Friday of the First Week of Advent
Saint of the day
Saint Bibiana (d.361)
Saint Bibiana was a virgin and martyr. Very little is known about her life, except what we know from a later tradition. Her parents, Saints Flavian and Dafrosa, were martyred during the persecution of Julian the Apostate. Bibiana and her sister were impoverished and left to suffer. However, they continued to fast and pray in their home. After officials saw that poverty and starvation had no effect on the girls, they called for them. Bibiana's sister was killed during the meeting, but Bibiana was turned over to a women who tried to force her into prostitution. Bibiana stayed true to her faith and virginity, and did not succumb. Infuriated that Bibiana did not renounce her faith, officials had her tied to a pillar and beaten until she perished. Bibiana bore her torture with the joy of staying true to her faith. Saint Bibiana is the patron saint against epilepsy, mental illness, headaches, and of torture victims.
Although our society does not violently persecute Catholics, Saint Bibiana is an example to us of the long tradition of Catholics who were willing to sacrifice their lives for their faith. If you were in a society like that of Saint Bibiana, would you be willing to practice your Catholic faith even if you knew it might be dangerous? Would you fearlessly face death for your beliefs? Many Catholics around the world are still targeted and victimized for their faith.
Pray for the Christians and Catholics throughout the world who are being treated poorly and sometimes violently attacked for their faith. Ask God to help others love them and treat them with compassion.
Liturgical season information
Place in Year: Advent
Color of decorations and priest's vestments: Violet
Reading 1: Is 29:17-24
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
Gospel: Mt 9:27-31View complete readings on USCCB.org