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Ordinary Time: November 20th

Tuesday of the Thirty-Third Week of Ordinary Time

Daily Readings for: November 20, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Felix of Valois, confessor; St. Bernward, bishop (Hist)

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Felix of Valois, one of the courageous companions of St. John of Matha in the foundation of the Trinitarian Order for the redemption of captives in the hands of the Moslems. He died in 1212, at the motherhouse of the Order in the diocese of Meaux.

Historically today is also the feast of St. Bernward of Hildesheim, a Benedictine bishop, architect, painter, sculptor, and metalsmith.


St. Felix of Valois
Felix, born in 1127, and John of Matha founded the Order of Trinitarians for liberating captured Christians from Saracen slavery. He belonged to the royal family of Valois. The breviary recounts several marvelous events from his life. As a boy he frequently gave away his clothes to clothe the naked. He pleaded for the life of a murderer condemned to death and foretold that he would reform and lead a highly edifying life-which prophecy proved true. With St. John of Matha he journeyed to Rome at the bidding of an angel and requested permission from Pope Innocent III to found a religious Order (1198). During holy Mass the Pope was granted a revelation regarding the proposed foundation; an angel appeared to him clothed in white with a red and blue cross. At Innocent's bidding the Order took the name of the Blessed Trinity.

In the newly-founded monastery at Cerfroi, Felix was favored with a visit by the Blessed Virgin. During the night preceding the feast of Mary's Nativity all the brethren slept through Matins by a special divine dispensation. Felix alone appeared at choir, where he found the Blessed Virgin clothed in the habit of the Trinitarians, accompanied by a great throng of angels similarly dressed. United with them, with Mary as choir leader, Felix recited the Office as usual. When he was about to leave the earthly choirs to join those of heaven, an angel foretold to him the day of his departure; he admonished his brethren to persevere in love toward captives and the poor, and died on November 4, 1212, mature in age and merit.

The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Symbols: Cloak with red and blue cross; white stage with cross between its horns; fountain; flag; purse; slave;
Often Portrayed As: old man in Trinitarian habit with a coronet at his feet; Trinitarian with a stag nearby; Trinitarian with chains or captives nearby; with Saint John of Matha; with the Holy Trinity.

Things to Do:


St. Bernward
Saint Berward served as the thirteenth Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany during the middle of the tenth century. His grandfather was Athelbero, Count Palatine of Saxony. After having lost his parents, Bernward was sent to live with his uncle Volkmar, Bishop of Utrecht. His uncle enlisted the assistance of Thangmar, the pious and learned director of the cathedral school at Heidelberg, for the boy's education. Under the instruction of Thangmar, Bernward made rapid progress in Christian piety as well as in the sciences. He became very proficient in mathematics, painting, architecture, and particularly in the manufacture of ecclesiastical vessels and ornaments of silver and gold.

Saint Bernward completed his studies at Mainz, where he was then ordained a priest. In leiu of being placed in the diocese of his uncle, Bishop Volkmar, he chose to remain near his grandfather, Athelbero, to comfort him in his old age. Upon his grandfather’s death in 987, he became chaplain in the imperial court, and the Empress-Regent Theophano quickly appointed him to be tutor of her son Otto III, who was only six years old at the time. Bernward remained at the imperial court until 993, when he was elected Bishop of Hildesheim.

His knowledge and practice of the arts were entirely employed in the service of the Church. A man of extraordinary piety, he was devoted to prayer as well as the practice of mortification.

Shortly before his death in 1022 he was vested in the Benedictine habit. He was canonized by Pope Celestine III in 1193.

Excerpted from Catholic News Agency

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