We are the people of the Lord, the flock that is led by his hand: come, let us adore him, alleluia.
Year: B(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Green.
In other years: St Elizabeth of Portugal (1271 - 1336)
She was the daughter of King Peter III of Aragón and was named after her great-aunt, St Elizabeth of Hungary. She was married to King Denis of Portugal, by whom she had two children. She set up hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions, patiently endured her husband’s infidelities and provided for the education of his bastards, and acted as peacemaker in the quarrelsome and complicated politics of the time.
On her husband’s death in 1325 she retired from public affairs and devoted herself to prayer and the service of the poor. Throughout her life she was faithful and regular in prayer, and daily recited the Liturgy of the Hours.
In 1336 her son, by now King Alfonso IV of Portugal, went to war against King Alfonso XI of Castile. Elizabeth followed the Portuguese army on the field in an effort to bring about peace. She succeeded, but the effort killed her.
The canonization of royal personages may seem offensive to our modern egalitarian principles; but though it may be hard to attain sanctity in a mediaeval kingdom or its equivalent, a modern corporation, with God nothing is impossible.
Other saints: Blessed John Cornelius (-1594)
John Cornelius was born of Irish parents in Bodmin, and his talent was soon noticed by Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, who sent him to Oxford. From there he went to the English College in Rheims, and to Rome, where he was ordained priest. He came back to England, and worked here for ten years, before being arrested at Chideock Castle, where he was acting as chaplain to Lady Arundell. Whilst being escorted to the sheriff’s house he was met on the way by Thomas Bosgrave, a relative of the Arundell family, who offered him his own hat, as he had been dragged out bare-headed. Thereupon Bosgrave was promptly arrested. Two servants of the castle, John (or Terence) Carey and Patrick Salmon, both natives of Dublin, shared the same fate. They were executed at Dorchester on July 4th 1594.
Other saints: Bl Maria Crocifissa Curcio (1877-1957)
4 Jul (where celebrated)
Rosa Curcio was born on 30 January 1877 in Ispica, Sicily, Italy. She was the seventh of ten children born to Salvatore Curcio and Concetta Franzò. As was the general custom of the time, Rosa completed her formal schooling at the age of twelve. In her own readings in the family library she happened upon the Life of St Teresa of Jesus, the impact of which would propel her into her Carmelite journey. At age thirteen she enrolled in the Carmelite Third Order, which had been recently re-established in Ispica. As she grew in her understanding and practice of Carmelite Spirituality she came to discern that her mission was to “make Carmel flourish”.
As a young woman she joined other Third Order Carmelites, to live together as a community in a small apartment. Following this experience, she was transferred to Modica and entrusted with the management of Carmela Polara, an institution that supported and educated orphaned and disadvantaged girls. Later still, inspired by her attendance at the canonisation of St Therésè of the Child Jesus in Rome, 1925, Rosa resolved to found a community of missionary Carmelite sisters. In 1930 her Congregation of the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St Therésè of the Child Jesus was given official recognition. The mission of the congregation was to ‘bring souls to God’ by feeding the poor, educating children and supporting families in Christian living. Following the end of World War II, in 1947 Rosa (now Madre Maria Crocifissa) sent missionary sisters to Brazil to carry out their work. Her passion for mission was lived out in her congregation, as her own health limited her ability to travel throughout her life. Madre Maria Crocifissa died on July 4, 1957 in Porto Santa Rufina, after a life spent in living the Carmelite life of contemplative prayer, community and prophetic action.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time seriously seeking the truth, first in the Manichaean heresy, which he abandoned on seeing how nonsensical it was, and then in Neoplatonism, until at length, through the prayers of his mother and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christianity and baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death.
Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career, but after his conversion he returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His Confessions, as dazzling in style as they are deep in content, are a landmark of world literature. The Second Readings in the Office of Readings contain extracts from many of his sermons and commentaries and also from the Confessions.
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)||Romans 5:1-2,5 ©|
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. This hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Romans 8:26 ©|
The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words.
|Afternoon reading (None)||2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ©|
Remember it is God himself who assures us all, and you, of our standing in Christ, and has anointed us, marking us with his seal and giving us the pledge, the Spirit, that we carry in our hearts.