Universalis
Thursday 12 August 2021    (other days)
Thursday of week 19 in Ordinary Time 
 or Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious 

Come, let us adore the Lord, for he is our God.

Year: B(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Green.

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (1572 - 1641)

She was born in Dijon, in France, in 1572. She married a nobleman called de Chantal, by whom she had six children whom she brought up in the faith. When her husband died she placed herself under the guidance of Saint Francis de Sales and progressed rapidly along the way of perfection. She performed many good works for the poor and the sick. She founded the Order of the Visitation and guided it wisely. She died in 1641. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Other saints: Blessed Isidore Bakanja (c.1886 - 1909)

Kenya, Southern Africa
Today the Church in Africa remembers one of her youngest martyrs in the person of Isidore Bakanja. A member of the Boangi tribe, he was born in Bokendela in what was then the Belgian Congo around the year 1886.
  He was baptized on 6 May 1906 after receiving instruction from Trappists missionaries. Rosary in hand, he used any chance to share his faith; though he was untrained, many considered him as a catechist. He left his native village because there were no fellow-Christians there.
  He then worked as a domestic on a Belgian rubber plantation. Many of the Belgian agents were atheists, who hated missionaries due to their fight for native rights and justice. (The agents used the term “mon père” for anyone associated with religion). Isidore encountered their hatred when he asked leave to go home. The agents refused, and he was ordered to stop teaching fellow workers how to pray: “You’ll have the whole village praying and no one will work!” He was told to discard his Carmelite scapular, and when he did not, he was flogged twice. The second time, the agent tore the scapular from Isidore’s neck, had him pinned to the ground, and then beaten with over 100 blows with a whip of elephant hide with nails on the end. He was then chained to a single spot 24 hours a day.
  When an inspector came to the plantation, Isidore was sent to another village so that he would not be seen. He managed to hide in the forest, then dragged himself to the inspector. “I saw a man,” wrote the horrified inspector, “come from the forest with his back torn apart by deep, festering, malodorous wounds, covered with filth, assaulted by flies. He leaned on two sticks in order to get near me – he wasn’t walking; he was dragging himself”. The agent tried to kill “that animal, mon père”, but the inspector prevented him. He took Isidore home to heal, but Isidore knew better. “If you see my mother, or if you go to the judge, or if you meet a priest, tell them that I am dying because I am a Christian.”
  Two missionaries who spent several days with him reported that he devoutly received the last sacraments. The missionaries urged Isidore to forgive the agent; he assured them that he already had. “I shall pray for him. When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much.” After six months of prayer and suffering, he died on 15 August 1909, rosary in hand and scapular around his neck.

Other saints: Saint Muredach

Ireland
He was a disciple of St Patrick and possibly a member of his family. He was put in charge of the church at Killala in 442 or 443. It is probable that he resigned his see after a few years, and retired to end his life in the lonely island in Donegal Bay which has ever since borne his name, Innismurray.

Other saints: Saint Attracta

Ireland
She lived in the fifth or sixth century and the details of her life have been obscured by legend. She may have received the veil from St Patrick. She is said to have founded several churches in the Counties of Galway and Sligo.

Other saints: Saint Lelia

Ireland
St Lelia is particularly venerated in the diocese of Limerick, but all details of her life have been lost. She clearly lived, but when and how is no longer known for certain.

Other saints: Saint Blaan (-590)

Argyll & the Isles
Saint Blane (Old Irish Bláán) was born on the Isle of Bute, a nephew of St Cathan, and was educated in Ireland under Saints Comgall and Kenneth. He became a monk, went to Scotland, and was eventually bishop among the Picts.

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.
Scripture readings taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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