Christ has appeared to us: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: White.
St Raymond of Peñafort (c.1175 - 1275)
He was born near Barcelona somewhere between 1175 and 1180. He was educated at the University of Barcelona, where he taught canon law for fifteen years. After a spell at the University of Bologna he returned to Barcelona in 1222 and became a Dominican. At the command of Pope Gregory IX he organised, codified and edited canon law, which, when he started, was nothing better than a chaotic accumulation of isolated decrees. He was elected to be General of the Dominicans and gave the order an excellent set of regulations for its better governance. He died in 1275. Among his works, the Summa casuum
is noteworthy. This gives guidance as to how the sacrament of Penance may be administered justly and with benefit to the penitent. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia
Other saints: St Nathalan (-678)
Nathalan, or Nachlan or Nauchlan, was born in the village of Tullich (now in Aberdeenshire), for which he was eventually appointed bishop. As well as the church in Tullich, he also built churches at Bothelim and Colle. He possessed a large estate, which he cultivated and distributed his harvest generously to the poor. He was one of the apostles of the region.
Other saints: St Peter Thomas (1305-1366)
8 Jan (where celebrated)
Peter Thomas was born into a poor peasant family in the southern Périgord region in France. His piety and skill as a teacher attracted the attention of the Carmelite prior of Bergérac, who invited him to join the Carmelite community there at age twenty-one. He taught in various houses of study until he was sent to University in Paris for advanced scholarship. While his studies were still in progress he was elected by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345.
Peter Thomas proved to be a brilliant diplomat, all the while committed to an austere, simple and prayerful life of a Carmelite friar. He was known to have a disarming humility that enabled him to converse with peasants, soldiers and sailors just as easily as high government officials. After being made Bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches. He held positions of Papal Legate for the East, Archbishop of Crete and Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, all the while working for peace and unity between churches of East and West. His work ended in 1366 when he died of a fever at Famagosta on Cyprus, where his body was then buried in the Carmelite church there.
St Peter Thomas lived as a devout Carmelite and was a diplomatic healer and reconciler, reminding us that finding common ground and bringing reconciliation are always possible with God’s help.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: Saint Proclus of Constantinople (- 446)
Proclus was a friend and disciple of St John Chrysostom. He became Archbishop of Constantinople on the death of his predecessor at Easter 434.
At a time of intense and often savage doctrinal conflict Proclus took care to act with precision and moderation, condemning doctrines when they needed to be condemned, but explicitly stating that he did not intend the condemnation of any person. By this approach he calmed many storms.
Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||1 Timothy 1:15 ©|
Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Apocalypse 21:23-24 ©|
The city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it. The pagan nations will live by its light and the kings of the earth will bring it their treasures.
|Afternoon reading (None)||1 John 1:5 ©|
This is what we have heard from him, and the message that we are announcing to you: God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.