Old Calendar: St. John of Capistrano, confessor; St. Gontran, king (Hist)
"There were many lepers in Israel at the time of Eliseus the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian." Naaman's cure, an anticipatory figure of baptism, also declares in advance the universality of salvation. Naaman was the Syrian general who, in obedience to the commands of Eliseus, was cured of leprosy by bathing in the Jordan. At a later date Jesus Himself was to receive in the waters of the Jordan the baptism of John the Baptist. Let us always keep in mind that repentance and a humble confession of our guilt will draw upon us the mercy of God and infuse into our hearts the hope of pardon.According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. John of Capistrano whose feast is celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on October 23.Stational Church
The Need for Mortification Today
Lent is essentially a time of prayer and mortification. The body which has been indulged for so many months must now be denied. Even though fasting and abstinence are impossible for some of us, the penitential spirit may not be shirked. Modern creeds approximate more and more the pagan conception of man, and the penitential spirit is, of course, unbearable to those whose only philosophy of life is the song of the banqueter: "Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
Ye call Me Master, and obey Me not:
Ye call Me Light, and see Me not;
Ye call Me Way, and walk Me not;
Ye call Me Life, and desire Me not;
Ye call Me Wise, and follow Me not:
Ye call Me Fair, and love Me not;
Ye call Me Rich, and ask Me not:
Ye call Me Eternal, and seek Me not;
Ye call Me Gracious, and trust Me not;
Ye call Me Noble, and serve Me not;
Ye call Me God, and fear Me not;
If I condemn you—blame Me not. AmenExcerpted from Message of the Gospels
The Station today is at St. Lawrence's in Lucina. Near the church was a well which was very dear to the Romans and which probably suggested the Epistle and Gospel of today's Mass. The church also contains a part of the gridiron on which St. Laurence was burned. The Introit and Gradual refer to the prayers of the Saint while he was being tortured.
St. Gontran was the son of King Clotaire and grandson of Clovis I and Saint Clotildis. When Clotaire died in 561, his domains were divided among his four sons. While Gontran's brother Caribert reigned at Paris, Sigebert in Metz, and Chilperic in Soissons, he was crowned king of Orleans and Burgundy in 561. He then made Chalons-sur-Saone his capital.
When compelled to take up arms against his ambitious brothers and the Lombards, he made no other use of his victories, gained under the conduct of a brave general called Mommol, than to give peace to his dominions. The crimes in which the barbarous habits of his nation involved him, he effaced by tears of repentance. The prosperity of his reign, both in peace and war, condemns those who suppose that human policy cannot be determined by the maxims of the Gospel, whereas the truth is just the contrary: no others can render a government so efficacious and prosperous.
Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).
The Station today is in St. Lawrence's in Damaso—a church built by Pope St. Damascus in honor of the martyred deacon. It was one of the first parish churches in Rome and was rebuilt in the late 15th century by Bramante, and has since been restored several times. Pope St. Damasus' relics are beneath the altar. Today the church is part of the Cancelleria, or the chancery, and houses the Holy Father's Tribunals: the Roman Rota, Apostolic Signatura, and Apostolic Penitentiary.