Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication
Move to: Previous Day | Next Day

Lent: March 24th

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Other Commemorations: St. Catherine of Sweden, Virgin (RM)

MASS READINGS

March 24, 2023 (Readings on USCCB website)

PROPERS [Show]

COLLECT PRAYER

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent: O God, who have prepared fitting helps for us in our weakness, grant, we pray, that we may receive their healing effects with joy and reflect them in a holy way of life. 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.

show

Recipes (4)

show

Activities (3)

show

Prayers (12)

Library (0)

Blog & Podcasts (0)

» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

The hostility of the enemies of Jesus becomes increasingly clear, and the agitation around His person continues with greater intensity; but He awaits His "hour." Satan and the forces of evil will appear to triumph, but the real victory will come and that is God's. —St. Andrew Missal

Today the Roman Martyrology today commemorates St. Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381), the fourth child of St. Bridget of Sweden.

Today's Station Church >>>


Meditation

As Jesus neared the end of His public life, the opposition of the Jewish leaders became more violent and their desire to kill Him more determined. Our Lord, however, continued to teach in the temple, where large crowds came to hear Him. The admiration of the people intensified the hatred of the priests, and they planned to ensnare Jesus in His speech that they might have grounds for condemnation. While His enemies plotted His downfall, Our Lord spent the night in prayer on the Mount of Olives.

The contrast between the character of Christ and that of His enemies could not be more pronounced. Yielding to base passion, they were openly seeking the death of the Messiah. Jesus, on the contrary, in the spirit of generous charity, was spending His days in teaching and His nights in prayer. Does our conduct in difficult circumstances resemble that of Christ? When we are unjustly accused, criticized, or condemned, do we calmly continue our work and have recourse to God in prayer? Perhaps we seek vengeance upon those who oppose us by wishing them evil or persuading others to despise and condemn them. Let us leave our reputation in the hands of God and imitate Christ's efforts to benefit those who hated and condemned Him.

"The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?"
—Excerpted from Liturgical Reflections, Sisters of St. Dominic

Highlights and Things to Do:

  • If you wish to gain the courage to embrace the small crosses in your life with joy, pray the Stations of the Cross. This is an excellent practice that should not only be confined to Lent but ought to be prayed on Fridays throughout the year. An excellent version with beautiful meditations composed by Pope John Paul II is his Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. Some recommended versions are: Eucharistic Stations of the Cross, and the more traditional Stations of the Cross written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori can be found in most Catholic bookstores. Here are some guidelines for praying the Stations of the Cross in your home.


St. Catherine of Sweden
Catherine of Sweden, Saint, the fourth child of Saint Bridget of Sweden (q.v.) and her husband, Ulf Gudmarsson, b. 1331 or 1332; d. March 24, 1381. At the time of her death St. Catherine was head of the convent of Wadstena, founded by her mother; hence the name, Catherine Vastanensis, by which she is occasionally called. At the age of seven she was sent to the abbess of the convent of Riseberg to be educated and soon showed, like her mother, a desire for a life of self-mortification and devotion to spiritual things. At the command of her father, when about thirteen or fourteen years old, she married a noble of German descent, Eggart von Kürnen. She at once persuaded her husband, who was a very religious man, to join her in a vow of chastity. Both lived in a state of virginity and devoted themselves to the exercise of Christian perfection and active charity. In spite of her deep love for her husband, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome, where St. Bridget went in 1349.

Soon after her arrival in that city Catherine received news of the death of her husband in Sweden. She now lived constantly with her mother, took an active part in St. Bridget's fruitful labors, and zealously imitated her mother's ascetic life. Although the distinguished and beautiful young widow was surrounded by suitors, she steadily refused all offers of marriage. In 1372 St. Catherine and her brother, Birger, accompanied their mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; after their return to Rome St. Catherine was with her mother in the latter's last illness and death.

In 1374, in obedience to St. Bridget's wish, Catherine brought back her mother's body to Sweden for burial at Wadstena, of which foundation she now became the head. It was the mother-house of the Brigittine Order, also called the Order of St. Savior. Catherine managed the convent with great skill and made the life there one in harmony with the principles laid down by its founder. The following year she went again to Rome in order to promote the canonization of St. Bridget, and to obtain a new papal confirmation of the order. She secured another confirmation both from Gregory XI (1377) and from Urban VI (1379), but was unable to gain at the time the canonization of her mother, as the confusion caused by the Schism delayed the process. When this sorrowful division appeared she showed herself, like St. Catherine of Siena, a steadfast adherent of the party of the Roman Pope, Urban VI, in whose favor she testified before a judicial commission. Catherine stayed five years in Italy and then returned home, bearing a special letter of commendation from the pope. Not long after her arrival in Sweden she was taken ill and died. In 1484 Innocent VIII gave permission for her veneration as a saint and her feast was assigned to March 22 in the Roman Martyrology. Catherine wrote a devotional work entitled "Consolation of the Soul" (Sielinna Troest), largely composed of citations from the Scriptures and from early religious books; no copy is known to exist. Generally she is represented with a hind at her side, which is said to have come to her aid when unchaste youths sought to ensnare her.
—Excerpted from The Catholic Encyclopedia, J.P. Kirsch

Patronage: Europe; Against abortion; For healing and protection from miscarriage

Symbols and Representations: Brigittine abbess with a hind at her side; Brigittine holding a lily; Brigittine dressing a poor man’s wounds; Brigittine being brought Communion on her death bed.

Highlights and Things to Do:


Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Station with Sant'Eusebio all'Esquilino (St. Eusebius in Esquiline):

Ancient church dedicated to St Eusebius of Vercelli, 4th century bishop. The church was financed by St. Eusebius of Bologna, and is first mentioned in 474. This means that it's one of the oldest churches in Rome; it was one of the first parish churches known as the Titulus Eusebi.

For more on Sant'Eusebio all'Esquilino, see:

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