Universalis
Monday 4 April 2022    (other days)
Monday of the 5th week of Lent 
 (optional commemoration of Saint Isidore, Bishop, Doctor)

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: C(II). Psalm week: 1. Liturgical Colour: Violet.

St Isidore of Seville (560 - 636)

He was born in Seville in about 560 and after his father’s death he was educated by his brother Leander, Archbishop of Seville. He was instrumental in converting the Visigothic kings from the Arian heresy; he was made Archbishop of Seville after his brother’s death; and he took a prominent part in councils at Toledo and Seville. The Council of Toledo, in particular, laid great emphasis on learning, with all bishops in the kingdom commanded to establish seminaries and to encourage the teaching of Greek and Hebrew, law and medicine. He promoted the study of Aristotle, long before the Arabs discovered him and centuries before 13th-century Christian philosophers discovered him through the Arabs.
  He embarked on the project of writing an encyclopaedia of universal knowledge but did not live to complete it. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

Other saints: St Benedict 'The Black' (1526 - 1589)

Kenya, Southern Africa
Benedict was born in 1526, the son of Christopher and Diana, an Ethiopian couple who were kept as slaves in Sicily. When Benedict reached the age of 18, he was set free and after a while he joined a hermit called Jerome. His reputation for holiness was spread throughout the area and people flocked to him all the time. Eventually he moved to a Franciscan monastery where he spent the rest of his life serving his brothers as a cook. Even though he was a lay brother and without education, he was chosen to be their Superior and, at the end of his term of 6 years, he went back to the kitchen. People kept on visiting him seeking his advice and the help of his prayers. He died on 4 April, 1589. Humility, spirit of service, wisdom and powerful intercession were the special gifts bestowed on Benedict “The Black”. See the articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia and Wikipedia.

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

Second Reading: St John Fisher (1469 - 1535)

John Fisher was born in Beverley, in Yorkshire, in 1469. He studied theology at the University of Cambridge, and had a successful career there, finally becoming chancellor of the University and bishop of Rochester: unusually for the time, he paid a great deal of attention to the welfare of his diocese. He wrote much against the errors and corruption into which the Church had fallen, and was a friend and supporter of great humanists such as Erasmus of Rotterdam; but he was greatly opposed to Lutheranism, both in its doctrine and in its ideas of reform.
  He supported the validity of King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and for this he was briefly imprisoned. When the King had divorced Catherine, married Anne Boleyn, and constituted himself the supreme Head of the Church in England, John Fisher refused to assent. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London on a charge of treason, and on 22 June 1535, a month after having been made a Cardinal by the Pope, he was executed.

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 33:10,11 ©
Our sins and crimes weigh heavily on us; we are wasting away because of them. How are we to go on living? As I live – it is the Lord who speaks – I take pleasure, not in the death of a wicked man, but in the turning back of a wicked man who changes his ways to win life.

Noon reading (Sext)Jeremiah 18:20 ©
Remember how I stood in your presence to plead on their behalf, to turn your wrath away from them.

Afternoon reading (None)Jeremiah 31:2,3,4 ©
The Lord says this: They have found pardon in the wilderness, those who have survived the sword. Israel is marching to his rest. I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I am constant in my affection for you. I build you once more; you shall be rebuilt, virgin of Israel.
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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