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Lent: March 17th

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent; Optional Memorial of St. Patrick, bishop and confessor (Solemnity Australia, Ireland, Feast New Zealand, Scotland, Wales)


March 17, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)


Lent: O God, who delight in innocence and restore it, direct the hearts of your servants to yourself, that, caught up in the fire of your Spirit, we may be found steadfast in faith and effective in works. 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.

St. Patrick: O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland, grant, through his merits and intercession, that those who glory in the name of Christian may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all. 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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Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Ps 139 (138):23-24:

Test me, O God, and know my thoughts. See that my path is not wicked, and lead me in the way everlasting.

After St. Mary Major’s, St. Mary in Trastevere, rebuilt in the twelfth century, in which today’s station is held, is the most beautiful church of our Lady in Rome.

The thought expressed in today’s First Reading in Jeremias is one of the basic themes of the great prophets; it is to be found also in the Psalms (particularly Ps 1) and the book of Proverbs. Trust in men and trust in God—the former belies our expectations and only the latter assures our happiness and enables us to “bring forth good fruit.”

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the beggar, is addressed to the Pharisees. The rich man stands for the haughty man who, proudly satisfied with the gifts that God has bestowed on him, is unaware that living as he does he loses God’s favour. The teaching is the same as in the Epistle; blessed are the poor in spirit: those who put their trust in God. —St. Andrew Daily Missal

This day is not all about leprechauns, shamrocks and green beer. This is a day to honor and pray to St. Patrick. He was an influential saint who, 1,500 years ago, brought Christianity to the little country of Ireland. He was born about 385 in the British Isles, was carried off while still very young during a raid on Roman Britain by the Irish and sold as a slave. At the end of six years he contrived to escape to Europe, became a monk and was ordained; he then returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel. During the thirty years that his missionary labors continued he covered the Island with churches and monasteries; in 444 he founded the metropolitan see of Armagh. St. Patrick died in 461. After fifteen centuries he remains for all Irishmen the great bishop whom they venerate as their father in the Faith.

Today's Station Church >>>

Meditation—Prayer of Confidence in the Merits and Merciful Power of Jesus

The proud who claim to draw their power form themselves, commit the sin of Lucifer, who said: “I will ascend into Heaven…. I will be like the Most High”; like Lucifer they will be overthrown and cast down into the abyss.

But what do we say? That without Christ, we can do nothing, as He has Himself declared. We declare that it is through Jesus, with Jesus, that we can arrive at holiness and enter into Heaven; we say to Christ: “Master, I am poor, miserable, naked, weak, of this I am daily more and more convinced. But I know, too, that Thou art ineffably powerful, great and good; I know that the Father Thou lovest so much hath placed in Thee all the treasures of holiness that men may desire; I know that Thou wilt never reject those who come to Thee. Therefore, whilst adoring Thee in the deepest recesses of my soul, I have full confidence in Thy merits and satisfactions; I know that, altogether miserable as I am, Thou canst, by Thy grace, shower Thy riches upon me, uplift me even to the Divine, that I may be made like unto Thee and may share in Thy Divine Beatitude!”

—Dom Columba Marmion, Christ the Ideal of the Monk

St. Patrick
Not many facts are known about the life of St. Patrick. We know that he was born around 415 AD, and was a Roman Briton. When he was about 16, while he was tending his sheep some Irish raiders captured him and made him a slave. He eventually was able to escape and return to Britain. There he heard the call to return and bring Christianity to Ireland. He was ordained a priest, consecrated a bishop and came back to Ireland around 435 AD. Many legends are associated around St. Patrick: how he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and the use of the shamrock to teach the mystery of the Trinity. Whether or not the legends are true, St. Patrick succeeded in bringing Catholicism to Ireland, and in time, the whole country converted from their pagan gods to the one true God.

Although a small country, Ireland has played a large role in saving and bringing Christianity throughout the world. During the early Dark Ages, the Irish monasteries preserved Western writings while Europe remained in darkness. But as the Catholic country remained solidly Catholic, the Irish spread the faith to all corners of the world. To learn more on this subject, read Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization.

We have a few works attributed to St. Patrick, one being his autobiography called Confessions. It is a short summary of the events in his life, written in true humility. Below is a short excerpt:

I am greatly God's debtor, because he granted me so much grace, that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon after confirmed, and that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, the masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the earth, just as he once promised through his prophets: "To you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited naught hut lies, worthless things in which there is no profit." And again: "I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the uttermost ends of the earth."

Patron: Ireland; against snakes; against ophidiophobia; archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts; diocese of Burlington, Vermont; engineers; excluded people; fear of snakes; diocese of Fort Worth, Texas; diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; archdiocese of New York; Nigeria; diocese of Norwich, Connecticut; ophidiophobics; diocese of Portland, Maine; diocese of Sacramento, California; snake bites.

Symbols: A bishop trampling on snakes; bishop driving snakes away; shamrock; snakes; cross; harp; demons; baptismal font.

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