Showing posts with label Feastday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feastday. Show all posts
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Vigil of St. Matthew
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): September 20

In addition to the Feast of St. Eustace, September 20th is also the Vigil of Saint Matthew. If this Mass is celebrated, the vestments are violet. Otherwise, the Vigil is commemorated at the Mass of St. Eustace.

Traditionally the feasts of all the apostles, which were Holy Days of Obligation in previous times, were preceded with a vigil. It has been kept in the Church from ancient times and is mentioned in the Martyrology of St. Jerome.

Today is a worthwhile day, in years when the Vigil does not fall on a Sunday, for us to fast and abstain from meat as we prepare to celebrate St. Matthew's feastday. In years when the Vigil falls on a Sunday, before the advent of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the fast would be anticipated on Saturday, the day prior.

Luke 5: 27-32 (the Proper Last Gospel today at the Mass of St. Eustace if a second Mass for the Vigil is not offered):

At that time, Jesus saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom; and He said to him, "Follow Me." And, leaving all things, he rose up, and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his own house; and there was a great company of publicans, and of others, that were at table with them. But the pharisees and scribes murmured, saying to His disciples, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering, said to them, "They that are whole need not the physician: but they that are sick. I came not to call the just, but sinners, to penance."

Collect:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the august solemnity of blessed Matthew, Thine apostle and Evangelist, to which we look forward, may increase both our devotion and our salvation. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ: Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God.

Image Source: Tridentine Mass Society of Madison

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Monday, August 17, 2020
Octave Day of Saint Lawrence
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This painting is in the parish church of Montreal in southern France. Taken by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP

Today is the Octave Day of St. Lawrence, the illustrious martyr. For a history of Octaves including the history of the Octave Day of St. Lawrence, which is a simple octave, please see Zephrinus.


Like all of the most important feasts, that of St. Lawrence was traditionally celebrated with an octave; the octave day has a proper Mass, like the octave of Ss. Peter and Paul, sharing only the Epistle and Gospel with the feast day. The introit of this Mass is taken from Psalm 16, which is also said at Matins of St. Lawrence: “Thou hast proved my heart, and visited it by night, thou hast tried me by fire: and iniquity hath not been found in me.” The words “visited (my heart) by night” refer to the Emperor’s threat to torture Lawrence for the length of the night, to which the great Levite answered, “My night hath no darkness, but in it, all things shine brightly in the light.”

Collect:

Grant us, we beseech Thee O almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our evil dispositions, as Thou didst grant blessed Lawrence to overcome the fires of his torments. 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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Sunday, August 16, 2020
St. Roch, Patron Saint Against Sickness
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August 16th is kept in some places as the Feast of St. Roch, the patron saint against sickness and epidemics. Today is also the Feast of St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Roch was a citizen of Montpellier in the South of France, who devoted his life to the serving of the plague-stricken. On their behalf, God enabled His servant to work many miracles. He died in 1337 AD and has since been venerated as the special advocate of the sick.

Numerous brotherhoods have been instituted in his honor. He is usually represented in the garb of a pilgrim, often lifting his tunic to demonstrate the plague sore, or bubo, in his thigh, and accompanied by a dog carrying a loaf in its mouth. The Third Order of Saint Francis, by tradition, claims him as a member and includes his feast on its own calendar of saints, observing it on August 17.

The following is taken from CatholicTradition.org:

Born at Montpellier towards 1295, he died in 1327. His father was governor of that city and at his birth St. Roch is said to have been found miraculously marked on the breast with a red cross. Deprived of his parents when about twenty years old, he distributed his fortune among the poor, handed over to his uncle the government of Montpellier, and in the disguise of a mendicant pilgrim, set out for Italy, but stopped at Aquapendente, which was stricken by the plague, and devoted himself to the plague-stricken, curing them with the Sign of the Cross. He next visited Cesena and other neighbouring cities and then Rome. Everywhere the terrible scourge disappeared before his miraculous power. He visited Mantua, Modena, Parma, and other cities with the same results. At Piacenza, he himself was stricken with the plague. He withdrew to a hut in the neighbouring forest, where his wants were supplied by a gentleman named Gothard, who by a miracle learned the place of his retreat. After his recovery Roch returned to France. Arriving at Montpellier and refusing to disclose his identity, he was taken for a spy in the disguise of a pilgrim, and cast into prison by order of the governor, where five years later he died. The miraculous cross on his breast as well as a document found in his possession now served for his identification. He was accordingly given a public funeral, and numerous miracles attested his sanctity.

In 1414, during the Council of Constance, the plague having broken out in that city, the Fathers of the Council ordered public prayers and processions in honour of the Saint, and immediately the plague ceased. His relics, according to Wadding, were carried furtively to Venice in 1485, where they are still venerated. It is commonly held that he belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis; but it cannot be proved. Urban VIII approved the ecclesiastical office to be recited on his Feast. Paul III instituted a confraternity, under the invocation of the Saint, to have charge of the church and hospital erected during the pontificate of Alexander VI. The confraternity increased so rapidly that Paul IV raised it to an archconfraternity, with powers to aggregate similar confraternities of St. Roch. It was given a cardinal-protector, and a prelate of high rank was to be its immediate superior. Various favours have been bestowed on it by Pius IV [C. Regimini, March 7, 1561], by Gregory XIII [C. dated January 5, 1577], by Gregory XIV [C. Paternar. pont., March 7, 1591], and by other pontiffs. It still flourishes.

Collect:

O God, who are glorious in the glory of the Saints, and to all those that flee unto their protection, grantest the salutary effect of their petition; by the intercession of Thy blessed Confessor Roch, grant to Thy people, who hold forth their devotion in his festivity, that they may be delivered from the sickness of that plague which he suffered in his body for the glory of Thy name, to which may they ever be devoted.
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Thursday, August 13, 2020
St. John Berchmans
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August 13th is kept in some places as the Feast of St. John Berchmans. 

The following is taken from CatholicTradition.org:

St. John Berchmans was born the eldest son of a shoemaker in 1599 at Diest, Belgium. At a very young age he wanted to be a priest, and when thirteen he became a servant in the household of one of the cathedral canons at Malines. After his mother's death, his father and two brothers followed suit and entered religious life. In 1615 he entered the Jesuit college there, becoming a novice a year later. In 1618 he was sent to Rome for more study and was known for his diligence and piety, and his stress on perfection even in small things. That year his father was ordained and died six months later. John was so poor and humble that he  walked from Antwerp to Rome. He died at the age of 22 on August 13. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death; he was canonized in 1888 and is the patron saint of altar boys.

Although he longed to work in the mission fields of China, he did not live long enough to permit it. After completing his course work, he was asked to defend the "entire field of philosophy" in a public disputation in July, just after his exit examinations. The following month he was asked to represent the Roman College in a debate with the Greek College. Although he distinguished himself in this disputation, he had studied so assiduously that he caught a cold in mid-summer, became very ill with with an undetermined illness accompanied by a fever, although some think it now to have been dysentery, and died a week later. He was buried in the church of Saint Ignatius at Rome, but his heart was later translated to the Jesuit church at Louvain.

So many miracles were attributed to him after his death at the age of 22, that his cultus soon spread to his native Belgium, where 24,000 copies of  his portrait were published within a few years of his death. He was known for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady, to whom he composed a Chaplet in honor of her Immaculate Conception.

Collect:

Lord our God, you invite us always to give you our love, and you are pleased with a cheerful giver. Give us a youthful spirit, to be like Saint John, always eager to seek you and to do your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Taken from Supplement to the Divine Office For the Society of Jesus.

Indulged Prayer from the Raccolta:

Saint John, angelic youth, sweet-scented flower of innocence, stalwart soldier of the Company of Jesus, ardent defender of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, whom the all-wise Providence of God hath set forth as a light and pattern, in order that He might reveal in thee the treasures of that holiness which consisteth in the devoted and holy fulfillment of the common duties of life,  I earnestly beseech thee to make me ever constant and faithful in observing the duties of my state of life, pure in heart, fearless and strong against the enemies of my eternal salvation, and cheerfully obedient to the promptings of God's holy will.

By thy singular devotion to the loving Mother of Jesus Christ, who looked upon thee also as her dear son, obtain for me the grace of a fervent love for Jesus and Mary, together with the power of drawing many others to love them in like manner. Wherefore, dear Saint John, I choose thee as my special patron, humbly beseeching thee to make me zealous in the things that pertain to the praise of God, and to assist me by thy mighty help, to lead a life filled with good works. Finally, when the hour of death cometh, do thou, of thy loving kindness, cherish in me those motions of humble confidence, which at the moment of thy departure from this world to thy mansion in the skies, as thou didst lovingly clasp to thy breast the Image of Jesus Crucified, together with Mary's Rosary and thy Book of Rules, impelled thee to utter these sweet words: "these three things are my dearest possessions; with these I am content to die."

Pray for us, Saint John, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Grant, we beseech Thee O Lord God, unto Thy faithful servants, to copy the pattern of innocence and faithfulness in Thy service, wherewith the angelic youth, John, did consecrate to Thee the very flower of his years. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Sunday, August 9, 2020
St. Emygdius, Patron Saint of Earthquakes
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Listed in the back of the missal for feastdays in some places is the Feast of St. Emygdius which is kept on August 9th. Back in 1903, the Archbishop of San Francisco ordered Masses to be said in his honor.

The Monks of Ramsgate in their 1921 "Book of Saints" write:

Said to have been a native of Germany who, converted to Christianity and coming to Rome, was consecrated Bishop by Pope Saint Marcellus and sent as missionary to Ascoli in the Marches of Ancuona, where he was put to death under Diocletian (A.D. 303 or 304). His relics are in great veneration, and many miracles have been wrought at his tomb.

The following account is taken from Catholic Restoration:

Raised a pagan, Emygdius converted to Christianity some time near the end of the third century. He then travelled to Rome, where he tirelessly worked to convert other pagans. Emygdius willingly risked his own safety to promote his faith. He once stormed a temple and destroyed a statue of Aesculapius, the Roman god of healing. This act angered many Romans, who clamoured for retribution. Although some records say Emygdius turned to Pope Marcellus for protection, it is now believed that Emygdius probably received help from Marcellus’s predecessor named Marcellinus.

The Pope ordained Emygdius, made him a bishop, and then sent him to Ascoli Piceno, a region just northeast of Rome. Once again, Emygdius eagerly spread the Word of God and converted many. But in 304, the bishop was swept up in the persecution of Christians carried out by Emperor Diocletian, who ordered Emgydius and several of his companions to be beheaded.

Emygdius became particularly venerated in Italy. He was said to offer protection against earthquakes, and Catholics in other areas prone to quakes also turned to him for protection. In 1863, the Vatican approved a request from Catholics in California to name Emygdius the patron saint of what is now the Los Angeles diocese. Several statues of the saint still stand in California, and several parishes bear his name.
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Friday, August 7, 2020
Comm. of St. Donatus
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The Miracle of Saint Donatus by Jusepe de Ribera, Musée de Picardie.

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): August 7

While it is the Feast of St. Cajetan, today is also the Commemoration of St. Donatus, the bishop of Arezzo in Tuscany, who was arrested and beheaded during the rule of Julian the Apostate in 362 AD. May he intercede for us who remember and recall his life today.

Butler's Lives of the Saints:

"Being illustrious for sanctity and miracles, as Saint Gregory the Great assures us, he was apprehended by Quadratianus, the Augustalis, or imperial prefect of Tuscany, in the reign of Julian the Apostate. Refusing to adore the idols, he suffered many torments with invincible constancy, and at length finished his martyrdom by the sword in 361. His relics are enshrined in the cathedral of Arezzo. At the same time and place Saint Hilarinus, a monk, received the like crown, being beaten to death with clubs. His relics were afterwards translated to Ostia. See the Martyrologies."

Collect:

O God, You are the glory of all Your priests. May we sensibly feel the help of Your martyr bishop Donatus whose feast we celebrate today. through our Lord . . .
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Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Sts. Felix II and Companions
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On July 29th, the Feast of St. Martha, the Church traditionally commemorates the martyrs Ss. Felix II, Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrice. Pope St. Felix II was martyred in Tuscany, Italy, in the fourth century. The brothers Simplicius and Faustinus and their sister, Beatrice, gave their lives for Christ at Rome in 303 AD.

Liturgica Latina writes: 

"The holy Pontiff Felix III is a Pope of the fourth century. He was martyred in Tuscany in the time of the Arians (A.D. 365). He is sometimes referred to as Pope Felix II - there was a Pope Felix II in the earlier part of the fourth century, who is usually regarded as an antipope, and this causes confusion in enumeration.

"Simplicius and Faustinus, denounced as Christians to the persecutors, were put to death at Rome under Diocletian A.D. 304. Beatrice, their sister, was arrested and strangled in prison. Leo II placed the relics of these three martyrs in a church at Rome dedicated in their names."

The Book of Saints from 1921 by the Monks of Ramsgate state:

"Saint Felix, Archdeacon of Rome, was elected Pope A.D. 355, when Pope Liberius was sent into exile by the Arian Emperor Constantius, but on the return of Liberius, after two years of exile, he at once resigned the Pontificate of which in all probability he had been merely the Administrator. The Roman Martyrology records his martyrdom at Cervetro (Caerae) in Tuscany, probably about A.D. 360; but it is the opinion of some authors that he lived on for several years in retirement and died a peaceful death. The Church also commemorates the Finding of the Body of Saint Felix with those of other Martyrs. It is especially to be noted that from the outset he has always been regarded as a Saint, and there are no real grounds for setting him aside as a mere Anti-Pope."

The New Liturgical Movement writes on nice reflection today on St. Felix II and the scholarship around whether or not he was an antipope.

Regarding Ss. Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrice commemorated today, the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1912 states:

"Martyrs at Rome during the Diocletian persecution (302 or 303). The brothers Simplicius and Faustinus were cruelly tortured on account of their Christian faith, beaten with clubs, and finally beheaded; their bodies were thrown into the Tiber. According to another version of the legend a stone was tied to them and they were drowned. Their sister Beatrice had the bodies drawn out of the water and buried. Then for seven months she lived with a pious matron named Lucina, and with her aid Beatrice succoured the persecuted Christians by day and night. Finally she was discovered and arrested. Her accuser was her neighbor Lucretius who desired to obtain possession of her lands. She courageously asserted before the judge that she would never sacrifice to demons, because she was a Christian. As punishment, she was strangled in prison. Her friend Lucina buried her by her brothers in the cemetery ad Ursum Pileatum on the road to Porto. Soon after this Divine punishment overtook the accuser Lucretius. When Lucretius at a feast was making merry over the folly of the martyrs, an infant who had been brought to the entertainment by his mother, cried out, “Thou hast committed murder and hast taken unjust possession of land. Thou art a slave of the devil”. And the devil at once took possession of him and tortured him three hours and drew him down into the bottomless pit. The terror of those present was so great that they became Christians. This is the story of the legend. Trustworthy Acts concerning the history of the two brothers and sister are no longer in existence. Pope Leo II (682-683) translated their relics to a church which he had built at Rome in honour of St. Paul. Later the greater part of the relics of the martyrs were taken to the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore."

Collect:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as Christian people rejoice in being able to celebrate the temporal solemnity of Thy martyrs Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, so they may also rejoice thereat in life eternal and receive the fruit of the sacrifice which they offer.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020
St. Innocentius I
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SemiDouble (1954 Calendar): July 28

Along with Saints Nazarius & Celsus and Pope St. Victor I, Pope St. Innocent I is celebrated on July 28th.

St. Innocent I, a native of Albano, Italy, reigned from 401 to 417. This energetic Pope is known for his zealous welfare for the entire Church. His decrees became law in Spain, Gaul and Italy. He demanded that the Eastern Bishops re-install St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, who had been unjustly deposed. He censured the Bishop of Jerusalem for his negligence. He ratified the condemnation of the Pelagian Bishops of Africa who denied the need of grace for salvation.

Pope Innocent I was a contemporary of St. Jerome, who urged Christians to keep the faith of Pope Innocent and to "receive no other doctrine, however wise and attractive it may appear."

In 410, during his pontificate, Rome was ravaged by the barbarians of Alaric. He took the responsibility of rebuilding the city and showed great charity in helping the victims. Pope St. Innocent died in 417 AD.

Collect:

Defend us, O Lord, through the blessed martyrdom of Your saints Nazarius, Celsus, Victor, and Innocent, and may their merits support us in our weakness. Through our Lord . . .
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Thursday, July 23, 2020
St. Liborius
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): July 23

Today is the Commemoration of St. Liborius, who was bishop of Le Mans in France and friend of St. Martin of Tours. Of a noble family of Gaul, he joined the priesthood and was ordained Bishop of Mans in 348 AD. He was a friend of Saint Martin of Tours. During the 45 years of his episcopacy, he built many churches. His relics reside at Paderborn and at Amelia in Umbria. He died 396.

Since Liborius died in the arms of his friend Martin of Tours, he is looked to as a patron of a good death. Since the thirteenth century he has been prayed to for assistance against gallstones that are caused by the water of the limestone area; the first account of a healing of this kind concerns the cure of Archbishop Werner von Eppstein, who came on pilgrimage to the saint's shrine in 1267 AD. He is also seen as a patron of peace and understanding among peoples. He is invoked against colic, fever, and gallstones.

St. Liborius was added to the Universal Calendar in 1702 as a commemoration within the 23 July celebration of Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna. Sadly, like many saints in 1969, he was removed from the calendar.

Collect:

O Almighty God, grant that our solemn celebration of the feast of Your confessor bishop Liborius may increase our devotion and bring us closer to our salvation. Through our Lord . . .
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Saturday, July 18, 2020
Sts. Symphorosa and Her Seven Sons
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): July 18

It is rather remarkable when one considers the number of martyrs that the Church commemorates in the Liturgy; and yet, sadly so many were removed from the Universal Calendar as part of the modernistic changes to the Liturgy over the past few decades.

Yet for those who keep the traditional liturgy, we find in these heroes remarkable examples of courage, fortitude, and a willingness to suffer absolutely anything - including horrific tortures and death rather than compromise with error, encourage sin, give bad example, or engage in sexual sins. Most of the martyrs were murdered not because they were Christians (and Catholics of course) but because they refused to engage in adultery or drop offerings of incense grains in a bowl to statues. How many Catholics today would agree to such small matters with the intention of later confessing them? How many would actually rather die than drop a few grains of incense in a bowl and pretend to worship a dead statue as divine?

Willingness to suffer death - and a cruel torturous one at that - and a willingness to see one's own children tortured rather than commit the smallest mortal sin should excite in all of our hearts a desire for deeper conversion, more missionary endeavors, and a willingness to do the Lord's will in all things.

According to early chronicles, St. Symphorosa and her seven sons, whom she instructed in the Christian Faith, were martyred at Trivoli, near Rome, circa 120 AD during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Their story comes just days after the feast of the Seven Holy Brothers, the sons of St. Felicitas.

From the Roman Martyrology:

At Tivoli, in the time of the emperor Adrian, St. Symphorosa, wife of the martyr St. Getulius, with her seven sons, Crescens, Julian, Nemesius, Primitivus, Justinus, Stacteus, and Eugenius. Their mother, because of her invincible constancy, was first buffeted a long time, then suspended by her hair, and lastly thrown into the river with a stone tied to her body. Her sons had their limbs distended by pulleys and bound to stakes, and terminated their martyrdom by different kinds of death. The bodies were subsequently taken to Rome, and were found in the sacristy of St. Angelo in Piscina,under the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IV.

Collect:

O God, who has granted us the grace to celebrate the birthday of Your blessed martyrs Symphorosa and her sons, grant that we may also share their eternal happiness in heaven. through our Lord . . .
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
Sts. Nabor and Felix
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): July 12

While today is the Feastday of the St. John Gualbert, the liturgy also includes today the commemoration of Saints Nabor and Felix. If you have forgotten the incredible story of St. John Gualbert and his model of forgiveness, it is well worth reflecting upon today, especially during times of social unrest.

Sts. Nabor and Felix shed their blood for Christ in Milan around 303 AD. Butler's Lives of The Saints states:
St. Ambrose greatly praised these martyrs and multitudes of people flocked to Milan to venerate them. Late legends say that they were Moorish soldiers in the army of Maximian Herculeus, stationed at Milan, and that they were beheaded for their faith at Lodi; but these legends are imitated from those of the other soldier martyrs, such as St. Victor of Marseilles, and are historically worthless. The names of SS. Nabor and Felix occur in the canon of the Milanese Mass, and their cultus was widespread in northern Italy.
Collect:

O Lord, may the prayers of Your holy martyrs Nabor and Felix always accompany us, just as we never fail to celebrate their birthday. Through our Lord . . .
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Friday, July 10, 2020
Commemoration of Ss. Rufina and Secunda
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): July 10

Today is the Feastday of the Seven Holy Brothers. The Roman widow Felicitas and her seven sons were martyred around the year 162 AD for the Faith. Pope Gregory the Great said of her, "She was more than a martyr, for seeing her seven children martyred before her eyes, she was in some sort a martyr in each of them."

A century later, Rufina and Secunda, daughters of a wealthy Roman, refused to marry two suitors who had apostatized from the Christian religion. For this, they were scourged and beheaded. May these all too often forgotten martyrs intercede for us on this day of their commemoration.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII states:
Saints Rufina and Secunda, Roman martyrs, who according to the legendary Acts (Acta SS., July, III, 30-1) suffered in 287 during the Aurelian persecution. Their place of burial was at the ninth milestone of the Via Cornelia, as is stated in the Berne manuscript of the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 89). These martyrs are also recorded in the Itineraries of the seventh century as on the road just mentioned (De Rossi, "Roma sotterranea", I, 18283). Pope Damasus erected a church over the grave of the saints. The town on this spot named after St. Rufina became the see of one of the suburbicarian dioceses that was later united with Porto (cf. Allard, "Histoire des Persécutions":, III, 96).
And Butler's Lives of The Saints states:
According to their unhistorical "acts", these were sisters, daughters of Asterius, a man of senatorial rank in Rome. They were engaged to be married, the one to Armentarius, the other to Verinus, who were also Christians. But when the persecution of the Emperor Valerian fell upon the Church, these two men apostatized. The two girls refused to follow their example and fled secretly from Rome. Their flight being soon discovered, they were overtaken not far from the city and haled before the perfect, Junius Donatus. He imprisoned them with the object of making them apostatize, and when he found that they were unmoved either by arguments or threats, he ordered Rufina to be scourged; whereupon Secunda cried out, "Why do you judge my sister to honour and me to dishonour? Be pleased to beat us both together, for we declare that Christ is God." After they both had been tortured in divers ways, they were put to death by beheading. A pagan lady named Plautilla gave their bodies burial at a spot eleven miles from Rome on the Aurelian Way, and herself became a Christian from their example. The place where they lay was at that time called Silva Nigra, the Black Forest, but from these martyrs that name was changed to Silva Candida, the White Forest. A church was built over their tomb and a town grew up around it, which also was called Silva Candida, or Santa Rufina; it was made an episcopal see and became appurtenant to the cardinalate in after years. The relics of the martyrs were translated in 1154 to the Lateran basilica, near the baptistery of Constantine. The church dedicated in honour of SS. Rufina and Secunda in the City purports to be built over the site of their dwelling-house. Except their existence, their martyrdom and their early cultus nothing is certainly known of these maidens.
Collect:

O Lord, we pay honor to the bravery of Your glorious Martyrs in bearing witness to You. Grant that we may feel the power of their intercession with You. Through our Lord . . .
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Thursday, July 9, 2020
St. Veronica Giuliani
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Today in some places is kept the feastday of St. Veronica of Giuliani. The following account of her holy life is taken from The Franciscan Book of Saints, ed. by Marion Habig, OFM


Saint Veronica Giuliani was born of devout parents at Mercatello in Italy. As a child she, too, was of a devout disposition, but inclined to be quite irritable, and, as she herself admits, would stamp her feet at the least provocation.

Saint Veronica's mother died when Veronica was only four years old. In her last moments she assigned each of her five children to one of the five wounds of Christ and bade them take their refuge there whenever they were troubled. Veronica was the youngest. She was assigned to the wound in the side of our Lord, and from that time on her heart became more tempered.

Co-operating with the grace of God, her soul gradually went through a refining process by which she became an object of admiration in later years.

When Saint Veronica came of age, her father believed she should marry, and so he desired her to take part in the social activities of the young people. But she had been made aware of another call, and she pleaded so earnestly with her father that, after much resistance, he finally permitted her to choose her own state in life.

At the age of 17, then, the Saint Veronica Giuliani entered the convent of the Capuchin nuns at Citta di Castello in Umbria, where the primitive rule of St Clare was observed. Imbued with sincere humility she considered herself the lowliest member of the community. At the same time she greatly edified all by her obedience and love of poverty and mortification. Sometimes she was favored with interior conversations and revelations. She resolved that she would reveal all such matters to her superiors and her confessor; she had neglected to do that when she was still in the world, and as a result she had often been misled by the father of lies.

When Saint Veronica Giuliani had spent 17 years in various offices in her community, she was entrusted with the guidance of the novices. She endeavored to imbue them with the spirit of simplicity and to lay a firm foundation for humility. She directed them to the truths of the Faith and the rules of the order as their safest guides on the way of perfection, and warned them against reading idly speculative books as well as against everything unusual.

Meanwhile, extraordinary things were beginning to happen to Saint Veronica Giuliani. On Good Friday she received the stigmata, and later the Crown of Thorns was impressed on her head amid untold sufferings. She also experienced a mystical espousal, as she was given a mystical ring by Our Lord's own hand. One eye-witness said: "This ring encircled her ring finger as ordinary rings do. On it there appeared to be a raised stone as large as a pea and of a red color."

After careful examination of the matters, the bishop sent a report to Rome. Then Rome appointed a commission, which was to put her humility to the severest test, in order to determine whether she was an imposter, a person deluded by the devil, or a person favored by God.

Saint Veronica Giuliani was deposed from her office as novice mistress, and deprived of every suffrage in the community. She was even imprisoned in a remote cell. No sisters were permitted to talk to her, and a lay sister who was made her warden was ordered to treat her like a deceiver. Finally, she was even deprived of Holy Communion and was permitted to attend holy Mass only on Sundays and holy days near the door of the church.

At the conclusion of these trials, the bishop reported to Rome that she scrupulously obeyed every one of his ordinances, and showed not the least sign of sadness amid all his harsh treatment, but rather an inexpressible peace and joy of spirit.

The test had proved the admirable manifestations to be the work of God, but Veronica did not on that account deem herself a saint, but rather a great sinner, whom God was leading on the way to conversion by means of His holy wounds.

Having filled the office of novice mistress during a space of 22 years, Veronica was unanimously elected abbess. Only in obedience could she be prevailed upon to accept the responsibility.

Purified more and more by many sufferings, to which she added many austere mortifications, she went to her eternal reward on July 9, 1727, after spending 50 years in the convent.

Saint Veronica Giuliani was one of the rare saints who had received the stigmata. Whenever the wounds were opened, Fr. Salvatori recorded that "they emitted so delicious a fragrance throughout the whole of the convent that this alone was sufficient to inform the nuns whenever the stigmata had been renewed."

The saint's body remained incorrupt for many years until it was destroyed in a flood. Her bones are now kept in a composite figure of the saint, the skull of which is covered with wax. Her heart, though, is still incorrupt, and is kept in a separate reliquary.

Because of her heroic virtues and the many miracles that were continually being worked at her tomb, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839.

Collect:

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst miraculously imprint the marks of thy own suffering upon the blessed maid Veronica, grant in thy loving kindness that, by crucifying the flesh, we may become worthy to gain everlasting joys: thou who art God.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020
St. Lawrence of Brindisi
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Mass in Some Places (1954 Calendar): July 7
III Class (1962 Calendar): July 21

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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Thursday, July 2, 2020
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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Wednesday, June 17, 2020
St. Gregory Barbarigo
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In the 1962 Missal, the Feast of St. Gregory Barbarigo falls on June 17th. Previously, this day was a feria and often falls during the Octave of Corpus Christi or the Octave of the Sacred Heart. St. Gregory Barbarigo was Italian Cardinal Archbishop of Padua renowned for giving away his own household goods for the relief of the poor, and for traveling to every village throughout his diocese to teach and preach.

Matins Reading from the 1961 Breviary:
Gregory Barbarigo, born at Venice of a very old family, obtained his degree in Canon and Civil Law Magna cum Laude at the college of Padua. While attending the peace congress of Muenster at the age of nineteen, he met the papal legate Fabio Chigi, and with his encouragement decided to became an ecclesiastic, and was admitted to holy orders. When Fabio Chigi became pope under the name of Alexander VII, he appointed Gregory bishop of Bergamo, and soon raised him to the college of Cardinals, transferring his to the See of Padua. In entering upon his episcopal duties, he strove to model himself upon St. Charles Borromeo. It was his lifelong endeavor to extirpate vices and cultivate virtues in obedience, to the warnings and decrees of the sacred synod of Trent. In both dioceses he enlarged the seminaries. At Padua especially he improved the library, and the press, which published books for distribution among the peoples of the Near East. He strenuously fostered Catechetical instruction and zealously traveled to every village of the diocese to teach and preach. He was distinguished for his works of charity and the holiness of his life. So generous was he to the needy and poor, that he even give away his household goods, his clothes and his bed to help them. Finally, after a brief illness, he fell asleep peacefully in the Lord on June 18, 1697. Renowned for his merits and his virtues, he was inscribed among the Blessed by Clement XIII and among the Saints by John XXIII.
St. Barbarigo's beatification was celebrated in 1761 under Pope Clement XIII, while Pope John XXIII canonized the late cardinal in 1960. John XXIII held Barbarigo as a great role model and fostered a devotion to him since the pope had hailed from Bergamo. His liturgical feast was affixed to 17 June and remains so in the General Roman Calendar of 1960 celebrated by Traditional Catholic priests who keep the 1962 Missal. In 1969, his feast was moved to 18 June as part of the General Roman Calendar of 1969, where it remains for priests who offer the Novus Ordo.

Collect:

O God, who willed that Blessed Gregory, Your Confessor and Bishop, be renowned for the care of his flock and compassion for the poor; favorably grant that we who honor his merits may imitate the example of his charity. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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Sunday, May 24, 2020
Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St. Dominic
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May 24th is in the Dominican Order the "Translation of our Holy Father St. Dominic." This feast is in some places of the Order greater in solemnity than St. Dominic's feast day on August 4th. Today recalls the translation of St. Dominic's relics 12 years after his death.

Breviarium SOP summarizes:
Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Translation of the Relics of Our Holy Father St. Dominic.  Since today is the Vigil of the Ascension, only a commemoration of the feast is at Lauds.  This is one of the three (3) traditional feast days in the Dominican calendar that were dedicated to our holy Father St. Dominic.  The other two being his feast day (August 4) and the miraculous appearance of a painting attributed to him at the Convent of San Domenico in Soriano Calabria in 1530 (feast day September 15 in the 1909 calendar, and September 25 in later calendars).
From the Martyrology:
At Bologna, the transferal of the body of our Father St. Dominic. At the time of Pope Gregory IX his sacred body was transferred to a worthier place. In addition to the other miracles which occurred, his body gave forth an aroma of such great fragrance that all who were present were filled with a wonderful joy. Thus did God beautifully indicate how pleasing to Him was the excelling sanctity of His apostle.
The account of St. Dominic's translation from the Dominican Nuns at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, TX:
St. Dominic died on August 6, 1221. For some reason (his successor as Master of the Order of Preachers, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, refers gently to the "brothers whose simplicity outweighed their prudence") he was simply buried in the church of St. Nicholas of the Vineyards in Bologna, Italy and more or less forgotten by the brethren, who were apparently too busy carrying on Dominic's work to think of Dominic himself! Some, as Blessed Jordan points out, disagreed with this policy, but they "offered no opposition because they were fainthearted." It doesn't speak well for the first followers of St. Dominic! Finally, twelve years after Dominic's death, Pope Gregory IX encouraged the brethren to move his body to a more suitable tomb. The brethren had misgivings about this, fearing that Dominic's body--which "had lain in a mean tomb exposed to the elements"--would be found decomposed. However, their fears were foolish. When the tomb was opened "a wonderful odor poured out from the opening and its fragrance caused astonishment among those present. Everyone shed tears and feelings of joy, of fear and of hope rose in all hearts." The body was taken to its new  tomb (or "translated", hence the name of today's memorial). Blessed Jordan writes, "This marvelous aroma, which the holy body breathed forth, was evidence to everyone how much the saint had truly been the aroma of Christ." This day, May 24, 1233, was the beginning of the canonization process of Dominic and it was completed on July 3, 1234, when he officially became St. Dominic. Since 1267 St. Dominic's remains have resided in this tomb in Bologna.
Collect:

O God, you were pleased to enlighten your church with the merits and teaching of the blessed Dominic, your confessor and our father; grant, at his intercession, that she may not be wanting in temporal help, and may always increase in spiritual growth. Through our Lord...
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Sunday, May 10, 2020
Commemoration of Ss. Gordon & Epimachus
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): May 10

Besides the feast day of St. Antonius, May 10th is the Commemoration of Saints Gordon and Epimachus. Both suffered under Julian the Apostate in 362.

The Catholic Encyclopedia edited by Charles George Herbermann states:

"Gordanius was a judge but was so moved by the sanctity and sufferings of the saintly priest, Januarius, that he embraced Christianity with many of his household. Being accused before his successor, or some say before the prefect of the city, Apronaianus, he was cruelly tortured and finally beheaded. His body was carried off by the Christians and laid in a crypt on the Latin Way beside the body of St. Epimachus, who had been recently interred there. The two saints gave their name to the cemetery, and have ever since been joined together in the veneration of the Church. There is another Gordanius who suffered martyrdom with two companions (place uncertain) and is commemorated on September 17, and a third, commemorated on September 13, who with several companions was martyred in Pontus or Galatia."

Collect:

O Almighty God, may the intercessory power of Your blessed martyrs Gordian and Epimachus aid us who celebrate their feast today. Through Our Lord . . .
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Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Commemoration of St. Vitalis
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): April 28

The Church on April 28th celebrates the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross and includes a Commemoration of St Vitalis in the Liturgy.

St. Vitalis was a wealthy citizen of Milan who live in the first or second century. He was married to Saint Valeria. They are regarded as the parents of Saints Gervasius and Protasius. According to legend, when he encouraged Saint Ursicinus of Ravenna to be steadfast at his execution, St. Vitalis was discovered to be a Christian. A judge named Paulinus ordered him to be racked and then buried alive. He thus completed his martyrdom and won the prize of Heaven.

Collect:

O Almighty God, grant that we who celebrate the birthday of Your blessed martyr Vitalis may be made stronger in our love of You through his intercession. Through Our Lord . . .
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