| Thursday after Ash Wednesday |
Violet or Purple Vestments
Missa "Dum clamarem"
Today's station - The Basilica of St. Nicholas - stands in the ancient forum olitorium near the theatre of Marcellus; during the Middle Ages it was raised to the status of a deaconry.
The station at St. George's was instituted by St. Gregory II (715-31), when the cultus of the great Cappadocian martyr had become exceedingly popular in Rome. A titular church already existed here in 482, as an inscription of that date mentions an Augustus lector de Belabru, but the dedication to St. George was certainly of later date.
Today's Gospel, telling of the centurion of Capharnaum, alludes to the military character ascribed by tradition to St. George, which caused him to be specially invoked during the Middle Ages as the armed champion of the Christian family.
The Mass is a call to penance. The Lesson from Isaias recalls the warning given to Ezechias of his approaching death; the thought of death is a powerful inducement to us to change our mode of life. If we would only realize that the moment of our passing from this world to eternity may come unawares, we would implore earnestly a space of time in which to do penance, and resolve to lead a good life.
We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
There is also a commemoration of St. Valentine, priest and martyr. The story of Valentine's Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr. The emperor was Claudius II, and the Christian was Valentinus.
Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods and had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians. But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ; not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs. He was arrested and imprisoned.
During the last weeks of Valentinus's life a remarkable thing happened. Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons. She had been blind since birth. Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind. Valentinus read stories of Rome's history to her. He described the world of nature to her. He taught her arithmetic and told her about God. She saw the world through his eyes, trusted his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.
"Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?" Julia asked one day.
"Yes, my child, He hears each one."
"Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night? I pray that I might see. I want so much to see everything you've told me about!"
"God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him," Valentinus said.
"Oh, Valentinus, I do believe! I do!" She knelt and grasped his hand. They sat quietly together, each praying. Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell. Radiant, Julia screamed, "Valentinus, I can see! I can see!"
"Praise be to God!" Valentinus exclaimed, and he knelt in prayer. On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God. He signed it, "From your Valentine." His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory. He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome. On each February 14, Saint Valentine's Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.
"O glorious advocate and protector, St Valentine, look with pity upon our wants, hear our requests, attend to our prayers, relieve by your intercession the miseries under which we labor, and obtain for us the divine blessing, that we may be found worthy to join you in praising the Almighty for all eternity: through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
The above was submitted by Don Shortridge.
Go to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS MASS OF THE CATECHUMENSMissa "Dum clamarem"INTROIT: Psalm 54: 17, 19-20, 23