Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
Move to: Previous Day | Next Day

Lent: February 29th

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Other Commemorations: St. Hilary, Pope (RM); St. Oswald, Bishop (RM)

MASS READINGS

February 29, 2020 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Almighty ever-living God, look with compassion on our weakness and ensure us your protection by stretching forth the right hand of your majesty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

show

Recipes (1)

show

Activities (2)

show

Prayers (3)

show

Library (1)

Blog & Podcasts (0)

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

"Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation (Jn. 5:28-29)."

Before the reform of the Roman Calendar this was the feast of St. John de Brefeuf. His feast has been transferred to October 19.

Stational Church


Meditation - The Tree of Knowledge and the Cross
The sin that was wrought through the tree was undone by the obedience of the tree, obedience to God whereby the Son of man was nailed to the tree, destroying the knowledge of evil, and bringing in and conferring the knowledge of good; and evil is disobedience to God, as obedience to God is good. And therefore the Word says through Isaiah the prophet, foretelling what was to come to pass in the future—for it was because they told the future that they were "prophets"—the Word says through him as follows: I refuse not, and do not gainsay, my back have I delivered to blows and my cheeks to buffets, and I have not turned away my face from the contumely of them that spat. [Is. 50, 6] So by obedience, whereby He obeyed unto death, hanging on the tree, He undid the old disobedience wrought in the tree. And because He is Himself the Word of God Almighty, who in His invisible form pervades us universally in the whole world, and encompasses both its length and breadth and height and depth—for by God's Word everything is disposed and administered—the Son of God was also crucified in these, imprinted in the form of a cross on the universe; for He had necessarily, in becoming visible, to bring to light the universality of His cross, in order to show openly through His visible form that activity of His: that it is He who makes bright the height, that is, what is in heaven, and holds the deep, which is in the bowels of the earth, and stretches forth and extends the length from East to West, navigating also the Northern parts and the breadth of the South, and calling in all the dispersed from all sides to the knowledge of the Father. — St. Irenaeus

Things to Do:

  • Today's reading from the book of Isaiah declares that the fasting desired by the Lord is not so much denying oneself food (although this is important) but rather, consists in "Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; / Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own." Many families take these words to heart by having an inexpensive, penitential dinner on Fridays in Lent (such as beans and rice) and then giving the extra money to the poor.

  • Many families give each child one pretzel during Friday dinners in Lent. Remind your children of the spiritual significance of the pretzel.

  • Pray the Stations of the Cross today with your family. An excellent version with beautiful meditations composed by our Holy Father is his Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. Some other recommended versions are: Eucharistic Stations of the Cross, and the more traditional Stations of the Cross written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori can be found in most Catholic bookstores. Here are some guidelines for praying the Stations of the Cross in your home.

  • Any of the linked activities (Fun Pretzel Project, Lenten Scrapbook, Candelabrum for Stations of the Cross) are a perfect way for your children to spend their Friday afternoons throughout this season of Lent.


Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Station with Sant’Agostino (St. Augustine), formerly St. Tryphon:
The station for today is at the church dedicated to St. Augustine of Hippo. Michalangelo was one of the artists commissioned for the decoration of the church. The Renaissance façade, one of the first in this style, is built of travertine marble said to be from the ruins of the Colosseum.


St. Hilary
To replace a man like Leo was not easy, but the next pope was a man after Leo's heart, the archdeacon Hilary. Hilary was a Sardinian who had joined the Roman clergy and had been sent by St. Leo as one of the papal legates to the council at Ephesus in 449. This council, intended to settle the Monophysite affair, got out of hand. Packed with Monophysites and presided over by Dioscorus, the patriarch of Alexandria, the assembly refused to listen to the protests of the papal legates. Dioscorus steam-rollered through the council a condemnation of the orthodox and saintly Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople, and an approval of the Monophysite leader Eutyches. In vain Hilary protested. He had to fly in fear for his life and hide in a chapel of St. John the Evangelist. It was only with difficulty that he got back to Rome. No wonder St. Leo called this Ephesus council a gathering of robbers!

As pope, Hilary worked hard to foster order in the Gallic hierarchy. When a certain Hermes illegally made himself archbishop of Narbonne, two Gallic delegates came to Rome to appeal to Pope Hilary. He held a council at Rome in 462 to settle the matter. He also upheld the rights of the see of Arles to be the primatial see of Gaul. From Spain also came appeals of a similar nature. To settle these Hilary held a council at Rome in 465. This is the first Council at Rome whose acts have come down to us. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" he sent a letter to the East confirming the ecumenical councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and the famous dogmatic letter of his predecessor St. Leo to Flavian. He also publicly in St. Peter's rebuked the shadow-emperor Anthemius for allowing a favorite of his to foster heresy in Rome.

St. Hilary deserves great credit for his work in building and decorating churches in Rome. Of especial interest is the oratory he built near the Lateran, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. The Pope attributed his escape from the wild Monophysites at Ephesus to the intercession of the Beloved Disciple, and to show his gratitude he built this beautiful oratory. Over its doors may still be seen the inscription, "To his deliverer, Blessed John the Evangelist, Bishop Hilary, the Servant of Christ." Hilary built two more churches and spent freely in decorating still others. The gold and silver and marble used so lavishly by this Pope in adorning the Roman churches indicate that the wealthy families of Rome must have saved something from the grasping hands of Goths and Vandals.

St. Hilary died on February 29. His feast is celebrated on February 28.
—Excerpted from Defending the Faith

Highlights and Things to Do:


St. Oswald of Worcester
St. Oswald was born of a Danish family that settled in England. He was educated by his uncle St. Odo, bishop of Canterbury, was appointed dean of Winchester, and soon after sent by Odo to the abbey of Fleury in France to learn monastic discipline.

In 962, Oswald succeeded St. Dunstan as bishop of Worcester, and he was closely associated with Dunstan and St. Ethelwold in the restoration of monasticism in England. His first foundation was at Westbury-on-Trym near Bristol, but his greatest establishment was at Ramsey in Huntingdonshire (972), from which were founded Pershore, Evesham, and other houses.

St. Oswald shone as a bright star as bishop. He was energetic in improving the standard of the parochial clergy, fostering education, and enforcing clerical celibacy, and in 972 he was promoted to archbishop of York, where as a young man he had worked under his uncle Archbishop Oskitell (Oskytel). But he was obliged to retain the see of Worcester as well, presiding over both dioceses; it is with Worcester that he was always concerned.

St. Oswald was almost always occupied in visiting his diocese, preaching without intermission, and reforming abuses. He encouraged learning and learned men. When not engaged in pastoral duties, Oswald could be found joining the monks of St. Mary's monastery in their exercises.

To nourish his own humility and charity, Oswald always invited 12 of the poor to dine with him each day during Lent (some say every day). These he served himself, and also washed and kissed their feet. He died at St. Mary's just after fulfilling this Lenten observance and after receiving the viaticum, while repeatedly praying the Glory Be.

His body was translated by his successor Adulph ten years later and enshrined. Still later his relics were transferred to York.
—Adapted from Celtic Saints

Symbols and Representation: church; demon; dove; ship; stone

Highlights and Things to Do:


Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
Station with Santa Maria in Trastevere (St. Mary in Trastevere ):

The Station for today is in the celebrated basilica, St. Maria in Trastevere. The basilica was consecrated in the third century, under the pontificate of St. Callixtus, and was the first church built in Rome in honor of our Blessed Lady, particularly for her Assumption. The original church was demolished and the current church was constructed between 1139 to 1181, with additions such as mosaics and chapels added through the centuries.

For more on Santa Maria in Trastevere, see:

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.