The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Saints and Feast Days this week.

Beginning Sunday, 19th Novermber 2017 ~ The Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Lectionary - Sundays Year A, Weekdays Year 1

 

 

 

21st November

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not recorded in the New Testament. Its source is the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to this Mary’s parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne were childless. They received a message from heaven that they would have a child and in thanksgiving for the gift of a daughter they brought her to the Temple in Jerusalem where she remained until puberty when she was assigned to St. Joseph as guardian. The tradition is that Mary remained at the Temple to be educated in preparation for her role as the Mother of God. The feast itself came from the dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary the New which was built in 543 by the Byzantines under Emperor Justinian I near the ruined Temple in Jerusalem. The feast continued to be celebrated following the destruction of the basilica in 614. By the ninth century the feast was being celebrated in the monasteries of Southern Italy and was introduced into the Papal Chapel at Avignon in 1372 by the decree of Pope Gregory XI. It was suppressed by Pope Pius V in 1568 only to be reintroduced into the Roman Calendar by Pope Sixtus V in 1585.

New Advent

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22nd November

Memorial of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr.

A Roman martyr from the third century, almost nothing is known about Cecilia’s life. Her popularity is in large part due to a fifth century legend. According to this, she was a young Christian patrician betrothed to a pagan named Valerian. But, as she had already vowed her virginity to God, she refused to consummate the marriage. Both her husband and his brother Tiburtius became Christians, were arrested, and were martyred. Soon afterwards Cecilia herself was arrested and was brought before the prefect. She, however, refused to sacrifice and converted he persecutors. Eventually a soldier was sent to behead her but, despite three blows, this failed and she survived, half-dead, for three days. Later her house was dedicated as a church by Pope Urban who has encouraged her in her resolve. Her supposed relics along with those of her companions were translated to her church in about 820 by Pope Paschal I. When her tomb was opened in 1599 during the rebuilding of the church her body was found to be incorrupt but quickly disintegrated through contact with the air. At the foundation of the Academy of Music in Rome in 1584 she was chosen as its patroness. Cecilia is well represented in the literary world through Dryden’s ”Song for St. Cecilia’s Day”, Pope’s ”Ode for Music on St. Cecilia’s Day” while the traditional account of her life is famous as the Second Nun’s Tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

New Advent

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23rd November

Memorial at choice of St. Clement, Pope and Martyr.

The fourth pope after Peter, Linus and Cletus, Clement is today mainly known for his Epistle to the Corinthians of c. 96 although other writings attributed to him such as his Second Epistle are believed to be spurious. According to a later source, Clement was exiled to the Crimea for the skill and extent of his apostolic activities in Rome. While in exile he was forced to work in the mines where he opened a miraculous source of water and preached to such effect that he made innumerable converts – so many that there was a need for seventy-five churches. Tradition has it that he was martyred by being thrown into the sea with an anchor tied around his neck. Angels are said to have made him a tomb on the sea-bed that was uncovered once a year by an exceptionally low tide. Several centuries later, the missionary brothers, Cyril and Mathodius, the apostles to the Slav countries, are miraculously supposed to have recovered Clement’s body and the anchor. These relics were translated to Rome in c. 868 and were buried in the church of San Clemente.

New Advent

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23rd November

Memorial at choice of St. Columban, Abbot.

Born in Leinster in c. 543, possibly to a noble family, Columban became a monk at an early age and is best known for his work in Gaul where he founded several monasteries that followed a very strict rule. His stay in Gaul was not without problems, especially over the date of Easter. Having been brought up in the Irish tradition, which he maintained continued the pure and unsullied Christian tradition in contrast to other nations, which was at variance with the practice in Gaul which followed the date set by Rome. Matters rose to such a level that Columban was forced to write to Pope Gregory the Great and later to Boniface IV affirming his loyalty and asking for tolerance for his communities that followed the Irish rule. He also incurred the displeasure of Theuderic II when he refused to bless his illegitimate sons. Columban and his monks were taken with a military escort to Nantes to be deported to Ireland but the ship had scarcely left port when it was forced back by a storm. Columban died in 615.

New Advent

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24th November

Memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac and His Companions, Martyrs.

There are 117 martyrs in this group and although they died at different times, they were all canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 19, 1988. Of the group, 96 were Vietnamese, 11 were Spaniards, and 10 were French. There were 8 bishops, 50 priests and 59 lay Catholics in the group. Of the priests, 11 were Dominicans, 10 belonged to the Paris Mission Society, and the rest were diocesan priests plus one seminarian. Certain individual martyrs were mentioned by name in the process of canonization: Andrew Dung-Lac, a diocesan priest; Thomas Tran-Van-Thien, a seminarian; Emmanuel Le-Van-Pung, father of a family; the Dominican bishops Jerome Hermosilla and Valentine Berrio-Ochoa; and John Theophane Venard. St. Andrew Dung-Lac's name was originally Dung An Trân, and he was born about 1795 in a poor and pagan family in Bac-Ninh in North Vietnam. When he was twelve the family had to move to Hà-Nôi (Hanoi) where his parents could find work. There he met a catechist and got food and shelter from him. He also got education in the Christian faith for three years, and was baptized in Vinh-Tri with the Christian name Andrew (Andrew Dung). After learning Chinese and Latin he became a catechist, and thereafter taught catechism in the country. He was chosen to study theology, and on March 15, 1823 he was ordained a priest. As parish priest in Ke-Dâm he was tireless in his preaching. He often fasted and lived a simple and moral life, he was a good example for the people, and many were baptized. In 1835 he was imprisoned under emperor Minh-Mang's persecutions (he was called Vietnam's emperor Nero), but his freedom was purchased by donations from members of the congregation he served. To avoid persecutions he changed his name to Lac (Andrew Lac) and moved to another prefecture to continue his work. But on November 10, 1839 he was again arrested, this time with Peter Thi, another Vietnamese priest whom he was visiting so that he might go to confession. Once again Andrew was liberated, along with Peter Thi, in exchange for money. Their freedom was brief. They were soon re-arrested and taken to Hanoi, where both suffered dreadful torture. Finally they both were beheaded December 21, 1839

Grant,O Lord, that through the intercession of Saint Andrrew Dung-Lac and his Companions, we may become your children both in name and in truth, spreading your love amongst our brothers and sisters.

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25th November

Memorial at choice of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr.

Supposedly having lived in the fourth century, there is no mention of Catherine in early Martyrologies or early works of art. Her cult seems to have begun in the ninth century at Mount Sinai to where her body was supposed to have been transported by angels. According to legend she was of a noble family who was persecuted for her Christianity and who despised marriage to the Emperor because she was a ‘bride of Christ’. She is said to have disputed successfully with fifty philosophers who had been called upon to convince her of the errors of Christianity. She suffered martyrdom by being broken on a wheel – later called a Catherine wheel – which broke down injuring the bystanders. The legend relates that she met her death by being beheaded, meeting her death with the prayer; “O hope and salvation of the faithful, O honour and glory of virgins, Jesus, good king, I beseech you that whoever keeps the memory of my passion or invokes me at the moment of his death, or in any time of need, may be heard in mercy and his prayer granted.”

New Advent

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