Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent
St. Juan Diego (†1548). Optional Memorial. Aztec Mexican to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared and upon whose tilma was imprinted the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A man of faith and humble fervour, he dedicated himself to the fulfilment of the Blessed Virgin’s request to have a Shrine built in the place of the apparition.
St. Leocadia, virgin and martyr († 304). Condemned to die in a dungeon in Toledo for refusing the instigations to apostasy of the governor Daciano.
St. Peter Fourier, priest († 1640). Zealous pastor of his parish and the founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame for the education of girls.
St. Gorgonia, laywoman († 370). The Daughter of St. Nonna, and sister of St. Gregory Nazianzus the Younger and St. Caesarius. She was an exemplary Christian wife and mother, striving to sanctify the family.
Blessed Bernardo Maria de Jesus Silvestrelli, priest (†1911). Born into a wealthy Roman family, he joined the Order of Passionists, of which he served as Superior General for 24 years.
Blessed Liborius Wagner, priest and martyr († 1631). Born to Lutheran parents, he converted to Catholicism in his youth and was ordained a priest. Tortured and killed for his Faith in Schonungen, Germany, during the Thirty Years’ War.
First Reading – Is 41:13-20
I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I will help you.”
Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O maggot Israel;
I will help you, says the LORD;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and double-edged,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off
and the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab (R.8)
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works. R.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might. R.
Let them make known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations. R.
Gospel – Mt 11:11-15
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”