Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Optional Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. Tradition holds that Our Lady appeared to Pope Liberius and to a Roman patrician, requesting that a church be built in her honour. On the morning of the following day, Esquiline Hill was miraculously covered with snow in the middle of summer, indicating the exact location for the construction of the Basilica. For this reason, this day is also commemorated under the title of Our Lady of the Snows. In Canada, Optional Memorial of Blessed Frederic Janssoone, priest (†1916). He came from France to Canada in 1881. He dedicated himself in a remarkable way to the Third Order of Saint Francis, and is well known for his work for the sanctuary at Capde-la-Madeleine, Quebec, where he worked miracles. He is buried in the Church of Saint-Antoine, Montreal.
First Reading – Na 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7
See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah, fulfill your vows! For nevermore shall you be invaded by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed. The LORD will restore the vine of Jacob, the pride of Israel, Though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined the tendrils. Woe to the bloody city, all lies, full of plunder, whose looting never stops! The crack of the whip, the rumbling sounds of wheels; horses a-gallop, chariots bounding, Cavalry charging, the flame of the sword, the flash of the spear, the many slain, the heaping corpses, the endless bodies to stumble upon! I will cast filth upon you, disgrace you and put you to shame; Till everyone who sees you runs from you, saying, “Nineveh is destroyed; who can pity her? Where can one find any to console her?”
Responsorial Psalm – Deut.32:35cd-36ab, 39abcd, 41 (R.39c)
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity. R.
“Learn then that I, I alone, am God,
and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life,
I who inflict wounds and heal them.” R.
I will sharpen my flashing sword,
and my hand shall lay hold of my quiver,
“With vengeance I will repay my foes
and requite those who hate me.” R.
Gospel – Mt 16:24-28
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
St. Emidius, bishop and martyr (†fourth century). Appointed Bishop of Ascoli, Italy, he converted countless pagans.
St. Nonna, laywoman (†374). Mother of St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gorgonia and St. Caesarius. She converted her spouse, St. Gregory the Elder.
St. Margaret of Cesolo, widow (†c. 1395). After the death of her husband, she dedicated her life to the service of the poor, to prayer and to penance in Cesolo, Italy. She was outstanding for her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Blessed Pierre-Michel Noël, priest and martyr (†1794). Imprisoned in a galley in Rochefort during the French Revolution, for refusing to adhere to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and died as a consequence of the illness contracted as a result of the appalling conditions aboard the prison-ship.
Blessed Francis Zanfredini, hermit (†c. 1350). Franciscan tertiary who gave his property to the poor and lived for almost fifty years in a hermitage in Montegranaro, Italy.
St. Oswald, martyr (†642). King of Northumbria, he was killed out of hatred for Christianity in Maserfield, England, while combating the pagans.