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Monday 23 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

The Memorial of the Dedications of the Basilicas of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Celebrating the Protection of the Holy Apostles


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The meaning of the celebration

+ This liturgical memorial recalls the dedication of the Basilica of St. Peter at the Vatican in 350 and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls in 1854 (following its restoration after a fire which destroyed the church’s interior in 1823; the original church was dedicated in 390).

+ Originally a feast limited to these historic churches and the city of Rome in the 11th century, it was extended to the Universal Church in 1568.

+ The liturgical texts for the feast invite us to reflect on the witness of the Apostles Peter and Paul, with the collect for the Mass reminding us that it was from them that the Church first received the faith of Christ.

For prayer and reflection

The field of the Lord is always being enriched with a more abundant harvest, while the seeds which are sown one by one yield a manifold return.

From this field those two famous shoots of the divine seed burst forth into a great progeny, witnessed by thousands of blessed martyrs. To emulate the apostles’ triumph, these martyrs have adorned our city far and wide with people clothed in purple and shining brilliantly, and they have crowned it with a diadem fashioned by the glory of many precious stones.”—Pope Saint Leo the Great

Spiritual bonus

On this day, the Church in the United States celebrates the memory of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne. A member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, she served as a missionary in Louisiana, Missouri, and Kansas. Saint Rose Philippine died in 1852 and she was canonized in 1988.


Defend your Church, O Lord,

by the protection of the holy Apostles,

that, as she received from them

the beginnings of her knowledge of things divine,

so through them she may receive,

even to the end of the world,

an increase in heavenly grace.

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. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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