DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     January 29-31, 1999     vol. 10, no. 20

DAILY LITURGY

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Friday, January 29, 1999

      First Reading: Hebrews 10: 11-18
      Psalms: Psalm 110: 1-4
      Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 1-20

Saturday, January 30, 1999

    Saturday January 29:
    Third Saturday in Ordinary Time and
    Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Hebrews 11: 1-2, 8-19
      Psalms: Luke 1: 68-75
      Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 35-41

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, volume 7). 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."

SUNDAY, January 31, 1999

      First Reading: Zephaniah 2: 3; 3:12-13
      Psalms: Psalm 146: 6-10 and Matthew 5: 3
      Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 5: 1-12

Today's feast of Saint John Bosco is superseded by the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Nevertheless, January 30th is the traditional feast of this mystical and charismatic Priest, Religious Educator and Founder.

Saint John Bosco, Mystical and Charismatic Priest, Religious Educator and Founder

      Born on the feast of the Assumption just outside Turin, Italy in 1815, Saint John Bosco or Dom Bosco grew to become the "Apostle of the youth." By showing love and care for the young, he was able to shape thousands of lives. Raised by a very pious mother, John, in his own youth, had a dream vision of boys cursing, fighting, punching and cajoling others to do the same. In this dream he was told to show these youths the evils of sin and the beauty of virtue. Our Blessed Mother appeared to him, placing her hands on John. This was a sign he was to be a priest. He paid his own way through school and the seminary, working as a baker, a tailor, a farmer, shoemaker and carpenter. Ordained in 1841, his grandiose dreams to help the young seemed to take a detour when he was assigned to the ghettos of Turin. Undaunted, he worked tirelessly using the talents he had acquired moonlighting throughout his seminary training. Those talents paid off in recruiting a number of priests which led to forming the Religious Society of Salesians, thus named for their patron Saint Francis de Sales whose feast we celebrated a week ago. It was not easy for John. His life was threatened often, but his faith in God pulled his new Order and this dedicated saint through the rough times. In 1859 Pope Pius IX gave general approval for the Salesians. His fame as an educator spread across the continent and over the seas to America. John Bosco became on of the greatest pioneers of modern vocational education. He was totally devoted to the Pope and demanded the same of his brother priests and the youth they taught. When he died on January 31, 1888 at the age of 73 in Turin he he was responsible for over 800 Salesian priests with over sixty Salesian foundations established as well as the Daughters of Our Lady, Help of Christians which he founded in 1872 in order to provide for the poor and neglected young girls. On Easter Sunday in 1934 Pope Pius XI canonized this crusader of vocations.

Monday, February 1, 1999

      First Reading: Hebrews 11: 32-40
      Psalms: Psalm 31: 20-25
      Gospel Reading: Mark 5: 1-20

January 29-31, 1999       volume 10, no. 20
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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