Biblical readings of the Week
• Prv 8:22-31; • Ps 8:4-5.6-7.8-9.
• Rom 5:1-5.
• Jn 16:12-15.
Sir 5: 1-8;
Ps 1:1-2.3.4 and 6.
Saints of the Week
ST BERNARDINE OF SIENA, priest
Bernardine, born in 1380, became a Franciscan and an itinerant preacher. His holiness gained him widespread respect, love and admiration, while his humility made him refuse honours and appointments. He is renowned for his gift of preaching and his endeavour to spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. When he preached, the letters IHS (Iesus Hominum Salvator = Jesus, Saviour of humankind) were painted on signs and walls everywhere. He died in 1444.
ST CHRISTOPHER MAGALLANES, priest
and COMPANIONS, martyrs
Christopher was born in 1869 and, as a priest, distinguished himself for his faith and apostolic zeal. He was sent as a missionary among the 'Huichole' and spread devotion to Our Lady through the Rosary in Mexico. He was loved by his confreres because of his wisdom and guidance. Having shown care for vocations, when the seminary of Guadalajara was closed because of the persecutions against the Church, he took care of the seminarians by hosting them in his mission. On 25 May 1927 he was killed because of his faith along with another priest, Agustin Caloca, and several lay people.
ST RITA OF CASCIA, religious
Rita was born in Italy in 1377. She lived an ordinary life as a married woman until the time when her husband was murdered. Then, in her desire to live a consecrated life, she joined the Augustinian Nuns and spent the rest of her life doing penance and praying out of love for the crucified Lord. She died in 1447.
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY,*
HELP OF CHRISTIANS
The Church has often experienced the powerful help of the Mother of God in times of trials and persecutions. Pope Pius VII established this feast when he returned to Rome on 24 May 1814 after a period of imprisonment and captivity. His safe release and return were attributed to the intercession of Mary, help of Christians.
ST BEDE THE VENERABLE, priest and doctor
An outstanding theologian, he combined contemplation and learning in his life as a Benedictine. Born in England in 672, he spent the whole of his life in the monastery, teaching, writing and praying. From the historical works that he wrote, Bede can be considered the father of English History. He died in the year 735, the only Englishman to have been named Doctor of the Church.
ST GREGORY VII, pope
Gregory was one of the most important popes of the Middle Ages when the political power was trying to rule and dominate the Church. He was a Benedictine monk and, when he was chosen to be a pope at the age of 53 in 1073, he struggled to reform the Church to eliminate various forms of immorality among the clergy. His stand on a number of issues brought him into conflict with the emperor Henry IV who forced Gregory into exile where he died in 1085.
ST MARY MAGDALENE DE PAZZI, virgin
Mary Magdalene De Pazzi lived in the difficult times of the Reformation. Because of her profound spirituality, she was able to help the leaders of the Church to implement important reforms. Born in Florence in 1566, she joined the Carmelite Nuns at the age of 16 and, leaving her baptismal name 'Catherine', she took the one of Mary Magdalene. She was given special graces of mystical prayer and had ecstasies and revelations. She died in 1607.