FEASTS OF OCTOBER
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary
Among all these I sought a resting place; and I shall
abide in the inheritance of the Lord. Then the Creator of all gave me His
command, and He who formed me rested in my tent, saying, "In Jacob make thy
dwelling, in Israel thine inheritance, and put down thy roots among my chosen
people." Before all ages, in the beginning, He created me, and through all
ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy dwelling place I ministered before
Him, and in Sion I fixed my abode. Thus in the chosen city He has given me rest,
in Jerusalem is my domain. I have struck root among the glorious people, in the
portion of the Lord, His heritage, and my abode is in the full assembly of the
Lesson ii: Ibid. 17-22
Lesson ii: Ibid. 17-22
Like a cedar on Lebanon I am raised aloft, like a cypress
on Mount Sion, like a palm tree in En-gaddi, like a rosebush in Jericho, like a
fair olive tree in the field, like a plane tree growing beside the water. In the
streets I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon and fragrant balm; I yielded a sweet
odor like the best myrrh. And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum,
and onycha, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut; and my odor is as the
purest balm. I spread out my branches like a terebinth, and my branches are of
honor and grace.
Lesson iii: ibid. 24-31
Lesson iii: ibid. 24-31
I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of
knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in
me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and
be filled with my fruits; you will remember me as sweeter than honey, better to
have than honey and the honeycomb. As age follows age, the memory of me will
endure. He who eats of me will hunger still, he who drinks of me will thirst for
more; he who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never
fail; he who makes me known will have life everlasting.
When the wicked heresy of the Albigensians was growing in
the district of Toulouse, and striking deeper roots day by day, St. Dominic, who
had just laid the foundations of the Order of Preachers, threw himself
wholeheartedly into the task of destroying the heresy. That he might be the
better able to overcome it, he implored with earnest prayers the aid of the
Blessed Virgin, whose dignity these errors shamelessly attacked, and to whom it
is given to destroy all heresies throughout the world. As everyone knows, she
instructed Dominic to preach the Rosary to the people as a unique safeguard
against heresy and vice, and he carried out this commission with a wonderful
ardor of soul, and with great success. The Rosary is a form of prayer in which
we recite fifteen decades of the Angelic Salutation, with the Lord's Prayer
between decades. During each decade we recall in devote meditation one of the
mysteries of our redemption. From that time, then, St. Dominic began to
promulgate and promote in a wonderful way this pious method of praying. His role
in the propagation of the Rosary has been mentioned in the writings of many of
From this salutary practice countless fruits have flowed
to Christendom. Among these, we should especially mention the victory over the
powerful tyranny of the Turks, won at the battle of Lepanto by Pope
St. Pius V, and the Christian princes he had aroused. For, as this
victory was won on the very day on which the sodality of the most holy Rosary
throughout the world had been offering their accustomed supplications, and
carrying out the prescribed prayers, it was rightly attributed to these prayers.
Gregory XIII testified to this fact when he decreed that for such a unique
benefit thanks should always be offered everywhere throughout the world to the
Blessed Virgin under the title of the Rosary, and, in all churches where there
is an altar consecrated under this title, the Divine Office should always be
celebrated with the rite of a greater double. Other popes have granted almost
innumerable indulgences to the recitation of the Rosary, and to Rosary
Clement xi, noting the circumstances of the equally famous
victory of Charles VI, the emperor elect, over the innumerable forces of the
Turks in Hungary in the year 1716, held that this victory was to be attributed
to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This victory occurred on the
feast of the Dedication of Our Lady of the Snow; and, at almost the time of the
battle, the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary was offering a public and
solemn supplication in the city of Rome, with a great crowd of people pouring
out fervent prayers to God with great devotion for the overthrow of the Turks,
and humbly imploring the powerful aid of the Mother of God to help the
Christians. Looking also with the eyes of faith at the raising of the Turks
siege of the island of Corcyra shortly afterwards, he held that this victory too
must be ascribed to the patronage of the Blessed Virgin. To keep alive,
therefore, the memory of these great benefits, and to assure a perpetual
thanksgiving for them, Clement extended the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, still
with the rite of a greater double, to the universal Church. Benedict XIII
decreed that all these things be written into the Roman Breviary. In a most
difficult period for the Church, when the raging flood of evils seemed
overwhelming, Leo XIII in repeated encyclicals strongly urged all the
faithful throughout the world to recite the Rosary; especially during the month
of October. He raised the rank of the feast, and added to the Litany of Loretto
the invocation "Queen of the Most Holy Rosary." He also granted a
special Office, to be recited by the universal Church on this feast. We should
continue, therefore, to honor the Most Holy Mother of God by this devotion which
is so pleasing to her; so that she, who has so often answered Christ's faithful
when they prayed the Rosary and brought their earthly enemies to defeat and
destruction, may in the same way give us victory over the powers of hell.
At that time the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to the town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a Virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the Virgin's name was Mary. And the Angel, having entered, said, unto her: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women." Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself, what manner of salutation this should be. And the Angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and thou shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of David His father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?" And the angel answering, said to her: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hast conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren, because no word shall be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word."
A homily of St. Bernard, Abbot
To commend His grace to us, and to destroy human wisdom,
God was pleased to take flesh of a woman who was a virgin, and so to restore by
like, to cure a contrary by a contrary, to draw out the poisonous thorn, and
most effectively to blot out the decree of sin. Eve was a thorn; Mary is a rose.
Eve was a thorn in her wounding; Mary a rose in the sweetening of the affections
of all. Eve was a thorn fastening death upon all; Mary is a rose giving the
heritage of salvation back to all. Mary was a white rose by reason of her
virginity, a red rose by reason of her charity; white in her body, red in her
soul; white in cultivating virtue, red in treading down vice; white in purifying
affection, red in mortifying the flesh; white in loving God, red in having
compassion on her neighbor.
The Word was made flesh, and now dwells among us. He
dwells in our memory; He dwells in our thoughts; He comes down, even, into our
imagination. How, you ask? In a marvellous way, lying in the manger, sitting on
the Virgin's lap, preaching on the mount, praying through the night, hanging on
the Cross, growing pale in death, free among the dead, and ruling in the world
of the dead, and then rising on the third day, and showing the Apostles the
place of the nails, the signs of victory, and, finally, ascending in their
presence to the secret places of heaven. Is there any of these things, the
thought of which dose not nourish truth, piety, and sanctity?
When I think of any of these, I think of God; and in all
of them, He is my God. I call it wisdom to meditate on these things., and I
think it is prudent to bring up the memory of their sweetness; for from such
sources the priestly staff brought forth abundance, which Mary pours out on us
more richly, drawing from on high. For she is clearly above the highest things,
and above the Angels, she who received the Word from the very heart of the
Te Deum laudámus
Antiphon (Ben.) Collect:
Te Deum laudámus
Antiphon (Ben.)This day let us devoutly celebrate * the solemnity of the most holy Rosary of Mary the Mother of God, so that she may intercede for us with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Collect:Lord God, Thine only-begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, hast won salvation for us. As we re-live these mysteries in the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary; give us the grace to follow the examples which they set before us, and to obtain the rewards which they promise. This we ask of Thee through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth forever, God, world without end.
1 Saint Remigius, Bishop
Saint Remigius, Bishop
Remigius, also called Remedius, was born at Laon, of noble parents by name ’milius and Saint Celinia. They were far advanced in age and renowned among their own people for their virtue when the birth of this child was foretold to them by a blind hermit named Montanus; who afterwards recovered his sight by applying to his eyes some of the milk wherewith the infant Remigius was nourished. The future apostle of the Franks devoted his youth to prayer and study in retirement; but the more he shrank from the company of men, the more his fame spread throughout the province. On the death of Bennadius, archbishop of Rheims, Remigius, who though but twenty-two years of age had the mature character of an old man, was unanimously elected, or rather, forcibly installed as archbishop. He endeavored to escape the burden of the episcopate but was obliged by the command of God to submit. Having been counseled by the bishops of the province, he governed his church with the wisdom of an experienced veteran. He was eloquent, learned in the Scriptures; and a pattern to his people, fulfilling in deed what he taught by word. He carefully and laboriously instructed his flock in the mysteries of faith, and established discipline among his clergy. Then he undertook to spread the kingdom of Christ in Belgium; and having converted the people to the Faith, he founded several new bishoprics and appointed their pastors: at Terouanne, St. Antimund or Aumont; at Arras, St. Vedast; and at Laon, St. Genebald.
The wonderful works of Remigius, being divulged far and wide, filled with astonishment the minds of Clovis and his still pagan Frankish tribesmen. When Clovis, who had already conquered the Gauls, triumphed over the Alemanni also at the battle of Tolbiac by invoking the name of Christ, he sent for Remigius, and listened willingly to his explanation of the Christian doctrine. Remigius urged this chieftain to embrace the Faith, but he replied that he feared the opposition of his people. When this was reported to his Franks, they cried out with one voice, "We renounce mortal gods, O pious king, and are ready to follow the immortal God whom Remigius preaches." Then the bishop imposed a fast upon them according to the custom of the Church, and having in the presence of queen Saint Clotilde, completed the king's religious instruction, he baptized him on the day of our Lord's Nativity, addressing him in these words, "Bow down thy head in meekness, O Sicambrian; adore what thou hast hitherto burnt, burn what thou hast adored." He anointed him with Holy Chrism in the Sign of the Cross. More than three thousand of the army were baptized, as also Albofleda, Clovis' sister, who died soon after; upon which occasion Remigius wrote to console the king. His other sister, Lanthilda, was reclaimed from the Arian heresy [most of the barbarian tribes were Arian], anointed with Chrism, and reconciled to the Church.
Remigius was exceedingly liberal to the poor and merciful towards sinners. "God has not placed us here," he would say, "to exercise wrath, but to take care of men." During a council, he once by divine power struck an Arian bishop with dumbness, until he begged forgiveness by signs, at which time Remigius restored his speech with the words: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, if thou holdest the right belief concerning him, speak, and confess the faith of the Catholic Church." The bishop recovered his voice, protested that he believed, and would die in that Faith. Towards the end of his life Remigius lost his sight, but recovered it shortly before his death. Knowing the date of his departure, he celebrated Mass and fortified his flock with the sacred Body of Christ. Then he bade his clergy and people farewell, giving to each one the kiss of our Lord's peace; and full of days and good works he departed this life on the Ides of January, in the year of our Lord five hundred and thirty-three, being ninety-six years old. He was buried in the oratory of Saint Christopher; and as in life, so also in his death, he was famous for miracles.
Holy Guardian Angels
i Exod 23:20-23
20 Behold I will send my angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. 21 Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned: for he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and my name is in him. 22 But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee. 23 And my angel shall go before thee, and shall bring thee in unto the Amorrhite, and the Hethite, and the Pherezite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite, whom I will destroy.Lesson ii
7 In the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month which is called Sabath, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zacharias the son of Barachias, the son of Addo, the prophet, saying: 8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees, that were in the bottom: and behind him were horses, red, speckled, and white. 9 And I said: What are these, my Lord? and the angel that spoke in me, said to me: I will shew thee what these are: 10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered, and said: These are they, whom the Lord hath sent to walk through the earth. 11 And they answered the angel of the Lord, that stood among the myrtle trees, and said: We have walked through the earth, and behold all the earth is inhabited, and is at rest. 1 And I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold a man, with a measuring line in his hand. 2 And I said: Whither goest thou? and he said to me: To measure Jerusalem, and to see how great is the breadth thereof, and how great the length thereof. 3 And behold the angel that spoke in me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him. 4 And he said to him: Run, speak to this young man, saying: Jerusalem shall be inhabited without walls, by reason of the multitude of men, and of the beasts in the midst thereof. 5 And I will be to it, saith the Lord, a wall of fire round about: and I will be in glory in the midst thereof.
Sermons of St Bernard, Abbot
He hath given His Angels charge over
thee. A wonderful graciousness, and a wonderful outpouring of love. For who hath
given charge? And what charge? Unto whom? And over whom? Let us carefully
consider, my brethren, let us carefully hold in mind this great charge. For who
hath given this charge? To Whom belong the Angels? Whose commandments do they
obey, and Whose will do they do? He hath given His Angels charge over thee, to
keep thee in all thy ways, and that not carelessly, for they shall bear thee up
in their hands. The Highest Majesty, therefore, hath given charge unto Angels,
even His Angels. Unto these beings so excellently exalted, so blessed, so near
to Himself, even as His own household, unto these hath He given charge over
thee. Who art thou? What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of
man, that Thou visitest him? Ps. viii. 5.
Even as though man were not rottenness, and the son of man, a worm.
Job. xxv. 6 But what
charge hath He given them over thee? To keep thee in all thy ways.
5 Saints Placid and Companions, Martyrs
Saints Placid and Companions, Martyrs
Placid, a Roman by birth and son of Tertullus, belonged to the noble family of the Anicii. Offered to God while still a child, he was entrusted to Saint Benedict, and made such progress in sanctity and in the monastic life, as to become one of his principle disciples. He was present when the holy father obtained from God by prayer a fountain of water in the solitude of Subiaco. While still a boy, being sent one day to draw water, he fell into the lake, but was miraculously saved by the monk Maurus, who at the command of the holy father ran dry-shod over the water. Later on he accompanied Saint Benedict to Monte Cassino. At the age of twenty-one he was sent into Sicily, to defend, against certain covetous persons, the goods and lands which his father had given to Monte Cassino. On the way he performed so many great miracles, that he arrived at Messina with a reputation for sanctity. He built a monastery on his paternal estate, not far from the harbor, and gathered together thirty monks; being thus the first to introduce the monastic life into the island.
Nothing could be more placid or more humble than his behavior; while he surpassed everyone in prudence, gravity, kindness, and unruffled tranquility of mind. He often spent whole nights in contemplation of heavenly things, only sitting down when overpowered by the necessity of sleep. He was most zealous in observing silence; and when it was necessary to speak, the subjects of his conversation were the contempt of the world and the imitation of Christ. His fasts were most severe, and he abstained year round from flesh and every kind of milk-meat. In Lent he took only bread and water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; the rest of the week he passed without any food. He never drank wine and always wore a hairshirt. So numerous and remarkable were the miracles he worked, that the sick came to him in crowds to be cured, not only from the neighborhood, but also from Eutruria and Africa. But Placid, in his great humility, worked all his miracles in the name of Saint Benedict, attributing them to his merits.
His holy example and the wonders he wrought caused the Christian faith to spread rapidly. In the fifth year after his arrival in Sicily, the Saracens made a sudden incursion, and seized upon Placid and his thirty monks while they were singing the night Office in the church. At the same time were taken Eutychius and Victorinus, Placid's brothers, and his sister the virgin Flavia, who had all come from Rome to visit him; and also Donatus, Faustus, and the deacon Firmatus. Donatus was beheaded on the spot. The rest were taken before Manchua, the chief of the pirates; and as they firmly refused to adore his idols, they were beaten with rods and cast, bound hand and foot, into prison without food. Every day they were beaten afresh, but God supported them. After many days they were again led before the tyrant; and as they still stood firm in the faith, they were again repeatedly beaten, then stript of their clothes, and hung, head downwards, over thick smoke to suffocate. They were left for dead, but the next day were found alive, and miraculously healed of their wounds.
The tyrant then addressed himself to the virgin Flavia apart from the others. But finding he could gain nothing by threats or promises, he ordered her to be stripped, and hung by the feet from a high beam, insulting her meanwhile upon her nakedness. But the virgin answered: Man and woman have the same author and Creator, God; hence neither my sex, nor my nakedness which I endure for love of Him will be any disadvantage to me in His eyes, who for my sake chose not only to be stript, but also to be nailed to a cross. Manchua, enraged at this reply ordered her to be beaten and tortured with the smoke, and then handed her over to be dishonored. At the virgin's prayer, God struck all those who attempted to approach her, with sudden stiffness and pain in all their limbs. The tyrant next attacked Placid, the virgin's brother, who tried to convince him of the vanity of his idols; Manchua thereupon commanded his mouth and teeth to be broken with stones, and his tongue to be cut out by the root; but the martyr spoke as clearly and as easily as before. The barbarian grew more furious at this miracle, and commanded that Placid with his sister and brethren should be crushed under an enormous weight of anchors and millstones; but even this torture was powerless to hurt them. Finally, thirty-six of Placid's family, with their leader, and several others, were beheaded on the shore near Messina, and gained the palm of martyrdom on the third of the Nones of October, in the year of salvation five hundred thirty-nine. Gordian, a monk of that monastery who escaped by flight, found all their bodies entire after several days, and buried them with tears. Not long afterwards the barbarians, in punishment of their crime, were swallowed up by the avenging waves of the sea.
7 Saint Mark I, Pope and Confessor
Saint Mark I, Pope and Confessor
Mark, successor to Sylvester the Pontiff of peace has been honored on this day from time immemorial. According to the testimony of Saint Damasus, his virtues no less than his name recalled Saint Mark the Evangelist. He occupied the supreme See only eight months, but in that short time he followed up the recent triumph of the Church by wise organization. He built two new sanctuaries in Rome; and gave the pallium, of which this is the first mention in history, to the bishop of Ostia, to enhance his high privilege of being appointed consecrator of the Roman Pontiffs.
Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures:  I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth:  I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.  I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea,  And have stood in all the earth: and in every people,  And in every nation I have had the chief rule:  And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.
Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle,  And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect.  From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him.  And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.  And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion.  I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho:  As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted.  I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon. and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:  And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm.  I have stretched out my branches as the turpentine tree, and my branches are of honour and grace.  As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.
His Mother was chosen a Virgin of the kingly lineage of David, and when she was to grow heavy with the sacred Child, her soul had already conceived him before her body. She learned the counsel of God announced to her by the Angel, lest the unwonted events should alarm her. The future Mother of God knew what was to be wrought in her by the Holy Ghost, and that her modesty was absolutely safe. For why should she, unto whom was promised all sufficient strength through the power of the Highest, have felt hopeless merely because of the unexampled character of such a conception? She believeth, and her belief is confirmed by the attestation of a miracle which hath already been wrought. The fruitfulness of Elizabeth, before unhoped for, is brought forward that she might not doubt that he who had given conception unto her that was barren, would give the same unto her that was Virgin. And so the Word of God, the Son of God, who was in the beginning with God, by whom all things were made, and without whom was not anything made that was made, to deliver man from eternal death, was made man.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, descending from his throne in heaven, but leaving not that glory which he hath with the Father, cometh into this lower world by being born after a new order and in a new birth. He cometh after a new order, in that he who is unseen among his own, was seen among us; the Incomprehensible was fain to be comprehended, and he that is from everlasting to everlasting began to be in time. He was the Offspring of a new birth; conceived of a maiden, without the passion of any fleshly father, without any breach of his Mother's virginity, since such a birth beseemed the coming Saviour of mankind, who was to have in him the nature of man's being, and to be free of any defilement of man's flesh. Though he sprung not as we spring, yet is his nature as our nature; we believe that he is free from the use and custom of men; but it was the power of God which wrought that a maiden should conceive, that a maiden should bring forth, and yet abide a maiden still.
In the year 1931, amid the applause of the whole Catholic world, solemn rites were celebrated to mark the completion of the fifteen centuries which had elapsed since the Council of Ephesus, moving against the Nestorian heresy, had acclaimed the blessed Virgin Mary, of whom Jesus was born, as Mother of God. This acclamation had been made by the Fathers of the Church under the leadership of Pope Celestine. Pius XI, as Supreme Pontiff, wished to commemorate the notable event and to give lasting proof of his devotion to Mary. Now there had existed for many years in Rome a grand memorial to the proclamation of Ephesus, the triumphal arch in the basilica of Saint Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill. This monument had already been adorned by a previous pontiff, Sixtus III, with mosaics of marvelous workmanship, now falling to pieces from the decay of the passing ages. Pius XI, therefore, out of his own munificence, caused these to be restored most exquisitely and with them the transept of the basilica. In an Encyclical Letter Pius set forth also the true history of the Council of Ephesus, and expounded fervently and at great length the doctrine of the prerogatives of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of God. He did this that the doctrine of this lofty mystery might sink more deeply into the hearts of the faithful. In it he set forth Mary, the Mother of God, blessed among women, and the most holy Family of Nazareth as the exemplars to be followed above all others, as models of the dignity and holiness of chaste wedlock, as patterns of the holy education to be given youth. Finally that no liturgical detail be lacking, he decreed that the feast of the Divine Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary be celebrated annually on the 11th day of October by the universal Church with a proper Mass and Office under the rite of a double of the second class.
In that time having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not....
A Homily of St. Bernard, Abbot - Homilia 1. de Laud. Virg. Matris
Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Mary called God, the Lord of Angels, her son. Which of the angels would have dared to do so? It is enough for them, and they reckon it is a great thing, that, being naturally spirits, they should receive the grace of being made and called angels, as witness David: Who maketh spirits his angels. But Mary, knowing herself to be his Mother, doth boldly apply the word Son to that Majesty whom the angels do serve with awe; neither doth God despise to be called what he hath made himself. For a little after, the Evangelist saith: And he was subject unto them. Who to whom? God to men. I say that God, unto whom the angels are subject, and who is obeyed by the Principalities and Powers, was subject to Mary.
Marvel thou at both these things, and choose whether to marvel most at the sublime condescension of the Son, or at the sublime dignity of Mary. Either is amazing, either marvelous. That God should obey this woman, is a lowliness without parallel; that this woman should rule over God, an exaltation without match. In praise of virgins, and of virgins only, is it sung that These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Of what praise then thinkest thou that she must be worthy who even leadeth the Lamb? O man, learn to obey. O earth, learn to submit. O dust, learn to keep down. It is of thy Maker that the Evangelist saith: And he was subject unto them. Blush, O proud ashes. God humbleth himself; and dost thou exalt thyself? God is subject unto men; and wilt thou, by striving to rule over men, set thyself before thy Maker?
O happy Mary, lowly and virgin; and wondrous virginity, which motherhood destroyed not, but exalted; and wondrous lowliness, which the fruitful virginity took not away, but ennobled; and wondrous motherhood, which was both virgin and lowly. Which of them is not wondrous? which of them is not unexampled? and which of them doth not stand alone? The wonder would be if thou wert not puzzled at which to wonder most--motherhood in a virgin, or virginity in a mother; a motherhood so exalted, or lowliness in such exaltation. But indeed more marvelous than any one of these things is the combination of them all, and without all comparison, it is more excellent and more blessed to have received them all, than to have received any one of them alone. What wonder is it that God, of whom we see and read, that He is wonderful in his holy places, should have shewn himself wonderful in his Mother? O ye that be married, honour this incorruption in corruptible flesh; O holy maidens, gaze in wonder at motherhood in a maid; O, all mankind, take pattern by the lowliness of the Mother of God.
Saint Wilfrid of York, Bishop
Wilfrid was born in 634, perhaps in Ripon, the son of a Northumbrian theign. His mother died while he was a child, and poor family life made him enter the service of King Oswy. At court he was befriended by Queen Eanfleda, who sent him to Lindisfarne to learn the practices of the Church. Dissatisfied with the Celtic discipline of that house he travelled to Canterbury where he studied the Roman customs and Psalter under Saint Honorius. In 654 he departed with Saint Benet Biscop for Rome, where he studied under Archdeacon Boniface, the secretary to Pope Saint Martin. Moving on to Lyons, he received the Roman style tonsure from Saint Annemund. On returning to England he was placed, by King Alcfrid of Deira, in charge of a newly founded monastery at Ripon. Wilfrid introduced the Benedictine rule, was made abbot, and ordained priest by Saint Agilbert of the West Saxons. The disparate Celtic and Roman customs observed in England resulted in a dispute over the observance of Easter. (King Oswy and Queen Eanfleda sometimes observed Lent and Easter at different times in the same court.) Kings Owsy and Alcfrid convoked a synod at Whitby in 663 or 664, at which the Roman custom prevailed, at least for the southern portion of the country. King Alcfrid appointed Wilfrid bishop in Northumbria and sent him to receive consecration from Saint Agilbert in France, but he delayed in returning. In the meantime, King Oswy appointed Saint Chad to the see of York, so on his return, Wilfrid retired to the abbey at Ripon until 669, when Saint Theodore of Canterbury installed him at York. Political problems with Oswy's successor, King Egfrid, drove Wifrid into exile in Mercia, where he preached and converted many. In 686 he was back at Ripon, but found himself banished to Mercia again in 691. After several appeals to Rome he was able to take up residence in Ripon again around 705. He died in 709 while visiting the monasteries he founded.
Saint Theresa of Avilla
Theresa was born of devout and noble parents at Avilla in Spain. While still a child, burning with the desire of martyrdom, she run away from home, and tried to go to Africa, but was brought back. After the death of her mother, she commended herself completely to the protection of the Blessed Virgin. When she was twenty, she professed the rule of the nuns of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Eager for the salvation of souls, she restored the observance of the ancient Carmelite rule by both men and women and built many monasteries. She continually offered God the sufferings of her own body voluntarily assumed for the sake of infidels and heretics. And when burning with divine love she had made the very difficult vow always to do what she thought the most perfect, she was privileged to have her heart pierced by an Angel with a fiery lance. She wrote many works filled with lessons of heavenly wisdom and taught a great deal by word and by example, often having this saying on her lips: "Lord, either to suffer, or die". She gave back her most pure soul to God at Alba at the sixty-seventh year of her age, on October 15, 1582.
16 Most Holy Purity of the BVM Lesson ii
Most Holy Purity of the BVM
21. Christ Himself is a virgin; and His mother is also a virgin; yea, though she
is His mother, she is a virgin still. For Jesus has entered in through the
closed doors, John 20:19 and in His
sepulchre— a new one hewn out of the hardest rock— no man is laid either before
Him or after Him. John 19:41 Mary is “a
garden enclosed...a fountain sealed,” Song of
Songs 4:12 and from that fountain flows, according to Joel, the river
which waters the torrent bed either of cords or of thorns; of cords being those
of the sins by which we were beforetime bound,
Proverbs 5:22 the thorns those which choked the seed the goodman of the
house had sown. Matthew 13:7 She is the
east gate, spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel, always shut and always shining, and
either concealing or revealing the Holy of Holies; and through her “the Sun of
Righteousness,” Malachi 4:2 our “high
priest after the order of Melchizedek,” Hebrews
5:10 goes in and out.
17 Saint Margaret
Mary Alacoque, Virgin Lesson iii
Mary Alacoque, Virgin
18 Saint Luke,
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, when I was in the midst of the captives by the river Chobar, the heavens were opened, and I saw the visions of God.  On the fifth day of the month, the same was the fifth year of the captivity of king Joachin,  The word of the Lord came to Ezechiel the priest the son of Buzi in the land of the Chaldeans, by the river Chobar: and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.  And I saw, and behold a whirlwind came out of the north: and a great cloud, and a fire infolding it, and brightness was about it: and out of the midst thereof, that is, out of the midst of the fire, as it were the resemblance of amber:
lesson ii - Ezechiel i: 5-9
And in the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures: and this was their appearance: there was the likeness of a man in them.  Every one had four faces, and every one four wings.  Their feet were straight feet, and the sole of their foot was like the sole of a calf's foot, and they sparkled like the appearance of glowing brass.  And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides: and they had faces, and wings on the four sides,  And the wings of one were joined to the wings of another. They turned not when they went: but every one went straight forward.
lesson iii - Ezechiel i: 10-12
And as for the likeness of their faces: there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four: and the face of an ox, on the left side of all the four: and the face of an eagle over all the four.  And their faces, and their wings were stretched upward: two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies:  And every one of them went straight forward: whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went: and they turned not when they went.
Luke was a physician of Antioch, who, as appeareth from his writings, knew the Greek language. He was a follower of the Apostle Paul, and his fellow traveller in all his wanderings. He wrote a Gospel, whereof the same Paul saith We have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches 2 Cor. viii. 18. Of him, he writeth unto the Colossians, iv. 14: Luke, the beloved physician, greeteth you. And again, unto Timothy, II. iv. 11: Only Luke is with me. He also published another excellent book intitled The Acts of the Apostles, wherein the history is brought down to Paul's two - years sojourn at Rome, that is to say, until the fourth year of Nero, from which we gather that it was at Rome that the said book was composed.
The silence of Luke is one of the reasons why we reckon among Apocryphal books The Acts of Paul and Thekla, and the whole story about the baptism of Leo. For why should the fellow - traveler of the Apostle, who knew other things, be ignorant only of this? At the same time there is against these documents the statement of Tertullian, almost a contemporary writer, that the Apostle John convicted a certain Priest in Asia, who was a great admirer of the Apostle Paul, of having written them, and that the said Priest owned that he had been induced to compose them through his admiration for Paul, and that he was deposed in consequence. There are some persons who suspect that when Paul in his Epistles useth the phrase, According to my Gospel Rom. ii. 16, Tim. ii. 8, he meaneth the Gospel written by Luke.
However, Luke learned his Gospel not from the Apostle Paul only, who had not companied with the Lord in the flesh, but also from other Apostles, as himself declareth at the beginning of his work, where he saith They delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye - witnesses and ministers of the word, i. 2. According to what he had heard, therefore, did he write his Gospel. As to the Acts of the Apostles, he composed them from his own personal knowledge. He was never married. He lived eighty-four years. He is buried at Constantinople, whither his bones were brought from Achaia in the twentieth year of Constantine, together with the relics of the Apostle Andrew.
At that time the Lord appointed other seventy-two also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. And so on.
Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great. Homily the 17th on the Gospels.
Dearly beloved brethren, our Lord and Saviour doth sometimes admonish us by words, and sometimes by works. Yea, His very works do themselves teach us for that which He doth silently His example still moveth us to copy. Behold how He sendeth forth His disciples to preach by two and two since there are two commandments to love, that is, a commandment to love God, and a commandment to love our neighbour and where there are not two, the one, being alone, hath not whereon to do the Lord's commandment. And no man can properly be said to love himself: for love tendeth outward toward our neighbour, if it be the love whereto the Gospel doth oblige us.
Behold, the Lord sendeth forth His disciples to preach by two and two and thus doing, He doth silently teach us that whosoever loveth not his neighbour, such an one it behoveth not to take upon him the office of a preacher. Well also is it said that He sent them before His face into every city and place whither He Himself would come. The Lord followeth His preachers first cometh preaching, and then the Lord Himself cometh to the house of our mind, whither the word of exhortation hath come before and so cometh the truth into our mind.
Therefore to preachers saith Isaiah "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight an highway for our God." xl. 3. And again the Psalmist saith "Spread a path before him that rideth upon the West." lxvii. 4. The Lord rideth upon the West above that from which in death He veiled His glory hath He royally exalted that glory that excelleth, even the glory of His rising again. He rideth upon the West, Who, being risen again from the dead, is throned high above the death to which He bowed. Before Him, therefore, That rideth upon the West, we spread a path, when we set forth His glory before the eyes of your mind, to the end that He Himself may come after, and Himself enlighten the same your minds by His presence and His love.
Saint Peter of Alcantara
Born of noble parents at Alcantara in Spain, Peter entered the Order of Friars minor when he was sixteen. He showed himself a model of all virtues, especially poverty and chastity, and brought numberless men from vice to repentance, by preaching the word of God. Eager to restore the original observance of St Francis, he built a very small and very poor monastery near Pedroso. The way of life there was of the strictest, and from this auspicious beginning it spread in a remarkable way. He was a help to St Teresa in promoting the Carmelite reform, having approved the spirit in which she begun it. Teresa often referred to him as a saint even while he was still living; and we learn from her, that he was famous for the grace of contemplation and miracles, and was imbued with the gift of prophecy and of the discernment of spirits. Finally he went to heaven in his sixty-third year, and blessed Teresa saw him in vision, shining with wonderful glory.
Saint John Cantius
John was born at Kenty, (whence the surname Cantius), a town in the diocese of Cracow. His parents Stanislaus and Anna, were devout honorable people. From his very infancy John gave promise of the greatest virtue by the sweetness and innocence of his way. After his ordination to the priesthood he redoubled his efforts to the Christian perfection. He administered the parish of Olkusz for several years with notable success, and then returned to teaching. Part of the time left him from this occupation he gave to the salvation of his neighbor, especially through preaching, and the rest to prayer. He came four times to the Apostolic See traveling on foot and carrying his own baggage, both to honor the Apostolic See, and as he said, to save himself from the punishments of purgatory, by the indulgences offered there daily. He watchfully preserved a virginal purity, and before his death he had abstained from meat for about thirty-five years. On Christmas Eve he went to the heavenly reward. He was enrolled among the Saints by Pope Clement XIII, and is honored as one of the primary Patrons of Poland and Lithuania.
21 Saint Hilarion, Abbot
Saint Hilarion, Abbot
Hilarion was born of infidel parents at Abatha in Palestine, and was sent to study at Alexandria, where he became famous for his talents and the purity of his morals. He embraced the Christian religion and made wonderful progress in faith and charity. He was constantly in the church, devoted himself to prayer and fasting, and was full of contempt for the enticements of pleasure and earthly desires. The fame of Saint Anthony had then spread all over Egypt. Hilarion, desirous of seeing him, betook himself to the wilderness and stayed two months with him, learning his manner of life. He then returned home; but on the death of his parents he bestowed his goods upon the poor, and though only in his fifteenth year, returned to the desert. He built himself a little cell, scarcely large enough to hold him, and there he slept on the ground. He never changed or washed the sack-cloth he wore, saying it was superfluous to look for cleanliness in a hairshirt.
He devoted himself to reading and study of the holy
Scripture. His food consisted of a few figs and the juice of herbs, which he
never took before sunset. His mortification and humility were wonderful; and by
means of these and other virtues he overcame many terrible temptations of the
evil one, and cast innumerable devils out of the possessed in many parts of the
world. He had built many monasteries and was renowned for miracles, when he fell
asleep in the eightieth year of his age. In his last agony he exclaimed,
"Go forth, my soul, why dost thou fear? Go forth, why dost thou hesitate?
Thou hast served Christ for nearly seventy years, and dost thou fear death. And
with these words he expired.
Saint Hilarion was one of the first confessors, if not the very first, to be honored in the east with public veneration like the martyrs. In the west, the white robed army led by Ursula adds to the glory of the holy monk who has the first honors of this day. On October 21, 451, Cologne was made equal to the most illustrious cities as many thousands of people were martyred by the Huns. It is said that foremost among these martyrs were a noble British virgin and her attendants. Fleeing marriage to the son of a pagan king, Ursula and her maids sailed in eleven ships that were driven by the wind to Cologne where they bravely endured martyrdom. In more recent times, Saint Angela Merici confided her nuns to the patronage of Saint Ursula.
22 Saint Mellar, Bishop
Saint Mellar, Bishop
Mellar (or Melanius in the Roman Martyrology) appears in ancient lists as the first bishop of Rouen, and lived, perhaps, in the earlier part of the fourth century. He may have been a pagan Briton, converted at Rome, and sent by Pope Saint Stephen I to preach the Gospel to the Gauls. At the village near Cardiff, called in Welsh, Llanlleurog, the church is dedicated in his honor, and the place is now known as Saint Mellons.
Saint Sevarinus of Cologne, Bishop
Saint Severin of Cologne (in Latin, Severinus) was the third known Bishop of Cologne, living in the later 4th century. Little is known of him. He is said in 376 to have founded a monastery in the then Colonia Agrippina in honour of the martyrs Saints Cornelius and Cyprian, from which developed the later Basilica of St. Severin. Severin is notable as a prominent opponent of Arianism. His bones are today preserved in a gold shrine in the choir of St Severin's Church in Cologne.
Antony María Claret, was born at Sallent in Spain, of pious and respectable parents. As a youth he practiced the weaver's trade, but later became priest. After some time in the parochial ministry, he went to Rome, hoping that the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith would send him to the foreign missions. But God disposed otherwise, and he returned to Spain, where he traveled throughout Catalonia and the Canary Islands as an apostolic missionary. Besides writing many worthwhile books, he founded the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Having been appointed archbishop of Santiago in Cuba, he was conspicuous for the virtues of a zealous shepherd. He restored the seminary, promoted the teaching and the discipline of the clergy, started projects for social welfare, and founded the teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate for the Christian education of girls. At length having been summoned to Madrid, to become confessor to the Queen of Spain and her adviser in the most serious affairs of the Church, he gave an outstanding example of austerity and of all virtues. At the Vatican Council he strenuously defended the infallibility of the Pope. He was responsible for a remarkable spread of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and her Rosary. Finally he died in exile at Fontfroide in France in the year 1870. Renowned for his miracles, he was beatified by Pope Pius XI and canonized by Pius XII.
Saint Raphael, Archangel
Christ, of the angels praise and adoration,
Angel Physician, health on man bestowing,
May the fair Mother of the Light be o’er us,
O May the Godhead, endless bliss possessing,
Then Tobias called to him his son, and said to him: What can we give to this holy man, that is come with thee? 2 Tobias answering, said to his father: Father, what wages shall we give him? or what can be worthy of his benefits? 3 He conducted me and brought me safe again, he received the money of Gabelus, he caused me to have my wife, and he chased from her the evil spirit, he gave joy to her parents, myself he delivered from being devoured by the fish, thee also he hath made to see the light of heaven, and we are filled with all good things through him. What can we give him sufficient for these things? 4 But I beseech thee, my father, to desire him, that he would vouchsafe to accept one half of all things that have been brought.
So the father and the son, calling him, took him aside: and began to desire him that he would vouchsafe to accept of half of all things that they had brought. 6 Then he said to them secretly: Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to him in the sight of all that live, because he hath shewn his mercy to you. 7 For it is good to hide the secret of a king: but honourable to reveal and confess the works of God. 8 Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold: 9 For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. 10 But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. 11 I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you. 12 When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. 13 And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.
And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. 15 For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. 16 And when they had heard these things, they were troubled, and being seized with fear they fell upon the ground on their face. 17 And the angel said to them: Peace be to you, fear not. 18 For when I was with you, I was there by the will of God: bless ye him, and sing praises to him. 19 I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you: but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men. 20 It is time therefore that I return to him that sent me: but bless ye God, and publish all his wonderful works. 21 And when he had said these things, he was taken from their sight, and they could see him no more. 22 Then they lying prostrate for three hours upon their face, blessed God: and rising up, they told all his wonderful works.
25 Saints Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs
Saints Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs
Chrysanthus and Daria were husband and wife, noble by birth, and still more by their faith, which Daria received together with Baptism through her husband's persuasion. At Rome they converted an immense multitude to Christ, Daria instructing the women and Chrysanthus the men. On this account, the prefect Celerinus arrested them, and handed them over to the tribune Claudius, who ordered his soldiers to bind Chrysanthus and put him to the torture. But all his bonds were loosed, and the fetters which were put upon him were broken.
They then wrapped him in the skin of an ox and exposed him
to the burning sun; and next cast him, chained hand and foot, into a very dark
dungeon; but his chains were broken and the prison filled with a brilliant
light. Daria was dragged to a place of infamy; but at her prayer God defended
her from insult by sending a lion to protect her. Finally, they were both led to
the sand pits on the Salarian Way, where they were thrown into a pit and covered
with a heap of stones; and thus they together won the crown of martyrdom.
26 Saint Evaristus, Pope & Martyr
Saint Evaristus, Pope & Martyr
Evaristus was born in Greece, of a Jewish father, and was sovereign Pontiff during the reign of Trajan. He divided the titles of the churches in Rome among the priests, and ordered that the seven deacons should attend the bishop when preaching. He also decreed that, according to the tradition of the apostles, matrimony should be publicly celebrated by a priest. He governed the Church nine years and three months. He held ordinations four times in the month of December, and ordained seventeen priests, two deacons, and fifteen bishops. He was crowned with martyrdom and buried near the tomb of the prince of the apostles on the seventh of the Kalends of November.
27 Saint Frumentius, Bishop
Saint Frumentius, Bishop
Around 330 a philosopher from Tyre named Meropius undertook a voyage to Arabia, accompanied by two young men, Frumentius and Aedesius, to whom he had been appointed tutor. While docked at Ethiopia on the return voyage, a fight broke out in which everyone on the boat was put to the sword; all except the two young men who were studying under a tree nearby. They were discovered after tempers had cooled, and brought to the king who made Aedesius his cup bearer and Frumentius his secretary. With the king's death they were given their liberty, but stayed on to assist the queen-regent at her request. When the prince assumed government in his own name, Frumentius retired to Alexandria, seeking a priest to return with him to establish a mission in Ethiopia. The saintly Athanasius consecrated Frumentius himself bishop of the Ethiopians, beginning the association of the churches of Alexandria and Ethiopia which continues today. Frumentius returned sometime during the 340s and made many converts, including the king and his brother who are venerated as saints in the Ethiopic calendar. Frumentius' association with Athanasius drew suspicion from the Arian Emperor Constantius, but the Ethiopian royal family protected him and he died in peace, the venerated "Abuna," or "Father," of the Ethiopian church.
Simon and Jude, Apostles
Simon and Jude, Apostles
Th' eternal gifts of Christ the King,
For they the Church's princes are,
Theirs was the steadfast faith of saints,
In them the Father's glory shone,
Praise to the Father, with the Son,
Lesson i: Jude i:1-4
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James: to them that are beloved in God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called. 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and charity be fulfilled. 3 Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men are secretly entered in, (who were written of long ago unto this judgment,) ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness, and denying the only sovereign Ruler, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lesson ii: Jude i: 5-8
I will therefore admonish you, though ye once knew all things, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, did afterwards destroy them that believed not: 6 And the angels who kept not their principality, but forsook their own habitation, he hath reserved under darkness in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the great day. 7 As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. 8 In like manner these men also defile the flesh, and despise dominion, and blaspheme majesty.
Lesson iii: Jude i:9-13
When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee. 10 But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted. 11 Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core. 12 These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever.
Simon the Canaanite, called also Zelotes, went through Egypt preaching the Gospel, whileas the like was done in Mesopotamia by Thaddaeus, called also in the Gospel Judas the brother of James, and the writer of one of the Catholic Epistles. They met together afterwards in Persia, where they begat countless children in Jesus Christ, spread the faith far and wide in those lands, amid raging heathens, and glorified together by their teaching and miracles, and, in the end, by a glorious martyrdom, the most holy name of Jesus Christ.
Lesson v: Sermon of St Gregory, Pope
It is written "By His Spirit the Lord hath adorned the heavens" Job xxvi. 13. Now the ornament of the heavens are the godly powers of preachers, and this ornament, what it is, Paul teacheth us thus To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. 1 Cor. xii. 8.
So much power then as have preachers, so much ornament have the heavens. Wherefore again it is written: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made" Ps. xxxii. 6. For the Word of the Lord is the Son of the Father. But, to the end that all the Holy Trinity may be made manifest as the Maker of the heavens, that is, of the Apostles, it is straightway added touching God the Holy Ghost: you and all the host of them by the Breath of His mouth. Therefore the might of the same heavens is the might of the Spirit, for they had not braved the powers of this world, unless the strength of the Holy Ghost had comforted them. For we know what manner of men the Teachers of the Holy Church were before the coming of this Spirit and since He came we see in Whose strength they are made strong.
These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. And so on.
Homily by St Austin, Bishop of Hippo. 87th Tract on John.
In the reading from the Gospel, the last before this, the Lord had said Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go, and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you. And here He saith These things I command you, that ye love one another. And by this it is that we must understand what fruit from us it is, whereof He saith I have chosen,.. that ye should go, and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, and so the words added That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you. He will give unto us when we love one another, since this (mutual love) is itself the gift of Him Who hath chosen us when as yet we were fruitless, since it hath not been we who have chosen Him, (but He Who hath chosen us,) and ordained us, that we should go, and bring forth fruit, that is to say, should love one another. But Thou Lord
Love then, is the fruit which we should bring forth, and the Apostle Paul telleth us 1 Tim. i. 5 that this love is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. This is the love wherewith we love our neighbour, the love wherewith we love God, for we do not really love our neighbour unless we love God. For if any man love God, he loveth his neighbour as himself, since he that loveth not God loveth not himself. For on these two commandments hangeth all the law and the Prophets. Love, then, is the fruit which we should bring forth. And concerning this fruit, the Lord giveth us this commandment These things (saith He) I command you, that ye love one another. Hence also the Apostle Paul Gal. v. 22 when he is about praising up the fruits of the Spirit as opposed to the works of the flesh, saith first of all The fruit of the Spirit is love. And from that as the beginning he draweth out a string of other fruits, as thence begotten and thereto bound, namely, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, chastity.
Who is really joyful that loveth not the cause of his joy? Who can really be at one with another, unless he loveth that other? Who is cheerful under long toil for a good work, unless he loveth the aim? Who is kind, unless he love the object of his tenderness? Who is good, unless by the persuasion of love? Who is truly faithful, unless by the faith which worketh by love? Who is gentle to any use, unless love move him? Who turneth away from baseness unless he love honour? Well, then, doth the Good Master so often command us to love, as though that commandment were all-sufficient, for love is that gift without which all other good things avail nothing, and which cannot be without having every other good gift which maketh a good man good.
29 Saint Narcissus, Bishop
Saint Narcissus, Bishop
Narcissus was already old when placed at the head of the church of Jerusalem. The historian Eusebius says that he was well remembered for his miracles. On one Easter eve, the deacons had not provided oil for the lamps of the church. Narcissus ordered that water be brought, prayed over it, and bade the deacons pour it into the lamps. It was immediately converted into oil. He was accused of some crime, unspecified by Eusebius and apparently unlikely, which caused him to go into hiding. The neighboring bishops appointed several administrators to replace him, but at length he returned, to the great joy of his people. His extreme age caused him to name Saint Alexander as his coadjutor. Narcissus died peacefully in 215, well over a hundred years old.
30 Saint Marcellus, Martyr
Saint Marcellus, Martyr
Marcellus was a Roman centurion who resigned from his legion after becoming a Christian and becoming convinced that service in the emperor's forces was incompatible with his new calling: "I serve Jesus Christ, the eternal King. I will no longer serve your emperors, and I scorn to worship your gods of wood and stone, which are deaf and dumb idols." He cast off his military belt and vine-switch, the symbols of his office. For this he was cast into prison and ultimately put to the sword in 298 by the deputy pr‘torian prefect, Aurelius Agricolan. While being led to his execution he turned to Aurelius, saying, "May God be good to you, Agricolan."
Vigil of All Saints
At that time Jesus came down from the mountain, and stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea, and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. And so on.
Homily by St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.
Mark well how Jesus goeth upward with His disciples, and downward to the multitude. How should the multitude behold Christ, save in a lower place? Such go not up to the things which are above; such attain not to the things which are high. And when Jesus cometh down, He findeth such as are diseased for such like go not up to the heights. Hence also Matthew saith that there were there all sick people, iv. 23. Of these every man had need of healing, that, when he had received strength, by and by, he might go up into the mountain. And therefore, being Himself come down, He healeth them in the plain, that is to say, He calleth them away from their lust, and freeth them of their blindness. He cometh down to our wounds, to the end that by a certain use of His nature, and by the abundance thereof, He might make us jointheirs of the kingdom of heaven. But Thou Lord
Blessed be ye poor, for your's is the kingdom of God. Saint Luke giveth us but four of the Lord's Beatitudes, and Saint Matthew eight but in those eight are contained these four, and in these four those eight. For in these four are embraced the cardinal virtues and in those eight they are set forth in a number full of mystery. It is written at the head of more than one of the Psalms that they are for the octave, and thou hast received the commandment Give a portion to seven, and also to eight to seven or eight what? Perchance degrees of blessedness. For as this eighth Beatitude doth name the most glorious realization of our hope the kingdom of Heaven so doth it also name the most royal exertion of our strength blessed are they which are persecuted.
But let us first consider the fuller of the forms of these Beatitudes. Blessed be ye poor, for your's is the kingdom of God. Both of the Evangelists give to this Beatitude the first place. Yea, surely, for poorness, at least in spirit, is the first in order, the mother, and procreatrix of virtues; since he that setteth no store by temporal things, winneth toward eternal things; neither is any man able to gain the kingdom of heaven, on whom the love of this present world doth so press, that he cannot rid himself thereof.
O Lord, our God, multiply Thy grace upon us, and grant us in our holy profession to follow the joy of those whose glorious solemnity we anticipate. Through our Lord....
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