The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him.
Year: C(II). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Red.
Saint Lucy, Virgin, Martyr
She was martyred in Syracuse, probably during the persecution of Diocletian (which started in 303). Devotion to her spread rapidly across practically the whole Church and her name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass. See the article in Wikipedia
About the author of the Second Reading in today's Office of Readings:
Second Reading: St Ambrose of Milan (340? - 397)
Ambrose was born in Trier (now in Germany) between 337 and 340, to a Roman family: his father was praetorian prefect of Gaul. Ambrose was educated at Rome and embarked on the standard cursus honorum of Roman advocates and administrators, at Sirmium, the capital of Illyria. In about 372 he was made prefect of Liguria and Emilia, whose capital was Milan.
In 374 the bishopric of Milan fell vacant and when Ambrose tried to pacify the conflict between the Catholics and Arians over the appointment of a new bishop, the people turned on him and demanded that he become the bishop himself. He was a layman and not yet baptized (at this time it was common for baptism to be delayed and for people to remain for years as catechumens), but that was no defence. Coerced by the people and by the emperor, he was baptized, ordained, and installed as bishop within a week, on 7 December 374.
He immediately gave his money to the poor and his land to the Church and set about learning theology. He had the advantage of knowing Greek, which few people did at that time, and so he was able to read the Eastern theologians and philosophers as well as those of the West.
He was assiduous in carrying out his office, acting with charity to all: a true shepherd and teacher of the faithful. He was unimpressed by status and when the Emperor Theodosius ordered the massacre of 7,000 people in Thessalonica, Ambrose forced him to do public penance. He defended the rights of the Church and attacked the Arian heresy with learning, firmness and gentleness. He also wrote a number of hymns which are still in use today.
Ambrose was a key figure in the conversion of St Augustine to Catholicism, impressing Augustine (hitherto unimpressed by the Catholics he had met) by his intelligence and scholarship. He died on Holy Saturday, 4 April 397.
Liturgical colour: red
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.
|Mid-morning reading (Terce)||(Isaiah 10:20-21) ©|
That day, the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the House of Jacob will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
|Noon reading (Sext)||(Isaiah 10:24,27) ©|
The Lord of Hosts says this: My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid. On that day the burden will fall from your shoulder and the yoke will cease to weigh on your neck.
|Afternoon reading (None)||(Isaiah 13:22-14:1) ©|
Its time is almost up, its days will not last long. Yes, the Lord will have pity on Jacob, and Israel will be saved.