The Church Year: Jan. 12, 2012

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Liturgical Year

12Today is Thursday of the 1st week in Ordinary Time. The liturgical color is green.

In the Extraordinary Form, this is the season after Epiphany, and the liturgical color for today is white.


Saints & Celebrations:

Today, January 12, there is no special fixed liturgical day in the Ordinary Form.

There is no special fixed liturgical day in the Extraordinary Form.

For information about other saints, blesseds, and feasts celebrated today, you can click here.



To see today's readings in the Ordinary Form, you can click here.

Or you can click play to listen to them:


Devotional Information:

According to the Holy See's Directory on Popular Piety:

22. The relationship between Liturgy and popular piety is ancient. It is therefore necessary to begin by surveying, even rapidly, how this relationship has been experienced down through the centuries, since it will often help to resolve contemporary difficulties.

Christian antiquity

23. The Apostolic and post-apostolic periods are marked by a profound fusion of the [ritual] realities which are now called Liturgy and popular piety. For the earliest Christian communities, Christ alone (cf. Col 2,16) was the most important [ritual] reality, together with his life-giving word (cf. John 6,63), his commandment of reciprocal charity (cf. John, 13,34), and the ritual actions which he commanded in his memory (cf. 1 Cor 11,24-26). Everything else – days and months, seasons and years, feasts, new moons, food and drink… (cf. Gal 4,10; Col 2,16-19) – was of secondary importance.

Nevertheless, the signs of personal piety are already to be found among the first generation of Christians. Inspired by the Jewish tradition, they recommended following the example of incessant prayer of Jesus and St. Paul (cf. Luke 18,1; Rm 12,12; 1 Thes 5,17), and of beginning and ending all things with an act of thanksgiving (cf. 1 Cor 10,31; 1 Thes 2,13;Col 3,17). The pious Israelite began the day praising and giving thanks to God. In the same spirit, he gave thanks for all his actions during the day. Hence, every joyful or sorrowful occasion gave rise to an expression of praise, entreaty, or repentance. The Gospels and the writings of the New Testament contain invocations of Jesus, signs of christological devotion, which were repeated spontaneously by the faithful outside of the context of Liturgy. It must be recalled that it was a common usage of the faithful to use biblical phrases such as : "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me" ( ); "Lord if you wish, you can heal me" (…); "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (…); "My Lord and my God" ( …); "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (..). Innumerable prayers to Christ have been developed by the faithful of every generation on the basis this piety.

Until the second century, expressions of popular piety, whether deriving from Jewish, Greco-Roman or other cultures, spontaneously came together in the Liturgy. It has already been noted, for example, that the Traditio Apostolica contains elements deriving from popular sources.

The cult of martyrs, which was of great importance for the local Churches, preserves traces of popular usages connected with the memory of the dead. Some of the earliest forms of veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary also reflect popular piety, among them the Sub tuum praesidium and the Marian iconography of the catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome.

While always most vigilant with regard to interior conditions and the prerequisites for a dignified celebration of the sacred mysteries (cf. 1 Cor 11, 17-32), the Church has never hesitated in incorporating into the liturgical rites forms drawn from individual, domestic and community piety.

In this period Liturgy and popular piety, either conceptually or pastorally, did not oppose each other. Both concurred harmoniously in celebrating the one mystery of Christ, considered as a whole, and in sustaining the supernatural and moral life of the disciples of the Lord.

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