January 26, 2000
volume 11, no. 18
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LITURGY for WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY - January 26 and 27

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

      First Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8 or Titus 1: 1-5
      Psalms: Psalm 89: 4-5, 27-30
      Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 1-20

Feast of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, Bishops and Disciples of the early Church

        The disciple Saint Timothy was a prized pupil of Saint Paul. Timothy's father had been Greek, his mother Eunice Jewish. Both converted to Christianity and Eunice tutored Timothy in the faith. On Paul's first missionary journey Timothy was converted and baptized, accompanying the Apostle on his second and third journeys. As the Acts of the Apostles affirms, Paul sent Timothy to minister to the Greeks in Macedonia, Thessalonica, and Corinth. From all reports Timothy became a bishop in Ephesus and there he died a natural death.

        The other bishop whose feast we celebrate today - Saint Titus was converted with Timothy, but unlike Timothy, was pagan born and not tutored by his parents in the faith. Titus was invited to join Paul and Saint Barnabas to the Council of Jerusalem with the other Apostles. Paul, as is confirmed in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, had great trust in Titus and appointed him bishop of the Church in Crete. There he died at an old age, also a peaceful death. Both, along with Saint John, were a few of the only ones not martyred for their faith. Titus holds a special place in the hearts of Croatians.

Thursday, January 27, 2000

      First Reading: 2 Samuel 7: 18-19, 24-29
      Psalms: Psalm 132: 1-5, 11-14
      Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 21-25

Feast of Saint Angela Merici, Virgin, Religious Educator and Foundress

       Born in Lombardy near Desenzano on March 21, 1470, Saint Angela Merici became an orphan at the tender age of ten and was turned over to her uncle who raised her in the village of Salo. At the age of 13 she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, beginning a life of sincere austerity. When her uncle died she decided to dedicate her life to educating the children of the poor, specifically the young girls who would grow into motherhood. Angela, guided by private revelation from Jesus, turned down an offer from Pope Clement VII in 1525 to supervise a group of nursing nuns in order to return to Brescia, Italy to train women there to teach. This was the begining of the Ursuline Order of Nuns, so named because the congregation dedicated their work to God through the intercession and protection of Saint Ursula, a tenth century saint whose feast is October 21. The Ursulines became the first teaching Order in the Church, being officially approved by Pope Paul III four years after Angela's death. Angela, since an early age had been a victim-soul and visionary with both Our Lord and Our Lady guiding her every step. Though the early formation of the congregation was rough at first with many naysayers, she, along with the other candidates of the Order, were encouraged by Saint Charles Borromeo (November 4) who made it a point to introduce the nuns throughout the villages of Italy. Unanimously chosen as the Ursulines' first Mother Superior, Angela guided the Order until her death on January 27, 1540 at the Mother House in Brescia. She was 70 years-old when she was called home to God. Her holiness and example led to more vocations and additional convents in France, Germany and Canada in 1636. It was the Ursulines who founded the first school in the United States in New Orleans in 1727 and the rest, as they say, is history. Pope Pius VII canonized her in 1807.


January 26, 2000
volume 11, no. 18

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