FRIDAY
October 20, 2000
volume 11, no. 206


LITURGY for Friday and Saturday, October 20-21, 2000

Friday, October 20, 2000

    Friday October 20:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest and Religious Founder

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: 1 Ephesians 1: 11-14
      Psalms: Psalm 33: 1-2, 3-5, 12-13
      Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 1-7

Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest and Religious Founder

        The Founder of the Passionists, Saint Paul of the Cross was born Paul Francis Danei on January 3, 1694 in the tiny village of Ovada, Italy near Genoa. He was the oldest child in a merchant family that had come upon hard times and so Paul learned austerity and sacrifices growing up in his family. At 19 be joined the Venetian army in their battle with the Turks, but disenchanted, left after a year. Propositioned to marry, he turned the young suitor down and opted to retreat to Castellazzo in Lombardy where he could pray. During this time he received numerous locutions and visions from the Blessed Mother which gave him purpose to what God intended for this young man. In one vision in 1720 he beheld Our Lady dressed in a black habit with the name of Jesus and His cross emblazoned on her chest. She instructed Paul to found a religious order which would be dedicated to preaching on the Passion of her Divine Son. After much investigation as to the private revelation, the bishop of Alessandria granted him permission to begin the order. Rather than jumping right in, Paul went back to Castellazzo to pray for forty days and forty nightswhile he wrote the rule for the Congregation of the Passion. Then, with his loyal younger brother John Baptist, and two other men they began living the rule and traveled to Rome to obtain papal approval from Pope Innocent XIII who refused their request in 1723. However, undaunted and prayerful, they continued to persevere and, in 1727 the Passionists were approved for the diocese by Innocent's successor Pope Benedict XIII who also ordained Paul and his brother in St. Peter's Basilica. The first Passionist house was established on Mount Argentaro, but most of the novices fell away because they couldn't live the strict rule. Still encouraged, Paul and his companions pressed on and opened the first monastery in 1737. Four years later Pope Benedict XIV gave approval for the rule for the religious institute named the Barefoot Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion. Through Paul's tireless efforts he and his band of a few men preached throughout his country. As the fame of their preaching reached far and wide, the Passionists grew in demand. Paul was responsible for many, many conversions through his austere life and his mystic supernatural gifts of prophecy, miracles, healings and visions. Conversion of sinners was his greatest concern and to which he dedicated his life. Seeing the massive fruits reaped by the Passionist Fathers, Pope Clement XIV gave full papal approval for the congregation in 1769 and gifted to them for their headquarters the church of Sts. John and Paul in Rome. Two years later Paul was able to establish the first convent for the Passionist nuns in Corneto, Italy. He grew extremely ill in 1772 and during the last three years of his life he led a life patterned after Jesus, offering all his sufferings for the reparation of souls. He died after 80 years of service to God in Rome on October 18, 1775 and was canonized 92 years later by Pope Pius IX who celebrated this saint as "one who lived what he preached and brought the importance of Christ's Passion and Death to the people."

Saturday, October 21, 2000

    Saturday October 21:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Ephesians 1: 15-23
      Psalms: Psalm 8: 2-7
      Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 8-12

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 (see archives December 23, no. 25 issue). 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."

October 20, 2000
volume 11, no. 206
DAILY LITURGY



Return to Front Page of Current Issue