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Ordinary Time: January 30th

Thursday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time

MASS READINGS

January 30, 2014 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. 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. Martina, virgin and martyr; St. Bathildes (Hist)

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Martina who was a Roman virgin born of an illustrious family. Both of her parents died while she was very young. She distributed among the poor the immense wealth which she inherited and so laid up for herself unfailing treasures in heaven. With great constancy she refused to offer sacrifices to false gods. She was tortured in various inhuman ways, she was exposed to the attacks of beasts in the amphitheater, and was finally beheaded about the year 228.


St. Martina
She was a noble Roman virgin, who glorified God, suffering many torments and a cruel death for her faith, in the capital city of the world, in the third century. There stood a chapel consecrated to her memory in Rome, which was frequented with great devotion in the time of St. Gregory the Great. Her relics were discovered in a vault, in the ruins of her old church and translated with great pomp in the year 1634, under the Pope Urban VIII, who built a new church in her honor, and composed himself the hymns used in her office in the Roman Breviary. The city of Rome ranks her among its particular patrons. The history of the discovery of her relics was published by Honoratus of Viterbo, an Oratorian.

— Taken from Vol. I of The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company.

Patron: Nursing mothers; Rome, Italy.

Symbols: Maiden with a lion; being beheaded by a sword; tortured by being hung on a two-pronged hook; receiving a lily and the palm of martyrdom from the Virgin and Child.

Things to Do:

  • Read about the Roman Church dedicated to St Luke the Evangelist and St Martina.

  • Pray to St. Martina for the courage to destroy those idols of our affections, to which we are so prone to offer the sacrifice of our hearts. Examine your conscience and try to identify what these idols might be.

St. Bathildes
St. Bathildes was an Englishwoman, who was carried over whilst yet young into France, and there sold as a slave, at a very low price, to Erkenwald, mayor of the palace under King Clovis II. When she grew up, her master was so much taken with her prudence and virtue that he placed her in charge of his household.

The renown of her virtues spread through all France, and King Clovis II. took her for his royal consort. This unexpected elevation produced no alteration in a heart perfectly grounded in humility and the other virtues; she seemed to become even more humble than before. Her new station furnished her the means of being truly a mother to the poor; the king gave her the sanction of his royal authority for the protection of the Church, the care of the poor, and the furtherance of all religious undertakings.

The death of her husband left her regent of the kingdom. She at once forbade the enslavement of Christians, did all in her power to promote piety and filled France with hospitals and religious houses.

As soon as her son Clotaire was of an age to govern, she withdrew from the world and entered the convent of Chelles. Here she seemed to entirely forget her worldly dignity and was to be distinguished from the rest of the community only by her extreme humility, her obedience to her spiritual superiors, and her devotion to the sick, whom she comforted and served with wonderful charity.

As she neared her end, God visited her with a severe illness, which she bore with Christian patience until, on the 30th of January, 680, she yielded up her soul in devout prayer.

Excerpted from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]