ST. JOHN OF MATHA
Confessor and Founder of the Trinitarians
The life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self-sacriﬁce for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor; and he often told them he had come into the world for no other end but to wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order that his talents might render greater service to others; and, for this end, John gladly sacriﬁced his high rank and other worldly advantages. At his ﬁrst Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascertain what this signiﬁed, John repaired to St. Felix of Valois, a holy hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a life of extreme penance. The angel again appeared, and they then set out for Rome, to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of captives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Christian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and prisoners in all countries. The charity of St. John in devoting his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked him at sea, overpowered his vessel, and doomed it to destruction, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying, “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud.” Suddenly the wind ﬁlled the small sail, and, without guidance, carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis. Worn out by his heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of ﬁfty-three.
St. John of Matha
Double White vestments
Missa ‘Os justi’
INTROIT – Psalm 36: 30-31
Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium: lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. Alleluia. Ps. 36: 30-31. Noli æmulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem. Gloria Patri.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment: the law of his God is in his heart. Ps. Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be to the Father.
O God, Who sendest us joy year by year on the feast of blessed John, Thy Confessor, which we are now keeping: mercifully grant on this day of his heavenly birth that we may grow like him in deed. Through our Lord.
EPISTLE – Ecclesiasticus 31: 8-11
Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? for he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting: he that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them: therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the Church of the Saints shall declare his alms.
GRADUAL – Psalm 91: 13, 14, 3
The Just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus in the house of the Lord. To show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and Thy truth in the night.
GOSPEL – Luke 12.: 35-40
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands, and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: amen I say to you that he will girt himself and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch. and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready, for at what hour you think not the Son of man will come.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted.
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.
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:
COMMUNION – Matthew 24: 46-47
Blessed is that servant, whom when his Lord shall come he shall find watching: amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.
Refreshed by meat and drink from heaven, O God, we humbly entreat Thee, that we may be protected by the prayers of him in whose memory we have partaken. Through our Lord.