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July 20

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July 20

Wednesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial of St. Apollinaris, bishop and martyr († c. 79). The Acts of the Apostles record that he was sent by St. Peter as the first Bishop of Ravenna, Italy. He was banished from this See, together with his flock, during the persecution waged by Emperor Vespasian, but was then captured, tortured and put to death by the sword.

Mass Readings
Featured Saints of the day
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Mass Readings

First Reading – Jer 1:1, 4-10

The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, of a priestly family in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin. The word of the LORD came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. “Ah, Lord GOD!” I said, “I know not how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD answered me, Say not, “I am too young.” To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD. Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying, See, I place my words in your mouth! This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, To root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15 and 17 (R.see 15ab)

R. I will sing of your salvation.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me. R.

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. R.

For you are my hope, O Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength. R.

My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds. R.

Gospel – Mt 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Featured Saints

St. Marina, by Spinello di Luca – Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi Lucca (Italy)

St. Marina of Antioch, virgin and martyr († unknown). She consecrated herself to God upon embracing the Faith in her youth. Brought before the pagan Governor of Antioch, she refused to offer incense to the idols and was subjected to various tortures and finally beheaded.

St. Elijah (Elias) the Tishbite. Prophet of the Lord during the reign of Ahab and Ahaziah in Israel; he admonished the Chosen People for their idolatry and challenged the priests of Baal, in the name of the true God. He is considered the founder of the Carmelite Order. See also: “Zelo zelatus sum”

St. Aurelius of Carthage, bishop (†circa 430). Close friend of St. Augustine, he was elected Bishop of Carthage and preserved his flock from pagan customs.

St. Joseph Barsabbas, disciple of Jesus. He was one of the men proposed by the Apostles, along with St. Matthias, to take the place of Judas.

St. Vulmar, priest (†c. 700). After living a hermitic life for many years as a Benedictine religious in the Abbey of Hautmont, we went on to found a monastery for monks and another for nuns close to Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.

St. Paul of Cordoba, deacon and martyr (†851). Died for having confessed his Faith in Christ before Moorish authorities.

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