NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH – FOURTH DAY

              NOVENA IN PREPARATION 

   FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH 

        THE PATRONAGE OF ST. JOSEPH 

 JOYS AND DOLORS OF SAINT JOSEPH

                                Day Four

                                   Prayer                                                          

O Most glorious Joseph, and prudent Spouse of the Mother of God! by the great grief that wounded and pierced thy afflicted heart when thou didst hear from the mouth of Simeon that the soul of thy dear spouse was to be pierced with a sword, and by the joy thou hadst when thou didst hear from the same Simeon that Jesus was designed for the resurrection and salvation of mankind; pray for us, to the end that we may so partake in the sorrow of the Mother, as to be hereafter partakers of the joy and happiness of her beloved Son Jesus. Amen.                   

                               Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

                                Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

                           Novena Prayer

O Glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession, obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare; particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special favour we now implore…

            [Here mention your request]

O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and true spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray for us.

St. Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor – Mass Propers

TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM - BETTER A FEW CATHOLICS LEFT...

St. Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor

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. 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.

 

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 fulfill. 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.

MYSTERY OF PASCHAL TIME

THE MYSTERY OF PASCHAL TIME

                 The Liturgical Year

      Abbot Dom Guéranger, O.S.B

Of all the Seasons of the Liturgical Year, Eastertide is, by far, the richest in mystery. We might even say, that Easter is the summit of the Mystery of the sacred. Liturgy. The Christian who is happy enough to enter, with his whole mind and heart, into the knowledge and the love of the Paschal Mystery, has reached the very centre of the supernatural life. Hence it is, that the Church uses every effort in order to effect this: what she has hitherto done, was all intended as a preparation for Easter. The holy longings of Advent, the sweet joys of Christmas, the severe truths of Septuagesima, the contrition and penance of Lent, the heart-rending sight of the Passion, all were given us as preliminaries, as paths, to the sublime and glorious Pasch, which is now ours. And that we might be convinced of the supreme importance of this solemnity, God willed that the Christian Easter and Pentecost should be prepared by those of the Jewish Law: a thousand five hundred years of typical beauty prefigured the reality: and that reality is ours!

During these days, then, we have brought before us the two great manifestations of God’s goodness towards mankind: the Pasch of Israel, and the Christian Pasch; the Pentecost of Sinai, and the Pentecost of the Church. We shall have occasion to show how the ancient figures were fulfilled in the realities of the new Easter and Pentecost, and how the twilight of the Mosaic Law made way for the full day of the Gospel: but we cannot resist the feeling of holy reverence, at the bare thought that the Solemnities we have now to celebrate are more than three thousand years old, and that they are to be renewed every year from this till the voice of the Angel shall be heard proclaiming: Time shall be no more! The gates of Eternity will then be thrown open.

Eternity in Heaven is the true Pasch: hence, our Pasch, here on earth, is the Feast of feasts, the solemnity of solemnities. The human race was dead; it was the victim of that sentence, whereby it was condemned to lie mere dust in the tomb; the gates of Life were shut against it. But see! the Son of God rises from his grave, and takes possession of eternal Life. Nor is he the only one that is to die no more, for, as the Apostle teaches us, he is the first born from the dead. The Church would, therefore, have us consider ourselves as having already risen with our Jesus, and as having already got possession of eternal Life. The holy Fathers bid us look on these fifty days of Easter, as the image of our eternal happiness. They are days that are devoted exclusively to joy; every sort of sadness is forbidden; and the Church cannot speak to her Divine Spouse without joining to her words that glorious cry of heaven, the Alleluia, wherewith, as the holy Liturgy says, the streets and squares of the heavenly Jerusalem resound without ceasing. We have been forbidden the use of this joyous word during the past nine weeks; it behoved us to die with Christ: but now that we have risen, together with him from the Tomb, and that we are resolved to die no more that death, which kills the soul, and caused our Redeemer to die on the Cross, we have a right to our Alleluia.

The Providence of God, who has established harmony between the visible world and the supernatural work of grace, willed that the Resurrection of our Lord should take place at that particular season of the Year, when even nature herself seems to rise from the grave. The meadows give forth their verdure, the trees resume their foliage, the birds fill the air with their songs, and the sun, the type of our Triumphant Jesus, pours out his floods of light on our earth made Dew by lovely Spring. At Christmas, the sun had little power, and his stay with us was short; it harmonized with the humble birth of our Emmanuel, who came among us in the midst of night, and shrouded in swaddling. clothes: but now, he is as a giant that runs his way, and there is no one that can hide himself from his heat. Speaking, in the Canticle, to the faithful soul, and inviting her to take her part in this new life, which he is now imparting to every creature, our Lord himself says: Arise, my dove, and come! winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land. The voice of the turtle is heard. The fig-tree hath put forth her green figs. The vines, in flower, yield their sweet smell. Arise thou, and come!

In the preceding chapter, we explained why our Saviour chose the Sunday for his Resurrection, whereby he conquered death and proclaimed Life to the world. It was on this favoured Day of the week, that he had, four thousand years previously, created the Light; by selecting it now for the commencement of the New Life be graciously imparts to man, he would show us that Easter is the renewal of the entire creation. Not only is the anniversary of his glorious Resurrection to be, henceforward, the greatest of days, but every Sunday throughout the year is to be a sort of Easter, a holy and sacred day. The Synagogue, by God’s command, kept holy the Saturday, or the Sabbath, and this in honour of God’s resting after the six days of the creation; but the Church, the Spouse, is commanded to honour the Work of her Lord. She allows the Saturday to pass, it is the day of her Jesus’ rest in the Sepulchre: but, now that she is illumined with the brightness of the Resurrection, she devotes to the contemplation of his Work the first day of the week; it is the day of Light, for on it he called forth material Light, (which was the first manifestation of life upon chaos,) and on the same, He that is the Brightness of the Father, and the Light of the World, rose from the darkness of the Tomb.

Let, then, the Week, with its Sabbath, pass by; what we Christians want, is the Eighth Day, the Day that is beyond the measure of time, the Day of eternity, the Day whose Light is not intermittent or partial, but endless and unlimited. Thus speak the holy Fathers, when explaining the substitution of the Sunday for the Saturday. It was, indeed, right that man should keep, as the Day of his weekly and spiritual repose, that on which the Creator of the visible world had taken his divine Rest; but it was a commemoration of the material Creation only. The Eternal Word comes down in the world that he had created; he comes with the rays of his divinity clouded beneath the humble veil of our flesh; he comes to fulfill the figures of the first Covenant. Before abrogating the Sabbath, he would observe it, as he did every tittle of the Law; he would spend it as the Day of Rest, after the work of his Passion, in the silence of the Sepulchre: but, early on the Eighth Day, he rises to life, and the life is one of Glory. Let us, says the learned and pious Abbot Rupert, leave the Jews to enjoy the ancient Sabbath, which is a memorial of the visible Creation. They know not how to love or desire or merit aught  but earthly things. They would not recognize this world’s Creator as their King, because he said Blessed are the Poor! and, Woe to the Rich! But our Sabbath has been transferred from the Seventh to the Eighth Day, and the Eighth is the first. And rightly was the Seventh changed into the Eighth, because we Christians put our joy in a better work than the Creation of the world. Let the lovers of the world keep a Sabbath for its Creation: but our joy is in the Salvation of the world, for our life, yea and our Rest, is hidden with Christ in God.

The mystery of the Seventh followed by an Eighth Day, as the holy one, is again brought before us by the number of weeks, which form Eastertide. These weeks are seven; they form a week of weeks, and their morrow is again a Sunday, the Feast of the glorious Pentecost. These mysterious numbers, which God himself fixed, when he instituted the first Pentecost after the first Pasch, were followed by the Apostles, when they regulated the Christian Easter, as we learn from St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Isidore, Amalarius, Rabanus Maurus, and from all the ancient interpreters of the mysteries of the holy Liturgy. If we multiply seven by seven, says St. Hilary, we shall find that this holy Season is truly the Sabbath of Sabbaths; but what completes it, and raises it to the plenitude of the Gospel, is the Eighth day which follows, Eighth and First both together in itself. The Apostles have given so sacred an institution to these seven weeks, that, during them, no one should kneel, or mar by fasting the spiritual joy of this long Feast. The same institution has been extended to each Sunday; for this day which follows the Saturday has become, by the application of the progress of the Gospel, the completion of the Saturday, and the day of feast and joy.

Thus, then, the whole Season of Easter is marked with the mystery expressed by each Sunday of the Year. Sunday is to us the great Day of our week, because beautified with the splendour of our Lord’s Resurrection, of which the creation of material light was but a type. We have already said, that this institution was prefigured in the Old Law, although the Jewish people were not in any way aware of it. Their Pentecost fell on the fiftieth day after the Pasch; it was the morrow of the seven weeks. Another figure of our Eastertide was the year of Jubilee, which God bade Moses prescribe to his people. Each fiftieth year, the houses and lands that had been alienated during the preceding forty-nine, returned to their original owners, and those Israelites, who had been compelled, by poverty, to sell themselves as slaves, recovered their liberty. This year, which was properly called the Sabbatical year, was the sequel of the preceding seven weeks of years, and was thus the image of our Eighth Day, whereon the Son of Mary, by his Resurrection, redeemed us from the slavery of the tomb, and restored us to the inheritance of our immortality.

The Rites peculiar to Eastertide, in the present discipline of the Church, are two: the unceasing repetition of the Alleluia, of which we have already spoken, and the colour of the vestments used for its two great solemnities, white for the first, and red for the second. White is appropriate to the Resurrection; it is the mystery of eternal Light, which knows neither spot nor shadow; it is the mystery that produces in a faithful soul the sentiment of purity and joy. Pentecost,  which gives us the Holy Spirit, the consuming Fire is symbolized by the red vestments, which express the mystery of the Divine Paraclete coming down in the form of fiery tongues upon them that were assembled in the Cenacle. With regard to the ancient usage of not kneeling during Paschal Time, we have already said, that there is a mere vestige of it now left in the Latin Liturgy.

The Saint’s Feasts, which were interrupted during Holy Week, are likewise excluded from the first eight days of Eastertide; but these ended, we shall have them in rich abundance, as a bright constellation of stars round the divine Sun of Justice, our Jesus. They will accompany us in our celebration of his admirable Ascension; but such is the grandeur of the mystery of Pentecost, that, from the Eve of that Day, they will be again interrupted until the expiration of Paschal Time.

The Rites of the primitive Church with reference to the Neophytes, who were regenerated by Baptism on the Night of Easter, are extremely interesting and instructive. But as they are peculiar to the two Octaves of Easter and Pentecost, we will explain them as they are brought before us by the Liturgy of those days.

 

NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH – THIRD DAY

               NOVENA IN PREPARATION 

   FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH 

        THE PATRONAGE OF ST. JOSEPH 

  JOYS AND DOLORS OF SAINT JOSEPH

                               Day Three

                                   Prayer                                             

O Great Joseph, a man according to God’s own heart! by the grief thou didst feel at the circumcision of the tender infant Jesus, shedding his most precious blood, and by the joy thou hadst in giving him the most sweet name of Jesus, according to the revelation which the angel had made to thee; pray for us to thy blessed Son, that we may be washed and purified with his most precious blood, and always bear his name imprinted in our hearts. Amen.

                               Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

                                Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

                          Novena Prayer

O Glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession, obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare; particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special favour we now implore…

            [Here mention your request]

O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

ST. MARK THE EVANGELIST

                SAINT MARK, EVANGELIST

                      The Liturgical Year  

                  Abbot Dom Guéranger

The Cycle of holy mother Church brings before us today, the Lion, who, together with the Man, the Ox and the Eagle, stands before the Throne of God. It was on this day, that Mark ascended from earth to heaven, radiant with his triple aureola of Evangelist, Apostle, and Martyr.

As the preaching made to Israel had its four great representatives, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Daniel; so, likewise, would God have the New Covenant to be embodied in the four Gospels, which were to make known to the world the Life and teachings of his divine Son. The Holy Fathers tell us, that the Gospels are like the four streams which watered the Garden of pleasure, and that this Garden was a figure of the future Church. The first of the Evangelists, the first to register the actions and words of our Redeemer, is Matthew, whose star will rise in September; the second is Mark, whose brightness gladdens us today; the third is Luke, whose rays will shine upon us in October; the fourth is John, whom we have already seen in Bethlehem, at the Crib of our Emmanuel. Mark was the beloved disciple of Peter; he was the brilliant satellite of the Sun of the Church. He wrote his Gospel at Rome, under the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. The Church was already in possession of the history given by Matthew; but the Faithful of Rome wished their own Apostle to narrate what he had witnessed. Peter refused to write it himself, but he bade his disciple take up his pen, and the Holy Ghost guided the hand of the new Evangelist. Mark follows the account given by Matthew; he abridges it, and yet he occasionally adds a word, or an incident, which plainly prove to us that Peter, who had seen and heard all, was his living and venerated authority. One would have almost expected, that the new Evangelist would pass over in silence the history of his master’s fall, or, at least, have said as little as possible about it; but no, the Gospel written by Mark is more detailed on Peter’s denial than is that of Matthew; and as we read it, we cannot help feeling, that the tears, elicited by Jesus’ look, when in the house of Caiphas, were flowing down the Apostle’s cheeks, as he described the sad event. Mark’s work being finished, Peter examined it and gave it his sanction; the several Churches joyfully received this second account of the mysteries of the world’s redemption, and the name of Mark was made known throughout the whole earth.

Mark having written his Gospel, was next to labour as an Apostle. Peter sent him, first, to Aquileia, where he founded an important Church: but this was not enough for an Evangelist. When the time designed by God came, and Egypt, the source of countless errors, was to receive the truth, and the haughty and noisy Alexandria was to be raised to the dignity of the second Church of Christendom, the second See of Peter, Mark was sent by his master to effect this great work. By his preaching, the word of salvation took root, grew up, and produced fruit in that most infidel of nations; and the authority of Peter was thus marked, though in different degrees, in the three great Cities of the Empire: Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

St. Mark may be called the first founder of the Monastic life, by his instituting, in Alexandria itself, what were called the Therapeutes. To him, also, may be justly attributed, the origin of that celebrated Christian school, of Alexandria, which was so flourishing, even in the 2nd Century.

But glorious as were these works of Peter’s disciple, the Evangelist and Apostle Mark was also to receive the dignity of Martyr. The success of his preaching excited against him the fury of the idolaters. They were keeping a feast in honour of Serapis; and this gave them an opportunity which they were not likely to lose. They seized Mark, treated him most cruelly, and cast him into prison. It was there that our Risen Lord appeared to him, during the night, and addressed him in these words, which afterwards formed the Arms of the Republic of Venice:  ‘Peace be to thee, Mark, my Evangelist!’ To which the disciple answered: “Lord”  for such were his feelings of delight and gratitude, that he could say but that one word, as it was with Magdalene, when she saw Jesus on the morning of the Resurrection. On the following day, Mark was put to death by the pagans. He had fulfilled his mission on earth, and heaven opened to receive the Lion, who was to occupy near the throne of the Ancient of days the place allotted to him, as shown to the Prophet of Patmos, in his sublime vision.

In the 9th Century, the West was enriched with the Relics of St. Mark. They were taken to Venice; and, under the protection of the sacred Lion, there began for that City a long period of glory. Faith in so great a Patron achieved wonders; and from the midst of islets and lagoons there sprang into existence a City of beauty and power. Byzantine Art raised up the imposing and gorgeous Church, which was the palladium of the Queen of the Seas; and the new Republic stamped its coinage with the Lion of St. Mark. Happy would it have been for Venice, had she persevered in her loyalty to Rome, and in the ancient severity of her morals!

                SAINT MARK’S PROCESSION

This day is honoured in the Liturgy by what is called Saint Mark’s Procession. The term, however, is not a correct one, inasmuch as a Procession was a privilege peculiar to the 25th of April previously to the institution of our Evangelist’s feast, which, even so late as the 6th Century, had no fixed day in the Roman Church. The real name of this Procession is, The Greater Litanies. The word Litany means Supplication, and is applied to the religious rite of singing certain chants whilst proceeding from place to place, and this in order to propitiate heaven. The two Greek words Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy on us) were also called Litany, as likewise were the invocations which were afterwards added to that cry for Mercy, and which now form a Liturgical prayer used by the Church on certain solemn occasions.

The Greater Litanies, (or Processions,) are so called to distinguish them from the Minor Litanies, that is, Processions of less importance as far as the solemnity and concourse of the Faithful were concerned. We gather from an expression of St. Gregory the Great, that it was an ancient custom in the Roman Church to celebrate, once each year, a Greater Litany, at which all the Clergy and people assisted. This holy Pontiff chose the 25th of April as the fixed day for this Procession, and appointed the Basilica of St. Peter as the Station.

Several writers on the Liturgy have erroneously confounded this institution with the Processions prescribed by St. Gregory for times of public calamity. It existed long before his time, and all that he had to do with it was the fixing it to the 25th of April. It is quite independent of the Feast of St. Mark, which was instituted at a much later period. If the 25th of April occur during Easter Week, the Procession takes place on that day, (unless it be Easter Sunday,) but the Feast of the Evangelist is not kept till after the Octave.

The question naturally presents itself, why did St. Gregory choose the 2oth of April for a Procession and Station, in which everything reminds us of compunction and penance, and which would seem so out of keeping with the joyous Season of Easter? The first to give a satisfactory answer to this difficulty, was Canon Moretti, a learned Liturgiologist of last century. In a dissertation of great erudition, he proves that in the 5th, and probably even in the 4th, century, the 25th of April was observed at Rome as a day of great solemnity. The Faithful went, on that day, to the Basilica of St. Peter, in order to celebrate the anniversary of the first entrance of the Prince of the Apostles into Rome, upon which he thus conferred the inalienable privilege of being the Capital of Christendom. It is from that day that we count the twenty-five years, two months and some days that St. Peter reigned as Bishop of Rome. The Sacramentary of St. Leo gives us the Mass of this Solemnity, which afterwards ceased to be kept. St. Gregory, to whom we are mainly indebted for the arrangement of the Roman Liturgy, was anxious to perpetuate the memory of a day, which gave to Rome her grandest glory. He, therefore, ordained that the Church of St. Peter should be the Station of the Great Litany, which was always to be celebrated on that auspicious day. The 25th of April comes so frequently during the Octave of Easter, that it could not be kept as a Feast, properly so called, in honour of St. Peter’s entrance into Rome; St. Gregory, therefore, adopted the only means left of commemorating the great event.

But there was a striking contrast resulting from this institution, of which the holy Pontiff was fully aware, but which he could not avoid:  it was the contrast between the joys of Paschal Time, and the penitential sentiments wherewith the Faithful should assist at the Procession and Station of the Great Litany. Laden as we are with the manifold graces of this holy Season, and elated with our Paschal joys, we must sober our gladness by reflecting on the motives which led the Church to cast this hour of shadow over our Easter sunshine. After all, we are sinners, with much to be sorry for, and much to fear; we have to avert those scourges which are due to the crimes of mankind; we have, by humbling ourselves and invoking the intercession of the Mother of God and the Saints, to obtain the health of our bodies, and the preservation of the fruits of the earth; we have to offer atonement to Divine justice for our own and the world’s pride, sinful indulgences, and insubordination. Let us enter into ourselves, and humbly confess that our own share in exciting God’s indignation is great; and our poor prayers, united with those of our holy Mother the Church, will obtain mercy for the guilty, and for ourselves who are of the number. A day, then, like this, of reparation to God’s offended Majesty, would naturally suggest the necessity of joining some exterior penance to the interior dispositions of contrition which filled the hearts of Christians. Abstinence from flesh meat has always been observed, on this day, at Rome; and when the Roman Liturgy was established in France, by Pepin and Charlemagne, the Great Litany of the 25th of April was, of course, celebrated, and the Abstinence kept, by the Faithful of that country. A Council of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 836, enjoined the additional obligation of resting from servile work on this day: the same enactment is found in the Capitularia of Charles the Bald. As regards Fasting, properly so called, being contrary to the spirit of Paschal Time, it would seem never to have been observed on this day, at least not generally. Amalarius, who lived in the 9th Century, asserts that it was not then practiced even in Rome.

 We take this opportunity of protesting against the negligence of Christians on this subject. Even persons who have the reputation of being spiritual, think nothing of being absent from the Litanies said on St. Mark’s and the Rogation Days. One would have thought, that when the Holy See took from these Days the obligation of Abstinence, the Faithful would be so much the more earnest to join in the duty still left,  the duty of Prayer. The people’s presence at the Litanies is taken for granted: and it is simply absurd, that a religious rite of public reparation should be one from which almost all should keep away. We suppose that these Christians will acknowledge the importance of the petitions made in the Litanies; but God is not obliged to hear them in favour of such as ought to make them and yet do not. This is one of the many instances which might be brought forward of the strange delusions into which private and isolated devotion are apt to degenerate. When St. Charles Borromeo first took possession of his See of Milan, he found this negligence among his people, and that they left the Clergy to go through the Litanies of the 25th of April by themselves. He assisted at them himself, and walked bare-footed in the Procession. The people soon followed the sainted Pastor’s example.

Kyrie eleison! Lord have mercy on us! Let us think, for a moment, of the countless sins that are being committed, day and night; and let us sue for mercy. In the days of Noe, all flesh had corrupted its way, but men thought not of asking for mercy. The flood came, and destroyed them all, says our Saviour. Had they prayed, had they begged God’s pardon, the hand of his justice would have been stayed, and the flood-gates of heaven would not have been opened. The day is to come, when, not water, as heretofore, but fire is suddenly to be enkindled by the Divine wrath, and is to burn the whole earth. It shall burn even the foundations of the mountains; it shall devour sinners, who will be resting then, as they were in the days of Noe, in a false security. Persecuted by her enemies, decimated by the martyrdom of her children, afflicted by numerous apostasies from the faith, and deprived of every human aid, the Church will know that the terrible chastisement is at hand, for Prayer will then be as rare as Faith. Let us, therefore, pray; that thus the day of wrath may be put off, the Christian life regain something of its ancient vigour, and the end of the world not be in our times. There are even yet Catholics in every part of the world; but their number has visibly decreased.

Heresy is now in possession of whole countries, that were once faithful to the Church. In others, where heresy has not triumphed, religious indifference has left the majority of men with nothing of Catholicity but the name, seeing that they neglect even their most essential obligations without remorse. Among many of those who fulfill the precepts of the Church, truths are diminished.

PROCESSION PRAYERS

Litany of the Saints

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for us.
St. Michael, pray for us.
All holy Angels and Archangels, pray for us.
All holy orders of blessed spirits, pray for us.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
All holy Patriarchs and Prophets, pray for us.
St. Peter, pray for us.
St. Paul, pray for us.
St. Andrew, pray for us.
St. James, pray for us.
St. John, pray for us.
St. Thomas, pray for us.
St. James, pray for us.
St. Philip, pray for us.
St. Bartholomew, pray for us.
St. Matthew, pray for us.
St. Simon, pray for us.
St. Thaddeus, pray for us.
St. Matthias, pray for us.
St. Barnabas, pray for us.
St. Luke, pray for us.
St. Mark, pray for us.
All holy Apostles and Evangelists, pray for us.
All holy Disciples of the Lord, pray for us.
All Holy Innocents, pray for us.
St. Stephen, pray for us.
St. Lawrence, pray for us.
St. Vincent, pray for us.
Fabian and Sebastian, pray for us.
John and Paul, pray for us.
Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.
Gervase and Protase, pray for us.
All holy Martyrs, pray for us.
St. Sylvester, pray for us.
St. Gregory, pray for us.
St. Ambrose, pray for us.
St. Augustine, pray for us.
St. Jerome, pray for us.
St. Martin, pray for us.
St. Nicholas, pray for us.
All holy Bishops and Confessors, pray for us.
All holy Doctors, pray for us.
St. Anthony, pray for us.
St. Benedict, pray for us.
St. Bernard, pray for us.
St. Dominic, pray for us.
St. Francis, pray for us.
All holy Priests and Levites, pray for us.
All holy Monks and Hermits, pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us.
St. Agatha, pray for us.
St. Lucy, pray for us.
St. Agnes, pray for us.
St. Cecilia, pray for us.
St. Catherine, pray for us.
St. Anastasia, pray for us.
All holy Virgins and Widows, pray for us.
All holy Saints of God, intercede for us.
Be merciful, Spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful, Hear us, O Lord.
From all evil, Spare us, O Lord.
From all sin, Spare us, O Lord.
From thy anger, Spare us, O Lord
From a sudden and unprovided death, Spare us, O Lord.
From the snares of the devil, Spare us, O Lord.
From anger, and hatred, and every evil will, Spare us, O Lord.
From the spirit of fornication, Spare us, O Lord.
From lightning and storms, Spare us, O Lord.
From the scourge of earthquake, Spare us, O Lord.
From plague, famine, and war, Spare us, O Lord.
From everlasting death, Spare us, O Lord.
Through the mystery of thy holy Incarnation, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy Coming, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy Birth, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy Baptism and holy Fasting, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy Cross and Passion, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy Death and Burial, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy holy Resurrection, Spare us, O Lord.
Through thy admirable Ascension, Spare us, O Lord.
Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, Spare us, O Lord.
In the day of Judgment, Spare us, O Lord.
We sinners, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst spare us, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst pardon us, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly bring us to true penance, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly govern and preserve thy holy Church, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly preserve in holy religion the Pope and all clerics in holy orders, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly humble the enemies of holy Church, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly grant peace and unity to the whole Christian world, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst restore to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from the truth and lead all infidels to the light of the Gospel, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly confirm and preserve us in thy holy service, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly lift up our minds to heavenly desires, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly give eternal blessings to all our benefactors, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relations, and benefactors from eternal damnation, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly give and preserve the fruits of the earth, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst kindly grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, We beg of thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst be so kind as to answer our prayers Son of God, We beg of thee, hear us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us,
Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Psalm 69

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul: Let them be turned backward, and blush for shame that desire evils to me: Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame that say to me: Tis well, tis well. Let all that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; and let such as love thy salvation say always: The Lord be magnified. But I am needy and poor; O God, help me. Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

V. Save thy servants.
R. Who put their trust in thee, O God.
V. Be unto us, O Lord, a tower of strength.
R. From the face of the enemy.
V. Let not the enemy prevail against us.
R. Nor the Son of iniquity have power to hurt us.
V. O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins.
R. Nor reward us according to our iniquities.

Pope St. Gregory the Great saved Rome from the plague he ordered a procession around the city to beg the heavens to end their affliction and their prayers were answered!

A Dreadful plague having broken out at Rome, anno 589, which carried off a great number of the people, and among the rest Pope Pelagius, who then sat in St. Peter’s Chair, St. Gregory, his successor, appointed public prayers for appeasing the anger of God, the happy effects of which became so evident by the immediate cessation thereof, that the same pious custom has been ever since continued. Wherefore, since by our repeated transgressions we also have just reason to deprecate the scourges of divine vengeance, let us this day humble ourselves by prayer before the throne of mercy, beseeching God to preserve us from all pestilential distempers, forgive us our sins, and grant his blessing on the fruit of the earth.

NINE DAY NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH – SECOND DAY

              NOVENA IN PREPARATION 

   FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH 

        THE PATRONAGE OF ST. JOSEPH 

 JOYS AND DOLORS OF SAINT JOSEPH

                                 Day Two

                                   Prayer                                             

O Thrice happy Joseph, foster father to Jesus! by the great grief that pierced thy heart when thou didst contemplate this beloved infant lying in the manger, weeping and shivering with cold, and by the great joy thou receivedst in beholding the holy angels adoring and honouring him with their heavenly music, and in seeing the three kings prostrate before him, and offering him their precious gifts; pray for us, O great Saint, to the end that our souls may become a fit mansion to receive our Saviour, and that we may lodge and keep him always therein, even to the last moment of our lives; that then we may find and enjoy him in heaven, in the possession of his everlasting glory. Amen.

                               Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

                                Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

                           Novena Prayer

O Glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession, obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare; particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special favour we now implore…

            [Here mention your request]

O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and true spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray for us.

NINE DAY NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH

     

     NINE DAY NOVENA IN PREPARATION

     FOR  THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH

             PATRONAGE OF ST. JOSEPH 

    JOYS AND DOLORS OF SAINT JOSEPH

                                Prayer

Chaste Spouse of the most Immaculate Mother of Jesus! holy Joseph! how great was thy grief when, ignorant of the mystery and co-operation of the Holy Ghost in that sublime mystery, thou perceivest the pregnancy of thy beloved Spouse, and on that account had thoughts of leaving her. By this thy grief, and by the unspeakable joy thou hadst when the Angel of God opened to thee the mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, pray for us, that endeavouring to advance thy honour and worship through the whole world, we may, by God’s holy grace, overcome all affliction and dejection of mind in this life, and in the other become a fit mansion of the Holy Ghost for all eternity. Amen.

                          Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

                         Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

                    Novena Prayer

O Glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession, obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare; particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special favour we now implore…

        [Here mention your request]

O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.