Easter: April 26th
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter; Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Can)
Old Calendar: Saints Cletus and Marcellinus, popes and martyrs; Our Lady of Good Counsel
The devotion to our Lady of Good Counsel originated at Gennazzano, a village in the neighborhood of Rome, where an Augustinian church, in which is enshrined a miraculous picture of our Lady, had been for centuries a place of popular pilgrimage. This feast is observed in Canada.According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Cletus and Marcellinus. St. Cletus, who is probably identical with St. Anacletus (his feast moved from July 13 before 1961), figures in the list of Popes as the second successor of St. Peter, A.D. 76-88. St. Marcellinus governed the Church two centuries later, from A.D. 296 to 304, during the terrible Diocletian persecution.
Our Lady of Good Counsel
On the Feast of Saint Mark, April 25 1467, the people of Genazzano, Italy witnessed a marvellous sight. A cloud descended upon an ancient church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel. When the cloud disappeared, an image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was revealed which had not been there before. The image, on a paper-thin sheet, was suspended miraculously.
St. Cletus I
Emperor Vespasian reigned in Rome when Cletus assumed leadership of the Church. His specific responsibilities, like those of his predecessor Linus, can only be surmised because a monarchial episcopate had not yet emerged in Rome. Little is known of Cletus, perhaps due to the confusion over his name. Some historians refer to him as Anacletus or, more correctly, Anencletus, which is a Greek adjective meaning "blameless." There is, however, no doubt that he is recognized as the third successor and is commemorated in the ancient canon of the Mass.
St. Marcellinus was Pope during the Diocletian persecution (296-304). With wise forethought he ordered large rooms to be constructed in the catacombs for liturgical use. Such a chamber in the catacomb of Callistus still recalls his action. According to one ancient account (certainly erroneous), this pope strewed incense before the gods when arrested during the persecution, but later atoned for his weakness by a glorious martyrdom. His grave in the catacomb of Priscilla was an object of highest honor.
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