February 4

Thursday of the 4th Week of Ordinary Time

Mass Readings

Featured Saints

St. Joan of Valois – Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port (France)

St. Joan of Valois, queen (†1505). Wife of King Louis XII, of France, she consecrated herself to the service of God after her marriage was annulled. She founded the Order of the Holy Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bourges.

St. Rabanus Maurus, bishop (†856). Abbot of the monastery of Fulda, he was elected Archbishop of Mainz, Germany.

St.­Isidore,­ priest (†circa 449). Desiring to imitate the life of St. John the Baptist, he abandoned the world and became a monk in Pelusium, Egypt. He intervened in the debates surrounding the Nestorian heresy.

St. Gilbert of Sempringham, priest (†1189). Consecrated to the serviceof the Church since his youth, he founded the Gilbertine Order in England, with two rules of life: the rule of St. Benedict for nuns and that of St. Augustine for the clergy.

St. Joseph of Leonessa, priest (†1612). Capuchin Franciscan; he aided Christian captives in Constantinople and preached the Gospel, even in the palace of the sultan. He died in Amatrice, Italy.

St. John de Britto, priest and martyr (†1693). Portuguese Jesuit sent to the missions in India, where he suffered martyrdom after converting many people to the Catholic Faith.

St. Nicholas the Studite, monk (†868). Abbot of the Monastery of Stoudios in Constantinople; he was exiled repeatedly for defending the cult of images.

Blessed John Speed, martyr (†1594). Layman condemned to death during the persecution of Elizabeth I for aiding Catholic priests.

Mass Readings

First Reading – Heb 12:18-19, 21-24

Brothers and sisters: You have not approached that which could be touched and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness and storm and a trumpet blast and a voice speaking words such that those who heard begged that no message be further addressed to them. Indeed, so fearful was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled Blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 9, 10-11 (R. see 10)

R. O God, we ponder your mercy within your temple.

Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, fairest of heights,
is the joy of all the earth. R.

Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,”
the city of the great King.
God is with her castles;
renowned is He as a stronghold. R.

As we had heard, so have we seen
in the city of the LORD of hosts,
In the city of our God;
God makes it firm forever. R.

O God, we ponder your mercy
within your temple.
As your name, O God, so also your praise
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Of justice your right hand is full. R.

Gospel – Mk 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
– no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

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