Universalis
Wednesday 8 March 2023    (other days)
Wednesday of the 2nd week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Saint John of God, Religious)

Using calendar: Australia - Sydney. You can change this.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
Or: O that today you would listen to his voice: harden not your hearts.

Year: A(I). Psalm week: 2. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

St John of God (1495 - 1550)

He was born to a poor but devout family in Portugal in 1495. After serving as a soldier under the Emperor Charles V he devoted his life wholly to the service of the poor and the sick. He founded a hospital in Granada and a circle of disciples formed round him, which later became the Order of Hospitallers. He died on 8 March 1550, his 55th birthday. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Other saints: Saint Senan, Bishop (488 - 544)

Ireland
He is one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He was born in County Clare, and having travelled and studied in Europe he returned to Ireland, where he established a church and monastery at Inniscarra, in Cork. He then moved back to his native district and eventually founded a monastery (with an exceptionally austere rule) at Scattery, an island off Kilrush, where he died. See the article by Clare Library.

Other saints: Saint Duthac (1000-1065)

Aberdeen
He was born in Tain, in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. He was educated in Ireland, and was Bishop of Ross.

Other saints: St Felix (7th century)

East Anglia
A native of Burgundy, Felix became a bishop in Gaul and offered himself to work for the conversion of the East Angles. In 630 Sigebert, their king, came back from exile and work began.
  Felix undertook the mission with the approval of Honorius of Canterbury, and placed his episcopal see at Dunwich, now washed away by the sea. He preached with great success in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
East Anglian Ordo

About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:

Second Reading: St Irenaeus (130 - 202)

Irenaeus was born in Smyrna, in Asia Minor (now Izmir in Turkey) and emigrated to Lyons, in France, where he eventually became the bishop. It is not known for certain whether he was martyred or died a natural death.
  Whenever we take up a Bible we touch Irenaeus’s work, for he played a decisive role in fixing the canon of the New Testament. It is easy for people nowadays to think of Scripture – and the New Testament in particular – as the basis of the Church, but harder to remember that it was the Church itself that had to agree, early on, about what was scriptural and what was not. Before Irenaeus, there was vague general agreement on what scripture was, but a system based on this kind of common consent was too weak. As dissensions and heresies arose, reference to scripture was the obvious way of trying to settle what the truth really was, but in the absence of an agreed canon of scripture it was all too easy to attack one’s opponent’s arguments by saying that his texts were corrupt or unscriptural; and easy, too, to do a little fine-tuning of texts on one’s own behalf. Irenaeus not only established a canon which is almost identical to our present one, but also gave reasoned arguments for each inclusion and exclusion.
  Irenaeus also wrote a major work, Against the Heresies, which in the course of denying what the Christian faith is not, effectively asserts what it is. The majority of this work was lost for many centuries and only rediscovered in a monastery on Mount Athos in 1842. Many passages from it are used in the Office of Readings.

Liturgical colour: violet

Violet is a dark colour, ‘the gloomy cast of the mortified, denoting affliction and melancholy’. Liturgically, it is the colour of Advent and Lent, the seasons of penance and preparation.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Ezekiel 18:30-32
Repent, renounce all your sins, avoid all occasions of sin! Shake off all the sins you have committed against me, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone – it is the Lord who speaks. Repent and live!

Noon reading (Sext)Zechariah 1:3-4
Return to me, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will return to you. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the prophets in the past cried ‘Turn back from your evil ways and evil deeds’ but they would not listen.

Afternoon reading (None)Daniel 4:24
By virtuous actions break with your sins, break with your crimes by showing mercy to the poor, and so live long and peacefully.

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