DAILY CATHOLIC    LABOR DAY WEEKEND     September 4-7, 1998     vol. 9, no. 174


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Friday, September 4, 1998

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5
      Psalms: Psalm 37: 3-6, 27-28, 39-40
      Gospel Reading: Luke 5: 33-39

Saturday, September 5, 1998

    Saturday September 5:
    Twenty-Second Saturday in Ordinary Time
    Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 4: 6-15
      Psalms: Psalm 145: 17-21
      Gospel Reading: Luke 6: 1-5

Observance of 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). 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, September 6, 1998

      First Reading: Wisdom 9: 13-18
      Psalms: Psalm 90: 1, 3-6, 12-14, 17
      Second Reading: Philemon 1: 9-10, 12-17
      Gospel Reading: Luke 14: 25-33

Monday, September 7, 1998

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 5: 1-8
      Psalms: Psalm 5: 5-7, 9, 12
      Gospel Reading: Luke 6: 6-11

Tuesday, September 8, 1998

      First Reading: Micah 5: 1-4 or Romans 8: 28-30
      Psalms: Psalm 13: 6 and Isaiah 61: 9
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 1: 1-16, 18-23

Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

          This feast of the Birth of Mary is one of the first links between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the origins of the feast date back to the fifth century when a basilica was built on the site where the pool of Bethesda was as told in John 5: 1-9. The scholars of those days deducted that it was also the site of where Our Lady's parents Saint Joachim and Saint Anne lived and Mary was born. Since Mary was the temple in which God chose her to become the Mother of the Savior, the Church felt it important to honor her feast. Though it started in the east, by the seventh century Rome was celebrating it in the universal Church instituted by Pope Sergius I in the early 700's. In the 13th century the feast became a Solemnity with a day of fasting the day before. Though there were various dates over the centuries on which different countries and cultures celebrated her birth, the Church officially attributed the Blessed Mother's birth to September 8 - nine months after the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception.

September 4-7, 1998       volume 9, no. 174


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