Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. Maximus, bishop – Church of Grace College, Coimbra (Portugal)
St. Maximus, bishop (†circa 350). After enduring torture and forced labour for the Faith, he obtained freedom and became Bishop of Jerusalem. He worked tirelessly to propagate the Faith.
St. Brito (†386). Bishop of Trier, Germany, he defended his flock from the errors of Priscillian, however, he opposed the execution of the latter and his followers, together with St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Martin of Tours..
St. Hilary of Arles, bishop (†449). Monk from the Lérins Abbey who was elected Bishop of Arles, France; he sheltered orphans, assisted the poor and preached God’s mercy to sinners.
St. Sacerdos, Bishop and monk (†eighth century). He was elected Bishop of Limoges, France; in late life he chose to return to monastic life.
St. Gotthard of Hildesheim, bishop (†1038). Benedictine monk elected Bishop of Hildesheim; he re-established religious discipline, opened schools, and acted as a father to the faithful.
St. Avertinus, deacon (†1189). Accompanied St. Thomas Becket in exile. After the death of this saint, he returned to Vençay, France, where he became a hermit.
St. Angelo, martyr (†1225). Priest from the early Carmelite Order. Born in Jerusalem, he fought the Cathar heresy and was murdered by enraged Cathars in Sicily while he was preaching int the Church of St. James in Leocata.
Blessed Gregory Frackowiak, religious and martyr (†1943). Religious from the Society of the Divine Word, imprisoned and beheaded in Dresden, Germany.
Blessed Catherine Cittadini, virgin (†1857). Founded the Congregation of Ursuline Sisters of Somasco, Italy, for the formation of poor girls, especially orphans.
First Reading –Acts 15:1-6
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters about this question. They were sent on their journey by the Church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brethren. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church, as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters, and they reported what God had done with them. But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.” The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5 (R. cf. 1)
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem. R.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD. R.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David. R.
Gospel – Jn 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does He prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in Me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without Me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in Me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in Me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”