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Lent: March 15th

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

Other Commemorations: St. Louise de Marillac, Widow (RM)


March 15, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)


Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent: Guard your Church, we pray, O Lord, in your unceasing mercy, and, since without you mortal humanity is sure to fall, may we be kept by your constant helps from all harm and directed to all that brings salvation. 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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Gospel Verse, Ez 18:31:

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the Lord, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Jesus’ condemnation of religious externalism, hypocrisy and vanity is not meant to correct only the Pharisees of his time. It is also directed at us. We should look into our Lenten practices of piety and works of charity and see whether they are tainted with hypocrisy. During the celebration that follows, Christ, the servant of Yahweh, will increase in us the spirit of human service.

The “phylacteries” mentioned in the gospel were bands of parchment enclosed in small boxes worn on the forehead and left fore-arm where they were fixed by straps. On these bands were inscribed the most important texts of the Law. The “fringes” were the tassels which the Law required to be worn at the four corners of the cloak. By wearing broad phylacteries and long tassels the Pharisees intended to show clearly their fidelity to the Law. —St. Andrew Missal

Today the Roman Martyrology commemorates St. Louise de Marillac. She was born in 1592, and married in 1613. When her husband died she made a vow of widowhood and devoted herself entirely to works of charity. St. Vincent de Paul, who became her spiritual director, gradually initiated her into his own charitable works for the poor and afflicted, and in 1639 they founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity to which St. Louise dedicated the rest of her life. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on March 11, 1934.

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Meditation—The Narrow Formalism of the Pharisees

The excessive formalism of the Pharisees led of necessity to pride. Being themselves the authors of many precepts, they believed themselves to be equally the authors of their own sanctity. They were the "separated," the pure, untouched by untying unclean. Hence what had they wherewith to reproach themselves? were they not perfectly "correct" in every way? Therefore they had the utmost esteem for themselves. Their overweening pride urged them "to love salutations in the market-place, and the first chairs in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts."

The Saviour's extraordinary condescension towards publicans and sinners, rejected by them as unclean, His independence in regard to the Law of the Sabbath, for He said that He was the Lord of the Sabbath, the miracles whereby He drew the people to Him could not fail to disquiet them. the people to Him could not fail to disquiet them. the people to Him could not fail to disquiet them.

Throughout the Gospel we see them full of hatred against Jesus, striving to destroy His authority with the multitude, to turn His disciples away from Him and to deceive the people in order to hinder Him from fulfilling His mission of salvation.
—Dom Columba Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries

St. Louise de Marillac

St. Louise de Marrillac married an official of the royal court, Antony Le Gras, and after his death in 1625 was an active supporter of the charitable work of St Vincent de Paul, who came to put more and more reliance on her. Mademoiselle Le Gras, as she was known, became the co-founder with him of the Daughters of Charity, whose 'convent is the sick-room, their chapel the parish church, their cloister the city streets'; it was she who drew up the first draft of their rule of life. Her clear intelligence and wide sympathy played a big part in the beginnings of the congregation, whose aspirants she trained and whose rapid growth involved responsibilities which largely fell on her. At the time of her death there were already over forty houses of the sisters in France, the sick poor were looked after at home in twenty-six Parisian parishes, hundreds of women were given shelter, and there were other undertakings as well. St Louise was not physically robust, but she had great powers of endurance, and her selfless devotion was a source of incalculable help and encouragement to Monsieur Vincent.

Dictionary of Saints by Donald Attwater.

Patronage: disappointing children; loss of parents; people rejected by religious orders; sick people; Christian Social Workers (proclaimed on 12 February 1960 by Pope John XXIII); Vincentian Service Corps; widows

Symbols and Representation: widows' clothing; Saint Louise is depicted wearing the original Vincentian habit of grey wool with a large headdress of white linen (typical of poor women in 17th century Brittany), perhaps with an infant in her arms.

Highlights and Things to Do:

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
Station with San Sisto il vecchio (St. Sisto):

This church was called "San Sisto il vecchio" because it is the oldest convent in Rome of the sons of the Saint of Callaroca. The current construction is quite recent; in fact it was built in 1700 by the Dominican Pope Benedict XIII (1724-1730). He certainly did it to honor the memory of the Founder of the Order, San Domenico, who had his first Roman residence here; Honorius III, after having approved the Order of Preachers, gave him this temple. Tradition has it that at this church Pope Sixtus II met with San Lorenzo to whom he predicted the martyrdom which, moreover, happened after three days. As of 2019, there is a temporary closure. Currently the substitute Station Church is Sant’Andrea della Valle (St Andrew in the Valley), dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle. In 2021 and 2022, the Mass was celebrated at Santi Nereo e Achilleo.

For more on San Sisto il vecchio, see:

For more on Sant’Andrea della Valle, see:

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