That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. (John 17:21)

V. I say unto thee that thou art Peter,

R. And upon this Rock I will build My Church.

                     Let us pray

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who saidst unto Thine Apostles peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant unto Her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will Who livest and reignest, God, forever and ever Amen.

      Second Day of the Octave

                January 19th

            Intention of the day 

The return of Oriental Separatists to Communion with the Apostolic See.

Prayer for the Reunion of the East and West

O Lord, Who hast united all nations in the confession of Thy name, we pray Thee for the Christian peoples of the East. Mindful of the eminent place they have held in Thy Church, we beg of Thee to inspire them to occupy it again, so as to form with us one single fold. Grant that they, together with ourselves, may be penetrated with the teaching of those holy doctors of theirs, who are also our Fathers in the Faith. Grant us that the spirit of peace and charity, which is the mark of Thy presence among the faithful, may hasten the day in which their prayers may be united with ours, so that every people and every tongue may acknowledge and glorify Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son.  Amen.

        Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O Immaculate Virgin Mary, we thy servants and children, full of confidence in thy powerful protection, humbly beseech thee to implore of the Holy Ghost the abundance of His gifts for our brethren, the separated Christians of the East. Enlightened by His vivifying grace, may they return to the bosom of the Catholic Church. We pray also that our Oriental brethren, once more united to us by the indissoluble bonds of the same faith and the same charity, may, with us, glorify by the practice of good works the most august Trinity, and at the same time pay homage to thee, O Virgin Mother of God, full of grace, now and forever. Amen.

V. Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

R. That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, “That all may be one.”

    Prayer to the Fathers of the Eastern Church

O glorious martyrs, Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, and thou, illustrious Doctors of the Church, Saint Athanasius, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil, who worked and suffered so much for the purity of faith and the salvation of the souls entrusted to thy paternal care, look down from heaven upon thy beloved Eastern countries, which, forgetful of thy teaching and example, live now separated from the body of the true Church. By thy powerful intercession, O holy Eastern Fathers, obtain for all separated Oriental Christians the grace to return to the Center of Unity, and to form with us one and the same family, in Christ Jesus, Our Lord. Amen.




with tears Latin Mass


              January 18 through 25

             Official Octave Prayer

              (to be recited daily)


That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. (John 17:21)

V. I say unto thee that thou art Peter,

R. And upon this Rock I will build My Church.

                     Let us pray

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who saidst unto Thine Apostles peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant unto Her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will Who livest and reignest, God, forever and ever Amen.

        First Day of the Octave

                  January 18th

The Feast of St. Peter’s Chair at Rome.

Intention of the Day: the return of the “other sheep” to the One Fold of Christ.

Prayer for the Return of the Other Sheep

O God, in Thy mercy thou dost set aright those who have gone astray and Thou dost save those whom Thou hast gathered together. We beseech Thee to pour down upon all Christian people the grace of union with Thee, so that putting aside disunion and attaching themselves to the true shepherd of Thy Church, they may be able to serve Thee humbly and lovingly. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O Immaculate Virgin, who wast preserved by a singular privilege of grace from original sin, look down with pity upon our separated brethren, who are still thy children, and call them back to the Center of Unity. Many have, even from afar, preserved a most tender devotion towards thee, O Mother; reward them for their devotion by obtaining for them the grace of conversion. Victorious over the powers of hell from the very first moment of thine existence, renew, now that the necessity is more urgent, thy triumphant progress, as in ages past. Glorify thy Son, O Mother, by bringing back to the One Fold His straying sheep. And may it be thy glory, O Virgin Mary, to banish error from the earth, to put an end to disunity and to restore peace to the world. Amen.

Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us. That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, “That all may be one.”

Prayer to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles

 O glorious St. Peter, as a reward for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility, and thy ardent love, thou wast singled out by Our Lord and endowed with most special privileges. Thou wast also constituted Prince of the Apostles with primacy over the whole Church, of which thou wert made the Rock and Foundation. Obtain for us, we pray, a lively faith and an ardent zeal so that all of us will labor for the return of our separated brethren. May the desire of Our Divine Redeemer, that there might be but “one Fold and one Shepherd,” be for us, as it wast for thee, the inspiration to work and pray for the return of all those who are still outside the Fold. Strengthened by Divine Grace, may they be led back speedily to the bosom of our common Mother, the Catholic Church.  Amen.

Ss. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum, Martyrs – Mass Propers

Sts. Maris, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum - January 19

     St. Maris, and his Companions


Maris was a Persian of high rank, who came to Rome in the reign of the Emperor Claudius, with his wife Martha, who was equally noble, and their two sons Audifax and Abachum, to pray at the graves of the Martyrs. Here they comforted the Christians who were in prison, and whom they relieved by their ministrations and alms, and buried the bodies of the Saints. For these acts they were all arrested, but no threats or terrors could move them to sacrifice to idols. They were accordingly mangled with clubs, and drawn with ropes, after which they were burnt by applying plates of red-hot metal to their bodies, and their flesh partly torn off with metal hooks. Lastly their hands were all cut off, and they were fastened together by the neck, in which state they were driven through the city to the thirteenth mile-stone on the Cornelian Way, a place now called Santa Ninfa, where they were to die. Martha addressed a moving exhortation to her husband and sons to hold out bravely to the last, for the love of Jesus Christ; and was then herself drowned. The other three martyrs were next be headed in the same sand-pit. Their bodies were thrown into a fire. The lady Felicity of Rome collected the half-burnt remains, and caused them to be buried at her own farm.


                     The Liturgical Year

                          Dom Guéranger

       SAINT CANUTE, KING AND MARTYR               

The Magi Kings, as we have already observed, have been followed to the Crib of Jesus by Saintly Christian Monarchs; and it was just, that these should be represented on the Church’s Calendar, during the season which is consecrated to the Mystery of his Birth. The eleventh century is one of the most glorious of the Christian era, and gave, both to the Church and the various States of Europe, a great number of saintly Kings. Among them, Canute the Fourth, of Denmark, stands pre-eminent by reason of the aureol of his martyrdom. He had every quality which forms a Christian Prince: he was a zealous propagator of the faith of Christ, he was a brave warrior, he was pious, and he was charitable to the poor. His zeal for the Church, (and, in those days, her rights were counted as the rights of the people,) was made the pretext for putting him to death: he died, in the midst of a sedition, as a victim sacrificed for his people’s sake. His offering to the new-born King was that of his blood; and in exchange for the perishable crown he lost, he received that which the Church gives to her Martyrs, and which can never be taken away. The history of Denmark, in the eleventh century, is scarce known by the rest of the world; but the glory of that country’s having had one of her kings a Martyr, is known throughout the whole Church, and the Church inhabits the whole earth. This power, possessed by the Spouse of Christ, of conferring honour on the name and actions of the servants and friends of God, is one of the grandest spectacles out of heaven; for when she holds up a name as worthy of honour, that name becomes immortalized, whether he who bore it were a powerful king, or the poorest peasant.

holy sacrifice of the mass 15

Ss. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum, Martyrs

Commemoration: St Canute, King of Denmark and Martyr

          Simple – Red vestments

           Missa ‘Justi Epulentur’

                INTROIT – Ps 67:4

Justi epuléntur et exsúltent in conspéctu Dei et delecténtur in lætítia.

Ps 67:2 Exsúrgat Deus, et dissipéntur inimíci ejus: et fúgiant qui odérunt eum, a fácie ejus. V. Glória Patri.

The just rejoice and exult before God; they are glad and rejoice. Ps. God arises; His enemies are scattered, and those who hate Him flee before Him.

V. Glory be to the Father.


O Lord, hear Your people as they humbly pray in union with the patronal intercession of Your saints, that You would grant us to enjoy peace during our life on earth and to find help for life eternal. Through our Lord.

COMMEMORATION – St. Canute, King and Martyr

O God, Who for the glory of Your Church, have graciously honored blessed King Canute with the palm of martyrdom and glorious miracles, mercifully grant that, as he was an imitator of the Lord’s passion, so may we, walking in his footsteps, be found worthy to enter into everlasting joys.

EPISTLE – Hebrews 10: 32-38

Lesson from the letter of St. Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.

Brethren, call to mind the former days, wherein, being illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions. And on the one hand indeed, by reproaches and tribulations, were made a gazing-stock; and on the other, became companions of them that were used in such sort. For you both had compassion on them that were in bands, and took with joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better and a lasting substance. Do not therefore lose your confidence, which hath a great reward. For patience is necessary for you; that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise. For yet a little and a very little while, and he that is to come, will come, and will not delay. But my just man liveth by faith.


The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead: but they are in peace.

ALLELUIA – Ps 67:36

Alleluia, alleluia. Our God is wonderful in His Saints. Alleluia.

GOSPEL – Matthew 24: 3-13

The Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

At that time, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying: Tell us, when are these things to happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the world? And in answer Jesus said to them, Take care that no one leads you astray. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. For you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. Take care that you do not be alarmed, for these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be pestilences and famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginnings of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will fall away, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. And many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. And because iniquity will abound, the charity of the many will grow cold. But whoever perseveres to the end, he shall be saved.


OFFERTORY – Psalm 123: 7

We were rescued like a bird from the fowlers’ snare; broken was the snare, and we were freed.


Look with favor, O Lord, upon the prayers and offerings of Your faithful, that they may be pleasing to You for the feast of Your saints and may bring us the help of Your mercy.

COMMEMORATION – St. Canute, Martyr

May our sacrifice, O Lord, be acceptable in Your sight and may it bring us salvation through the prayers of him on whose feast it is being offered.


It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:

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.


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 12:4

But I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who persecute you.


Be appeased by the prayers of Your Saints, O Lord, and grant, we beseech You, that the rites we perform in this lifetime may avail for our eternal salvation. Through our Lord.

COMMEMORATION – St. Canute, Martyr

We who have been refreshed by partaking of the sacred gift, beseech You, O Lord our God, that through the intercession of blessed Canute, Your Martyr, we may feel the benefit of the worship we perform.




Adoration of the Magi by Jacopo Bassano

Adoration of the Magi by Jacopo Bassano

        Holy Infancy of Our Lord

“Behold there came Magi from the East, to Jerusalem, saying: Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”— Matthew 2: 1

Contemplate the holy Infant in his humble crib; he is so lovely, that he attracts all to him; the angels descend from heaven to sing his praises; shepherds come to acknowledge him as the Messiah who could save the world; the Magi arrive from the East to offer their tribute of homage and adoration.

What is this power, hidden under the veils of infirmity and weakness, yet so great and attractive that none who approach can resist it? The attractions of the holy Infant gain every heart. Will yours alone remain indifferent to his love? For a long time he has entreated you to return to him, and you have been deaf to his invitations. Ah! if today he sheds on your soul the light of his divine grace, harden not your heart; but listen to that voice of mercy and clemency which invites you to approach, and draw from the cradle of Jesus that bright flame of charity which he came to enkindle on earth, and which will lead you out of the darkness and obscurity of sin.

How great ought to be your fidelity in obeying the voice of God, and corresponding with the graces he has given you! If the Magi had neglected the interior grace which incited them to seek Jesus, and to leave all to find him, they would never have possessed him; you must then seize the moment of grace; if you allow it to pass, it will perhaps never return; God will withdraw himself from you, because you listened not when he called; and he will abandon you to your own weakness. The treasures of divine mercy are now open to you; Jesus asks for your heart; he desires to break those bonds which keep you from him, and he wishes to dissipate the thick darkness which surrounds you; he wishes to lead you out of the dreadful region where sin and death everlasting reign; for this he enlightens you with his grace; hasten, then, to profit by it, lest you should for ever lose it.


Oh! Holy Infant! Splendor of the Father! by whom thou wert begotten from all eternity, be my guide in the difficult paths of virtue, that by the light of thy divine grace, I may discover and avoid all those snares which are laid for me by the enemy of my salvation, so that my feet may never wander from the safe but narrow path that leads to thee.



St. Bernard, obedient to the inspirations of divine grace, resolved to withdraw from the world with his brothers, and worship God in retirement. On the day appointed for the execution of their design, they repaired to the Chateau des Fontaines, to bid adieu to their father, and obtain his blessing. They left with him their youngest brother Nivard to be the consolation and support of his old age. On leaving the paternal mansion, they perceived him playing with some other children. Adieu Nivard, said they, for the future you alone will be the heir of your father’s wealth—we leave to you all our possessions. That is to say, replied the pious child, with a wisdom above his years, you take heaven for yourselves, and leave the earth to me; assuredly the division is not equal, and I shall soon follow you. Shortly afterwards he quitted the world to live with his brothers in solitude. Let us often think of this generous child, and imitate him by endeavoring to serve the Lord when he invites us to do so; for if we neglect the inspirations by which God calls upon us, a day will assuredly come when we shall seek and shall not find him, and shall perhaps die in our sins.


Hail, most sweet Jesus, Son of God and of Mary, I love Thee with my whole soul, and above all things, because Thou art infinitely worthy of all love. I firmly resolve by Thy grace to sin no more, and henceforth to avoid all occasions of sin. Amen.

St. Marcellus I, Pope and Martyr – Mass Propers



The Liturgical Year by Abbot Dom Guéranger

The name of Marcellus is brought before us by the Calendar today he was a successor of the glorious Hyginus in the papacy, and in martyrdom, and their Feasts fall in the same season of the year. Each Christmastide shows us these two Pontiffs offering their Keys in homage to our Jesus, the invisible Head of the Church they governed. In a few days hence, we shall find our Christmas list of Saints giving us the name of a third Pope and Martyr Fabian. These three valiant Vicars of Christ are like the three generous Magi they offered their richest presents to the Emmanuel, their blood and their lives.

Marcellus governed the Church at the close of the last general Persecution. A few months after his death, the tyrant Maxentius was vanquished by Constantine, and the Cross of Christ glittered in triumph on the Labarum of the Roman Legions. The time for Martyrdom was, therefore, very short but Marcellus was in time; he shed his blood for Christ, and won the honour of standing in Stephen’s company over the Crib of the Divine Infant, waving his palm-branch in his venerable hand. He withstood the tyrant Emperor, who bade him abdicate the majesty of the supreme Pontificate, and this in the very City of Rome; for Rome was to be the capital of another King—of Christ—who, in the person of his Vicar, would take possession of it, and her old Masters, the Caesars, were to make Byzantium their Rome. It is three hundred years since the decree of Caesar Augustus ordered the census of the world to be taken, which brought Mary to Bethlehem, and where she gave birth to a humble Babe; and now, the Empire of that Babe has out-grown the Empire of the Caesars, and its victory is upon the point of being proclaimed. After Marcellus, we shall have Eusebius; after Eusebius, Melchiades; and Melchiades will see the triumph of the Church.

The Acts of Marcellus are thus given in the Lessons of his Feast.

Marcellus was a Roman, and governed the Church from the reign of Constantius and Galerius to that of Maxentius. It was by his counsel that a Roman Matron, named Lucina, made the Church of God the heir of all her property. He established in the City, five and twenty Titles, as so many districts, for the administration of baptism and penance to Pagans converted to the Christian religion, and for the providing burial to the Martyrs. All this irritated Maxentius, and he threatened Marcellus with severe punishment, unless he laid down his Pontificate, and offered sacrifice to the idols.

Marcellus heeded not the senseless words of man, and was, therefore, sent to the stables, there to take care of the beasts, which were kept at the public expense. In this place Marcellus spent nine months, fasting and praying without ceasing, and visiting by his letters the Churches he could not visit in person. He was thence delivered by some of his clergy, and was harboured by the blessed Lucina, in whose house he dedicated a Church, which is now called the Church of St Marcellus. Here did the Christians assemble for prayer, and the blessed Marcellus preach.

Maxentdus, coming to hear these things, ordered that Church to be turned into the stable for the beasts, and Marcellus to be made its keeper. Sickened by the foul atmosphere, and worn out by his many cares, he slept in the Lord. The blessed Lucina had his body buried in the Priscilla cemetery, on the Salarian Way, the seventeenth of the Calends of February (January 16.) He sat five years, one month, and twenty-five days. He wrote a letter to the Bishops of the Antioch province, concerning the Primacy of the Church of Rome, which he proves ought to be called “the Head of the Churches.” In the same letter there occurs this passage, that no Council may be rightly celebrated, without the authority of the Roman Pontiff. He ordained at Rome, in the month of December, twenty-five Priests, two Deacons, and twenty-one Bishops for various places.


What must have been thy thoughts, O glorious Marcellus, when imprisoned in a stable, with poor dumb brutes for thy companions! Thou didst think upon Jesus, thy Divine Master, how he was born in a stable, and laid in a manger between two senseless animals. Thou didst appreciate the humiliations of Bethlehem, and joyfully acknowledge that the Disciple is not above his, Master. But, from that stable wherein the tyranny of an Emperor had thrust it, the majesty of the Apostolic See was soon to be set free, and its glory made manifest to the whole earth. Christian Rome, insulted in thy person, was soon to receive an additional consecration by thy martyrdom, and God was on the point of making over to thy successors the palaces of that proud City, which then knew not the glorious destiny that awaited her. O Marcellus! thou didst triumph, like the Babe of Bethlehem, by thy humiliations. Like Him, too, thou hadst thy cross, and gavest thy life for thy sheep. Forget not the Church of thy unceasing love: bless that Rome, which venerates so profoundly the spot, where thou didst suffer and die. Bless all the Faithful children of Christ, who keep thy Feast during this holy Season, praying thee to obtain for them the grace of profiting by the mystery of Bethlehem. Pray for them, that they may imitate Jesus, conquer pride, love the Cross, and be faithful in all their trials.

          St. Marcellus I, Pope and Martyr

            Semi-double      Red vestments

                     Missa ‘Si Diligis Me’


              INTROIT – John 21: 15-17

Si diligis me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas. Ps.  Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam suscepísti me, nec delectásti inimícos meos super me. Gloria Patri.

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


Mercifully hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people; that we who rejoice in the martyrdom of blessed Marcellus, Thy Martyr and Bishop, may be helped by his merits. Through our Lord.

        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.

      GRADUAL – Psalm 106: 30-31

Let them exalt him in the church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him: and his wonderful works to the children of men.

       ALLELUIA – Matthew 16: 18

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


     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.


In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, O 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.


It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:


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.


Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through our Lord.




                           ST. PAUL

                     FIRST HERMIT

                 The Liturgical Year

             Abbot Dom Guéranger

Today, the Church honors the memory of one of those men, who were expressly chosen by God to represent the sublime detachment from all things, which was taught to the world by the example of the Son of God, born in a Cave, at Bethlehem. Paul the Hermit so prized the poverty of his Divine Master, that he fled to the desert, where he could find nothing to possess and nothing to covet. He had a mere cavern for his dwelling; a palm-tree provided him with food and clothing; a fountain gave him wherewith to quench his thirst; and heaven sent him his only luxury, a loaf of bread brought to him daily by a crow. For sixty years did Paul thus serve, in poverty, and in solitude, that God, who was denied a dwelling on the earth he came to redeem, and could have but a poor Stable wherein to be born. But God dwelt with Paul in his cavern ; and in him began the Anchorites, that sublime race of men, who, the better to enjoy the company of their God, denied themselves, not only the society, but the very light, of men. They were the Angels of earth, in whom God showed forth, for the instruction of the rest of men, that he is powerful enough, and rich enough, to supply the wants of his creatures, who, indeed, have nothing but what they have from Him. The Hermit, or Anchoret, is a prodigy in the Church, and it behoves us to glorify the God who has produced it. We ought to be filled with astonishment and gratitude, at seeing how the Mystery of a God made Flesh has so elevated our human nature, as to inspire a contempt and abandonment of those earthly goods, which heretofore had been so eagerly sought after.

The two names, Paul and Antony, are not to be separated; they are the two Apostles of the Desert; both are Fathers—Paul of Anchorites, and Antony of Cenobites; the two families are sisters, and both have the same source, the Mystery of Bethlehem. The sacred Cycle of the Church’s year unites, with only a day between their two Feasts, these two faithful disciples of Jesus in his Crib.

The Church reads in her Office, the following abridgment of St. Paul’s wonderful Life.

Paul, the institutor and master of Hermits, was born in Lower Thebais. He lost his parents when he was fifteen years of age. Not long after that, in order to escape the persecution of Decius and Valerian, and to serve God the more freely, he withdrew into the desert, where he made a cave his dwelling. A palm tree afforded him food and raiment, and there he lived to the age of a hundred and thirteen. About that time, he received a visit from Antony, who was ninety-years old. God bade him visit Paul. The two Saints, though they had not previously known each other, saluted each other by their names. Whilst holding a long conversation on the kingdom of God, a crow, which every day brought half a loaf of bread, carried them a whole one. When the crow had left them, Paul said: See! our truly good and truly merciful Lord has sent us our repast. For sixty years, I have daily received a half loaf; now, because thou art come to see me, Christ has doubled the portion for his soldiers. Wherefore, they sat near the fountain, and, giving thanks, they eat the bread; and when they were refreshed, they again returned the accustomed thanks to God, and spent the night in the divine praises. At daybreak, Paul tells Antony of his approaching death, and begs him, go and bring the cloak, which Athanasius had given him, and wrap his corpse in it. As Antony was returning from his cell, he saw Paul’s soul going up into heaven, amidst choirs of Angels, and a throng of Prophets and Apostles.

When he had reached the hermit’s cell, he found the lifeless body: the knees were bent, the head erect, and the hands stretched out and raised towards heaven. He wrapped it in the cloak, and sang hymns and psalms over it, according to the custom prescribed by Christian tradition. Not having a hoe wherewith to make a grave, two lions came at a rapid pace from the interior of the desert, and stood over the body of the venerable Saint, showing how, in their own way, they lamented his death. They began to tear up the earth with their feet, and seemed to strive to outdo each other in the work, until they had made a hole large enough to receive the body of a man. When they had gone, Antony carried the holy corpse to the place, and covering it with the soil, he arranged the grave after the manner of the Christians. As to the tunic, which Paul had woven for himself out of palm-leaves, as baskets are usually made, Antony took it away with him, and, as long as he lived, wore it on the great days of Easter and Pentecost.

Father and Prince of Hermits! thou art now contemplating in all his glory that God, whose weakness and lowliness thou didst study and imitate during the sixty years of thy desert-life: thou art now with him in the eternal union of the Vision. Instead of thy cavern, where thou didst spend thy life of unknown penance, thou hast the immensity of the heavens for thy dwelling; instead of thy tunic of palm-leaves, thou hast the robe of Light; instead of the pittance of material bread, thou hast the Bread of eternal life; instead of thy humble fountain, thou hast the waters which spring up to eternity, filling thy soul with infinite delights. Thou didst imitate the silence of the Babe of Bethlehem by thy holy life of seclusion; now, thy tongue is for ever singing the praises of this God, and the music of infinite bliss is for ever falling on thine ear. Thou didst not know this world of ours, save by its deserts; but now, thou must compassionate and pray for us who live in it; speak for us to our dear Jesus; remind him how he visited it in wonderful mercy and love; pray his sweet blessing upon us, and the graces of perfect detachment from transitory things, love of poverty, love of prayer, and love of our heavenly country.

                      St. Maurus, Abbot

St. Maurus, O.S.B. (or Maur), was the first disciple of St. Benedict of Nursia (512-584). He is mentioned in St. Gregory the Great’s biography of the latter as the first oblate; offered to the monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy to be brought up in the monastic life. Four stories involving Maurus recounted by Gregory formed a pattern for the ideal formation of a Benedictine monk. The most famous of these involved St. Maurus’s rescue of Saint Placidus, a younger boy offered to St. Benedict at the same time as St. Maurus. The incident has been reproduced in many medieval and Renaissance paintings.


     Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.


           Semi-double        Green vestments

Commemoration of St. Paul, First Hermit and 

St. Maurus, Abbot (Disciple of St. Benedict)

           INTROIT – Psalm 65: 4

Omnis terra adóret te, Deus, et psallat tibi: psalmum dicat nómini tuo, Altíssime, Ps. 65. 1-2. Jubiláte Deo, omnis terra, psalmum dícite nómini ejus: date glóriam laudi ejus. V. Glória Patri.

Let all the earth adore Thee O God, and sing to Thee: let it sing a psalm to Thy name, O Most High. Ps. Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name: give glory to His praise V. Glory be to the Father.


Almighty and everlasting God who dost govern all things in heaven and earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace all the days of our life. Through our Lord.

January 15 St Paul - First Hermit

Com. St. Paul, First Hermit

O God, who dost gladden us by the annual feast of blessed Paul, Thy Confessor: mercifully grant, that we may follow the example of his life, whose heavenly birthday we celebrate. Through our Lord.

Commemoration for St. Maurus, Abbot

May the intercession of blessed Maurus, the Abbot, commend us unto Thee, we beseech Thee, O Lord: so that what we may not have by any merits of ours, we may obtain by his patronage. Through our Lord.

     EPISTLE – Romans 12: 6-16

Brethren: Having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith; or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; he that exhorteth, in exhorting; he that giveth, with simplicity; he that ruleth, with carefulness; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of brotherhood, with honour preventing one another: in carefulness not slothful: in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer: communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind one towards another; not minding high things, but consenting to the humble.

     GRADUAL – Psalm 106: 20-21

The Lord sent His word, and healed them: and delivered them from their destruction. V. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to Him: and His wonderful works to the children of men.

      ALLELUIA – Psalm 148: 2

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Praise ye the Lord, all His Angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Alleluia.

marriage at cana

        GOSPEL – John 2: 1-11

At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus said to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine: and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.


              Homily by St Augustine

                 (9th Tract on John.)

Even setting aside any mystical interpretation, the fact that the Lord was pleased to be asked, and to go to a marriage, showeth plainly enough that He is the Author and Blesser of marriage. There were yet to be those of whom the Apostle hath warned us as forbidding to marry; who say that marriage is a bad thing in itself, and a work of the devil. Yet we read in the Gospel that when the Lord was asked, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? He answered that it was not lawful, except it were for fornication. In which answer ye will remember that He used these words: What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They who are well instructed in the Catholic religion know that God is the Author and Blesser of marriage; and that, whereas joining together in marriage is of God, divorce is of the devil. But it is lawful for a man to put away his wife in case of fornication, For by not keeping a wife’s faith to her husband she herself hath first willed not to be wife. They also who have made a vow of their virginity to God and have thereby attained to an higher degree of honour and holiness in the Church, are not unmarried, for they are a special part of the marriage of the whole Church, which is the Bride of Christ.

Lord, being asked, went to the marriage, to strengthen the marriage tie, and to shed light on the hidden meaning of matrimony. In that marriage feast the Bridegroom to whom it was said, “Thou hast kept the good wine until now,” was a figure of the Lord Christ, Who hath kept until now the good wine, namely the Gospel.

OFFERTORY – Psalm 65: 1-2, 16

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


Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts which we offer, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through our Lord.

             St. Paul, Hermit

In memory of Thy Saints, O Lord, we offer Thee the sacrifice of praise, by which we trust to be freed from both present and future evils. Through our Lord.

St. Benedict orders St. Maurus to the rescue of St. Placid

                 St. Maurus, Abbot

May the holy Abbot Maurus, we beseech Thee, O Lord, obtain for us by his prayers, that the Sacrifice laid on Thy holy altar may profit us unto salvation. Through our Lord.


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: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:



Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus. Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.

COMMUNION – John 2: 7, 8, 9, 10-11

The Lord saith: Fill the water­pots with water, and carry to the chief steward. When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he saith to the bridegroom: Thou hast kept the good wine until now. This first miracle did Jesus in the presence of His disciples.


May the operation of Thy power be increased within us; we beseech Thee, O Lord, that being quickened by Thy divine sacraments, we may by Thy bounty, be prepared to receive that which they promise. Through our Lord.

               St. Paul, Hermit

We who are refreshed by heavenly meat and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be defended by the prayers of him in whose memory we have received them. Through our Lord.

             St. Maurus, Abbot

May the pleading of blessed Maurus, the Abbot, for us, as well as the reception of Thy Sacrament, protect us, O Lord, that we may both share in the glory of his works, and receive the help of his intercession. Through our Lord.




                  BAPTISM OF OUR LORD

          Greater-Double    White Vestments
                    Privileged Octave Day

                       Commentary from
                      The Liturgical Year
      Very Rev. Abbot Dom Guéranger

The thoughts of the Church, today, are fixed on the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan, which is the second of the three Mysteries of the Epiphany. The Emmanuel manifested himself to the Magi, after having shown himself to the Shepherds; but this manifestation was made within the narrow space of a stable at Bethlehem, and the world knew nothing of it. In the Mystery of the Jordan, Christ manifested himself with greater publicity. His coming is proclaimed by the Precursor; the crowd, that is flocking to the river for Baptism, is witness of what happens; Jesus makes this the beginning of his public life.

INTROIT – Malachias 3: 1; Psalm 71: 2
Ecce advénit Dominátor Dóminus: et regnum in manu ejus et potéstas et impérium.
Ps. 71. 2. Deus, judícium tuum Regi da: et justítiam tuam Fílio Regis. V. Glória Patri.

Behold the Lord the Ruler is come: and the Kingdom is in His Hand, and power, and dominion. Ps. Give to the king Thy judgment, O God: and to the king’s Son Thy justice. V. Glory be to the Father.

Baptism of Christ, Bacchiacca (c. 1520) - WGA

In the Collect, the Church prays that her children may have the grace of becoming like to Jesus, who appeared in the Jordan, filled, indeed, with the Holy Ghost, and the object of the Heavenly Father’s love, but, at the same time, truly Man like us, and faithful in the fulfillment of all justice.

O God, Whose only-begotten Son appeared in the substance of our flesh, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be inwardly reformed by Him, Whom we recognize to have been outwardly like unto ourselves. Who liveth and reigneth.

EPISTLE – Isaias 60: 1-6
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon Thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about and see: all these are gathered together: they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense and showing forth praise to the Lord.

GRADUAL – Isaias 60: 6, 1
All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense and showing forth praise to the Lord. V. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

ALLELUIA – Matthew 2: 2
Alleluia, alleluia. V. We have seen His star in the East, and are come with gifts to adore the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL – John 1: 29-34
At that time John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who taketh away the sin of the world. This is He of Whom I said: After me there cometh a man, Who is preferred before me: because He was before me. And I knew Him not, but that He may be made manifest in Isræl, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down as a dove from Heaven, and He remained upon Him. He it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw: and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God.


O Lamb of God! thou didst enter into the stream to purify it, the Dove came down from heaven, for thy sweet meekness attracted the Spirit of love; and having sanctified the Waters, the mystery of thy Baptism was over. But, what tongue can express the prodigy of mercy effected by it! Men have gone down, after thee, into the stream made sacred by contact with thee; they return regenerated; they were wolves, and Baptism has transformed them into lambs. We were defiled by sin, and were unworthy to stand near thee, the spotless Lamb; but the waters of the holy Font have been poured upon us, waters of the holy Font have been poured upon us, and we are made as the sheep of the Canticle, which come up from the washing fruitful, and none is barren among them; or, as doves upon the brooks of water, white and spotless as though they had been washed with milk, sitting near the plentiful streams! Preserve us, O Jesus, in this white robe which thou hast put upon us. If, alas I we have tarnished its purity, cleanse us by that second Baptism, the Baptism of Penance. Permit us, too, dear Lord, to intercede for those countries to whom thy Gospel has not yet been preached; let this river of peace, the waters of Baptism, flow out upon them, and inundate the whole earth. We beseech thee, by the glory of thy manifestation at thy Baptism, forget the crimes of men, which have hitherto caused the Gospel to be kept from those unhappy countries. Thy heavenly Father bids every creature hear thee; speak, dear Jesus! to every creature.

OFFERTORY- Psalm 71: 10-11
The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts: and all kings of the earth shall adore Him: all nations shall serve Him.

In the Secret, the Church once more proclaims the divine Manifestation, and begs that the Lamb, who, by his Sacrifice, has enabled us to offer God an acceptable oblation, may graciously receive it at our hands.

We bring offerings into Thee, O Lord, because of the manifestation of Thy new born Son, humbly beseeching thee that as He is the author of our gifts, so too He mercifully accept them, Jesus Christ our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth.

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God. For when Thine only-begotten Son showed Himself in the substance of our mortal nature, He restored us by the new light of His own immortality. 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:

Holy Trinity

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 2: 2
We have seen His Star in the East, and are come with gifts to adore the Lord.

While giving thanks for the heavenly nourishment just received, the holy Church prays for the unceasing help of that divine Light, which has appeared to her, and which will enable her to contemplate the purity of the Lamb, and to love him as he deserves.

Guide, we beseech Thee O Lord at all times and in all places with Thy heavenly light that we may discern with a clear mind the mystery of which Thou hast willed we should partakers, and receive it with becoming devotion. Through our Lord.