Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)
Tobit 3 : 1-11a, 16-17a
Distressed, I wept and prayed and expressing my sorrow, I said, “You are just, o Lord; all Your actions and all Your ways are merciful and just; Your judgments are always true and just. Remember me, Lord, and look on me. Do not punish me for my sins nor for the wrongs I have committed through ignorance.”
“Pardon the sins which my fathers have committed in Your sight, for they disobeyed Your commandments. You have allowed us to suffer pillage, captivity and death. You have allowed us to be mocked by all the pagan nations among whom we have been dispersed.”
“Ah well! All Your judgments are just when You choose to punish me for my sins and those of my fathers, because we have not accomplished Your will, nor have we sincerely obeyed Your commands. We have not walked before You in truth. Do with me as You will. Order my life taken from me, and turn me into dust, because I prefer death to life. In this way free me and let me return to dust.”
“It is better for me to die than to live, because these unjust reproaches have caused me great distress. Command that I be now released from trials, and let me enter my eternal dwelling place. Do not turn Your face away from me.”
That same day, at Ecbatana in Media, Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, was insulted in a similar way by her father’s young maidservants. Sara had had seven husbands, but the demon Asmodeus had killed each one of them before the marriage had been consummated.
The maidservants said, “It was you who killed your husbands. You have had seven husbands and you have not enjoyed marital relationship with any of them. Why do you punish us? Since they are dead, go and join them. May we never see a son or daughter of yours!”
That same day Sara was so distressed in mind that she went to the upper room in her father’s house. She wished to hang herself. But she thought better of it and said : “If people ever reproached my father and said to him : ‘You had an only daughter whom you cherished and she hanged herself because she was unhappy,’ I would cause my father in his old age to die of grief. It is better for me not to hang myself but to ask the Lord that I may die and not live to hear any more insults.”
At that moment she stretched forth her hands towards the window and prayed. The Lord in His glory heard the prayer of Tobit and Sara and He sent Raphael to heal them both – to give back his sight to Tobit and to give Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, to Tobit’s son Tobias, as his wife.