LITURGY FOR THE DAY: April 23, 1998
Thursday, April 23, 1998
First Reading: 5: 27-33
Psalms: Psalm 34: 2, 7, 9, 17-20
Gospel Reading: John 3: 31-36
FEAST OF SAINT GEORGE, MARTYR
Born near the end of the third century, Saint George became a great Roman soldier, being elevated to tribune for his bravery by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Though he had been born of Christian parents, George did not become a Christian until he realized the atrocities being done to the Christians by his emperor. George openly rebuked Diocletian and begged the emperor to follow Jesus. For his efforts George was thrown into prison and eventually beheaded by the evil emperor around 303 AD. He became the icon for the Christian cause as his courage reinforced fortitude in every Christian. He has always been depicted as the great dragon-slayer - defeating the devil in the same vein as Saint Michael except George was upon a horse, garbed in Roman armor. Legend of his exploits spread throughout Europe and many miracles were attributed to his intercession after his death by those pilgrims who visited his tomb. Devotion to St. George was one of the most ancient and wide spread in the early Church. His fame prompted England to choose him as her patron saint and his feast was declared a national holiday there in the 13th Century. He is the patron saint of soldiers and Boy Scouts.
Friday, April 24, 1998
Friday, April 24: Friday in Second Week of Easter and
Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaren, Priest and Religious Martyr
First Reading: Acts 5: 34-42
Psalms: Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14
Gospel Reading: John 6: 1-15
SAINT FIDELIS OF SIGMAREN, PRIEST & RELIGIOUS MARTYR
This saint was one of many who God rose up during the "Century of Saints" to counter the Protestant Revolt of the 16th Century. Saint Fidelis was born in Sigmaringen, France in 1577 of noble parents. Always devout to the sacraments, Fidelis became a Capuchin monk, embracing a life of austerity and prayer. The Congregation of Propaganda appointed him to go to Switzerland to save as many souls as possible from the growing heresy of Calvinism. While preaching in Sevis, Switzerland a Calvinist fanatic shot at him, but he would not be deterred. After his sermon, a mob of Protestants confronted him, headed by a Calvinist minister who ordered him to renounce his faith. Fidelis replied, "I came to refute your errors, not to embrace them. I will never renounce Catholic doctrine, which is the truth of all ages, and I fear not death." Incensed, the Calvinists pierced him through with their scabbards. He died for the true faith and Jesus Christ.