Commentary: Wayback Machine.
'Tis also the feast of Saint Berard of Cabrio, Priest, & Companions, Martyrs, O.F.M. (died 1220), martyred at the hands of the caliph Yusuf II: Protomartyrs-link, Martyr-link Bravo, Martyr-link Alpha, Martyr-link Oscar, Martyr-link Papa, & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: A fifth Franciscan, the lay brother St. Adjutus, was also martyred. Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
In 1219, with the blessing of Saint Francis (4 October), Berard left Italy with Peter, Adjute, Accurs, Odo, & Vitalis to preach in Morocco. En route in Spain, Vitalis became sick & commanded the other friars to continue their mission without him. They tried preaching in Seville, then in Muslim hands, but made no converts. They went to Morocco where they preached in the marketplace. The friars were immediately apprehended & ordered to leave the country; they refused. When they began preaching again, an exasperated sultan ordered them executed. After enduring sever beatings & decline various bribes to renounces their faith in Jesus Christ, the friars were beheaded by the sultan himself on 16 January 1220. These were the first Franciscan martyrs.'Tis also the feast of Saint Joseph Vaz, Priest, C.O. (1651-1711): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.
Commentary: St. Joseph Vaz was canonized on 14 January 2015. I'm sorry I missed his feast last year.
Scripture of the Day
The Letter to the Hebrews, chapter five, verses one thru ten;
Psalm One Hundred Ten, verses one thru four;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter two, verses eighteen thru twenty-two.
Urbi et Orbi
Funny 'cause it's true: Eye of the Tiber-link. Whilst on retreat in January 2016, I felt called to partake in the sacrament of reconciliation, to make my confession. I trekked to the chapel & seeing that the door to the confessional was closed, sat down as the first in line. There I sat, & sat, & sat. I prayed to make a good & true confession & examined my conscience, & there I sat & sat, & sat some more. I could hear voices from within the confessional, though—providentially—I could not make out any of the words. At length, I could hear laughter from within the confessional & louder, high-spirited conversation. Yes, Father & the confessor (whom I know, but whom I shan't identify, not even by initials) were whooping it up in there. Meanwhile, others had lined up beside me in the line for confession. By the time the jovial fellow emerged from the confessional, over twenty minutes had passed since I arrived, & remember that the door had been closed when I arrived, so God alone knows how long he was in there overall. This was not the kind of guy who hadn't been to confession in thirty years, who had decades of dissolute living weighing down his soul. He'd just been having a grand old time with Father.
The best satire is that which hits just a little too close to home. "Woman Cannot Seriously Still Be in Confessional." Yep.