September 19, 2000
volume 11, no. 175

LITURGY for Tuesday and Wednesday, September 19-20, 2000

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

    Tuesday September 19:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr

    Green or Red vestments

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, 27-31
      Psalms: Psalm 100: 1-5
      Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 11-17

Feast of Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr

       Though very little is really known about Saint Januarius, he is more regularly known as San Gennaro and no one can pinpoint the date of his birth. We do know, from the biography of Saint Paulinus of Nola that Januarius, along with Saint Martin of Tours appeared to Paulinus in a vision as the author describes what Paulinus saw, "Paulinus began to ask in a clear voice where his brethren were. One of the priests, thinking that he was referring to his brother bishops who had just celebrated the Eucharist with him in his bedroom, responded: 'Your brethren are all here with you.' But he answered: 'I am speaking of Januarius and Martin [of Tours], my brothers in the episcopate, who a little while ago were speaking to me and promising me that soon I would join them'." Januarius was martyred in 305 by the Emperor Diocletian along with six companion martyrs at Pozzuoli which is near Naples, Italy. Since the 6th Century Januarius has been a special patron saint of the Napolitan city south of Rome. Miraculous events have contributed to his popularity for his blood has been preserved in a reliquary in Naples. Ever since the 13th Century there is scientific and historical proof that the dried blood is liquified four times a year, first on his feast day of September 19, on the octave of his feast, December 16 and the first Saturday in May. This phenomenon has been so great that several Holy Fathers over the centuries have put an indulgence on veneration of Januarius' relic.

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

    Wednesday September 20:
    Feast of the Korean Martyrs, Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, Saint Paul Chong Hasang and their companions

    Red vestments

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 31; 13: 1-13
      Psalms: Psalm 33: 2-5, 12, 22
      Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 31-35

Feast of Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and their companion Korean Martyrs

        One of the newest feasts in the Church, our current Holy Father Pope John Paul II officially canonized Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and Saint Paul Chong Hasang along with 111 companions as martyrs while on official visit to Korea in 1984. Like the feast, the conversion of Korea is also relatively new, with evangelization there not being undertaken until the beginning of the 1600's. It was first begun by a group of lay Catholics who were on fire for their faith. Petitioning various countries to send priests to minister to the people, France answered the call, secretly stealing into the country for Christianity was not tolerated on this far eastern island north of Japan. Between 1839 and 1867 113 were killed for their faith, including 103 members of the Christian community which included three bishops and seven priests, all French who were members of the Foreign Mission Society of Paris. St. Andrew was one of the first Koreans ordained a priest in 1845. He had been a dedicated student both in Korea and at Macao where he learned the Latin language. Secretly slipping back into Korea, he ministered to the people tirelessly, bringing them the Sacraments for nearly two years until the Korean tribesmen attacked him and beheaded him at the edge of a river as the sun was setting on September 16, 1846. The Christians snuck down later that evening and retrieved his body, carrying him up into the mountains for a proper and safe burial. Though little is known of Andrew, he did write two epistles or letters, one to the Vicar Apostolic bishop who had ordained him and the other to the faithful pleading for them to keep the faith. One of those who heeded his wise words was St. Paul Chong Hasang, a Catholic layman who was martyred for his faith less than a week later on September 22, 1846. Like the early Christians, the deaths of these Korean and French martyrs sowed the seeds of a flourishing Church in Korea for decades to come.

September 19, 2000
volume 11, no. 175

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