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Ordinary Time: January 18th

Tuesday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time

Daily Readings for: January 18, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: All-powerful and ever-living God, direct your love that is within us, that our efforts in the name of your Son may bring mankind to unity and peace. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Old Calendar: St. Prisca, virgin and marty; St. Peter's Chair at Rome (Hist)

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome and the commemoration of St. Prisca. The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on February 22.

Regarding St. Prisca, the Martyrology reads: "In the city of Rome, the holy virgin and martyr Prisca; after many tortures she gained the crown of martyrdom under Emperor Claudius II (about 270)." Prisca should not be confused with Priscilla, the wife of Aquila, mentioned in the Acts, whose feast dates to the earliest days of Christianity.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


St. Prisca
Prisca, who is also known as Priscilla, was a child martyr of the early Roman Church. Born to Christian parents of a noble family, Prisca was raised during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius. While Claudius did not persecute Christians with the same fervor as other Roman emperors, Christians still did not practice their faith openly. In fact, Prisca's parents went to great lengths to conceal their faith, and thus they were not suspected of being Christians.

Prisca, however, did not feel the need to take precaution. The young girl openly professed her dedication to Christ, and eventually, she was reported to the emperor. Claudius had her arrested, and commanded her to make a sacrifice to Apollo, the pagan god of the sun.

According to the legend, Prisca refused, and was tortured for disobeying. Then, suddenly, a bright, yellow light shone about her, and she appeared to be a little star.

Claudius ordered that Prisca be taken away to prison, in the hopes that she would abandon Christ. When all efforts to change her mind were unsuccessful, she was taken to an amphitheatre and thrown in with a lion.

As the crowd watched, Prisca stood fearless. According to legend, the lion walked toward the barefoot girl, and then gently licked her feet. Disgusted by his thwarted efforts to dissuade Prisca, Claudius had her beheaded.

Seventh-century accounts of the grave sites of Roman martyrs refer to the discovery of an epitaph of a Roman Christian named Priscilla in a large catacomb and identifies her place of interment on the Via Salaria as the Catacomb of Priscilla.

— Excerpted from Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives.


The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
As we gather for worship during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we respond to God’s call to us and we seek to be renewed and to build up our mutual relationship in Christ through song, word and gesture. This celebration may also serve as an invitation to explore or recall the eight days of reflection, which are linked textually to 1 Corinthians 1:1-17. We recognize Paul’s provocative question: "Has Christ been divided?" as a joyful challenge to prayer and to self-examination as persons and as Christian communities. This biblical text and worship outline is an opportunity to consider that challenge anew in your context.

Day One: Together... we are called to be saints
Together, we who call upon the name of the Lord are called to be saints "sanctified in Christ Jesus" (1 Cor 1:2). In Exodus, this gathering together of God’s people is described as a treasured possession, a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.

In 1 Peter, our membership in this communion of saints is understood to come as a result of God calling us together as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, God’s own people. With this calling comes a shared mandate to proclaim the mighty acts of God that drew us out of darkness and into God’s light.

Furthermore, we discover in Matthew that as a communion of saints, our oneness in Jesus is to extend beyond our family, clan, or class as together we pray for unity and seek to do the will of God.

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