WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY
August 16-17, 2000
volume 11, no. 142


LITURGY for Wednesday, August 16th, 2000

Wednesday, August 16, 2000

    Wednesday August 16:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Stephen of Hungary, Husband, Father and Ruler

    Green or white vestments

      First Reading: Ezechiel 9: 1-7, 10, 18-22
      Psalms: Psalm 113: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 18: 15-20
Feast of Saint Stephen of Hungary, Husband, Father and Ruler
       He was born to be a king, but he strove to be a saint and, in so doing, gave birth to a new nation that would be rooted in Catholicism. That is the epitaph of Saint Stephen of Hungary whose rule spanned the first and second millennium. Born as Vaik in Asztergom, Hungary in 970 of a pagan Magyar king and Christian queen mother, her influence won out and Stephen was baptized at the age of ten, being given the Christian name of Stephen. In an effort to strengthen the monarchy, Stephen was married to Gisela, sister of the duke of Bavaria who happened to be the future Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor. In 977 Stephen's father died and he fended off those who would overthrow the family. Through prayer and perseverance he strengthened the Christian union with Germany, and through the influence of Henry II, was crowned the first king of all of Hungary in 1002 by Pope Silvester II who had personally sent Stephen a special crown. Incidentally this same crown was recovered by the U.S. troops druing World War II and returned to Hungary in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. Stephen not only unified the entire country but was most instrumental in bringing the faith to his constituents, establishing episcopates in various areas of his country while building monasteries and churches to serve the new converts. He is considered the father of Hungary - the father of Catholicism in this land, long ruled by pagans. His only son, who became Saint Emeric, was killed in a hunting accident in 1031 and for the next seven years of Stephen's life he mourned greatly for his beloved son while fending off those who would usurp his power. At the age of 68 Stephen died on August 15, 1038 in Szekesfehervar, Hungary and was canonized as Hungary's patron saint forty five years later by the great reformer Pope Saint Gregory VII.

Thursday, August 17, 2000

      First Reading: Ezechiel 12: 1-2
      Psalms: Psalm 78: 56-59, 61-62
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 18: 21-35; 19: 1


Friday, August 18, 2000

    Friday August 18:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Jane de Chantal, Wife, Mother and Religious Foundress

    Green or white vestments

      First Reading: Ezechiel 16: 1-15, 60, 63
      Psalms: Isaiah 12: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 19: 3-12
Feast of Saint Jane de Chantal, Wife, Mother and Religious Foundress
        She was born in Dijon, France in 1572, the daughter of Benigne Fremyot, president of the parliament in Burgundy, and married at twenty to Baron Christopher de Chantal who died in 1601. Nobility and riches were there for the asking for Saint Jane Francis de Chantal, but she used them wisely for the honor and glory of God. After nine years of marriage and seven children, Jane became a widow when her husband was killed in a hunting accident. Three years later she was touched in the deepest way by a sermon of Saint Francis de Sales for it was he who she had seen in a previous vision and because of this spiritual experience, persuaded him to be her spiritual director. After securing stability for her children, she turned to religious life. Though she had a strong desire to become a Carmelite nun, Francis realized her mission lay elsewhere and through his wise counsel she, along with three other women Charlotte de Brechard, Anne Coste, and Mary Favre began the Congregation of the Visitation, dedicated to helping young girls and widows consider a traditional, contemplative religious life. Satan did all in his power to discredit this fledgling order and dissuade Jane from her appointed mission by tormenting her soul greatly but God's Will won out and the Order spread throughout France and beyond over the next three decades. Jane died on December 13 at Moulins shortly after a meeting with Queen Anne in Paris. She was buried by Lake Annecy near her dear spiritual director Francis, who had passed away nineteen years earlier. Jane was canonized by Pope Clement XIII in 1767.

August 16-17, 2000
volume 11, no. 142
DAILY LITURGY



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