October 18, 2000
volume 11, no. 204

LITURGY for Wednesday and Thursday, October 18-19, 2000

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

      First Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 10-17
      Psalms: Psalm 145: 10-13, 17-18
      Gospel Reading: Luke 10: 1-9


        Historians differ on whether Saint Luke the Evangelist, author of the Third Gospel, was martyred or died a natural death around the year 84 AD in Boetia. Also unknown is his exact origin though many believe he was Greek hailing from Antioch which is substantiated by Saint Jerome and Saint Eusebius. Others surmise Luke was one of 70 disciples and a close associate of the teacher and prophet Lucius of Cyrene (cf. Acts 13:1) which would more likely confirm Luke's Grecian heritage. Whether this Lucius was the same one who was Paul's companion at Corinth (cf. Romans 16:21) is open to conjecture. We do know he was a physician and a Gentile (cf. Colossians 4: 10-14) and traveled with Saint Paul on his second missionary journey around 51 AD. He stayed on at Philippi in charge of the Christian community there until about 57 when he rejoined Paul on his third journey and accompanied him to Rome where he was during Paul's imprisonment from 61 to 63 AD. After Paul's martyrdom in 66, Luke went back to Greece. There, is is assumed, he wrote his Gospel as well as the Acts of the Apostles as a sort of epilogue so to speak. While Sts. Eusebius and Jerome claim he wrote it before Paul's death while in Rome, their counterpart Saint Iraneaeus maintains it was afterwards. Without a doubt Luke's Gospel was written for Gentile Christians and his account in Acts depicts the growth of the new Church from around 35 to 63 AD, all under the inspiration of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity which was founded by the Second Person of the Trinity Jesus Christ. Whether Luke ever met Jesus is open to conjecture though the evangelist was believed to have been born the same year of Our Lord. While Luke is venerated as the Patron Saint of Doctors, along with Saints Cosmas and Damian, he is also associated with painters for another legend from the sixth century on has him as an accomplished master of various paintings including several icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary for he is believed to have visited Our Lady in Jerusalem before her Assumption into Heaven. There is also the possibility this could have occurred after her Assumption and she appeared to him much in the same manner she appeared to Saint James and countless visionaries throughout the centuries right up to the present day. Luke's writings exhibit an extraordinary literary flow and these, too, could easily have been dictated largely by Heavenly means as so much of Sacred Scripture is. His Gospel shows a steady movement from Nazareth to Jerusalem and Acts shows a direction away from Jerusalem to Rome. His Gospel describes the announcement of good tidings and is broken into six sections: the narrative of Christ's infancy, the Messianic attributes of Jesus, His carrying out these attributes in Galilee, Christ's preaching, His Passion and Death, and the fruits of Jesus' salvific act through His Resurrection and Ascension. In addition, none of the evangelist painted more pictures with words as Luke who is credited with the most parables as related by Our Lord. In paintings Luke is associated with the ox which symbolizes strength as well as sacrifice which introduces his Gospel with the history of Zechariah or Zachary the father of Saint John the Baptist, who offered sacrifice to God (cf. Luke 1:9-25).

Thursday, October 19, 2000

    Thursday October 19:
    Feast of Saint Isaac Jogues and Saint John de Brebeuf and the North American Martyrs

    Red vestments

      First Reading: Ephesians 1: 1-10
      Psalms: Psalm 98: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 47-54

Feast of Saint Isaac Jogues, SJ and Saint John de Brebeuf and their companion North American Martyrs

        Born into a wealthy family in Orleans, France in 1607, Saint Isaac Jogues was enrolled by his parents in the Jesuit school there and became a priest of the Society of Jesus in 1636. Longing to work with the Huron Indians in the foreign missions, Isaac requested and received the assignment to go to Quebec, Canada almost immediately after ordination. The Jesuits had established missions there as the first missionaries in Canada and the upper United States after French explorer J. Cartier discovered this land in 1534. For six years he was very successful and effected many conversions among the Hurons traveling between Nova Scotia and Maryland. But in 1642 a band of Iroquois, who were the natural enemy of the Hurons, captured Isaac along with Rene Goupil and another group of Jesuits. Rene was martyred but Isaac and his companions allowed to live though they underwent hideous and inhumane torture which included mutilation. Isaac's fingers were severed and he was left to die in the wilderness but the Dutch rescued him and he was able to return to France in 1644. However he longed to be a martyr and finally secured a transfer back to Quebec in 1646. Once they had arrived Isaac and new companion Saint Jean Brebeuf set out for Iroquois country for a peace treaty had been signed. But warmongers among the Mohawks intercepted the missionaries and cruelly tomahawked them and scalped them from the neck up at Auriesville, New York on October 18 and 19, 1646. Isaac died on the 18th and Jean the next day. Over the next three years five other missionaries would join Isaac, Rene and Jean on the list of the 8 Jesuit martyrs: Noel Chabanel, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, John de Lalande, and Gabriel Lallemant. Exactly ten years after Isaac's death a young Indian girl was born in the same village where Fr. Jogues was murdered. Her name: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. In 1930 Pope Pius XI canonized the group proclaiming them the Martyrs of North America and patron saints of Canada.

October 18, 2000
volume 11, no. 204

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