Ordinary Time: February 24th
Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea" (Mark 9:41).
From the Beginning of Creation Marriage Was Sacred
The link between secularization and the crisis of marriage and of the family is only too clear. The crisis concerning the meaning of God and that concerning moral good and evil has succeeded in diminishing an acquaintance with the fundamentals of marriage and of the family which is rooted in marriage. For an effective recovery of the truth in this field, it is necessary to rediscover the transcendent dimension that is intrinsic to the full truth of marriage and the family, overcoming every dichotomy that tends to separate the profane aspects from the religious as if there were two marriages: one profane and another sacred.
"God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gn 1,27). The image of God is found in the duality of man and woman and in their interpersonal communion. For this reason, transcendence is inherent in the existence of marriage, right from the start, because it belongs to the natural distinction between man and woman in the order of creation. In their being "one flesh" (Gn 2,24), the man and the woman, in their mutual assistance and fruitfulness, participate in something sacred and religious, as the Encyclical Arcanum divinae sapientiae of my Predecessor Leo XIII emphasized, pointing to the understanding of marriage held in ancient civilizations (10 Feb. 1880, Leonis XIII P.M. Acta, vol. II, p. 22). In this regard, he observed that marriage "from the very beginning was a figure (adumbratio) of the Incarnation of the Word of God" (ibid.). In the state of original innocence, Adam and Eve already had the supernatural gift of grace. In this way, before the Incarnation of the Word took place historically, its effective holiness was already being bestowed on humanity.
—Excerpted from Natural Marriage Already Has Sacred Dimension, John Paul II, February 5, 2003
Saturday of the First Week of Lent (Ember Saturday)
Station with San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's in the Vatican):
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. The original basilica was built by Constantine in 323 over the place where St. Peter was buried.
For more on San Pietro in Vaticano, see:
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.