Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Occurring Scripture for the Hour of Matins

Our Lady of the Rosary

Fifth Week of September

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If there is no pace for this Sunday, this entire week is omitted.

Lesson i
Here begins the Book of Esther
Esther 1:1-4

    In the days of Assuerus, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces:  When he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city Susan was the capital of his kingdom.  Now in the third year of his reign he made a great feast for all the princes, and for his servants, for the most mighty of the Persians, and the nobles of the Medes, and the governors of the provinces in his sight,  That he might show the riches of the glory of his kingdom, and the greatness, and boasting of his power, for a long time, to wit, for a hundred and fourscore days.

Esther 1:5-6

    And when the days of the feast were expired, he invited all the people that were found in Susan, from the greatest to the least: and commanded a feast to be made seven days in the court of the garden, and of the wood, which was planted by the care and the hand of the king.  And there were hung up on every side sky colored, and green, and violet hangings, fastened with cords of silk, and of purple, which were put into rings of ivory, and were held up with marble pillars. The beds also were of gold and silver, placed in order upon a floor paved with porphyry and white marble: which was embellished with painting of wonderful variety.

Esther 1:7-9

    And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and the meats were brought in divers vessels one after another. Wine also in abundance and of the best was presented, as was worthy of a king's magnificence.  Neither was there any one to compel them to drink that were not willing, but as the king had appointed, who set over every table one of his nobles, that every man might take what he would.  Also Vasthi the queen made a feast for the women in the palace, where king Assuerus was used to dwell.

Lesson iv
From the Book On Duties by Saint Ambrose, Bishop
Bk. iii. ch. 15.

    What did Queen Esther do? Did she not, to save her people from danger (a beautiful and noble object), put herself in jeopardy of death, and face the anger of the cruel King of the Persians, cruel and violent as he was, nevertheless, thought it seemly to show grace unto him that told him of the plot that was made against him, to free the people from bondage, and to deliver them from death, but not to spare him that had persuaded such iniquity. In the end he sent up to the gallows, whom he had held second only to himself, and first among all his friends, because he found himself dishonored through his false counsels.

Lesson v
Cap. 16.

    That true friendship, which cares for honor, cares less for riches, or dignities, or power than for itself, but for honor before itself.  Such was the friendship of Jonathan, which caused him to risk the anger of his father, and danger to himself (1 Kings 19:1).  Such was the friendship of Achimelech, who chose to earn death for himself by giving relief to David, rather than to betray the outlaw (1 Kings 22:16).  But before honour nothing is to be put, and friendship must not be allowed to outrun it, even as we are warned by the Scriptures.

Lesson vi

The Philosophers have started divers questions whether friendship can, or cannot justify disloyalty to a man's own countrywhether friendship can, or cannot justify serving a friend at the cost of a breach of faith. Scripture indeed says: "A man that bears false witness against his neighbor, is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow" (cf. Proverbs 25:18). But mark that what is here condemned is not witness by itself, but false witness. How can a man be compelled to give such witness, for the sake of God or for the sake of his country? Ought friendship outweigh religion?  Is not to say this, as much as to say that a sinful weakness is to outweigh a duty?



Lesson i
A reading from the Book of Esther
Esther 2:5-7

    There was a man in the city of Susan, a Jew, named Mardochai, the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the race of Jemini, who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away Jechonias king of Juda.  And he had brought up his brother's daughter Edissa, who by another name was called Esther: now she had lost both her parents: and was exceeding fair and beautiful. And her father and mother being dead, Mardochai adopted her for his daughter.

Lesson ii
Esther 2:8-11

    And when the king's ordinance was noised abroad, and according to his commandment many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan, and were delivered to Egeus the eunuch: Esther also among the rest of the maidens was delivered to him to be kept in the number of the women.  And she pleased him, and found favor in his sight. And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's ornaments, and to deliver to her her part, and seven of the most beautiful maidens of the king's house, and to adorn and deck out both her and her waiting maids.  And she would not tell him her people nor her country. For Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at all of that:  And Mardochai himself walked every day before the court of the house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know what would befall her.


Lesson iii
Esther 2:15-17

    And as the time came about, the day was at hand, when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mardochai, whom he had adopted for his daughter, was to go in to the king. But she sought not women's ornaments, but whatsoever Egeus the eunuch the keeper of the virgins had a mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable in the eyes of all. So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.  And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favor and kindness before him above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi.



Lesson i
A reading from the Book of Esther
Esther 3:1-3

    After these things, king Assuerus advanced Aman, the son of Amadathi, who was of the race of Agag: and he set his throne above all the princes that were with him.  And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of the palace, bent their knees, and worshipped Aman: for so the emperor had commanded them, only Mardochai did not bend his knee, nor worship him.  And the king's servants that were chief at the doors of the palace, said to him: "Why do you alone not observe the king's commandment?"

Lesson ii
Esther 3:4-6

    And when they were saying this often, and he would not hearken to them; they told Aman, desirous to know whether he would continue in his resolution: for he had told them that he was a Jew.  Now when Aman had heard this, and had proved by experience that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, nor worship him, he was exceeding angry. And he would not be satisfied laying his hands upon Mardochai alone:

Lesson iii
Esther 3:6-7

    For he had heard that Mardochai was of the nation of the Jews, and he chose rather to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in the kingdom of Assuerus.   In the first month (which is called Nisan) in the twelfth year a of the reign of Assuerus, the lot was cast into an urn, which in Hebrew is called Phur, before Aman, on what day and what month the nation of the Jews should be destroyed: and there came out the twelfth month, which is called Adar.


Lesson i
A reading from the Book of Esther
Esther 4:1-5

    Now when Mardochai had heard these things, he rent his garments, and put on sackcloth, strewing ashes on his head: and he cried with a loud voice in the street in the midst of the city, showing the anguish of his mind.  And he came lamenting in this manner even to the gate of the palace: for no one clothed with sackcloth might enter the king's court.  And in all provinces, towns, and places, to which the king's cruel edict was come, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, wailing, and weeping, many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed.  Then Esther's maids and her eunuchs went in, and told her. And when she heard it she was in a consternation: and she sent a garment, to clothe him, and to take away the sackcloth: but he would not receive it.  And she called for Athach the eunuch, whom the king had appointed to attend her, and she commanded him to go to Mardochai, and learn of him why he did this.

Lesson ii
Esther 4:6-11

    And Athach going out went to Mardochai, who was standing in the street of the city, before the palace gate:  And Mardochai told him all that had happened, how Aman had promised to pay money into the king's treasures, to have the Jews destroyed.  He gave him also a copy of the edict which was hanging up in Susan, that he should show it to the queen, and admonish her to go in to the king, and to entreat him for her people.  And Athach went back and told Esther all that Mardochai had said.  She answered him, and bade him say to Mardochai:  "All the king's servants, and all the provinces that are under his dominion, know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, comes into the king's inner court, who is not called for, is immediately to be put to death without any delay: unless the king holds out the golden scepter to him, in token of clemency, that he may live. How then can I go in to the king, who for these thirty days now have not been called unto him?"

Lesson iii
Esther 4:12-17

  And when Mardochai had heard this,  he sent word to Esther again, saying: "Think not that you may save your life alone, because you are in the king's house, more than all the Jews:  For if you now hold your peace, the Jews shall be delivered by some other occasion: and you, and your father's house shall perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom, that you might be ready in such a time as this?"  And again Esther sent to Mardochai in these words:  "Go, and gather together all the Jews you can find in Susan, and pray for me. Neither eat nor drink for three days and three nights: and I with my handmaids will fast in like manner, and then I will go in to the king, against the law, not being called, and expose myself to death and danger.  So Mardochai went, and did all that Esther had commanded him.


Lesson i
A reading from the Book of Esther
Esther 5:1-5

    And on the third day Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's hall: now he sat upon his throne in the hall of the palace, over against the door of the house.  And when he saw Esther the queen standing, she pleased his eyes, and he held out toward her the golden scepter, which he held in his hand: and she drew near, and kissed the top of his scepter.  And the king said to her: "What would you like, queen Esther? what is your request? if you should even ask one half of the kingdom, I will give it to you."  But she answered: "If it please the king. I beseech you to come to me this day, and Aman with you to the banquet which I have prepared." And the king immediately said: "Call Aman quickly, that he may obey Esther's will. So the king and Aman came to the banquet which the queen had prepared for them.

Lesson ii
Esther 5:9-13

    So Aman went out that day joyful and merry. And when he saw Mardochai sitting before the gate of the palace, and that he not only did not rise up to honor him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was exceedingly angry:  But dissembling his anger, and returning into his house, he called together to him his friends, and Zares his wife:  And he declared to them the greatness of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and with how great glory the king had advanced him above all his princes and servants.  And after this he said: "Queen Esther has not invited any other to the banquet with the king, but me: and with her I am also to dine tomorrow with the king:  And whereas I have all these things, I think I have nothing, so long as I see Mardochai the Jew sitting before the king's gate."

Lesson iii
Esther 5:14

    Then Zares his wife, and the rest of his friends answered him: "Order a great beam to be prepared, fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king, that Mardochai may be hanged upon it, and so you shall go full of joy with the king to the banquet." The counsel pleased him, and he commanded a high gibbet to be prepared.


Lesson i
A reading from the Book of Esther
Esther 6:1-5

    That night the king passed without sleep, and he commanded the histories and chronicles of former times to be brought him. And when they were reading them before him,  They came to that place where it was written, how Mardochai had discovered the treason of Bagathan and Thares the eunuchs, who sought to kill king Assuerus.  And when the king heard this, he said: What honor and reward has Mardochai received for this fidelity?"  His servants and ministers said to him: "He has received no reward at all."  And the king said immediately: "Who is in the court?"  for Aman was coming in to the inner court of the king's house, to speak to the king, that he might order Mardochai to be hanged upon the gibbet which was prepared for him. The servants answered: "Aman stands in the court," and the king said: "Let him come in."

Lesson ii
Esther 6:6-9

And when he had come in, Assuerus said to him: What ought to be done to the man whom the king desires to honor? But Aman thinking in his heart, and supposing that the king would honor no other but himself,  answered: "The man whom the king desires to honour ought to be clothed with the king's apparel, and to be set upon the horse that the king rides upon, and to have the royal crown upon his head.  And let the first of the king's princes and nobles hold his horse, and going through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say: "Thus shall he be honored, whom the king has a mind to honor."

Lesson iii
Esther 6:10-13

    And the king said to him: "Make haste and take the robe and the horse, and do as you have spoken to Mardochai the Jew, who sits before the gates of the palace. Beware not to pass over any of those things which you said."  So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arraying Mardochai in the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, went before him, and proclaimed: "This honor is he worthy of, whom the king has a mind to honour.  But Mardochai returned to the palace gate: and Aman made haste to go to his house, mourning and having his head covered:  And he told Zares his wife, and his friends, all that had befallen him. And the wise men whom he had in counsel, and his wife answered him: If Mardochai is of the seed of the Jews, before whom you have begun to fall, you cannot not resist him, but you shall fall in his sight.


Lesson i
A reading from the Book of Esther
Esther 7:1-4

    So the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen.  And the king said to her again the second day, after he was warm with wine: "What is your petition, Esther, that it may be granted you? and what will you have donealthough you ask half of my kingdom, you shall have it."  Then she answered: "If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please you, give me my life for which I ask, and my people for which I request.  For we have been given up, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold for bondmen and bondwomen: the evil might be borne with, and I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redounds upon the king."

Lesson ii
Esther 7:5-10

    And king Assuerus answered and said: "Who is this, and of what power, that he should do these things?" And Esther said: "It is this Aman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy."  Aman hearing this was  astonished, not being able to look at the king and of the queen. But the king being angry rose up, and went from the place of the banquet into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose up to entreat Esther the queen for his life, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king. And when the king came back out of the garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman was fallen upon the bed on which Esther lay, and he said: "He will force the queen also in my presence, in my own house." The word had not yet gone out of the king's mouth, and immediately they covered his face.  And Harbona, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on the king, said: "Behold the gibbet which he prepared for Mardochai, who spoke for the king, stands in Aman's house, being fifty cubits high." And the king said to him: "Hang him upon it."  So Aman was hanged on the gibbet, which he had prepared for Mardochai: and the king's wrath ceased.

Lesson iii
Esther 8:1-5

    On that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the Jews' enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai came in before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that Mardochai was her uncle.  And the king took the ring which he had commanded to be taken again from Aman, and gave it to Mardochai. And Esther set Mardochai over her house.  And not content with these things, she fell down at the king's feet and wept, and speaking to him besought him, that he would give orders that the malice of Aman the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which he had invented against the Jews, should be of no effect.  But he, as the manner was, held out the golden scepter with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up and stood before him,  And said: "If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and my request be not disagreeable to him, I beseech thee, that the former letters of Aman the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he commanded that they should be destroyed in all the king's provinces, may be reversed by new letters."

If the third lesson is to be taken from the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin or from a simplex feast of a Saint, Lesson iii above is omitted.



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