About Today

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem by Francesco Bartolozzi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

March 18

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Optional Memorial

“Already there is a scent of blessedness upon you. Already you who are soon to be enlightened are gathering spiritual flower from which, to weave heavenly crowns: already the fragrance of the Holy Spirit has breathed upon you: already you have gathered round the vestibule of the King’s palace. May you also be led in by the King! For blossoms now have appeared upon the trees; may the fruit also be found perfect!” [1]

St. Cyril of Jerusalem was a bishop in the fourth century. There survive 24 catechetical instructions that he delivered to prepare catechumens and the newly baptized for life in Christ. St. Cyril was bishop for 35 years, over 16 of which were spent in exile. He was first sent into exile by Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea, an ardent Arian who claimed jurisdiction over Jerusalem. St. Cyril was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1883 by Pope Leo XIII. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] St. Cyril, “The Catechetical Letters,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893), 1, adapted.
[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 369.
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Our Lady of Fatima. Image on an outside wall, next to the church of Fontecada, Santa Comba, Galicia (Spain) By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

May 13

Our Lady of Fatima

Optional Memorial

Today is the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed.

The Seven Fatima Prayers

During the course of the apparitions at Fatima, the three child seers were taught five unique and powerful prayers, two by the Angel of Peace and three by the Mother of God. Later, appearing to Sister Lucy at Rianjo, Spain, Our Lord Jesus Christ dictated two further prayers. For millions of people, these prayers are today a living embodiment of the Message of hope and peace which Our Lady gave the world at Fatima.

In the past few years, through the efforts of Our Lady’s Apostolate, a pious practice has developed of reciting one (or more) of these prayers on a daily basis. The following schedule of prayers is a suggestion only; please feel free to recite them in any order which you find most comforting and appropriate.[1]

Monday

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!

Tuesday

O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Wednesday

O my Jesus, forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.

Thursday

O Most Holy Trinity, I adore You! My God, my God, I love You in the most Blessed Sacrament!

Friday

Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.

Saturday

By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world.

Sunday

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners.”

[1] Prayer instructions: www.fatima.org
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Edith Stein (ca.1938-1939) by See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

August 9

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Virgin and Martyr

Optional Memorial

“Things were in God’s plan which I had not planned at all. I am coming to the living faith and conviction that – from God’s point of view – there is no chance and that the whole of my life, down to every detail, has been mapped out in God’s divine providence and makes complete and perfect sense in God’s all-seeing eyes.” [1]

St. Teresa Benedicta (1891-1942), began life as Edith Stein, the child of Jewish parents. By the time she was a teenager, though, she identified as an atheist. She earned a doctorate in philosophy, summa cum laude, and her thesis “The Problem with Empathy” earned her great renown. Later, while trying to gain a professorship, a near-impossible feat for women of the day, St. Teresa Benedicta had a conversion experience. St. Teresa of Avila’s autobiography inspired her, and in 1922 she was baptized. She continued academic life and translated works of Aquinas and Newman. In 1934, she professed in the Carmelite Order. Sadly, her path took an abrupt turn. As World War II engulfed Europe, St. Teresa’s Jewish heritage caused her to be arrested and placed in Auschwitz, where she was killed. She is remembered as a ‘daughter of Israel,’ who was faithful to both her Jewish heritage and her Christian beliefs. [2]

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

[1] Teresa Benedict of the Cross, Edith Stein, Vatican News Services, October 11, 1998.
[2] Ibid.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Josephine Bakhita by See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

February 8

Saints Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Josephine Bakhita, Virgin

Optional Memorial

St. Jerome was born in Venice in 1481. In 1518, he was ordained a priest after his service in the army ended. St. Jerome made it his priority to minister to the less fortunate, especially orphans, the infirm, and fallen women. Throughout Northern Italy, he opened multiple hospitals, schools, and homes for children. St. Jerome is the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children. [1][2]

St. Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869 in the Darfur region of Sudan. As a child, she was captured by slave-traders and sold successively. Eventually, a kind Italian consul purchased her and brought her safely to Italy where she became a nanny. She came to know the Canossian Sisters in Venice and joined their Order. Her desire for others to come to know the Lord is expressed in her advice, “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!” [3][4]

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

[1] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 732.
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Jerome Emiliani.”
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
[4] Vatican News Services, Mother Josephine Bakhita, October 2000.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate these Saints as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Malcolm greeting Margaret on her arrival in Scotland. Detail from a mural by the Victorian artist William Brassey Hole [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

November 16

Saint Margaret of Scotland

Optional Memorial

Optional memorial, 1969 Calendar, celebration November 16.
1955 Calendar, St. Gertrude the Great, virgin

St. Margaret of Scotland was probably born about 1045 in Hungary in a royal family. Her father was the English prince Edward the Exile. Margaret came with her father to England but on his death and the conquest of England by the Normans, her family decided to return to the Continent. The legend tells us that a storm drove their ship to Scotland where King Malcolm III took them under his protection.

Margaret married Malcolm some time between 1067 and 1070, this event being delayed by her desire to devote herself entirely to the faith. After her marriage, she used her influence as queen in the name of the Catholic faith. She built several churches including the Abbey of Dunfermline, she cared for pilgrims and the poor, and she dedicated the rest of her life to the cause of religion and piety.

Her most treasured jewelry was a Gospel Book that legend says was dropped in a river and recovered much later undamaged. This Gospel book is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Margaret had eight children and she trained them in the ways of God. She worked zealously to get Scottish religious practices into line with disciplines of Rome, to stop abuses, to reestablish the proper ritual of the Mass and the rules for Lenten fasting and Easter Communion.

St. Margaret of Scotland died on November of 1093, three days after her son and husband were killed in a battle. She is the patron saint of death of children, learning, second patron of Scotland, widow.

Margaret’s confessor, Turgot, wrote:
“Queen Margaret was a virtuous woman, and in the sight of God she showed herself to be a pearl, precious in faith and works.”

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs By Les Pères jésuites, Québec (republiquelibre.org - collections.banq.qc.ca) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

October 19

Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Memorial

Today is the memorial of Saints John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues and their Companions. These 17th century French missionaries traveled to the northeast part of the New World to share the Gospel. The Jesuit missionaries visited the Iroquois and Mohawk peoples living in the Huron area. St. John de Brebeuf evangelized amongst the peoples for three successful years before being captured by the Iroquois and tortured to death. St. Isaac Joques was captured; his hand mutilated, and he was killed by a tomahawk blow. These eight heroic martyrs are remembered as the North American Martyrs and they were canonized in 1930 by Pius XI. [1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Gerald Champagne, “The Holy North American Martyrs” in Nos Gloires, www.magnificant.ca
[2] John Paul II, Homily, September 15, 1984.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Pope Saint John Paul II By Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F059404-0019 / Schaack, Lothar / CC-BY-SA [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

October 22

Pope Saint John Paul II

Optional Memorial

Karol Józef Wojtyla was born in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. After his ordination to the priesthood and theological studies in Rome, he returned to his homeland and resumed various pastoral and academic tasks. He became first auxiliary bishop and, in 1964, Archbishop of Krakow and took part in the Second Vatican Council. On 16 October 1978 he was elected pope and took the name John Paul II. His exceptional apostolic zeal, particularly for families, young people and the sick, led him to numerous pastoral visits throughout the world. Among the many fruits which he has left as a heritage to the Church are above all his rich Magisterium and the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church and for the Eastern Churches. In Rome on 2 April 2005, the eve of the Second Sunday of Easter (or of Divine Mercy), he departed peacefully in the Lord.

On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed Venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and was beatified on 1 May 2011 after the Congregation for the Causes of Saints attributed one miracle to him, the healing of a French nun from Parkinson’s disease. A second miracle, attributed to the late pope, was approved on 2 July 2013 and confirmed by Pope Francis two days later. John Paul II was canonized on 27 April 2014, alongside Pope John XXIII. Like John XXIII, his feast day is not celebrated on the date of his death as is usual, but on the anniversary of his papal inauguration, 22 October 1978.

[1] Vatican Website

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia and Saint Ludmila in Sts. Cyril and Methodius's church in Olomouc (Czech Republic) By Michal Maňas (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

September 28

Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr; Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs

Optional Memorial

St. Wenceslaus was the Duke of Bohemia in the 10th century. He was the son of a Christian father; Wratislaw I, Duke of Bohemia, and a pagan mother; Dragomir, who converted to Christianity when she married. Around the age of 18, St. Wenceslaus assumed power and was a fair ruler. St. Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother, Boleslaw, for religious and political reasons. St. Wenceslaus is the patron saint of the Czech Republic and is mentioned in the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslaus.” [1]

St. Lawrence Ruiz was born in the Philippines in the early 1600’s. His mother was Filipino and his father was Chinese. He was educated in the Dominicans, married and fathered three children. He became a member of a Rosary Confraternity as well as a local church clerk. As part of a missionary expedition to Japan, St. Lawrence Ruiz was captured. He was tortured and killed along with his companions; 4 priests and a leper, under the Christian persecutions imposed by Tokugawa rulers. He was beatified by John Paul II in 1987, the first Filipino martyr so honored. [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. Wenceslaus.”
[2] Vatican News Services, Lawrence Ruiz, laymen et al, October 18, 1987.
[3] Catholic News Agency, Filipino community celebrates first native martyr, October 22, 2011.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate these Saints as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Bede translating the Gospel of John on his deathbed by James Doyle Penrose [Public domain]

May 25

Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church; Saint Gregory VII, Pope; Saint Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, Virgin

Optional Memorials

Saint Bede the Venerable

Saint Bede (672/673 – 735) was an English monk and scholar. He is remembered as a brilliant historian, linguist, teacher, and prolific writer. He wrote The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, descriptions of holy places, a martyrology, and numerous commentaries on Sacred Scripture. An epitaph for him described him as “a candle of the Church lit by the Holy Spirit.” Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1899. [1]

Saint Gregory VII, Pope

Pope Saint Gregory VII was Supreme Pontiff from 1073 until his death in 1085. He was a staunch reformer of the church, insisting on moral behavior among his clergy, freedom of the church, and papal authority. He opposed the appointing of ecclesiastical offices by secular rulers and established the College of Cardinals as the papal electorate. [2]

Saint Mary Magdelane de’Pazzi

Saint Mary Magdelane de’ Pazzi (1566–1607) was a noblewoman of Florence who became a Carmelite nun. As a contemplative, she is remembered for her fervent love of the Eucharist, her raptures regarding Divine Love, and her sharing in the sufferings of Christ. She was canonized by Pope Clement IX in 1669. [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 Bede.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Pope St. Gregory VII”
[3] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Mary Magdelane de’ Pazzi.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate these Saints as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Illustration of Pope John I By Artaud de Montor, Alexis François [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

May 18

Saint John I, Pope and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Pope Saint John I was a Tuscan pope elected to the papacy in 523 A.D. In his time, Arian kings and Christian rulers were warring. Byzantine Emperor Justin I had recently declared an anti-Arian decree, Latin and Greek Churches had come to allegiance, and the Arian king, Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths and of Italy felt under attack. As king of the empire, Theodoric required Pope Saint John I to travel to Justin’s empire and to negotiate towards Arianism. Despite his protests, Pope Saint John I obliged and went to Constantinople with a huge entourage. Emperor Justin greeted him warmly, maybe even prostrating himself to the supreme pastor, and agreed to hear Theodoric’s requests. Neither Emperor Justin nor Pope Saint John I amended their beliefs towards Arianism; and sadly, when Pope Saint John I returned, Theodoric had him arrested under charges of conspiracy. Pope Saint John I died a martyr in prison from neglect and poor treatment. He is buried at the Basilica of St. Peter. [1]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Pope St. John I””
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Martin de Porres By Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

November 3

Saint Martin de Porres, Religious

Optional Memorial

St. Martin was born in Lima, Peru in 1579. His father was a Spanish nobleman and his mother a former slave from Panama. St. Martin apprenticed under a physician, receiving solid medical training. He became a member of the Dominican Third Order and lived as a lay brother at the local friary. St. Martin cared tirelessly for the sick and later founded an orphanage for Peruvian children. He died in 1639 and was canonized in 1962 by Pope Saint John XXIII. [1][2]

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

[1] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
[2] Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater, Butler’s Lives of the Saints Volume 4 (Indiana: Ave Maria Press, Inc., 1956), 269-270.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Paul of the Cross By Miguel Palafox (Operă proprie) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

October 20

Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest

Optional Memorial

“When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” (1Cor 2:1-2). [1]

St. Paul of the Cross was born in 1694 in Genoa, Italy to a very devout family. In his mid-twenties, he had a vision to form an order focused on the Passion of Christ. With the Bishop of Alexandria’s blessing, St. Paul of the Cross, while still a layman, drew up the Rule for the Passionists. He became ordained, the Rule was approved, and in 1747, the first general council of the order was held. St. Paul of the Cross was elected superior general, an office he held until his death. The order grew to include 12 houses throughout Italy before 1840, when it began to spread elsewhere. Its member proclaimed the Passion as a true sign of God’s love for humanity. St. Paul of the Cross was canonized in 1867 by Pius IX. [2][3]

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

[1] Revised Standard Version s.v., ”The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.”
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Paul of the Cross.”
[3] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Passionists.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal By Michael Fuchs, Foto: Osfs (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

August 12

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious

Optional Memorial

St. Jane was born in Dijon, France in 1572. Her father was a supporter of Henry IV and the president of the Parliament of Burgundy. At age 20, she married Baron de Chantal. They had four children, before a shooting accident left St. Jane widowed. After her husband’s death, she took a vow of chastity and, in 1604, sought spiritual direction with St. Frances de Sales. In 1610, they formed the Congregation of the Visitation. The order was unusual: it accepted young women and widows deemed not physically qualified by other orders, and members of the Visitation went outside their convents to serve the needy. The order prospered and by 1767, the year she was canonized, there were 164 communities of the Order. [1][2]

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. “Jane Frances De Chantal. ”
[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 726.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi by See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

July 21

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Optional Memorial

“The Holy Spirit sweetens the yoke of the divine law and lightens its weight, so that we may observe God’s commandments with the greatest of ease and even with pleasure.” [1]

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi was born in 1559 in southern Italy. As a young boy, he was heavily influenced by local Capuchins and became a friar in their order at age 16. Languages came supernaturally to him as he mastered Syriac, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, German, and French. Because of this, he influenced a breadth of people including; Rabbis, German reformists, and emerging Christians. Steeped in the spirit of Franciscan preaching, he layered practical teachings, a witness to life, upon his mastery of Sacred Scripture and theology. Able to balance Church and State; he was professor of theology, novice master and minister general in his Order as well as an envoy for peace for various diplomatic missions. This theological maturity was captured in his numerous writings and as such Saint Lawrence of Brindisi was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1959 by Pope John XXIII. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Saint Lawrence of Brindisi in “General Audience,” Benedict XVI, March 23, 2011.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Lorenzo Da Brindisi.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

14th-century fresco of Ephrem the Syrian (detail), Church of the Assumption in Protation Monastery, Athos By Мануил ПанселинUnknown [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

June 9

Saint Ephraem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church

Optional Memorial

Oh my loved friends,
Ye children of the Church,
Offer up your praise
At the season of the dawn:
Every morning let us give thanks,
And bow down in adoration,
To the good Being who hath arranged in order,
All the starry lights on high. – Saint Ephraem [1]

Saint Ephraem was born in Mesopotamia in the fourth century and grew up under the leadership of Jacob, the second bishop of Nisibis. He became a respected deacon and teacher and composed works as apart of his educational office. Saint Ephraem’s earnest love for Christ is evident in the volumes he wrote; as thousands of sermons, commentaries, poems and hymns were penned. Saint Ephraem is endeared titles such as ‘the Harp of the Spirit’ and ‘the Sun of the Syrians.’ Pope Benedict XV venerated him to Doctor of the Church in 1920. [2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Ephraem Syrus, “A Morning Hymn,” in Select Metrical Hymns and Homilies of Ephraem Syrus (Berlin: Asher and Co., 1853), 67, quoted in Rev. Henry Birgess, Ph.D, ed. www.archive.org
[2] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Ephraem.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Patrick stained glass window By Sicarr (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

March 17

Saint Patrick, Bishop

Optional Memorial

Today the Church remembers Saint Patrick, Bishop and Apostle to Ireland. Born in 387 in Scotland, Patrick was raised by affluent parents of Roman rank. At age 16, Patrick was kidnapped and forced into slavery, where he had to herd sheep for a Druid high priest in Ireland. In his 6 years of captivity, Patrick learned the Celtic tongue and saw the beliefs and rituals of Druidism.

In his early twenties, Patrick escaped Ireland and returned home to Scotland. He entered religious life but soon discovered he longed to minister to the Irish people. He had a vision at the time, which he recorded in a letter entitled, Confessio.

It states, “I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea — and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.’”

With his vision as encouragement, he returned to his old master, paid his own ransom, and began preaching the Word of God. It is said one of his favorite illustrations was to use a shamrock to explain the Trinity.

Patrick’s ministerial success testifies to his love for the Irish people and his desire to welcome them into the family of God. It is said he baptized thousands, converted wealthy women and their sons, as well as ordained priests to carry on his work. Over fifteen hundred years later, his legacy remains.*

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St.Patrick”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order receiving their habit from Our Lady By Unknown, Italian [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

February 17

Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

Optional Memorial

Today is the optional memorial of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order. These young men; Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Amideus, Hugh, Manettus, Soseneus, and Alexius, founded this order in 1240 after repeated apparitions from the Mother of God. The Servites strive towards personal sanctification, world evangelism, and an increase in Marian devotion as emphasized during her sorrow at the Lord’s Passion.[1]

The Servite Order grew very quickly; creating homes throughout eastern and western Europe, South Asia, and eventually North America. Servites endure to this day with members as First, Second, and Third Order Regulars. Many have gone on to reach academic distinction in the fields of theology, the arts, canon law, philosophy, history and sacred scripture. Prayerfully their devotions include The Rosary of the Seven Dolours and the Via Matris.[1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent ed. s.v. “Order of Servites.”
[2] Ibid.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate these Saints as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

The ascension of Saint Januarius by Andrea Vaccaro [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September 19

Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr

Optional Memorial

St. Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, was martyred along with his companions, Festus, Socius, and Proculus, deacons; Desiderius, a lector; and Eutyches and Acutius, lay Christians. They were beheaded during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th century. Little more is known of his life. A relic of St. Januarius’ blood is venerated in the cathedral of Naples. For more than 600 years it has mysteriously liquefied three times a year. [1]

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. Januarius.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

Saint Robert Bellarmine By anonymous, Italian School (istitutoaveta.it) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September 17

Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Optional Memorial

Born in Tuscany in 1542, St. Robert Bellarmine was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II. He entered the Society of Jesus at 18 and studied philosophy and theology. He became a distinguished professor and preacher, drawing multi-denominational crowds to his homilies. He was appointed to teach theology at the Roman College, where he specialized in treating the theological controversies of the day. During this time, he wrote the renowned De Controversiis and worked on a revision of the Latin Vulgate Bible.

In 1597, Clement VIII made him Examiner of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office as well as his personal theologian. Next, St. Robert Bellarmine worked as mediator in the doctrinal conflicts regarding the theology of grace. He was appointed Archbishop of Capua and was involved in the controversy over Galileo’s teaching that the earth was not the center of the universe. He advocated for continuing education for adults, religious and secular. His scholarly works include On the Ascent of the Mind of God and On the Art of Dying Well. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 and is the patron saint of catechists.[1]

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. Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

About Today

From the Church of the Most Holy Name of Mary at the Trajan Forum By Mattis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

September 12

The Most Holy Name of Mary

Optional Memorial

Today we honor the Most Holy Name of Mary and venerate the name of the Mother of God. The feast was first celebrated in 1513 in Cuenca, Spain. In 1684, Pope Innocent XI included it in the General Roman Calendar. In a 2006 homily given by Benedict XVI, he reminded the faithful that Mary is our ‘Advocate.’ As such, she has maternal mindfulness of us and is attentive to our needs. As we look to Jesus as Lord of our lives, we can rest in the confidence that she, too, is with us. [1][2]

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. “Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.”
[2] Benedict XVI, Homily of the Holy Father, September 12, 2006.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 05