Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent.



Station at St. Balbina's (in the Aventine)

Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent.

The Station is at the sanctuary of St. Balbina, a Roman virgin who lived in the second century and whose remains lie under the altar with those of her father, the martyr St. Quirinus. This church, which stands on the slope of the Aventine, was in the fifth century one of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome. Formerly it was the house of a Roman lady named Balbina, who was martyred during the persecution of Traian. The reason for the choice of this church is explained by the epistle, which speaks of the widow of Sarephta. Thus is celebrated the faith of one who transformed her residence into a church.

Jesus declares in the Gospel that the Jews who taught the law of Moses did not observe it. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is open to the heathen, who by baptism become disciples of Christ and do His works.

The Epistle tells of Elias going to a heathen widow woman of Sarephta to ask for nourishment when a drought had fallen on impenitent Israel. The widow took two pieces of wood, typical of the cross of Jesus, and prepared a hearth cake for the prophet and one for herself. Her compassion was rewarded, for never after did she want for bread. Whereas the Jews suffer from the scarcity, the Gentiles, as a reward for their fidelity, receive daily the Eucharistic bread, which applies to them the merits gained for them by the Saviour on the Cross.


Let us pray that God may grant us the grace of perseverance in the observance of the fast, "of which He has set us an example (Collect).

My heart hath said to Thee: I have sought Thy face. Thy face, O Lord, will I still seek: turn not away Thy face from me. * The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?
(Psalm 26:8-9,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Of Thy goodness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, continue to help us in the observance of this holy fast, that having learned our duties from Thee, we may accomplish them by the help of Thy grace.

Gospel (Matt. 23 : 1-12)

1THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, 2Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. 3All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not. 4For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. 5And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes. 6And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, 7And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. 8But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren. 9And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. 10Neither be ye called masters; for one is you master, Christ. 11He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

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For centuries Christians have turned to St. Joseph as a powerful patron and faithful guardian, father and friend. Invoked as the Glory of home life, Patron of the Dying and Terror of Demons, Christians call upon St. Joseph for healing and conversion, help with their children, a new job or home, and for all their needs of body and soul.

Honored as the Patron of the Universal Church, St. Joseph’s paternal protection of the Lord Jesus continues even from heaven, as he watches over Christ’s Mystical Body on earth. The foster-father of the Son of God is also a father to those who have become God’s sons and daughters through the sacrament of baptism.

Saints and popes down the centuries have experienced and extolled St. Joseph’s great power to intercede. “Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious saint,” wrote St. Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, “for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God.”

“Men of every rank and country should fly to the trust and guard of the blessed Joseph,” especially fathers of families, Pope Leo XIII wrote in his encyclical on devotion to St. Joseph, Quamquam pluries.

Why 30 days, you might wonder? According to tradition, St. Joseph died just before Jesus entered into his public ministry. The prayer therefore honors St. Joseph for each of the 30 years he spent with Jesus and Mary on earth.

This prayer can be said during any 30-day period, but with St. Joseph’s feast upon us, now is a particularly opportune time to turn to him asking his help and guidance for all your needs, the needs of your family, loved ones, friends, and all those in need of prayer.



Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow.

Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection. Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the loveliness and power of that sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable Infant.

I ask it by the painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan, you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt.

I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country.

I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows. I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His mother for three days.

I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus.

I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary.

I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God. O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petitions or think of them.)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of: JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.

“A blameless life, St. Joseph, may we lead, by your kind patronage from danger freed.”