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Lent: March 16th

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Other Commemorations: St. Heribert, Archbishop (RM); St. Jean Brebeuf, Priest and Martyr (RM)


March 16, 2023 (Readings on USCCB website)



Thursday of the Third Week of Lent: We implore your majesty most humbly, O Lord, that, as the feast of our salvation draws ever closer, so we may press forward all the more eagerly towards the worthy celebration of the Paschal Mystery. 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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Today, the mid-point of Lent, was celebrated with somewhat joyful spirit in ancient times. This day was a breathing space in the center of Lent’s austerities. Today’s ancient Entrance Antiphon and Opening Prayer express this encouraging spirit. Modern Lent is less austere, less in need of any breathing space. Today’s lesson: be faithful to God, and do not ever fall away. It is a lesson to strengthen us for the remainder of Lent. —The Vatican II Weekday Missal

According to the Roman Martyrology, today commemorates St. Heribert (970-1021), who was Archbishop of Cologne and Chancellor of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and was canonized in 1074. St. Jean Brebeuf (1593-1649) is also commemorated today, but in the United States is celebrated on October 19.

Today's Station Church >>>

Meditation on the Liturgy

The Gospel shows us Jesus at grips with Satan; He overcomes him and drives him from the body of one possessed. From the beginning of His ministry Jesus was pitted against Satan; at the time of His passion He entered on the final combat but victory was assured to Him: "For the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not anything." Our Lord Himself summed up His whole work as the definitive victory over Satan: "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself."

Thus our Lord's whole mission is set before us as a struggle with, and a victory over, Satan. During Lent the Church could not fail to emphasize this. At the outset, on the 1st Sunday, she appointed for the Gospel the account of the temptation in the desert and we have already seen its real significance. Today, cast out from the body of one possessed, Satan finds that he has lost all the kingdom that he had seized. As the passion and the baptisms of Easter draw nearer it is made clear to us that after the exorcisms pronounced over the catechumens will come the taking possession by Christ of the human souls whom He has redeemed.

The struggle against Satan goes on in our lives as baptized members of the Church. Humanity, so long as it knew not Christ, was deaf and dumb and the devil's prey; but once open to the light of our Savior it can fix its gaze on Him, and strong in His grace, begins on new ways, far from the darkness of sin.
St. Andrew Daily Missal

Saint Heribert
Heribert was born in Worms and he was the son of Hugo, count of Worms. He was educated in the school of Worms Cathedral and at the Benedictine Gorze Abbey in Lorraine, France. He returned to Worms Cathedral to be provost and was ordained a priest in 994.

In the same year, Otto III appointed him chancellor for Italy and four years later also for Germany, a position which he held until Otto's death on 23 January 1002. Heribert was made an archbishop of Cologne on 998. Then, he also served Emperor St. Henry.

Heribert built the monastery of Deutz, on the Rhine and performed miracles, including ending a drought. He is thus invoked for rains.

He died in Cologne on March 16, 1021 and was buried at Deutz.

He was already honored as a saint during his lifetime and was canonized by Pope St. Gregory VII about 1074.

Patronage: against drought; for rain; Deutz, Germany

Symbols and Representation: archbishop calling down rain by his prayers; man kneeling before Saint Henry II; episcopal attire

Highlights and Things to Do:

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Station with San Nicola in Carcere (St. Nicholas in Prison):

Today's Station is at St. Nicholas of Barin in Prison, dedicated to the popular St. Nicholas of Myra or also referred to as St. Nicholas of Bari, whose feast is December 6. It was constructed in the ruins of two temples and the ancient Forum Olitorium, with visible fragments from the ruins reused in the church. The most important of the temples was the Temple of Piety, built by Acilius Glabrius, consul in 191 B.C. The dedication to St. Nicholas was made by the Greek population in the area.

For more on San Nicola in Carcere, see:

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