Universalis
Sunday 2 June 2024    (other days)
9th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

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Come, ring out our joy to the Lord; hail the God who saves us, alleluia.

Year: B(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Green.

In other years: Saints Marcellinus and Peter (- 304)

Pope St Damasus I dedicated his life to establishing and strengthening the Church after the great persecutions, and took much care over the restoration of the Roman catacombs and the proper burial of the martyrs there, including Marcellinus and Peter.
  As a boy, Damasus had heard the story of these martyrs from their executioner. Marcellinus was a priest, Peter was not. They were beheaded during the emperor Diocletian’s persecution, and buried on the Via Labicana outside Rome.
  After the persecutions, a basilica was built over the site of their tomb.

Other saints: Saints Pothinus and Blandina (- 177)

France
All that is known of these martyrs comes from a celebrated letter from the church of Lyon to the church in Asia and reproduced by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History.
  Pothinus was the first bishop of Lyon, and thus the first Bishop in Gaul, and was arrested in 177 during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, together with Blandina and forty-five other Christians. Pothinus is known to have been very old: the letter says 90 years old.
  Many of the martyrs died in prison or were beheaded, as befitted Roman citizens, but six of them were sentenced to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena, among them Blandina, a slave.
  The beasts did not touch Blandina, so she was beaten, then burned, then tossed on the horns of a bull, and finally, after having witnessed the martyrdom of her companions (calmly except in the case of her friend Ponticus, whose faith and perseverance she had doubted) was strangled by the public executioner.
  Pothinus was succeeded as bishop by St Irenaeus, one of the great Fathers of the early Church.

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)1 John 4:16
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.

Noon reading (Sext)Galatians 6:7-8
What a man sows, he reaps. If he sows in the field of self-indulgence he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in the field of the Spirit he will get from it a harvest of eternal life.

Afternoon reading (None)(Galatians 6:9-10)
We must never get tired of doing good, and then we shall get our harvest at the proper time. While we have the chance, we must do good to all, and especially to our brothers in the faith.

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