Pope St. Leo III – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
St. Leo III, Pope (†816). He crowned the Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, and strove to defend the true doctrine on the divine dignity of the Son of God.
St. Caspar Bertoni, priest (†1843). Founded the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Stigmatines) in Verona, Italy, to provide bishops with missionaries.
St. Onuphrius, Confessor. († Fourth century). Hermit of the desert of Egypt for 70 years.
St. Eskil, martyr (†c. 1080). Native of England, he was ordained Bishop by St. Sigfrid, his teacher. He ardently strove to convert the pagans who eventually stoned him to death, in Sweden.
Blessed Guido of Cortona, priest (+1245). Disciple of St. Francis of Assisi, he founded the convent of Celle, Italy. He earned a reputation for sanctity during his life, a and worked many miracles.
Blessed Lorenzo Maria of St. Francis Xavier, priest (†1856). Religious from the Congregation of the Passion, he spread devotion to the Child Jesus in Capranica, Italy.
Blessed Flórida Cevoli, virgin (†1767). Of a noble Italian family, she entered the Capuchin convent of the Poor Clares of Città di Castello. Her virtues were valued by the abbess, St. Veronica de Giuliani, whom she served as secretary and confidante.
Blessed Mercedes Maria de Jesús Molina, virgin (†1883). Foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Mariana de Jesús, in Riobamba, Ecuador, for the education of poor girls.
Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist, virgin (†1949). She felt called to enter the religious life at 15 years of age, but was prohibited by her relatives. Only at 35 did she enter the Carmel of Ragusa, Italy, of which she was elected prioress.
First Reading – 2 Cor 5:14-21
Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Responsorial Psalm – 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12 (R.8a)
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. R.
He pardons all your iniquities,
He heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
He crowns you with kindness and compassion. R.
He will not always chide,
nor does He keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does He deal with us,
nor does He requite us according to our crimes. R.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He put our transgressions from us. R.
Gospel – Lk 2:41-51
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when He was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that He was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding Him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him.
After three days they found Him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard Him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw Him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to Him,
“Son, why have You done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And He said to them,
“Why were you looking for Me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what He said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.