The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Saints and Feast Days this week.

Beginning Sunday, 17th September 2017 ~ The Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Lectionary - Sundays Year A, Weekdays Year 1




19th September

Memorial of St. Theodore of Canterbury, Bishop.

Probably the most important Archbishop of Canterbury between St. Augustine and Lanfranc, Theodore was born in Tarsus in Cilicia, had been educated in Athens and was a monk by profession. St. Adrian, an African abbot, introduced Theodore to Pope Vitalian who was looking for a successor to Wighard as Archbishop of Canterbury. Adrian had been Pope Vitalian’s first choice but when he refused Theodore was chosen. Accompanied by Adrian and Benedict Biscop, Theodore arrived in England in 669. He made a visitation of most of the country, filled vacant sees, with Adrian set up an important school in Canterbury that would in time produce several bishops, and held the first synod of the Anglo-Saxon church in Hereford in 672. Its ten decrees were based on canons approved by the Council of Chalcedon. The important series of synods at the unidentified Clovesho were a result of Hereford. Theodore’s work was one of unification of the disparate elements of the Church in Anglo-Saxon England bringing together elements from Rome, Gaul and Ireland into a united whole. The school that he founded taught not only Latin and Greek (very rare at this time) but also Roman Law, the rules of metre, computistics, music and biblical exegesis of the literal school of Antioch. Theodore died in 690 and was buried close to St. Augustine at the monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul in Canterbury. In 1091, when his body was translated, it was found to be incorrupt.

O God, you called your servant Saint Theodore to be a bishop amongst us and to set the Church on a firm foundation; grant, we pray, that through his intercession we may always remain steadfast to the rock which is Christ and be obedient to the calling which we have received.

New Advent


19th September

Memorial of St. Januarius, Bishop and Martyr.

The bishop of Benevento, he is supposed to have been martyred early in the fourth century. Other than that little is known about his life although he appears to have been venerated as a saint early in the fifth century. It was about this time that Naples obtained his relics from the church dedicated to him near the Soltfara. They are especially famous because of the alleged liquefaction of his blood which is claimed to take place every year in connection with his three feasts. This was first recorded in 1389 and while it has often been attacked by critics, the phenomenon does still take place with an apparent variation of in the weight and bulk of the blood in the glass phial. The blood liquefied unexpectedly at Cardinal Cooke’s visit in 1978 and the last time the expected liquefaction did not happen is said to have been when Naples elected a communist mayor.

O God, who grant us to venerate the memory of the Martyr Saint Januarius, give us, we pray, the joy of his company in blessed happiness for all eternity.

New Advent


20th September

Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn and Companions, Martyrs.

This first native Korean priest was the son of Korean converts. His father, Ignatius Kim, was martyred during the persecution of 1839 and was beatified in 1925. After Baptism at the age of 15, Andrew travelled 1,300 miles to the seminary in Macao, China. After six years he managed to return to his country through Manchuria. That same year he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai and was ordained a priest. Back home again, he was assigned to arrange for more missionaries to enter by a water route that would elude the border patrol. He was arrested, tortured and finally beheaded at the Han River near Seoul, the capital. Paul Chong Hasang was a seminarian, aged 45.Christianity came to Korea during the Japanese invasion in 1592 when some Koreans were baptized, probably by Christian Japanese soldiers. Evangelization was difficult because Korea refused all contact with the outside world except for bringing taxes to Beijing annually. On one of these occasions, around 1777, Christian literature obtained from Jesuits in China led educated Korean Christians to study. A home Church began. When a Chinese priest managed to enter secretly a dozen years later, he found 4,000 Catholics, none of whom had ever seen a priest. Seven years later there were 10,000 Catholics. Religious freedom came in 1883. When Pope John Paul II visited Korea in 1984 he canonized, besides Andrew and Paul, 98 Koreans and three French missionaries who had been martyred between 1839 and 1867. Among them were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were lay persons: 47 women, 45 men.

O God, who have been pleased to increase your adopted children through all the world, and who made the blood of the Martyrs Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn and his companions a most fruitful seed of Christians, grant that we may be defended by their help and profit always from their example.


21st September

Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.

“As Jesus was walking along from there he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.”

Matthew 9: 9.

Also known as Levi the son of Alphaeus, as a tax collector, Matthew would have been seen as a collaborator with the occupying Romans. From early times he has been regarded as the author of the first of the four Gospels which is believed to be dependant on Mark’s Gospel. Christian traditions differ about where and how he died. The Roman Martyrology places it in Ethiopia whereas the Martyrology of Jerome puts it at Tarrium in Persia. Another tradition places it at Tarsuana east of the Persian Gulf.

O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you.

New Advent


23rd September

Memorial of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Priest.

Francesco, named in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, peasant farmers, in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on 25thMay 1887. Francesco was very devout even as a child, and at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood. He became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen and received the habit in 1902. Francesco was ordained to the priesthood in 1910 after seven years of study and became known as Padre Pio. On 20thSeptember 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 years prior that upon his death the wounds would heal. He was canonized by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2002.

Almighty ever-living God, who, by a singular grace, gave your Priest Saint Pius a share in the Cross of your Son and, by means of his ministry, renewed the wonders of your mercy, grant that through his intercession we may be united constantly to the sufferings of Christ, and so brought happily to the glory of the resurrection.

Vatican website