THURSDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK

St. Jerome - Penance

THURSDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK

Forgiveness is promised; but atonement must be made. Divine justice must be satisfied, and future generations be taught that sin can never pass unpunished. Eve is the guiltier of the two, and her sentence follows that of the serpent. Destined by God to aid man in peopling the earth with happy and faithful children, formed by this God out of man’s own substance flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones, woman was to be on an equality with man. But sin has subverted this Order, and God’s sentence is this: conjugal union, notwithstanding the humiliation of concupiscence now brought upon it, is to be, as before, holy and sacred; but it is to be inferior in dignity, before both God and man, to the state of virginity, which disdains the ambitions of the flesh.

Secondly, woman shall be mother still, as she would have been in the state of innocence; but her honour shall be a burden. Moreover, she shall give birth to her children amidst cruel pains, and sometimes even death must be the consequence of her infant’s coming into the world. The sin of Eve shall thus be memorialized at every birth, and nature shall violently resist the first claims of him, whom sin has made her unwelcome lord.

Lastly, she who was at first created to enjoy equality of honour with man, is now to forfeit her independence. Man is to be her superior, and she must obey him. For long ages, this obedience will be no better than slavery; and this degradation shall continue till that Virgin comes, whom the world shall have expected for four thousand years, and whose humility shall crush the serpent’s head. She shall restore her sex to its rightful position, and give to Christian woman that influence of gentle persuasiveness, which is compatible with the duty imposed upon her by divine justice, and which can never be remitted: the duty of submission.

Paradise lost...

Paradise lost…

   IN DOMINICA TYROPHAGI

O Lord! King of all ages! who didst create me by thy love; I have been injured by the envy of the crafty serpent, and have provoked thee, my Saviour, to anger but despise me not, O God! Call me back me to thee.

Alas! my bright robe has been changed into this garb of shame. I bewail my ruin, O Saviour, and to thee do I cry with confidence: My good God! Despise me not, but call me back to thee.

How, my soul, couldst then, that wast made the lord of serpents and beasts, treat the soul-slaying serpent with familiarity, and use thine enemy as a trusty counsellor? Bewail, my wretched soul, thy fatal error!

(To thee do we sing, O Mary, full of divine grace! Hail bright tabernacle of the Incarnation! O fount of mercy, hope of them that are in despair, enlighten me that am dishonoured by the dark clouds of my passions.)

           The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Guéranger

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WEDNESDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK: O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one!

Adam and Eve - Domenichino (1623-25) Oil on canvas Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble

WEDNESDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK

The guilty pair appear before the great God, whom they have offended; and instead of acknowledging their guilt, they seek to palliate and excuse it. But divine justice pronounces their condemnation, and the sentence will be felt by their posterity, even to the last generation. The two beings, that had committed the heinous crime, had been enriched with every gift of nature and grace. It was not with them, as it is with us. Concupiscence which gives us an inclination for what is wrong; ignorance and forgetfulness which cloud the intellect of fallen man, these miseries had nothing whatever to do with the fall of our first parents. They sinned through sheer ingratitude. They began by weighing the proposal of revolt, when they ought to have spurned it with indignation and conquered by flight. Then, by degrees, the proposed crime seemed no great harm, because, though God would lose their obedience, they would gain by the disobedience! And at length, the love of God was made to give place to the love of self, and they declared their independence! Yet God had mercy on them, because of their posterity. The angels were all created at one and the same instant, and each of them was subjected to the trial, which was to decide his eternal future. Each angel depended on his own act, on his own choice between fidelity to his Creator and rebellion against Him; so that they who rebelled drew on themselves the eternity of God’s chastisement. The human race, on the contrary, existed not save as represented in its two first parents, and was plunged by and with them into the abyss of God’s reprobation: therefore, God, who spared not the angels, mercifully spared the human race.

I will put enmities between thee and the woman; she shall crush thy head.

I will put enmities between thee and the woman; she shall crush thy head.

But let us listen to the three sentences pronounced by God after the fall of man. The first is against the serpent, and is the severest. The curse, which is already upon him, is deepened, and the pardon, which is about to be promised to the human race, is to be given in the form of an anathema against that wicked spirit, that has dared to war with God in the work of His hands. I will put enmities between thee and the woman; she shall crush thy head.’  Thus does God avenge Himself on His enemy. The victory won over the woman is made to turn against the proud conqueror, and become his humiliation and his defeat. In his fiendish craft, he had directed his first attack, not against the man, but against the woman. She, by nature, was weaker and more credulous; and if he conquered her, he hoped-too well, alas!-that Adam would be led to turn against his Creator, in order not to displease the creature. All happened as he willed it: but now, see how God uses the woman to foil and punish him. He enkindles in her heart an implacable hatred against His and our enemy. This cruel serpent may raise his proud head, and, here and there, find men that will adore him: the day will come, when a woman’s foot shall crush this head, which refused to bend before God. This daughter of Eve, whom all generations are to call blessed, shall be prefigured by other women: by Debbora, Judith, Esther, and others, all celebrated for their victories over the serpent. She shall be followed, until the end of time, by an uninterrupted succession of Christian virgins and matrons, who, with all their weakness, shall be powerful in co-operating with God’s designs, and, as the apostle says, ‘the unbelieving husband shall be sanctified by the believing wife.’ Thus will God punish the serpent’s pride. Before pronouncing upon our first parents the sentence they have deserved, He promises to bless their posterity, and pours into their own hearts a ray of hope.

IN DOMINICA TYROPHAGI

Adam - O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one!

Then did Adam look back, on the Eden of delights, and sitting wept; he hid his face in his hands, and said: O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one! He saw the angel that drove him from the garden of God; and as he beheld him shutting its gates against him, he heaved a deep sigh, and said: O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one! Weep, Eden, over thy master thus made poor! Let the rustling of thy leaves become a prayer, asking our Creator that he close thee not. O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one!

The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Gueranger O.S.B. Vol. IV- Septuagesima

THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL – MASS PROPERS

St. Paul - Apostle and Martyr

      January 25

THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL

    Dom Guéranger – The Liturgical Year

We have already seen how the Gentiles, in the person of the Three Magi, offered their mystic gifts to the Divine Child of Bethlehem, and received from him in return the precious gifts of faith, hope and charity. The harvest is ripe; it is time for the reaper to come. But who is to be God’s laborer? The Apostles of Christ are still living under the very shadow of Mount Sion. All of them have received the mission to preach the gospel of salvation to the uttermost parts of the world; but not one among them has as yet received the special character of Apostle of the Gentiles. Peter, who had received the Apostleship of Circumcision, is sent specially, as was Christ himself, to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel. And yet, as he is the Head and the Foundation, it belongs to him to open the door of Faith to the Gentiles; which he solemnly does by conferring Baptism on Cornelius, the Roman Centurion. But the Church is to have one more Apostle, an Apostle for the Gentiles; and he is to be the fruit of the martyrdom and prayer of St Stephen. Saul, a citizen of Tarsus, has not seen Christ in the flesh, and yet Christ alone can make an Apostle. It is then from heaven, where he reigns impassible and glorified, that Jesus will call Saul to be his disciple, just as, during the period of his active life, he called the fishermen of Genesareth to follow him and hearken to his teachings. The Son of God will raise Saul up to the third heaven, and there will reveal to him all his mysteries: and when Saul, having come down again to this earth, shall have seen Peter, and compared his Gospel with that recognized by Peter, he can say, in all truth, that he is an Apostle of Christ Jesus, and that he has done nothing less than like great Apostles. It is on this glorious day of the Conversion of Saul, who is soon to change his name into Paul, that this great work is commenced. It is on this day that there is heard the Almighty voice which breaketh the cedars of Libanus, and can make a persecuting Jew become first a Christian and then an Apostle.

This admirable transformation had been prophesied by Jacob, when upon his deathbed he unfolded to each of his sons the future of the tribe of which he was to be the father. Juda was to have the precedence of honor; from his royal race was to be born the Redeemer, the Expected of nations. Benjamin’s turn came; his glory is not to be compared with that of his brother Juda, and yet it was to be very great-for from his tribe is to be born Paul, the Apostle of the Gentile nations. These are the words of the dying Prophet: Benjamin, a ravenous wolf, in the morning shall eat the prey, and in the evening shall divide the spoil. Who, says an ancient writer, is he that in the morning of impetuous youth goes like a wolf in pursuit of the sheep of Christ, breathing threatenings and slaughter against them? Is it not Saul on the road to Damascus, the bearer and doer of the high-priest’s orders, and stained with the blood of Stephen, whom he has stoned by the hands of all those over whose garments he kept watch? And he who in the evening, not only does not despoil, but with a charitable and peaceful hand breaks to the hungry the bread of life-is it not Paul, of the tribe of Benjamin, the Apostle of Christ, burning with zeal for his brethren, making himself all to all, and wishing even to be an anathema for their sakes? Oh! the power of our dear Jesus! How wonderful how irresistible! He wishes that the first worshipers at his Crib should be humble Shepherds-and he invites them by his Angels, whose sweet hymn was enough to lead these simple-hearted men to the Stable, where, in swaddling-clothes, he lies who is the hope of Israel. He would have the Gentile Princes, the Magi, do him homage-and bids a star to arise in the heavens, whose mysterious apparition, joined to the interior speaking of the Holy Ghost, induces these men of desire to come from the far East, and lay at the feet of an humble Babe their riches and their hearts. When the time is come for forming the Apostolic College, he approaches the banks of the sea of Tiberias, and with this single word: Follow me, he draws after him such as he wishes to have as his Disciples. In the midst of all the humiliations of his Passion, he has but to look-at the unfaithful Peter, and Peter is a penitent. Today, it is from heaven that he evinces his power: all the mysteries of our redemption have been accomplished, and he wishes to show mankind that he is the sole author and master of the Apostolate, and that his alliance with the Gentiles is now perfect: he speaks; the sound of his reproach bursts like thunder over the head of this hot Pharisee, who is bent on annihilating the Church; he takes this heart of the Jew, and, by his grace, turns it into the heart of the Apostle, the Vessel of election, the Paul who is afterwards to say of himself: I live, not I, but Christ liveth in me. The commemoration of this great event was to be a Feast in the Church, and it had a right to be kept as near as might be to the one which celebrates the martyrdom of St Stephen, for Paul is the Protomartyr’s convert.

Prayer

O, God, who by a voice from heaven didst strike with terror thine Apostle Paul when raging against the holiness of the Christian religion and on this the day of his Vocation didst change him both in his heart and his name: so that the Church having once dreaded him as her persecutor, now rejoices in having him as her Teacher in the commandments of God: whom thou didst strike with exterior blindness, that thou mightest give him interior sight: to whom  moreover, when the darkness of his cruelty was removed, thou didst give the knowledge of thy divine law whereby he might call the Gentiles: and didst thrice deliver him from shipwreck, which he suffered for the Faith, saving this thy devoted servant from the waves of the sea: grant also to us. We beseech thee, who are solemnizing both his conversion and his faith, that after the blindness of our sins, we may be permitted to see thee in heaven, who didst enlighten Paul here on earth.

Conversion of st paul -Caravaggio Conversion of St Paul – Caravaggio

MONDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK

THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL

Greater-double/ White vestments

Missa ‘Scio cui credidi’

INTROIT – II Timothy 1: 12; Ps. 138: 1, 2

Scio cui credidi et certus sum, quia potens est depositum meum servare in illum diem, justus judex. Ps. Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam. Gloria Patri.

I know whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him, against that day; being a just Judge. Ps. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

O God, who hast taught the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who this day celebrate his conversion, may, through his example, draw nearer unto Thee. Through our Lord.

St. PeterSt. Peter at Sistine Chapel (detail)

Commemoration of St. Peter

O God, who by delivering to Thy blessed Apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, didst confer upon him the pontifical power of binding and of loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins: Who livest and reignest.

St Paul delivering the Areopagus sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515St Paul delivering the Areopagus sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515

EPISTLE – Acts 9: 1-22

In those days: Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus; and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? Who said: Who art Thou, Lord? And He said: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him, stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus. And he was there three days, without sight, and he did neither eat nor drink. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the street that is called Straight, and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prayeth. (And he saw a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem. And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that invoke thy name. And the Lord said to him: Go thy way; for this man is to me a vessel of election, to carry my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My Name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house. And laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, He that appeared to thee in the way as thou camest; that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up, he was baptized. And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus, for some days. And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. And all that heard him, were astonished, and said: Is not this he who persecuted in Jerusalem those that called upon this Name: and came hither for that intent, that he might carry them bound to the chief priests? But Saul increased much more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ.

GRADUAL – Galatians 2: 8, 9

He who wrought Peter to the apostleship, wrought in me also among the Gentiles, and they knew the grace of God which was given to me. The grace of God in me hath not been made void; but His grace always remaineth in me.

TRACT

Thou art a vessel of election, holy Paul the Apostle: thou art indeed worthy to be glorified. The preacher of truth, and doctrine of the Gentiles in faith and truth.  Through thee all the Gentiles have known the grace of God. Intercede for us to God, who chose thee.

Madonna and Child with Ss. Peter and Paul - CESARI, Giuseppe (1608-09)

Madonna and Child with Ss. Peter and Paul by Giuseppe Cesari (1608-09)

GOSPEL – Matthew 19: 27-29

At that time, Peter said to Jesus: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 138: 17

Thy friends, O God, are exceedingly honourable; their power is become very great.

SECRET

Sanctify, O Lord, by the prayers of Thine Apostle Paul, the gifts of Thy people: that, the things which, as of Thine ordaining are already pleasing unto Thee, may be made the more pleasing by his interceding patronage. Through our Lord.

Commemoration of St. Peter

May the prayer of the blessed Apostle Peter, we beseech Thee, O Lord, commend unto Thee the petitions and offerings of Thy Church: that, what we celebrate in his honour, may avail for our forgiveness. Through our Lord.

PREFACE OF THE APOSTLES

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

SANCTUS, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.

THE SANCTUS

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.

COMMUNION – Matthew 13: 28, 29

Amen I say to you, that you who have left all things, and followed Me, shall receive a hundred-fold, and shall possess life everlasting.

POSTCOMMUNION

Who are sanctified by this saving Mystery, beseech Thee, O Lord: that he under whose patronage Thou dost vouchsafe to place us, may not fail to pray for us. Through our Lord.

Commemoration of St. Peter

May the gift which we have offered, fill us with joy, O Lord: that as we proclaim Thee wonderful in Thine Apostle Peter, so we may through him receive the grace of Thy forgiveness. Through our Lord.

SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY – MASS PROPERS

SEASON OF SEPTUAGESIMA

SEPTUAGESIMA

The greatest feast of the year, the Resurrection of Our Lord, is preceded by a period of preparation called Lent. But in order that the rigors of Lent not come upon us unexpectedly, the Church has wisely instituted a brief liturgical season in order to prepare us for Lent itself: this is the period of Septuagesima. 

Septuagesima Sunday is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. This period is also known as the pre-Lenten season.

The other two Sundays in this period of the liturgical year are called Sexagesima and Quinquagesima. Septuagesima derived from the Latin word for “seventieth.” Likewise, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima, and Quadragesima mean “sixtieth,” “fiftieth,” and “fortieth” respectively.

SEPTUAGESIMA -ALLELUIA SUSPENSION

SUSPENSION OF THE ‘ALLELUIA’

The Alleluia, the chant sung eternally by the saints in heaven (Apoc 19:1), is suspended during Septuagesima and Lent.

Our holy mother the Church knows how necessary it is for her to rouse our hearts from their lethargy, and give them an active tendency towards the things of God. On this day, she uses a powerful means for infusing her own spirit into the minds of her children. She takes the song of heaven away from us: she forbids our further uttering that Alleluia, which is so dear to us, as giving us a fellowship with the choirs of angels, who are forever repeating it.

By taking from us our Alleluia, she virtually tells us that our lips must first be cleansed, before they again be permitted to utter this word of angels and saints; and that our hearts, defiled as they are by sin and attachment to earthly things, must be purified by repentance.

Stained glass window of Saint Timothy in Southwark Cathedral, in London

SAINT TIMOTHY, BISHOP AND MARTYR

       From The Liturgical Year by Dom Guéranger

Before giving thanks to God for the miraculous Conversion of the Apostle of the Gentiles, the Church assembles us together for the Feast of his favourite Disciple. Timothy—the indefatigable companion of St. Paul—the friend to whom the great Apostle, a few days before shedding his blood for Christ, wrote his last Epistle—comes now to await his master’s arrival at the Crib of the Emmanuel He there meets John the Beloved Disciple, together with whom he bore the anxieties attendant on the government of the Church of Ephesus; Stephen, too, and the other Martyrs, welcome him, for he, also, bears a Martyr’s Sim in his hand. He presents to the august other of the Divine Babe the respectful homage of the Church of Ephesus, which Mary had sanctified by her presence, and which shares with the Church of Jerusalem the honour of having had Her as one of its number, who was not only, like the Apostles, the witness, but moreover, in her quality of Mother of God, the ineffable instrument of the salvation of mankind.

Let us now read, in the Office of the Church, the abridged account of the actions of this zealous disciple of the Apostles.

Timothy was born at Lystra in Lycaonia. His father was a Gentile, and his mother a Jewess. When the Apostle Paul came into those parts, Timothy was a follower of the Christian religion. The Apostle had heard much of his holy life, and was thereby induced to take him as the companion of his travels: but, on account of the Jews, who had become converts to the faith of Christ, and were aware that the father of Timothy was a Gentile, he administered to him the rite of circumcision. As soon as they arrived at Ephesus, the Apostle ordained him Bishop of that Church.

The Apostle addressed two of his Epistles to him—one from Laodicea, the other from Rome—to instruct him how to discharge his pastoral office. He could not endure to see sacrifice, which is due to God alone, offered to the idols of devils; and finding that the people of Ephesus were offering victims to Diana, on her festival, he strove to make them desist from their impious rites. But they, turning upon him, stoned him. The Christians could not deliver him from their hands, till he was more dead than alive. They carried him to a mountain not far from the town, and there, on the ninth of the Calends of February (January 24), he slept in the Lord.

Commentaries taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Guéranger

MASS PROPERS

SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY

Commemoration for St. Timothy

Semi-double – Violet vestments

Privilege of the Second Class

STATION AT ST. LAURENCE-WITHOUT-THE WALLS

Missa ‘Circumdederunt me’

The Introit describes the fears of death, where with Adam and his whole posterity are tormented, in consequence of sin. But in the midst of all this misery there is heard a cry of hope, for man is still permitted to ask mercy from his God. God gave man a promise, on the very day of his condemnation: the sinner needs but to confess his miseries, and the very Lord against whom he sinned will become his deliverer.

INTROIT – Psalm 17: 5, 6, 7

Circumdederunt me gémitus mortis, dolóres inférni circumdedérunt me: et in tribulatióne mea invocávi Dóminum, et exaudívit de templo sancto suo vocem meam. Psalm 17: 2-3  Díligam te, Dómine, fortitúdo mea: Dóminus firmaméntum meum, et refúgium meum, et liberátor meus. V. Glória Patri.

The sorrows of death surrounded me, the sorrow of hell encompassed me: and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice from His holy Temple. Ps. I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer. V. Glory be to the Father.

In the Collect, the Church acknowledges that her children justly suffer the chastisements which are the consequences of sin; but she beseeches her divine Lord to send them that mercy which will deliverer them.

COLLECT

Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of  Thy people, that we who are justly afflicted for our sins, may be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness, for the glory of Thy name. Through our Lord.

Commemoration for St. Timothy, Martyr and Bishop

Look down on our weakness, almighty God; and since the weight of our own deeds bears us down, may the glorious intercession of blessed Timothy, Thy Bishop and Martyr, protect us. Through our Lord.

st paul conversion jan 25

EPISTLE – 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27; 10: 1-5

Brethren: Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty; I so fight, not as one beating the air: but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway. For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud and in the sea: and did all eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink: (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ). But with most of them God was not well pleased.

These stirring words of the apostle deepen the Sentiments already produced in us by the sad recollections of which we are this day reminded. He tells us that, this world is a race, wherein all must run; but that they alone win the prize, who run well. Let us, therefore, rid ourselves of everything that could impede us, and make us lose our crown. Let us not deceive ourselves: we are never sure, until we reach the goal. Is our conversion more solid than was St. Paul’s? Are our good works better done, or more meritorious, than were his? Yet he assures us that he was not without the fear that he might perhaps be lost; for which cause he chastised his body, and kept it in subjection to the spirit. Man, in his present state, has not the same will for all that is right and just, which Adam had before he sinned, and which, not withstanding, he abused to his own ruin. We have a bias which inclines us to evil; so that our only means of keeping our ground is to sacrifice the flesh to the spirit. To many this is very harsh doctrine; hence, they are sure to fail; they never can win the prize. Like the Israelites spoken of by our apostle, they will be left behind to die in the desert, and so lose the promised land.

GRADUAL – Psalm 9: 10-11, 19-20

A helper in due time in tribulation: let them trust in Thee who know Thee: for Thou hast not forsaken them that seek Thee, O Lord. V. For the poor man shall not be forgotten to the end: the patience of the poor shall not perish for ever: arise, O Lord, let no man prevail.

The Tract sends forth our cry to God, and the cry is from the very depths of our misery. Man is humbled exceedingly by the fall; but he knows that God is full of mercy, and that, in His goodness, He punishes our iniquities less than they deserve: were it not so, none of us could hope for pardon.

TRACT – Psalm 129: 1-4

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. V. Let Thine ears be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant. V. If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: O Lord, who shall abide it? V. For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness, and by reason of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard by Jacob Willemszoon de Wet

GOSPEL – Matthew 20: 1-16

At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And having agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the marketplace idle, and he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just. And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour: and did in like manner. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle? They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard. And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first. When therefore they were come that came about      the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they also received every man a penny. And receiving it they murmured against the master of the house, saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us that have borne the burden of the day and the heats. But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee. Or, is it not lawful for me to do what I will? Is thy eye evil, because I am good? So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

It is of importance that we should well understand this parable of the Gospel, and why the Church inserts it in today’s liturgy. Firstly, then, let us recall to mind on what occasion our Saviour spoke this parable, and what instruction He intended to convey by it to the Jews. He wishes to warn them of the fast approach of the day when their Law is to give way to the Christian Law; and He would prepare their minds against the jealousy and prejudice which might arise in them, at the thought that God was about to form a Covenant with the Gentiles. The vineyard is the Church in its several periods, from the beginning of the world to the time when God Himself dwelt among men, and formed all true believers into one visible and permanent society. The morning is the time from Adam to Noah; the third hour begins with Noah and ends with Abraham; the sixth hour includes the period which elapsed between Abraham and Moses; and lastly, the ninth hour opens with the age of the prophets, and closes with the birth of the Saviour. The Messias came at the eleventh hour, when the world seemed to be at the decline of its day. Mercies unprecedented were reserved for this last period, during which salvation was to be given to the Gentiles by the preaching of the apostles. It is by this mystery of mercy that our Saviour rebukes the Jewish pride. By the selfish murmurings made against the master of the house by the early labourers, our Lord signifies the indignation which the scribes and pharisees would show at the Gentiles being adopted as God’s children. Then He shows them how their jealousy would be chastised: Israel, that had laboured before us, shall be rejected for their obduracy of heart, and we Gentiles, the last comers, shall be made first, for we shall be made members of that Catholic Church, which is the bride of the Son of God.

     This is the interpretation of our parable given by St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great, and by the generality of the holy fathers. But it conveys a second instruction, as we are assured by the two holy doctors just named. It signifies the calling given by God to each of us individually, pressing us to labour, during this life, for the kingdom prepared for us. The morning is our childhood. The third hour, according to the division used by the ancients in counting their day, is sunrise; it is our youth. The sixth hour, by which name they called our midday, is manhood. The eleventh hour, which immediately preceded sunset, is old age. The Master of the house calls His labourers at all these various hours. They must go that very hour. They that are called in the morning may not put off their starting for the vineyard, under pretext of going afterwards, when the Master shall call them later on. Who has told them that they shall live to the eleventh hour? They that are called at the third hour may be dead at the sixth. God will call to the labours of the last hour such as shall be living when that hour comes; but, if we should die at midday, that last call will not avail us. Besides, God has not promised us a second call, if we excuse ourselves from the first.

At the Offertory, the Church invites us to celebrate the praises of God. God has mercifully granted us, that the hymns we sing to the glory of His name should be our consolation in this vale of tears.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 91: 2

It is good to give praise to the Lord,  and to sing to Thy name, O Most High.

SECRET

Having received our offerings and prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, cleanse us by these heavenly mysteries, and graciously hear us. Through our Lord.

Young saint Timothy with his mother.

Young saint Timothy with his mother.

Commemoration for St. Timothy

Graciously receive, O Lord, the sacrifice offered to Thee by the merits of blessed Timothy, Thy Martyr and Bishop, and grant that it may be to us an unfailing help. Through our Lord.

PREFACE OF THE HOLY TRINITY

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:

holy communion-

COMMUNION – Psalm 30: 17-18, 2: 51

Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant, and save me in Thy mercy: let me not be confounded, O Lord, for I have called upon Thee.

POSTCOMMUNION

May Thy faithful people, O Lord, be strengthened by Thy gifts: that by partaking of them they may continue to seek after them, and by seeking them, constantly partake of them. Through our Lord.

Commemoration for St. Timothy

We, who are refreshed by partaking of Thy holy Gift, beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that through the intercession of blessed Timothy, Thy Martyr and Bishop, we may experience fruits of that which we worship. Through our Lord.

 

St. Vincent and St. Anastasius, Martyrs – Mass Propers

St. Vincent the Deacon, 6th Century painting of Vincent by an anonymous painter

St. Vincent, deacon of Saragossa

St. Vincent, deacon of Saragossa in Spain, suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Diocletian A.D. 304.

Vincent was archdeacon of the church at Saragossa. Valerian, the bishop, had an impediment in his speech; thus Vincent preached in his stead, and answered in his name when both were brought before Dacian, the president, during the persecution of Diocletian. When the bishop was sent into banishment, Vincent remained to suffer and to die. First of all, he was stretched on the rack; and, when he was almost torn asunder, Dacian, the president, asked him in mockery “how he fared now.” Vincent answered, with joy in his face, that he had ever prayed to be as he was then. It was in vain that Dacian struck the executioners and goaded them on in their savage work. The martyr’s flesh was torn with hooks; he was bound in a chair of red-hot iron; lard and salt were rubbed into his wounds; and amid all this he kept his eyes raised to heaven, and remained unmoved. He was cast into a solitary dungeon, with his feet in the stocks; but the angels of Christ illuminated the darkness, and assured Vincent that he was near his triumph. His wounds were now tended to prepare him for fresh torments, and the faithful were permitted to gaze on his mangled body. They came in troops, kissed the open sores, and carried away as relics cloths dipped in his blood. Before the tortures could recommence, the martyr’s hour came, and he breathed forth his soul in peace.

SAINT VINCENT, DEACON AND MARTYR

     The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.

Vincent, the Victorious, vested in the sacred dalmatic, and holding his palm in his hand, comes, today, to his Jesus’ Crib, and right welcome is he to Stephen, the Crowned, his leader and his brother. Spain is his country. He is a Deacon of the glorious Church of Saragossa, and, by the strength and warmth of his faith, he is a type of that land, which is, by excellence, the Catholic Kingdom. But he does not belong to Spain only: like Stephen, and like Laurence, Vincent is the favourite and hero of the whole Church. Stephen, the Deacon, preached the divinity of Jesus amidst the shower of stones which were hurled upon him as a blasphemer; Vincent, the Deacon, confessed his faith in Jesus upon his red-hot gridiron, as did that other Deacon, Laurence. This triumvirate of Martyr-Deacons cluster together in the sacred Litany, and when we hear their three grand names, the Crown, the Laurel, and the Conqueror, we hail them as the three bravest Knights of our most dear Lord. Vincent triumphed over the torture of fire, because the flame of divine love which burned within his soul, was keener than that which scorched his body. He was comforted, in the most miraculous manner, during his great sufferings; but God worked these prodigies, not to deprive Vincent of his crown, but to show his own power. The holy Deacon had but one thought in the midst of all his pains—he was ambitious to make a return, by the gift of his own life, for that sacrifice whereby his divine Master had died for him and for all men. And now, that so generous a lover of God should be at the Crib of this same Jesus—is it not right and just? Oh! how he urges us, every Christmas, to love this Divine Infant! He that hesitated not, when called on to give himself to his Lord, even though it was to cost him such cruel pains—what cowards would he not call us, who can come so many Christmases to Bethlehem, and have nothing to give, but cold and divided hearts His sacrifice was to be burnt alive, and torn, and cut, and he smiled as he gave it : what are we to say of ourselves, who take years to think before we will give up those childish things, which prevent us from ever seriously beginning a new life, with our new-born Jesus! Would that the sight of all these Martyrs, in whose company the Church has made us live during these few last days, would touch our hearts, and make them resolute and simple There is an ancient Christian tradition, which makes St. Vincent the patron of vineyards and labourers in vineyards. This was, no doubt, suggested by the Saint’s having held the office of Deacon; for the Deacon has to pour wine into the chalice during the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and that wine is to be changed into the Blood of Christ. A few days ago, we assisted at the mystery of the Feast at Cana Jesus then offered us the sacred cup, the wine of his love: to-day, again, he offers it to us by the hand of his Martyr Vincent. To make himself worthy of his high office, the holy Deacon mingled his own blood, as a generous wine, in the cup that holds the price of the world’s salvation. It is thus that we are to understand that expression of St. Paul, which says, that the Saints fill up, in the flesh, by the merit of their sufferings, those things that are wanting, not in their efficacy, but in their fullness, of the sufferings of Christ, whose members the Saints are.

St. Vincent the Deacon, Hieromartyr – January 22St. Vincent, Martyr

We will now give the abridged account of the martyrdom of St Vincent, as it is related in the Lessons of his Feast.

Vincent was born at Huesca, a town of northern Spain, and. when quite a child, applied himself to study. He was taught the sacred sciences by Valerius, the Bishop of Saragossa. This prelate intrusted him with the duty of preaching the Gospel, on account of himself not being able to discharge that office, by reason of an impediment in his speech. This having reached the ears of Dacian, who had been made governor of that province by Diocletian and Maximian, Vincent was apprehended at Saragossa, and was led in chains to Valencia, before the judgment-seat of Dacian. There he was tortured by lashes and the rack, in the presence of many people; but neither the violence of the torments, nor the harsh or bland speeches addressed to him, could induce him to swerve from his resolution. He was therefore laid on a gridiron, which was set upon burning coals; his flesh was torn off with iron hooks, and red-hot plates were laid over him. After this he was led back to prison, the floor o which had been strewed with broken potsherds, in order that when he lay down to sleep, his body might be tortured by their sharp edges. But, whilst he was shut up in this dark prison, a most bright light penetrated the place. They who were present, were astonished beyond measure, and the gaoler informed Dacian of what had occurred. Vincent was then ordered to be taken out of prison, and put on a soft bed; for the governor thought to gain over by such comforts as this, him whom he had failed to seduce by tortures. But Vincent’s invincible spirit, strengthened by its faith and hope in Christ Jesus, overcame all their efforts; and after triumphing over fire, and sword, and all his tortures, took his flight to heaven, there to receive the crown of martyrdom, on the eleventh of the Calends of February (January 22). His body was thrown on a marsh, and denied burial; but a crow miraculously defended it, by its claws, beak, and wings, against birds of prey and a wolf. Dacian, hearing this, ordered it to be thrown into a deep part of the sea but by a fresh prodigy, it was washed to the shore, and the Christians gave it burial.

The Gothic Church of Spain, in her Mozarabic Liturgy, is magnificent in her praises of St Vincent. The first and second of the following Prayers are taken from the Breviary, the third is from the Missal, of that Rite.

          Prayer

O God, who didst wonderfully, with manifold sufferings, crown thy servant Vincent, and didst deliver him from the effects of his torments, to the end that he might gloriously trample upon each cruel punishment with those feet of his, that had never trod in the mire of vice, who didst, moreover, save him from the deep waters, to the end that he, whose spirit had despised the world, might be near to his heritage in heaven: grant unto us, by the prayers of this so great a Martyr, that we may never be defiled by the mire of sin, nor be plunged in the deep pool of despair, but may be presented to thee, on the day of judgment, beautified with a spotless freedom of conscience. Amen.

          Prayer

We bless thee, O Almighty God, for that thou didst deliver thy most blessed Martyr Vincent, as heretofore the three children, from the flames of fire ; for when his body was laid on the fire, it burned, but could not conquer, him. Hear his grayer for us, and pour into our innermost spirit the dew of thy mercy, that so, the fire of our carnal passions being slaked, the flame of sin that is within us may smoulder, and though, by nature, it cease not to molest us, permit not, we beseech thee, that our weakness, while passing through the fire, should ever be burnt; but grant, that grace may in such manner assist nature, as that we may be able to quench by thy gift what originated without us. Amen.

                  Prayer

O Jesus! by whose great power the body of thy Martyr Vincent, which the mad fury of Dacian had cast into the sea, was borne to the shore on the bosom of the waves, that it might receive honour from man: do thou, by this thy Martyr’s praying for us, stretch out thy hand of pity, and raise us, from the stormy sea of this world, to the heavenly country above; that thus, we, who were driven, by the impulse of the enemy, to burden ourselves with guilt and so fall into the gulf, may at length, by charity, which covereth sin, arrive at the port of salvation, and rejoice in the company of all these, who out of love for thee, are assembled on this Feast of thy Martyr. Amen.

Reliquary containing the leg bone of St. Vincent, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Reliquary containing the leg bone of St. Vincent, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Hail, Victorious Deacon! How beautiful art thou, with the Chalice of salvation in thy brave hands! It was thine office to offer it at the Altar, in order that the wine it contained might be changed by the sacred words, into the Blood of Christ; and, when the Mystery was accomplished, thou hadst to take this same Chalice, and present it to the Faithful, to the end that they who thirsted after their God, might drink at the source of eternal life. But, on this day, thou offerest it thyself to Jesus, and it is full to the brim with thine own blood. Oh! how faithful a Deacon! giving even thy very life in testimony to the Mysteries or which thou wast the dispenser. Three centuries had elapsed since Stephen’s sacrifice; sixty years had gone by since the sweet incense of Laurence’s martyrdom had ascended to the throne of God; and now, it is the last persecution—peace is dawning on the Church—and a third Deacon comes to prove that time had not impaired the Order—it was the Deacon of Saragossa—thyself, dear Saint!

Bright is thy name in the list of Martyrs, O Vincent! and the Church is proud of thy triumph. It was for the Church, after Jesus, that thou didst combat:—have pity on us, therefore, and signalize this day of thy Feast by showing us the effects of Ages, whose battle thou didst fight on earth, and thou gazest, with a loving yet dazzled eye, on his eternal beauty. We, also, we, who are in this valley of tears, possess him, and see him, for he calls himself our Emmanuel, God with us. But, it is under the form of a weak Babe that he shows himself to us, for he fears to overpower us with the splendour of his majesty. Pray for us, O holy Martyr Vincent! for, at times, we tremble at the thought that this sweet Jesus is, one day, to be our Judge. When we reflect on what thou didst and suffer for him, we have scarcely courage to think upon ourselves, for, what good works can we show? or who can say of us, that we were ever warm in defending the cause of our Divine Master? Oh! that thy Feast might shame us into the earnest uncalculating simplicity, which this sweet Babe of Bethlehem is come to teach us—the simplicity which springs from humility and confidence in God, and which made thee go through all thy martyrdom with a brave, but oh ! with such a calm spirit ! Pray for us, that we may, at length, obey the God who teaches us by his own example, and, with hearts ambitious for naught but the pleasing Him, accomplish his will, whatever that may ask of us; and all this with the calm cheerfulness of devoted service.

Pray Vincent, for all Christians, for all are called to fight against the world, and their own passions. We are all invited to a palm, a crown, a Victory. Jesus will admit none but conquerors to the banquet of eternal glory, where he has promised to drink with us the new wine, in the Kingdom of his Father. The wedding-garment, which all must have on who enter there, must be washed in the Blood of the Lamb—we must all be Martyrs, at least in heart, for we have all to triumph over self, and that is the harshest of tyrants.

Fly to the assistance of the Martyrs who, in distant countries, are dying for the true Faith; obtain for them such courage, that they may be the Vincents of our age. Protect Spain, thy country. Beseech our Emmanuel to send her heroes of thy stamp; that so, the Catholic Kingdom, which has ever been so jealous of purity of Faith, may speedily triumph over the trials, which are at present heavy upon her. Shall the illustrious Church of Saragossa — founded by St. James the Apostle, visited by the Blessed Mother of God, and sanctified by the ministry of thy deaconship—shall such a country as this ever grow indifferent about Faith, or suffer the bond of unity to be broken !—And since the devotion of the Christian people looks upon thee as the protector of the Vine, bless this portion of creation, which God has destined for man s use, and which he has deigned to make both the instrument of the deepest of his Mysteries, and the symbol of his love of mankind.

Jan 22 St. Anastasius of Persia (Menologion of Basil II) - The BuialSt. Anastasius, Martyr

St. Anastasius, Martyr

St. Anastasius was a monk of Persia, was put to death with seventy other Christians under Chosroes A.D. 628.

Originally a Persian called Magundat, a magician. Anastasius was a soldier in the army of King Khusrow II, ruler of Persia, when that ruler carried the Holy Cross from Jerusalem to Persia. He was so impressed with the relic and with the demeanor of the Christians that he left the army, became a Christian, and then a monk in Jerusalem. After seven years, Anastasius went to Persia to convert his own people. He was taken prisoner and promised honors by King Khusrow if he denied Christ. Remaining constant in the faith, Anastasius was strangled and beheaded with 68 or 70 other Christians on January 22, 628. His remains were taken to Palestine, and later Rome.

            Mass Propers

Friday of the Second Week after the Epiphany

St. Vincent & St. Anastasius, Martyrs  

Semi-double – Red vestments

 Missa ‘Intret in conspectu’

Church of St. Vincent and Anastasius

INTROIT – Psalm 78: 11,12,10

Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine; gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. Ps. Deus venerunt gentes in hereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: postuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam. Gloria Patri.

Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbors sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy Saints, which hath been shed. Ps. O God, the heathens are come into Thine inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

O Lord, listen to our supplications: that we who acknowledge the guilt of our sins, may be delivered through the intercession of Thy blessed Martyrs Vincent and Anastasius. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – Wisdom 3: 1-8

The Lesson is taken from the Book of Wisdom

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: and their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace He hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust He hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them. The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign forever.

Bulgarian Catholic Church of Saints Vincent and Anastasius.Bulgarian Catholic Church of Sts. Vincent and Anastasius.

GRADUAL – Exodus 15: 11,6

God is glorious in His Saints, wonderful in majesty, doing wonders. Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength; Thy right hand hath broken the enemies.

ALLELUIA – Exodus 44: 14

Alleluia, alleluia. Thy bodies of Thy Saints are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 21: 9-19

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: When you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified: these things must first come to pass, but the end is not yet presently. Then He said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines and terrors from Heaven, and there shall be great signs. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors for My name’s sake; and it shall happen unto you for a testimony. Lay it up therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay. And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death: and you shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake; but a hair of your head shall not perish. In your patience you shall possess your souls.

God is wonderful in His Saints

God is wonderful in His Saints

OFFERTORY – Psalm 67: 36

God is wonderful in His Saints: the God of Israel is He Who will give power and strength to His people: blessed be God. Alleluia.

SECRET

We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the gifts of our devotion: may they please Thee as honoring Thy just ones, and through Thy mercy profit us unto salvation. Through our Lord.

COMMON PREFACE

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:

Crucifixion - Champaigne

THE SANCTUS

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis.  Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.

COMMUNION – Wisdom 3: 4-6

And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, God hath tried them: as gold in the furnace He hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust He hath received them.

St. Anastasius

St. Anastasius

POSTCOMMUNION

We beseech Thee, almighty God, that we, who have received this heavenly food, may at the intercession of Thy blessed Martyrs Vincent and Anastasius, thereby be defended against all adversities. Through our Lord.

St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr – Mass Propers

St. Agnes, V. M.

                      January 21

    St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

St. Agnes was but thirteen years old when she was led to the altar of Minerva at Rome and commanded to obey the persecuting laws of Diocletian by offering incense. In the midst of the idolatrous rites she raised her hands to Christ, her Spouse, and made the sign of the life-giving cross. She did not shrink when she was bound hand and foot, though the gyves slipped from her young hands, and the heathens who stood around were moved to tears.

The bonds were not needed for her, and she hastened gladly to the place of her torture. Next, when the judge saw that pain had no terrors for her, he inflicted an insult worse than death: her clothes were stripped off, and she had to stand in the street before a pagan crowd; yet even this did not daunt her. “Christ,” she said, “will guard His own.” So it was. Christ showed, by a miracle, the value which He sets upon the custody of the eyes. Whilst the crowd turned away their eyes from the spouse of Christ, as she stood exposed to view in the street, there was one young man who dared to gaze at the innocent child with immodest eyes. A flash of light struck him blind, and his companions bore him away half dead with pain and terror.

Lastly, her fidelity to Christ was proved by flattery and offers of marriage. But she answered, “Christ is my Spouse: He chose me first, and His I will be.” At length the sentence of death was passed. For a moment she stood erect in prayer, and then bowed her neck to the sword. At one stroke her head was severed from her body, and the angels bore her pure soul to Paradise.

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - Christmastide

Thursday of the Second week after Epiphany

ST AGNES, Virgin and Martyr

Double / Red Vestments

Missa ‘Me exspectaverunt’

INTROIT Psalm 118: 95, 96, 1

Me exspectaverunt peccatores, ut perderent me: testimonia tua, Domine, intellexi: omnis consummationis vidi finem: latum mandatum tuum nimis. Ps. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini. Gloria Patri.

The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I have understood Thy testimonies, O Lord: I have seen an end of all perfection; Thy command is exceeding broad. Ps. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be to the Father.

JANUARY 21 FEAST OF ST. AGNES - Santa Inés, Guarino, 1650

COLLECT

O Almighty and everlasting God, who dost choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong: mercifully grant that we who keep the solemn feast of blessed Agnes, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may experience the benefit of her pleading with Thee. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – Ecclesiasticus 51: 1-8, 12

The Lesson is taken from the Book of Wisdom

I will give glory to Thee, O Lord, O King, and I will praise Thee, O God my Savior. I will give glory to Thy name: for Thou hast been a helper and protector to me, and hast preserved my body from destruction, from the snare of an unjust tongue, and from the lips of them that forge lies: and in the sight of them that stood by Thou hast been my helper. And Thou has delivered me, according to the multitude of the mercy of Thy name, from them that did roar prepared to devour; out of the hands of them that sought my life, and from the gates of afflictions which com- passed me about: from the oppression of the flame which surrounded me, and in the midst of the fire I was not burnt: from the depth of the belly of hell, and from an unclean tongue, and from lying words, from an unjust king, and from a slanderous tongue. My soul shall praise the Lord even to death: because Thou, O Lord our God, deliverest them that wait for Thee, and savest the out of the hands of the nations.

GRADUAL Psalm 44: 3, 5

Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee for ever. Because of truth, and meekness, and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully.

ALLELUIA Matthew 25: 4, 6

Alleluia, alleluia. The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps: and at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

foolish - wise virgins

GOSPEL Matthew 25: 1-13

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of Heaven shall be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise; but the five foolish having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now, whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.

OFFERTORY Psalm 44: 15-16

After her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to Thee with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the King, the Lord.

SECRET 

O Lord, graciously receive the oblations which we offer up to Thee; and by the intercession of blessed Agnes, Thy Virgin and Martyr, loose the bonds of our sins. Through our Lord.

COMMON PREFACE

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord, through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:

HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS - AT CHRISTMASTIDE

SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria Tua. Hosanna in excelsis.  Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.

COMMUNION Matthew 25: 4, 6

The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps; but at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet Christ our Lord.

POSTCOMMUNION 

We who have been refreshed with heavenly food and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be defended by the prayers of her in whose memory we have partaken of these mysteries. Through our Lord…

ST. FABIAN, POPE AND MARTYR AND ST. SEBASTIAN, MARTYR – MASS PROPERS

 

Pope Fabian

                    January 20

SAINT FABIAN, POPE AND MARTYR,

AND SAINT SEBASTIAN, MARTYR

The Liturgical Year – Dom Guéranger

Two great Martyrs divide between them the honours of this twentieth day of January:—one, a Pontiff of the Church of Rome; the other, a member of that Mother-Church. Fabian received the crown of martyrdom, in the year 250, under the persecution of Decius; the persecution of Diocletian crowned Sebastian, in the year 288. We will consider the merits of these two champions of Christ separately.

SAINT FABIAN

St. Fabian, like St. Clement and St. Antherus, two of his predecessors, was extremely zealous in seeing that the Acts of the Martyrs were carefully drawn up. This zeal was no doubt exercised by the clergy in the case of our holy Pontiff himself, and his sufferings and martyrdom were carefully registered; but all these interesting particulars have been lost, in common with an immense number of other precious Acts, which were condemned to the flames, by the Imperial Edicts, during the persecution under Diocletian. Nothing is now known of the life of St. Fabian, save a few of his actions as Pope; but we may have some idea of his virtues, by the praise given him by St. Cyprian, who, in a letter written to St. Cornelius, the immediate successor of St. Fabian, calls him an incomparable man. The Bishop of Carthage extols the purity and holiness of life of the holy Pontiff, who so peaceably governed the Church amidst all the storms which then assailed her. There is an interesting circumstance related of him by Eusebius. After the death of St. Antherus, the people and clergy of Rome assembled together, for the election of the new Pontiff. Heaven marked out the successor of St. Peter: a dove was seen to rest on the venerable head of Fabian, and he was unanimously chosen. This reminds us of the event in our Lord’s Life, which we celebrated a few days back, when standing in the river Jordan, the Dove came down from heaven, and showed him to the people as the Son of God. Fabian was the depository of the power of regeneration, which Jesus, by his Baptism, gave to the element of water; he zealously propagated the Faith of his Divine Master, and, among the Bishops he consecrated for divers places, one or more were sent by him into these western parts of Europe.

Pope St. Fabian

We give, at once, the short account of the Acts of St Fabian, as recorded in the Liturgy.

   Fabian, a Roman by birth, governed the Church from the reign of Maximian to that of Decius. He divided the City into seven parts, which he consigned to as many Deacons, and to them he gave the charge of looking after the poor. He created also a like number of Subdeacons, who were to collect the Acts of the Martyrs, written by seven Notaries. It was he decreed, that, every year, on the fifth Feria, our Lord’s Supper, the Chrism should be renewed, and the old should be burnt. At length, on the thirteenth of the Calends of February (January 20), he was crowned with martyrdom, in the persecution of Decius, and was buried in the cemetery of Callixtus, on the Appian Way, after reigning fifteen years and four days. He held five ordinations, in the month of December, in which ordinations, he made two and twenty Priests, seven Deacons, and eleven Bishops for divers places.

Thus didst thou live out the long tempestuous days of thy Pontificate, O Fabian! But thou hadst the presentiment of the peaceful future reserved by God for his Church, and thou didst zealously labour to hand down to the coming generations the great examples of the Martyrs. The flames have robbed us of a great portion of the treasures thou preparedst for us, and nave deprived us of knowing the Fabian who so loved the Martyrs, and died one himself But of thee, Blessed Pontiff! we know enough to make us thank God for having set thee over his Church in those hard times, and keep this day as a feast in celebration of thy glorious triumph. The dove, which marked thee out as the one chosen by heaven, showed thee to men as the visible Christ on earth; it told thee that thou wert destined for heavy responsibilities and martyrdom; it was a warning to the Church, that she should recognize and hear thee as her guide and teacher. Honoured thus with a resemblance to Jesus in the mystery of his Epiphany, pray to him for us, that he mercifully manifest himself to our mind and heart. Obtain of him, for us, that docility to his grace, that loving submissiveness to his will, that detachment from all created things, which were the support of thy life, during those fifteen years of thy ever threatened and anxious pontificate. When the angry persecution at length broke on thee, it found thee prepared, and martyrdom carried thee to the bosom of that God, who had already welcomed so many of thy martyred children. We, too, are looking for that last wave, which is to break over us, and carry us from the shore of this present life to eternity — oh! pray for us, that it may find us ready! If the love of the Divine Babe, our Jesus, be within us; if, like thee, we imitate the simplicity of the dove;—we shall not be lost! Here are our hearts—we wish for nothing but God—help us by thy prayers.

St Sebastian (detail), Andrea Mantegna

    SAINT SEBASTIAN

      At the head of her list of heroes, after the two glorious Apostles Peter and Paul, who form her chief glory—Rome puts her two most valiant Martyrs, Laurence and Sebastian, and her two most illustrious Virgins, Cecily and Agnes. Of these four, two are given us by the Calendar of Christmastide as attendants in the court of the Infant Jesus at Bethlehem. Laurence and Cecily will come to us further on in our year, when other Mysteries will be filling our hearts and the Liturgy: but Christmas calls forth Sebastian and Agnes. Today, it is the brave soldier of the pretorian band, Sebastian, who stands by the Crib of our Emmanuel; tomorrow, we shall see Agnes, gentle as a lamb, yet fearless as a lion, inviting us to love the sweet Babe, whom she chose for her only one Spouse.

The chivalrous spirit of Sebastian reminds us of the great Archdeacon; both of them, one in the sanctuary, and the other in the world, defied the tortures of death. Burnt on one side, Laurence bids the tyrant roast the other; Sebastian, pierced with his arrows, waits till the gaping wounds are closed, and then runs to his persecutor Dioclesian, asking for a second martyrdom. But, we must forget Laurence today, to think of Sebastian. We must picture to ourselves a young soldier, who tears himself away from all the ties of his home at Milan, because the persecution there was too tame, whereas, at Rome, it was raging in wildest fierceness. He trembles with anxiety at the thought, that, perhaps, some of the Christians, in the Capital, may be losing courage He has been told that, at times some of the Emperor’s soldiers, who were soldiers also of Christ, have gained admission into the prisons, and have roused up the sinking courage of the confessors. He is resolved to go on the like mission, and hopes he may also receive the blessing of martyrdom. He reaches Rome, he is admitted into the prisons, and encourages to martyrdom such as had been shaken by the tears of those who were dear to them. Some of the gaolers, converted by witnessing his faith and his miracles, became Martyrs themselves; and one of the Roman Magistrates asks to be instructed in a religion which can produce such men as this Sebastian. He has won the esteem of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian-Hercules for his fidelity and courage as a soldier; they have loaded him with favours; and this gives him an influence in Rome, which he so zealously turns to the advantage of the Christian religion, that the holy Pope Caius calls him the Defender of the Church.

After sending innumerable martyrs to heaven, Sebastian, at length, wins the crown he had so ardently ambitioned. He incurs the displeasure of Diocletian by confessing himself a Christian; the heavenly King, for whose sake alone he had put oi the helmet and soldier’s cloak, was to him above all Emperors and Princes. He is handed over to the archers of Mauritania, who strip him, bind him, and wound him, from head to foot, with their arrows. They left him for dead, but a pious woman, named Irene, took care of him, and his wounds were healed. Sebastian again approaches the Emperor, who orders him to be beaten to death in the circus, near the Imperial Palace. Such are the Soldiers of our new-born King! but, oh! how richly does he repay them for their service! Rome, the Capital of his Church, is founded on seven Basilicas, as the ancient City was on its seven hills; and the name and tomb of Sebastian grace one of these seven sanctuaries. The Basilica of Sebastian stands in a sort of solitude, on the Appian Way, outside the walls of the Eternal City; it is enriched with the relics of the holy Pope and Martyr Fabian; but Sebastian, the valiant leader of the pretorian guard, is the Patron, and, as it were, the Prince of the holy temple. It was here that he wished to be buried, as a faithful guardian, near the well wherein the bodies of the holy Apostles had been concealed, lest they should be desecrated by the persecutors. In return for the zeal of St. Sebastian for the souls of his Christian brethren, whom he preserved from the contagion of paganism, God has made him the Protector of the Faithful against pestilence. A signal proof of this power granted to the holy Martyr, was given at Rome, in the year 680, under the Pontificate of St. Agatho.

Madonna between St John the Baptist and St Sebastian- PERUGINO, Pietro

Let us now listen to our holy Mother the Church, who thus speaks of her glorious Martyr, in the Office of his Feast.

Sebastian, whose Father was of Narbonne, and his Mother a lady of Milan, was beloved by Diocletian on account of his noble birth and his virtues. Being a captain of the pretorian cohort, he was able to give assistance and alms to the Christians, whose faith he himself followed, though privately. When he perceived any of them trembling at the great tortures of the persecutors, he made it his duty to encourage them; and so well did he do it, that many would go, and, for the sake of Jesus Christ, would freely offer themselves to the executioners. Of this number were the two brothers Mark and Marcellian, who were in custody under Nicostratus, whose wife, named Zoe, had recovered her speech by the prayer made for her by Sebastian. Diocletian, being told of these things, summoned Sebastian before him and after upbraiding him, in very strong words, tried every means to induce him to turn from the faith of Christ But, finding that neither promises nor threats availed, he ordered him to be tied to a stake, and to be shot to death with arrows. Everyone thought he was dead; and a pious woman named Irene, gave orders that his body should be taken away, during the night, and buried; but she, finding him to be still alive, had him taken to her house, where she took care of him. Not long after, having quite recovered, he went before Diocletian, and boldly chided him for his wickedness. At first, the Emperor was struck dumb with astonishment at the sight, for he had been told that Sebastian was dead; but, at length, the strange event and the Martyr’s sharp rebuke so inflamed him with rage, that he ordered him to be scourged to death with rods. His body was thrown into a sewer, but Lucina was instructed by Sebastian, in her sleep, both as to where his body was, and where he wished to be buried. Accordingly, she buried him at the Catacombs, where, afterwards, a celebrated Church was built, called Saint Sebastian’s.

 Hymn in honour of St. Sebastian

    (From the Ambrosian Breviary)

Let us all, in humble supplication,

and with becoming sweetness of

voice, celebrate in sons’ the

feast-day of our dear fellow-citizen,

Sebastian the Martyr.

This noble champion of Christ,

fired with the love of battle, leaves

his country, where danger too tamely

threatened him, and hastens to the

hot battle-field at Rome

His soul enlightened with the sublime

dogmas of faith, and full of heavenly

courage, he condemns the worship of

idols, and hopes that a martyr’s bright

trophy may be his.

He is bound with many thongs to the

huge trunk of a tree, and on his naked

breast receives the Quivering arrows.

There stood his body like a forest of iron darts,

while his soul, more unflinching than brass,

despises the weapons as harmless things, and

bias them do their worst.

Streams of blood flow from the wounds,

leaving but a lifeless body; but a holy woman

comes by night, and heals the gaping wounds.

The cruel goading gives our soldier heavenly

strength; again he urges the tyrant to his work,

and, this time, dies under the wounding lash.

And now, most brave of warriors! now that

thou art throned in the high heavens, drive

pestilence away, and mercifully protect the

bodily health of thy fellow-citizens on earth.

To the Father, and to the Son, and to thee,

O Holy Spirit, may there be, as there ever hath

been, glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We find the following Prayer in the Gothic Missal

                  Prayer

O God, who, by thy most blessed

Martyr Sebastian, hast infused courage

into the hearts of thy faithful, since thou

didst make him, while concealed under

the service of an earthly commander, a

perfect soldier of thine own: grant, that

we may ever fight to secure thy praise;

confirm our speech with the teachings

of thy justice; enlighten our heart with

the love of thy love, and, having freed

our flesh from its concupiscence, secure

it to thyself with the nails of thy cross.

St Sebastian cared for by angels by Peter Paul Rubens

Brave Soldier of our Emmanuel! thou art now sweetly reposing at the foot of his throne. Thy wounds are closed, and thy rich palm-branch delights all heaven by the freshness of its unfading beauty. Look down upon the Church on earth, that tires not in singing thy praise. Each Christmas, we find thee near the Crib of the Divine Babe, its brave and faithful sentinel. The office thou didst once fill in an earthly prince’s court, is still thine, but it is in the palace of the King of kings. Into that palace, we beseech thee, lead us by thy prayers, and gain a favourable hearing to our own unworthy petitions.

With what a favourable ear must not our Jesus receive all thy requests, who didst love him with such a brave love! Thirsting to shed thy blood in his service, thou didst scorn a battle-field where danger was not sure, and Rome, that Babylon which, as St. John says, was drunk with the blood of the Martyrs, Rome alone was worthy of thee. And there, it was not thy plan to secure the palm of martyrdom only for thyself; the courage of some of thy fellow-Christians had wavered, and the thought of their danger troubled thee. Rushing into their prisons, where they lay mutilated by the tortures they had endured, thou didst give them back the fallen laurel, and teach them now to secure it in the grasp of holy defiance. It seemed as though thou wast commissioned to form a pretorian band for the King of heaven, and that thou couldst not enter heaven unless marshalling thither a troop of veterans for Jesus.

Thy turn came at last; the hour of thy confession was at hand, and thou hadst to think of thine own fair crown. But, for such a soldier as thou, Sebastian, one martyrdom is not enough. The archers have faithfully done their work—not an arrow is left in their quivers; and yet, their victim lives, ready for a second sacrifice, such were the Christians of the early times, and we are their children!

Look, then, O Soldier of Christ! upon us, and pity us, as thou didst thy brethren, who once faltered in the combat Alas! we let everything frighten and discourage us; and, oftentimes, we are enemies of the Cross, even while professing that we love it. We too easily forget that we cannot be companions of the martyrs, unless our hearts have the generosity of the martyrs. We are cowardly in our contest with the world and its pomps; with the evil propensities of our nature, and the tyranny of our senses—and thus we fall. And when we have made an easy peace with God, and sealed it with the sacrament of his love, we behave as though we had now nothing more to do than to go on quietly to heaven, without further trials or self-imposed sacrifices. Rouse us, great Saint! from these illusions, and waken us from our listless life. Our love of God is asleep, and all must needs go wrong.

Preserve us from the contagion of bad example, and of those worldly maxims which gain currency even with Christian minds, because Christian lips call them rules of Christian prudence. Pray for us, that we may be ardent in the pursuit of our sanctification, watchful over our inclinations, zealous for the salvation of others, lovers of the Cross, and detached from earthly things. Oh! by the arrows which pierced thee, we beseech thee shield us from those hidden darts, which satan throws against us.

Pray for us, that we may be clad with the armour of God, described to us by the great Apostle. May we have on the breastplate of justice, which will defend us from sin; the helmet of salvation, that is, the hope of gaining heaven, which will preserve us from both despair and presumption; the shield of faith, which will ward off the darts of the enemy, who seeks to corrupt the heart by leading the mind into error; and lastly, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, whereby we may put all false doctrines to flight, and vanquish all our vices; for heaven and earth pass away, but the word of God abides for ever, and is given us as our rule and the pledge of our salvation? Defender of the Church! as the Vicar of Christ called thee, lift up thy sword and defend her now. Prostrate her enemies, and frustrate the plots they have laid for her destruction. Let her enjoy one of those rare periods of peace, during which she prepares for fresh combats. Obtain for Christian soldiers, engaged in just wars, the blessing of the God of Hosts. Protect the Holy City of Rome, where thy Tomb is honoured. Avert from us, by thy intercession, the scourge of pestilence and contagion. Hear the prayers, which, each year, are addressed to thee for the preservation of the creatures, given by God to man to aid him in his daily labour. Secure to us, by thy prayers, peace and happiness in this present life, and the good things of the life to come.

Wednesday of the Second Week after Epiphany

St Fabian and Sebastian, Martyrs  

Double – Red Vestments

Missa ‘Intret in conspectu’

 

INTROIT – Psalm 78: 11, 12, 10

Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine; gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. Ps. Deus venerunt gentes in hereditatem tuam; polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: postuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam. Gloria Patri.

Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy Saints, which hath been shed. Ps. O God, the heathens are come into Thine inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit. Glory be to the Father.

St Sebastian Healed by an Angel by Giovanni Baglione

St Sebastian Healed by an Angel by Giovanni Baglione

COLLECT

O almighty God, have regard to our weakness: and since the weight of our own evil deeds oppresses us, may the glorious intercession of Thy blessed Martyrs, Fabian and Sebastian, protect us. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – Hebrews 11: 33-39

Brethren, the saints through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle, put to flight the armies of foreigners: women received their dead raised to life again: but others were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection; and others had trial of mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands and prisons: they were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they wandered about in sheep-skins, and in goat-skins, being in want, distressed, afflicted of whom the world was not worthy: wandering in deserts, in mountains, and in dens, and in caves of the earth. And all these were found approved by the testimony of faith, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

GRADUAL – Exodus 15: 11, 6

God is glorious in His Saints, wonderful in majesty, doing wonders. Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength; Thy right hand hath broken the enemies.

ALLELUIA – Psalm 144: 10, 11

Alleluia, alleluia. Thy Saints shall bless Thee, O Lord; they shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom. Alleluia.

Ecce merces vestra multa est in caelo. Behold, your reward is very great in heaven.

Ecce merces vestra multa est in caelo. Behold, your reward is very great in heaven.

GOSPEL – Luke 6: 17-23

At that time, Jesus coming down with them, stood in a plain place, and the company of His disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast both of Tyre and Sidon, who were come to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were troubled with unclean spirits, were cured. And all the multitude sought to touch Him, for virtue went out from Him, and healed all. And He, lifting up His eyes on His disciples, said: Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Be glad in that day and rejoice; for behold, your reward is great in heaven.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 31: 11

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye just; and glory, all ye right of heart.

SECRET

O Lord, graciously receive the offerings consecrated to Thee, by the merits of Thy blessed Martyrs Fabian and Sebastian, and grant that they may prove to us an abiding source of strength. Through our Lord.

COMMON PREFACE

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:

precious blood 1

SANCTUS

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus, Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus, qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.

COMMUNION – Luke 6: 6, 8, 19

A multitude of sick, and they that were troubled with unclean spirits, came to Him; for virtue went out from Him and healed all.

POSTCOMMUNION

We who are refreshed by the sacred gifts, of which we have partaken, beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that through the intercession of Thy holy Martyrs Fabian and Sebastian, we may ever feel within us the power of that which we celebrate. Through our Lord.