Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.
Year: A(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.
Saints Pontian and Hippolytus ( - 235)
Hippolytus was a priest and a learned man, the most important writer of the Church at Rome in the early third century. He strongly attacked the popes of the time, and was set up as a rival Pope to St Callistus. Some time later, in Maximin’s persecution, he was sent to labour in the quarries of Sardinia. There he met the then Pope, Pontian, and was reconciled with him.
Pontian was made Pope in 231, and was sent to the quarries in 235, where he resigned the papacy and died.
Pontian’s successor, Fabian, had both bodies brought back to Rome for burial, and Pontian and Hippolytus were already being venerated by the Roman Church by the start of the fourth century.
Other saints: Saint Fachtna or Fachanan of Ross
He is patron saint of the diocese of Ross, of which he was probably the first bishop. He established the monastic school of Ross, at what is now Rosscarbery, in county Cork, one of the most famous schools of Ireland, which flourished for three hundred years.
Other saints: Blessed William Freeman (-1595)
William Freeman was born in Yorkshire and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1586 he witnessed the execution of a Catholic priest in London, and this made such an impression on him that he was reconciled to the Church and left England to study for the priesthood. He was ordained at Rheims in France in 1589. For six years he worked in secret as a priest in Worcestershire and Warwickshire. He was arrested at Alvechurch, condemned to death for being a priest and hanged, drawn and quartered at Warwick on 13 August 1595. At the gallows he said: “I came hither to die for my faith, the true ancient and Catholic faith”. He was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Gregory of Nyssa (335 - 395)
Gregory of Nyssa was the younger brother of St Basil of Caesarea (“St Basil the Great”). He, Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, “Gregory of Nazianzus”, are known as the Cappadocian Fathers. They were active after the Council of Nicaea, working to formulate Trinitarian doctrine precisely and, in particular, to pin down the meaning and role of the least humanly comprehensible member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Basil was the leader and organizer; Gregory of Nazianzus was the thinker, the orator, the poet, pushed into administrative and episcopal roles by circumstances and by Basil; and Gregory of Nyssa, although not a great stylist, was the most gifted of the three as a philosopher and theologian. Together, the Cappadocian Fathers hammered out the doctrine of the Trinity like blacksmiths forging a piece of metal by hammer-blows into its perfect, destined shape. They were champions – and successful champions – of orthodoxy against Arianism, a battle that had to be conducted as much on the worldly and political plane as on the philosophical and theological one.
The works of Gregory of Nyssa whose extracts appear as Second Readings are not as rhetorically beautiful as those of Gregory of Nazianzus, who was an acclaimed orator; but they are helpful and clear. Most of them are commentaries on Scripture passages. They involve the mind and deepen the understanding.
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)||Wisdom 19:22 ©|
Lord, in every way you have made your people great and glorious. You have never disdained them, but stood by them always and everywhere.
|Noon reading (Sext)||Deuteronomy 4:7 ©|
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?
|Afternoon reading (None)||Esther 10:3 ©|
The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations.