DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     February 5-7, 1999     vol. 10, no. 25


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Friday, February 5, 1999

      First Reading: Hebrews 13: 1-8
      Psalms: Psalm 27: 1, 3, 5, 8-9
      Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 14-29

Feast of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

         The virgin martyr Saint Agatha was born in Sicily into a rich and noble family. Her parents consecrated her to the Trinity before she was born as a result of the promise from God that she would indeed be born despite incredible odds. As she grew into the flower of her teens, the beauty of her soul was somewhat overshadowed by her physical attractiveness which drew raves throughout Sicily; so much so that Quintanus, governor of Sicily under the Emperor Decius, enforced laws against the Christians as a pretext for seducing this beautiful flower of God. Praying for purity and the fortitude to withstand his advances, she prevailed, much to Quintanus' wrath who ordered vile mutilations on this faithful virgin who bore all for the love of her one true Love - Jesus Christ. Having cut off her breasts, they were miraculously healed when Our Lord sent Saint Peter to heal her. So incensed was Quintanus that he stripped her and subjected her to cruel humiliation, rolling her naked through the streets and over broken shards before her Spouse heard her pleas and called her Home. In testimony to her purity, it is believed that her body is still incorrupt and her intercessory prayer has proved victorious for many young women subjected to sexual harassment. She was truly a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, February 6, 1999

    Saturday February 6:
    Feast of Saint Paul Miki and his Missionary Companion Martyrs

    Red vestments

      First Reading: Hebrews 13: 15-17, 20-21
      Psalms: Psalm 23: 1-6
      Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 30-34

Feast of Saint Paul Miki and his Missionary Companion Martyrs

          Like His Savior Jesus Christ, Japanese-born Saint Paul Miki, a Jesuit catechist, was crucified at the age of 33 with 25 other Catholics near Nagasaki, Japan at the hands of ruthless Samurai warriors. Along with two other catechists, six Franciscan priests from Spain, Mexico and India, and 17 lay Catholics from Japan, St. Paul Miki had sought to convert the people of Japan. Fearing the pagan influence and Samurai power would be harmed, some of the Samurai leaders riled up their fellow tribesman and captured the 26 missionaries on February 5, 1897, stringing them up on crude crosses by ropes and chains. As if this wasn't harsh enough, they were then murdered by the quick slash of the sword or the thrust of a sharp lance. Pope Pius IX canonized all 26 in 1862 and their martyrdom is commemorated on February 6th.

SUNDAY, February 7, 1999

      First Reading: Isaiah 58: 7-10
      Psalms: Psalm 112: 4-9
      Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 13-16

Monday, February 8, 1999

    Monday February 8:
    Fifth Monday in Ordinary Time
    Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest, Religious Founder

    Green or white vestments

      First Reading: Genesis 1: 1-19
      Psalms: Psalm 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 24, 31, 35
      Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 53-56

Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Religious Founder

          Known as the patron saint of orphans and abandoned infants, Saint Jerome Emiliani founded the Company of Servants of the Poor which was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. Born in 1486 in Venice, Italy he was raised in a noble family and joined the military to fight against Maximilian I. Captured and imprisoned, he asked the Blessed Mother for help and made a vow to dedicate his life to God. Our Lady interceded, freeing him and, true to his word, Jerome plunged into taking care of the sick during the plague and gathering orphans. It was in Somasca, Bergamo where he founded his congregation of clerks regular. It was there in 1537 where he contracted the deadly plague and died with his orphans at his bedside. His feast is celebrated on February 8 as pronounced by Pope Benedict XVI who canonized Jerome in 1867.

February 5-7, 1999       volume 10, no. 25


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