Universalis
Friday 19 April 2024    (other days)
Friday of the 4th week of Lent 

Using calendar: Eastern Mediterranean. You can choose a country.

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: B(II). Psalm week: 4. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

Other saints: St Alphege (- 1012)

Clifton, Winchester, Southwark, Westminster
Alphege (Old English Ælfheah) became a monk at Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, about 970, and eventually Abbot of Bath. In 984 he became Bishop of Winchester where he was known for his personal austerity and almsgiving. The king sent him to parley with the Danish raider Anlaf, and this he did with such success that Anlaf never raided England again.
  In 1005 Alphege became Archbishop of Canterbury. The Danes were raiding once more and in 1011 they besieged Canterbury and captured it. Alphege was imprisoned and an enormous ransom was asked for his release, which he forbade to be paid. On 19 April 1012, at Greenwich, his captors, drunk with wine, and enraged at ransom being refused, pelted him with bones of oxen and stones, till one of them, called Thurm, dispatched him with an axe. He was buried in St. Paul’s and by his death he became a national hero.
  As an act of reconciliation Canute, king of Denmark, England and Norway, in 1023 translated the body to Canterbury where it was buried near the high altar. Later Lanfranc confirmed the cult, and had a Life and Office written in his honour, and Thomas Becket just before his death commended his cause to God and Alphege.

Other saints: Bl. Isnard of Chiampo OP ( - 1244)

19 Apr (where celebrated)
Dominican Friar and Priest.
  Blessed Isnard was born at Chiampo, near Vicenza, Italy, toward the end of the twelfth century and entered the Dominican Order at Bologna around 1218. He was known as “a fervent religious, a grace-filled preacher, and a virgin in body and mind,” as well as a worker of miracles. He founded the priory of Pavia which he wisely governed until his death on March 19, 1244.

Other saints: Bl. Sibyllina Biscossi OP (c.1287 - 1367)

19 Apr (where celebrated)
Lay Dominican and Virgin.
  Blessed Sibyllina, born at Pavia, Italy, about 1287, was left an orphan when quite young and at the age of twelve was afflicted with total blindness. The Sisters of Penance befriended her and clothed her in the habit of the Dominican Order. She had a special devotion to Christ crucified and to the Holy Spirit. She lived as a recluse at the church of the Preachers where many people sought her out, asking for her prayers. She died on March 19, 1367.

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

Second Reading: Saint Athanasius (295 - 373)

Athanasius was born in Alexandria. He assisted Bishop Alexander at the Council of Nicaea, and later succeeded him as bishop. He fought hard against Arianism all his life, undergoing many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile. He wrote outstanding works to explain and defend orthodoxy.
  The matters in dispute with the Arians were vital to the very nature of Christianity; and, as Cardinal Newman put it, the trouble was that at that time the laity tended to be champions of orthodoxy while their bishops (seduced by closeness to imperial power) tended not to be. The further trouble (adds Henry Chadwick) is that the whole thing became tangled up with matters of power, organization and authority, and with cultural differences between East and West. Athanasius was accused of treason and murder, embezzlement and sacrilege. In the fight against him, any weapon would do.
  Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This was in many ways a “purer” and more “spiritual” approach to religion, since it did not force God to undergo the undignified experience of being made of meat. Islam is essentially Arian. But Arianism leaves an infinite gap between God and man, and ultimately destroys the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. Only by being orthodox and insisting on the identity of the natures of the Father and the Son and the Spirit can we truly understand the goodness of creation and the love of God, and live according to them. For this reason many extracts from the works of St Athanasius have been adopted as Second Readings in the Office of Readings.

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.

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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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