Easter: May 6th
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Other Commemorations: St. Peter Nolasco (RM); St. John before the Latin Gate (Hist)
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. John before the Latin Gate. A tradition mentioned by St. Jerome, which goes back to the second century, says St. John the Apostle was taken to Rome under the Emperor Domitian and plunged into a cauldron of boiling oil; by a striking miracle he came out safe and sound from this torture. A church dedicated in honor of St. John was built near the Latin Gate, the spot referred to by the tradition.According to the Roman Martyrology, today is the feast St. Evodius one of the seventy-two disciples Christ, and Catholic tradition has always held that he was the first bishop of Antioch after St. Peter. As bishop of Antioch, he was the first to coin the word “Christian” to refer to the disciples of Jesus. He probably died between the years 64-67, when he was then succeeded by St. Ignatius of Antioch. According to the General Roman Calendar, the feast of St. Dominic Savio is celebrated today. He was an Italian, adolescent student of Saint John Bosco. He was studying to be a priest when he became ill and died at the age of 14, possibly from pleurisy. This feast was formerly observed on March 9.
St. John before the Latin Gate
One day Salome presented her two sons, James and John, to Jesus, and with a mother’s ambition asked Him to grant them the highest places in his Kingdom. In reply, the Savior spoke of the chalice which He Himself would have to drink, and foretold that these two disciples would also drink of it. The elder, James the Great, was the first to give his Master this proof of his love. John, the younger brother, offered his life in testimony of Jesus’ divinity.
St. Peter Nolasco
One night while Peter Nolasco was praying, the Blessed Virgin appeared (1228) and told him how greatly pleased she and her divine Son would be if a religious order were established in her honor for the express purpose of delivering Christians held in bondage by the infidels. In compliance with her wish, Peter, together with St. Raymond of Penafort and James I, King of Aragon, founded the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the ransom of captives. Besides the usual vows, all members were required to take a fourth, one by which they bound themselves to become captives of the pagans, if necessary, to effect the emancipation of Christians.
- To find out more about the history of the Mercedarian Order read this account.