1 Peter
Who was Josephus?
Maps, Graphics

War, Volume 1
War, Volume 2
War, Volume 3
War, Volume 4
War, Volume 5
War, Volume 6
War, Volume 7

Ant. Jud., Bk 1
Ant. Jud., Bk 2
Ant. Jud., Bk 3
Ant. Jud., Bk 4
Ant. Jud., Bk 5
Ant. Jud., Bk 6
Ant. Jud., Bk 7
Ant. Jud., Bk 8
Ant. Jud., Bk 9
Ant. Jud., Bk 10
Ant. Jud., Bk 11
Ant. Jud., Bk 12
Ant. Jud., Bk 13
Ant. Jud., Bk 14
Ant. Jud., Bk 15
Ant. Jud., Bk 16
Ant. Jud., Bk 17
Ant. Jud., Bk 18
Ant. Jud., Bk 19
Ant. Jud., Bk 20

Apion, Bk 1
Apion, Bk 2


Gospel of--
-- Nicodemus
-- Peter
-- Ps-Matthew
-- James (Protevangelium)
-- Thomas (Infancy)
-- Thomas (Gnostic)
-- Joseph of Arimathea
-- Joseph_Carpenter
Pilate's Letter
Pilate's End

Apocalypse of --
-- Ezra
-- Moses
-- Paul
-- Pseudo-John
-- Moses
-- Enoch

Clementine Homilies
Clementine Letters
Clementine Recognitions
Dormition of Mary
Book of Jubilees
Life of Adam and Eve
Odes of Solomon
Pistis Sophia
Secrets of Enoch
Veronica's Veil
Vision of Paul
Vision of Shadrach

Acts of
Andrew & Matthias
Andrew & Peter
Paul & Perpetua
Paul & Thecla
Peter & Paul
Andrew and Peter
Thomas in India

Daily Word 2018


Sundays, 1-34, Year A
Sundays, 1-34, Year B
Sundays, 1-34, Year C

(Ordinary Time)
Weeks 1-11 (Year 1)
Weeks 1-11 (Year 2)
Wks 12-22 (Year 1)
Wks 12-22 (Year 2)
Wks 23-34 (Year 1)
Wks 23-34 (Year 2)

Saints Days


Clement of Rome

Ignatius of Antioch

Polycarp of Smyrna

Barnabas,(Epistle of)

Papias of Hierapolis

Justin, Martyr

The Didachë

Irenaeus of Lyons

Hermas (Pastor of)

Tatian of Syria

Theophilus of Antioch

Diognetus (letter)

Athenagoras of Alex.

Clement of Alexandria

Tertullian of Carthage

Origen of Alexandria

Saints in the Liturgical Year

(many of the accounts are from the Australian Lectionary )


01-Mother of God
02-Basil & Gregory
03-Holy Name, Jesus
05-Charles Houben
24-Fran de Sales
25-Paul's Conversion
27-Timothy & Titus
27-Angela Merici
28-Thomas Aquinas
31-John Bosco


06-Paul Miki
08-Jerome Emiliani
08-Josephine Bakhita
11-Lady of Lourdes
14-Cyril & Methodius
17-Servite Founders
21-Peter Damian
22-Chair of Peter
23-Polycarp Smyrna
27-Gabriel Possenti


07-Perpet & Felicity
08-John of God
09-Frances of Rome
18-Cyril of Jerus


02-Francis of Paola
05-Vincent Ferrer
07-Jn B de la Salle
13-Martin I
24-Fidelis of Sigm.
26-Mark, Evangelist
28-Peter Chanel
29-Catherine of Siena
30-Pius V


01-Joseph, Worker
03-Philip & James
12-Nereus & Achilleus
13-Lady of Fatima
18-John I
20-Bernadine of Siena
22-Rita of Cascia
24-Help of Christians
25-Venerable Bede
25-Gregory VII
25-Magdalene de Pazzi
26-Philip Neri
27-Aug of Canterbury


01-Justin, Martyr
02-Marcellinus & Peter
03-Ch Lwanga
13-Anthony of Padua
21-Aloysius Gonzaga
22-J Fisher & Th More
23-Paulinus of Nola
24-Birth of JnBaptist
26-Josemaria Escriva
27-Cyril of Alexandria
29-Peter & Paul
30-1st Roman Martyrs


04-Eliz of Portugal
05-Anthony Zaccaria
06-Maria Goretti
07-Peter To Rot
09-Zhao Rong
14-Camillus de Lellis
16-Mount Carmel
21-Lawrence Brindisi
22-Mary Magdalene
23-Bridget of Sweden
24-Sarbel Makhluf
26-Joachim & Ann
30-Peter Chrysologus
31-Ignatius Loyola


01-Alphonsus Ligouri
02-Eusebius of Vercelli
02-Peter Julian Eymard
04-John Vianney
05-Mary Major
07-Sixtus & Co
08-Mary MacKillop
09-Teresa Benedicta
12-J F de Chantal
13-Pontian & Hippolytus
14-Maximilian Kolbe
16-Stephen of Hungary
19-John Eudes
21-Pius X
22-Queenship of Mary
23-Rose of Lima
25-Joseph Calasanz
29-Death of J Baptist


03-Gregory the Great
08-Birth of Mary
09-Peter Claver
12-Name of Mary
13-John Chrysostom
14-Holy Cross
15-Sorrows of Mary
16-Corn. & Cyprian
17-Robert Bellarmine
20-Andrew Kim
23-Pio of Pietrelcina
26-Cosmas & Damian
27-Vincent de Paul
28-Lawrence Ruiz


01-Therese of Child Jesus
02-Guardian Angels
04-Francis of Assisi
07-Our Lady of Rosary
09-John Leonardi
11-John XXIII
14-Callistus I
15-Teresa of Jesus
16-Mgt M Alacoque
17-Ignat of Antioch
19-Isaac Jogues
19-Paul of the Cross
22- John Paul II
23-John of Capistrano
24-Anthony Claret
28-Simon & Jude


01-All Saints
02-All Souls
03-Martin de Porres
04-Charles Borromeo
09-St John Lateran
10-Leo the Great
11-Martin of Tours
15-Albert the Great
16-Margaret of Scotland
17-Eliz of Hungary
18- Peter & Paul Bas.
21-Presentation of Mary
23-Clement I
25-Cath of Alexandria


03-Francis Xavier
04-John Damascene
08-Immac Conception
09-Juan Diego
11-Damasus I
12-Lady of Guadalupe
14-John of the Cross
21-Peter Canisius
23-John of Kanty
26 -Stephen, martyr
27 -Apostle John
28 -Holy Innocents
29-Thomas Becket
31-Sylvester I




01 January – Mary, Mother of God

At the Council of Ephesus (451), Mary, the mother of Jesus was proclaimed as Mother of God or Theotokos, acknowledging the very Godhead of her Son, Jesus Christ. Under this noble title she is still honoured by most Christians around the world, and today’his feast invites us to lay our hopes and plans for the new-starting year under her motherly care and patronage.

1st Reading: Numbers 6: 22-27 *** 2nd: Galatians 4: 4-7 *** Gospel: Luke 2: 16-21


02 January – Ss Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

Basil: Born about 330 at Caesarea (Turkey). Died there on 1 January 379. First a hermit, then bishop of his native city. Remembered for his pioneering monastic rule, and for writings which developed the doctrines of the incarnation and of the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
Gregory: Born at Nazianzus (Turkey) in 329. Died there in 389. Also a hermit before becoming bishop of Constantinople. Remembered as the "Theologian" because of his wisdom and acumen in maintaining orthodox doctrine against the Arians.

1st Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-7. 11-13 *** Gospel: Matthew 23: 8-12


03 January – The Most Holy Name of Jesus

Commemorated by religious orders since the 16th century, the feast was extended to the universal Church in 1721 and celebrated in the context of the Christmas season. The monogram IHS was popular in the late medieval and baroque periods. By the Holy Name, Christians honour the person of Jesus, their Lord and Saviour. At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2: 6-11)

1st Reading: Philippians 2: 5-11 *** Gospel: Luke 2: 21-24


05-St Charles of Mount Argus

Charles (John) Houben (1821-1893), was a Dutch Passionist priest who served in Dublin in the late 19th-century. He showed extraordinary compassion for the sick and those in need of guidance. Many came asking his prayers, and in latter life his reputation for healings was so great that a reference is made to him by James Joyce in Ulysses. He was canonized in 2007 and his feast day is January 5.

1st Reading: Galatians 6: 14-18 *** Gospel: Matthew 11: 25-30


07 January – St Raymond of Penyafort

PRIEST. Born about 1175 near Barcelona (Spain). Died there in extreme old age on 6 January 1275. Became a canon of the cathedral but soon after joined the Dominicans, eventually being elected their master general. Remembered for his knowledge of canon law, especially in its application to the sacrament of penance, and for his scholarly apostolate to Jews and Muslims.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-20 *** Gospel: Luke 12: 35-40


13 January – St Hilary of Poitiers

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Poitiers (France) about 315. Died there on this day in 368. A married man with a family, he became a Christian and was elected bishop of his native city. Called the "Athanasius of the West" because of his strenuous defence of the divinity of Christ against the Arians, for which he was exiled by the emperor. Remembered for his gentle, courteous and friendly nature, and for his contribution to the Western understanding of the Trinity.

1st Reading: 1 John 2: 18-25 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-19


17 January – St Anthony

ABBOT. Born in 251 in upper Egypt. Died in 356. At an early age he gave away his possessions and sought the austere life and solitude in the desert. Yet he remained involved in the theological controversies of his day, defending the divinity of Christ. He attracted disciples who formed communities of hermits. The account of his life by Saint Athanasius (2 May) was extremely influential in the development and spread of monasticism. Remembered as the father of western monasticism.

1st Reading: Ephesians 6: 10-13. 18 *** Gospel: Matthew 19: 16-26


20 January – St Fabian

POPE, MARTYR. Died as one of the first victims of the persecution under the emperor Decius in 250. In spite of being "a layman and a stranger" (Eusebius), he became bishop of Rome in 236. Reorganised the Church in Rome. Called by his contemporary, Saint Cyprian, "a man incomparable in the holiness of his life and the glory of his witness."

1st Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4 *** Gospel: John 21: 15-17


20 January – St Sebastian

MARTYR. Died perhaps in the late third century. Nothing of his life is known for certain. May have been a soldier who was martyred after sustaining others in their trials. Venerated in Rome since the fourth century.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 3: 14-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 28-33


21 January – St Agnes

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Died at Rome, perhaps in the early fourth century. One of the most widely venerated of the Roman martyrs. According to early accounts, she gave her life to preserve her virginity consecrated to Christ. Remembered in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31 *** Gospel: Matthew 13: 44-46


22 January – St Vincent

DEACON, MARTYR. Died in 304, martyred in Valencia (Spain) during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian. A deacon of Saragossa. His cult spread rapidly through the whole Church of the West. Honoured as the first martyr of Spain.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 17-22


24 January – St Francis de Sales

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Savoy (France) in 1567. Died in Lyons in 1622. As a presbyter and as bishop of Geneva, he played a major part in the renewal of 17th-century French Catholicism. Seen by many as an early proponent of ecumenical dialogue. Founded the Visitation order with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (12 December). His writings promoted a spirituality for laypeople. Remembered as a most influential preacher, writer, and spiritual director, who combined firmness with patience and gentleness.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 8-12 *** Gospel: John 15: 9-17


25 January – Conversion of St Paul, Apostle

This date, first linked with the conversion of Saint Paul in the so-called Martyrdom of Jerome (c. 431), became established in the liturgy of Gaul. Celebrates the work of God’s grace at a major turning point in the life of Paul himself and in the history of the infant Church.

1st Reading: Acts 22: 3-16 *** (Option 2): Acts 9: 1-22 *** Gospel: Mark 16: 15-18


27 January – Ss Timothy and Titus

BISHOPS. Died toward the end of the first century. Disciples and associates of Saint Paul the apostle (29 June) who attended the Council of Jerusalem with him. Timothy represented Saint Paul to various communities and, according to tradition, was eventually placed in charge of the Church at Ephesus. Titus was asked to organise the Church in Crete. Remembered as the leaders to whom the pastoral letters of the New Testament are addressed.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8 *** (Option 2): Titus 1: 1-5 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 1-9


27 January – St Angela Merici

VIRGIN. Born in Desenzano (Italy) about 1474. Died in Brescia on this day in 1540. Became a Franciscan tertiary and subsequently founded the Company of Saint Ursula (Ursulines). Her vision provided an alternative to the forms of religious life then available for women: members remained in their own homes, living as virgins and observing a rule she composed. Remembered as a woman of prayer, for her evangelical way of life, for her pilgrimages, and for her creative response to the needs of women in the Church.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 4: 7-11 *** Gospel: Mark 9: 34-37


28 January – St Thomas Aquinas

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born near Aquino (Italy) about 1225. Died on his way to the Council of Lyons in 1274. Educated at Monte Cassino, Naples, Paris, and Cologne, he became a Dominican in 1244. Regarded as one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church. Despite ecclesiastical opposition at the time, the substance of his life’s work has endured as an authentic exposition of Christian teaching and carries unique official approval. Remembered for his modesty, the prayerfulness of his personal life, and the abiding influence of his thought.

1st Reading: Wisdom 7: 7-10. 15-16 *** Gospel: Matthew 23: 8-12


31 January – St John Bosco

PRIEST. Born in Piedmont (Italy) in 1815. Died at Turin on this day in 1888. Grew up in extreme poverty and, after ordination, devoted his whole life to educating young people, especially the poor. Founded the Salesians, men and women who continue this work with youth throughout the world. Remembered – like the order’s patron, Saint Francis de Sales (24 January) – for his cheerfulness and total trust in the providence of God.

1st Reading: Philippians 4: 4-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 18: 1-5


02 February – Presentation of the Lord

Forty days ago we celebrated the joyful feast of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we recall the holy day on which he was presented in the temple, fulfilling the law of Moses and at the same time going to meet his faithful people. Led by the Spirit, Simeon and Anna came to the temple, recognised Christ as their Lord, and proclaimed him with joy. United by the Spirit, may we now go to the house of God to welcome Christ the Lord.

1st Reading: Malachi 3: 1-4 *** 2nd: Hebrews 2: 14-18 *** Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40


03 February – St Blaise

BISHOP, MARTYR. Died in the early fourth century, believed to have been martyred during the persecution of the emperor Licinius. Bishop in Armenia, known as a healer, venerated since the eighth century and specially invoked to intercede for protection against diseases of the throat.

1st Reading: Romans: 5: 1-5 *** Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20


03 February – St Ansgar

BISHOP. Born at Amiens (France) in 801. Died on this day at Bremen (Germany) in 865. A monk and then a bishop in north Germany, eloquent in his preaching and austere in his lifestyle. Remembered for opposing slavery and for persevering in his evangelisation of Denmark and Sweden in the face of major setbacks.

1st Reading: Isaiah 52: 7-10 *** Gospel: Mark 1: 14-20


05 February – St Agatha

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Died in Sicily, perhaps during the persecutions of the third century. Venerated in Rome as a virgin martyr on this day since the sixth century and included by name in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon). Remembered in legend for her faith and for remaining resolute under torture.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 23-26


06 February – Ss Paul Miki and companions

MARTYRS. Died on 5 February 1597, a group of twenty-six martyrs crucified at Nagasaki (Japan). Most were Japanese and most were laypeople, some still youths. The first of many martyrs in a young Church. Paul Miki, aged thirty-five years at his death, was a Jesuit scholastic from an aristocratic Japanese family. Remembered as a notable preacher who inspired the local Church in his own time and in the centuries that followed to be strong in faith during persecution.

1st Reading: Galatians 2: 19-20 *** Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20


08 February – St Jerome Emiliani

Born in Venice (Italy) in 1486. Died of the plague on this day in 1537 near Bergamo. An army officer who, after imprisonment, began a new life of service among the sick and destitute. Remembered for his care and education of orphaned and homeless children, a ministry continued by the Somaschi, an order of clergy which he founded.

1st Reading: Tobit 12: 6-13 *** Gospel: Mark 10: 17-30


08 February – St Josephine Bakhita

Born in 1869 at Oglassa (Sudan). Died on this day in 1947 at Schio (Italy). Kidnapped by slave traders at the age of 9 and treated cruelly, she was eventually acquired by the Italian consul and taken to Italy. Baptised Josephine in 1890, she joined the Canossan sisters several years later. ‘Mother Moretta’ (our black mother) is remembered for her gentle good nature, humble faith, and gospel charity towards the poor and suffering.

1st Reading: Galatians 2: 19-20 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


10 February – St Scholastica

Born at Norcia (Italy) about 480. Died near Monte Cassino in the 540s. Like Saint Benedict (11 July), her brother and by tradition her twin, she dedicated herself to God through the monastic life. Remembered for her part in establishing Benedictine monasticism.

1st Reading: Song of Songs (8: 6-7 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 38-42


11 February – Our Lady of Lourdes

Observed since 1907, this memorial celebrates the immaculate Virgin Mary as honoured in Lourdes (France). This site of apparitions to the young Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 has become a focus of devotion to Mary. It is a place of prayer and pilgrimage, of conversion and healing for Christians from every land.

1st Reading: Isaiah 66: 10-14 *** Gospel: John 2: 1-11


14 February – Ss Cyril and Methodius

CYRIL, MONK, AND METHODIUS, BISHOP. Cyril: Born about 826 in Thessalonica (Greece). Died at Rome in 869. His brother, Methodius: Born about 815. Died in Velehrad (Czech Republic) in 885. With papal approval they preached the gospel in Moravia using their own translations of the Scriptures and the liturgy in the local language. These translations into Slavonic were based on an alphabet they invented, now called Cyrillic. The success of their preaching aroused jealous Frankish opposition. Honoured as apostles of the Slavic peoples. Remembered together for their contribution to Slavic culture, for their missionary inculturation of the faith, and for establishing links between East and West.

1st Reading: Acts 13: 46-49 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 1-9


17 February – Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

In 1233 these prominent businessmen from Florence (Italy) withdrew to a life of solitude, prayer, and penance. They developed into an order of mendicant friars (Servants of Mary). Remembered for their radical response to the demands of the gospel.

1st Reading: Romans (8: 26-30 *** Gospel: Matthew 19: 27-29


21 February – St Peter Damian

PETER DAMIAN, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Ravenna (Italy) in 1007. Died on 22 February 1072. Became a hermit monk after a career as a professor. Ardent, energetic, and strict, an outspoken reformer of Church life and discipline. Appointed cardinal-bishop of Ostia and became a diplomat and ecclesiastical statesman. Remembered as a scholarly reformer possessing a deeply love for Christ.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 1-5 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


22 February – Chair of Peter

The chair (cathedra) of a bishop is a pre-eminent sign of his teaching authority and pastoral oversight of a local Church. This feast, observed in Rome since the fourth century, celebrates Peter, first among the apostles, as founder of the See of Rome and the focus of unity in the communion of one faith.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19


23 February – St Polycarp

POLYCARP, BISHOP, MARTYR. Born about the year 69. Died on this day about 155 at Smyrna (Turkey), where he had been the beloved and respected bishop. A disciple of Saint John the apostle (27 December) who wrote to the Philippians to strengthen their faith and to defend the Church against heresy. Remembered because of the account of his martyrdom for his fearless acknowledgment of Christ, and honoured as one of the apostolic fathers of the Church.

1st Reading: Revelation 2: 8-11 *** Gospel: John 15: 18-21


23 February – St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Francesco Possenti, or Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862) was an Italian from Assisi. Born to a well-off family, he gave up all career ambitions to join the Passionists as a clerical student. Though his life in the monastery was humdrum, he was notable for his devotion to the sorrows of Mary and the Passion of Jesus. He died aged 23 (tuberculosis) in Isola del Gran Sasso, in the province of Teramo. He was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, who declared him a patron saint of Catholic youth, and of students. In 1959, he was named patron of the Abruzzi region, where he spent the last two years of his life.

1st Reading: 1 John 2:14-17 *** Gospel: Mark 10:13-21


04 March – St Casimir of Poland

Born at Cracow (Poland) in 1458. Died in Lithuania on this day in 1484. Though a young prince of Poland, he preferred peace to being a soldier. He chose celibacy over marriage and favoured prayer and penance rather than royal privilege. Remembered for his generous life of austerity and devotion.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: John 15: 9-17


07 March – Ss Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs

Perpetua and Felicity (believed to have died in 203 AD) were Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Vibia Perpetua was a married noblewoman, said to have been 22 years old at the time of her death, and mother of an infant she was nursing. Felicity, a slave imprisoned with her and pregnant at the time, was martyred with her. They were put to death along with others at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa, during the reign of Septimius Severus.

1st Reading: Romans (8: 31-39 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 34-39


08 March – St John of God

RELIGIOUS. Born in Portugal in 1495. Died in Granada (Spain) on this day in 1550. At the age of about forty, he directed the energies of his spiritual conversion toward hospitality for the destitute and care of the sick. Remembered for this ministry, which was continued by his followers, who became the Order of Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God.

1st Reading: 1 John 3: 14-18 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 31-40


09 March – St Frances of Rome

RELIGIOUS. Born in Rome in 1384. Died there on this day in 1440. Established a community of laywomen who followed the Rule of Saint Benedict and ministered to the poor. Remembered as a dedicated laywoman who, in a time of plague and civil war, worked tirelessly for the poor and the sick yet without compromising her love for her husband and family.

1st Reading: Proverbs 31: 10-13. 19-20. 30-31 *** Gospel: Matthew 22: 35-40


17 March – St Patrick

BISHOP. Born in Roman Britain around the end of the fourth century. Died in Ireland about the middle of the fifth century. Faced hardship as a missionary bishop in Ireland, and opposition even from his friends and fellow Christians. Yet worked to conciliate, to evangelise, and to educate local chieftains and their families. Remembered for his simplicity and pastoral care, for his humble trust in God, and for his fearless preaching of the gospel to those who had enslaved him in his youth. Specially honoured in Australia because the many Irish people who came to settle here brought with them the faith and zeal of St Patrick.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 1: 4-9 *** 2nd: Acts 13: 46-49 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 1-12. 17-20


18 March – St Cyril of Jerusalem

CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Jerusalem about 315. Died there in 386. A bishop for over thirty-five years, he was deeply involved in debates with the Arians over the divinity of Christ and was exiled three times. Remembered especially for the illuminating baptismal catechesis he gave in the new Constantinian basilica of the

1st Reading: John 5: 1-5 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


19 March – St Joseph

JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF THE VIRGIN MARY. A carpenter, though born of the royal house of David, Joseph was an upright man who, as husband of the Virgin Mary, cared for Mary and the child Jesus. Venerated in the East after the fourth century, and his cult flowered in the West during the fifteenth century, following the development of medieval nativity plays, the Christmas crib, and increased devotion to Mary.

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 7: 4-5. 12-14. 16 *** 2nd: Romans (4: 13. 16-18. 22 *** Gospel: Matthew 1: 16. 18-21. 24


23 March – St Turibius of Mogrovejo

BISHOP. Born in Majorca (Spain) in 1538. Died on this day in 1606 at Santa (Peru). A professor of law and a judge of the Inquisition in Spain, he was still a layman when appointed archbishop of Lima, Peru. There he became an outstanding missionary reformer, built churches, hospitals, and the first seminary in the Americas. Remembered for his determined opposition to ecclesiastical abuses and to colonial exploitation, for his pastoral care and evangelisation of the indigenous peoples in their own languages, and for his visitation of the vast diocese.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 13-14; 2: 1-3 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 35-37


25 March – Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast originated in the East during the sixth century and gained universal observance in the West during the eighth century. It is a feast of the Lord, commemorating the announcement to the Virgin Mary of the Word made flesh, Mary’s acceptance of God’s will, and the conception of Christ nine months before Christmas. Its occurrence close to Easter links the incarnation with the whole mystery of human redemption in Christ.

1st Reading: Isaiah 7: 10-14. 8: 10 *** 2nd: Hebrews 10: 4-10 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38


02 April – St Francis of Paola

HERMIT. Born at Paola (Italy) in 1416. Died at Tours (France) on this day in 1507. Became a hermit while still a youth. Others were quickly attracted to his way of life and came to be renowned for their charity and austerity as well as for their commitment to Franciscan ideals. Francis lived to see them recognised as the Order of Minims. Remembered as a spiritual counsellor of kings and for his political peacemaking.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: Luke 12: 32-34


04 April – St Isidore

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born about 560 in Seville (Spain). Died there in 636. Archbishop of Seville for thirty-six years who laboured successfully to bring the Visigoths from Arianism to orthodox belief, who presided over several councils significant for Church life in Spain, and who codified the distinctive liturgy of the Spanish Church, which is preserved to this day. Remembered for his prolific writings and as an influential educator, and highly regarded also for the pastoral care of his diocese.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 1-2. 5-7 *** Gospel: Luke 6: 43-45


05 April – St Vincent Ferrer

PRIEST. Born in Valencia (Spain) in 1350. Died at Vannes (France) on this day in 1419. A Dominican friar who quickly distinguished himself in converting many to Christ. Remembered chiefly for preaching repentance on his missions throughout France, Spain and Italy, and also for his influence in ending the schism between the Avignon and Roman papal claimants.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 1-5 *** Gospel: Luke 12: 35-40


07 April – St John Baptist de la Salle

PRIEST. Born at Rheims (France) in 1651. Died at Rouen on this day in 1719. Ordained to the presbyterate in 1678 after seminary studies at Saint Sulpice in Paris. Pioneered schools for poor boys and the working classes, the training of teachers, and the care of disturbed children. Despite much internal conflict and external opposition, he formed his companions into the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 13-14; 2: 1-3 *** Gospel: Matthew 18: 1-5


11 April – St Stanislaus

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born at Szczepanow (Poland) about 1030. Died on this day in 1079 at Cracow, murdered on the orders of the king for his outspoken condemnation of corruption. He had become bishop of Cracow in 1072. Remembered for his reforms, his preaching, and his pastoral concern.

1st Reading: Revelation 12: 10-12 *** Gospel: John 17: 11-19


13 April – St Martin I

POPE, MARTYR. Born at Todi (Italy). Died in exile at Chersonesus (Crimea) on this day about 655. A deacon in Rome, he was sent as legate to Constantinople. After being elected pope in 649, he held a council at the Lateran which condemned the error that Christ did not have a human will. This and the council’s censure of two related imperial edicts led to his imprisonment and exile. Remembered for the many hardships he suffered and as the last pope to suffer martyrdom.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 2: 8-13; 3: 10-12 *** Gospel: John 15: 18-21


21 April – St Anselm

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in 1033 at Aosta (Italy). Died at Canterbury (England) on this day in 1109. A monk at Bec (Normandy) where he taught theology and devoted himself to the spiritual life. Later, as archbishop of Canterbury, his bitter disputes with the king resulted in his being exiled twice. Remembered for his theological learning and writings and for organising Church life in England.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 14-19 *** Gospel: Matthew 7: 21-29


23 April – St George

MARTYR. Died at Lydda (Israel) around 303, martyred in the persecution of the emperor Diocletian. His cult, which predates the legend of his slaying the dragon, spread quickly through East and West. During the crusades, George was seen to personify the ideals of Christian chivalry, and he was adopted as patron of several city?states and countries.

1st Reading: Revelation 21: 5-7 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 23-26


23 April – St Adalbert

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born in Bohemia (Czech Republic) about 956. Died near Gdansk (Poland) on this day in 997. Baptised Wojciech, he took the name Adalbert at his confirmation. Became the first Czech bishop of Prague at about the age of twenty-six, but his efforts to further the Christian faith in Bohemia and Hungary met with vehement opposition and he withdrew to Rome in 990. Became a monk and founded the abbey of Brevnov, a spiritual and missionary centre for the western Slavs. Devoted himself to missionary work among the Prussians on the Polish coast, where he was martyred. Remembered for his prayerfulness, his concern for the poor, and his courage in the face of opposition.

1st Reading: Revelation 21: 5-7 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 23-26


24 April – St Fidelis of Sigmaringen

PRIEST, MARTYR. Born at Sigmaringen (Germany) in 1578. Died at Seewis (Switzerland) on this day in 1622. Became a Capuchin after briefly practicing as a lawyer noted for upholding the causes of the poor and oppressed. Remembered for his care of the sick and for his preaching, especially among Protestants in Switzerland, where he was martyred.

1st Reading: Colossians 1: 24-29 *** Gospel: John 17: 20-26


26 April – St Mark, Evangelist

Died about the year 74. Usually identified with the John Mark whose mother’s house in Jerusalem was a meeting place for the apostles, and with the young man who followed Christ after his arrest (Mark 14: 51). A cousin of Saint Barnabas (11 June). Accompanied Saint Paul (29 June) on his first missionary journey and later followed him to Rome. A companion of Saint Peter (29 June) and traditionally credited with the gospel which reflects Peter’s teaching and memoirs. Honoured as the founder of the Church in Alexandria.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 5: 5-14 *** Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20


28 April – St Peter Chanel

PRIEST, MARTYR. Born at Cuet (France) 1803. Died on Futuna (South-west Pacific Ocean) on this day in 1841. A parish priest noted for his pastoral zeal, particularly his care of the sick. Joined the Society of Mary (Marists) and remembered for his missionary work in the Pacific. Evangelisation in the local language brought some success on the island of Futuna which led to his murder by a jealous chieftain. Honoured as the first martyr of the Church in Oceania.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 *** Gospel: Mark 1: 14-20


29 April – St Catherine of Siena

VIRGIN, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Siena (Italy) in 1347. Died at Rome on this day in 1380. Committed to the practice of prayer and penance from an early age, she entered the Dominican Third Order while still an adolescent. Became an influential spiritual leader and made strenuous efforts to reconcile Church and state and to reform the Roman papacy. Remembered for her holiness and determination and, though she never learned to write, for the quality of her teachings. Remembered also as a mystic and a reformer of religious life.

1st Reading: 1 John 1: 5 – 2: 2 *** Gospel: Matthew 11: 25-30


30 April – St Pius V

POPE. Born (Michael Ghislieri) near Alessandria (Italy) in 1504. Died at Rome on this day in 1572. Taught philosophy and theology as a Dominican priest and became a diocesan bishop. Elected pope in 1565. Noted for his reforming zeal and for defending Christendom against the Ottoman empire. His excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England hardened the split between Catholics and Protestants. A rigorist by temperament, he is remembered chiefly for implementing the reforms of the Council of Trent, including the Breviary, Missal, and Catechism.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5 *** Gospel: John 21: 15-17


01 May – St Joseph the Worker

This commemoration, instituted by Pius XII in 1955, proposes the example and intercession of Joseph as worker and provider. On this date many countries celebrate the dignity and cause of human labour.

1st Reading: Genesis 1: 26 – 2: 3 *** Gospel: Matthew 13: 54-58


02 May – St Athanasius

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in 295. Buried on this day in 373 at Alexandria (Egypt). Attended the first ecumenical council of Nicaea as a deacon. Later, as bishop of Alexandria, he upheld that council’s doctrine in the face of great opposition from Arians, including several emperors. Sent into exile a number of times. Venerated as the "Father of Orthodoxy" for championing the true and equal divinity of the incarnate Son of God.

1st Reading: 1 John 5: 1-5 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 22-25


03 May – Ss Philip and James

APOSTLES. Philip, from Bethsaida in Galilee, became a disciple of Jesus and one of the twelve. Recorded in the Fourth Gospel as recognising in Jesus the one foretold by Moses and the prophets (John 1: 45) and as introducing Gentiles to the Lord (John 12: 20-22). According to Acts 8: 5, he was the first to preach the gospel to non-Jews. James, son of Alphaeus, was also one of the twelve called by Jesus (Mark 3: 18ff). Known as James the Less. Venerated traditionally as the author of the letter of James and as leader of the Church in Jerusalem, where he died in the year 62.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8 *** Gospel: John 14: 6-14


12 May – Ss Nereus and Achilleus

MARTYRS. Died in Rome, probably under the emperor Diocletian in 304. Known as the martyrs of the Ardeatine Way. Remembered as soldiers who became Christians and then out of conscience refused further military service.

1st Reading: Revelation 7: 9-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 17-22


12 May – St Pancras

MARTYR. Died in Rome, probably in 304, martyred under the emperor Diocletian. By tradition a teenager. Buried on this day in the cemetery of Octavilla. Widely venerated in Rome and elsewhere.

1st Reading: Revelation 19: 1. 5-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 11: 25-30


13 May – Our Lady of Fatima

Commemoration established in 2002. Fatima (Portugal) is a pilgrimage shrine dating from the 1917 apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children. This cult of the Virgin Mary is significant for its call to conversion, the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the recitation of the rosary, and prayer for world peace.

1st Reading: Zechariah 2: 14-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 12: 46-50


14 May – St Matthias

APOSTLE. A companion of Jesus and a witness to the resurrection. Chosen by lot to take the place of Judas and so to share the apostolic ministry of the twelve (Acts 1: 15-26). He is named in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).

1st Reading: Acts 1: 15-17. 20-26 *** Gospel: John 15: 9-17


18 May – St John I

POPE, MARTYR. Born in Tuscany (Italy) in the late fifth century. Died in captivity at Ravenna on this day in 526. Remembered as a conciliator and peacemaker, the first bishop of Rome to visit Constantinople. Imprisoned by Theodoric, ruler of Italy and an Arian, for excessive sympathy toward the Church of the East.

1st Reading: Revelation 3: 14. 20-22 *** Gospel: Luke 22: 24-30


20 May – St Bernadine of Siena

PRIEST. Born in Tuscany (Italy) in 1380. Died at Aquila on this day in 1444. A Franciscan priest, theologian, reformer, and a popular preacher throughout Italy. Remembered as a preacher, as a promoter of devotion to the Name of Jesus (see 3 January), and for his efforts toward reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches at the Council of Florence.

1st Reading: Acts 4: 8-12 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 57-62


21 May – Ss Christopher Magallanes and companions

MARTYRS. Born in 1869. Died on 25 May 1927 at Colotitlan (Mexico). Parish priest, Christobal Magallanes, founder of a clandestine seminary at Totatiche, is commemorated with 21 other diocesan priests and three laymen. Martyred in Mexico, mostly in 1926-1928, during a fierce religious persecution which outlawed the celebration of the sacraments. Remembered for their courageous faith, for forgiving their executioners, and for their final cry, Viva Christo Rey!

1st Reading: 2 Maccabees 7: 1-2. 9-14 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12


22 May – St Rita of Cascia

RELIGIOUS. Born in 1381 at Rocca Porena (Italy). Died on this day in 1457 at Cascia. Obedient to the will of elderly parents, she accepted an abusive husband and remained faithful for eighteen years until his violent death. When her two sons died soon after, she became an Augustinian nun. Remembered for her life of penance and her suffering in union with

1st Reading: Galatians 2: 19-20 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


24 May – Mary Help of Christians

The Virgin Mary has often been invoked in times of religious strife under the title of Help of Christians. In thanksgiving for the release of Pope Pius VII from captivity in 1814, the feast was established the following year on the anniversary of his restoration. The first Australian provincial synod held in Sydney in 1844 placed the Church in Australia under Mary’s patronage invoked by the title Help of Christians. The solemn feast is an occasion to seek Mary’s help and protection for our Church and nation.

1st Reading: Sirach 4: 11-18 *** 2nd: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 *** Gospel: John 19: 25-27


25 May – Venerable Bede

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Wearmouth (England) in 673. Died at Jarrow on this day in 735. A monk, historian of the early English Church, and master of the Scriptures and of the teachings of the Church Fathers. Known for his scholarly writings. Venerated as the "light of the Church" in the period called the Dark Ages and as a forerunner of the eighth and ninth century renaissance of the Western Church.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 10-16 *** Gospel: Matthew 7: 21-29


25 May – St Gregory VII

POPE. Born about 1020 in Tuscany (Italy). Died in exile at Salerno on this day in 1085. Served in important positions under several popes and briefly a monk of Cluny. Elected pope in 1073 and campaigned strenuously for the reform of the Roman Church and for its freedom from civil powers. Remembered for his devotion to the Church in Rome and for the reform of clerical and monastic life and of Church organisation.

1st Reading: Acts 20: 17-18. 28-32. 36 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19


25 May – St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

VIRGIN. Born in Florence (Italy) in 1566. Died there on this day in 1607. A Carmelite mystic and visionary. Remembered for her hidden life of prayer and for her spiritual and physical suffering, borne for the Church and its renewal.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 7: 25-35 *** Gospel: Mark 3: 31-35


26 May – St Philip Neri

PRIEST. Born in Florence (Italy) in 1515. Died at Rome on this day in 1595. An outstanding proponent of Church reform after the Council of Trent. Worked among the young and the poor in Rome and founded the Congregation of the Oratory. Remembered as a spiritual director, for his pastoral initiatives, and for his humour, simplicity, and charity.

1st Reading: Philippians 4: 4-9 *** Gospel: John 17: 20-26


27 May – St Augustine of Canterbury

BISHOP. Born in Italy in the sixth century. Died at Canterbury (England) around 605. A prior of a Roman monastery who was sent by Saint Gregory the Great (3 September) to preach the gospel to the English. Arrived in England the following year after being ordained a bishop while in Gaul. He evangelised the kingdom of Kent. Venerated by Catholics and Anglicans alike as founder of the metropolitan see of Canterbury.

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2: 2-8 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 35-37


31 May – Visitation

This feast celebrates the Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, as told in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1: 39-56), and her example of faith in God’s word and sensitivity to the Spirit. It was introduced into the Franciscan calendar by Saint Bonaventure (15 July) in the thirteenth century and was extended in 1389 to the entire Latin Church to heal the divisions in the Western Church of the time.

1st Reading: Zephaniah 3: 14-18 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 39-56


01 June – St Justin, Martyr

Born about 100 at Nablus (Palestine). Died about 165 in Rome. After lengthy study of Greek philosophies, he acknowledged Christ as the source of all truth. A lay intellectual, Christian philosopher, and apologist. Remembered for his reasoned defence of Christian belief and practice and for the ultimate witness given by his martyrdom.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-19


02 June – Ss Marcellinus and Peter

MARTYRS. Died in 304, beheaded at Rome under the emperor Diocletian. Reputedly members of the Roman clergy. Remembered with special honour in the Church of Rome, evident in the basilica built over their tombs and their mention in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 6: 4-10 *** Gospel: John 17: 11-19


03 June – St Charles Lwanga and companions

MARTYRS. Died on this day in 1886. Between 1885 and 1887, these twenty-two martyrs were among many newly baptised Catholics and Anglicans who were killed for their faith and virtue in Uganda by a debauched and brutal ruler. They included judges, catechists, soldiers, and teenage pages under the leadership of Charles Lwanga, who was burned alive. Remembered for the heroic calm of their fidelity to Christ.

1st Reading: 2 Maccabees 7: 1-2. 9-14 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12


05 June – St Boniface

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born in Devon (England) about 675. Died in the Netherlands on this day in 754. A monk and teacher who went to evangelise the Germanic peoples. Was ordained bishop and given wide-ranging papal commissions throughout Germany and Gaul. Founded monasteries and established dioceses, presided at synods, and maintained close associations with various emperors. Remembered as a determined missionary and as a Church organiser and reformer whose work shaped the future of Europe. He is buried at his abbey of Fulda (near Frankfurt).

1st Reading: Acts 26: 19-23 *** Gospel: John 10: 11-16


06 June – St Norbert

BISHOP. Born in the Rhineland (Germany) about 1080. Died at Magdeburg on this day in 1134. A cleric in minor orders, he converted from a comfortable life in 1115, was ordained to the presbyterate, and took up a life of poverty. Founded a community of canons at Prémontré (France), austere in discipline and active in pastoral ministry. Later, as archbishop of Magdeburg, he resisted the alienation of Church property. Remembered for his zealous reform of clerical life and for the example of his attachment to the values of the gospel.

1st Reading: Ezekiel 34: 11-16 *** Gospel: Luke 14: 25-33


09 June – St Ephrem

DEACON, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Nisibis (Iraq) about 306. Died at Edessa (Turkey) on this day in 373. A noted teacher, exegete, and theologian; a prolific poet, writer, and composer of liturgical songs. Called the "Harp of the Holy Spirit." Remembered for his poetic and dogmatic works, for his holy and ascetical life, and for his devotion to the Virgin Mary.

1st Reading: Colossians 3: 12-17 *** Gospel: Luke 6: 43-45


11 June – St Barnabas

APOSTLE. It is not known when he died, but according to Eastern and Western tradition his remains were discovered on this day sometime in the fifth century. A Jew from Cyprus and one of the first converts in Jerusalem, a leading member of the Church there, though not one of the twelve. He introduced Saint Paul (29 June) to the twelve and worked with him in Antioch and on missionary work in the Mediterranean world. Championed the Gentiles at the Council of Jerusalem. Remembered as "a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith" (Acts 11: 21).

1st Reading: Acts 11: 21-26; 13: 1-3 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 7-13


13 June – St Anthony of Padua

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Lisbon (Portugal) in 1195. Died at Padua (Italy) on this day in 1231. At first an Augustinian priest and scholar, then became a Franciscan to do missionary work in north Africa but this was thwarted by illness. Instead, he became a teacher of theology and a brilliant popular preacher in southern France and Italy. Remembered and loved as an inspired preacher, a servant of the poor, and a worker of miracles.

1st Reading: Isaiah 61: 1-3 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 1-9


19 June – St Romuald

ABBOT. Born at Ravenna (Italy) in the middle of the tenth century. Died at Val di Castro on this day in 1027. Became a monk after witnessing a violent killing in his family. Promoted strict penance and solitude in the monastic life and established many monasteries and hermitages in Italy, most notably at Camaldoli in Tuscany. Remembered for combining the severe life of a hermit with the Benedictine community rule.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: Luke 14: 25-33


21 June – St Aloysius Gonzaga

RELIGIOUS. Born in Lombardy (Italy) in 1568. Died in Rome on this day in 1591 of the plague, contracted while caring for its victims. Devout and ascetical from the time of his childhood in a family of Italian nobility. Pursued a religious vocation as a Jesuit against enormous family opposition. Remembered for his youthful ideal of perfection.

1st Reading: 1 John 5: 1-5 *** Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-40


22 June – Ss John Fisher and Thomas More

BISHOP, MARTYR. MARTYR. John Fisher: Born at Beverley (England) in 1469. Died at London on this day in 1535. Chancellor at Cambridge and bishop at Rochester, combining diligent pastoral ministry with the defence of Catholic doctrine. Thomas More: Born in London in 1478. Died there for the faith on 6 July 1535. An Oxford scholar, a noted humanist and apologist, an incorruptible judge and Lord Chancellor, a devoted husband and loving father. Drawn into conflict with Henry VIII, both were imprisoned and beheaded for treason. Remembered for their wide learning, for their devotion to the Church, and for their uncompromising integrity and courage. An opportunity to celebrate all the English martyrs, Catholic and Protestant, of the Reformation era. Coming from every walk of life, people rich and poor, married and single, women and men died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or suffered harsh persecution for their faith.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 4: 12-19 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 34-39


23 June – St Paulinus of Nola

BISHOP. Born at Bordeaux (France) about 353. Died at Nola (Italy) on this day in 431. The son of the Roman prefect of Gaul who, after a classical education, had a career in the imperial administration. He and his wife were baptised after the death of their son and gave away their great wealth to the poor and the Church. Ordained a presbyter in Barcelona (Spain) at the demand of the people, and later elected bishop of Nola (Italy). Remembered for his charity and hospitality, for his religious poetry, and for his extensive correspondence with eminent Christians.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 8: 9-15 *** Gospel: Luke 12: 32-34


24 June – Birth of John the Baptist

This feast was observed on this date in the fourth century. It celebrates the holy birth of "the greatest of all the prophets," the one who leapt for joy in his mother’s womb, who prepared the way for Christ, announced his presence, and baptised him in the Jordan River.

1st Reading: Isaiah 49: 1-6 *** 2nd: Acts 13: 22-26 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 57-66. 80


26 June – Josemaria Escriva

PRIEST. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer y Albás (1902-1975) founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness by God and that ordinary life can result in sanctity. Canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who counted Escriva among the great witnesses of Christianity.

1st Reading: Genesis 2:4b-9, 15 *** Gospel: Luke 5:1-11


27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Alexandria (Egypt) about 370. Died there on this day in 444. An able theologian and bishop of his native city, but somewhat confrontational in attacking non-Christians and heretics. Presided at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and defended orthodox Christianity against Nestorius. The council approved the title Theotokos for Mary, thereby affirming Mary’s motherhood of God. Remembered for his ardent defence of orthodoxy, even at the cost of provoking condemnation and schism.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 1-5 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-19


28 June – St Irenaeus

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born probably at Smyrna (Turkey) about 130. Died at Lyons (France) about 200. A pupil of Saint Polycarp (23 February) who became a presbyter and bishop of Lyons, the principal city of Gaul. Intervened in Rome for patience and reconciliation in Church disputes. Among the first theologians of the Western Church, he refuted gnosticism and further developed the theology of the incarnation. Remembered for his fidelity to apostolic tradition.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 2: 22-26 *** Gospel: John 17: 20-26


29 June – Ss Peter and Paul

APOSTLES. Died as martyrs at Rome under Nero, between 64-67. This pre-eminent feast day of the city of Rome has been observed on this date since the mid-third century. It commemorates the martyrdoms of Peter the "chief of the apostles" and Paul the "apostle to the Gentiles." Remembered for their faith, their courage, and their leadership during the difficult days of the birth of the Church.

1st Reading: Acts 12: 1-11 *** 2nd: 2 Timothy 4: 6-8. 17-18 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19


30 June – First Martyrs of Rome

Blamed by the emperor Nero for the great fire which devastated Rome in 64, many Christians in addition to Saint Peter and Saint Paul (29 June) were savagely killed, victims of cruel jealousy. Remembered for their endurance.

1st Reading: Romans (8: 31-39 *** Gospel: Matthew 24: 4-13


03 July – St Thomas

APOSTLE. Thomas, called the "Twin," was one of the twelve chosen by Jesus. Remembered for his initial disbelief in the resurrection and his subsequent proclamation of faith upon seeing the resurrected Christ: "My Lord and my God" (John 20: 28). An early tradition venerates him as the Apostle of India.

1st Reading: Ephesians 2: 19-22 *** Gospel: John 20: 24-29


04 July – St Elizabeth of Portugal

Born in 1271. Died at Estremoz (Portugal) on this day in 1336. A princess of Aragon and a grand-niece of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (17 November). Upon being widowed, she gave away her wealth and joined the Third Order of Saint Francis. Remembered as a peacemaker and for assisting the poor and sick.

1st Reading: 1 John 3: 14-18 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 31-46


05 July – St Anthony Zaccaria

PRIEST. Born at Cremona (Italy) in 1502. Died there on this day in 1539. Initially a medical doctor, he was ordained to the presbyterate and went on to found an order of priests (Barnabites) and an order of women religious (Angelicals). Noted for his devotion to Saint Paul (29 June), to the eucharist, and to the crucifixion. Remembered for his concern for renewal, his personal austerity, and the apostolic zeal that led to his premature death.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 13-14; 2: 1-3 *** Gospel: Mark 10: 13-16


06 July – St Maria Goretti

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Born at Corinaldo (Italy) in 1890. Died on this day in 1902. Her death at the age of eleven, a few weeks after her first communion, resulted from knife wounds sustained during an attempted rape. Remembered for her innocence and simplicity, for her devotion to God, and for forgiving her attacker on her deathbed.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 6: 13-15. 17-20 *** Gospel: John 12: 24-26


09 July – St Augustine Zhao Rong and companions

MARTYRS. Diocesan priest Augustin Zhao Rong (1746-1815) is one of 120 people martyred in China between 1648 and 1930. The 87 Chinese include children and parents, catechists and seminarians, and four priests. The 33 Europeans were missionary bishops, priests and religious. Remembered for their steadfast faith before cruel persecutions.

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 28-33


11 July – St Benedict

ABBOT. Born at Norcia (Italy) about 480. Died at Monte Cassino about 547. After studies in Rome he became a hermit at Subiaco, where many sought his counsel, and then founded the monastery at Monte Cassino. Remembered for his widely influential monastic rule, combining work and prayer, and for his charity and moderation.

1st Reading: Proverbs 2: 1-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 19: 27-29


13 July – St Henry

Born about 973. Died on this day in 1024. Duke of Bavaria and then Holy Roman Emperor, the husband of Saint Kunigunde, both of whom are buried in the cathedral he built at Bamberg (Germany). Remembered for combining his temporal leadership with piety and for supporting reform within the Church.

1st Reading: Micah (6: 6-8 *** Gospel: Matthew 7: 21-27


14 July – St Camillus de Lellis

PRIEST. Born at Bucchianico (Italy) in 1550. Died at Rome on this day in 1614. A soldier and a gambler when he experienced conversion. Eventually ordained a priest after laying the foundations for the Servants of the Sick (Camillians), a religious community devoted to the care of the sick. Afflicted with lifelong ulcers. Remembered for his special love for and service of the sick.

1st Reading: 1 John 3: 14-18 *** Gospel: John 15: 9-17


15 July – St Bonaventure

BISHOP, RELIGIOUS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Bagnoregio (Italy) about 1218. Died at Lyons (France) on this day in 1274. He joined the Franciscans when studying in Paris and eventually became minister general of the order. Later appointed cardinal-bishop of Albano and died assisting Pope Gregory X during the Council of Lyons. Known as the "Seraphic Doctor." Remembered as a teacher, for his extensive biblical and mystical writings, and for his holiness, gentleness, and compassion.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 14-19 *** Gospel: Matthew 23: 8-12


16 July – Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The cult of Mary under this title originated in the fourteenth century and came to be observed throughout the West during the eighteenth century. Commemorates the Virgin Mary as associated with Mount Carmel (Israel), site of the prophet Elijah’s altar to the one true God and of the twelfth century eremitical forerunners of the Carmelites. Mary is celebrated on this day as a model of reflection, solitude, and prayer.

1st Reading: Zechariah 2: 14-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 12: 46-50


20 July – St Apollonaris

BISHOP, MARTYR. Probably first century. Bishop of Ravenna (Italy) where a church bears his name. A fifth-century sermon identifies him as a martyr. Remembered as a link to the Apostolic age.

1st Reading: Hebrews 10: 32-36 *** Gospel: John 12: 24-26


21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Brindisi (Italy) in 1559. Died at Lisbon (Portugal) on this day in 1619. A presbyter in the Capuchin order and later its minister general. A noted biblical scholar and linguist, charged with preaching to Lutherans. He organised Christian princes against the incursions of the Ottomans. Remembered for his zealous teaching and promotion of the Catholic reform that followed the Council of Trent.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 1-2. 5-7 *** Gospel: Mark 4: 1-10. 13-20


22 July – St Mary Magdalene

APOSTLE. A faithful disciple of Christ, Mary ministered to his needs after having seven devils cast out from her. Witnessed his crucifixion, was present at his burial, and was the first to see the risen Lord. Commissioned by Christ to proclaim the good news of his resurrection to the apostles (John 20: 17-18). Remembered in the East as the "Apostle to the Apostles."

1st Reading: Song of Songs (3: 1-4 *** Gospel: John 20: 1-2. 11-18


23 July – St Bridget of Sweden

RELIGIOUS. Born in Sweden about 1303. Died at Rome on this day in 1373. A devoted wife and the mother of eight children, one of whom was also reputed a saint (Catherine of Sweden 1331-1381) though not canonised. After being widowed, Bridget founded a religious order (Bridgettines). Remembered for her asceticism, her dedication to reform within the Church, and her lifelong mystical experience of Christ. Bridget of Sweden was canonised by Boniface IX in 1391.

1st Reading: Galatians 2: 19-20 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


24 July – St Sarbel Makhluf

PRIEST. Born on 8 May 1828 at Beka’Kafra (Lebanon). Died on Christmas Eve 1898 at Annaya. Maronite monk, whose religious name is Sarbel or Charbel, received a good education and was ordained priest. Spent his last 23 years as a hermit. Remembered for his ascetic poverty, solitary contemplation and great devotion to the Eucharist.

1st Reading: Ezekiel 3: 16-21 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 35-10: 1


25 July – St James

APOSTLE. Born at Bethsaida in Galilee, a son of Zebedee. Died about 44, the first apostle to die, beheaded by Herod. A fisherman, summoned by Jesus together with his brother Saint John (27 December). They were called the "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3: 17). Remembered as a favoured apostle: with Saint Peter (29 June) and Saint John he was present at the transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and the agony in the garden.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15 *** Gospel: Matthew 20: 20-28


26 July – Ss Joachim and Ann

PARENTS OF THE VIRGIN MARY. Joachim and Ann are named as Mary’s parents in a late second century tradition. Churches dedicated to Saint Ann are found in Jerusalem and Constantinople from the middle of the sixth century. The feast of Saint Ann was kept in Rome by the eighth century, that of Saint Joachim from the fifteenth century. The feast honours the parents of the Virgin Mary and grandparents of the Lord.

1st Reading: Sirach 44: 1. 10-15 *** Gospel: Matthew 13: 16-17


29 July – St Martha

The sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany. Honoured for her confession of faith in the Lord in which she beseeched him to restore life to her dead brother (John 11: 27). Remembered too for her hospitality to Jesus and her concern for the details of service to guests.

1st Reading: 1 John 4: 7-16 *** Gospel: John 11: 19-27 *** Gospel (Option 2): Luke 10: 38-42


30 July – St Peter Chrysologus

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born late in the fourth century at Imola (Italy). Died on 31 July about 450. Bishop of Ravenna, known as "Chrysologus" (golden-worded). Remembered for his eloquent sermons, his loyalty to the bishop of Rome, and his dedication pastoral service.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 8-12 *** Gospel: Luke 6: 43-45


31 July – St Ignatius of Loyola

PRIEST. Born at Loyola (Spain) in 1491. Died on this day at Rome in 1556. A Spanish nobleman trained in diplomacy and the use of arms, wounded in battle against the French. The experience of conversion while convalescing led him to write the Spiritual Exercises. Then founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and became its first superior general. Remembered for his loyalty to the Church and its renewal, his ministry to the marginal, his concern for education, and his dedication "to the greater glory of God," the motto of the Jesuits.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 10: 31 – 11: 1 *** Gospel: Luke 14: 25-33


01 August – St Alphonsus Ligouri

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Naples (Italy) in 1696. Died at Nocera on this day in 1787. A lawyer before ordination. After founding the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), he was for thirteen years bishop of Sant’ Agata dei Goti, but resigned due to ill health. He coped with much internal conflict within the congregation and external opposition. Remembered as a popular preacher and devotional writer and as an influential master of moral theology.

1st Reading: Romans (8: 1-4 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-19


02 August – St Eusebius of Vercelli

BISHOP. Born in Sardinia in the early fourth century. Died at Vercelli (Italy) in 371. Educated in Rome, a lector in Vercelli, and then from 345 its first bishop. He was exiled by the emperor Constantius because of his opposition to Arianism, suffered many hardships, but was eventually restored to his diocese. Remembered for his preaching, his doctrinal orthodoxy, and his defence of Saint Athanasius (2 May).

1st Reading: 1 John 5: 1-5 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12


02 August – St Peter Julian Eymard

PRIEST. Born in La Mure d’ Isère (France) in 1811. Died there on 1 August 1868. A presbyter of the diocese of Grenoble who joined the Society of Mary (Marists) in 1839. Founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (Blessed Sacrament Fathers) in 1856, and in 1858, with Marguerite Guillot, the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament. Both congregations had as their special purpose promotion of perpetual exposition and adoration of the Eucharist. Remembered for his lifelong devotion to Christ’s eucharistic presence and for promoting eucharistic adoration among the people.

1st Reading: Ezekiel 3: 16-21 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 35 – 10: 1


03 August – St Dominic

PRIEST. Born at Calaruega (Spain) about 1170. Died at Bologna (Italy) on 6 August 1221. An Augustinian canon noted for prayer, penance, and an exemplary life. In a time of violent crusades he sought the reconciliation of Albigensian heretics through instruction and prayer. Established the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) to revitalise the Church through study, teaching, preaching, and prayer. Remembered as a preacher, organiser, and patron of learning.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 1-10 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 57-62


04 August – St John Vianney

PRIEST. Born near Lyons (France) in 1786. Died at Ars on this day in 1859. Overcame various obstacles, including little education and lack of means, to be ordained a priest. Served in a remote parish as the Curé of Ars, where his sanctity attracted thousands of visitors. Remembered for his preaching and confessional counsel and is honoured as a model for parish clergy.

1st Reading: Ezekiel 3: 16-21 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 35-10: 1


05 August – Dedication of St Mary Major

This major stational church of the ancient Roman liturgy, erected in the fourth century, was rebuilt and dedicated by Sixtus III following the proclamation at the Council of Ephesus (431) of the doctrine of Mary, Mother of God. It is considered the oldest church dedicated to our Lady in the Western world.

1st Reading: Revelation 21: 1-5 *** Gospel: Luke 11: 27-28


06 August – Transfiguration

This feast had its origin in the East in the fourth century as the commemoration of the dedication of the church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. It was observed in the West from the eighth century and extended to the entire Western Church in the fifteenth century. The feast celebrates the divine radiance shining in Christ’s human flesh and God’s glory shining forth in the lives of Christians.

1st Reading: Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14 *** 2nd: 2 Peter 1: 16-19 *** Gospel (Year A): Matthew 17: 1-9


07 August – Pope St Sixtus & Companions

MARTYRS. Died on 6 August 258, martyred the year after his election as bishop of Rome during the persecution of the emperor Valerian. According to his contemporary, Saint Cyprian (16 September), he was "not so much killed as crowned," along with four deacons, while addressing a congregation. Remembered as one of the most popular Roman martyrs, and mentioned in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 28-33


07 August – St Cajetan

PRIEST. Born at Vicenza (Italy) in 1480. Died at Naples on this day in 1547. A distinguished theologian and lawyer before becoming a presbyter. Established confraternities of clergy and laity to work among the sick and the poor, and founded the Congregation of Clerks Regular (Theatines) to encourage reform among diocesan clergy. Remembered for

1st Reading: Sirach 2: 7-13 *** Gospel: Luke 12: 32-34


08 August – St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

RELIGIOUS. Born in Melbourne (Australia) in 1842. Died in Sydney on this day in 1909. Took the religious name Mary of the Cross. Responding to the isolation of colonial families, she pioneered a new form of religious life to provide education for their children. She and her sisters shared the life of the poor and the itinerant, offering special care to destitute women and children. Remembered for her eagerness to discover God’s will in all things, for her charity in the face of calumny, and for her abiding trust in God’s providence.

1st Reading: 1 Kings 17: 7-16 *** 2nd: Colossians 3: 12-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 6: 25-34


09 August – St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Born on 12 October 1891 in Wroclaw (Poland). Died on this day in 1942 at Auschwitz/Oswiecim. Edith Stein, born of Jewish parents, became an outstanding philosopher, author and teacher, then discovered Christianity and Teresa of Avila, and so was baptised in 1922. Became a Discalced Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. When the Dutch bishops protested the Nazi persecution of the Jews, she was deported to Auschwitz along with all Dutch Catholics of Jewish extraction. Remembered as a victim of anti-Semitism, a scholar, contemplative and martyr for whom the cross is the key to spiritual understanding.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: Matthew 19: 27-29


10 August – St Lawrence

DEACON, MARTYR. Died at Rome on this day in 258, four days after Saint Sixtus II (7 August), with whom he was closely associated. Honoured for his almsgiving. Became, after the apostles, the most celebrated martyr of the Church of Rome. His cult spread throughout the Church from the fourth century. Remembered in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon), and in five ancient Roman churches dedicated to him.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 9: 6-10 *** Gospel: John 12: 24-26


11 August – St Clare

VIRGIN. Born at Assisi (Italy) in 1193 or 1194. Died there on this day in 1253. From a well-to-do family, Clare embraced an evangelical way of life after hearing the preaching of Saint Francis of Assisi (4 October). Founded the order of the Poor Ladies, now the Poor Clares. Remembered for her life of extreme poverty, austerity, contemplation, and charity.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: Matthew 19: 27-29


12 August – St Jane Frances de Chantal

RELIGIOUS. Born in Dijon (France) in 1572. Died at Moulins on 13 December 1641. Married Baron Christophe de Chantal at the age of twenty, but after nine years was left a widow with four children. Her friendship with Saint Francis de Sales (24 January) led to the establishment of the Congregation of the Visitation, which offered an alternative form of religious life for women, less severe in its ascetic discipline. Remembered for her administrative ability and for her visits to the

1st Reading: Proverbs 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31 *** Gospel: Mark 3: 31-35


13 August – Ss Pontian and Hippolytus

PONTIAN, POPE, MARTYR, AND HIPPOLYTUS, PRIEST, MARTYR. Died some time in the fourth century after mistreatment in exile and brought back to Rome for burial on this day. Remembered as seekers of the truth. Pontian: Bishop of his native Rome in 230 but exiled to Sardinia, where he abdicated the papacy during the persecution of the emperor Maximinus in 235. Hippolytus: A conservative theologian and presbyter who objected to the teaching of one pope and the election of the next and who, in 217, went into schism. Regarded as the author of the Apostolic Tradition, whose eucharistic prayer forms the basis of Eucharistic Prayer II in the Roman Missal.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 4: 12-19 *** Gospel: John 15: 18-21


14 August – St Maximilian Mary Kolbe

PRIEST, MARTYR. Born near Lódz (Poland) in 1894. Died at Auschwitz.Oswiecim on this day in 1941. A Conventual Franciscan priest. Used the printing press in Poland and in Japan to promote devotion to the Virgin Mary. Interned in Auschwitz in 1941, he endured hard labour and offered his life in place of a fellow prisoner who had a family. Condemned to death by starvation and finally killed by lethal injection. Remembered for his energy and poverty, his compassionate ministry, and his self-sacrifice.

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** (option) 1 John 3: 14-18 *** Gospel: John 15: 12-16


15 August – Assumption Vigil

This feast originated in Jerusalem before the fifth century as the "Falling-Asleep of the Mother of God." It was adopted in Rome in the mid-seventh century and was renamed the "Assumption" in the next century. It celebrates Mary’s passing over, body and soul, from this world into the glory of her risen Son.

1st Reading: Revelation 11: 19; 12: 1-6, 10 *** 2nd: 1 Corinthians 15: 20-26 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 39-56


16 August – St Stephen of Hungary

Born in Hungary about 975. Died at Szekesfehervar on 15 August 1038. As Duke of the Magyars, he established dioceses and monasteries and used state power to enforce Christianity. Crowned king of Hungary about 1000, with papal approval. Remembered for making Christianity the religion of the nation and for his justice to the oppressed and

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 6: 3-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 14-30


19 August – St John Eudes

PRIEST. Born in Normandy (France) in 1601. Died at Caen on this day in 1680. Originally an Oratorian, he was active in preaching missions and in caring for the sick. Founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists) which is dedicated to the formation of presbyters, and helped to begin a community of women religious (now known as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd) to care for wayward women. Remembered also for his promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 14-19 *** Gospel: Matthew 11: 25-30


20 August – St Bernard

ABBOT, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born near Dijon (France) in 1090. Died at Clairvaux on this day in 1153. Joined the impoverished, reformed abbey of Citeaux at the age of 21. Soon became the founder and abbot of Clairvaux and pioneered the reform and expansion of the Cistercian Order. A prolific writer on theology and spirituality, an eloquent preacher, and an adviser of popes and kings. Remembered as the most influential churchman of his age, for his inspirational leadership, and for his devotion to the humanity of Christ and to the Blessed Virgin.

1st Reading: Sirach 15: 1-6 *** Gospel: John 17: 20-26


21 August – Pope St Pius X

Born Giuseppe Sarto at Riese (Italy) in 1835. Died at Rome on 20 August 1914. Elected pope in 1903, after being bishop of Mantua and patriarch of Venice. In pursuit of his motto, "to renew all things in Christ", he initiated reforms of the liturgy and of canon law and took stern measures against "modernist" trends in theology. His efforts to avert world war were frustrated. Remembered for his poverty and for his promotion of liturgical participation, especially of frequent communion, to which he admitted young children.

1st Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2: 2-8 *** Gospel: John 21: 15-17


22 August – Queenship of Mary

This feast was established by Pius XII in 1955 and was celebrated on 31 May. Since 1969 it has been observed on 22 August to stress its relationship to the Assumption (15 August): taken up into glory, Mary became queen of heaven and earth.

1st Reading: Isaiah 9: 1-6 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38


23 August – St Rose of Lima

VIRGIN. Born at Lima (Peru) in 1586. Died there on 24 August 1617. Chose not to marry, joined the Dominican Third Order and modelled herself on Saint Catherine of Siena (29 April). A recluse and mystic. Remembered for her radiant love of God and for the severe penance and hardships she endured during serious illness. The first saint of the Americas to be canonised (1671).

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 10: 17 – 11: 2 *** Gospel: Matthew 13: 44-46


24 August – St Bartholomew

APOSTLE. Named in the list of apostles and generally identified with Nathaniel of Cana, the "Israelite without guile" (John 1: 47) who was led to Jesus by the apostle Philip (3 May). Said to have preached the gospel in India and in Armenia, where tradition indicates he was martyred.

1st Reading: Revelation 21: 9-14 *** Gospel: John 1: 45-51


25 August – St Louis

Born at Poissy (France) in 1214. Died near Tunis (Tunisia) on this day in 1270. As Louis IX, he was a devoted husband and the father of eleven children whom he helped to raise in the Christian faith. Regarded as a model Christian king at a time of great cultural achievement, but led two disastrous crusades, on the second of which he died of typhoid. Remembered for his impartial justice, for his care of the poor and the sick, and for honouring his word.

1st Reading: Isaiah 58: 6-11 *** Gospel: Matthew 22: 35-40


25 August – St Joseph Calasanz

PRIEST. Born in Aragon (Spain) in 1557. Died at Rome on this day in 1648. A lawyer, theologian, and presbyter who gave away much of his family fortune and devoted himself to providing free education for poor children in Rome. Founded the Clerks Regular of the Christian Schools (Piarists) and suffered many trials in later life at the hands of jealous colleagues and Church authorities. Remembered especially for his patience in the midst of suffering.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 31 – 13: 13 *** Gospel: Matthew 18: 1-5


27 August – St Monica

Probably born at Tagaste (Algeria) about 331. Died at Ostia (Italy) in 387. Before her marriage her faith bore fruit in her recovery from a drinking problem and later helped bring her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Undertook many years of penance and prayer for her brilliant but wayward son Saint Augustine (28 August). Following his conversion and baptism in Milan, she died at the beginning of her journey home to Africa. Remembered for her parental devotion, her patience, and her persistence in prayer.

1st Reading: Sirach 26: 1-4, 13-16 *** Gospel: Luke 7: 11-17


28 August – St Augustine

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Tagaste (Algeria) in 354. Died at Hippo (Tunisia) in 430. Though enrolled by his mother Monica as a catechumen, he renounced the Christian faith and espoused Manicheism. Taught in Carthage, Rome, and Milan. Lived for fifteen years with a woman who remains unknown and with whom he had a son, named Adeodatus. Baptised in 387, together with his son, after a long inner struggle and under the influence of Saint Ambrose (7 December) and the prayers of his mother, Saint Monica (27 August). Bishop of Hippo for thirty-four years. Lived a communal life with his clergy and served the many needs of his people at a time of political and cultural collapse. Remembered as a model pastor and as a preacher and writer whose thought has had an enduring influence in Christian history.

1st Reading: 1 John 4: 7-16 *** Gospel: Matthew 23: 8-12


29 August – Beheading of John the Baptist

The execution of John the Baptist is recorded in the gospels (Matthew 14; Mark 6) and is placed by the historian Josephus at the fortress of Machaerus near the Dead Sea. As early as the fifth century, a commemoration of John the Baptist was kept on this day at Jerusalem. It probably marks the anniversary of the dedication of the basilica in his honour at Sebaste (Palestine) where, according to tradition, he was buried.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 1: 17-19 *** Gospel: Mark 6: 17-29


03 September – St Gregory the Great

POPE, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born about 540. Died in Rome in 604. While prefect of Rome, he founded monasteries there and in Sicily and himself became a monk. Called to be a deacon of Rome by Benedict I, and then sent as papal legate to Constantinople. Elected pope in 590. Reorganised Church life and administration in a time of crisis, sponsored liturgical reform, and initiated the evangelisation of the English. Remembered also for his extensive writings on pastoral care, spirituality, and morals, and for his self-designation as "servant of the servants of God."

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 1-2. 5-7 *** Gospel: Luke 22: 24-30


08 September – Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast originated in Jerusalem about the sixth century, a development of the feast of the dedication of the church of Saint Anne, built in Jerusalem "where Mary was born." Observed in Rome in the seventh century, it was later used to determine the date of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Because of her importance in salvation history, Mary’s birthday is celebrated as well as those of her son Jesus the Lord, and of Saint John the Baptist (24 June).

1st Reading: Micah (5: 1-4 *** (Option 2): Romans 8: 28-30 *** Gospel: Matthew 1: 1-16. 18-23


09 September – St Peter Claver

PRIEST. Born at Verdú (Spain) in 1580. Died in Cartagena (Colombia) on 8 September 1654. Jesuit who felt called to mission work in the New World. Sent to Colombia in 1610 and ordained a presbyter in 1616 in Cartagena, a major port of entry for slaves brought from Africa. For the next thirty-four years, in the face of opposition from slave owners, he met the slave ships with a band of helpers and interpreters and ministered to the physical and spiritual needs of the slaves, catechising and baptising thousands. Died after suffering four years of debilitating illness. Peter called himself "the slave of the slaves" and is remembered for his total devotion to their needs and dignity.

1st Reading: Isaiah 52: 7-10 *** Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20


12 September – Holy Name of Mary

The commemoration began in Spain in 1513. The feast was extended to the entire Church following the defeat of Muslim armies at Vienna on this day in 1683 by a Polish army fighting under the name of Mary. By her name, Christians refer to the person of the Virgin Mary, mother of God and mother of the Church.

1st Reading: Micah 5: 1-4 *** Gospel: Matthew 1: 18-23


13 September – St John Chrysostom

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Antioch about 347. Died in exile in Comana (Turkey) on 14 September 407. After some years as a hermit, he was a priest at Antioch, where his brilliant preaching and catechesis earned him the sobriquet "Chrysostom" (golden-mouthed). Appointed patriarch of Constantinople in 397. His reforms, preaching, and ascetic life led to opposition from court and clergy and eventual banishment. Remembered for his simplicity of life, his care of the poor, the courage of his witness, and his effective preaching of the Scriptures.

1st Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-7. 11-13 *** Gospel: Mark 4: 1-10. 13-20


14 September – Exaltation of the Cross

Originally this day commemorated the dedication of Constantine’s Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in the fourth century; after the celebration, the wood of the cross was venerated. The feast spread in the West after the recovery of the relics of the cross from Persia in the seventh century. A feast of the Lord, it celebrates the "lifting up" of the Son of Man on the cross, into glory, and the paradox of the cross as a sign of humiliation and death, yet the source of victory for all people.

1st Reading: Numbers 21: 4-9 *** 2nd: Philippians 2: 6-11 *** Gospel: John 3: 13-17


15 September – Our Lady of Sorrows

This commemoration originated in the medieval devotion to the seven sorrows of Mary. Approved for the Servite order in the seventeenth century, it was extended to the whole Western Church in 1814 by Pius VII in thanksgiving for his release from captivity under Napoleon. In the light of Simeon’s prophecy about a sword piercing Mary’s soul (Luke 2: 35), the feast celebrates Mary, first disciple and first to share in the pain and triumph of the cross.

1st Reading: Hebrews 5: 7-9 *** Gospel: John 19: 25-27 *** Gospel (Option 2): Luke 2: 33-35


16 September – Ss Cornelius and Cyprian

POPE, MARTYR. BISHOP, MARTYR. Cornelius: Died in exile in Civitavecchia (Italy) in 253, two years after his election as bishop of Rome. Supported by Cyprian, he defended the power of the Church to reconcile those who had lapsed under persecution.
Cyprian: Born at the beginning of the third century. Died in Carthage (Tunisia) on 14 September 258. A lawyer, teacher, and adult convert. Elected bishop of Carthage in 249 and led this Church in times of persecution. Took a moderate position on the reconciliation of the lapsed but, like other African bishops, demanded the rebaptism of heretics even though their baptism was recognised by the Church of Rome. Both remembered as compassionate pastors who developed the Church’s teaching and practice of reconciliation. Antagonists in theological debate, they were united in sharing the crown of martyrdom and are named together in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15 *** Gospel: John 17: 11-19


17 September – St Robert Bellarmine

BISHOP, RELIGIOUS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Tuscany (Italy) in 1542. Died in Rome on this day in 1621. A Jesuit priest and professor of theology at Louvain and Rome. Became a cardinal and then archbishop of Capua (Italy). Returned to Rome three years later as a theological adviser to Paul V. An outstanding theologian, he expounded Church teaching in catechisms for the faithful and defended it comprehensively against Protestant positions. Remembered for his dedication to the truth, his charity in disputation, and his austerity of life.

1st Reading: Wisdom 7: 7-10. 15-16 *** Gospel: Matthew 7: 21-29


19 September – St Januarius

BISHOP, MARTYR. Died in the great persecution of the emperor Diocletian at the beginning of the fourth century, said to have been martyred near Naples (Italy). Bishop of Benevento. Remembered since the Middle Ages by a relic of his blood which has been specially venerated in Naples. In this day’s Office of Readings, Saint Augustine (28 August) recalls that we are saved by the blood of Christ, and in this common redemption he sees the source of strength for the ministry of all believers.

1st Reading: Hebrews 10: 32-36 *** Gospel: John 12: 24-26


20 September – Ss Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang and companions

MARTYRS. Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korean presbyter and Paul Chong Hasang a catechist and lay apostle. After more than two centuries of lay leadership, the Church in Korea was subject to fierce persecutions between 1839 and 1867. This feast commemorates 103 of the numerous Korean martyrs, representatives from all walks of life: men and women, married and unmarried, the elderly, teenagers and children, missionary bishops and presbyters. Remembered for their fearless witness in the face of torture and death.

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 23-26


21 September – St Matthew

APOSTLE. Matthew, also known as Levi, was a Jew who collected taxes for the Romans at Capernaum in Galilee. Here Jesus met him and called him to be an apostle (Luke 5: 27-28). Venerated as the author of the gospel which highlights Jesus’ role as Messiah and underlines the presence of the kingdom of God in the Church.

1st Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-7. 11-13 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 9-13


23 September – Pio of Pietrelcina

Born on 25 May 1887 in Pietrelcina (Italy). Died on this day in 1968 at San Giovanni Rotondo (Italy). Raised in a deeply religious rural home, Francesco Forgione became Padre Pio when he was ordained in the Capuchin order in 1910. A mystic who received the marks of the stigmata in 1918, a renowned holy man, and a charity worker who founded a hospital (the House for the Relief of Suffering). His ascetic life of pain led to special compassion for the suffering. Remembered as an extraordinary confessor and spiritual director.

1st Reading: Isaiah 58: 6-11 *** Gospel: Matthew 22: 35-40


26 September – Ss Cosmas and Damian

MARTYRS. Died probably in Syria. Widely venerated as martyrs in the fifth and sixth centuries when basilicas were dedicated to them in Constantinople and Rome and when their names were included in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon). Later legend identified them as twin brothers who practiced medicine without charge to their patients.

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 28-33


27 September – St Vincent de Paul

PRIEST. Born in Gascony (France) in 1581. Died in Paris on this day in 1660. A parish priest who worked for the apostolic renewal of the clergy, founding the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists) for missionary work in rural areas and for the formation of clergy. Committed above all to the oppressed and disadvantaged, he founded the Daughters of Charity with Louise de Marillac to work with the needy.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31 *** Gospel: Matthew 9: 35-37


28 September – St Wenceslaus

MARTYR. Born about 907 in Bohemia (Czech Republic). Died there about 929. Raised a Christian by his grandmother, ruled Bohemia with Christian principles, worked for the education of his people, and sought harmony with neighbouring Germanic peoples. Opposition to these policies led to his murder at the hands of his brother’s followers. Remembered as the earliest Slav saint for his selflessness in promoting the Christian faith.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 3: 14-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 34-39


28 September – Ss Lawrence Ruiz and companions

MARTYRS. This commemoration marks the witness of sixteen among the many martyred in Nagasaki (Japan) between 1633 and 1637. They include Lawrence Ruiz, a Filipino husband and father, together with other associates of the Dominican order, Asians and Europeans, lay women and men, religious and presbyters. Remembered as courageous missionaries who sowed abundant seeds of the Christian faith in the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan and who remained fearless in the face of death.

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 23-26


29 September – Ss Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

ARCHANGELS. The cult of Michael, Gabriel and Raphael began in the East. In the West, this day first marked the dedication of a fifth century church of Saint Michael in Rome. This festival of Michaelmas came to be very popular and widely celebrated in medieval Europe. Raphael and Gabriel were added to the Roman calendar in the twentieth century, and the three are now celebrated together. In the Scriptures (for example, Revelation 12: 7-9, Luke 1: 26-38, Tobit 3: 16-25), each of the three angels is named as a messenger of God, entrusted with special divine missions on earth.

1st Reading: Daniel 7: 9-10. 13-14 *** Gospel: John 1: 47-51


30 September – St Jerome

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born about 340 at Strido on the Adriatic coast. Died in Bethlehem on this day in 420. Baptised in Rome while studying the classics, became a hermit in Syria for a time and was ordained a priest. Later retained as papal secretary by Saint Damasus (11 December). Began work on a new Latin translation of the Bible, known as the Vulgate. Finally settling in Bethlehem where he founded monasteries, he devoted himself to studying the Scriptures, writing, and teaching. Often irascible and intolerant, he is remembered for his asceticism and scholarship and, above all, for his incomparable service to the word of God.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 3: 14-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 13: 47-52


01 October – St Therese of the Child Jesus

VIRGIN, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Alençon (France) in 1873. Died of tuberculosis at Lisieux on 30 September 1897. From a devout family, she entered a Carmelite monastery at fifteen, where she embraced the suffering of her ill-health with love and in service to the missionary spread of the gospel. Known through her popular autobiography and loved for her unaffected simplicity. Remembered for her humble obedience and her fidelity to ordinary duties as the path to sanctity.

1st Reading: Isaiah 66: 10-14 *** Gospel: Matthew 18: 1-5


02 October – Holy Guardian Angels

This feast originated in Portugal early in the sixteenth century and has figured in the general calendar since the late seventeenth century. It is based on the belief that God assigns everyone an angel to guard body and soul, an expression of God’s personal care for each individual. A similar belief is also found in Jewish and other religious thought. The feast associates the human race with the eternal song of praise in heaven (Matthew 18: 10).

1st Reading: Exodus 23: 20-23 *** Gospel: Matthew 18: 1-5. 10


04 October – St Francis of Assisi

Born in Assisi (Italy) in 1181 or 1182. Died nearby on 3 October 1226. The carefree son of a wealthy merchant who gave up his inheritance to embrace utter poverty. Under a simple gospel rule, he and his Friars Minor were authorised to be mendicant preachers. His "Canticle of the Sun" captures his lyrical spirit and sense of oneness with all creatures. An outstanding example of the beatitude "Blessed are the poor in spirit." At the end of his life he bore in his flesh the marks of Christ’s suffering. Remembered for preaching the poor and crucified Christ in both word and deed.

1st Reading: Galatians 6: 14-18 *** Gospel: Matthew 11: 25-30


06 October – St Bruno

PRIEST. Born in Cologne (Germany) about 1032. Died in Calabria (Italy) on this day in 1101. Professor at the cathedral school of Rheims, appointed chancellor of the diocese who helped to reform the clergy. Founded the Carthusian order of hermits at Chartreuse near Grenoble. Called by his former pupil Urban II to assist in Rome for a time, he subsequently established a second Charterhouse in Calabria. Remembered especially for the poverty, solitude, and penance.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 57-62


07 October – Our Lady of the Rosary

This commemoration was established in 1573 in thanksgiving for a Christian victory over the Ottoman forces at Lepanto. It entered the general calendar in the eighteenth century. It is a memorial of the Virgin Mary as honoured in the rosary, a form of prayer combining the salutation of the angel (Luke 1: 28) with meditation on the saving mysteries of Christ. Originally the rosary was the laity’s "psalter," the Hail Marys replacing the 150 psalms.

1st Reading: Acts 1: 12-14 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38


09 October – Ss Denis and companions

MARTYRS. Died in Paris in the middle of the third century. According to a sixth century account, he was sent from Rome as the first bishop of Paris, where he was subsequently beheaded together with a presbyter and a deacon. His popularity flowered in the ninth century, when he was confused with a fifth century mystical author who in turn was taken to be Dionysius the Areopagite, disciple of Saint Paul (Acts 17: 34). Remembered as founder of the local Church of Paris.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 6: 4-10 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-16


09 October – St John Leonardi

PRIEST. Born at Lucca (Italy) about 1541. Died helping the sick in Rome on this day in 1609. Active in the years immediately after the Council of Trent, publishing a catechism and establishing a confraternity of Christian doctrine. Helped form the seminary of the Propagation of the Faith in Rome and founded a local congregation of diocesan presbyters for the reform of clerical life. Remembered for his vigorous encouragement of the reforms of the Council.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 1-2.5-7 *** Gospel: Luke 5: 1-11


11 October - St John XXIII (Pope)

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (1881-1963), born in Sotto il Monte in Lombardy, was ordained priest in 1904 and served (among other places) as nuncio in France, before becoming Patriarch of Venice. He served as pope from 1958 to 1963 and in his final year issued an urgent call for international peace with his encyclical "Pacem in Terris"(1963). He surprised many by calling the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) but did not live to see it to completion. His passion for equality is summed up in his famous statement, "We were all made in God's image, and we are all Godly alike." John XXIII was canonized on in 2014.

Common of Pastors: e.g 2 Tim 1:1-8 *** Gospel: Luke 12:35-40


14 October – St Callistus I

POPE, MARTYR. Died in a civil disturbance in Rome about 222 and venerated as a martyr since the fourth century. Born a slave and served a sentence as a convict. Afterwards ordained a deacon and eventually elected bishop of Rome. Rigorist opponents accused him of misunderstanding the doctrine of the incarnation and of laxity in Church discipline. Remembered for encouraging the reconciliation of sinners and for his pastoral solicitude for those preparing to marry.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4 *** Gospel: Luke 22: 24-30


15 October – St Teresa of Jesus

VIRGIN, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Avila (Spain) in 1515. Died at Alba de Tormes in 1582. Left her aristocratic family for the Carmelite monastery in Avila at the age of twenty, but only after two decades of dryness in prayer felt an inner conversion to Christ. Honoured as a spiritual writer and mystic who experienced and comprehensively described the life of prayer. Remembered as a strong, practical reformer who restored the strict Carmelite observance of poverty, solitude, and prayer.

1st Reading: Romans (8: 22-27 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


16 October – St Hedwig

RELIGIOUS. Born in Bavaria (Germany) about 1174. Died at Trebnitz (Poland) on 15 October 1243. Married at a young age to Henry, Duke of Silesia, she was the mother of seven children. Remembered for founding religious houses and hospitals, for her charity to the poor, and for her efforts at peacemaking. After the death of her husband, she retired to live in a Cistercian convent which she had founded.

1st Reading: Sirach 26: 1-4. 13-16 *** Gospel: Mark 3: 31-35


16 October – St Margaret Mary Alacoque

VIRGIN. Born in Burgundy (France) in 1647. Died on 17 October 1690 at Paray-le-Monial. After an unhappy childhood, entered a Visitation convent where she experienced several visions of Christ’s love. Patiently bore the rejection and contempt of her superiors and others. Remembered especially for persevering in promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 14-19 *** Gospel: Matthew 11: 25-30


17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born probably in Syria. Died a martyr in Rome about 107. At Antioch, where he was bishop, his death has been commemorated on this day since the fourth century. Remembered for seven letters written on his way to execution. They show him to be devoted to Christ and his resurrection; they urge Christians to unity in and through the Eucharist and around their local bishop. Called himself the "God-bearer."

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 17 – 4: 1 *** Gospel: John 12: 24-26


18 October – St Luke

EVANGELIST. By early Christian tradition, Luke is named as author of the Third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Almost certainly a Gentile and perhaps a companion of Saint Paul (29 June), he wrote to reassure those who had grown uncertain toward the end of the first century. In his gospel, the compassion of Christ is inclusive of all: Gentile and Jew, the poor and the rich, women and men, the outcast and the privileged.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 10-17 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 1-9


19 October – Ss Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and companions

PRIESTS, MARTYRS, AND THEIR COMPANIONS, MARTYRS. John de Brébeuf (1593-1649) and Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) are named in this group of eight North American martyrs, French Jesuits of whom two were lay assistants and six were presbyters. Against a background of conflict between French and English and between Huron, Mohawk, and Iroquois, they went as missionaries teaching the message of Christ in the local languages. Remembered for the hardship they suffered for the sake of the gospel, eventually embracing even torture and death.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15 *** Gospel: Matthew 28: 16-20


19 October – St Paul of the Cross

PRIEST. Born at Ovada (Italy) in 1694. Died in Rome on 18 October 1775. After some years of uncertainty, felt called to found a new congregation, the Passionists, who combined a strict penitential discipline with intense devotion to the passion of Christ and whose work was both active and contemplative. Remembered for his prophetic preaching in parish missions, for calling sinners to repentance, and for his special gifts of healing.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 24-27


22 Oct- St John Paul II, pope

Karol Józef Wojtyla (1920-2005) served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005. He was the second longest-serving pope in history after Pope Pius IX, who served for nearly 32 years (1846-1878). He helped to end Communist rule in Poland and eventually all of Europe. Doctrinally conservative,  he quelled dissent on controversial issues such as artificial contraception and the ordination of women, but strongly emphasised the universal call to holiness.. He canonised 483 saints, more than all of his predecessors combined. He was beatified in 2011 by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and canonised in 2014 by Pope Francis.

1st Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10 *** Gospel – John 21:15-17


23 October – St John of Capistrano

PRIEST. Born in Capestrano (Italy) in 1386. Died on this day in 1456 at Ilok (Croatia). Though a married man and governor of Perugia, he decided to join the Friars Minor and was released from his marriage vows. Professed as a Franciscan at the age of thirty and ordained a presbyter three years later. A successful preacher, committed Franciscan reformer, zealous inquisitor in Vienna, and spiritual leader of a victorious crusade against the Ottoman forces. Remembered for his preaching and austerity of life.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-20 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 57-62


24 October – St Anthony Claret

BISHOP. Born in Sallent (Spain) in 1807. Died in exile in France on this day in 1870. Spent more than a decade preaching missions and retreats in Catalonia, and founded a religious institute, later known as the Claretians, for this work. Was appointed archbishop of Santiago (Cuba) where he aroused opposition for his spiritual and social reforms and for championing the rights of the indigenous peoples. Finally, as chaplain to Queen Isabella II, drew the arts and sciences into his missionary endeavour. Remembered for his work of religious renewal through the spoken and printed word.

1st Reading: Isaiah 52: 7-10 *** Gospel: Mark 1: 14-20


28 October – Ss Simon and Jude

APOSTLES. Simon "the Less" is also called "the Canaanite" and "the Zealot." Jude "(son) of James" (Luke 6: 16; Acts 1: 13) was traditionally thought to be the same person as Jude, brother of James and author of the letter of Jude, but may also be the one called "Thaddeus" (Matthew 10: 3; Mark 3: 18). A tradition has Simon and Jude preaching and being martyred in Persia. Honoured among the twelve apostles, the first followers of Christ.

1st Reading: Ephesians 2: 19-22 *** Gospel: Luke 6: 12-19


01 November – All Saints

This feast began in the East to commemorate all martyrs and was progressively adopted in the West. Celebrated on this day in the eighth century and soon widely observed. Honoured today are all holy men and women in glory with Christ: known or unknown, mighty or lowly, all whose lives were modelled on the Beatitudes and on the great commandment of love.

1st Reading: Revelation 7: 2-4. 9-14 *** 2nd: 1 John 3: 1-3 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 1-12


02 November – All Souls

This day of commemoration began early in the Middle Ages with annual prayers for the dead in monastic communities. Fixed on this day, it spread more widely after the tenth century and now ranks with the principal feast days in the liturgical calendar. Commonly known as All Souls, it expresses Christian faith in the communion of saints and our need to pray for one another in the Church, especially the souls in purgatory.

1st Reading: Isaiah 25: 6-9 *** 2nd: Romans 5: 5-11 *** Gospel (Year A): Matthew 11: 25-30 *** (Year B): Mark 15: 33-39; 16: 1-6 *** Gospel: Luke 7: 11-17


03 November – St Martin de Porres

RELIGIOUS. Born in Lima (Peru) in 1579, an illegitimate child of mixed race. Died there on this day in 1639. Trained as a barber and infirmarian, he was accepted as a Dominican brother. Remembered for his humility and holiness, his ministry to African slaves, and his dedicated service of the poor and the sick of all races.

1st Reading: Philippians 4: 4-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-40


04 November – St Charles Borromeo

BISHOP. Born in Arona (Italy) in 1538. Died on this day in 1584 in Milan. Only twenty-two when he was appointed cardinal, secretary of state, and given the administration of the diocese of Milan by his uncle, Pius IV. Prominent in the final sessions of the Council of Trent during 1562—1563 and, at its end, was ordained presbyter, then bishop and became archbishop of Milan. Known for implementing the Council’s reforms in liturgy, education, presbyteral formation, and diocesan organisation. Remembered as an exemplary and pastoral bishop and an ardent proponent of reform.

1st Reading: Romans (12: 3-13 *** Gospel: John 10: 11-16


09 November – Dedication of St John Lateran

The Lateran Basilica, the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, was dedicated to Christ the Saviour in the fourth century. The anniversary has been celebrated as a feast of the Latin Church on this date since the twelfth century. It honours the local Church of Rome as a link with earliest Christian tradition and as a sign of our communion in Christ.

1st Reading: Ezekiel 47: 1-2. 8-9. 12 *** 2nd: 1 Corinthians 3: 9-11. 16-17 *** Gospel: John 2: 13-22


10 November – St Leo the Great

POPE, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Died in Rome on this day in 461. Elected pope in 440. Tried to protect the city from the devastation of barbarian invasion. His surviving letters illustrate the leadership and guidance he exercised as bishop of Rome toward other Churches in the West. Remembered for the clarity of his thought on the two natures of Christ, affirmed at the Council of Chalcedon, for his eloquent sermons, and for the prayers he composed for the Roman liturgy.

1st Reading: Sirach 39: 6-10 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19


11 November – St Martin of Tours

BISHOP. Born in Pannonia (Hungary) about 316. Died in 397 and was buried on this day in Tours (France). A catechumen who was in conscience unable to continue with military service. Baptised at the age of eighteen, for a time became a hermit, and then worked to establish monasticism in the West. Bishop of Tours for twenty-five years. One of the first non-martyrs to be venerated as a saint. Widely remembered for his legendary generosity to the poor, for arguing against the persecution of heretics, and especially for his active evangelisation and pastoral care of rural areas.

1st Reading: Isaiah 61: 1-3 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 31-40


12 November – St Josaphat

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born in Vladimir (Ukraine) in 1580. Died at Vitebsk (Belarus) on this day in 1623. A Basilian monk who became archbishop of Polotsk. Worked strenuously to uphold and spread the Union of Brest-Litovsk by which Churches of the province of Kiev, with their Byzantine liturgy and customs, had entered into communion with Rome. In a complex situation of national and religious antagonism, he was killed by violent opponents. Remembered for his energetic pastoral reform and courageous ecumenism.

1st Reading: Ephesians 4: 1-7. 11-13 *** Gospel: John 17: 20-26


15 November – St Albert the Great

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Lauingen (Germany) about 1200. Died in Cologne on this day in 1280. The "Universal Doctor" was a Dominican friar and teacher, most notably in Paris and in Cologne where Saint Thomas Aquinas (28 January) was his pupil. Briefly bishop of Regensburg, but resigned the see to return to teaching and writing. Remembered for the outstanding breadth of his learning in the natural sciences, Jewish and Arabic studies, and Greek philosophy, all of which he brought to the service of his theology.

1st Reading: Sirach 15: 1-6 *** Gospel: Matthew 13: 47-52


16 November – St Margaret of Scotland

Born in Hungary about 1046 of Anglo-Saxon and Hungarian parentage. Died in Edinburgh (Scotland) on this day in 1093. Found refuge from the Norman conquest of England with Malcolm III of Scotland whom she married in 1070. They had eight children. Reformed the royal court, founded monasteries, and sponsored major reforms of Church life. Remembered for the happiness of her marriage, for her devotion to prayer and learning.

1st Reading: Isaiah 58: 6-11 *** Gospel: John 15: 9-17


16 November – St Gertrude

VIRGIN. Born about 1256. Died at Helfta (Germany) about 1302. Entrusted from five years of age to Benedictine or possibly Cistercian nuns, among whom she experienced a deep conversion at the age of twenty-five and lived a life of mystical contemplation. Found Christ in the liturgy and Scripture, and on this foundation developed her devotion to the humanity of Jesus and, together with it, a love of the heart of Jesus.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 14-19 *** Gospel: John 15: 1-8


17 November – St Elizabeth of Hungary

RELIGIOUS. Born in Bratislava (Slovakia) in 1207. Married at the age of fourteen, widowed at twenty, and died at twenty-four in Marburg (Germany) on this day in 1231. Mother of three children, happily married to Ludwig of Thuringia. When Ludwig died of the plague while on crusade, she continued to protect the poor and founded orphanages and hospitals, living this life of service as a Franciscan tertiary despite the hostility of her relatives and the harshness of her confessor. Remembered for her good-humoured resilience in adversity and for her humility in menial service of the needy.

1st Reading: 1 John 3: 14-18 *** Gospel: Luke 6: 27-38


18 November – Dedication of the basilicas of Peter and Paul

Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and Saint Paul’s Basilica, built in the nineteenth century, both replaced older buildings erected by Constantine in the fourth century over the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul. The dedications of these churches have been commemorated together on this day since the twelfth century. As on 29 June, the universal Church joins the Church of Rome in honouring its apostles.

1st Reading: Acts 28: 11-16. 30-31 *** Gospel: Matthew 14: 22-33


21 November – Presentation of Mary

This memorial originally marked the dedication of a sixth century church of the Virgin Mary near the Temple of Jerusalem. The East took it up as a celebration of Mary’s presentation to God in the Temple at the age of three, a non-biblical story from the apocryphal gospel of James. Established in the West late in the Middle Ages, the feast was universally observed by the sixteenth century. It celebrates Mary in her grace-filled life, wholly given over to the Holy Spirit from the time of her conception.

1st Reading: Zechariah 2: 14-17 *** Gospel: Matthew 12: 46-50


22 November – St Cecilia

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Though a late fourth century church in Rome was named after her, nothing is known of her life or death. Popular legends were written about her in the late fifth century, and in the sixteenth century she was named the patron of music. Remembered in tradition as a virgin, martyred for the faith. Her name is included in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon).

1st Reading: Hosea 2: 16-17. 21-22 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 1-13


23 November – St Clement I

POPE, MARTYR. Died in New Testament times, at the end of the first century. His name is included in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon). Remembered for a letter written from the Church at Rome to the Church at Corinth, an important witness to the emergence of ministries and authority in the Church and to the pastoral responsibility of Rome to another Church.

1st Reading: 1 Peter 5: 1-4 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19


23 November – St Columban

ABBOT. Born in Leinster (Ireland) about 543. Died on this day in 615 at Bobbio (Italy). A monk and teacher at Bangor until middle aged who left with twelve companions as "exiles for Christ" to found monasteries in Burgundy (France). Insisted, against opposition, on maintaining strict Celtic customs and usages, but was expelled for denouncing royal misconduct. Went on to extend the Irish mission through the Alps and into Italy. Author of a monastic rule and a penitential. Remembered for his austerity of life, his missionary energy, and his role in the development of individual reconciliation.

1st Reading: Isaiah 52: 7-10 *** Gospel: Luke 9: 57-62


24 November – Ss Andrew Dung Lac and companions

MARTYRS. Andrew (1795-1839), baptised at the age of fifteen, worked first as a lay missionary and then as a diocesan presbyter before being beheaded at Hanoi (Vietnam). Listed among 117 canonised martyrs who died in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862: ninety-six Vietnamese, eleven Spanish Dominicans, and ten presbyters from the Paris Foreign Mission Society. Remembered as representatives of the thousands of Christians tortured and martyred in Vietnam between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries: bishops, presbyters, religious, and lay people, both children and adults.

1st Reading: Wisdom 3: 1-9 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 28-33


25 November – St Catherine of Alexandria

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Died in Alexandria (Egypt) perhaps in the early 4th century. Nothing is known about her. The famous tenth-century legend depicts her as a well-educated noblewoman, confronting the Emperor, confounding the philosophers in debate, and collapsing the wheel upon which she was to be executed. Remembered as a heroine of the Middle Ages.

1st Reading: Philippians 3: 8-14 *** Gospel: Matthew 19: 27-29


30 November – St Andrew

APOSTLE. Born at Bethsaida (Galilee). A fisherman and perhaps a disciple of John the Baptist (24 June). Introduced his brother, Simon Peter (29 June), to Jesus and became one of the first to follow Christ. Mentioned a number of times in the gospels, for example, in introducing some Gentiles to Jesus (John 12: 20ff.). Widely venerated since ancient times and remembered as one of the twelve who bore witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

1st Reading: Romans (10: 9-18 *** Gospel: Matthew 4: 18-22


03 December – St Francis Xavier

PRIEST. Born in 1506 in Navarre (Spain). Died on this day in 1552 off the coast of China. Met Saint Ignatius of Loyola (31 July) while studying in Paris, became one of the first Jesuits, and went to Goa (India) as a missionary. Travelled extensively through southeast Asia to Japan, winning many converts and leaving behind organised Christian communities. Remembered for the witness of his poverty and for his tireless efforts as a missionary.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19. 22-23 *** Gospel: Mark 16: 15-20


04 December – St John Damascene

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born about 675 in Damascus (Syria). Died near Jerusalem about 749. A Christian official in a Moslem government. Became a monk and later presbyter at Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem, where he was renowned as a theologian and biblical commentator. Remembered for his vigorous defence of the veneration of images against the iconoclasts, for his theological writings synthesising the thought of the Greek Fathers, and for his poetry and hymnody.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 13-14; 2: 1-3 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 14-30


06 December – St Nicholas

BISHOP. Died in the fourth century. Bishop of Myra (Turkey) but nothing more is known about his life. Since the tenth century, widely venerated and frequently claimed as a patron in both East and West. His cult in the West was further ensured when his relics were moved from Myra to Bari (Italy) in the eleventh century. Remembered because his reputation for generosity led to the custom of giving children gifts on his feast day, and thus to the Christmas figure of Santa Claus.

1st Reading: Isaiah 6: 1-8 *** Gospel: Luke 10: 1-9


07 December – St Ambrose

BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in Trier (Germany) about 340. Ordained bishop on this day in 374 and died at Milan (Italy) on Holy Saturday 397. A lawyer who became governor in Milan and who was still a catechumen when elected bishop by popular acclaim. Upheld orthodoxy against the Arians and won many Christian converts. Encouraged monasticism and defended the independence of the Church against secular authority. Remembered as an outstanding pastor through his writings on the sacraments and Christian ethics and through his homilies, instructions, and hymns.

1st Reading: Ephesians 3: 8-12 *** Gospel: John 10: 11-16


08 December – Immaculate Conception

This feast had its origin in the East as the "Conception of Mary by Saint Anne." It spread through the West during the Middle Ages as the "Immaculate Conception" and was extended to the entire Western Church in the eighteenth century. The feast celebrates Mary, preserved from sin from the moment of conception; she is the first fruits of her Son’s redemption and a prophetic model of what the Church is called to be.

1st Reading: Genesis 3: 9-15. 20 *** 2nd: Ephesians 1: 3-6. 11-12 *** Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38


11 December – St Damasus I

POPE. Born in Rome about 305, the son of a priest. Died there on this day in 384. Elected bishop of Rome amid violent rivalry. Active in opposing fourth century heresies. After Christianity became the official religion of the Roman state and Latin was becoming the principal liturgical language, he commissioned Saint Jerome (30 September) to prepare a new Latin translation of the Bible. Also remembered for promoting the cult of the Roman martyrs, inscribing their tombs with epitaphs in verse.

1st Reading: Acts 20: 17-18. 28-32. 36 *** Gospel: John 15: 9-17


13 December – St Lucy

VIRGIN, MARTYR. Died at Syracuse in Sicily, probably in the persecution of the emperor Diocletian in 304. Widely venerated from the earliest times, her memorial has long been kept on this day. Probably because her name is suggestive of light, her intercession has been sought for eyesight problems. Named in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon) and remembered as a youth, radiant with Christian faith and courage.

1st Reading: 2 Corinthians 10: 17 – 11: 2 *** Gospel: Matthew 25: 1-13


12 December – Our Lady of Guadalupe

The North American continent is honoured by the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City. On 9 Dcember 1531, the Blessed Mother appeared to a simple Amer-indian convert, Juan Diego. Her picture was miraculously impressed upon his cloak. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, showed herself as a tender and compassionate mother.

Readings: Choose from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary


14 December – St John of the Cross

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born in 1542 at Fontiveros (Spain). Died on this day in Ubeda. A Carmelite priest who joined Saint Teresa of Jesus (15 October) in the work of Carmelite reform and, despite opposition and imprisonment, organised the discalced Carmelites. Remembered for his mystical writings, which combine theology and poetry to describe the spiritual journey through darkness to union with God.

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 2: 1-10 *** Gospel: Luke 14: 25-33


21 December – St Peter Canisius

PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Born at Nijmegen (Netherlands) in 1521. Died in Fribourg (Switzerland) on this day in 1597. A Jesuit priest who spent his time writing and teaching in universities and colleges. Together with his easily understood preaching and the writing of his famous catechisms, his academic life enabled him to restore and strengthen Catholic belief in response to the Reformation. Remembered for his courtesy in debate and for his use of the press in promoting the Catholic revival after the Council of Trent.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 1-5 *** Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-19


23 December – St John of Kanty

PRIEST. Born at Kanty (Poland) in 1390. Died at Cracow on 24 December 1473. As a priest, taught philosophy, theology, and Scripture at the university in Cracow. Urged his students to moderation in controversy. Remembered for his excellent teaching, for the austerity of his personal life, and for the generosity of his almsgiving.

1st Reading: James (2: 14-17 *** Gospel: Luke 6: 27-38


26 December — St Stephen, martyr

In light of what was to Stephen, how amazing were his final words, praying to God to pardon his killers. His "crime" was to have spoken hard truths that his audience did not want to hear. So the frenzied mob put him to death by stoning. Under the rocks crushing out his life, Stephen commended his spirit to Jesus, and with his dying breath prayed for his killers.

1st Reading: Acts 6: 8-10; 7: 54-59 *** Gospel: Matthew 10: 17-22


27 December — St John, Apostle, Evangelist

What distinguishes this disciple from the others is that he received and responded more fully to the love of Jesus than all others. He was the only male disciple present at the foot of the cross. His love brought him to the empty tomb quicker than Peter; his love gave him the insight to recognize the true meaning of the empty tomb; and ultimately to grasp and to proclaim the mystery of the Word-made-flesh: that Jesus was God-incarnate.

1st Reading: 1 John 1: 1-4 *** Gospel: John 20: 2-8


28 December — Holy Innocents

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation.

1st Reading: 1 John 1: 5-2: 2 *** Gospel: Matthew 2: 13-18


29 December – St Thomas Becket

BISHOP, MARTYR. Born in London (England) in 1118. Died as archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in his cathedral on this day in 1170. A deacon when he was appointed chancellor of England, he became a close friend of Henry II. His ordination as bishop brought an abrupt conversion of life and led him to oppose the king over Church rights. Returned to his diocese after six years’ refuge in a French monastery, but careless words from the king inspired four knights to assassinate him. Immediately acknowledged as a martyr. Remembered for the courage of his Christian convictions.

1st Reading: 2 Timothy 2: 8-13; 3: 10-12 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 24-27


31 December – St Sylvester I

POPE. Elected bishop of Rome in 314 and died there on this day in 335. Remembered as the bishop of Rome in the important years when the Christian Church was first tolerated and then legally recognised in the Roman empire. It was during this time that the emperor Constantine called councils at Arles and Nicaea to combat heresy and that great basilicas were built in Rome and throughout the empire.

1st Reading: Ezekiel 34: 11-16 *** Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-19