TUESDAY
November 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 238


LITURGY for Tuesday and Wednesday, November 21-22, 2000

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

      First Reading: Apocalypse/Revelation 3: 1-6, 14-22
      Psalms: Psalm 15: 2-5
      Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 1-10

FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

        This feast, established by Pope Gregory XI in 1372 honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, the "daughter of Zion" who was so faithful to the Jewish faith she was raised in. This feast commemorates when Mary's parents Saint Anne and Saint Joachim presented their precious daughter at the age of three in the temple of Jerusalem where she studied for several years. Even at the tender age of three Our Lady was expressing her fiat to God by her obedience to her parents and submitting totally to the tutelage of priests of the temple. This special chosen one who would become the New Covenant "temple of the Lord" first had to learn the Old Covenant temple of the Lord. All these things prepared her better for her role as the Mother of God, Mediatrix of all graces, Co-redemptrix and Advocate. It was vital for her first to be a willing pupil so she could, as a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, teach the Father's Divine Son all the Almighty wanted imparted. This feast was first celebrated in 543 by the Eastern Church on the occasion of the dedication of the basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary built in Jerusalem. This was subsequently destroyed by the Turks (Persians) about seventy years in 614. Exactly a century after Pope Gregory XI declared it a feast, Pope Sixtus IV extended it to the universal Church in 1472 to be celebrated on the twenty first of November each year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

      First Reading: Apocalypse/Revelation 4: 1-11
      Psalms: Psalm 150: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 11-28

Feast of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

        Born into a Patrician family in Rome and raised a Christian, Saint Cecilia still was afforded all the luxury of a family of wealth in pagan Rome. Though she had disgarded this way of life,l vowing herself to virginity, her father thought otherwise and forced her to marry a young pagan man by the name of Valerian. During the pagan nuptial ceremony songs of merriment and sensuality were played, but Cecilia didn't hear it for her heart was dedicated to God alone and that was her song as the Acts of of St. Cecilia proclaim, "While instruments were playing (at her wedding feast) profane music, Cecilia sang rather to God in her heart." Because of this she has been chosen patron saint of music and musicians. On their wedding night Cecilia disclosed her vow to her new husband and rather than going into a rage, Valerian, who loved her dearly, was converted by a vision of St. Cecilia's guardian angel and forever honored her vow of virginity, not consummating their marriage. He became so enraptured with Christianity that he converted his brother Tiburtius. Both dedicated their lives to carrying for the survivors of loved ones who had been martyred as well as burying the martyrs. Caught by the Roman guards burying the martyrs they were arrested by the prefect Almachius who ordered them to sacrifice to the gods. When they refused both Valerian and Tiburtius were beheaded along with Saint Maximus who was converted on the spot, so impressed by their faith and determination. When Cecilia brought the three bodies back to her villa along the Appian Way to be buried there, she, too, was arrested. The guards tried to suffocate her in her room, but she miraculously survived. When brought before the prefect, Almachius tried to dissuade her from her ideals as he did with her husband, but Cecilia would have nothing to do with the world, the flesh and the devil. He then ordered that she also be decapitated, but the executioner bungled the job and Cecilia was not killed instantly, but rather lingered in pain for three days before expiring around September 16, 235. Dates vary among historians, some placing it as early as 230, others 250 but research shows Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus died during the end of the reign of the Roman Emperor Alexander who ruled between 222 and 235. Therefore the most accurate date would be 235. Commemoration of St. Cecilia began in the 600's after they discovered facts about her inscribed on the walls of the catacomb of Saint Callistus. Pope Paschal I dedicated the basilica of St. Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome in 824 where he transfered her relics and commissioned a mosaic depicting Cecilia standing between Valerian and Tiburtius.

November 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 238
DAILY LITURGY



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