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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damien, Syrian martyrs (†303ca). The tradition remembers them as doctors who took care of the sick for free. Special memory of those who dedicate their lives to the treatment and healing of the sick.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 11,19-30

Those who had scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching also to the Greeks, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus to them. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord. The news of them came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem and they sent Barnabas out to Antioch. There he was glad to see for himself that God had given grace, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord. Barnabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. And it happened that they stayed together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called 'Christians'. While they were there some prophets came down to Antioch from Jerusalem, and one of them whose name was Agabus, seized by the Spirit, stood up and predicted that a severe and universal famine was going to happen. This in fact happened while Claudius was emperor. The disciples decided to send relief, each to contribute what he could afford, to the brothers living in Judaea. They did this and delivered their contributions to the elders through the agency of Barnabas and Saul.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After crossing the frontier of ethnicity, the frontier of the great Roman Empire opened up. The first step of the Christian community was taken in Antioch, the third capital of the empire after Rome and Alexandria. Once again, the immediate cause of the first Christian mission seems to come from persecution, as if to remind us that the development of charity does not come from our organization and planning. If anything the opposite is true, as Paul said, “For whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). In Antioch the Christians preached not only to Jews but also to the pagans. Immediately, their community grew extraordinarily, so much so that Barnabas, originally from Cyprus, was sent from Jerusalem to help the community to organize itself. Here in Antioch – around the years 38-40 AD – the disciples of Jesus were called “Christians” for the first time, probably because the notable influx of pagans had markedly distinguished the new community from the Jews. Before those who adhered to the faith in Jesus had always been known by different names, such “brothers” or “believers.” Now they were given a name that made it more clear who they were disciples of. The beginning of a new phenomenon in a great city of the empire is recounted in a few lines, a phenomenon so new that it needed to be defined with a new name: Christianity. Its originality is not due to an adherence to a project or to an ideology, but to following Jesus, the Christ.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday