About Today

August 10

Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

Feast

Saint Lawrence was a deacon in the Church in the 3rd century. He suffered martyrdom during Emperor Valerian’s persecution, shortly after Pope Saint Sixtus II and Companions were killed. Saint Ambrose of Milan wrote about Saint Lawrence and said when the prefect of Rome demanded the Church’s treasures, Saint Lawrence brought forth the poor, widowed, maimed and lepers; declaring them greater than any treasure the emperor could possess. Constantine the Great built an oratory over his burial site which was enlarged and beautified with successive rulers. It remains today as the basilica of San Lorenzo. [1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Lawrence.”
[2] Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater, Butler’s Lives of the Saints Volume 3 (Indiana: Ave Maria Press, Inc., 1956), 297.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

January 1

Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Solemnity

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them” (Num 6:22-27). [1]

Today is the Octave of Christmas, the Solemnity of Mary – the Holy Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace. As we remember the ancient blessing God gave the Israelites, may we be reminded of the Incarnation. For through the Incarnation of the Son of God through Mary His Mother, the peace that the world cannot give begins to be among us. “Christian belief in the transcendent destiny of every human being gives urgency to the task of promoting peace and justice for all. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Numbers, The Fourth Book of Moses Commonly Called.”
[2] Benedict XVI, Homily, January 1, 2009.
[3] Benedict XVI, Financial Times, December 20, 2013.
Source: Divineoffice.org Evening Prayer I

About Today

December 28

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Feast

“Be subject to one another
out of reverence for Christ”
(Ephesians 5:21).[1]

Today we celebrate the Holy Family comprised of the child Jesus, Mary Most Holy, and St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Together, they model a Christian family focused on both “human and supernatural virtues.” May the patterns of love and mutual care in this house of Nazareth elevate the love and peace in our own homes. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., “Ephesians, The Letter of Paul to the.”
[2] John Paul II, Angelus, December 29, 2002.
[3] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 658.
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

December 27

Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

Feast

St. John was a fisherman with his father, Zebedee, and brother, James, at the Sea of Galilee. To the brothers, Jesus bestowed the title “sons of thunder.” This beloved disciple participated in many of Jesus’ more private events including the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration, and the tender bestowing of his Mother Mary to St. John at the foot of the cross. He is credited with writing the Fourth Gospel.

St. John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” was the only one of the apostles to die not of martyrdom but of old age, around the year 100. Still, he has been honored as a martyr from the earliest days after his death, because of an incident related by Tertullian, in which John, while in Rome, was placed in a pot of boiling oil but emerged unharmed. The love which Jesus bears is never barren. Of this his sufferings and death are the strongest proof. As St. John had the happiness to be distinguished by Christ in his holy love, so was he also in its glorious effects.[1][2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. John the Evangelist.”
[2] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
[3] “Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist” by Scott P. Richert, http://catholicism.about.com.
[4] Rev. Alban Butler, The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, Vol. IV
Source: Divineoffice.org

About Today

December 26

Saint Stephen, The First Martyr

Feast

St. Stephen lived in first century Jerusalem and is noteworthy as the first Christian martyr. He was a deacon appointed by the Apostles to serve in Jerusalem among the Hellenistic Jews. Acts 7:54-60 tells of his martyrdom. St. Stephen’s preaching and performing of miracles incited hostility and he was stoned. He died, as Jesus did, asking that God forgive those who murdered him. His feast day has been celebrated since the 4th century.

Today, as we reflect on St. Stephan, let us follow his example of being a committed, fearless, forgiving disciple of Jesus and bear witness to our Lord, just as St. Stephan.[1][2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Stephen.”
[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 1308.
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
Source: Divineoffice.org