Old Calendar: St. Heribert, archbishop (Hist); St. Abraham & St. Mary, hermit (Hist)
While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here (Lk 11:29-32).Today is an Ember Day in the Tridentine Rite. There are two principal objects for the Ember Days of this period of the year: the first is to offer to God the season of Spring, and, by fasting and prayer, to draw down His blessing upon it; the second is to ask Him to enrich with His choicest graces the priests and sacred ministers who are to receive their Ordination on Saturday. Stational Church
Meditation - The Faults of Our Neighbor
In disagreements between you and your neighbor, you must always remember that to be in the right is the consideration that influences a Christian the least. The philosopher may indulge such a satisfaction. But to be in the right and to act as if one were not, to allow one's opponent to triumph on the side of injustice,-this means to overcome evil by good, and to secure peace for one's soul. No more convincing argument for your own vindication is required than the silent exterior acknowledgment that you are in the wrong. He who edifies does more for the truth than he who is zealous for the combat. Instead of trying to refute those that are in the wrong, it is better to pray for them. A stream flows much more rapidly when nothing is done to hold it back. Pray for those who are prejudiced against you, never become embittered against them, pity them, await their return to better feelings, and help to free them from their prejudices. One would not be human if he does not feel how easy it is to stray, and how much it costs to acknowledge this. The spirit of meekness, of indulgence, of patience and humility in examining the behavior of others toward us, secures us that peace of mind which is not compatible with the jealous, suspicious sensibilities of self-love. — Fénelon
- Read this thought-provoking article by George Rutler, Why We Need Lent, to understand why such a season of mortification is necessary for us to become saints.
Today's Station is at St. Mary Major. The spring Ember Week consecrated the new season to God and by prayer and fasting sought to obtain abundant graces for those who on Saturday were to receive Holy Orders. The Station was fittingly held in the church, which witnessed the first scrutinies for the coming ordinations, and which was dedicated to the mother of the great High Priest.
Heribert was born in Worms and he was the son of Hugo, count of Worms. He was educated in the school of Worms Cathedral and at the Benedictine Gorze Abbey in Lorraine, France. He returned to Worms Cathedral to be provost and was ordained a priest in 994.
St. Abraham & St. Mary
Abraham was a rich nobleman of Edessa. At his parents’ desire he married, but escaped to a cell near the city as soon as the feast was over. He walled up the cell-door, leaving only a small window through which he received his food. There for fifty years he sang God’s praises and implored mercy for himself and for all men. The wealth which fell to him on his parents’ death he gave to the poor.
- Read The Life of Saint Abraham, Hermit, by S. Ephraem the Deacon and also read more at Ephraim of Syria.
Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Station with St. Peter (San Pietro in Vaticano): The Station is in the basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, where the people would assemble towards evening, that they might be present at the ordination of the priests and sacred ministers. This day was called Twelve-Lesson-Saturday, because, formerly, twelve passages from the holy Scriptures were read, as upon Holy Saturday. The original basilica was built by Constantine in 323 over the place where St. Peter was buried.