St. Monica, Widow
Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332. After a girlhood of singular innocence and piety, she was given in marriage to Patricius, a pagan. She at once devoted herself to his conversion, praying for him always, and winning his reverence and love by the holiness of her life and her affectionate forbearance. She was rewarded by seeing him baptized a year before his death. When her son Augustine went astray in faith and manners her prayers and tears were incessant. She was once very urgent with a learned bishop that he would talk to her son in order to bring him to a better mind, but he declined, despairing of success with one at once so able and so headstrong. However, on witnessing her prayers and tears, he bade her be of good courage; for it might not be that the child of those tears should perish. By going to Italy, Augustine could for a time free himself from his mother’s importunities; but he could not escape from her prayers, which encompassed him like the providence of God. She followed him to Italy, and there by his marvelous conversion her sorrow was turned into joy. At Ostia, on their homeward journey, as Augustine and his mother sat at a window conversing of the life of the blessed, she turned to him and said, “Son, there is nothing now I care for in this life. What I shall now do or why I am here, I know not. The one reason I had for wishing to linger in this life a little longer was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This has God granted me superabundantly in seeing you reject earthly happiness to become His servant. What do I here?” A few days afterwards she had an attack of fever, and died in the year 387.
ST. MONICA, WIDOW
COMMEMORATION FOR ROGATION WEDNESDAY AND VIGIL OF THE ASCENSION
Double – White vestments
INTROIT – Psalm 118: 75, 120
Cognovi, Domine, quia æquitas judicia tua, et in veritate tua humiliasti me: confige timore tuo carnes meas, a mandatis tuis timui. Ps 118. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini. Gloria Patri.
I know, O Lord that Thy judgments are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me: pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear, I am afraid of Thy judgments.
Ps. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be to the Father.
O God, the consoler of them that mourn and the health of them that hope in Thee, Who didst show Thine acceptance of blessed Monica’s pious tears in the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, by the intercession of them both, to deplore our sins and find the mercy of Thy grace. Through our Lord.
Collect for Rogation Wednesday
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who in our affliction put our trust in Thy mercy, may ever be defended by Thy protection against all adversity. Through our Lord.
Vigil of the Ascension
O God, from Whom all good things do come, grant unto us, Thy suppliant people, that by Thine inspiration, we may think what is right, and under Thy guidance perform the same. Through our Lord
EPISTLE – I Timothy 5: 3-10
Lesson from First Epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy
Dearly beloved: Honor widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God. But she that is a widow indeed and desolate, let her trust in God, and continue in prayers and supplications night and day. For she that liveth in pleasures, is dead while she is living. And this give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband, having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbor, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have diligently followed every good work.
PASCHAL ALLELUIA – Psalm 44: 5
Alleluia, alleluia. With thy comeliness, and thy beauty, set out, proceed prosperously, and reign.
Alleluia. Because of truth, and meekness, and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Alleluia.
GOSPEL – Luke 7: 11-16
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to Saint Luke
At that time, Jesus went into a city called Naim: and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and many people of the city were with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said to her: Weep not. And He came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, Arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying: A great Prophet is risen up amongst us, and God has visited His people.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 44: 3
Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever and for ages of ages.
May the offerings of thy holy people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honour of Thy saints, through whose merits they know that they have received aid in time of trouble. Through our Lord.
May these oblations, O Lord, we beseech Thee, loosen the bonds of our wickedness, and obtain for us the gifts of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
Vigil of the Ascension
Accept, O Lord, the prayers and gifts of Thy faithful people, that, through these rites of love and devotion we may pass to the glory of heaven. Through our Lord.
PREFACE OF EASTER
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
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.
COMMUNION – Psalm 44: 8
Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Alleluia.
Having fed Thy family, O Lord, with holy gifts, we beseech Thee, ever to comfort us by the intercession of her whose festival we celebrate. Through our Lord.
Favourably receive our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee: may we in our distress be consoled by Thy gifts and grow in love accordingly. Through our Lord.
Vigil of the Ascension
Grant, O Lord, that we who have been fed with the strengthening food of Your heavenly table, may desire what is right and obtain what we desire. Through our Lord.