Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
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Lent: March 2nd

Monday of the First Week of Lent

Other Commemorations: Bl. Charles the Good, Martyr (RM)

MASS READINGS

March 02, 2020 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Convert us, O God our Savior, and instruct our minds by heavenly teaching, that we may benefit from the works of Lent. 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.

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Historically today is the feast of Blessed Charles the Good, the Danish prince, son of the holy king Canuto IV, gained the crown of the Count of Flanders from his maternal lineage. After an initial brief interval, his reign was marked by peace and justice. Dedicated to the defense and aid of the poor and weak, he was killed by soldiers that he had tried to pacify. Leo III officially beatified him in 1882 and the new Roman Martyrology still remembers the anniversary of his martyrdom. It is also the feast of St. Simplicius who was born in Tivoli and was elected to the papacy in 468. In 476, the last emperor of the Western Empire was deposed, and Odoacer the Goth became the first king of Italy and a Roman patrician. Simplicius opposed Monothelitism and built churches. He wanted to maintain papal authority in the Western Empire in spite of the collapse of civil authority. Simplicius died, after a long illness, in 483.


Blessed Charles the Good
Count Charles of Flanders, was called "the good" by the people of his kingdom. They named him for what they found him to truly be. He was the son of St. Canute, king of Denmark. Charles was just five years old when his father was murdered in 1086. When Charles grew up, he married a good young woman named Margaret. Charles was a mild and fair ruler. The people trusted him and his laws. He tried to be an example of what he expected the people to be.

Some nobles accused Charles of unjustly favoring the poor over the rich. He answered kindly, "It is because I am so aware of the needs of the poor and the pride of the rich." The poor of his realm were fed daily at his castles.

Charles ordered the abundant planting of crops so that the people would have plenty to eat at reasonable prices. Some wealthy men tried to hoard grain to sell at very high prices. Charles the Good found out and forced them to sell immediately and at fair prices. An influential father and his sons had been reprimanded by Charles for their violent tactics. They joined the little group of enemies who now wanted to kill him.

The count walked every morning barefoot to Mass and arrived early at the Church of St. Donatian. He did this in a spirit of penance. He longed to deepen his own spiritual life with God. His enemies knew that he walked to church and also that he prayed often alone before Mass. Many people who loved Charles feared for his life. They warned him that his walks to St. Donatian could lead to his death. He replied, "We are always in the middle of dangers, but we belong to God." One morning, as he prayed alone before the statue of Mary, his attackers killed him. Charles was martyred in 1127.
>—Excerpted from Holy Spirit Interactive

Patronage: counts; Crusaders; diocese of Burges, Belgium

Symbols and Representation: nobleman with a purse and a sword; depicted after his martyrdom in the cathedral; sword

Highlights and Things to Do:


Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Station with Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano (Saints Marcellinus and Peter):

The Station is in the church of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, two celebrated martyrs of Rome under the persecution of Diocletian. Their relics were brought to the church in 1256, and the church was restored the same year on order from Pope Alexander IV. Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano is a Roman catholic parish on the Via Merulana at the intersection with via Labicana. Their feast day is June 2..

For more on Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano, see:

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