Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
St. Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church (†373). Bishop of Alexandria, doctor of the Church. He defended Catholic orthodoxy for forty years against the Arian heresy which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. He was exiled five times, enduring unrelenting injuries and accusations. In addition to the Life of St. Anthony of Egypt, he wrote many doctrinal works.
First Reading – Acts 6:8-15
Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyreneans, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They presented false witnesses who testified, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Responsorial Psalm – 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30 (R.1ab)
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Though princes meet and talk against me,
your servant meditates on your statutes.
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors. R.
I declared my ways, and you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. R.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me. R.
Gospel – Jn 6:22-29
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
St. Antoninus of Florence, bishop (†1459). Founded the dominican convent of St. Mark where, during his priorship, Blessed Angelico produced his famous artworks. Appointed Archbishop of Florence, he was a renowned moralist, director of souls and preacher.
St. Joseph Maria Rubio y Peralta, priest (†1929). Spanish Jesuit, apostle of the confessional and preacher of the spiritual exercises in Madrid. His motto was: Do what God wants and want what God does.
St. Joseph Nguyen Van Luu, martyr (†1854). Vietnamese farmer and catechist; he offered himself in the place of priest Peter Luu, and died in prison, during the reign of Emperor Tự Đức.
St. Wiborada, virgin and martyr (†926). She lived a recollected life in a cell beside the Church of St. Magnus in St. Gallen, Switzerland. She was killed by Hungarian invaders because of her Faith and religious vow.
Blessed Nicholas Hermansson, bishop (†1391). Demanding with self but compassionate with the poor; he dedicated himself entirely to his Diocese of Linköping, Sweden, where he reverently received the relics of St. Bridget.
Blessed William Tirry, priest and martyr (†1654). Augustinian priest executed in Clonmel, Ireland, for his fidelity to the Pope, during the regime of Oliver Cromwell.
Blessed Boleslas Strzelecki, priest and martyr (†1941). Parish priest with a reputation for holiness among his parishioners. During the anti-Catholic persecution waged during the Nazi occupation of Poland, he was arrested and detained in Auschwitz concentration camp, where he died four months later as a result of the severe mistreatment inflicted on him there.