The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Saints and Feast Days this week.

Beginning Sunday,  19th August 2018 - The Tyentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Lectionary - Sundays Year B, Weekdays Year 2.




20th August

Memorial of St. Bernard, Abbot, Doctor of the Church.

Born: c. 1090. Died: 1153. Canonised: 1174. Doctor of the Church: 1830.

Bernard was born in c.1090 at Fontaines, near Dijon, the third son of Tescelin Sorrel, a Burgundian nobleman and was educated at Châtillon-sur-Seine by secular canons. Aged just twenty-two with thirty-one companions he became a monk at the languishing and poverty-ridden monastery at Citeaux. Under Bernard’s influence the Cistercian Order was transformed and he eventually rose to become abbot of Clairvaux, a new foundation. After initial hardships, Clairvaux went on to make numerous other foundations in France and elsewhere including Rievaulx in North Yorkshire in 1132. At the time of Bernard’s death Clairvaux itself had some 700 monks. Although a member of an order that purported to practice seclusion from the world in chosen obscurity, Bernard became involved in Church affairs obtaining recognition for the Order of Templars at the Synod of Troyes and was responsible for putting together their rule and thus forming a dedicated body of knights to fight the Church’s battles in the Crusades whilst devoting themselves to the care of pilgrims and the sick. However, it is for his deep and lasting influence on monasticism that he is best known. On one hand he encouraged monks to devote themselves to mystic prayer through the ordinary framework of monastic observance while, on the other, developing the Cistercian Order into a mass movement of unprecedented expansion and renown. By the time of his death in 1153 there were about 500 Cistercian houses with over fifty in England and Wales. Unofficially his cult began during his lifetime. He was canonised in 1174 and was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1830.

O God, who made the Abbot Saint Bernard, a man consumed with zeal for your house and a light shining and burning for your Church, grant, through his intercession, that we may be on fire with the same spirit and walk always as children of light.

New Advent


21st August

Memorial of St. Pius X, Pope.

Born Giuseppe Melchiore Sarto in Riese in 1835 to a poor family the son of a postman and a seamstress. He was ordained in 1858 and through a succession of posts he rose to become Patriarch of Venice in 1893 and cardinal. At the conclave in 1903 following the death of Leo XIII he was elected pontiff after the tenth ballot. He took as his motto “To restore all things in Christ “ (Ephesians 1: 10). The effects of his pontificate on the modern Church were considerable – he has been hailed as a pioneer of the modern liturgical movement. He encouraged the frequent reception of Holy Communion and of the admission to it of children aged about seven. In the field of Church music he encouraged the use of Gregorian chant and classical polyphony. In the fields of Church administration he oversaw the reform of Canon Law (promulgated by his successor Benedict XV) and a reorganization of the Roman Congregations. In the field of Christian doctrine he condemned Modernism in the encyclical Pascendi and the decree Lamentabili. Despite his tireless efforts he was unable to prevent the outbreak of the First World War and died on the 20th of August 1914. The process of canonization was begun in 1923; he was beatified on the 3rd of June 1951 and canonized by Pope Pius XII on the 29th May 1954.

New Advent


22nd August

Memorial of the Queenship of Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hail, O Queen of Heaven Enthroned!
Hail, by angels mistress owned!
Root of Jesse, Gate of morn,
Whence the world's true light was born.
Glorious Virgin, joy to you!
Loveliest whom in Heaven we see
Fairest thou where all are fair,
Lead with Christ our sins to spare.

O God, who made the Mother of your Son to be our Mother and our Queen, graciously grant that, sustained by the intercession, we may attain in the heavenly Kingdom the glory promised to your children.

Encyclical by Pope Pius XII proclaiming the Queenship of Mary.


23rd August

Feast of St. John Wall, Priest and Martyr.

A Franciscan priest and martyr, John was born in 1620 at Chingle Hall in Lancashire, the son of William Wall, a Norfolk recusant. John was educated at the English College at Douai (1633-41) and at the English College in Rome (1642-45) where he was ordained. He joined the Franciscan Order in 1651 and five years later returned to England using the name ‘Marsh’. Mainly based in Harvington Hall, which belonged to the Talbot family, he worked for twenty-three years, mainly in Warwickshire. The anti-Catholic backlash to the ‘Popish Plot’ caused all priests to be banished. John Wall refused to go and was arrested and imprisoned in Worcester Castle where re reconciled a number of prisoners to the Church of Rome. He was examined by the Privy Council and was condemned on the 17th of August 1679, not for any involvement in the plot itself, but for being a priest. He was executed five days later and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift blessed Saint John Wall fought for righteousness’s sake even unto death, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that we may bear every adversity for the sake of your love and hasten with all our strength towards you who alone are life.

New Advent


24th August

Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle.

Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathaniel said to him, “From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?” Philip replied. “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathaniel coming he said of him, “There, truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.” Nathaniel asked, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathaniel answered, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.”

John 1: 44-49.

Little is known about his ministry. He is supposed to have travelled in India and Armenia and, according to St. Theodore, to have been flayed alive before being beheaded although an alternative tradition related by St. Dorotheus states that he was crucified upside down.

Strengthen in us, O Lord, the faith by which the blessed Apostle Bartholomew clung wholeheartedly to your Son, and grant us that through the help of his prayers your Church may become for all nations the sacrament of salvation.

New Advent



Saturday, 25th August

Feria in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Louis

Born in 1214 and king of France 1226 to 1270, son and successor of Louis VIII. His mother, Blanche of Castile, was regent during his minority (1226–34), and her regency probably lasted even after Louis reached his majority; she was his chief adviser until her death. Louis took the cross in 1244, but did not leave on the crusade to Egypt until 1248. Defeated and captured (1250) at al-Mansurah, he was ransomed but remained in the Holy Land until 1254, helping to strengthen the fortifications of the Christian colonies. After his return he attempted to bring about a peaceful settlement of territorial claims with Henry III. Agreement was reached in the Treaty of Paris, ratified in 1259. By its terms Louis ceded Limoges, Cahors, and Périgueux to Henry in exchange for Henry's renunciation of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and Poitou and his recognition of the king of France as suzerain for the reduced duchy of Aquitaine. Louis made a favourable treaty with King James I of Aragón by yielding the French claim to Roussillon and Barcelona in return for James's abandonment of his claim to Provence and Languedoc. A respected arbitrator, Louis settled succession disputes in Flanders and Hainaut and in Navarre; he attempted unsuccessfully to settle the bitter controversy between Henry III and the English barons by judging in favour of the king. Under Louis IX, France enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and peace. Louis continued the reforms of his grandfather, Philip II. He curbed private feudal warfare, simplified administration, improved the distribution of taxes, encouraged the use of Roman law, and extended the appellate jurisdiction of the crown to all cases. Louis was pious and ascetic, yet a good administrator and diplomat. He died of plague on the Second Crusade in Tunis and was canonized in 1297.

O God, who brought Saint Louis from the cares of earthly rule to the glories of a heavenly realm, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, by fulfilling our duties on earth, we may seek out your heavenly Kingrom.

New Advent


Optional Memorial of St. John Calasanz, Priest

The founder of the Clerks Regular of the Christian Schools, Joseph was born in 1557 into a noble family at Peralta de la Sal in Aragon. After an education in Lerida and Valencia he was ordained in 1583 and rose to become Vicar-General to the bishop of Urgel in the Andorra district. However, he believed that he had been called to other work. He resigned his benefices, gave away much of his fortune and made his way to Rome, where, under the patronage of Cardinal Colonna and working alongside his friend, Camillus of Lellis he tended the sick of the plague of 1595. Tow years later he founded his first school which within five years numbered 700 pupils. The teachers led a communal life and were recognized as a religious congregation in 1617. Also known as the Piarists, they could be considered and the direct forunner of the more famous foundations of John-Baptist de la Salle. Joseph died in Rome in 1648 and was canonized in 1767 remembered particularly for his heroic patience in the face of adversity.

O God, who adorned the Priest Saint Joseph Calasanz with such charity and patience that he laboured tirelessly to educate children and endow them with every virtue, grant, we pray, that we, who venerate him as a teacher of wisdom, may constantly imitate him, for he was a co-worker of your truth.

New Advent


  Optional Memorial of Our Lady on Saturday.