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Easter: April 20th

Monday of the Third Week of Easter (Optional Memorial of St. Beuno in Wales)

MASS READINGS

April 20, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, putting off our old self with all its ways, we may live as Christ did, for through the healing paschal remedies you have conformed us to his nature. 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. Marcellinus, bishop (Hist); St. Agnes of Montepulciano (Hist)

The Church in Wales is celebrating the feast of St. Beuno, one of its greatest saints. He was a wonder-worker and aristocrat, monk and master of monks, patriot, challenger of tyrants — that was the medieval picture of the man which is reflected in his Life, and which survives, carved in stone on the fourteenth century pulpit of the Black Monks of Shrewsbury.


St. Beuno
Abbot of Clynnog, d. 640, was, according to the "Bucced Beuno," born in Powis-land and, after education and ordination in the monastery of Bangor, in North Wales, became an active missioner, Cadvan, King of Gwynedd, being his generous benefactor. Cadwallon, Cadvan's son and successor, deceived Beuno about some land, and on the saint demanding justice proved obdurate. Thereupon, Cadwallon's cousin Gweddeint, in reparation, "gave to God and Beuno forever his township" where the saint (c. 616) founded the Abbey of Clynnog Fawr (Carnarvonshire).

Beuno became the guardian and restorer to life of his niece, the virgin St. Winefride, whose clients still obtain marvelous favors at Holywell (Flintshire). He was relentless with hardened sinners, but full of compassion to those in distress. Before his death "on the seventh day of Easter" he had a wondrous vision. Eleven churches bearing St. Beuno's name, with various relics and local usages, witness to his far-reaching missionary zeal. — Catholic Encyclopedia

Patron: Diseased cattle, sick animals, sick children.

Symbols: Restoring the head of Saint Winifred.

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St. Marcellinus
St. Marcellinus was born in Africa, of a noble family; accompanied by Vincent and Domninus, he went over into Gaul, and there preached the Gospel, with great success, in the neighborhood of the Alps.

He afterwards settled at Embrun, where he built a chapel in which he passed his nights in prayer, after laboring all the day in the exercise of his sacred calling. By his pious example as well as by his earnest words, he converted many of the heathens among whom he lived.

He was afterwards made bishop of the people whom he had won over to Christ, but the date of his consecration is not positively known. Burning with zeal for the glory of God, he sent Vincent and Domninus to preach the faith in those parts which he could not visit in person.

He died at Embrun about the year 374, and was there interred. St. Gregory of Tours, who speaks of Marcellinus in terms of highest praise, mentions many miracles as happening at his tomb.

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

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  • Read more about St. Marcellinus here and here


St. Agnes of Montepulciano

A Dominican nun, Agnes (1268 – 1317) was renowned for her diligence in prayer and her extraordinary charity. Although born of a wealthy family in Gracchiano, Italy, she believed that charity is the only way to acquire the virtue of humility: there is no humility without charity; the one nourishes the other. She first joined the Sisters of the Sack (so-called because of their rough clothes) in Montepulciano. But when a new foundation was established in Proceno, Agnes was sent there as housekeeper; later she served as bursar and superior. Meanwhile, her austerities and her visions of Christ, Mary, and the angels had become so well known that the citizens of Montepulciano invited her to return. She did so and founded a convent in premises formerly used as brothels. Because she sought perfection according to the way of St. Dominic, she placed the convent under the direction of the Dominicans, and it grew and prospered.

St. Agnes of Montepulciano may be best known for an incident that occurred many years after her death. About seventy years after Agnes died, St. Catherine of Siena made a pilgrimage to the shrine of this revered Dominican foundress. St. Catherine bowed to kiss Agnes’ foot, the saint raised it up toward her. Catherine may not have been totally surprised, as miraculous characteristics had surrounded Agnes’ life.

This “little lamb” was born not far from Montepulciano in 1268. She expressed a desire to give her life to God and practiced pious exercises from an early age. Now and then, her parents gave in to her requests to visit the various convents in town. On one such occasion, Agnes and her mother were passing a house of ill repute, when a flock of crows suddenly descended upon her, pecking and scratching the little girl. Her mother remarked that the crows represented demonic forces threatened by her purity. Indeed, years later, Agnes would be asked to found a convent on that very spot.

In her teens, Agnes joined the Franciscans in Montepulciano and rose to become its prioress. Small white flakes in the form of crosses fell gently from the heavens in celebration. It is said that the sisters have preserved some of these until today. In 1306, God inspired Agnes to found a Dominican convent with three stones given her by the Blessed Mother in honor of the Trinity. The Blessed Mother had visited Agnes many times. On one of these occasions, she allowed Agnes to hold the Christ Child, but Agnes showed great reluctance in giving him back.

Toward the end of her life, Agnes sought healing from some famous springs. Although she did not receive healing herself, her prayers effected the resurrection of a child who had drowned in the springs. In 1317, Agnes died in Montepulciano and received her long-awaited reward.

Excerpted from Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation

Patron: City of Siena, Italy

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