Saturday of the First Week of Lent
St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows Possenti, religious (†1862). He entered the Congregation of the Passionist Fathers as an adolescent and died as an acolyte at age 24, in Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy.
St. Baldomerus, monk (†660). Locksmith who lived in the vicinity of Lyon, France; he awakened admiration by his piety and charity toward the poor. He lived an ardent life of prayer in the Monastery of St. Justus.
Sts. Basil and Procopius of the Decapolis, monks (†741). During the reign of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian, they actively worked in favour of the cult to sacred images in Constantinople.
St. Gregory of Narek, monk (†c. 1005). Evangelizer of the Armenians, renowned for his doctrine, writings, and mystical knowledge.
St. Besas, martyr (†third century). Soldier denounced to a judge for attempting to prevent a mob from insulting Sts. Julian and Eunus. Remaining firm in the Faith, he was beheaded in Alexandria, Egypt.
St. Anne Line, martyr (+1601). Banished by her Calvinist parents when she embraced the Catholic Faith; she oversaw a house of missionaries in England, and was denounced and hanged at Tyburn for sheltering a Catholic priest.
Blessed Joseph Tous Soler, priest (†1871). Capuchin religious who founded the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd in Barcelona, Spain, for the Christian formation of children and youth.
Blessed Mary of Jesus Deluil Martiny, virgin (†1884). Foundress of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Heart of Jesus, shot to death by an anarchist in her convent in Marseille, France.
Blessed Maria of Charity of the Holy Spirit, virgin (†1943). While a Franciscan religious in Switzerland, she was sent to Colombia, where she founded the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate. She successfully combined contemplative life with missionary activity.
First Reading –Dt 26:16-19
Moses spoke to the people, saying: “This day the LORD, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees. Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you are making this agreement with the LORD: He is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees, and to hearken to his voice. And today the LORD is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you; and provided you keep all his commandments, He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made, and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God, as He promised.”
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8 (R.1b)
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart. R.
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes! R.
I will give You thanks with an upright heart,
when I have learned your just ordinances.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me. R.
Gospel – Mt 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”