The Lord is the king of virgins: come, let us adore him.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: White.
Saint Ethelflæda (10th century)
Ethelflæda was the daughter of Æthelwold of Wessex. She joined the Abbey of Romsey under the abbacy of Morwenna, and eventually became abbess herself. She practised an austere life, and on her death was buried in the Abbey beside St Morwenna.
In other years: St John of Capistrano (1386 - 1456)
He was born in Capistrano in the Abruzzi in 1386. He studied law at Perugia and for some time held the office of a judge. He joined the Friars Minor and was ordained. He travelled throughout Germany, Poland, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Russia, leading an apostolic life, strengthening Christian morals and combating heresy.
When the Turks were invading Europe in the wake of the fall of Constantinople, they laid siege to Belgrade, then a border fort of the kingdom of Hungary. John preached a crusade against them and took part in the battle on 22 July 1456 in which John Hunyadi, his army and John’s peasant crusaders lifted the siege and defeated the Turks, keeping Christian Europe safe from Turkish invasion for the next 70 years.
Plague spread through the camp and John died of it, at Ilok, in what is now Croatia, on 23 October 1456. He is the patron saint of military chaplains.
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: 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)||Philippians 2:2-4 ©|
Be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.
|Noon reading (Sext)||2 Corinthians 13:4 ©|
He was crucified through weakness, but still he lives now through the power of God. So then, we are weak, as he was, but we shall live with him, through the power of God, for your benefit.
|Afternoon reading (None)||Colossians 3:12-13 ©|
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.