Monday 25 November 2024    (other days)
Monday of week 34 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin, Martyr 

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Let us rejoice in the Lord, with songs let us praise him.

Year: B(II). 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: Saint Colman of Cloyne (522 - 600)

He was a royal bard who in later life became a bishop. He founded several churches, including the church at Cloyne: he is patron saint of the diocese. See the article in Wikipedia.

Other saints: Blessed Niels Stensen (1638-86)

Denmark, Finland, Sweden
Niels Steensen was born as the son of a Copenhagen goldsmith. After studying medicine in Copenhagen, he went on a European study trip, where in the Netherlands he encountered a religious and philosophical diversity that brought him into a religious crisis. He overcame the crisis and found a fervent faith in God’s providence, but he could no longer find the Protestant faith of his homeland convincing.
  After a series of anatomical discoveries and a stay in Copenhagen, he set out in 1664 on a new study trip, and in Florence he found friends and well-wishers. There he converted to the Catholic Church in 1667 and in the following years made a number of further anatomical and geological discoveries. After a stay in Copenhagen 1672-74, he gave up science and was ordained a priest in 1675 to devote himself to pastoral care among foreign travellers in Tuscany.
  In 1677 he was made a bishop and sent to Northern Germany, where he worked in Hanover, Münster, Hamburg and finally Schwerin, where he died in the reputation of sanctity. His mortal remains were taken to Florence and today lie in the Medici burial church of San Lorenzo. In 1988 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. He is loved not only for his pastoral zeal, his deep spirituality and his love for poverty and the poor, but also as an example of the cohesion of natural science and religious knowledge.

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

Second Reading: Pope St Leo the Great (- 461)

Leo was born in Etruria and became Pope in 440. He was a true shepherd and father of souls. He constantly strove to keep the faith whole and strenuously defended the unity of the Church. He repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.
  Leo left many doctrinal and spiritual writings behind and a number of them are included in the Office of Readings to this day. He died in 461.

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)Jeremiah 31:33
This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.

Noon reading (Sext)Jeremiah 32:40
I will make an everlasting covenant with them. I will not cease in my efforts for their good, and I will put respect for me into their hearts, so that they turn from me no more.

Afternoon reading (None)Ezekiel 34:31
You, my sheep, are the flock I shall pasture, and I am your God – it is the Lord who speaks.

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