Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Feast of St. Mark
Deuteronomy, Chapter 3, Verse 2
Again, in Deuteronomy we are told to not be afraid of men. God is our strength; He is our success.
The Rogation Days
These are the Church's special days of prayer during which the faithful beseech God for mercy in behalf of the bodily and spiritual needs of humanity, and especially to obtain His blessings upon the new growth in the fields. The term Rogation has been given these days because of the supplicatory and penitential exercises which characterize them. Outstanding are the special prayers (given in the Ritual and Breviary), the violet color of the vestments of the clergy and of the vestures, the Litany of the Saints sung during the procession and the special Rogation Mass.
Formerly such observances were more numerous than today, and they included fasting and abstinence. They were held in time of public calamity to appease the just wrath of God because of sin or to beseech Him to avert impending calamities. It is still common in many places for clergy and people to proceed to the fields, imploring God's blessing upon them. Antedating the Christian observance, and which the latter replaced, was the pagan festival of the Robigalia which sacrifices were offered to the god Robigus whose special task it was, as popularly believed, to keep blight from grain.
Today the Church has four such days to be observed during the year. The one replacing the pagan festival of April 25 coincides with the feast of St. Mark, celebrated on this day, and is called the Greater Litanies. The procession is held, and the Mass of Rogation is offered up. If the procession cannot possibly be held, whether out of doors or within the church, the Mass is of the feast of St. Mark, unless it occurs on a still greater feast, or during Easter week, when it is transferred. The three other Rogation Days, also called the Lesser Litanies immediately priced the feast of the Ascension. Their observance has come down to use form the institution at Vienna in France by Bishop Mamertus in the fifth century. Pope St. Leo III, towards the end of the eighth century, introduced practice for the universal church.
—Excerpted from "The Mind of the Church after Easter and at Whitsuntide: Participation Outlines" by Rembert Bularzik, OSB, Orate Fratres 1935-05-18: Vol 9 Iss 7, pp. 292-293
St. Mark, Evangelist
EPISTLE. I Peter 5:5-14
Beloved: Clothe yourselves
with humility in your dealings with one another, for: God opposes the proud but
bestows favor on the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of
that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen. I write you this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
GOSPEL. Mark 16: 15-20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them ….
Saint Mark the Evangelist, like St. Luke, was not an apostle, as were the evangelists Matthew and John. Yet various prayers and Scriptures in the Sacred Liturgy are taken today from those set aside for the apostles. Why is this? Is the Church just too lazy to compose prayers specifically for the evangelists? Of course not.
The entire New Testament is apostolic in origin. Out of the 27 books of the New Testament, only two were not composed by apostles: the Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke. Yet even these two books are apostolic in origin, for St. Mark was a disciple of St. Peter, and St. Luke of St. Paul.
That St. Mark handed down the Gospel account that he had received from an apostle reminds us of two things. First, the Church is apostolic in origin, by the design of Jesus. It’s in unity with our bishops under the guidance of the Pope that we can hear the fullness of the Gospel. Second, each of us, like St. Mark, lives one’s own vocation to hand on to others the same Good News that’s been handed down through history by the apostles and their successors.
Feast of St. Mark
John Mark, later known simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth. He was the son of that Mary who was proprietress of the Cenacle or "upper room" which served as the meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). He was still a youth at the time of the Savior's death. In his description of the young man who was present when Jesus was seized and who fled from the rabble leaving behind his "linen cloth," the second Evangelist might possibly have stamped the mark of his own identity. During the years that followed, the rapidly maturing youth witnessed the growth of the infant Church in his mother's Upper Room and became acquainted with its traditions. This knowledge he put to excellent use when compiling his Gospel. Later, we find Mark acting as a companion to his cousin Barnabas and Saul on their return journey to Antioch and on their first missionary journey. But Mark was too immature for the hardships of this type of work and therefore left them at Perge in Pamphylia to return home. As the two apostles were preparing for their second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin with him. Paul, however, objected. Thereupon the two cousins undertook a missionary journey to Cyprus. Time healed the strained relations between Paul and Mark, and during the former's first Roman captivity (61-63), Mark rendered Paul valuable service (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24), and the Apostle learned to appreciate him. When in chains the second time Paul requested Mark's presence (2 Tim. 4:11). An intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter; he played the role of Peter's companion, disciple, and interpreter. According to the common patristic opinion, Mark was present at Peter's preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel under the influence of the prince of the apostles. This explains why incidents which involve Peter are described with telling detail (e.g., the great day at Capharnaum, 1:14f)). Little is known of Mark's later life. It is certain that he died a martyr's death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. His relics were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St. Mark's Cathedral. The Gospel of St. Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above all, a Roman Gospel. It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological presentation of the life of Christ. For we should be deeply interested in the historical sequence of the events in our blessed Savior's life. Furthermore, Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures. With one stroke he frequently enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light. His Gospel is the "Gospel of Peter," for he wrote it under the direction and with the aid of the prince of the apostles. "The Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness, `The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord,' or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King."
Patron: Against impenitence; attorneys; barristers; captives; Egypt; glaziers; imprisoned people; insect bites; lions; notaries; prisoners; scrofulous diseases; stained glass workers; struma; Diocese of Venice, Florida; Venice, Italy.
Symbols: Winged lion; fig tree; pen; book and scroll; club; barren fig tree; scroll with words Pax Tibi; winged and nimbed lion; lion.
Often Pictured as: Man writing or holding his gospel; man with a halter around his neck; lion in the desert; man with a book or scroll accompanied by a winged lion; holding a palm and book; holding a book with pax tibi Marce written on it; bishop on a throne decorated with lions; helping Venetian sailors; rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.
Feast of St. Mark, the Patron Saint of Venice
In Italy April 25th is Liberation Day, a national holiday commemorating the end of World War II in 1945 and the Nazi occupation of Italy. But for Venetians April 25th is an even older holiday, Festa di San Marco, or The Feast of St Mark. April 25th is the anniversary of St Mark’s death in 68 A.D. and in Venice is a lively celebration. Mass is held in the morning at Saint Mark’s Basilica, and there is music, dancing, concerts and carnivals throughout the day. Of course it wouldn’t be a festival in Venice without a Gondola Race! The "Regata di Traghetti" starts at the island of Sant’Elena and ends at the Punta della Dogana, at the entrance of the Grand Canal. One look at Saint Mark’s Square with Saint Mark’s Basilica is proof enough that the city is anything but subtle about their pride in their patron saint. The winged lion, which represents St Mark and is the famous symbol of the city of Venice, can also be found in Piazza San Marco, and all over Venice for that matter. Saint Mark may be a ubiquitous symbol in Venice today, but before the year 828 Saint Mark's remains were in Alexandria. Being an important maritime power, Venice needed equally important relics, a status symbol at the time. Venetian merchants Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello were up for the job, and smuggled Saint Mark’s remains from Alexandria into Venice. They accomplished the difficult task by hiding the relics in shipments of pork meat, which were understandably off-putting to the Islamic inspectors. Perhaps it’s because of the great effort taken to "import" Saint Mark’s remains that Venetians have always been so proud of their patron saint.
BANQUET for the Feast
- Risi e Bisi ~ Venetian Rice and Peas
- Cupcakes for St. Mark's Feast Day
- St. Gregory's Cherries (Crisp)
- San Marco Pasta and Animal Cakes
Feast of St. Mark-Mass
Festival of the Blooming Rose
The celebration is also known as the "Festival of the Blooming Rose,” and it is tradition for men to give the woman they love a "bocolo," a red rose bud to symbolize their love. The legend surrounding the tradition of the rosebud centers on two star-crossed lovers, Maria Partecipazio, the Doge’s daughter, and Tancredi the troubadour. Maria was a beautiful noblewoman, whose father forbid her romance with Tancredi because of his lower social class. Tancredi enrolls in the army, seeking fame and glory through battle that would elevate his social status, making him able to return home worthy of Maria. He fought valiantly, but was ultimately killed in battle in Spain. Tancredi fell mortally wounded onto a rosebush, and with the last of his strength picked a rosebud and asked his friend Orlando the Paladin to take it back to Maria. Orlando returned to Venice on April 24th, and true to his word gave Maria the rosebud, still stained with Tancredi’s blood. The next day, on April 25th, Maria was found dead with the rose over her broken heart. So, while flowers are always a welcome gesture, if you’re in Venice for April 25th, be sure to symbolize your eternal love with a red rosebud!
Israel Independence Day
Yom Haazmaut (Hebrew: יום העצמאות) is Israel's Independence Day. Israel declared independence on May 14th, 1948. This was only a few hours before the British Mandate of Palestine was to draw to an end. Yom Haazmaut is a public holiday in Israel. All commercial establishments are closed, apart from Restaurants, Cafes and Bars. Israelis celebrate Yom Haazmaut with an opening ceremony, comprising lighting of the Masuot (twelve torches, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel). The honor of lighting each torch is given to outstanding Israelis, such as brave soldiers and policemen, scientists, artists, senior citizens and the like. Yom Haazmaut always occurs the day after Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers and soldier victims of terrorists). There are typically firework displays at night, airplane displays and bands during the day. Israeli citizens spend Yom Haazmaut with family and friends, often in a Park, on a beach or at home. The Israel Prize is given in scientific fields to notable scientists, artists and people who made a lifetime contribution to the State of Israel.
Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel) Facts & Quotes
· Many Jewish prophets in the Bible prophesied that the Children of Israel would return to their land. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zachariah made notable prophecies. For example, Jeremiah 29:10. This is what the Lord says: 'When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place'.
· In the 19th century, Theodor (Benjamin Zeev) Herzl was the visionary of the State of Israel in his book Altneuland, 'The Old New Land' in 1902. Tel Aviv (old hill/ new spring) was established in 1909.
· According to Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook and many others in the Religious Zionist camp, the founding of the State of Israel was considered to be Atchalta DeGeulah the beginning of the final redemption.
· In the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a) it is stated by Rav Aba Ein lecha meg'uleh mizu, there is no greater indication of the end of days than that which the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:8) prophesizes, Now mountains of Israel, your branches shall come forth and your fruit will be offered to my people Israel.
· The return of Jews to the Holy Land was also mentioned by Isaiah: On that day (the day of the redemption) a great shofar will be sounded, and those who are lost in the land of Ashur (Assyria) and those who are dispersed in the Land of Egypt will return to the Holy Land. (Isaiah 27:13).
Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel) Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend a Yom Haazmaut Party, held at many local Israeli/Jewish Communities on the Eve of Yom Haazmaut. Typically, Israeli food is served, followed by a fireworks display. A live broadcast of the Yom Haazmaut ceremony from Har Herzl, Jerusalem may be watched and culminates in the singing of the Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem.
· Attend a lecture on the connection between Jews, Israel and the Bible. Yeshivah University holds many public lectures on this topic.
· Attend a Yom Haazmaut Concert. There are many venues for Yom Haazmaut concerts including popular ones at New York City and Stamford (CT).
· Take part or view the Bible Quiz (Chidon Hatanach)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION TWO-THE LORD'S PRAYER
Article 1 "THE SUMMARY OF THE WHOLE GOSPEL"
2773 In response to his disciples' request "Lord, teach us to pray" (Lk 11:1), Jesus entrusts them with the fundamental Christian prayer, the Our Father.
2774 "The Lord's Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel," The "most perfect of prayers." It is at the center of the Scriptures.
2775 It is called "the Lord's Prayer" because it comes to us from the Lord Jesus, the master and model of our prayer.
2776 The Lord's Prayer is the quintessential prayer of the Church. It is an integral part of the major hours of the Divine Office and of the sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Integrated into the Eucharist it reveals the eschatological character of its petitions, hoping for the Lord, "until he comes" (1 Cor 11:26).
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations.
Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus