Tuesday, July 7, 2020
St. Lawrence of Brindisi
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Before the changes to the Calendar of Saints in 1960 under John XXIII, the Feast of St. Lawrence Brindisi was kept in some places on July 7th. In 1960, after he was named a Doctor of the Church, his feast was moved to July 22nd. July 22nd was the Feast of St. Praxedes. After this change, as seen in the 1962 Missal, St. Praxedes was reduced to a Commemoration to make room for St. Lawrence's feastday. St. Lawrence of Brindisi was the last saint to be named a Doctor of the Church before Vatican II.

St. Lawrence acquired great fame for learning and eloquence. He labored with remarkable success in most parts of Europe preaching to Catholics, Protestants, and  Jews. When 80,000 Turks invaded Hungary in 1605, he inspired the united Christian armies of 18,000 men to the attack and led the charge while carrying a large cross. The Christian forces were victorious. He died in Lisbon in 1619 at 60 years of age.

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) was an Italian Capuchin Franciscan. Lawrence could read and speak Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish, and French fluently. Lawrence was ordained a priest at the age of 23. He was beatified in 1783 and canonized in 1881. He was named a Doctor of the Church in 1959.

Collect:

O God, who didst confer upon Thy Confessor and Doctor, blessed Laurence, a spirit of wisdom and fortitude in hard labors for the glory of Thy name and for the salvation of souls, grant us in the same spirit both to perceive where our duty lies, and to accomplish it through his intercession. Through our Lord . . .
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Friday, July 3, 2020
Within the Octave of Ss. Peter and Paul
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We are currently in the Octave of Ss. Peter and Paul. This is a Common Octave, meaning that the Mass and Office of Ss. Peter and Paul during the Octave days gives way to any feast day above the level of Simple. In practice, the only intra octave day where the Mass of Ss. Peter and Paul could be celebrated would be July 4th. The other intra octave days would be outranked by the liturgical feasts already on the Calendar of SaintsYet July 4th is Our Lady of Refuge in the Diocese of San Diego and in some places, such as Los Angeles and Brooklyn, it is the Commemoration of All Holy Popes.

Brief History of Octaves:

By the 8th century, Rome had developed liturgical octaves not only for Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas but also for the Epiphany and the feast of the dedication of a church.

After 1568, when Pope Pius V reduced the number of octaves (since by then they had grown considerably), the number of Octaves was still plentiful.  Octaves were classified into several types. Easter and Pentecost had "specially privileged" octaves, during which no other feast whatsoever could be celebrated. Christmas, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi had "privileged" octaves, during which certain highly ranked feasts might be celebrated. The octaves of other feasts allowed even more feasts to be celebrated.

To reduce the repetition of the same liturgy for several days, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X made further distinctions, classifying octaves into three primary types: privileged octaves, common octaves, and simple octaves. Privileged octaves were arranged in a hierarchy of first, second, and third orders. For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their timeframes:
  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents 
Traditional Catholics still attached to the pre-1955 Missal will be familiar with the above list of Octaves. We can live out this forgotten Octave by adding to our daily prayers the Collect from Ss. Peter and Paul. And we can certainly pray a litany in honor of all holy popes.

Collect:

O God, Who hast consecrated this day to the martyrdom of Thine apostles Peter and Paul, grant to Thy Church in all things to follow their teaching from whom it received the right ordering of religion in the beginning. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
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Thursday, July 2, 2020
Prayer for the Restoration of the Roman Mass
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O Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest and Immaculate Lamb of God, slain for us and for many on the altar of Calvary, and continually offered to Thy Heavenly Father in the clean oblation of Thy Eucharistic Sacrifice:

Grant, we beseech Thee, through the merits and prayers of Thy Saints Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas and Pius V, that the holy Roman and Apostolic Catholic Mass, ratified, expounded and perpetuated by them respectively, may be rightly restored to the altars of Thy Church throughout the world; that once again this most awesome, majestic and perennial rite may offer infinite worship and homage to the Most Blessed Trinity; the fullest fruits and consolation and spiritual nourishment to the faithful; an impregnable defense and counterbalance against the rising tide of evil; and a sure termination of the anguish, fear, doubts and profanations occasioned by its unsanctioned abandonment and replacement.

O Holy Saints of the centuries, who sanctified and nourished your souls with the perennial Roman Mass, and Holy Martyrs who shed your blood for it, grant, we pray in desperation, that we will no longer be bereft of it, and that we will, as you, commit ourselves to the Mass at all costs and to the last breath of our lives.

O Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Immaculate Eucharistic Victim, pray for us that we may bravely, prudently, diligently, and with sound doctrine and means pursue the rectification of the present encroachment on the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and secure with thy powerful maternal aid the restoration of our Roman Catholic Mass and the Reign and Order of the Kingship of Jesus Christ thy Son. Amen.
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Commoration of Ss Processus and Martinian
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The Martyrdom of St Processus and St Martinian by Valentin de Boulogne

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): July 2

Besides the feast day of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, July 2nd is the Commemoration of Saints Processus and Martinian. According to tradition, these martyrs converted by St. Peter, were jailers of the Mamertine prison in Rome.

The Catholic Encyclopedia published in 1911 states:
They were publicly venerated in Rome from the fourth or perhaps the third century, although nothing further is known. A legend makes them the keepers of the prison of Sts. Peter and Paul (Lipsius, "Apokryphe Apostelgeschich. u. Apostellegenden", II, Brunswick, 1887, 92, 105 sqq., 110 sq.). It cannot be shown how the legend came to give them this identification. Pope Paschal I (817-24) translated the bones of the two martyrs to a chapel in the old basilica of St. Peter; they still rest under the altar dedicated to them in the right transept of the present St. Peter's. Their feast is celebrated on 2 July.
When the Visitation was added to the Calendar, the observance of their feast was reduced to a commemoration.

Collect:

The glorious profession of faith of Your holy martyrs Processus and Martinian overshadows and protects us. May we profit by their example and rejoice in the assistance of their prayers. Through our Lord . . .
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Friday, June 26, 2020
Fast & Abstinence on the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): June 28

The Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul, like the vigils of the other apostles which used to be days of fasting and preparation, has fallen by the wayside after the changes to the Church's liturgical life even before Vatican II. This particular day of fasting is one of the few remnants of the Apostles Fast, which was instituted by Pope St. Leo the Great in 461.

Part of the reason for preparation was on account of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul being a Universal Holy Day of Obligation in many places. In fact, all of the feasts of the Apostles were Holy Days of Obligation on the Universal Calendar from 932 AD to 1911. However, most localities did not observe all of these feastdays as Holy Days. The Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul was the most commonly observed Holy Day among the feasts of the apostles.

At the time of America's formation, the holydays of obligation, in addition to every Sunday, were as follows for the new country: the feasts of Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphany, Annunciation, Easter Monday, Ascension, Corpus Christi, Ss. Peter and Paul, Assumption, and All Saints. The fasting days were the Ember Days of each of the seasons; the forty days Lent; Wednesdays and Fridays in Advent; and the vigils of Christmas, Pentecost, Ss Peter and Paul, and All Saints. Notice, the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul as well as the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul on the list.

The Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul ceased being a fast day in America by 1842. It was not until 1885 under Pope Leo XIII that Ss. Peter and Paul ceased being a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States. Yet it remained as a Holy Day in many other places. Even after the significant changes made by Pope St. Pius X to the list of Holy Days in 1911, Ss. Peter and Paul remained a Holy Day of Obligation in the Universal Church, though it was not reestablished as such in the United States: "Where, however, any of the above feasts has been abolished or transferred, the new legislation is not effective. In the United States consequently the Epiphany and the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul are not days of precept" (Catholic Encyclopedia).

In Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and Canada the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul remained a day of fasting and abstinence up until the 1917 Code of Canon law. In 1902, the Holy Father granted a special dispensation for Catholics in England from fasting on the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul in honor of the coronation of King Edward VII, illustrating historical proof of its observance in the early part of the 20th century.

Per the 1917 Code, fasting and abstinence were not observed should a vigil fall on a Sunday as stated in the code: "If a vigil that is a fast day falls on a Sunday the fast is not to be anticipated on Saturday, but is dropped altogether that year." However, beforehand, the fast was observed to the Saturday previous. As a result, in years when the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 28th) falls on a Sunday, we can observe the fast and abstinence on Satuday. Other years, we can voluntarily observe June 28th as a day of fasting and abstinence to prepare for the Feast in honor of Ss. Peter and Paul.

The wisdom of Dom Gueranger, written in the late 1800s, can apply to us even today:
Let us, then, recollect ourselves, preparing our hearts in union with holy Church, by faithfully observing this vigil.  When the obligation of thus keeping up certain days of preparation previous to the festivals is strictly maintained by a people, it is a sign that Faith is still living amongst them; it proves that they understand the greatness of that which the holy liturgy proposes to their homage.  Christians in the West, we who make the glory of Saints Peter and Paul our boast, let us remember the Lent in honour of the Apostles begun by Greek schismatics on the close of the Paschal solemnities, and continued up to this day.  The contrast between them and ourselves will be of a nature to stir softness and ingratitude hold too large a share.  If certain concessions have, for grave reasons, been reluctantly made by the Church, so that the fast of this vigil is not longer observed, let us see therein a double motive for holding fast to her precious Tradition.  Let us make up by fervor, thanksgiving and love, for the severity lacking in our observance, which is yet still maintained by so many Churches notwithstanding their schismatic separation from Rome.
While the Vigils of the other Apostles were removed by Pope Pius XII in 1955, the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul remained and is preserved in the 1962 Missal. At the time of the formation of the Tridentine Calendar, the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul was commemorated on June 28th as it fell on the Feast of St. Leo II. In 1921, the Feast of St. Leo II was moved to July 3rd, and St. Irenaeus was added to the Universal Calendar on June 28th; the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul remained commemorated. However, in 1960, St. Irenaeus was moved to July 3rd, and St. Leo II disappeared from the Calendar to free up the 28th entirely for the Vigil. Sadly, the vigil disappeared altogether in the Novus Ordo 1969 Calendar. Therefore, how the Vigil is celebrated or commemorated on June 28th will depend on the year of the Missal. You can read more about the liturgical feasts on June 28th at the New Liturgical Movement.

Collect:

O Almighty God, let no disturbance upset us, for You have established us upon the rock of Your apostles. Through our Lord . . .
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Octave of St. John the Baptist
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We are currently in the Octave of St. John the Baptist, which lasts from the Feast of St. John the Baptist's Nativity on June 24th through the Octave Day on July 1st. This is a Common Octave, meaning that the Mass and Office of St. John the Baptist during the Octave days gives way to any feast day above the level of Simple. In practice, the only intra octave day where the Mass of St. John would be celebrated, rather than merely commemorated, would be on June 27th. The other intra octave days would be outranked by the liturgical feasts already on the Calendar of Saints.

Brief History of Octaves:

By the 8th century, Rome had developed liturgical octaves not only for Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas but also for the Epiphany and the feast of the dedication of a church.

After 1568, when Pope Pius V reduced the number of octaves (since by then they had grown considerably), the number of Octaves was still plentiful.  Octaves were classified into several types. Easter and Pentecost had "specially privileged" octaves, during which no other feast whatsoever could be celebrated. Christmas, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi had "privileged" octaves, during which certain highly ranked feasts might be celebrated. The octaves of other feasts allowed even more feasts to be celebrated.

To reduce the repetition of the same liturgy for several days, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X made further distinctions, classifying octaves into three primary types: privileged octaves, common octaves, and simple octaves. Privileged octaves were arranged in a hierarchy of first, second, and third orders. For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their timeframes:
  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents 
Traditional Catholics still attached to the pre-1955 Missal will be familiar with the above list of Octaves. We can live out this forgotten Octave by adding to our daily prayers the Collect from the Nativity of the Lord's Precursor.

Collect:

O God, Who hast made this day worthy of honor by the birth of blessed John: grant to Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful into the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Nativity of St. John the Baptist - A Former Holy Day of Obligation
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Birth of St. John the Baptist: Giordano Luca (1670's), The Hermitage

Among the casualties of liturgical change and relaxation in discipline in the past few centuries has been the loss of importance for the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on June 24th. In "Christian Feasts and Customs," Father Weiser writes of the importance of the Feast of St. John's Nativity:
"The Council of Agde, in 506, listed the Nativity of Saint John among the highest feasts of the year, a day on which all faithful had to attend Mass and abstain from servile work. Indeed, so great was the rank of this festival that, just as on Christmas, three Masses were celebrated, one during the vigil service, the second at dawn, the third in the morning. In 1022, a synod at Seligenstadt, Germany, prescribed a fourteen-day fast and abstinence in preparation for the Feast of the Baptist. This, however, was never accepted into universal practice by the Roman authorities."
By the time of the changes to the Holy Days of Obligation in 1642, Pope Urban VIII kept the Nativity of St. John the Baptist as a day of precept. Why the importance? Father Wiser explains:
"The days of all the Apostles were raised to the rank of public holydays in 932. The feasts of Saint Michael, Saint Stephen, Saint John the Baptist, and other saints of the early centuries were celebrated in the past as holydays among all Christian nations."
By the time of his writing in the 1950s, in regards to the feasts of saints, only St. Joseph, Ss. Peter and Paul, All Saints, and the Marian Feasts of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception remained as days of precept. And of these, Saint Joseph and Ss. Peter and Paul were exempt from obligation in the United States by dispensation from the Holy See.


In Ireland, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist remained as a day of full precept longer than many other days. When changes were made to the Irish holydays in 1755 under Pope Benedict XIV and in 1778 under Pope Pius VI, the Nativity of St. John remained as a day of double precept, even when the feasts of the apostles were reduced to single precept. It was not abolished as a day of precept until 1831 in Ireland

The southeastern Colonies in modern-day Florida and Lousiana kept the Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist as a day of fasting for much longer than other places. Even today, the Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist is celebrated with bonfires in many Catholic nations. And St. John the Baptist's Nativity is a public holiday in Quebec and Puerto Rico and Catalonia (where Barcelona is).

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is one of only three birthdays celebrated by the Church - the other two are of our Lord and our Lady. The uniqueness of the Nativity of St. John and its previous rank as one of the primary holydays should instill in us greater devotion to this festival day, and a greater desire to do penance in advance.

Dom Gueranger, writing on the great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord's Forerunner, relates the following:
On this day, therefore, let us too imitate the Church; let us avoid that forgetfulness which bespeaks ingratitude; let us hail, with thanksgiving and heartfelt gladness, the arrival of him who promises our Saviour to us. Already Christmas is announced. On the Lateran Piazza (or Square) the faithful Roman people will keep vigil to-night, awaiting the hour which will allow the eve's strict fast and abstinence to be broken, when they may give themselves up to innocent enjoyment, the prelude of those rejoicings wherewith, six months hence, they will be greeting the Emmanuel. 
St John's vigil is no longer of precept. Formerly, however, not one day’s fasting only, but an entire Lent was observed at the approach of the Nativity of the Precursor, resembling in its length and severity that of the Advent of our Lord. The more severe had been the holy exactions of the preparation, the more prized and the better appreciated would be the festival. After seeing the penance of St John's fast equalled to the austerity of that preceding Christmas, is it not surprising to behold the Church in her liturgy making the two Nativities closely resemble one another, to a degree that would be apt to stagger the limping faith of many nowadays? 
The Nativity of St John, like that of our Lord, was celebrated by three Masses: the first, in the dead of night, commemorated his title of Precursor; the second, at daybreak, honoured the baptism he conferred; the third, at the hour of Terce, hailed his sanctity. The preparation of the bride, the consecration of the Bridegroom, his own peerless holiness: a threefold triumph, which at once linked the servant to the Master, and deserved the homage of a triple sacrifice to God the Thrice-Holy, manifested to John in the plurality of his Persons, and revealed by him to the Church. In like manner, as there were formerly two Matins on Christmas night, so, in many places, a double Office was celebrated on the feast of St John, as Durandus of Mende, following Honorius of Autun, informs us.[41] The first Office began at the decline of day; it was without Alleluia, in order to signify the time of the Law and the Prophets which lasted up to St John. The second Office, begun in the middle of the night, terminated at dawn; this was sung with Alleluia, to denote the opening of the time of grace and of the kingdom of God.
Collect:

O God, Who hast made this day worthy of honor by the birth of blessed John: grant to Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful into the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord.
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Monday, June 22, 2020
Collection of FSSP Newsletters for Sale
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Over the years I've accumulated a large number of FSSP newsletters. I'll be moving in a few days and would rather sell these than bring them. They range in time from 2009 to 2018. They do offer some great spiritual reflections that do make good spiritual reading. Please message me using my email address on my profile to discuss. I'm only able to ship within the US or to US territories.




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Sunday, June 21, 2020
Sermon for Sunday Within the Octave of the Sacred Heart
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A fantastic sermon on this Sunday Within the Octave of the Sacred Heart. Well worth the listen! And a great activity after listening is to pray the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.
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Saturday, June 20, 2020
The Most Pure Heart of Our Lady (Second Saturday after Corpus Christi)
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On the Second Saturday after Corpus Christi is the Mass in Some Places (pro aliquibus locis) of the Most Pure Heart of Our Lady. Listed in the back of the Angelus Press Missal with other Masses "in some places and congregations" is a short description: "Mary began her journey along the road to perfection at a height to which other Saints arrive only at the end of a long life of saintliness. In all other children of Adam original sin prevented the divine generosity from having a free course. But Mary was created immaculate, and therefore the grace of God streamed into her soul without check or hindrance. Her sinlessness, her heavenly purity, directed every action, every moment to God. Her Heart was the batter and model of all virtues, of her purity. 'Blessed are the pure in heart!'"


INTROIT Ps. 44. 14-15

All the glory of the King's Daughter is within, in golden borders, clothed round about with variety: after her shall virgins be brought to the King, her neighbours shall be brought unto thee. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia). Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak of my works to the King. Glory be to the Father . . .

COLLECT  

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Heart of Blessed Mary the Virgin didst prepare a dwelling worthy of the Holy Ghost: mercifully grant, that we who with devout minds celebrate the festival of that most pure Heart, may be enabled to live according to Thine own Heart. Through our Lord. 

EPISTLE Canticles, 8. 6-7

Put me as a seal upon thy heart; as a seal upon thine arms; for love is strong as death; jealousy is hard as hell; the lamps thereof are lamps of fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity, nor shall the floods drown it; if a man have given all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.

GRADUAL Wisdom 7:25-26

Naught that is defied cometh into her: she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God's Majesty; and the image of His goodness. (Cant. 6. 2). I to my beloved, and my beloved to me, who feedeth among the lilies.

Alleluia, alleluia. My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 2:48-51

At that time: The Mother of Jesus said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His Mother kept all these words in her heart.

OFFERTORY Jud 15:11

Because thou hast done manfully, and hast strengthened thy heart: therefore also the hand of the Lord hath strengthened thee, and thou shalt be blessed forever.

SECRET  

To Thy majesty, O Lord, we offer up the Lamb without blemish, beseeching Thee that in our hearts may be enkindled that divine fire, which so ineffably consumed the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through the same Lord.

COMMUNION Canticles. 2. 3 

Under the shadow of Him whom I desired have I sat down, and His fruit is sweet to my taste.

POSTCOMMUNION

Refreshed by Thy divine gifts, we humbly entreat Thee, O Lord, that by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose most pure Heart we now solemnly celebrate, we may be delivered from present dangers, and obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through our Lord. 
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