March 7, 2001
volume 12, no. 66

Wednesday and Thursday, March 7th and 8th

Wednesday, March 7, 2001    Meditation

    Lenten Weekday and
    Optional Feast of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs
      First Reading: Jonah 3: 1-10
      Psalms: Psalm 51: 3-4, 12-13, 18-19
      Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 29-32
Feast of Saint Perpetual and Saint Felicity, Martyrs
        These two women were martyred at Carthage on the northern coast of what is today Libya by the Romans. Though persecution and the slaughter of Christians was terrible in Rome itself, the senseless slaying of Christians was even worse in Africa and Egypt. Though Perpetua's father tried to intercede so that she would not embarass the family, her faith was more important to her than family and she would not renounce her belief in Jesus Christ as her Savior. Her refusal to adhere to the pagan wishes of her father moved servants under her father to join her in her faith, one of which was Felicitas or Felicity as she has come to be known. A covey of wild animals from leopards to bears to wild bulls were unleashed on the helpless Christians in the great arena of Carthage and to the sadistic delight of thousands both Perpetua and Felicitas were gored to death by the bulls. They are commemorated daily in the Canon of the Mass among the mentioned martyrs.

Thursday, March 8, 2001    Meditation
    Lenten Weekday and
    Optional Feast of Saint John of God, Religious Founder
      First Reading: Esther 12: 14-16, 23-25
      Psalms: Psalm 138: 1-3, 7-8
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 7: 7-12
Saint John of God, Religious Founder
           This saint, known for his work in the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, lived in the 16th Century in Portugal and Spain. One day while traveling he came across a small child with no shoes. Because his own shoes would not fit the child he lifted Him upon his shoulders and carried him, offering solace and help. While stopping to drink, the child revealed Himself as the Infant Christ Child and presented John a pomagranate, the fruit of the region which is sweet and stood for charity. It was crowned with a cross, representing sacrifice, which Jesus said would be the "Cross of Granada" where John, at the age of 42, would establish the Brother Hospitallers of St. John of God in the year 1537. John was given the name "John of God" by his own bishop who saw in John, a true saint. John died saving others. After many close calls rescuing people from the streets and burning hospitals, he dove into the River Xenil to save a drowning lad and succumbed of pneumonia from the cold, icy waters at the age of 55.

March 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 64
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