Ordinary Time: November 24th
Memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs; Optional Memorial, Thanksgiving Day (USA)
Other Commemorations: St. Chrysogonus, martyr (RM); Sts. Flora and Mary, virgins and martyrs (RM)
Entrance Antiphon, St. Andrew, Cf. Gal 6:14; cf. 1 Cor 1:18:
May we never boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the word of the Cross is the power of God to us who have been saved.
Communion Antiphon, St. Andrew, Mt 5:10:
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Entrance Antiphon, Thanksgiving Day (USA), Eph 5:19-20:
Sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts, always thanking God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Preface, Thanksgiving Day (USA):
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.You have entrusted to us
the great gift of freedom,
a gift that calls forth
responsibility and commitment
to the truth that all have a fundamental dignity before you.
In Jesus, through his Death and Resurrection,
we find our ultimate redemption,
freedom from sin,
and every blessing.As so, with hearts full of love,
we join the angels today and every day of our lives,
to sing your glory as we acclaim:
Communion Antiphon, Thanksgiving Day (USA) Ps 138 (137):1:
I think you, Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth.
Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac (1735-1839), priest and martyr, and companions, martyrs. St. Andrew was one of 117 people who were martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862.In the dioceses of the United States it is the Optional Memorial of Thanksgiving Day. In 1621 colonists in New England gave communal thanks and praise to God for his abundant mercies and blessings. This became a tradition and in 1863 Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed a legal holiday. It is celebrated liturgical with a Mass asking that each person's gratitude to God may bear fruit in loving service to neighbor. —Daily Roman MissalThe Roman Martyrology commemorates St. Chrysogonus (d. 304), a martyr of Aquilea at the beginning of the fourth century. His name occurs in the Canon of the Mass. Sts. Flora and Mary (d. 851 or 856) are also commemorated today. They were Christian martyrs of Cordoba, Spain. Flora was raised a Christian in secret by her mother, who was married to a Muslim. Betrayed by her brother, she was beaten and given to him to abuse because of her faith. Escaping, Flora met Mary, the sister of a martyred deacon. They surrendered to Muslim authorities and were placed in a brothel. Still clinging to the faith, Flora and Mary were beheaded.
Many people assume that the United States has celebrated Thanksgiving Day since the time of the pilgrims as a sign of thanksgiving for the harvest season. This is not exactly true. President Abraham Lincoln instituted the holiday in 1863 during the Civil War. However, he did not have the harvest in mind. He wanted Americans to celebrate the holiday as a sign of unity and thanksgiving to God.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” (President Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation, October 3, 1863).
There is no American holiday that so closely resembles the symbolism and meaning of the sacrament of the Eucharist. We celebrate Thanksgiving as a sign of American unity and thanksgiving to God who has given us great gifts.—Excerpted from The Religion Teacher
The holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States with family gatherings and traditional foods. The Church also has a special liturgy for this day. The Entrance Antiphon sets the tone for our religious observance, "Sing and play music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:19-20). Eucharist means Thanksgiving and we should be especially grateful for this most sublime gift. We hope you will enjoy some of our recipes and suggestions for this day. Let's try to celebrate as Christians remembering to be temperate as we carve the turkey and eat the pies.
That the Church throughout the world will more vigorously thank the Lord for His kindness towards His children. Lord hear our prayer.That the government of our beloved country will never forget to praise and thank the Almighty who is the generous Giver of each gift. Lord hear our prayer.That those who suffer may recall that God still loves them and wants to lead them to unending peace in the next world. vThat all Americans on Thanksgiving Day will be blessed with a fresh awareness of the loving Most Blessed Trinity from whom all good things come. Lord hear our prayer.That those Americans who have no faith in God may be touched by grace this day and seek the Creator of the universe. Lord hear our prayer.That the faithful departed will soon gather around God's altar in paradise where they will joyfully thank Him for ever. Lord hear our prayer.
Things to Do:
- Invite someone to dinner who has no place to go for Thanksgiving.
- If you have no other commitments volunteer to help serve Thanksgiving dinner at a place which is serving the poor.
- See this excellent page for Catholic Thanksgiving Day Lesson Plans on the Eucharist as Thanksgiving.
St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions
There are 117 martyrs in this group and although they died at different times, they were all canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 19, 1988. Of the group, 96 were Vietnamese, 11 were Spaniards, and 10 were French. There were 8 bishops, 50 priests and 59 lay Catholics in the group. Of the priests, 11 were Dominicans, 10 belonged to the Paris Mission Society, and the rest were diocesan priests plus one seminarian. Certain individual martyrs were mentioned by name in the process of canonization: Andrew Dung-Lac, a diocesan priest; Thomas Tran-Van-Thien, a seminarian; Emmanuel Le-Van-Pung, father of a family; the Dominican bishops Jerome Hermosilla and Valentine Berrio-Ochoa; and John Theophane Venard.
- Find out more about the Vietnam martyrs.
- Find out more about the suffering of the Church in communist Vietnam.
- Pray a rosary for those suffering persecution today in Vietnam.
- Cook a Vietnamese dish in honor of today's saints.
St. Chrysogonus probably was a native of Aquileia, although he was venerated in Rome already in the fourth century. According to legend he was brought to Rome under Emperor Diocletian and thrown into prison; there he stayed two years, sustained by St. Anastasia. That pious woman was obliged to endure many hardships from her husband Publius because of the Christian faith, but she derived much comfort from these short visits and acts of mercy. When all imprisoned Christians were ordered to be executed, Chrysogonus was brought to Aquileia. There Diocletian addressed him, "I have called you before me, Chrysogonus, to load you with honors provided you are willing to adore the gods." The saint replied, "Only the true God will I adore. Idols which neither have existence nor life and only represent devils, I hate and curse." Embittered by such an answer, the Emperor commanded him to be beheaded on November 24. His body was submerged in the sea; when found shortly after on the shore, it was interred by the priest Zoilus in his house (c. 304). Great honor was paid Chrysogonus by the Church of Rome; his name was inserted in the Canon, and a station church in his honor was erected.
- Read Golden Legend of Chrysogonus.
- Find out more about the ancient Roman church San Crisogono here and here.
Sts. Flora and Mary of Cordoba
In the reign of Abderramene II, king of the Saracens at Cordova in Spain, Flora, because she was of Muslim extraction by her father, but had been secretly instructed in the faith by her mother, was impeached by her own brother before the cadi, or judge of the city. This magistrate caused her to be scourged, and beaten on the head till in some parts her scull was bare. Then he put her into the hands of her brother, that he might overcome her resolution.