ST. JOHN BEFORE THE LATIN GATE
In the year 95, St. John, who was the only surviving apostle, and governed all the churches of Asia, was apprehended at Ephesus, and sent prisoner to Rome. The Emperor Domitian did not relent at the sight of the venerable old man, but condemned him to be cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. The martyr doubtless heard, with great joy, this barbarous sentence; the most cruel torments seemed to him light and most agreeable, because they would, he hoped, unite him forever to his divine Master and Saviour. But God accepted his will and crowned his desire; He conferred on him the honor and merit of martyrdom, but suspended the operation of the ﬁre, as He had formerly preserved the three children from hurt in the Babylonian furnace. The seething oil was changed in his regard into an invigorating bath, and the Saint came out more refreshed than when he had entered the caldron. Domitian saw this miracle without drawing from it the least advantage, but remained hardened in his iniquity. However, he contented himself after this with banishing the holy apostle into the little island of Patmos. St. John returned to Ephesus, in the reign of Nerva, who by mildness, during his short reign of one year and four months, labored to restore the faded lustre of the Roman Empire. This glorious triumph of St. John happened without the gate of Rome called Latina. A church which since has always borne this title was consecrated in the same place in memory of this miracle, under the ﬁrst Christian emperors.
St. John suffered above the other Saints a martyrdom of love, being a martyr, and more than a martyr, at the foot of the cross of his divine Master. All his sufferings were by love and compassion imprinted in his soul, and thus shared by him. O singular happiness, to have stood under the cross of Christ! O extraordinary privilege, to have suffered martyrdom in the person of Jesus, and been eye-witness of all He did or endured! If nature revolt within us against suffering, let us call to mind those words of the divine Master: “Thou knowest not now wherefore; but thou shalt know hereafter.”
– The Lives of the Saints by Rev. Alban Butler, 1866
St. John before the Latin Gate
Friday in the Octave of the Ascension
Greater double – Red vestments
Missa ‘Protexisti me”
INTROITUS – Psalm 63:3
Protexísti me, Deus, a convéntu malignántium, allelúja: a multitúdine operántium iniquitátem, allelúja, allelúja. Ps 63:2
Exáudi, Deus, oratiónem meam, cum déprecor: a timóre inimíci éripe ánimam meam. Glória Patri.
Thou hast protected me from the assembly of the malignant; from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. Ps 63:2 Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy. Glory be to the Father.
O God, Which seest that sins and sufferings do on every side rise up to trouble us, grant, we beseech thee, that we may find a shield in time of need through the glorious intercession of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist John. Through our Lord.
OCTAVE OF THE ASCENSION
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may ourselves dwell in spirit amid heavenly things. Through the same Lord.
EPISTLE – Wisdom 5: 1-5
Lesson from the book of Wisdom
Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labours. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation. Saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they, whom we had some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.
ALLELUIA – Psalm 91:13
Alleluia, alleluia The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia. Hos 14:6. The just shall spring as the lily, and flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL – Matthew 20: 20-23
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew
In that time: came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of him. Who said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. And Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to him: We can. He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father.
The heavens shall confess thy wonders, O Lord: and thy truth in the church of the saints, alleluia, alleluia.
Accept O lord, we pray, our gifts and prayers: purify us through these heavenly mysteries, and graciously hear us. Through our Lord.
OCTAVE OF THE ASCENSION
Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer Thee in memory of the glorious Ascension of Thy Son; and graciously grant that being delivered from present dangers, we may attain unto eternal life. Through the same our Lord.
PREFACE OF THE APOSTLES
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 cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
COMMUNION – Psalm 63:11
The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised, alleluia, alleluia.
Fed with bread from heaven, we ask O Lord, that it may be our nourishment unto life eternal. Through our Lord.
OCTAVE OF THE ASCENSION
Grant us, we beseech Thee, almighty and merciful God, that what we have received in visible mysteries may profit us by its invisible effect. Through our Lord.