MONTH OF MARY – INTRODUCTION

BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MATER DEI - MOTHER OF THE FREE                   MONTH OF MARY

                       APRIL 30

As the devout servants of Mary usually have three times in each day to venerate her, morning, mid-day, and evening; and in every week a day, viz. Saturday; so in every year it seems reasonable for them to consecrate to her one whole month.

And since, in making offerings it is the best which should be presented, therefore of all the months, they have chosen that to give to her which is the most beautiful of the whole year, that is May, which, with its flowery pleasantness, invites us to crown the Queen of Heaven with fair acts of virtue. The practice of such devotion may be rendered not less devout than pleasing and varied, in the following method.

The Homemade Altar (Sacred Space)

In one’s own house, and in that room in which the family is used to assemble to say their prayers, or else in some church or oratory, a devout image of Mary may be exposed, which should be adorned in the best possible manner that the family’s means allow i.e, with candles, or with some vessel of the fresh flowers which the season supplies. It will be anything but ill if it be the very same place where we study, or play, or take recreation, or labour, in order to sanctify that place, and to regulate our actions as if done under the purest of eyes, those of the most Blessed Virgin.

The evening before the first day of May, let the family be assembled before the aforesaid little altar, with lights on it, and let there be recited the Rosary or Chaplet, or at least the Litany of the Virgin most holy. Other prayers also may be added, according to the custom or various needs of the family. Care, however, should be taken, that in wishing to increase the number of the prayers, the devotion is not diminished by making those which are said to be gone negligently over, or those who say them to be over-tired, especially if children or people of business.

st alphonsus liguori -

                   Month of Mary

        By St. Alphonsus Liguori

   Doctor of the Catholic Church

       April 30th  – Introduction 

It is an article of faith, not only that it is lawful, but also that it is useful, to invoke and pray to the Saints, and especially to the Queen of Saints, the most holy and ever Blessed Virgin Mary, in order that they may obtain us the Divine grace. This truth has been defined by General Councils, against heretics who condemned it as being injurious to Jesus Christ, who is our only Mediator. But if a Jeremias, after his death, prayed for Jerusalem; if the ancients of the Apocalypse presented the prayers of the Saints to God; if St. Peter promises his disciples that after his death he will be mindful of them; if holy Stephen prays for his persecutors; if St. Paul prays for his companions; if, in fine, the Saints can pray for us, why cannot we beseech the Saints to intercede for us? St. Paul recommends himself to the prayers of his disciples: ‘Brethren, pray for us.’ St. James exhorts us to pray one for another: ‘Pray one for another, that you may be saved.’ Then we can do the same.

No one denies that Jesus Christ is our only mediator of justice, and that He by His merits has obtained our reconciliation with God. But, on the other hand, it is impious to assert that God is not pleased to grant graces at the intercession of His Saints, and more especially of Mary, His Mother, whom Jesus desires so much to see loved and honoured by all. Hence the learned Suarez justly remarks, that if we implore our Blessed Lady to obtain us a favour, it is not because we distrust the Divine mercy, but rather that we fear our own unworthiness and the absence of proper dispositions; and we recommend ourselves to Mary, that her dignity may supply for our lowliness. That it is most useful and holy to have recourse to the intercession of Mary can only be doubted by those who have not faith. But that which we intend to prove here is, that the intercession of Mary is even necessary to salvation; we say necessary, not absolutely, but morally. This necessity proceeds from the will itself of God, that all graces that He dispenses should pass by the hands of Mary, according to the opinion of St. Bernard, and which we may now with safety call the general opinion of theologians and learned men.

But let us examine what the Saints say on the subject. St. Bernard says, ‘That God has filled Mary with all graces, so that men may receive by her means, as by a channel, every good thing that comes to them.’ He says, ‘ that she is a full aqueduct, that others may receive of her plenitude.’ On this the Saint makes the following significant remark: ‘Before the birth of the Blessed Virgin, a constant flow of graces was wanting, because this aqueduct did not exist.’ But now that Mary has been given to the world, heavenly graces constantly flow through her on all. And on this account she is called the Moon, according to the following remark of St. Bonaventure: ‘As the moon, which stands between the sun and the earth, transmits to this latter whatever she receives from the former, so does Mary pour out upon us who are in this world the heavenly graces that she receives from the Divine Sun of justice.’ Again, the holy Church calls her ‘ the happy gate of heaven;’ for as the same St. Bernard remarks, ‘ As every mandate of grace that is sent by a king passes by the palace gates, so does every grace that comes from heaven to the world pass through the hands of Mary.’ St. Bonaventure says that Mary is called ‘the gate of heaven because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing by her.’

And thus Father Suarez concludes that it is the sentiment of the universal Church ‘that the intercession and prayers of Mary are, above those of all others, not only useful, but necessary.’ Necessary, in accordance with what we’ have already said, not with an absolute necessity; for the mediation of Jesus Christ alone is absolutely necessary; but with a moral necessity; for the Church believes with St. Bernard, that God has determined that no grace shall be granted otherwise than by the hands of Mary. ‘God wills,’ says the Saint, ‘that we should have nothing that has not passed by the hands of Mary;’ and before St. Bernard, St. Ildephonsus asserted the same thing, addressing the Blessed Virgin in the following terms: ‘O Mary, God has decided on committing all good gifts, that He has provided for men, to thy hands; and, therefore, He has intrusted all treasures and riches of grace to thee.’ And hence St. Peter Damian remarks, ‘That God would not become man without the consent of Mary; in the first place, that we might feel ourselves under great obligations to her; and in the second, that we might understand that the salvation of all is left to the care of this Blessed Virgin.’

St. Bonaventure, on the words of the Prophet Isaias, ‘And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root, and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,’ makes a beautiful remark, saying: ‘Whoever desires the sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit, let him seek for the flower of the Holy Ghost in the rod,’ — that is, for Jesus in Mary; ‘For by the rod we find the flower, and by the flower, God.’ And he adds: ‘if you desire to possess this flower, bend down the rod, which bears the flower, by prayer; and so you will obtain it. Otherwise,’ says the seraphic Father, ‘in vain shall we seek Jesus unless we endeavour to find Him with Mary. ‘St. Ildephonsus also says: ‘I desire to be the servant of the Son; but because no one will ever be so without serving the Mother, I desire to be the servant of Mary.’

Domina nostra, Refugium peccatorum ora pro nobis!

Domina nostra, Refugium peccatorum ora pro nobis!

                Example

In Germany a man fell into a grievous sin; through shame he was unwilling to confess it, but, on the other hand, unable to endure the remorse of his conscience, he went to throw himself into a river. On the point of doing so he hesitated, and, weeping, he begged that God would forgive him his sin without his confessing it. One night in his sleep he felt some one shake his arm, and heard a voice which said, Go to confession. He went to the church, but yet did not confess. On another night he again heard the same voice. He re turned to the church; but when he got there, he declared that he would rather die than confess that sin. But before returning home, he went to recommend himself to the most Blessed Virgin, whose image was in that church. He had no sooner knelt down than he found himself quite changed. He immediately got up, called a confessor, and, weeping bitterly through the grace which he had received from Mary, made an entire confession of his sins; and he afterwards declared that he experienced greater satisfaction than had he obtained all the treasures of the world.

Mother of God our life, sweetness and hope

               Prayer

O my soul, see what a sure hope of salvation and eternal life our Lord has given thee, by having in His mercy inspired thee with confidence in the patronage of His Mother; and this, notwithstanding that so many times, by thy sins, thou hast merited His displeasure and hell. Thank thy God, and thank thy protectress, Mary, who has condescended to take thee under her mantle; for of this thou mayest be well convinced, after the many graces that thou hast received by her means. O yes, I do thank thee, my most loving Mother, for all thou hast done for me, who am deserving of hell. And from how many dangers hast thou not delivered me, O Queen! How many inspirations and mercies hast thou not obtained for me from God? What service, what honour, have I ever rendered thee, that thou shouldst do so much for me? I know that it is thy sole goodness that has impelled thee. Ah, too little would it be, in comparison with all that I owe thee, did I shed my blood and give my life for thee! for thou hast delivered me from eternal death; thou hast enabled me, as I hope, to recover Divine grace; to thee, in fine, I owe all I have. My most amiable Lady, I, poor wretch that I am, can make thee no return, but that of always loving and praising thee. Ah, disdain not to accept the tender affection of a poor sinner, who is inflamed with love for thy goodness. If my heart is unworthy to love thee, because it is impure and filled with earthly affections, it is thou who must change it. Ah, change it, then! Bind me to my God, and bind me so that I may never more have it in my power to separate myself from His love. Thou askest of me that I should love thy God, and I ask of thee that thou shouldst obtain this love for me, to love Him always; this is all that I desire. Amen.

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ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA, VIRGIN – MASS PROPERS

God the Father with Ss. Catherine of Siena and Mary Magdalen - Fra bartolomeo

God the Father with Ss. Catherine of Siena and Mary Magdalen by Fra Bartolomeo

                          April 30

      ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA

Catherine, the daughter of a humble tradesman, was raised up to be the guide and guardian of the Church in one of the darkest periods of its history, the fourteenth century. As a child, prayer was her delight. She would say the “Hail Mary” on each step as she mounted the stairs, and was granted in reward a vision of Christ in glory. When but seven years old, she made a vow of virginity, and afterwards endured bitter persecution for re fusing to marry. Our Lord gave her His Heart in exchange for her own, communicated her with His own hands, and stamped on her body the print of His wounds. At the age of fifteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic, but continued to reside in her father’s shop, where she united a life of active charity with the prayer of a contemplative Saint. From this obscure home the seraphic virgin was summoned to defend the Church’s cause. Armed with Papal authority, and accompanied by three confessors, she travelled through Italy, reducing rebellious cities to the obedience of the Holy See, and winning hardened souls to God. In the face well-nigh of the whole world she sought out Gregory XI., at Avignon, brought him back to Rome, and by her letters to the kings and queens of Europe made good the Papal cause. She was the counsellor of Urban VI., and sternly rebuked the disloyal cardinals who had part in electing an anti-pope. Long had the holy virgin foretold the terrible schism which began before she died. Day and night she wept and prayed for unity and peace. But the devil excited the Roman people against the Pope, so that some sought the life of Christ’s Vicar. With intense earnestness did St. Catherine beg Our Lord to prevent this enormous crime. In spirit she saw the whole city full of demons tempting the people to resist and even slay the Pope. The seditious temper was subdued by Catherine’s prayers; but the devils vented their malice by scourging the Saint herself, who gladly endured all for God and His Church. She died at Rome at the age of thirty-three, A.D. 1380.

The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine of Siena by Clemente de Torres - WGA

                Mass

ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA, VIRGIN

   Double – White vestments

            Missa ‘Dilexisti’

INTROITUS – Psalm 44: 8

Dilexisti justitiam, et odisti iniquitatem: propterea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus, oleo lætitiæ præ consortibus tuis. Ps. 44: 2. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi. Gloria Patri.

INTROIT

Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who venerate the natal feast of blessed Catherine, Thy virgin, may be both gladdened by her annual solemnity and helped by the example of so great virtue. Through the same Lord.

EPISTLE – II Corinthians 10: 17-18

Brethren, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commandeth himself is approved: but he whom God commandeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly, but do bear with me: for I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

ALLELUIA – Psalm 44: 15

Alleluia, alleluia. V. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee with gladness. Alleluia.

ALLELUIA – Psalm 44: 16

Alleluia. With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Alleluia.

foolish - wise virgins

GOSPEL – Matthew 25: 1-13

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: 10

The daughters of kings are in thine honour, the queen stood on thy right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety. Alleluia.

SECRET

Let the prayers we offer on the feast-day of blessed Catherine rise up unto Thee, O Lord, and the sacrifice of salvation fragrant with the odour of virgin purity. Through our Lord.

PREFACE OF EASTER

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: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the 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:

St. Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata by Domenico Beccafumi

St. Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata by Domenico Beccafumi

COMMUNION – Matthew 25: 4, 6

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 the Lord.

POSTCOMMUNION

May the Heavenly table, from which we have been fed, give us eternal life, O Lord, as it sustained even the temporal life of Catherine, the blessed virgin. Through our Lord.

 

 

 

 

ST. PETER THE MARTYR – MASS PROPERS

St Peter Martyr with St Nicholas of Bari, St Benedict and an Angel Musician

                       APRIL 29

         ST PETER THE MARTYR 

Saint Peter of Verona O.P. (1206 – April 6, 1252), also known as Saint Peter Martyr, was a 13th-century Italian Catholic priest. He was a Dominican friar and a celebrated preacher. He served as Inquisitor in Lombardy, was killed by an assassin, and was canonized 11 months after his death, making this the fastest canonization in history.

Peter was born in the city of Verona into a family perhaps sympathetic to the Cathar heresy. Peter went to a Catholic school, and later to the University of Bologna, where he is said to have maintained his orthodoxy and at the age of fifteen, met Saint Dominic. Peter joined the Order of the Friars Preachers (Dominicans) and became a celebrated preacher throughout northern and central Italy.

From the 1230s on, Peter preached against heresy, and especially Catharism, which had many adherents in thirteenth-century Northern Italy. Pope Gregory IX, appointed him General Inquisitor for northern Italy in 1234 and Peter evangelized nearly the whole of Italy, preaching in Rome, Florence, Bologna, Genoa, and Como. In 1243 he recommended the new Servite foundation to the pope for approval.

In 1251, Pope Innocent IV recognized Peter’s virtues (severity of life and doctrine, talent for preaching, and zeal for the orthodox Catholic faith), and appointed him Inquisitor in Lombardy. He spent about six months in that office and it is unclear whether he was ever involved in any trials. His one recorded act was a declaration of clemency for those confessing heresy or sympathy to heresy.

In his sermons he denounced heresy and also those Catholics who professed the Faith by words, but acted contrary to it in deeds. Crowds came to meet him and followed him; conversions were numerous, including many Cathars who returned to orthodoxy.

Because of this, a group of Milanese Cathars conspired to kill him. They hired an assassin, one Carino of Balsamo. Carino’s accomplice was Manfredo Clitoro of Giussano. On April 6, 1252, when Peter was returning from Como to Milan, the two assassins followed Peter to a lonely spot near Barlassina, and there killed him and mortally wounded his companion, a fellow friar named Dominic.

Carino struck Peter’s head with an axe and then attacked Domenico. Peter rose to his knees, and recited the first article of the Symbol of the Apostles (the Apostle’s Creed). Offering his blood as a sacrifice to God, according to legend, he dipped his fingers in it and wrote on the ground: “Credo in Unum Deum”, the first words of the Nicene Creed. The blow that killed him cut off the top of his head, but the testimony given at the inquest into his death confirms that he began reciting the Creed when he was attacked.

Dominic was carried to Meda, where he died five days afterwards.

According to Dominican tradition Peter often conversed with the saints, including the virgin-martyrs Catherine, Agnes and Cecilia.

Once, when preaching to a vast crowd under the burning sun, the heretics challenged him to procure shade for his listeners. As he prayed, a cloud overshadowed the audience.

Peter was canonized by Pope Innocent IV on March 9, 1253, the fastest canonization in papal history.

St Peter the Martyr’s feast day is 6 April although his Dominican brothers celebrate it on 4 June. From 1586, when the feast day was inserted in the General Roman Calendar, to 1969, when it was removed on the grounds of the limited importance now attached to the saint internationally, the celebration was on 29 April. (6 April, his death date, was not used because it would too often conflict with the Easter Triduum.)

HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS - EASTERTIDE

                  MASS

      St. Peter the Martyr

   Double – Red vestments

INTROITUS – Psalm 63: 3

Protexisti me, Deus, a convéntu malignántium, allelúia: a multitúdine operántium iniquitátem, allelúia, allelúia. Ps. 63. 2. Exáudi, Deus, oratiónem meam cum déprecor: a timóre inimíci éripe ánimam meam. Gloria Patri.

Thou last protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia. alleluia. Ps. Hear, O God, my prayers, when I make supplication to Thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy Glory be to the Father.

ORATIO

Praesta quæsumus omnípotens Deus: ut beáti Petri Mártyris tui fidem cóngrua devotióne sectémur; qui, pro ejúsdem fidei dilatatióne, martyrii palmam méruit obtinére. Per Dóminum.

Madonna and Child with St Peter Martyr by Lorenzo Lotto

COLLECT

Grant we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we may honor the faith of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, with fitting devotion, as he by the spread of the same faith was found worthy to obtain the palm of martyrdom. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – Wisdom 5: 1-5

Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them and taken away their labours. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation, saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they whom we had some time in derision and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness and their end without honour; behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the Saints.

ALLELUIA – Psalm 88: 6 

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord; and Thy truth in the Church of the saints.  Alleluia.

ALLELUIA – Psalm 20: 4

Alleluia. O Lord, Thou halt set on his head a crown of precious stones. Alleluia.

St. Peter Martyr by Fra Angelico - Tempera on wood, 1340-45

St. Peter Martyr by Fra Angelico – Tempera on wood, 1340-45

EVANGELIUM – John 15: 1-7

In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus discipulis Suis: Ego sum Vitis vera: etr Pater Meus agriocola est. Omnem palmitem in Me non ferentem fructum, tollet cum: et omnem, qui fert fructum, purgabit eum, ut fructum plus afferat. Jam vos mundi estis propter sermonem, quem locutus sum vobis. Manete in Me: ut Ego in vobis. Sicut palmes non potest ferre fructum a semitipso nisi manserit in vite: sic nec vos, nisi in Me maseritis. Ego sum Vitis, vos palmites: qui manet in Me, et Ego in eo, hic fert fructum multum: quia sine Me nihil postestis facere. Si quia in Me non manserit, mittetur foras sicut palmes, et arescet et colligent eum, et in ignem mittent, et ardet. Si manseritis in Me, et verba Mea in vobis manserint: qudcumque volueritis, peretis, et fiat vobis.

The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

At that time, The Lord said to His disciples: I am the true Vine; and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me, that beareth not fruit, He will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, He will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine: you the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and case him into the fire, and be burneth. If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.

OFFERTORIUM – Psalm 88: 6

Confitebuntur Cœli mirabília tua, Dómine, et veritátem tuam in ecclésia sanctórum, allelúia, allelúia.

St Peter Martyr Altarpiece (detail) by Fra Angelico - Credo in Unum Deum, I believe in one God…

St Peter Martyr Altarpiece (detail) by Fra Angelico – Credo in Unum Deum, I believe in one God…

OFFERTORY

The Heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord, and Thy truth in the church of the saints, alleluia, alleluia.

SECRETA

Preces, quas tibi, Dómine, offérimus intercedénte beáto Petro Mártyre tuo, cleménter inténde: et propugnatóres fidei sub tua protectióne custódi. Per Dominum.

SECRET

Graciously give ear, O Lord, to the prayers we offer Thee, and, through the intercession of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, keep under Thy protection those who defend the Faith. Through our Lord.

PREFACE OF EASTER

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation that at all times, but more especially at this season, we should extol Thy glory, O Lord, when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the true Lamb that hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath overcome our death, and by rising again hath restored our life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the heavenly hosts, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, saying without ceasing:

COMMUNIO – Psalm 63: 11 

Laetabitur justus in Dómino, et sperábit in eo: et laudabúntur omnes recti corde, allelúia, allelúia.

holy sacrifice of the mass 10

COMMUNION

The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in Him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised, alleluia, alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNIO

Fideles tuos, Dómine, custódiant sacraménta, quæ súmpsimus: et intercedénte beáto Petro Mártyre tuo, contra omnes advérsos tueántur incúrsus. Per Dominum.

POSTCOMMUNION

May the sacraments which we have received, keep Thy faithful, O Lord, and, by the intercession of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, guard them against all assaults of the enemy. Through our Lord.

 

 

ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS – MASS PROPERS

April 28 St Paul of the Cross

                      April 28

         St. Paul of the Cross

   Founder of the Passionists

The eighty-one years of this Saint’s life were modelled on the Passion of Jesus Christ. In his childhood, when praying in church, a heavy bench fell on his foot, but the boy took no notice of the bleeding wound, and spoke of it as “a rose sent from God.” A few years later, the vision of a scourge with “love” written on its lashes assured him that his thirst for penance would be satisfied. In the hope of dying for the faith, he enlisted in a crusade against the Turks; but a voice from the Tabernacle warned him that he was to serve Christ alone, and that he should found a congregation in His honor. At the command of his bishop he began while a layman to preach the Passion, and a series of crosses tried the reality of his vocation. All his first companions, save his brother, deserted him; the Sovereign Pontiff refused him an audience; and it was only after a delay of seventeen years that the Papal approbation was obtained, and the first house of the Passionists was opened on Monte Argentario, the spot which Our Lady had pointed out. St. Paul chose as the badge of his Order a heart with three nails, in memory of the sufferings of Jesus, but for himself he invented a more secret and durable sign. Moved by the same holy impulse as Blessed Henry Suso, St. Jane Frances, and other Saints, he branded on his side the Holy Name, and its characters were found there after death. His heart beat with a supernatural palpitation, which was especially vehement on Fridays, and the heat at times was so intense as to scorch his shirt in the region of his heart. Through fifty years of incessant bodily pain, and amidst all his trials, Paul read the love of Jesus everywhere, and would cry out to the flowers and grass, “Oh! be quiet, be quiet,” as if they were reproaching him with ingratitude. He died whilst the Passion was being read to him, and so passed with Jesus from the cross to glory.

St. Paul of the Cross was beatified on 1 October 1852, and canonized on 29 June 1867 by Blessed Pius IX. Two years later, his feast day was inserted in the Roman calendar, for celebration on 28 April as a Double. In 1962 it was reclassified as a Third-Class feast, and in 1969 it became an optional Memorial and was placed on 19 October, the day after the day of his death, 18 October, which is the feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist. In 2006, this Optional Memorial was permanently transferred to 20 October.

The Martyrdom of Saint Vitalis, by Federico Barocci

                 St. Vitalis 

                  Martyr

St. Vitalis was a citizen of Milan, and is said to have been the father of Sts. Gervasius and Protasius. The divine providence conducted him to Ravenna, where he saw a Christian named Ursicinus, who was condemned to lose his head for his faith, standing aghast at the sight of death, and seeming ready to yield. Vitalis was extremely moved at this spectacle. He knew his double obligation of preferring the glory of God and the eternal salvation of his neighbor to his own corporal life: he therefore boldly and successfully encouraged Ursicinus to triumph over death, and after his martyrdom carried off his body, and respectfully interred it. The judge, whose name was Paulinus, being informed of this, caused Vitalis to be apprehended, stretched on the rack, and, after other torments, to be buried alive in a place called the Palm-tree, in Ravenna. His wife, Valeria, returning from Ravenna to Milan, was beaten to death by peasants, because she refused to join them in an idolatrous festival and riot.

HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS - AT CHRISTMASTIDE                 

 ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS, Confessor

 Commemoration of St. Vitalis, Martyr

          Double – White Vestments  

            Missa ‘Christo Confixus’

INTROITUS – Galatians 2: 19, 20

Christo confixus sum cruci: vivo autem, jam non ego: vivit vero in me Christus: in fide vivo Fílii Dei, qui diléxit me, et trádidit semetípsum pro me, allelúia, allelúia. Ps. 40: 2. Beátus qui intélligit super egénum et páuperem: in die mala liberábit eum Dóminus. Gloria Patri.

INTROIT

With Christ I am nailed to the cross: but I live, now not I but Christ liveth in me. I live in the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and delivered Himself for me. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Blessed is he that  understandeth concerning the needy and the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the evil day. Glory be to the Father.

St. Paul of the Cross -

COLLECT

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst endow St. Paul with exceeding charity to preach the mystery of the Cross, and didst will that through him a new family should spring up in Thy Church, grant us, by his intercession, that, constantly venerating Thy passion on earth, we may be worthy to partake of its fruits in heaven. Who livest and reignest.

Commemoration of St. Vitalis, Martyr

Grant we beseech the almighty God, that we who celebrate the martyrdom of blessed Vitalis, through his intercession be strengthened in your love Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

EPISTLE – I Corinthians 1: 17-25

Brethren, Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the Cross of Christ should be made void. For the word of the Cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness: but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of our preaching to save them that believe.  For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling-block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

PASCHAL ALLELUIA – II Corinthians 5: 15

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Christ died for all; that they also who live may not now live to themselves, but to Him who died for them, and rose again. Alleluia.

ALLELUIA – Romans 8:17

Alleluia. And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ; yet so if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him.  Alleluia.

GOSPEL – Luke 10: 1-9

At that time, The Lord appointed also other seventy-two; and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come. And He said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send laborers into His harvest. Go, behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house: and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; and heal the sick that are therein; and say to them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

OFFERTORY – Ephesians 5: 2

Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God, for an odor of sweetness. Alleluia.

SECRET

May these mysteries of Thy passion and death, O Lord, obtain for us that heavenly fervour by which St. Paul, when he offered the same, presented his own body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing unto Thee. Who livest and reignest.

The martyrdom of Saint Vitalis. This 14th-century French manuscript depicts Vitalis being buried alive.

The martyrdom of Saint Vitalis. This 14th-century French manuscript depicts Vitalis being buried alive.

Commemoration of St. Vitalis

As thou hast received our gifts and prayers, O Lord, cleanse us, we ask by thy heavenly mysteries, and graciously hear us.

PREFACE OF EASTER

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation that at all times, but more especially at this season, we should extol Thy glory, O Lord, when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the true Lamb that hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath overcome our death, and by rising again hath restored our life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the heavenly hosts, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, saying without ceasing:

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.

after pentecost at the communion

COMMUNION – I Peter 4:13

If you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. Alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNION

We have received, O Lord, Thy divine sacrament, the perpetual memorial of Thine infinite love; grant, we beseech Thee, that, by the merits of St. Paul and by imitating him, we may draw from Thy fountains the water that gusheth out unto life eternal, and may by our life and actions bear Thy sacred passion deep graven upon our hearts. Who livest and reignest…

Commemoration of St. Vitalis

Grant, we pray, O Lord our God, that we who in time render joyful service in memory of thy saints, may be gladdened by their company in eternity. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee.

St. Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor – Mass Propers

TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM - BETTER A FEW CATHOLICS LEFT...

 

St. Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor

(8 May 1521 – 21 December 1597)

Beatified 1864, Rome by Pope Pius IX

Canonized 21 May 1925, Rome by Pope Pius XI

Feast 27 April; 21 December (After Vatican II)

Peter Canisius was a renowned Dutch Jesuit Catholic priest. He became known for his strong support for the Catholic faith during the Protestant Reformation in Germany, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, and Switzerland. The restoration of the Catholic Church in Germany after the Protestant Reformation is largely attributed to the work there of the Society of Jesus, which he led.

He was born in 1521 in Nijmegen in the Duchy of Guelders, which, until 1549, was part of the Habsburg Netherlands within the Holy Roman Empire and is now the Netherlands. His father was the wealthy burgermeister, Jacob Kanis; his mother, Ægidia van Houweningen, who died shortly after Peter’s birth. He was sent to study at the University of Cologne, where he earned a Master’s degree in 1540, at the age of 19. While there, he met Peter Faber, one of the founders of the Society of Jesus. Through him, Canisius became the first Dutchman to join the newly founded Society of Jesus in 1543.

Through his preaching and writings, Peter Canisius became one of the most influential Catholics of his time. He supervised the founding and maintenance of the first German-speaking Jesuit colleges, often with little resources at hand. At the same time he preached in the city and vicinity, and debated and taught in the university. Because of his frequent travels between the colleges, a tedious and dangerous occupation at the time, he became known as the Second Apostle of Germany.

Canisius also exerted a strong influence on the Emperor Ferdinand I. The king’s eldest son (later Maximilian II) appointed to the office of court preacher, Phauser, a married priest, who preached the Lutheran doctrine. Canisius warned Ferdinand I, verbally and in writing, and opposed Phauser in public disputations. Maximilian was obliged to dismiss Phauser and, on this account, the rest of his life he harboured a grudge against Canisius.

April 27 St. Petrus Canisius

In 1547 he attended several sessions of the Council of Trent. Canisius was an influential teacher and preacher, especially through his “German Catechism”, a book which defined the basic principles of Catholicism in the German language and made them more accessible to readers in German-speaking countries. He was offered the post of Bishop of Vienna in 1554, but declined in order to continue his traveling and teachings. He did, however, serve as administrator of the Diocese of Vienna for one year, until a new bishop was appointed for it.

He moved to Germany, where he was one of the main Catholic theologians at the Colloquy of Worms in 1557, and later served as the main preacher in the Cathedral of Augsburg from 1559 to 1568, where he strongly witnessed to his faith on three or four occasions each week. Canisius was renowned as a popular preacher.

By the time he left Germany, the Society of Jesus in Germany had evolved from a small band of priests into a powerful tool of the Counter Reformation. Canisius spent the last twenty years of his life in Fribourg, Switzerland, where he founded the Jesuit preparatory school, the College of Saint Michael, which trained generations of young men for careers and future university studies.

In 1591, at the age of 70, Canisius suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed, but he continued to preach and write with the aid of a secretary until his death in Fribourg. He was initially buried at the Church of St. Nicholas. His remains were later transferred to the church of the Jesuit College, which he had founded and where he had spent the last year of his life, and interred in front of the main altar of the church; the room he occupied during those last months is now a chapel open for the veneration of the faithful.

St. Petrus Canisius

Canisius lived during the height of the Protestant Reformation and dedicated much of his work to the clarification of the Catholic faith in light of the emergence of the new Protestant doctrines. His lasting contribution is his three catechisms, which he published in Latin and German, which became widespread and popular in Catholic regions. In his fight with German Protestantism, he requested much more flexibility from Rome, arguing:

If you treat them right, the Germans will give you everything. Many err in matters of faith, but without arrogance. They err the German way, mostly honest, a bit simple-minded, but very open for everything Lutheran. An honest explanation of the faith would be much more effective than a polemical attack against reformers.

He rejected attacks against John Calvin and Melanchton: With words like these, we don’t cure patients, we make them incurable.

Mariology of Canisius

Canisius taught that, while there are many roads leading to Jesus Christ, for him the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the best. His sermons and letters document a clear preoccupation with Marian veneration.[8] Under the heading “prayer” he explains the Ave Maria (Hail Mary), as the basis for Catholic Marian piety. Less known are his Marian books, in which he published prayers and contemplative texts. He is credited with adding to the Hail Mary the sentence Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Eleven years later it was included in the Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566.

Canisius published an applied Mariology for preachers, in which Mary is described in tender and warm words. He actively promoted the sodalities of our Lady and the rosary associations. Theologically, Canisius defended Catholic Mariology, in his 1577 book, De Maria Virgine Incomparabili et Dei Genitrice Sacrosancta Libri Quinque. The book was ordered by Pope Pius V to present a factual presentation of the Catholic Marian teachings in the Bible, the early Christians, the Church Fathers and contemporary theology. Canisius explains and documents Church teachings through the ages regarding the person and character of Mary, her virtues and youth. He traces historical documents about the perpetual virginity of Mary, and her freedom from sin. He explains the dogma of “Mother of God” with numerous quotations from the fathers after the Council of Ephesus. He shows that Church teaching has not changed. He answers the sola Scriptura arguments of Protestants by analyzing the biblical basis for Mariology.

holy sacrifice of the mass after pentecost

            ST. PETER CANISIUS

Confessor and Doctor of the Church

         Double – White vestments

           Missa ‘In Medio Ecclesiae’

INTROITUS – Ecclesiasticus 15: 5

In medio ecclesiæ aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiæ, et intellectus: stolam gloriæ induit eum. Ps. 91: 2. Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime. Gloria Patri.

INTROIT

In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. Ps. It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

O God, Who for the defence of the Catholic Faith didst strengthen blessed Peter, Thy confessor, with virtue and learning: vouchsafe in Thy loving kindness, that by his example and precepts the erring may be restored to salvation, and the faithful may persevere in the confession of the truth. Through our Lord.

Having itching ears, and will indeed turn away from the truth.

EPISTLE – II Timothy 4: 1-8

Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming and His kingdom: preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away from the truth, but will be turned into fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.

PASCHAL ALLELUIA

Alleluia. The just man shall spring as the lily: and shall flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord loved him and adorned him: He clothed him with a robe of glory. Alleluia.

November 11 - Propers of the Mass - Gospel Luke 11- 33-36

GOSPEL – Matthew 5: 13-19

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, Who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and so shall teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 91:13

The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia.

SECRET

May the holy prayer of Peter, Thy Doctor, fail us not, O Lord: may it render our offerings acceptable, and ever obtain for us Thy pardon. Through our Lord.

EASTER PREFACE

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation that at all times, but more especially at this season, we should extol Thy glory, O Lord, when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the true Lamb that hath taken away the sins of the world. Who by dying hath overcome our death, and by rising again hath restored our life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the heavenly hosts, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, saying without ceasing:

SANCTUS SANCTUS SANCTUS Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua.

THE 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 12: 42

The faithful and wise servant, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season. Alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNION

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that blessed Peter, Thy illustrious Doctor may join his prayers to ours that this sacrifice may bring us salvation. Through our Lord.

Ss. Cletus and Marcellinus – Mass Propers

Pope St. Cletus

Pope St. Cletus

                        APRIL 26

          Ss. Cletus and Marcellinus

              POPES AND MARTYRS

 The Liturgical Year – Ven. Abbot Dom Guéranger

Two bright stars appear this day on the Ecclesiastical Cycle, proclaiming the glory of our Jesus, the Conqueror of death. Again, they are two Pontiffs, and Martyr-Pontiffs. Cletus leads us to the very commencement of the Church, for he was a disciple of Peter, and his second Successor in the See of Rome. Marcellinus was a witness of the great Persecution under Diocletian; he governed the Church on the eve of her triumph. Let us honour these two fathers of Christendom, who laid down their lives in its defense; and let us offer their merits to Jesus, who supported them by his grace, and cheered them with the hope, that, one day, they would share in his Resurrection.

Pope St. Marcellinus

Pope St. Marcellinus

In the short notice on the life of St. Marcellinus, the reader will meet with a circumstance, which, by some learned historians, is rejected as utterly untrue, whilst, by others equally learned, it is considered as authentic. The holy Pontiff is said to have flinched before his persecutors, and to have gone so far as to offer incense to the idols; but the statement adds, that he repaired his fault by a second and courageous profession of his faith, which secured for him the crown of Martyrdom. The plan of our work does not admit critical disquisitions; we shall therefore not attempt to clear up this difficulty of history; it is enough for us to know that all are agreed upon the Martyrdom of this holy Pope. At the time when the Lesson, which is now in the Breviary, was drawn up, — the fall of Marcellinus was believed as a fact; later on, it was called in question, and the arguments used against it are by no means to be despised; the Church, however, has not thought well to change the Lesson as it first stood, the more so as questions of this nature do not touch upon Faith. We scarcely need to remind the reader, that the fall of Marcellinus, supposing it to be a fact, would be no argument against the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. The Pope cannot teach error, when he addresses himself to the Church; but he is not impeccable in his personal conduct.

The following is the account given on St. Cletus by the Liturgy.

Cletus, the son of Emilianus, was a Roman, of the fifth Region, and of the Patrician street. He governed the Church during the reigns of the emperors Vespasian and Titus. Agreeably to the order given him by the Prince of the Apostles, he established five and twenty priests in the City. He was the first, who, in his letters, used those words: “Health and Apostolic benediction.” Having put the Church into admirable order, and having governed it twelve years, seven months, and two days, he was crowned with martyrdom under the emperor Domitian, in the second Persecution following that of Nero, and was buried in the Vatican, near the body of St. Peter.

The Life of St. Marcellinus is thus given in the Breviary.

Marcellinus, a Roman by birth, was overcome by fear in the terrible persecution under the emperor Diocletian, and offered incense to the idols of the gods. But such was his sorrow for his fall, that he immediately repaired to Sinuessa, where a council of several Bishops was being held, and, entering in, covered with sackcloth, and shedding floods of tears, he publicly confessed his sin. No one, however, dared to condemn him, but all, with one voice, exclaimed: “Judge thyself by thine own lips, not by our judgment; for the first See is judged by no one.” They added, that Peter, too, sinned through the same weakness, and, by the like tears, obtained pardon from God.

Having returned to Rome, Marcellinus went to the emperor, and severely reproached him for having driven him to so great a crime. Whereupon, the emperor ordered him to be beheaded, together with three other Christians, Claudius, Cyrinus, and Antoninus. Their bodies, by the emperor’s order, were left six and thirty days without burial, after which, the blessed Marcellus, (in consequence of his receiving, whilst asleep, an admonition from St. Peter,) had them buried in the Cemetery of Priscilla, on the Salarian Road: at which burial were present many Priests and Deacons, who, with torches in their hands, sang hymns, in honour of the Martyrs. Marcellinus governed the Church seven years, eleven months, and twenty-three days. During this period, he gave two Ordinations in December, at which four were made Priests, and five Bishops for divers places.

Pray for us, O holy Pontiffs, and look with fatherly love upon the Church on earth, which was so violently persecuted in your times, and, at the present day, is far from enjoying peace. The worship of idols is revived; and though they be not of stone or metal, yet they that adore them are as determined to propagate their worship as were the Pagans of former days to make all men idolaters. The gods and goddesses now in favour are called Liberty, Progress, and Modern Civilization. Every measure is resorted to, in order to impose these new divinities upon the world; — they that refuse to adore them are persecuted; governments are secularized, that is, unchristianized; the education of youth is made independent of all moral teaching; the religious element is rejected from social life, as an intrusion: and all this is done with such a show of reasonableness, that thousands of well-minded Christians are led to be its advocates, timid perhaps, and partial, but still its advocates. Preserve us, O holy Martyrs! from being the dupes of this artful impiety. It was not in vain that our Jesus suffered death, and rose again from the grave. Surely, after this, he deserves to be what he is, — King of the whole earth, under whose power are all creatures. It is in order to obey Him, that we wish no other Liberty save that which he has based upon his Gospel; no other Progress save that which follows the path He has marked out; no other Civilization save that which results from the fulfillment of the duties to our fellow men, which He has established. It is He that created human nature, and gave it its laws; it is He that redeemed it, and re stored it to its lost rights. Him alone, then, do we adore. O holy Martyrs! pray that we may never become the dupes or slaves of the theories of human pride, not even should they that make or uphold them, have power to make us suffer or die for our resistance.

HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AFTER PENTECOST 5

    Sts. CLETUS AND MARCELLINUS

            POPES AND MARTYRS

    Semi-double – Red vestments

              Missa ‘Si Diligis Me’

INTROITUS – John 21: 15-17

Si diligis me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas. Alleluia, alleluia.

Ps. Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam suscepísti me, nec delectásti inimícos meos super me. Gloria Patri.

INTROIT

If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs; feed My sheep. Alleluia, alleluia.

Ps. I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

Eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favourably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the blessed Cletus and Marcellinus Thy Martyrs and Supreme Pontiffs, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherds of the whole Church. Through our Lord.

COLLECT IN HONOR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we thy ‘servants may enjoy constant health of body and mind; and by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, be delivered from all present sorrow, and come to that joy which is eternal.

COLLECT AGAINST THE PERSECUTORS OF THE CHURCH

Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church: that, all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure liberty. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

FEED MY SHEEP!

EPISTLE – I Peter 5: 1-4, 10-11

Dearly beloved: the ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also an ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ: as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily: neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

PASCHAL ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall remember Thy name. Alleluia.

Thou art Peter and Upon this Rock I will Build my Church!!

GOSPEL – Matthew 16: 13-19

At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.

OFFERTORY – Jeremiah 1: 9-10

Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to waste and to destroy, and to build and to plant. Alleluia.

SECRET

In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and the shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to Thee. Through our Lord.

IN HONOR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

By thine own mercy, O Lord, and the intercession of Blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, may this oblation procure us peace and happiness, both in this life, and in that which is to come.

AGAINST THE PERSECUTORS OF THE CHURCH

Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries: that, being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee, both in body and mind. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

EASTER PREFACE

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation that at all times, but more especially at this season, we should extol Thy glory, O Lord, when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the true Lamb that hath taken away the sins of the world. Who by dying hath overcome our death, and by rising again hath restored our life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the heavenly hosts, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, saying without ceasing:

At the Sanctus

THE 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 – Matthew 16: 18

Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNION

We who have been refreshed by heavenly food and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be strengthened also by the prayers of him, in whose commemoration we have received them. Through our Lord.

IN HONOR OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

Having received, O Lord, what is to advance our salvation; grant we may always be protected by the patronage of Blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, in whose honor we have offered this Sacrifice to thy majesty.

AGAINST THE PERSECUTORS OF THE CHURCH

We beseech thee, O Lord our God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life, those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER – MASS PROPERS

HOLY SPIRIT - Giaquinto, Corrado 1750s

If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go I will send Him to you.

           Fourth Sunday after Easter

                    by Dom Guéranger

Our Jesus has organized his Church, and confided to his Apostles the sacred deposit of the truths which are to form the object of our faith. We must now follow him in another work, of equal importance to the world, and to which he gives his divine attention during these forty days: it is the institution of the Sacraments. It is not enough that we believe; we must, moreover, be made just, that is, we must bear upon us the likeness of God’s holiness; we must receive, we must have incorporated within us, that great fruit of the Redemption, which is called Grace; that thus being made living members of our divine Head, we may be made joint-heirs with him of the Kingdom of heaven. Now, it is by means of the Sacraments, that Jesus is to produce in us this wondrous work of our justification; he applies to us the merits of his Incarnation and Sacrifice but he applies them by certain means, which he himself, in his power and wisdom, has instituted.

Being the sovereign Master of his own gifts, he can select what means he pleases whereby to convey Grace to us; all we have to do, is to conform to his wishes. Thus, each of the Sacraments is a law; so that, it is in vain that we hope for a Sacrament to produce its effects, unless we fulfil the conditions specified by our Redeemer. And here, at once, we cannot but admire that infinite goodness, which has so mercifully blended two such widely distinct operations in one and the same act, — namely, on the one side, the humble submission of man, and, on the other, the munificent generosity of God.

 April 24 - St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen with St. Joseph of Leonessa (Tiepolo, 1752-1758)

Commemoration:  St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr   

Fidelis of Sigmaringen, O.F.M. Cap. (1577 – 1622), was a Capuchin friar who was a major figure in the Counter-Reformation, and was murdered by his opponents at Seewis im Prättigau, now part of Switzerland. Fidelis was canonized in 1746.

Life as a friar

Upon entering the Capuchin order, the guardian gave him the religious name of Fidelis, the Latin word for “faithful,” alluding to that text from the Book of Revelation which promises a crown of life to him who shall continue faithful to the end. He finished his novitiate and studies for the priesthood, presiding over his first Mass at the Capuchin friary in Fribourg (in present-day Switzerland), on October 4, 1612 (the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the order).

As soon as Fidelis finished his course of theology, he was immediately employed in preaching and in hearing confessions. After becoming guardian of the Capuchin friary in Weltkirchen, Feldkirch (in present-day Austria), many residents of the town and neighboring places were reformed by his zealous labors, and several Calvinists were converted. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith commissioned Fidelis to preach in the Graubünden region of eastern Switzerland. Eight other Capuchin friars were to be his assistants, and they labored in this mission under his direction.

The Calvinists of that territory, being incensed at his success in converting their brethren, loudly threatened Fidelis’ life, and he prepared himself for martyrdom. Ralph de Salis and another Calvinist gentleman were both converted by his missionary efforts. Fidelis and his companions entered into Prättigau, a small district of Graubünden, in 1622, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6. The effects of his ardent zeal, where the Bishop of Coire sent a lengthy and full account to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, enraged the Calvinists in that province.

On April 24, 1622, Fidelis made his confession, celebrated Mass and then preached at Grüsch. At the end of his sermon, which he had delivered with more than ordinary zeal, he stood silent all of a sudden, with his eyes fixed upon Heaven, in ecstasy. He foretold his death to several persons in the clearest terms, and began signing his letters, “P. Fidelis, prope diem esca vermium” (“Father Fidelis, in days ahead to become food for worms”). After the service at Grüsch he and several companions traveled to Seewis. His companions noted that he was particularly cheerful.

Death

On April 24, in a campaign organized by the Habsburgs, Fidelis was preaching under protection of some Austrian imperial soldiers in the Church at Seewis with the aim to reconvert the people of Seewis to Catholicism. During the sermon, his listeners were called “to arms” by the Calvinist agitators outside. Some of the people went to face the Austrian troops outside the church. Fidelis had been persuaded by the remaining Catholics to immediately flee with the Austrian troops out of Seewis, which he did, but then returned alone to Grüsch. On his way back he was confronted by 20 Calvinist soldiers who demanded unsuccessfully that he renounce the Catholic faith, and when he refused, they subsequently murdered him.         

THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS      Fourth Sunday after Easter

Semi-double – White vestments

If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go I will send Him to you.

INTROIT – Psalm 97: 1, 2

Cantáte Dómino cánticum novum, allelúia: quia mirabília fecit Dóminus, allelúia: ante conspéctum géntium revelávit justítiam suam, allelúia, allelúia, allelúia. Ps. 97. 1. Salvábit sibi déxtera ejus: et bráchium sanctum ejus. V. Glória Patri.

Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle, alleluia, for the Lord hath done wonderful things, alleluia: He hath revealed His justice in the sight of the Gentiles, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him salvation. V. Glory be to the Father.

Laden with the blessings of God, who, by his divine Sacraments, has made them to be one people, the Faithful should not be satisfied with observing the commandments, —they should love them; they should also long after the Heaven that is promised them. The Church prays, in the Collect, that her children may receive the grace to do all this.

COLLECT

God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will,  grant to Thy people to love that which Thou commandest and desire that which Thou dost promise; that so, among the changing things of this world, our hearts may be set where true joys are to be  found. Through our Lord.

Commemoration of St. Fidelis

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to adorn with the grace of working miracles and the palm of martyrdom in the propagation of the true faith the blessed Fidelis, inflamed with seraphic ardour of soul, we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, so to strengthen us through Thy grace in faith and charity that we may be worthy to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE – James 1: 17-21

Dearly beloved, every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change nor shadow of alteration. For of His own will hath He begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creature. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak and slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore, casting away all uncleanness and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

PASCHAL ALLELUIA 

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. V. Christ, rising again from the dead, dieth now no more: death shall no more have dominion over Him. Alleluia.

GOSPEL – John 16: 5-14

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: I go to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me: Whither goest Thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go; for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of justice and of judgment. Of sin, because they believed not in Me; and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall see Me no longer; and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself: but what things soever He shall hear He shall speak, and the things that are to come He shall show you. He shall glorify Me: because He shall receive of Mine and shall show it to you.

GOSPEL REFLECTION

The Apostles were sad at hearing Jesus say to them: I go. Are not we so, too? we, who, thanks to the sacred Liturgy, have been in such close company with him, ever since the day of his Birth at Bethlehem. Yet a few days, and he is to ascend into heaven, and our Year is to lose the charm it possessed of following, day by day, the actions and words of our Emmanuel. Still, he would have us moderate our sadness. He tells us, that, in his stead, the Paraclete, the Comforter, is about to descend upon the earth, and abide with us to the end of time, in order that he may give us light and strength. Let us make good use of these last hours with our Jesus: we shall soon have to be preparing for the Divine Guest, who is to take his place.

By these words, which were spoken shortly before his passion, our Saviour does more than tell us of the coming of the Holy Ghost; he also shows us, how terrible this coming will be to them that have rejected the Messias. His words are unusually mysterious: let us listen to the explanation given of them by St. Augustine, the Doctor of Doctors. — When the Holy Ghost is come, says our Lord, he will convince the world of Sin, because they believed not in me. How great must, indeed, be the responsibility of them, that have been witnesses of Jesus’ wonderful works, and yet will not receive his teaching! Jerusalem will be told that the Holy Ghost has come down upon the Disciples; and she will receive the news with the same indifference as she did the miracles which proved Jesus to be her Messias. The coming of the Holy Ghost will serve as a sort of signal of the destruction of the Deicide City. Jesus adds: The Paraclete will convince the world of Justice, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no longer. The Apostles, and they that believe their word, shall be just and holy by faith: they will believe in Him that is gone to the Father, — in Him whom they are to see no longer in this world. Jerusalem, on the contrary, will remember him only to blaspheme him: the holiness, the faith, the justice of them that shall believe, will be her condemnation, and the Holy Ghost will leave her to her fate. Jesus continues: The Paraclete will convince the world of Judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged. They that follow not Christ Jesus, follow Satan: he is their prince, but his judgment is already pronounced. The Holy Ghost warns the followers of the world, that their leader is already in eternal torments. Let them reflect well upon this; for, as St. Augustine observes, the pride of man has no right to reckon upon indulgence; let it but think of the hell into which even the angels were cast because they were proud.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 65: 1-2, 16

Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name: come and hear, and I will tell you, all ye that fear God, what great things the Lord hath done for my soul, alleluia.

SECRET

O God, who by the sacred intercourse of this sacrifice hast made us partakers of the one supreme divine nature: grant, we beseech Thee, that as we know Thy truth, so we may follow it by a worthy life. Through our Lord.

Commemoration for St. Fidelis

Sanctify the gifts we offer Thee, O Lord, and through the intercession of blessed Fidelis, Thy martyr, cleanse us by them from the stains of our sins. Through our Lord.

EASTER PREFACE

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously at this time above all others, when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the true Lamb Who took away the sins of the world: Who by dying destroyed our death, and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, evermore saying:

holy sacrifice of the mass 21

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 – John 16: 8

When the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of justice and of judgment, alleluia, alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNION

Assist us, O Lord our God, that by these gifts which we have received in faith, we may be purified from vice and delivered from all dangers. Through our Lord.

Commemoration for St. Fidelis

We beseech Thee, O almighty God, that those whom Thou dost refresh with Thy sacrament, Thou also grant them, by the intercession of blessed Fidelis, Thy martyr, to serve Thee, as befits them, with behavior pleasing unto Thee. Through our Lord.