January 19, 2000
volume 11, no. 13
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LITURGY for WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY - January 19 and 20

Wednesday, January 19, 2000

      First Reading: 1 Samuel 17: 32-33, 37, 40-51
      Psalms: Psalm 144: 1-2, 9-10
      Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 1-6

Thursday, January 20, 2000

    Thursday January 20:
    Second Thursday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Pope Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian, Martyrs

    Green or Red vestments

      First Reading: 1 Samuel 18: 6-8; 19: 1-7
      Psalms: Psalm 56: 2-3, 9-14
      Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 7-12

Feast of Pope Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian, Martyrs

       Both saints lived in the 3rd Century and both were martyred for their faith. St. Fabian was the 21st pope in the succession of Peter, reigning fourteen years. Born in Rome, he was elected on January 10th 236 and died a martyr on January 20th, 250. At the moment of his election a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit was seen alighting on his head. During his pontificate the exodus from Rome to flee the persecution of Decius, and later Diocletian, was such that it gave rise to the hermetical life of the anchorites, including Saint Antony of Egypt whose feast we celebrated on January 17th.

       St. Sebastian was born shortly after Pope Fabian's death. He became a Roman army officer and converted to Christianity, rescuing Christians who had been unjustly accused. He discovered that Christian twin brothers MarcusandMarcellinus, who had been imprisoned and tortured, were close to succumbing to the enticing offers of pagan relatives to give up their faith. Sebastian encouraged them to stand by Christ and die for Him if necessary. This was confirmed by a miraculous light shining about him as he spoke. Sebastian cured countless sick through prayer and, by his example, led many pagans to the true faith. He encouraged all to not be afraid to die for the faith for Heaven would be their reward for their loyalty to the Son of God. Sebastian even experienced a visit from one of his disciples who had been martyred. This disciple came back to tell him about Heaven and that his own time to die was at hand. Betrayed by a false disciple, he was condemned to death by the emperor Diocletian and shot with arrows. Left for dead, he miraculously was healed by Divine intervention and proceeded to go right back into the teeth of the enemy, pleading for Diocletian to stop the senseless slaughter of Christians. But the emperor's soul was already satan's and he sentenced Sebastian to be beaten to death by brutal clubbing. This saint holds the honor of a double martyrdom or "Martyr Extraordinaire."


January 19, 2000
volume 11, no. 13

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