December 21

Tuesday of the 4th Week of Advent

Mass Readings

Featured Saints

St. Peter Canisius – Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Santander (Spain)

St. Peter Canisius, priest and Doctor of the Church (†1597). Optional Memorial. Member of the Company of Jesus, he is among the first generation of Tridentine reformers.  With his writings, he contributed to the consolidation of the Catholic Faith. Tireless apostle of Austria and Germany. Appointed Provincial of the Order in Germany, he founded several schools that played a key role in the Counter Reformation.

St. Micah, prophet. During the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah he condemned idolatry and injustices, and announced to the Chosen People that a Ruler would be born in Bethlehem, who would feed the flock of Israel in the strength of the Lord .

St. Themistoeles, martyr(† third century). As a shepherd in Lycia (Turkey), he provided hiding from the Roman soldiers for St. Dioscorus. To deflect the search, he heroically declared himself a Christian, for which was tortured and killed.

Blessed Dominic Spadafora, priest (†1521). Born in Sicily, of an illustrious and wealthy family, he received a thorough education enriched by the Faith. In his youth he became a Dominican in Palermo. He was an outstanding preacher and held offices of responsibility in his Order.

Blessed Peter Friedhofen, religious (†1860). Manual worker in Koblenz, Germany, who, dedicated himself to the service of the sick for love of God. He founded the Congregation of the Brothers of Mercy of Mary Help of Christians.

Mass Readings

First Reading – Sg 2:8-14

Hark! my lover – here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices. My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come! “For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, let me see you, let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 (R. 1a; 3a)

R. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.

Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to Him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness. R.

But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people He has chosen for his own inheritance. R.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in Him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust. R.

Gospel – Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”


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