to construct a biography for him have to depend purely on occasional references in chronicles, and there is always the risk of tripping over the problem of “someone else of the same name”. This will happen to all of us eventually: in the year 1,000,000 AD, will anyone be sure of the difference between Thomas More and Thomas Becket, who were both martyred by kings called Henry?
A Constantine was converted to Christianity (Annals of Ulster, 588). A Constantine appears in the Breviary of Aberdeen as entering a monastery in Ireland incognito before joining Saint Mungo (alias Kentigern) and becoming a missionary to the Picts. He is probably the same man. This Constantine was martyred in Scotland about 576 and John of Fordun tells how he was buried at Govan, where his shrine can still be seen today. He is probably not the Saint Constantine of Devon and Cornwall, and certainly not the King Constantine of Dumnonia (south-western Britain) mentioned unfavourably by the chronicler Gildas. The fact that there were separate tribes of Dumnonii in the south-west and in Scotland merely serves to make things even more interesting. But – at the risk of upsetting historians – the only thing that matters to us is that the Constantine we celebrate today has been revered as a saint continuously for a millennium and a half. When all the facts about us are lost, may we also be worthy to be remembered.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110 - 1167)
Aelred was born in Hexham in around 1109. His family was well connected and at an early age he was sent into the service of King David of Scotland. There he rose to the position of Master of the Royal Household. In time he became attracted to the religious life, but he was also much attached to the life he lived at court and to King David himself. It took a considerable personal struggle for him at the age of 24 to give up his secular pursuits and to enter the newly founded Cistercian monastery of Rievaulx in Yorkshire in 1133. At 34 he moved from there and took charge of a new foundation in Lincolnshire. But within four years he had returned to Rievaulx as Abbot where he remained for the rest of his life. He died in 1167.
Aelred is remembered both for his energy and for his gentleness. His writings and his sermons were characterised by a deep love of the Scriptures and by a very personal love of Christ ‘as friend and Saviour’. He was sensitive and understanding in his dealings with his fellow monks and under his direction the monastery at Rievaulx grew to an extraordinary size. He did not enjoy robust health and the last ten years of his life were marked by a long and painful illness. His position as Abbot required him to travel on visitation to monasteries not only in England and Scotland but even in France, and the physical suffering and exhaustion which this incurred seems to have been considerable. A contemporary account of the last year of his life describes him as being left helpless on his bed unable to speak or move for an hour after celebrating his morning Mass.
Aelred was a singularly attractive figure, a man of great spiritual power but also of warm friendliness and humanity. He has been called the St Bernard of the North.
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)||Isaiah 55:3 ©|
Come to me and listen to my words: hear me, and you shall have life. I will make a covenant with you, this time for ever, to love you faithfully as I have loved David.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(Jeremiah 3:12,14) ©|
Come back, says the Lord, and I will frown on you no more, since I am merciful and I shall not keep my resentment for ever. Come back, disloyal children, says the Lord.
|Afternoon reading (None)||James 1:27 ©|
In the eyes of God our Father, pure unspoilt religion is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.