MONTH OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Chalice of Blessed Pope Pius IX, given to him by the Passionists

       THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS

       The Liturgical Year – Ven Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger

Blessed Pope Pius IX had been driven out from Rome in November 1848 by the triumphant revolution; but the following year, just about this season, his power was re-established. Under the aegis of the apostles on June 28 and the two following days, the eldest daughter of the Church a former nickname for France, faithful to her past glories, swept the ramparts of the eternal city; and on July 2, Mary’s festival [the feast of the Visitation on the traditional calendar], the victory was completed. Not long after this, a twofold decree notified to the city and the world the Pontiff’s gratitude and the way in which he intended to perpetuate, in the sacred liturgy, the memory of these events.”

“On August 10, from Gaeta itself a town between Rome and Naples, the place of his exile in the evil day, Blessed Pope Pius IX, before returning to re-assume the governments of his States, addressing himself to the invisible head of the Church, confided her in a special manner to His divine care, by the institution of this day’s festival; reminding Him that it was for His Church that He had vouchsafed to shed all His precious Blood. Then, when the Pontiff re-entered his capital on 12 April 1850, when he was finally assured that the French would not interfere in his affairs, turning to Mary, just as Pope St. Pius V and Pope Pius VIII had done under other circumstances, the Vicar of Christ solemnly attributed the honor of the recent victory to her who is ever the help of Christians; for on the feast of her Visitation it had been gained; and he now decreed that this said feast of July 2 should be raised from the rite of double major to that of second class through the whole world This was a prelude to the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which the immortal Pontiff had already projected, whereby the crushing of the serpent’s head would be completed.”

Precious Blood of Jesus, save us!

Sanguis Christi, inebria me!

MONTH OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Prayer in Honor of the Precious Blood

O Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite Price of our redemption and both the drink and laver of our souls, You continually plead the cause of all people before the throne of Infinite Mercy. From the depths of my heart I adore You.  Jesus, insofar as I am able I want to make reparation for the insults and outrages which You receive from human beings, especially from those who blaspheme You and deny Your presence.

Who would not venerate the Blood of infinite value? Who does not feel inflamed with love for the Jesus Who shed It?  What would have become of me had I not been redeemed by this Divine Blood ?  Who has drained It all from the veins of my Savior?  Surely this was the work of Love! O Infinite Love, which has given us this saving Balm!  O Balm beyond all price, welling up from the foundation of Infinite Love!  Grant that every heart and every tongue may render You praise and thanks, now and forever!  Amen.

  Litany of the Most Precious Blood

     of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

 

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, Save us.

Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word or God, Save us.

Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, Save us.

Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, Save us.

Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, Save us.

Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, Save us.

Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, Save us.

Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, Save us.

Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, Save us.

Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, Save us.

Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, Save us.

Blood of Christ, victor over demons, Save us.

Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, Save us.

Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, Save us.

Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, Save us.

Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, Save us.

Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, Save us.

Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, Save us.

Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, Save us.

Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, Save us.

Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, Save us.

Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, Save us.

Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, Save us.

Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, Save us.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.

And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray

Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

WEDNESDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK: O, Merciful God! Have Mercy On Me The Fallen One!

Adam and Eve - Domenichino (1623-25) Oil on canvas Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble

Adam blaming Eve – Adam and Eve – Domenichino (1623-25)

WEDNESDAY OF SEPTUAGESIMA WEEK

O, Merciful God! Have Mercy On Me The Fallen One!

The guilty pair appear before the great God, whom they have offended; and instead of acknowledging their guilt, they seek to palliate and excuse it. But divine justice pronounces their condemnation, and the sentence will be felt by their posterity, even to the last generation.

The two beings, that had committed the heinous crime, had been enriched with every gift of nature and grace. It was not with them, as it is with us. Concupiscence which gives us an inclination for what is wrong; ignorance and forgetfulness which cloud the intellect of fallen man, these miseries had nothing whatever to do with the fall of our first parents. They sinned through sheer ingratitude. They began by weighing the proposal of revolt, when they ought to have spurned it with indignation and conquered by flight. Then, by degrees, the proposed crime seemed no great harm, because, though God would lose their obedience, they would gain by the disobedience! And at length, the love of God was made to give place to the love of self, and they declared their independence! Yet God had mercy on them, because of their posterity. The angels were all created at one and the same instant, and each of them was subjected to the trial, which was to decide his eternal future. Each angel depended on his own act, on his own choice between fidelity to his Creator and rebellion against Him; so that they who rebelled drew on themselves the eternity of God’s chastisement. The human race, on the contrary, existed not save as represented in its two first parents, and was plunged by and with them into the abyss of God’s reprobation: therefore, God, who spared not the angels, mercifully spared the human race.

I will put enmities between thee and the woman; she shall crush thy head.

I will put enmities between thee and the Woman; She shall crush thy head.

But let us listen to the three sentences pronounced by God after the fall of man. The first is against the serpent, and is the severest. The curse, which is already upon him, is deepened, and the pardon, which is about to be promised to the human race, is to be given in the form of an anathema against that wicked spirit, that has dared to war with God in the work of His hands. I will put enmities between thee and the woman; she shall crush thy head.’  Thus does God avenge Himself on His enemy. The victory won over the woman is made to turn against the proud conqueror, and become his humiliation and his defeat. In his fiendish craft, he had directed his first attack, not against the man, but against the woman. She, by nature, was weaker and more credulous; and if he conquered her, he hoped-too well, alas! that Adam would be led to turn against his Creator, in order not to displease the creature. All happened as he willed it: but now, see how God uses the woman to foil and punish him. He enkindles in her heart an implacable hatred against His and our enemy. This cruel serpent may raise his proud head, and, here and there, find men that will adore him: the day will come, when a woman’s foot shall crush this head, which refused to bend before God. This daughter of Eve, whom all generations are to call blessed, shall be prefigured by other women: by Debbora, Judith, Esther, and others, all celebrated for their victories over the serpent. She shall be followed, until the end of time, by an uninterrupted succession of Christian virgins and matrons, who, with all their weakness, shall be powerful in co-operating with God’s designs, and, as the apostle says, ‘the unbelieving husband shall be sanctified by the believing wife.’ Thus will God punish the serpent’s pride. Before pronouncing upon our first parents the sentence they have deserved, He promises to bless their posterity, and pours into their own hearts a ray of hope.

IN DOMINICA TYROPHAGI

Adam - O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one!

Then did Adam look back, on the Eden of delights, and sitting wept; he hid his face in his hands, and said: O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one! He saw the angel that drove him from the garden of God; and as he beheld him shutting its gates against him, he heaved a deep sigh, and said: O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one! Weep, Eden, over thy master thus made poor! Let the rustling of thy leaves become a prayer, asking our Creator that he close thee not. O merciful God! Have mercy on me the fallen one!

The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Gueranger O.S.B. Vol. IV- Septuagesima

SAINT PIUS V, CONFESSOR AND POPE

all evils are due to lukewarm catholics

Eulogy of this Saintly Pope of modern times, from the Divine Office.

Pius was born at Bosco, a town in Lombardy, though his parents were the Ghisleri, a noble family at Bologna. He entered the Order of the Friars Preachers, when he was fourteen years of age. He was remarkable for his patience, deep humility, great mortifications, love of prayer and religious discipline, and most ardent zeal for God’s honour. He applied himself to the study of Philosophy and Theology, and with so much success, that, for many years, he taught them in a manner that gained him universal praise. He preached the word of God in many places, and produced much fruit. For a long period, he held with dauntless courage the office of Inquisitor; and, at the risk of his life, pre served many cities from the then prevalent heresy. Paul the Fourth, who esteemed and loved him on account of his great virtues, made him bishop of Nepi and Sutri, and, two years later, numbered him among the Cardinal Priests of the Roman Church. Having been translated by Pius the Fourth to the Church of Mendovi, in Piedmont, and finding that many abuses had crept in, he made a visitation of the whole diocese. Having put all things in order, he re turned to Rome, where he was entrusted with matters of the gravest importance; all of which he transacted with an apostolic impartiality and firmness. At the death of Pius the Fourth, he was, contrary to everyone’s expectation, chosen Pope. With the exception of his outward garb, he changed nothing of his manner of life. The following are the virtues in which he excelled: unremitting zeal for the propagation of the Faith, untiring efforts for the restoration of Ecclesiastical discipline, assiduous vigilance in extirpating error, unfailing charity in relieving the necessities of the poor, and invincible courage in vindicating the rights of the Apostolic See. A powerful fleet having been equipped, at Lepanto, against Selimus, the emperor of the Turks, who was flushed with the many victories he had gained, — the Pontiff won the battle, not so much by arms as by prayers. He, by a divine revelation, knew of the victory the moment it was won, and announced it to his household. Whilst engaged in preparing a new expedition against the Turks, he fell dangerously ill. He suffered the most excruciating pains with exceeding great patience. When his last hour approached, he received the Sacraments, according to the Christian practice, and most calmly breathed forth his soul into God’s hands in the year 1572, and in the sixty- eighth year of his age, after a pontificate of six years, three months, and twenty -four days. His body is honored by the devout veneration of the Faithful; it lies in the Church of Saint Mary Major. Through his intercession, many miracles have been wrought by God; which being authentically proved, he was canonized by Pope Clement the Eleventh.

Pius V depicted in an early printed missal

Pontiff of the living God! Thou wast, whilst on earth, the pillar of iron and wall of brass, spoken of by the Prophet. Thine unflinching firmness preserved the flock entrusted to thee from the violence and snares of its many enemies. Far from desponding at the sight of the dangers, thy courage redoubled, just as men raise the embankments higher, when they see the torrent swell. By thee was the spread of Heresy checked; by thee was the Mussulman invasion repelled, and the haughty Crescent humbled. God honored thee, by choosing thee as the avenger of his glory, and the deliverer of the Christian people: receive our thanks, and the homage of our humble praise! By thee were repaired the injuries done to the Church during a period of unusual trial. The true reform, — the reform that is wrought by authority, was vigorously applied by thy strong and holy hand. To thee is due the restoration of the Divine Service, by the publication of the Books of holy Liturgy. And all these glorious deeds were done in the six short years of thy laborious Pontificate! Hear, now, the prayers addressed to thee by the Church Militant, whose destinies were once in thy hands. When dying, thou didst beseech our Risen Jesus to grant her protection against the dangers which were then threatening her: oh!

See the state to which licentious error has now reduced almost the whole Christian world! The Church has nothing left to her, wherewith to make head against her countless enemies, save the promises of her Divine Founder; all visible support is withdrawn from her; she has been deprived of everything except the merit of suffering and the power of prayer. Unite, O holy Pontiff, thy prayers to hers, and show how unchanged is thy love of the Flock of Christ. Protect, in Rome, the Chair of thy Successor, attacked as it now is by open violence and astute hypocrisy. Princes and Peoples seem to have conspired against God and his Christ: — disconcert the schemes of sacrilegious ambition, and the plots of impiety which would fain give the lie to the word of God. Avert, by thine intercession, the scourges which are threatening Europe that has become ungrateful to the Church, and indifferent to the attempts made against her to whom they owe all they have. Pray that the blind may see, and the wicked be confounded. Pray that the True Faith may enlighten those numberless souls that call error truth, and darkness light.

francis pius v on homosexuality

In the midst of this dark and menacing night, thine eyes, O holy Pontiff, discern them that are the faithful sheep of Christ: bless them, aid them, and increase their number. Ingraft them to the venerable Tree which dieth not, that so they may not be drifted by the storm. Get them docility to the Faith and traditions of holy Church; it is their only stay amidst the tide of error, which is now threatening to deluge the whole world. Preserve to the Church the holy Order, in which thou wast trained for the high mission destined for thee; keep up within her that race of men, powerful in work and word, zealous for the Faith and sanctification of souls, of which we read in her Annals, and which has yielded Saints such as thyself. And lastly, O Pius, remember that thou wast once the Father of the Faithful: oh! Continue to be so, by thy powerful intercession, till the number of the elect be filled up!

Ven. Dom Gueranger – The Liturgical Year

holy mass altar of my youth

FEAST OF SAINT PIUS THE FIFTH, POPE  

Tuesday Fourth Week After Easter

Double/White  – Missa ‘Si díligis me’

INTROIT – John 21:15-17

Si díligis me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas.

Ps.Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam suscepísti me, nec delectásti inimícos meos super me. Gloria Patri.

Si díligis me, Simon Petre…

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.

If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter…

COLLECT 

God, Who didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Pius Thy chief bishop for the crushing of the enemies of Thy Church and the restoration of divine worship, make us to be defended by his watchful care and so to adhere to Thy service that, all the contrivances of our enemies being overcome, we may rejoice in everlasting peace. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE 

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.

GOSPEL 

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 BarJona, 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.

Month of the Most Blessed Sacrament – Devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

HEART OF JESUS IN THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT BE PRAISED

April – Month of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Devotion To the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

Who comes to me in the Holy Communion?

Jesus Christ, our Father, our Redeemer, our Spouse, who has opened a place of refuge for us in His Heart. Listen to His pressing invitation:

Come to me, all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Jesus Christ, the God who made the Heavens and the Earth with their contents, who stands not in need of our goods, who is jealous of your heart, and who considers not so much what you give him, as the heart with which you give it. Jesus Christ, this Divine Spouse, captivated with the beauty of your soul, and who, in order, to obtain it from His Heavenly Father, served on this cold earth, not fourteen years like Jacob, but three-and-thirty years—years considered only as so many moments by this ardent Lover of your soul.

To whom does He come?

To an ungrateful child; to a heartless, loveless heart! To a heart of ice, of stone, insensible to so many stupendous miracles of love Divine wrought in her behalf! To a nonentity, a mere nothing, having neither life nor aught else in itself, destitute of any one thing worthy the acceptance of a God, save the heart alone, which that munificent Creator condescended to bestow on her, that, offering it again to Him, she might be happy in and b Him eternally! Yes. He comes to your soul, that ‘spouse which He has sought for with such unparalleled labor, perseverance, and love, and whom He would not abandon, even though that soul might be inclined to abandon Him (Is., lxii. 12).

Why does He come to me?

He comes to melt your heart of ice, and to make of it a fountain of compunction and of living waters unto Life Eternal; He comes to take away your heart of stone, and to make it a furnace of Divine flames. He comes to enkindle within our heart a very ardent and a most tender awe; and, however insensible it may be now, to raise it in a very short time, and in the most simple and easy manner possible, to a very sublime degree of perfection! He comes to say to you: O my spouse! beloved of my soul would you know how to triumph over Me as the saints have done? By My Heart you can do so; one loving look, a single hair, a sigh, an aspiration wafted towards Me from a pure and single heart, shall win for you the empire of my affections (Cant, iv. 9). He comes to espouse you in mercy and compassion, to contract on union with your soul, not only eternal, but supremely perfect and elevated above all earthly unions (Osee, ii. 19, 20).

Behold Jesus Christ with the eye of Faith present in your soul, and presenting you with His own Sacred Heart, saying: “Zeal for your soul hath consumed and devoured Me”. I have loved the beauty of this interior habitation which My hands have built up within thy soul;I have oft, been seeking to dwell therein, and again do I stand at the door and knock with irrepressible, ceaseless desire. I am the God of thy heart, a jealous God! jealous of thy heart. I am a consuming fire, ever burning for thee, and requiring in return that thou dost burn as a perpetual holocaust for me! (Deut., xiv. 24). This have I commanded thee by my Prophet under the “Law of Fear”, and under the “Law of Love”; by one of My servants, thus: Behold this Heart which so loveth man that it has exhausted and consumed itself in order to prove its love; and in return what do I receive from the greater number but ingratitude, Contempt, irreverence, sacrilege, and indifference, meet me but too often in the Sacrament of My love.

Prostrate at Thy sacred feet, my Lord and my God permit me to say, that if Thou art consumed with zeal for my poor soul, shall I not burn with zeal for Thy glory? If there be no reciprocity between us, what then can so charm me here below as to hide Thee from me! O my soul love Thy God who so loveth thee; love Him without measure, and close thy eyes to all bewitching vanities; love, love, love, and repair His outraged love.

No other business is worthy of thy attention here below!

Ask our Lord to give you penitential love and heartfelt tears, which will make you ardent in doing and suffering all things in reparation of His injured love and of your own past infidelities.

PRAYER

O my sweet Lord Jesus! in the name of that adorable Wound of Love that wrought our salvation upon the cross, and whence flowed water and blood, vouchsafe to wound the sinful soul of Thy servant N. for whom Thou didst bow Thy sacred head in death; wound it; with the fiery dart, the omnipotent dart of Thy immense charity: for the word of the Lord is efficacious and more penetrating than a two-edged sword. O chosen arrow! piercing its way through the tough and stony human heart and human spirit, come and in flame mine with the light and fire of the Holy Ghost that, wounded with Divine love I may shed tears of love both night and day during the remainder of my earthly pilgrimage. Amen.

Behold our Divine Lord coming into your soul and asking: “I give thee My heart, Do thou give me thine?” (Prov., xxiii.) –  Prostrate, receive His magnificent gift, and then offer your heart to Him, saying: “O Lord, how unequal is the exchange! Thou givest Thyself without reserve or self-interest; but when shall I give myself wholly to Thee, and not permit myself the least repine in the holocaust? Ah, now Jesus, Omnipotent Friend; now once for all, enable me to abandon myself to Thee irrevocably! Say now, my soul, with St. Bernard, in confusion and bitterness of heart: ‘Immensity’ loves us; that “Charity’ which surpasses all knowledge, loves us; ‘Eternity’ loves us; and we set limits to our love! Pray with Solomon for the gift of Divine Wisdom, that she may dwell with you, set with you, and teach you in every action of your life what is most pleasing to that God who loves you, and whom you ardently desire to love.

What a void there is in the heart when left to itself, or which rests only on creatures! All feel this, and the great struggle of our lives is to fill up the vacancy. St. Alphonsus

What a void there is in the heart when left to itself, or which rests only on creatures! All feel this, and the great struggle of our lives is to fill up the vacancy. St. Alphonsus

Prayer to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to Entreat his Love

O amiable and adorable Jesus, my Lord and my God, source of every good; thou art the Light of the world, the only and sure Way, which leadeth to thy eternal Father; thou art the Truth which enlightens our blindness, and delivers us from error, the Gate by which whoever enters shall be safe. Thou art the Fountain of life, who hast opened to the world that new Life of divine love which was erst hidden in thy eternal Father’s bosom, making thee to shine resplendent with thy goodness and mercy. Fulfill, according to thy promise, O Lord, our joy, that we all may serve to promote thy glory, and to increase thy holy love. Shed upon us that divine light which thou didst bring into the world, that so the love which thy Father bears thee, may be in us, as thy holy word bids us hope. Grant that, as he is in thee, and with thee is one God, so we may be in thee by sincere love, and may be one with thee through a perfect conformity of life and habits, that so nothing may remain in us which shall not be wholly subject to thee, and to thee be wholly dedicated; that, being dead to the world, to the flesh, to ourselves, through an entire detachment from all that is not thee, we may henceforth live for thee alone, who who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

The Eucharistic Heart in the Redemptorist Tradition

There is only a minimal difference between the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and that which the Church renders to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With loving reverence the Church celebrates this symbol of the infinite love with which Christ gave us the sacrament of the Eucharist and so remain with us till the end of time.  For this reason special worship is given to this demonstration of the love of Christ. So it was that Leo XIII established the Archconfraternity of the Eucharistic Heart in the church of San Gioacchino in Rome. Benedict XV approved devotion to the Heart of Jesus who gives us the Eucharist.

Finally Pius XII, in his encyclical ‘Haurietes aquas’ encouraged the devotion in these words:

‘It will be difficult for us to appreciate fully the love that inspired Christ to give himself to us as the food of our souls, unless we practice a special devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.’    

   (THIS TRANSLATION REQUIRES CAREFUL READING)

From the beginning the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus has been in tune with the Eucharistic spirituality of St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Then gradually it has developed, reaching its maturity with  Leo XIII, (1903), who entrusted the worship and the apostolate of the Eucharistic Heart to the Children of St. Alfonsus, the Redemptorist Fathers.

Most Sacred Heart

Read entire article – The Eucharistic Heart in the Redemptorist Tradition

TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

FINDING THE TRUE CROSS -Agnolo_Gaddi_True_Cross_Detail_1380

                 TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

Today, again, our Savior sets out in the morning for Jerusalem. His intention is to repair to the temple, and continue his yesterday’s teachings. It is evident that his mission on earth is fast drawing to its close. He says to his Disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of Man shall be delivered up to be crucified.

withered fig tree

On the road from Bethania to Jerusalem, the Disciples are surprised at seeing the fig-tree, which their Divine Master had yesterday cursed, now dead. Addressing himself to Jesus, Peter says: Rabbi, behold, the fig-tree, which thou didst curse, is withered away. In order to teach us that the whole of material nature is subservient to the spiritual element, when this last is united to God by faith, Jesus replies: Have the faith of God. Amen I say to you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain: Be thou removed and cast into the sea! And shall not stagger in his heart, but believe, that whatsoever he saith shall be done, it shall be done unto him? Having entered the City, Jesus directs his steps towards the Temple. No sooner has he entered, than the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Ancients of the people, accost him with these words: By what authority dost thou these things?

And who has given thee this authority that thou shouldst do these things, we shall find our Lord’s answer given in the Gospel. Our object is to mention the leading events of the last days of our Redeemer on earth; the holy Volume will supply the details. As on the two preceding days, Jesus leaves the City towards evening: he passes over Mount Olivet, and returns to Bethania, where he finds his Blessed Mother and his devoted friends.

In today’s Mass, the Church reads the history of the Passion according to St. Mark, who wrote his Gospel the next after St. Matthew: hence it is, that the second place is assigned to him. His account of the Passion is shorter than St. Matthew’s, of which it would often seem to be a summary; and yet certain details are peculiar to this Evangelist, and prove him to have been an eye-witness. Our readers are aware that St. Mark was the disciple of St. Peter, and that his Gospel was written under the very eye of the Prince of the Apostles.

TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK - Station  Church  -  St. Prisca

In Rome, the Station for today is in the Church of St. Prisca, which is said to have been the house of Aquila and his wife Prisca, to whom St. Paul sends his salutations, in his Epistle to the Romans. In the 3rd century, Pope St. Eutychian had translated thither, on account of the sameness of the name, the body of St. Prisca, a Virgin and Martyr of Rome.

Three days hence, and the Cross will be lifted up on Calvary, bearing upon itself the Author of our Salvation. The Church, in the Introit of today’s Mass, bids us at once pay our homage to this trophy of our victory, and glory in it.

INTROIT

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

Ps. May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may he cause the light of his countenance to shine upon us, and may he have mercy on us.

jesus good shepherd

EPISTLE

Jeremiah 11: 18 -20

In those days: Jeremias said: Thou, O Lord, hast shewed me, and I have known: then thou shewedst me their doings. And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim; and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more. But thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judgest justly, and triest the reins of the heart, let me see thy revenge on them; for to thee I have revealed my cause, 0 Lord, my God!

THE PASSION AND GOSPEL

Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to St. Mark

Mark 14:1-72; 15:1-46

Woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard , and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head.

Now the feast of the pasch, and of the Azymes was after two days; and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might by some wile lay hold on him, and kill him.  But they said: Not on the festival day, lest there should be a tumult among the people. And when he was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, and was at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard: and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head.

Now there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said: Why was this waste of the ointment made? For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her. But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me.  For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always.

She hath done what she could: she is come beforehand to anoint my body for burial. Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memorial of her. And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray him to them.

Who hearing it were glad; and they promised him they would give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. Now on the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the pasch, the disciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go, and prepare for thee to eat the pasch? And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city; and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, follow him;  And whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house, The master saith, Where is my refectory, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples?  And he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and there prepare ye for us.

 And his disciples went their way, and came into the city; and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the pasch.  And when evening was come, he cometh with the twelve. And when they were at table and eating, Jesus saith: Amen I say to you, one of you that eateth with me shall betray me.  But they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one: Is it I? Who saith to them: One of the twelve, who dippeth with me his hand in the dish.

Judas betrays Jesus - Woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born.

 And the Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born.  And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body.  And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it. And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many. Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.

And when they had said a hymn, they went forth to the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith to them: You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed.  But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.  But Peter saith to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, yet not I. And Jesus saith to him: Amen I say to thee, today, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shall deny me thrice. But he spoke the more vehemently: Although I should die together with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner also said they all.  And they came to a farm called Gethsemane. And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray.  And he taketh Peter and James and John with him; and he began to fear and to be heavy.  And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch.  And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him.

Abba, Father  all things are possible to thee -  remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.

And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.  And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour? Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words.  And when he returned, he found them again asleep, (for their eyes were heavy,) and they knew not what to answer him.

And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough: the hour is come: behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise up, let us go. Behold, he that will betray me is at hand.  And while he was yet speaking, cometh Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve: and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the ancients.  And he that betrayed him, had given them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he; lay hold on him, and lead him away carefully.  And when he was come, immediately going up to him, he saith: Hail, Rabbi; and he kissed him.

But they laid hands on him, and held him.  And one of them that stood by, drawing a sword, struck a servant of the chief priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answering, said to them: Are you come out as to a robber, with swords and staves to apprehend me?  I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not lay hands on me. But that the scriptures may be fulfilled.  Then his disciples leaving him, all fled away.

And a certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and they laid hold on him. But he, casting off the linen cloth, fled from them naked. And they brought Jesus to the high priest; and all the priests and the scribes and the ancients assembled together.  And Peter followed him from afar off, even into the court of the high priest; and he sat with the servants at the fire, and warmed himself. And the chief priests and all the council sought for evidence against Jesus, that they might put him to death, and found none.

For many bore false witness against him, and their evidences were not agreeing.  And some rising up, bore false witness against him, saying: We heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands. And their witness did not agree. And the high priest rising up in the midst, asked Jesus, saying: Answerest thou nothing to the things that are laid to thy charge by these men?

       Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God, And Jesus said to him - I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven.

 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said to him: Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven.

Then the high priest rending his garments, saith -What need we any further witnesses - You have heard the blasphemy

Then the high priest rending his garments, saith: What need we any further witnesses?  You have heard the blasphemy. What think you? Who all condemned him to be guilty of death.  And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him: Prophesy: and the servants struck him with the palms of their hands.

 Now when Peter was in the court below, there cometh one of the maidservants of the high priest. And when she had seen Peter warming himself, looking on him she saith: Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.  But he denied, saying: I neither know nor understand what thou sayest. And he went forth before the court; and the cock crew. And again a maidservant seeing him, began to say to the standers by: This is one of them.  But he denied again. And after a while they that stood by said again to Peter: Surely thou art one of them; for thou art also a Galilean.

peters denial

 But he began to curse and to swear, saying; I know not this man of whom you speak. And immediately the cock crew again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said unto him: Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt thrice deny me. And he began to weep. And straightway in the morning, the chief priests holding a consultation with the ancients and the scribes and the whole council, binding Jesus, led him away, and delivered him to Pilate.  And Pilate asked him: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, saith to him: Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him in many things. And Pilate again asked him, saying: Answerest thou nothing? behold in how many things they accuse thee.  But Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate wondered.

 Now on the festival day he was wont to release unto them one of the prisoners, whomsoever they demanded.  And there was one called Barabbas, who was put in prison with some seditious men, who in the sedition had committed murder.  And when the multitude was come up, they began to desire that he would do, as he had ever done unto them.  And Pilate answered them, and said: Will you that I release to you the king of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up out of envy.

Pilate  releases Barabbas unto them - and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified

 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas to them. And Pilate again answering, saith to them: What will you then that I do to the king of the Jews? But they again cried out: Crucify him.  And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more: Crucify him.  And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

Way of the Cross - Crowning with thorns

 And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band: And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him.  And they began to salute him: Hail, king of the Jews. And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him. And bowing their knees, they adored him.  And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own garments on him, and they led him out to crucify him.

Way of the Corss - simon-of-cyrene

 And they forced one Simon a Cyrenian who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross.  And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary.  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not. And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.  And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the inscription of his cause was written over: THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.  And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: And with the wicked he was reputed.  And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again;  Save thyself, coming down from the cross.

chief priests mocking, said...He saved others; himself he cannot save.  Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross

 In like manner also the chief priests mocking, said with the scribes one to another: He saved others; himself he cannot save.  Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.  And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  And some of the standers by hearing, said: Behold he calleth Elias.

 And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar, and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: Stay, let us see if Elias come to take him down. And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost.  And the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom.  And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the son of God. And there were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joseph, and Salome:

 Who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered to him, and many other women that came up with him to Jerusalem.  And when evening was now come, (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the sabbath,)  Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.  But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead.  And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

Way of the Cross - And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock.

 And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.

         ***************************

The Liturgical Year – Very Ven. Dom Gueranger

“From Satanic Priest to Man of Mary” – Video

Jesus Crushing The Serpent.

Jesus Crushing The Serpent.

Excerpt on The Necessity of Avoiding Bad Company – St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Hence, it is necessary to avoid, as you would a plague, all familiarity with those scorpions of hell. I have said that you must avoid familiarity with them that is, all fellowship in their banquets or conversation; for never to meet them is, as the Apostle says, impossible. ”Otherwise you must needs go out of this world.” (1 Cor. v. 10.)

But, it is in our power to abstain from familiar intercourse with them. ”But now I have written to you not to keep company, etc. with such a one, not so much as to eat.” (Ibid. v. 11.) I have called them scorpions: so they have been called by the Prophet Ezechiel. ”Thou art among unbelievers and destroyers, and thou dwellest among scorpions.” (Ezec. ii. 6 ) Would you live in the midst of scorpions? You must, then, fly from scandalous friends, who, by their bad examples and words, poison your soul. ”A man‟s enemies shall be they of his own household.” (Matt. x. 36.) Wicked friends, that are very familiar and intimate with us, become the most pernicious enemies of our souls. ”Who,” says Ecclesiasticus, ”will pity an enchanter struck by a serpent, or any that come near wild beasts? So it is with him that keepeth company with a wicked man.” (Eccl. xii. 13.) If the man that makes free with serpents, or with ferocious wild beasts, be bitten or devoured by them, who will take pity on him? And so it is with him who associates with scandalous companions; if, by their bad example he be contaminated and lost, neither God nor man will have compassion on him; because he was cautioned to fly from their society.

Link

Blessed Bartolo Longo (5-Oct Feast Day)

“From Satanic Priest to Man of Mary”

Sermon on how a Cradle Catholic with bad education, bad company, & bad leaders fell into being a satanic priest & by the grace of God having His mother intercede to him Bartolo changes his ways, repents, converts, & was canonized. Great intercessor for those who have left the True faith and/or living lives they shouldn’t be. For comments please go to http://www.romans10seventeen.org & please say 3 Hail Marys for the priest.

THE OCTAVE OF SAINT STEPHEN, THE FIRST MARTYR

Feast of St. Stephen                       ST. STEPHEN, THE FIRST MARTYR

Yesterday, we finished the Octave of the Birth of Jesus; today, we shall finish the Octave of St. Stephen; but this, without losing sight, one moment, of the Divine Babe, whose Court is formed by Stephen, John the Beloved Disciple, the Holy Innocents, and St. Thomas of Canterbury. In five days, we shall see the Magi prostrate before the Crib of the new born King; they are already on the way, and the Star is advancing towards Bethlehem. Let us spend the interval in reconsidering how great is the glory of our Emmanuel, in his having lavished such extra ordinary favors on these Saints, whom he has chosen to be near him at his first coming into the world. Let us begin with Stephen, for this is the last day of the Octave dedicated to him by the Church. We must take leave of him now till the month of August, when we shall again meet him on the Feast of The Finding of his Relics (August 3).

     In a Sermon, which was for a long time thought to have been written by St. Augustine, we find it mentioned, that St. Stephen was in the flower of his youth, when he was called, by the Apostles, to receive the sacred character of Deaconship. Six others were ordained Deacons with him; and these Seven, whose office was to minister at the Altar here below, represented the Seven Angels, whom St. John saw standing near the Altar in heaven. Stephen was appointed as the head of the Seven, and St. Irenaeus, who lived in the second century, calls him the Archdeacon.

Stoning of St Stephen

     The characteristic virtue of a Deacon is fidelity. Hence, he is entrusted with the care of the treasures of the Church, treasures, which consist not merely in the alms destined for the poor, but in that which is the most precious thing in heaven ‘and earth the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, of which the Deacon is the minister, in virtue of his Order. For this reason, the Apostle St. Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, bids the Deacons hold the Mystery of Faith in a pure conscience,

       It was, therefore, more than an appropriate coincidence, that the First of all the Martyrs was a Deacon, for Martyrdom is the great proof of fidelity, and fidelity is the official virtue of the Deaconate. This same truth is still more strongly impressed upon us by the fact, that the three, who stand preeminent amongst the Martyrs of Christ, are vested in the holy Dalmatic the three glorious Deacons: Stephen, the glory of Jerusalem; Laurence, the pride of Rome; and Vincent, of whom Spain so justly boasts. The present holy season gives us Stephen, who has been gladdening us with his festal presence ever since Christmas Day, and Vincent, whose Feast falls on January 22nd. Laurence will come to us, with his rich waving Palm, in the sunny month of August; and Stephen, in the same month, will visit us, a second time, in the Feast of the Finding of his Relics.

     With the intention of paying respect to the Holy Order of Deaconship in the person of its first representative, it is a custom in a great many Churches, on the Feast of St. Stephen, that Deacons should fulfil every office, which is not beyond their Order. For example, the Chanter yields his staff of office to a Deacon; the Choristers, who assist the Chanter, are also Deacons, vested in Dalmatics; and the Epistle of the Mass is sung by a Deacon, because it is the passage from the Acts of the Apostles, which relates the history of the holy Martyr’s death.

     The institution of St. Stephen’s Feast, and its being fixed on the day immediately following that of our Lord’s Birth, are so ancient, that it is impossible to assign their date. The Apostolic Constitutions, which were compiled, at the latest, towards the close of the 3rd century, mention this Feast as already established, and that, too, on the morrow of Christmas Day. St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Asterius of Amasea, both of them earlier than the miraculous discovery of the Holy Deacon’s Relics, have left us Homilies for the Feast of St. Stephen, in which they lay stress on the circumstance of its having the honor to be kept the very day after the solemnity of Christmas. With regard to its Octave, the institution is less ancient, though the date cannot be defined. Amalarius, who wrote in the 9th century, speaks of this Octave as already established, and Notker’s Martyrology, compiled in the 10th century, makes express mention of it.

     But, how comes it, that the Feast of a mere Deacon has been thus honored, whilst almost all those of the Apostles have no Octave? The rule followed by the Church, in her Liturgy, is to give more or less solemnity to the Feasts of the Saints, according to the importance of the services they rendered to mankind. Thus it is, that the honor she pays to St. Jerome, for example, who was only a Priest, is more marked than that she gives to a great number of holy Popes. It is her gratitude, which guides her in assigning to the Saints their respective rank in her Calendar, and the devotion of the Faithful to the saintly benefactors, whom she now venerates as members of the Church Triumphant, is thus regulated by a safe standard. St. Stephen led the way to Martyrdom; his example inaugurated that sub lime witnessing by the shedding one’s own blood, which is the very strength of the Church, ratifies the truths she teaches to the world, and confirms the hopes of eternal reward promised by those truths. Glory, then, and honor to the Prince of Martyrs! As long as time shall last, so long shall the Church, on earth, celebrate the name of Stephen, who was the first to shed his blood for the God who died on Calvary!

     We have already noticed St. Stephen’s imitating Jesus, by praying for and forgiving his enemies; it is the circumstance, which the Church continually alludes to in her Office of his Feast. But there is another very important incident in the martyrdom of our Saint, which we must, for a moment, dwell upon.

Conversion of St. Paul

One of the accomplices in the murder, which was being committed under the walls of Jerusalem, was a young man of the name of Saul. He made himself exceedingly active, for he was of an ardent temperament, and, as the Fathers observe, he helped every man who stoned the holy Deacon, because he took care of the murderers’ garments whilst they committed the crime. Not long after, this same Saul, whilst travelling to Damascus, was converted into an Apostle of that Jesus, whom he had heard Stephen confess as the Son of God. He was the fruit of Stephen’s dying prayer. The blood of Stephen cried to heaven for mercy and heaven sent to the Gentiles the Apostle, who would bring them to the knowledge and love of Jesus, ” What an admirable scene” cries out St. Augustine. “Here is” Stephen being stoned, and Saul taking care of the “garments of them that stone him. But this Saul is now Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, and Stephen is the servant of Jesus Christ. Saul! Thou hast been prostrated, and raised up again: prostrated a Persecutor, raised up a Preacher. Everywhere are thy Epistles read; everywhere art thou bringing to Christ them that are his enemies; everywhere art thou the good Shepherd, surrounded by a numerous flock. Thou art now reigning with Christ, in company with him thou didst once stone. Both of you are looking upon us; both of you now hear what I am saying; do both of you pray, also, for us. He who crowned you both, will hear both. Stephen was a lamb; Saul was a wolf; now, both are lambs, and both will acknowledge us as of the flock of Christ, and will pray for us, that the Church of their Master may be blessed with a peaceful and tranquil life. Stephen and Paul, both visit us during this grand season of Christmas; for we shall keep the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on the 25th of January; and thus, Stephen leads his spiritual conquest to the Crib of their common Lord and Master.

     Catholic piety has chosen St. Stephen as one of the Patrons of a Happy Death. This choice was suggested by the death of the holy Martyr a death so tranquil that the Scripture calls it a Sleep, in spite of the cruel torture to which his executioners put him. Let us, therefore, beg the intercession of St. Stephen for that awful hour of our death, when we must return to our Creator these Souls of ours nay, let us ask him to pray, that we may be habitually in such a disposition of mind, as to be ever ready to make the total sacrifice of the life which God has given to us: it was a sacred deposit he entrusted to our keeping, and which we were to hold in readiness for him, whensoever he might demand it at our hands.

saint stephen first martyr

The Gothic Liturgy of Spain gives us, in its Mozarabic Missal, the following admirable Prayer to St. Stephen.

CAPITULUM

Most blessed Protomartyr Stephen! Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord hath named: for that thou, who didst suffer death for him, didst, by him, receive a Crown for thy name, and a Grown for thy virtue. Thou wast the first in Martyrdom, and first in its reward: first Martyr in the world, and the first in the courts of heaven. Here, stoned for Christ; there, exulting in the Crown he gave thee. Here, thou didst suffer, for his sake, the most cruel torments; there, thou didst receive the most precious Grown. Thou, therefore, that wast the first flower of the Church, be now her untiring patron; that so, by thy prayers, that Jesus, for whose sake thou wast a glorious Martyr, may be merciful unto us.

st stephen stoned to death

The following Hymn, remarkable for its unction and simplicity of style, is to be found in most of the ancient Roman-French Breviaries.

O holy Protomartyr Stephen, most dear to God! In the virtue of charity, wherewith thou wast armed on every side, thou didst beseech the Lord to have mercy on thine enemies. Thou art the Standard- bearer of heaven’s martyr host; the herald of truth; the first witness of Christian grace; the living foundation-stone, and groundwork of martyrdom. Stones were the instrument of thy martyrdom, not the sword. The sharp-edged stones, like knives of a second circumcision, tore thine innocent flesh; but, tinged in thy blood, they were made rubies for thy Crown. Thou wast the first to tread the stony rugged path that leads to heaven; thou wast the first to breast that sword, which had slain our Lord and lost its keen edge by piercing Him; thou wast the earliest winnowed wheat that graced the granaries of Christ. To thee were heaven’s gates first opened, showing thee Jesus in his power, for whom thou didst so bravely fight: He, standing at the right hand of his Father’s majesty, is with thee incessantly. Pray now for this thy devout people, that our Lord, through thy prayers, may mercifully forgive us our sins, and grant us fellowship with the citizens of heaven. Glory and honour to the God who gave thee thy Crown of roses and thy throne above the stars. May he free us from the sting of death, and save us sinners. Amen.

St. Stephen - Paolo Uccello - The Stoning of St. Stephen

We will close our selection with a Sequence, composed by Notker; we find it in the collection of Saint-Gall.

Let us solemnize this Feast in the union of fraternal charity, Instructed by the sweet example of its Saint, Who prayed for his guilty persecutors. Hear us, O Stephen, thou standard-bearer of the infinitely merciful King, Who heard the prayers thou didst offer him for thine enemies. By thy prayers, O Stephen, that very Paul, who once persecuted thee, was converted to believe in Jesus, Who prayed for his guilty persecutors. Hear us, O Stephen, thou standard-bearer of the infinitely merciful King, Who heard the prayers thou didst offer him for thine enemies. By thy prayers, O Stephen, that very Paul, who once persecuted thee, was converted to believe in Jesus, and now exults with thee in that Kingdom, nigh which no persecutors come. Then, we who humbly cry to thee for pity, and besiege thee with our prayers, we, surely, shall be reconciled to our God by thy most holy prayers. Peter ordained thee as a minister of Christ: and thou to the faithful Peter didst affirm and show this truth, that He, whom the mad populace crucified, is at the right hand of the Father. Christ chose thee, O Stephen! As the example whereby he would give courage to his faithful ones, for he showed himself to thee amidst the shower of stones, and sweetly consoled thee. Now amidst the red-robed army of the Martyrs thou shinest as The Crowned Prince. We return thee our grateful thanks, O glorious Stephen! For the help thou hast given us in this great Feast of Christmas. It is thy yearly office to initiate us into the sublime mystery of the Birth of Jesus. Thy Feast ever brings us into the company of this Divine Child, and the Church trusts to thy revealing him to the hearts of her children, as thou heretofore didst to the Jews. Thou hast done thy work, dear Saint! And here is our faith: we adore this Babe of Bethlehem as the Word of God; we hail him as our King; we offer ourselves to him, to serve him as thou didst; we acknowledge his absolute right over us, and our obligation of serving him even to the last drop of our blood, should he put our loyalty to that great test. Stephen, the Faithful Deacon! Pray for us, that we may have the grace to give our whole heart to Jesus, from this time for ward; that we may use our best efforts to please him; and that we may conform our lives and affections to his blessed will. Doing this, we shall have the grace to fight his Fight, if not before tyrants and persecutors, at least before the base passions of our own hearts. We are the descendants of the Martyrs, and the Martyrs conquered the world; for Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, had conquered it before them: shall we, then, be cowards, and re-enslave ourselves to our eternal enemy? Obtain for us, also, that fraternal charity, which pardons every injury, and prays for them that hate us, and converts sinners and heretics when all means else have failed. O valiant Martyr of Jesus! Watch over us at the hour of our death; assist us in our agony; show us that Jesus, whom thou hast shown us so often as the dear Babe of Bethlehem; show us him then as the glorified, the triumphant, but, above all, as the merciful Jesus, holding in his divine hands the Crown he has pre pared for us; and may our last words be those which thou didst utter when going to thy God: Lord Jesus! Receive my Spirit.

Ven. Dom Prosper Guéranger – The Liturgical Year

Feast of St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr – Mass Propers

st martin I pope and martyr november 12

SAINT MARTIN I – POPE AND MARTYR

Saint Martin, who occupied the Roman See from 649 to 655, was a native of Tuscany, and became celebrated amid the clergy of Rome for his learning and his sanctity. When he was elected Pope, Rome echoed with cries of joy; the clergy, the Senate and the people gave witness to their great satisfaction, and the emperor approved this happy choice. He did not disappoint the hopes of the Church; piety towards God and charity to the poor were his two rules of life. He repaired churches falling into ruin and restored peace between divergent factions, but his greatest concern was to maintain in the Church the precious heritage of the true faith.

Martin I lay too sick to fight on a couch in front of the altar when the soldiers burst into the Lateran basilica. He had come to the church when he heard the soldiers had landed. But the thought of kidnapping a sick pope from the house of God didn’t stop the soldiers from grabbing him and hustling him down to their ship.

Elected pope in 649, Martin I had gotten in trouble for refusing to condone silence in the face of wrong. At that time there existed a popular heresy that held that Christ didn’t have a human will, only a divine will. The emperor had issued an edict that didn’t support Monothelism (as it was known) directly, but simply commanded that no one could discuss Jesus’ will at all.

Monothelism was condemned at a council convened by Martin I. The council affirmed, once again, that since Jesus had two natures, human and divine, he had two wills, human and divine. The council then went further and condemned Constans edict to avoid discussion stating, “The Lord commanded us to shun evil and do good, but not to reject the good with the evil.”

In his anger at this slap in the face, the emperor sent his soldiers to Rome to bring the pope to him. When Martin I arrived in Constantinople after a long voyage he was immediately put into prison. There he spent three months in a filthy, freezing cell while he suffered from dysentery. He was not allowed to wash and given the most disgusting food. After he was condemned for treason without being allowed to speak in his defense he was imprisoned for another three months.

From there he was exiled to the Crimea where he suffered from the famine of the land as well as the roughness of the land and its people. But hardest to take was the fact that the pope found himself friendless. His letters tell how his own church had deserted him and his friends had forgotten him. They wouldn’t even send him oil or corn to live off of.

He died two years later in exile in the year 656, a martyr who stood up for the right of the Church to establish doctrine even in the face of imperial power.

6th sunday after pentecost holy sacrifice of the mass

Feast of St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr – Wednesday of the twenty second week after Pentecost

Missa – Si diligis me

Semi-double/Red Vestments

INTROIT John 21: 15-17

Si diligis me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas.

Ps.  Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam sus- cepísti 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.

November 12 - Pope Saint Martin I

COLLECT

Eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the blessed Martin, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church. Through Jesus Christ…

Second Collect for Petitioning the Assistance of All Saints

Defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all dangers both of body and soul: and at the intercession of the blessed and glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all thy Saints, grant us thy saving health and peace; that being defended from all adversities and all false doctrines, thy Church may serve thee in freedom and quietness.  Through the same Jesus Christ…

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 suffer- ings 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 con- straint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily: nei- ther as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall ap- pear, 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.

d039e-thouartpeteranduponthisrockiwillbuildmychurch

GOSPEL Matthew 16: 13-19

In illo témpore: Venit Jesus in partes Cæsaréæ Philíppi, et interrogábat discípulos suos, dicens: Quem dicunt hómines esse Fílium hóminis? At illi dixérunt: Álii Joánnem Baptístam, álii autem Elíam, álii vero Jeremíam, aut unum ex prophétis. Dicit illis Jesus: Vos autem quem me esse dícitis? Respóndens Simon Petrus, dixit: Tu es Christus, Fílius Dei vivi. Respóndens autem Jesus, dìxit ei: Beátus es, Simon Bar Jona: quia caro et sanguis non revelávit tibi, sed Pater meus, qui in Cœlis est. Et ego dico tibí, quia tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificábo Ecclésiam meam, et portæ ínferi non prævalébunt advérsus eam. Et tibi dabo claves regni cælórum. Et quodcúmque ligáveris super terram, erit ligátum et in cœlis: et quodcúmque sólveris super terram, erit solútum et in Cœlis. 

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 BarJona, 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.

SECRET

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 Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God.

Second Secret Prayer for Petitioning the Assistance of All Saints

Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation, and by the power of the Sacrament defend us from all dangers both of body and soul:  granting us in this world the succour of thy grace, and in the world to come life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ…

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.

jesus on the cross

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory! Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!

COMMUNION: Matthew 16: 18 

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

POSTCOMMUNION 

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 Jesus Christ, thy son our Lord who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Second Postcommunion for Petitioning the Assistance of All Saints

Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that the gifts now offered by us in these holy mysteries may evermore cleanse and defend us:  that, at the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all thy Saints; we may be absolved from all our offences and defended against all adversities. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Through the same Jesus Christ, thy son our Lord…

Not just for communists: Pope reminds Catholics evolution is true / Big Bang Fizzles (Video)

“His eyes seem to follow me wherever I go.” Vatican

Pope reminds Catholics: evolution, Big Bang are true

God is not a “magician!”

Pope Francis took a stroll yesterday from the Vatican guest house apartment where he lives over to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to unveil a bust of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The bust itself is rather Teutonically foreboding, but the most interesting bit of the unveiling came when Francis made a short speech to assembled members of the Academy. Though only a few paragraphs long (and currently available only in Italian; the translation below is unofficial), Francis’s remarks focused largely on evolution—still a controversial doctrine in parts of the worldwide Christian church.

“When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we are in danger of imagining that God was a magician, complete with a magic wand capable of doing anything,” Francis said. “But he was not. He created beings and let them develop in accordance with the internal laws that He has given to each one.”

He went on:

Thus, this work of creation has been going on for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia until it has become what we know today, because God is not a demiurge or wizard but the Creator who gives being to all entities. The beginning of the world was not a work of chaos that has some other origin, but it derived directly from a supreme principle which creates by love. The Big Bang, which currently appears to explain the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of a divine creator but demands it. The evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of Creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve…

The scientist must be moved by the confidence that nature conceals, in its evolutionary mechanisms, potential that our intelligence and freedom can discover and implement in order to develop the design of the Creator. So, no matter how limited, the action of man partakes of the power of God and is able to build a world fit for his dual life, bodily and spiritual, to build a humane world for all human beings and not for a group or class of privileged people.

A 2013 Pew Research survey found that 33 percent of all American adults believe that “humans existed in present form since [the] beginning.” Among Catholics, the percentages are slightly lower; 31 percent of Hispanic Catholics deny evolution, as do 26 percent of white Catholics. (Among white evangelical protestants, the number is a whopping 64 percent.)


 The Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican CIty.

Not just for Communists

The Catholic church has long been open to evolution, though always stressing its belief that God is the ultimate power behind the universe and its unfolding story.

In 1950, Pope Pius XII wrote about evolution in Humani Generis, saying that “Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.”

Nevertheless, he did not forbid that “research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter.”

For Pius XII, however, evolution was only a possibility that was yet unproven, and so he went on to rail against those who “act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.”

But by 1996, with far more evidence available, even a theological conservative like Pope John Paul II had no problem affirming that “new knowledge leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge.”

And his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, though sometimes described by critics as a reactionary, likewise endorsed the statement of a scientific gathering convened at the Vatican under his tenure. It concluded:

Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution.

While the story of human origins is complex and subject to revision, physical anthropology and molecular biology combine to make a convincing case for the origin of the human species in Africa about 150,000 years ago in a humanoid population of common genetic lineage.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/10/pope-reminds-catholics-evolution-big-bang-are-true/

Big Bang Fizzles – Part one

Evolution, a False Religion World View Masqueraded as Science – Part two

HELL – FR. HEWKO

SSPX catholic resistance

Yellow light discussions continue

Participants in discussions on some Resistance boards continue to maintain that the SSPX Chapels/Masses should be given a yellow light and that we should not stay away until we see erroneous doctrine being taught. They are missing a few points:

They are focussing on what is being taught – no current teaching error, therefore no problem. With this line of thought, the logical conclusion is that it is then permissible/required to go to Indult Masses, as they too do not currently teach error and do promote the Tridentine Mass. If this is sufficient, then there is no state of emergency, so there is no reason for the SSPX to exist. There are plenty of groups available within the structure of the Modern Church to meet this preference.

A further point that we can make is that the individual SSPX/Indult/NO priest, who may be personally solid, by staying within the organization represents the policies/principles of the organization. So, although the SSPX priest may be against the organizational policies/procedures, he still represents acceptability of 95% of Vatican II, acceptance of the new Code of Canon Law, NOM’s being legitimately promulgated (and therefore legitimate), etc.

The modern SSPX no longer passes on the fullness of the Teaching of the Catholic Church, partly by omission and partly by distorting the teachings of their founder. The fullness of the Truth is no longer sought, but a practical agreement becomes the target.

Lessons learned through observance of the many other Indult groups are ignored. Modernist Rome is considered trustworthy enough to be obeyed without criticizing their errors.

God bless the Resistance!

Continue reading – http://www.ecclesiamilitans.com/2014/09/29/yellow-light-discussions-continue/