March 24


O Lord, your servant Oscar Romero
preferred to be persecuted and die
rather than deny his poor and oppressed
brothers and sisters:
may the gift of his life,
poured out as an offering for the poor,
help us see our faith in you as precious
and make our witness for justice in society more transparent.
Through Christ our Lord.

Jer 11:18-20; Jn 12:24-26

Paul-Irénée Couturier (1881-1953) priest and ecumenical witness

Paul-Irénée Couturier, a Catholic priest, died in Lyons in 1953. The sincere and incontrovertible ecumenical witness he gave with his life helped pave the way for the Catholic Church's entrance into the ecumenical dialogue during the Second Vatican Council.
Couturier was born in Lyons in 1881. After receiving a scientific education, he went to seminary and was ordained a priest. At the age of 39 he had a pivotal experience: in his desire to alleviate the sufferings of the Russian immigrants who lived in the Lyons region, he acquainted himself with their way of life and their faith, and became convinced that profound unity between Eastern and Western Christians already existed.
His growing interest in Orthodox Christianity led him to the monastery of Chevetogne, where he was profoundly moved by the writings of Cardinal Mercier and Fr. Lambert Beauduin. He organized what became the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, convinced that the heart of ecumenism was Jesus' own prayer, "that they may be one."
Couturier was one of the founding members of the Dombes Group, which promoted mutual acquaintance and understanding between French Catholics and Protestants. He also laid the groundwork for a vast network of epistolary relationships among Christians of different denominations. The friendship and respect that grew out of these relationships became, in turn, the fertile terrain in which the great ecumenical dialogues developed.
When Paul Couturier died, the messages of condolence received by the bishop of Lyons from all of the Christian churches gave witness to unanimous gratitude for the evangelical commitment of a man who had given ecumenism a soul.


Walter Hilton of Thurgarton (d. 1396), Augustinian canon, mystic
Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, martyr

COPTS AND ETHIOPIANS (15 baramhat/maggabit):
Sarah ot the Thebaid, recluse nun (Coptic Orthodox Church)

Veit Dietrich (d. 1549), theologian in Nuremberg

Artemon of Seleucia (1st cent.), bishop

Vigil of the Annunciation of the most holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary
, bishop of Seleucia
Alexis of Goloseevo (d. 1917), monk (Ukranian Church)

Gabriel, archangel

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