Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent
Optional Memorial of St. Francis of Paola, confessor (†1507). Founder of the Order of Minims, in Calabria, Italy, St. Francis of Paola was famed for his miracles, for his prophesies regarding the future of the Church, and for the examples of his great austerity of life, grounded in deep humility.
First Reading – Jer 11:18-20
I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.
Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”
But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!
Responsorial Psalm – 7:2-3, 9bc-10, 11-12 (R.2a)
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me. R.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God. R.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day. R.
Gospel – Jn 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” Then each went to his own house.
Other featured Saints
St. Abundius, bishop (†468). Born in Como, Italy, he was sent by Pope St. Leo the Great to Constantinople, where he firmly defended the true Faith.
St. Dominic Tuoc, priest and martyr (†1839). Dominican religious who died in Xuong Dien, Vietnam.
St. Francisco Coll y Guitart, priest (†1875). Dominican priest and popular preacher, who founded the Congregation of the Dominicans of the Annunciation in Vic, Spain.
St. Peter Calungsod, catechist and martyr (†1672). Born in the Philippines, he went with Jesuit missionaries to evangelize the Mariana Islands in Oceania. He was martyred by native pagans on the Island of Guam.
St. Appian, martyr (†306). Killed during the persecution of Maximian for attempting to prevent public sacrifice to idols, ordered by the emperor for the population of Caesarea, in Palestine.
St. Theodosia, virgin and martyr (†307). At 18 years of age she was imprisoned, tortured and thrown into the sea for supporting and venerating Christians brought to the tribunal in Caesarea, Palestine.
Blessed Leopold of Gaiche, priest (†1815). Franciscan religious called the “Apostle of Umbria,” for his missionary work in that region.
Blessed Mary of St. Joseph Alvarado, virgin (†1967). She founded the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollects of the Sacred Heart in Maracay, Venezuela.