Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, 1894
ST. ANTONINUS, BISHOP
Antoninus, or Little Antony, as he was called from his small stature, was born at Florence in 1389. After a childhood of singular holiness, he begged to be admitted into the Dominican house at Fiesole; but the Superior, to test his sincerity and perseverance, told him he must first learn by heart the book of the Decretals, containing several hundred pages. This apparently impossible task was accomplished within twelve months; and Antoninus received the coveted habit in his sixteenth year. While still very young, he filled several important posts of his Order, and was consulted on questions of difficulty by the most learned men of his day; being known, for his wonderful prudence, as “the Counsellor.” He wrote several works on theology and history, and sat as Papal Theologian at the Council of Florence. In 1446 he was compelled to accept the archbishopric of that city; and in this dignity earned for himself the title of “the Father of the Poor,” for all he had was at their disposal. St. Antoninus never refused an alms which was asked in the name of God. When he had no money, he gave his clothes, shoes, or furniture. One day, being sent by the Florentines to the Pope, as he approached Rome a beggar came up to him almost naked, and asked him for an alms for Christ’s sake. Outdoing St. Martin, Antoninus gave him his whole cloak. “When he entered the city another was given him; by whom he knew not. His household consisted of only six persons; his palace contained no plate or costly furniture, and was often nearly destitute of the necessaries of life. His one mule was frequently sold for the relief of the poor, when it would be bought back for him by some wealthy citizen. He died embracing the crucifix. May 2. 1459, often repeating the words, “To serve God is to reign.”
“Alms-deeds,” says St. Augustine, “comprise every kind of service rendered to our neighbor who needs such assistance. He who supports a lame man bestows an alms on him with his feet; he who guides a blind man does him a charity with his eyes; he who carries an invalid or an old man upon his shoulders imparts to him an alms of his strength. Hence none are so poor but they may bestow an alms on the wealthiest man in the world.”
Sts. Gordianus and Epimachus
Died 362 AD
Gordianus was a Roman judge who converted to Christianity. He was tortured and finally beheaded. His body was laid in a crypt on the Via Latina beside the body of Saint Epimachus, and the two saints gave their name to the cemetery of Gordianus and Epimachus.
Tuesday within the Octave of the Ascension – St. Antoninus, Bishop and Confessor / Com. of Sts. Gordian and Epimachus, Martyrs
Double – White vestments
Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in æternum. Ps. Memento Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinus ejus. Gloria Patri.
Eccles. 45: 30; Ps. 131: 1
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. Ps. O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. Glory be to the Father.
May we be assisted, O Lord, by the merits of Saint Antoninus, Thy Confessor and Bishop: that, as we declare Thee wonderful in him, so we may glory in Thy mercy toward us. Through our Lord.
OCTAVE OF THE ASCENSION
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may ourselves dwell in spirit amid heavenly things. Through the same Lord.
Sts. Gordian and Epimachus, M
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who venerate the festival of Thy blessed Martyrs Gordian and Epimachus, may be helped by their intercession with Thee. Through our Lord.
Ecclesiasticus 44: 16-27; 45: 3-20
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood: and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praised in His name, and to offer him a worthy incense for an odour of sweetness.
Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia. This is the priest whom the Lord has crowned. Alleluia.
Matthew 25: 14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents went his way, and traded with the same, and gained another five. And in like manner he that had received the two gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou has been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliverest two talents to me, behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Psalm 88: 21-22
I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him
May Thy Saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in all places bring us joy; that while we recall their merits, we may experience their patronage. Through our Lord.
OCTAVE OF THE ASCENSION
Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer Thee in memory of the glorious Ascension of Thy Son; and graciously grant that being delivered from present dangers, we may attain unto eternal life. Through the same our Lord.
Sts. Gordian and Epimachus
Graciously receive, O Lord, these offerings, which we dedicate to Thee relying on the merits of Thy holy Martyrs Gordian and Epimachus: and grant that they may become for us an everlasting help. Through our Lord.
PREFACE FOR THE ASCENSION
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 eternal God; through Christ our Lord. Who after His resurrection appeared and showed Himself to all His disciples; and while they beheld Him, was lifted up into heaven, so that He might make us partakers of His Godhead. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of heaven, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, without ceasing.
Luke 12: 42
This is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that, we who give thanks for the gifts we have received, may through the intercession of blessed Anthony, Thy Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. Through our Lord.
OCTAVE OF THE ASCENSION
Grant us, we beseech Thee, Almighty and merciful God, that what which we have outwardly received these holy mysteries, may inwardly may profit us by its invisible effect. Through our Lord.
Sts. Gordian and Epimachus
O almighty God, we beseech Thee, that, through the prayers of Thy holy Martyrs Gordian and Epimachus, the heavenly food of which we have partaken, may be our sure defense in all adversity. Through the Lord.