September 26, 2000
volume 11, no. 182

LITURGY for Tuesday and Wednesday, September 26-27, 2000

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

    Tuesday September 26:
    Weekday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs

    Green or Red vestments

      First Reading: Proverbs 21: 1-6, 10-13
      Psalms: Psalm 119: 1, 27, 20, 24-25, 44
      Gospel Reading: Luke 8: 19-21

Feast of the Martys Saints Cosmas and Damian

        These Syrian-born twin brothers Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian were both physicians who treated the sick for free and became well-loved by all for their total dedication to God's children, especially at Egaea in Cilicia where they lived. Because of their fame and good works, they were singled out by the vile Emperor Diocletian and incarcerated by the Roman governor of Cilicia Lycias ungergoing numerous tortures before they were both beheaded around around the very end of the 3rd Century. In 528 Pope Felix IV dedicated a former Roman pagan temple to the two holy physicians, renaming it the Basilica of Sts. Cosmas and Damian. They, along with Saint Luke are considered the patrons of doctors, dentists and druggists. These two saints truly epitomize the words in the Book of Sirach, 38: 1-8 "Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was Who established his profession. From God the doctor has wisdom and the king provides for his sustenance. His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished and gives him access to those in authority. God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect; was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn His power? He endows men with the knowledge to glory in His mighty works, through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth" and 12-14, "Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too. There are times that give him an advantage, and he too beseeches God that his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure." We pray that doctors everywhere today will take to heart their vocation as God-given and rely on Him in all things and treat their patients with love and mercy, calling upon the intercession of their patrons Cosmas and Damian.

Wednesday, September 27, 2000

      First Reading: Proverbs 30: 5-9
      Psalms: Psalm 119: 29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163
      Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 1-6

Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest and Religious Founder

       Though Saint Vincent de Paul was not a doctor like Saints Cosmas and Damian whose feasts are celebrated the day before, Vincent performed in the same loving, charitable and merciful manner as did the twin saints thirteen centuries before him. Vincent was born in Gascony, France in 1581 into a poor, but holy Catholic family who fostered in him a vocation to the priesthood. Thus at only 19 Vincent became a priest. While enroute to a mission across the sea he was captured by high Moslem sea pirates and spent two years in prison and then sold as a slave in Tunisia. There, through prayer and his example, he was able to convert his master to Christianity and allowed to return to France. While in Paris, his spiritual director Pere Peter de Berulle suggested that he accept the appointment of pastor of a small parish at Clichy just outside of Paris. There he recruited numerous young men to assist him, instilling in them a love for the priesthood. Shortly after he was appointed to serve as the chaplain to a rich family of the French aristocrat where he remained for twelve years. During this time satan tempted him severely, but Vincent persevered and volunteered to minister to sailors and ship-builders in the port cities, remembering his earlier travails on the seas. This association led him to become chaplain to the galley-slaves who were endeared to Vincent because he cared much in the same way as Saint Peter Claver, his Spanish counterpart half way around the world in Columbia at the same period of time. Yet, his apostolate of teaching the catechism and ministering to the poor and peasants of the French countryside became paramount, especially after meeting Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane Francis Chantal. It was shortly after this in 1622 that he was appointed superior of her convent of the Visitation in Paris where he remained until his death in 1660. Seeing the needs of the people, Vincent gathered a group of young men to assist him in ministering to the people. This was the beginning of the Vincentians (Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists as they were known in France) which were approved by Pope Urban VIII in 1633. That same year Vincent founded the Daughters of Charity along with Saint Louise Marillac. This order of extern nuns was dedicated to a social agenda of ministering to the poor. To keep the line of priests continuing for the Vincentians, Vincent established numerous seminaries and thus formulating the clergy was added to the mission of the order. Both Louise and Vincent died in 1660, the latter passing away in Paris on September 27 which ultimately became his feast day as proclaimed by Pope Clement XII in 1737 when he officially canonized Vincent. Towards the end of the 19th Century, Pope Leo XIII, a pontiff of great social order conscience, decreed Vincent patron of all charitable works universally. Today, in practically every parish, there is a St. Vincent de Paul Society which dedicate themselves to collecting goods to distribute to the poor or selling them so that the money can be donated to those less fortunate.

September 26, 2000
volume 11, no. 182

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