Thursday of the Second Week of Easter
Optional Memorials of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, priest (†1716). Optional Memorial. A gifted preacher, he was named a missionary apostolic by Pope Clement XI. Founded the Company of Mary for missionary priests, the Daughters of Divine Wisdom for hospitaller sisters, and the St. Gabriel Brothers for lay brothers dedicated to teaching. Marian saint par excellence, his spirituality is based on love of the Cross and the slavery of love to the Blessed Virgin. And of St. Peter Chanel, priest and martyr (†1841). Optional memorial. Religious from the Society of Mary (Marist), apostle of Oceania, he received the crown of martyrdom on Futuna Island (French Polynesia), for his evangelizing activity which converted many, including the son of the tribe’s chief.
First Reading – Acts 5:27-33
When the court officers had brought the Apostles in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, the high priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders did we not, to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the Apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.
Responsorial Psalm – 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20 (R.7a)
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him. R.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them. R.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him. R.
Gospel – Jn 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
St. Prudentius, bishop (Seventh century). He became a hermit at the age of 15, and later the Bishop of Tarazona (Spain), outstanding as an unfailing advocate of the poor and afflicted.
Sts. Paul Pham Khac Khoan, John Baptist Dinh Van Thanh and Peter Nguyen Van Hieu, martyrs (†1840). Priests and catechists in Vietnam; after three years in prison they were tortured and beheaded.
St. Francis gives the Rule of the Third Order to Blessed Luccheses and his wife – Monastery of St. Mary of Rábida, Palos de la Frontera (Spain)
Blessed Lucchese, layman (†1260). Wealthy merchant from Poggibonsi, Italy; a contemporary of St. Francis of Assisi, he distributed his goods among the poor and became a Franciscan tertiary.
Blessed Joseph Cebula, priest and martyr (†1941). Polish priest from the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. For exercising his ministry, which had been banned by the Nazis in power, he was deported to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Austria, where he was killed.
Blessed Marie Louise of Jesus Trichet, virgin (†1759). First religious and superior of the Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom, founded by St. Louis de Montfort. She died in SaintLaurent-sur-Sèvre (France).
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, mother of a family (†1962). Pediatrician and mother of four children. While pregnant, a fibrous tumour was discovered in her womb, but she refused to have an abortion, preferring to sacrifice her own life to save that of her daughter who was about to be born.