Liturgical Year

As the earth cycles annually through its seasons, just so the Church celebrates with quiet, deliberate rhythm the seasons of the liturgical year – always the same, yet ever new and renewing.
  1. The whole Church celebrates today the dedication of the two great Roman basilicas of St. Peter at the Vatican and of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls. The basilica of St. Peter stands on the site of the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, where stood Nero's circus. It was here that St. Peter was executed. Recent excavations have shown that the present basilica which, in the seventeenth century replaced the ancient Constantinian basilica, was built over the tomb of St. Peter, just as the previous basilica. It was consecrated by Urban VIII on November 18, 1626. St. Paul-outside-the-Walls, situated at the other end of the city on the Ostian Way, is built near the place St. Paul was martyred. It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1823 and was rebuilt in sumptuous fashion by Gregory XVI and Pius IX and consecrated by the latter on December 10, 1854. The celebration of the anniversary of these two dedications has been kept, nevertheless, on November 18.
  2. "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, plagues, and famines in various places -- and in the sky fearful omens and great signs. But before any of this, they will manhandle and persecute you, summoning you to synagogues and prisons, bringing you to trial before kings and governors, all because of my name. You will be brought to give witness on account of it. I bid you resolve not to worry about your defense beforehand, for I will give you words and a wisdom which none of your adversaries can take exception to or contradict. You will be delivered up even by your parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. All will hate you because of me, yet not a hair of your head will be harmed. By patient endurance, you will save your lives."
  3. St. Margaret (c. 1045-1093) was the great-niece of St. Edward the Confessor. She was a Saxon princess, raised in Hungary in exile. Returning to England, she had to flee once again after the Battle of Hastings, to the court of Malcolm, the King of Scotland, whom she married shortly thereafter. She proved to be a model mother and exemplary queen who brought up her eight children in an atmosphere of great devotion and worked hard to improve the morality of her subjects.
  4. Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of St. Albert the Great, son of a German nobleman, who was studying at Padua when the Master General of the Dominicans, Jordan of Saxony, succeeded in attracting him to that Order. He was to become one of its greatest glories. After taking his degrees at the University of Paris he taught philosophy and theology at Paris and then in Cologne. St. Thomas Aquinas was among his pupils. His knowledge was encyclopedic. In 1260 he was named Bishop of Ratisbon and devoted himself zealously to the duties of his office. But soon resigned in order to continue his teaching and research. St. Albert died in Cologne on November 15, 1280.
  5. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Josephat, a Catholic of the Ruthenian rite. He was an apostle of the return of the Orthodox schismatics to the Church of Rome. At the age of twenty he became a Basilian monk, and while still young was made superior of his monastery, then archimandrite of Vilna and finally Archbishop of Polotsk. The young Archbishop's zeal for the cause of the "uniates" aroused the hatred of the schismatics, and he was murdered by a mob at Vitebsk in 1623 at the age of forty-three. His prayer contained the conversion of his murderers. He is one of the patrons of Poland. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on November 12.