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Ordinary Time: July 2nd

Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Daily Readings for: July 02, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth. 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: Visitation; Sts. Processus and Martinian, martyrs; St. Swithin (Hist)

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which in the Ordinary Form has been transferred to May 31.

It is also the commemoration of Sts. Processus and Martinian whose bodies lie in a chapel at St. Peter's in Rome. During the time when Sts. Peter and Paul were prisoners in the Mamertine, legend says that these two jailors together with forty others were converted through the prayers and miracles of the holy apostles. They were baptized with water that suddenly sprang out from a rock. The jailors then wished to help the apostles make their escape. Both died as martyrs for the faith (about 67 A.D.).

The Roman Martyrology also includes St. Swithin, bishop, from England on this day. The Anglican Church celebrates his feast on July 15, known as "St. Swithin's Day."


Sts. Processus & Marinian
The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome.

State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the knowledge of the Savior. When the holy Apostle Peter was locked up at the Mamertine prison, Processus and Martinian came to believe in Christ. They accepted holy Baptism from the apostle and released him from prison.

The jailer Paulinus learned about this, and he demanded that Sts Processus and Martinian renounce Christ. But they fearlessly confessed Christ, and they spat at the golden statue of Jupiter. Paulinus ordered that they be slapped on the face, and then seeing the resolute stance of the holy martyrs, he subjected them to torture. The martyrs were beaten with iron rods, scorched with fire, and finally, thrown into prison.

A certain illustrious and pious woman, by the name of Lucina, visited them in prison and gave them help and encouragement. The torturer Paulinus was soon punished by God. He fell blind and died three days later. The son of Paulinus went to the city ruler demanding that the martyrs be put to death. Sts Processus and Martinian were beheaded by the sword (+ ca. 67).

Lucina buried the bodies of the martyrs. Today their tomb is in the south transept of St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Excerpted from the Orthodox Church in America


St. Swithin (also known as St. Swithun)
St Swithun died in 862 as bishop of Winchester. It is not known when he was born, but he was a secular clerk with something of a reputation for virtue and learning. He was attached to the West Saxon court and was one of King Egbert's principal advisers. He was given the king's son, Ethelwulf, the father of Alfred the Great, to educate; and to him must go some of the credit for the strongly religious tone of the West Saxon court under Ethelwulf and his sons.

He was consecrated bishop of Winchester in 852, and as bishop was something of a builder. He may also have been one of the first contributors to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. A number of agreeably humble miracles were attributed to him - he was said to have restored a basket of eggs dropped by an old market woman when crossing a bridge. His great reputation for sanctity is, however, largely owing to the cult which sprang up at Winchester a hundred years after his death, in the time of St Ethelwold and the monastic reformation, when his body was translated. His shrine was splendid, but when it was looted by Henry VIII in 1538 its gold and jewels were found to be false.

When he died he was buried at his own request in the churchyard, in order that the passers-by would walk over his grave and the rain fall upon it. It is always said that if it rains on his feast day, it will rain for forty days after, but it is not known how St. Swithun came to be associated with the weather. Similar stories are told of SS Medard, Gervase and Protase in France.

The Saints, edited by John Coulson

The Roman Martyrology mentions St. Swithin, Bishop of Winchester, England. His holiness was made known by miracles. He died on July 2, but "St. Swithin's Day" is held on July 15 in England, the day his relics were transferred. He is another of the "weather saints" — if it rains on July 15, it will rain forty more days. If no rain, it will be fair for forty more days, as the old rhyme says:

St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.

This weather patronage traces back to July 15, 871 when the monks were translating his body (relics) from the outdoor grave to an indoor shrine in the Cathedral. The saint apparently did not approve, as it rained for 40 days afterward.

Patron: drought relief; Stavenger, England; Winchester, England.

Symbols: cross; rain cloud and rain; crosier and closed book.

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