FRI-SAT-SUN
February 18-20, 2000
volume 11, no. 35
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LITURGY for FRIDAY, SATURDAY and SUNDAY - February 18, 19 and 20, 2000

Friday, February 18, 2000

      First Reading: James 2: 14-24, 26
      Responsorial: Psalm 112: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Mark 8: 34-39; 9: 1


Saturday, February 19, 2000

    Saturday February 19:
    Sixth Saturday in Ordinary Time and
    Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: James 3: 1-10
      Responsorial: Psalm 12: 2-5, 7-8
      Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 2-13

Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

        Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is a custom first promoted by the Benedictine Monk Saint Alcuin back in the days of Charlemagne. He composed different formulas for Votive Masses for each day of the week, with two set aside to honor Our Lady on Saturday. This practice caught on with great enthusiasm and eventually the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday became the Common of the Blessed Virgin. This Mass was a favorite with retired priests and those whose sight was failing for most had memorized this Mass and were able to say it by heart without having to read the Lectionary or Sacramentary. One reason Saturday was dedicated to Mary was that Saturday held a special meaning in Mariology. First of all, as Genesis accounts for, God rested on the seventh day. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was Saturday. Jesus, Son of God rested in the womb and then, when He became incarnate, in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. Thus the God-head rested in Mary. It was also on Saturday after Good Friday that Jesus gave His Mother a special gift and reward for keeping her faith in His Divinity intact by making an exceptional appearance to her. Thus, because of these reasons, the devotion spread by St. Alcuin and other liturgies that evolved within the Church, Saturday took on a special Marian significance. Saturday took on even more significance in honoring Mary when Our Lady imparted to visionary Lucia in her third apparition at Fatima on July 13, 1917, "Our Lord wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established in the world. If what I tell you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace; the war will end...I ask the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month...If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace...In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity." As we draw nearer to that wonderful event, it is more important than ever to honor Mary's request on the First Saturday as well as each Saturday that her feast is commemorated in the Church calendar, not to mention responding to her call daily with the Rosary and attending Daily Mass, nourished by her Divine Son present body and blood, soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. It is in the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she remains in the background in the liturgy of the Word so that her Divine Son's words and His Presence take the spotlight as He should while Mary remains the chief intercessor before the Holy Trinity as she should and serves as the ideal for all Catholics to strive for, as we should. The Dictionary of Mary states quite succinctly, "Through these liturgical acts, (honoring Mary on Saturday) Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer."

Sunday, February 20, 2000

      First Reading: Isaiah 43: 18-19, 21-22, 24-25
      Responsorial: Psalm 41: 2-5, 13-14
      Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 1: 18-22
      Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 1-12


Monday, February 21, 2000

    Monday February 21:
    Seventh Monday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

    Green or white vestments

      First Reading: James 3: 13-18
      Responsorial: Psalm 19: 8-10, 15
      Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 14-29

Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor

        Born in Ravenna, Italy at the turn of the second millennium, Saint Peter Damian became an orphan at a very early age and was cared for by his brother for whom Peter tended pigs. One of Peter's older brothers was a priest - Padre Damian and when Peter was older the priest sent him to Faenza and then to Parma to receive his education. Peter adopted his older brother's religious name as his surname. After Peter became a professor, he followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit which lead him to join the Benedictines at the monastery of Fonte Aveliana where he lived as a hermit, devoting his life to an intensive study of the Scriptures. At the age of 42 he was chosen prior and subsequently founded five more Benedictine hermitages. His fame for great austerity and denunciation of simony spread throughout Europe and he was consecrated a Cardinal as Bishop of Ostia by Pope Stephen IX in 1057. However, because of his disdain for worldliness and his uncompromising stance against the trappings of the bishopric, he tried to resign his see but Stephen's successor Pope Nicholas II wouldn't accept it. When Nicholas died Peter entreated the new pontiff Pope Alexander II to accept his resignation which was duly recognized and Peter returned to being a Benedictine monk, but he never stopped working on ecclesiastical reform. He especially defended Alexander against the antipope Honorius II and became known far and wide as a great reformer and peacemaker, including being sent by the Pope to Germany to talk the German King Henry IV out of divorcing his wife Bertha. Peter was a prolific writer and penned many mystical writings on the Eucharist and Purgatory as well as producing writings which hold today in regards the explanation of clerical celibacy, immorality, and simony. He died in Faenza, Italy in 1072 at the age of 71 enroute back from Ravenna after having reconciled that see with Rome. It was not until the nineteenth century that he was canonized though he was popularized by local cults including being immortalized in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries by Italian poet Dante in his work Divine Comedy. In 1828 Pope Leo XII officially recognized Peter as a saint of the Church and proclaimed him a Doctor, extending his feast to the Universal Church on February 21st each year.

          

February 18-20, 2000
volume 11, no. 35
DAILY LITURGY

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