Friday, September 23, 2016

St. Pio, St. Linus, & Ember Friday

Today, 23 September, we observe three occasions: the new Memorial of St. Pio, the traditional feast of Pope St. Linus, and the Ember Friday of September.

St. Pio saying Holy Mass.

Today is the relatively new feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina!

St. Pio was an Italian Capuchin that died in 1968AD at San Giovanni Rotondo in the region of Puglia, Italy.  He is rather and rightly famous for his extraordinary holiness, his devotion to Holy Mass and the Confessional, his miracles, and, of course, his stigmata.  He was the first priest to miraculously bear on his body the wounds of the Passion of Christ, this starting in 1918.

Here is the Vatican News Service biography of St. Pio: VNS Biography of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

For more:
Catholic Saints Info: St. Padre Pio

Here is the Italian page dedicated to him: Saint Pio Official Site


We should certainly also note the great pontiff whose feast this is.  Here is a link to information about Pope St. Linus, the first successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome, whose feast traditionally falls on this day: Catholics Saints Info: Pope St. Linus


Today is also the Ember Friday of September.  What is that you ask?

The Ember Days were traditionally a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, occurring in Lent, the Octave of Pentecost, this week in September, and in Advent,  These "Quatuor Tempora" had as their purpose, "besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy." (Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Ember Days).

For more on the Ember Days, you might note: Fisheaters: Ember Days

These days, then, four in number, like the seasons, were a time of gratitude, penance, and prayer.  Indeed, in the current General Instruction of the Roman Missal, it provides that: "In the drawing up of the Calendar of a nation, the Rogation Days and Ember Days should be indicated (cf. no. 373), as well as the forms and texts for their celebration, and other special measures should also be kept in mind." (USCCB GIRM: Chapter IX)

Why the practice and celebration of Ember Days has largely disappeared, and is now restricted to traditional communities is tragic, and seemingly contrary to the instructions of Holy Mother Church.

Perhaps if it is not a custom you have, this is the year it will be revived in your family or parish?

Live well!