Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Advent
Official portrait of St. Virginia
St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli, widow (†1651). Daughter of the Doge of Genoa, Italy, she founded and directed the Work of the Sisters of Our Lady of Refuge of Mount Calvary, to help those in need. Her motto was: Serve God in the poor.
St. Valerian, bishop and martyr († fifth century). Bishop of Abbenza (present-day Africa) who at the age of eighty, was attacked by Arian Vandals and left in the streets to die of exposure when he refused to submit to their demands.
St. Maria Crocifissa Di Rosa, virgin (†1855). Founded the Institute of the Handmaids of Charity in Brescia, Italy.
Blessed Marino, abbot (†1170). Promoted the splendour of the Liturgy in the Benedictine Abbey of Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy, and demonstrated admirable fidelity to the Pope.
Blessed Charles Steeb, priest (†1856). Born in Germany to a Lutheran family, he converted and was ordained a priest. He founded the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Verona, Italy.
Blessed Mary Victoria Fornari, widow (†1617). A model of prayer and obedience from her youth. After her husband’s death, she founded the Order of the Celestial Annonciades in Genoa, Italy, to honour the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Annunciation.
First Reading – Is 45:6c-8, 18, 21c-25
I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.
For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.
Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land. R.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven. R.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps. R.
Gospel – Lk 7:18b-23
At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”