STATION AT SS. MARCELLINUS AND PETER
(Indulgence of 10 years and 10 quarantines)
IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
Missa ‘Lex Domini’
The Station is in the church of Saints Peter and Marcellinus, two celebrated martyrs of Rome under the persecution of Diocletian. Their names are inserted in the Canon of the Mass.
Commentary from The Liturgical Year – Abbot Dom Guéranger
Psalm 18:8, 2
Lex Dómini irreprehensíbilis, convértens ánimas: testimónium Dómini fidéle, sapiéntiam præstans párvulis. Ps 18:2. Coeli enárrant glóriam Dei: et ópera mánuum ejus annúntiat firmaméntum. Glória Patri.
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. Ps. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork. Glory be to the Father.
Grant that our fasting may be beneficial to us, we beseech You, O Lord, so that by chastising our flesh we may obtain strength for our souls. Through our Lord.
INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body: and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, mother of God, of Saint Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Saints Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy loving-kindness grant us safety and peace; that, all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost.
FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
O Almighty and Eternal God, Who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all Whom Thou knowest shall be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication whether the present world still holds them in the flesh, or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost; One God; forever and ever, Amen.
In those days, Rebecca said to her son Jacob: I heard your father tell your brother Esau: Bring me some game; prepare some savoury food for me to eat, and then I will bless you in the sight of the Lord before I die. Now, my son, do what I tell you. Go to the flock and bring me two choice kids that I may make of them savoury food for your father, such as he likes. Then bring it to your father to eat, that he may bless you before he dies. Jacob said to his mother Rebecca: But Esau my brother is a hairy man, while I am smooth. If my father touches me, it will seem to him that I am mocking him. Thus I shall bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing. His mother replied: Let the curse fall on me, my son! Do but listen to me; go, get them for me. He went, selected them, and brought them to his mother, who prepared savoury food such as his father liked. Then Rebecca took the best clothes of her elder son Esau, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She put the skins of the kids on his hands and over the smooth parts of his neck. Then she gave her son Jacob the savoury food and bread she had prepared. He went to his father and said: Father! He answered: Here I am. Who are you, my son? And Jacob said to his father: I am Esau, your first-born. I have done as you told me; sit up, please! Eat again of my game, that you may bless me. Isaac replied: How did you find it so quickly, my son? He answered: The Lord your God let me come upon it. Then Isaac said to Jacob: Come close that I may touch you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not. Jacob went close to his father. Isaac touched him and said: The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau. He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. – Isaac said: Are you really my son Esau? Jacob answered: Yes, I am. Isaac continued: Set your game near me, my son, that I may eat it, and bless you. He set it before him and he ate of it, and he brought him some wine, which he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him: Come close and kiss me, my son. He came close and kissed him. When he smelled the fragrance of his garments, he blessed him and said: The fragrance of my son is like the fragrance of a field which the Lord has blessed! God give you dew from heaven, and fruitfulness of the earth, abundance of grain and wine. Let nations serve you, peoples bow down to you. Be master of your brothers; may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, blessed be those who bless you. Isaac had pronounced the blessing and Jacob had just left his father’s presence, when his brother Esau returned from hunting. He also prepared savoury food and brought it to his father, saying: Sit up, father, and eat of your son’s game, that you may bless me. His father Isaac said to him: Who are you? He answered: I am Esau, your first-born son. Isaac was greatly disturbed, and asked: Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? Before you came I ate heartily and then blessed him; and he shall be blessed. On hearing his father’s words, Esau uttered a very loud and bitter cry, and said to him: Father, bless me too. But he answered: Your brother came deceitfully and received your blessing. Then he said: Must he, true to his name Jacob, supplant me now a second time? He took my birthright and now he has taken my blessing. He added: Have you not reserved a blessing for me? Isaac answered Esau: I have appointed him your lord, and have given him all his brothers as servants. I have enriched him with grain and wine; what then can I do for you, my son? But Esau said to his father: Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me also, my father. And Esau wept aloud. His father Isaac answered him: Without the fruitfulness of the earth shall your dwelling be; without the dew of the heavens above.
The two sons of Isaac are another illustration of God’s judgments upon Israel, and His vocation of the Gentiles. The instruction contained in this passage from Genesis was intended for the catechumens. Here we have two brothers, Esau the elder, and Jacob the younger; Esau represents the Jewish people; he is his father’s heir, and, as such, he has a glorious future before him. Jacob, though twin-brother to Esau, is the second-born, and has no right to the special blessing which Esau claimed; he is the ﬁgure of the Gentiles. How, then, is it that Jacob receives the blessing and not Esau? The sacred volume tells us that Esau is a carnal-minded man.
Rather than deny himself the momentary gratiﬁcation of his appetite, he sacriﬁces the spiritual advantages which his father’s blessing is to bring him; he sells his birth right to Jacob for a mess of pottage. We know the mother’s plan for securing Jacob’s claim; and how the aged father is, unsuspectingly, the instrument in God’s hands, ratifying and blessing this substitution, of which he himself has no knowledge. Esau, having returned home, is made aware of the greatness of his loss; but it is too late, and he becomes an enemy to his brother. The same thing happens with the Jewish people; they are carnal-minded and lose their birthright, their pre-eminence over the Gentiles. They refuse to acknowledge a Messias who is poor and persecuted; their ambition is for earthly triumph and earthly greatness; and the only kingdom that Jesus holds out to His followers is a spiritual one. The Jews, then, reject this Messias; but the Gentiles receive Him, and they become the ﬁrst-born, the favoured people. And, whereas the Jews repudiate this substitution (to which, however, they assented, when they said to Pilate: ‘We will not have this Man to reign over us’), they are indignant at seeing the heavenly Father bestowing all His love and blessings on the Christian people. They that are children of Abraham according to the ﬂesh are disinherited; and they that are the children of Abraham by faith alone are evidently the children of the promise; according to those words of the Lord, which He spoke to that great patriarch: ‘I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea-shore. . . . In thy seed (that is, in Him who is to be born of thy race) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.’
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to Your name, Most High. V. To proclaim Your kindness at dawn and Your faithfulness throughout the night.
At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and Scribes this parable: A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me. And he divided his means between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered up all his wealth, and took his journey into a far country; and there he squandered his fortune in loose living. And after he had spent all, there came a grievous famine over that country, and he began himself to suffer want. And he went and joined one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his farm to feed swine. And he longed to fill himself with the pods that the swine were eating, but no one offered to give them to him. But when he came to himself, he said: How many hired men in my father’s house have bread in abundance, while I am perishing here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men. And he arose and went to his father. But while he was yet a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and fell upon his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants: Fetch quickly the best robe and put it on him, and give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet; and bring out the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; because this my son was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And calling one of the servants he inquired what this meant. And he said to him: Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has got him back safe. But he was angered and would not go in. His father, therefore, came out and began to entreat him. But he answered and said to his father: Behold, these many years I have been serving you, and have never transgressed one of your commands; and yet you have never given me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But when this your son comes, who has devoured his means with harlots, you have killed for him the fattened calf. But he said to him: Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours; but we were bound to make merry and rejoice, for this your brother was dead, and has come to life; he was lost, and is found.
The mystery brought before us in the Epistle is repeated in our Gospel. Again it is the history of two brothers; the elder is angry at seeing his father show mercy to the younger. This younger brother has gone abroad into a far country; he has quitted his father’s house, that he might be under no control, and indulge in every kind of disorder. But when a mighty famine came, and he was perishing with hunger, he remembered that he had a father; and, at once, he arose, and humbly besought his father to receive him, and give him the last place in that house, which, but for his own folly, might have been all his own. The father received the prodigal with the tenderest affection; not only did he pardon him, he restored him to all his family rights; nay, he would have a feast kept in honour of this happy return. The elder brother, hearing what the father had done, was indignant, and conceived the bitterest jealousy against his younger brother. Let the Jews be jealous, if they will; let them be indignant with their God for showing His mercy to any but themselves. The time has come when all the nations of the earth are to be called to the one fold. The Gentiles, notwithstanding all the misery into which their errors and their passions had led them, are to receive the preaching of the apostles. Greeks and Romans, Scythians and barbarians, are to come, humbly acknowledging the evil of their ways, and ask to share in the favours offered to Israel. Not only are they to be allowed to eat of the crumbs that fall from the table, which was all the poor woman of Chanaan dared to hope for; they are to be made sons and heirs of the Father, with all the attendant rights and privileges. Israel will be jealous, and will protest; but to no purpose. He will refuse to take part in the feast; it matters not, the feast is to be. This feast is the Pasch. The prodigals that have come, starved and naked, to the Father’s house, are our catechumens, on whom God is about to bestow the grace of adoption.
But there are also the public penitents, who are being prepared by the Church for reconciliation; they, too, are the prodigals, who come seeking mercy from their offended Father. This Gospel was intended for them as well as for the catechumens. But now that the Church has relaxed her severe discipline, she offers this parable to all those who are in the state of sin, and are preparing to make their peace with God. They know not, as yet, how good is the God from whom they have strayed by sin: let them read today’s Gospel, and see how mercy exalteth itself above judgment, in that God, who so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son. How far soever they may have gone astray, or how great soever may have been their ingratitude, let them take courage; a feast is being prepared in their Father’s house, to welcome them home again. The loving Father is waiting at the door to receive and embrace them; the ﬁrst robe, the robe of innocence, is to be restored to them; the ring, which they alone wear that are of God’s family, is to be once more placed on their hand. There is a banquet being prepared for them, at which the angels, out of joy, will sing their glad songs. Let these poor sinners, then, cry out with a contrite heart: Father! I have sinned against heaven, and before Thee; I am not now worthy to be called Thy son: make me as one of Thy hired servants. This tender-hearted Father asks only this much of them: sincere sorrow for their sins, humble confession, and a ﬁrm resolution of being faithful for the time to come. Let them accept these easy terms, and He will receive them, once more, as His dearest children.
Give light to my eyes that I may not sleep in death lest my enemy say, I have overcome him.
Appeased by these sacrificial gifts, O Lord, grant that we who pray for absolution from our own sins may not be burdened by those which are foreign to us. Through our Lord.
INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS
Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, and, by virtue of this Sacrament, defend us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing upon us Thy grace here and Thy glory hereafter. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
O Almighty and Eternal God, O God, Who alone knowest the number of the elect to be admitted to the happiness of Heaven, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of all Thy saints, the names of all who have been recommended to our prayers and of all the faithful, may be inscribed in the book of blessed predestination. Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries; that, fixed upon things divine we may serve Thee in both body and mind, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost; One God; forever and ever, Amen.
PREFACE FOR LENT
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. Who by the fasting of the body dost curb our vices, elevate our minds and bestow virtue and reward; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, and the powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts, with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while we say with lowly praise:
You ought to rejoice, my son, for your brother was dead, and has come to life; he was lost, and is found.
May the sacrament of which we have partaken, O Lord, penetrate the depths of our hearts and make us share in its strength. Through our Lord.
INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS
May the oblation of this divine sacrament which we have offered, cleanse us and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, of St. Joseph, of Thy holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, free us from all iniquity and deliver us from all adversity. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
May the sacraments which we have received purify us, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful Lord; and through the intercession of all Thy saints, grant that this Thy sacrament may not be unto us a condemnation, but a salutary intercession for pardon; may it be the washing away of sin, the strength of the weak, a protection against all dangers of the world, and a remission of all the sins of the faithful, whether living or dead, through our Lord.
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Bow down your heads to God.
Protect, O Lord, we beseech thee, thy family, by thy continual goodness, that as it relieth on the hopes of thy heavenly grace, so it may be defended by thy heavenly aid. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
This being Saturday, let us have recourse to Mary the Queen of mercy. Let us address ourselves to her in these devout words of a sequence, taken from the ancient Cluny missals. This is our request: that she would obtain for us the pardon of our sins.
Hail, fair star! that yieldest a ray of new light, whereby is blotted out the shame of our race. O thou the singular hope of man! O thou our refuge! Appease thy Son, at the hour of our judgment.
Thou art the ﬂowery rod of Jesse: thou art the true ﬁrst spring-ﬂower, bringing us our Jesus. O ever blooming rose! there is not a stain upon thee, and thy Fruit taketh our stains away. Thy virginal womb is the fount of the garden, the source of him that is the water of life.
Yea, thou art the golden throne, whereon the King of heaven crowned his Son. The palace of sweet perfumes, formed with exquisite skill by the hand of the great Artiﬁcer; Wherein Jesus, having put on the garment of our ﬂesh, was consecrated High Priest.
Thou art the fount that givest forth oil, yea, a dew sweet as honey; for thou art all love. Hence came to us the font that washeth away the bitterness and the stains of sin.
O Mother! whose heart was pierced by the wounds of thy suffering Son. Show us a Mother’s care and love; and when the dread judgment comes, deliver us from punishment. Amen.