SAINT ANDREW CORSINI, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR
The saintly bishop, whose feast we keep today pressingly invites us, by his austere life and his burning zeal for the salvation of souls, to procure, at all costs, our own reconciliation with the divine justice. We are indebted for this feast to a member of the illustrious family of the Corsini, Pope Clement XII, who, however, was but the instrument used by divine Providence. The holy bishop of the little town of Fiesole ever sought. To be unknown during his life, and God, who willed that he should be glorified by the whole Church, inspired the sovereign Pontiff to inscribe his name among the saints of the universal calendar. Andrew the saint was once a sinner; his example will encourage us in the work of our conversion. Let us read the account of his virtues as given us by the Church.
Andrew was born at Florence, of the noble Corsini family. He was the fruit of his parents’ prayers, and was consecrated by them to the blessed Virgin. His future was thus shown by God to the mother. She dreamt that she had given birth to a wolf, which went to the church of the Carmelites, and, as it crossed the threshold, was suddenly changed into a lamb. Though his early education was calculated to form him to piety, and to everything that suited his high birth, he, by degrees, fell into a vicious manner of life, notwithstanding the frequent reproaches made him by his mother. But as soon as he was told that he had been consecrated by his parents to the Virgin Mother of God, and heard of his mother’s vision, he entered the Order of Carmelites. The devil ceased not to molest him, even then, with manifold temptations; but nothing could make him change his resolution of entering the religious life. Shortly after his profession, he was sent to Paris for a course of study; having completed it, and taken his degrees, he returned to Italy, and was made superior of his Order in the province of Tuscany, It happened about that time, that the Church of Fiesole lost its bishop, and Andrew was chosen as his successor. But looking on himself as unworthy of such a dignity, he hid himself so that no one knew where he was. But a child, who had not yet received the use of speech, miraculously revealed the place, outside the town, where he was: upon which the saint, fearing that further refusal would be a resistance to the divine will, was consecrated bishop. Thus exalted to so great a dignity, he applied himself more than ever to the practice of humility, which had always been his favorite virtue. To the zeal of a good pastor, he united tender compassion for the poor, abundant almsgiving, a life of prayer, long watchings, and other virtues; all which, together with the gift of prophecy he had received, gained for him a great reputation for sanctity. Pope Urban V., hearing of his great merits, sent him as his legate to Bologna, that he might quell a sedition that had arisen in that city. The fulfillment of this charge cost him much suffering; but such was his prudence, that he succeeded in restoring peace among the citizens, and so preventing further bloodshed; he then returned to Fiesole. Not long after this, being worn out by ceaseless labors and bodily mortifications, and having been told by the blessed Virgin of the precise day of his death, he passed from this life to the kingdom of heaven, in the year of our Lord thirteen hundred and seventy three, and in the seventy-first year of his age. Great was the reputation of his name on account of the many and wonderful miracles wrought through his intercession, and at length he was canonized by Urban VIII. His body reposes in the church of his Order at Florence, where it is held in great veneration, the citizens having often experienced his protection in times of public calamity.
Hear, O holy pontiff, our prayer: we are sinners, and would learn from thee how we are to return to the God we have offended. His mercy was poured out upon thee; obtain the same for us. Have pity on Christians throughout the world, for the grace of repentance is now being offered to all; pray for us, that we may be filled with the spirit of compunction. We have sinned; we sue for pardon; intercession like thine can win it for us. From wolves, changed us into lambs. Strengthen us against our enemies; obtain for us an increase of the virtue of humility, which thou hadst in such perfection; and intercede for us with our Lord, that He crown our efforts with perseverance, as He did thine; that thus we may be enabled to unite with thee in singing, for ever, the praises of our Redeemer.
From The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Gueranger O.S.B. Vol. IV- Septuagesima
St Andrew Corsini, Bishop and Confessor
Missa ‘Statuit Ei Dominus’
Double / White vestments
INTROIT – Ecclesiasticus 45: 30; Ps. 131: 1
Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in æternum. Ps. Memento Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinus ejus. Gloria Patri.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. Ps. O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. Glory be to the Father.
O God, who in thy Church dost ever shew forth fresh examples of holiness: grant, we pray thee, that thy people may so follow in the footsteps of thy blessed Confessor and Bishop Andrew; that they may likewise attain unto his recompense. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord
EPISTLE – Ecclesiasticus 44: 16-27; 45: 3-20
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood: and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praised in His name, and to offer him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
GRADUAL – Ecclesiasticus 44: 16, 20
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.
TRACT – Psalm 111: 1-3
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed. Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.
GOSPEL – Matthew 25: 14-23
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St Matthew
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents went his way, and traded with the same, and gained another five. And in like manner he that had received the two gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou has been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliverest two talents to me, behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 88: 21-22
I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him.
May Thy Saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in all places bring us joy; that while we recall their merits, we may experience their patronage. Through our Lord.
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, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.
COMMUNION – Luke 12: 42
This is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God that, we who give thanks for the gifts we have received, may through the intercession of blessed Andrew, Thy Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. Through our Lord.