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. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Marcellus who was elected Pope just at the time when Diocletian had spent somewhat his first violence against the Church. In Rome he reorganized the Catholic hierarchy disrupted by the persecution. He was exiled and put to labor. He is considered a martyr as he died in 309 because of his treatment during his exile.
  2. It was from St. Jerome (+ 420) that the west learned of the life of St. Paul the Hermit; the book, which he devoted to the life of the first Christian hermit, charmed and instructed generations of the faithful and formed the inspiration of many artists. St. Paul is said to have died in 341, in a hermitage in the region of Thebes in Egypt after having received at the age of 113 a visit from St. Antony. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, St. Paul is celebrated as a Confessor, III class and St. Maurus is commemorated.
  3. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Felix who lived in the third century. He was a priest and suffered greatly in the Decian persecution. The tomb of St. Felix at Nola, a small town in the south of Italy, was a much frequented place of pilgrimage in Christian antiquity, and in the Middle Ages veneration of him spread throughout the west. Along with St. Hilary his feast is celebrated today on the Extraordinary Form Calendar. St. Hilary's feast is celebrated on January 13 in the Ordinary Form Calendar.
  4. Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.
  5. Today the Church in Canada celebrates the memorial of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, renowned for her work, her spirituality and her impact on society and the Church in North America. In 1982 Pope John Paul II canonized her and she became the first woman saint in Canada.