Indeed, how good is the Lord: bless his holy name.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
St Catherine of Alexandria (d. 305)
Legends coming from a number of sources say that St Catherine was very outspoken at the time of the persecutions of Christians. She even protested openly to the emperor Maxentius who had her arrested, tortured on the wheel and decapitated in 305. St Catherine’s courage is a great challenge to all African Christians in their struggle for justice and peace. The witness of her life and her readiness to die for the faith encourages us to be brave witnesses to the Lord and to speak out on behalf of all those who suffer.
Other saints: St Leonard of Porto Maurizio (1676 - 1751)
Hexham & Newcastle
Leonard was born in Porto Maurizio in 1676, the son of a master mariner. He joined the Franciscan order and for forty-seven years preached, wrote letters and sermons, and travelled the whole length of Italy. The popularity of the Stations of the Cross is much due to the impetus he gave to the devotion. He died at Rome in 1751.
Other saints: Saint John Berchmans (1599-1621)
26 Nov (where celebrated)
John Berchmans was born in Diest, Belgium. He joined the Jesuit novitiate when he was seventeen. Sent to Rome to study philosophy at the Roman College in 1619, he surprised both masters and classmates: he joined an exquisite charity and friendliness to a brilliant intelligence and great emotional maturity. His spiritual diary also reveals the depth of his interior life, which bespeaks a true mystical union with God. His health suffered from the effort he put into studying for his final examination, and he became steadily weaker as he prepared for the disputation. On July 8 1621, he passed his final examination brilliantly, but soon after he fell seriously ill with dysentery and died on 13 August 1621.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Cyprian (210 - 258)
Cyprian was born in Carthage and spent most of his life in the practice of the law. He was converted to Christianity, and was made bishop of Carthage in 249. He steered the church through troubled times, including the persecution of the emperor Decius, when he went into hiding so as to be able to continue looking after the church. In 258 the persecution of the emperor Valerian began. Cyprian was first exiled and then, on the 14th of September, executed, after a trial notable for the calm and courtesy shown by both sides.
Cyprian’s many letters and treatises shed much light on a formative period in the Church’s history, and are valuable both for their doctrine and for the picture they paint of a group of people in constant peril of their lives but still determined to keep the faith.
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).
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||Deuteronomy 1:31 ©|
The Lord carried you, as a man carries his child, all along the road you travelled.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Baruch 4:28-29 ©|
As by your will you first strayed away from God, so now turn back and search for him ten times as hard; for as he brought down those disasters on you, so will he rescue you and give you eternal joy.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Wisdom 1:13-15 ©|
Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living. To be – for this he created all; the world’s created things have health in them, in them no fatal poison can be found, and Hades holds no power on earth; for virtue is undying.