St. John of God, Confessor
Nothing in John’s early life foreshadowed his future sanctity. He ran away as a boy from his home in Portugal, tended sheep and cattle in Spain, and served as a soldier against the French, and afterwards against the Turks. When about forty years of age, feeling remorse for his wild life, he resolved to devote himself to the ransom of the Christian slaves in Africa, and went thither with the family of an exiled noble, which he maintained by his labor. On his return to Spain he sought to do good by selling holy pictures and books at low prices. At length the hour of grace struck. At Granada a sermon by the celebrated John of Avila shook his soul to its depths, and his expressions of self-abhorrence were so extraordinary that he was taken to the asylum as one mad. There he employed himself in ministering to the sick. On leaving he began to collect homeless poor, and to support them by his work and by begging. One night St. John found in the streets a poor man who seemed near death, and, as was his wont, he carried him to the hospital, laid him on a bed, and went to fetch water to wash his feet. When he had washed them, he knelt to kiss them, and started with awe: the feet were pierced, and the print of the nails bright with an unearthly radiance. He raised his eyes to look, and heard the words, “John, to Me thou doest all that thou doest to the poor in My name: I reach forth My hand for the alms thou givest; Me dost thou clothe, Mine are the feet thou dost wash.” And then the gracious vision disappeared, leaving St. John filled at once with confusion and consolation. The bishop became the Saint’s patron, and gave him the name of John of God. When his hospital was on fire, John was seen rushing about uninjured amidst the flames until he had rescued all his poor. After ten years spent in the service of the suffering, the Saint’s life was fitly closed. He plunged into the river Xenil to save a drowning boy, and died, 1550, of an illness brought on by the attempt, at the age of fifty-five.
God often rewards men for works that are pleasing in His sight by giving them grace and opportunity to do other works higher still. St. John of God used to attribute his conversion, and the graces which enabled him to do such great works, to his self-denying charity in Africa.
TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN LENT – ST. JOHN OF GOD, CONFESSOR
COMMEMORATION FOR FERIA OF LENT
STATION AT ST. LAURENCE IN DAMASO
Double – White vestments
Missa ‘Os justi’
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
Psalm 36: 30-31
Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium: lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. Ps. Noli æmulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem. Gloria Patri.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment: the law of his God is in his heart. Ps. Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be to the Father.
O God, who didst cause blessed John, when burning with love of Thee, to walk unscathed through flames, and who by him didst enrich Thy Church with a new religious order: grant through the help of his merits, that our vices may be healed by the fire of Thy love, and that we may receive remedies unto eternal life. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION FERIA IN LENT
May the sacred practice of fasting, we beseech You, O Lord, win for us increased holiness of life and the continuing help of Your mercy. Through our Lord.
Ecclesiasticus 31: 8-11
Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish: and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? for he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them: Therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the church of the saints shall declare his alms.
Psalm 91: 13, 14
The Just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus in the house of the Lord. To show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and Thy truth in the night.
Psalm 111: 1-3
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed. Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.
Matthew 22. 34-46
At that time the Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the great commandment of the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ, whose son is He? They say to Him: David’s. He saith to them: How then doth David, in spirit, call Him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on my right hand until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask Him any more questions.
Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.
In memory of Thy Saints, O Lord, we offer Thee the sacrifice of praise, by which we trust to be freed from both present and future evils. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION FERIA IN LENT
May this offering, O Lord, we beseech You, wipe away our sins, and make holy the minds and bodies of Your servants for celebrating this Sacrifice. Through our Lord.
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:
Matthew 24: 46-47
Blessed is that servant, whom when his Lord shall come he shall find watching: amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.
Refreshed by meat and drink from heaven, O God, we humbly entreat Thee, that we may be protected by the prayers of him in whose memory we have partaken. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION FERIA IN LENT
May the reception of this sacrament, O Lord, cleanse us from guilt and bring us to the kingdom of heaven. Through our Lord
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Have mercy on Your people, O Lord, and graciously grant them relief from the unceasing tribulations which oppress them. Through our Lord.