Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Entrance of the Blesseds into Heaven, by Giotto di Bondone – Detail of the Final Judgement fresco, Cappella degli Scrovegni, Pádua (Italy)
St. François de Laval, bishop (†1708). Memorial in Canada. Born to the illustrious Montmorency family, he became the first Bishop of Quebec; for 50 years he worked with missionary zeal to strengthen and build up the Church in his vast diocese.
St. Venerius, bishop (†409). Disciple and sucessor of St. Ambrose of Milan. He supported St. John Chrysostom in exile.
St. Peter Nolasco, priest (†1245). Aided by St. Raymond de Peñafort and King James I of Aragon, he founded the Mercedarian Order in Spain, for the ransom of Christians from the Moors.
St. Lucius of Cyrene. He is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles among the “prophets and doctors” (13:1) of the church at Antioch.
St. Benedicta, virgin (†sixth century). Roman nun; St. Gregory the Great relates that after insistently beseeching God, she died one month after the death of a beloved friend, St. Galla.
Blesseds Henry Kaczorowski and Casimir Gostynski, priests and martyrs (†1942). For their dedication and fervour in carrying out apostolic works in Poland, they were designated domestic prelates of the Pope. They died in the gas chamber of Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
Blessed Bartholomew Pucci Franceschi, priest (†1330). Feeling called to the religious life, he obtained the consent of his wife and children to enter the Franciscan monastery of Montepulciano, Italy.
Blessed Mary Catherine Troiani, virgin (†1887). Italian Franciscan religious, foundress of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters in Cairo, Egypt.
Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno, religious (†1900). As a widow she founded the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Anne, Mother of Mary Immaculate, in Piacenza, Italy.
First Reading – Acts 15:7-21
“My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as He did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.” The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them. After they had fallen silent, James responded, “My brothers, listen to me. Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:
After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things, known from of old.
It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10 (R. 3)
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name. R.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. R.
Say among the nations: The LORD is King.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
He governs the peoples with equity. R.
Gospel – Jn 15:9-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”