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ST NICHOLAS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST NICHOLAS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST NICHOLAS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 6

Nicholas was born in the famous city of Patara in Lycia. From infancy, he fasted on Wednesday and Friday. He kept up this custom during the rest of his life. Having lost his parents when he was a young man, he gave all his goods to the poor. A noble example of his charity is seen in the fact that he secretly gave money sufficiently for a marriage dowry for three girls who were in great peril of falling into sin.

HE WENT TO MYRA

After having made a pilgrimage to Palestine, inspired by God, he went to Myra, the metropolis of Lycia, which had lost its bishop by death, and with no dissent but with wondrous concord, he was selected by the provincial bishops.

A MODEL OF EVERY VIRTUE

During his episcopate he proved himself a model of every virtue. Contrary to the edict of Diocletian and Maximian, he had preached the truth of Christian faith, and he was cast into prison where he remained until Constantine became emperor. He took part in the Council of Nicea where the Arian heresy was condemned. After he had returned to his see, he died a most holy death at Myra [ca. A. D. 342]. His body was taken to Bari in Apulia, and is the object of universal veneration in that place.

PRAYER:

O God, you who made the holy Bishop Nicholas renowned for his countless miracles, grant, we beseech you, that by his merits and prayers we may be saved from the fires of hell. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: JUNE 22

Paulinus was born in the year of salvation 353, of a most illustrious family of Roman citizens at Bordeaux and he later attained senatorial dignity. He was made consul of Nola but, struck by a ray of the divine light, he resigned the consulship and returning to Bordeaux, he was baptised by St Delphinus.

HE DISTRIBUTED HIS MONEY TO THE POOR

Then he sold his abundant property, distributed the money to the poor and retired to Spain, where he was ordained a priest. When he returned to Nola, he built a monastery near the tomb of St Felix and entered upon a most strict monastic life with some companions.

HE BECAME A PRIEST AND FOUNDED A MONASTERY 

As the fame of his sanctity spread, he was elevated to the See of Nola. In the fulfilment of his office, he left wonderful examples of piety, patience, and above all, charity. He wrote many things pertaining to sacred doctrine and was highly praised for his eloquence and poetry. When Campania was laid waste by the Goths, he devoted all his resources to feeding the poor and ransoming captives.

HE SOLD HIMSELF INTO SLAVERY IN PLACE OF SOMEONE ELSE AND WAS TAKEN TO AFRICA

And after that, when the Vandals invaded the same region, since he had nothing more to give, he sold himself into slavery in place of the son of a certain widow, and was taken to Africa. At length, being given his liberty by the help of God, he fell peacefully asleep in the Lord at Nola.

PRAYER:

O God, who promised to those who forsake all things in this world for you a hundred-fold reward in the world to come and life everlasting, mercifully grant that, following closely in the footsteps of the holy Bishop Paulinus, we may look upon earthly things as naught, and long only for those of heaven. Who live…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN – RENOWNED FOR THE GIFT OF TEARS, PROPHECY AND OF HEALING

ST LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN – RENOWNED FOR THE GIFT OF TEARS, PROPHECY AND OF HEALING

But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway. (1Co9:27)

ST LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – FEAST DAY: SEPTEMBER 5

Lawrence was born at Venice of the illustrious family of the Giustiniani. He was distinguished from his youth by his marvellous zeal for chastising his body and spurning the enticements of the world, as well as the marriage arranged for him by his mother. He was received into the Congregation of the Canons of St George, in Alga. He was made bishop of his native city by Eugenius IV, but changed nothing of his accustomed mode of life. He never ceased to relieve the needs of the poor, even burdening himself with debt, trusting in Divine Providence which always aided him with unlooked-for help.

He built many monasteries for nuns and composed rules for a more perfect way of life. He was an outstanding example of Christian humility, and was most zealous in reforming the discipline and morals of the clergy, thus earning from the popes the title, Glory of Prelates. He became the first Patriarch of Venice, the title having been transferred there from the city of Grado. Renowned for the gift of tears, of prophecy and of healing, he also wrote books noted for heavenly doctrine and piety, although he had very little real scholarship. He fell asleep in the Lord on the eighth of January, but his feast is celebrated on the day on which the man of God was raised to the episcopal chair.

St Lawrence Justinian, pray for us.

– From: An Approved Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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WE MAY SAFELY EXTOL THE MERITS OF ST EDMUND OF ABINGDON (NOVEMBER 16)

WE MAY SAFELY EXTOL THE MERITS OF ST EDMUND OF ABINGDON (NOVEMBER 16)

FOR WHAT WAS THE COURSE OF HIS LIFE, BUT ONE LONG CONFLICT WITH A WATCHFUL FOE?

We may safely extol the merits of the blessed Father [St Edmund of Abingdon], for he is now secure; he who, manfully handling the rudder of faith, has now cast the anchor of hope in a snug harbour, has brought his ship, laden with heavenly riches and eternal rewards, to the shore for which he longed. For a long time he opposed the shield of the fear of God unflinchingly against all enemies until the victory was won. For what was the course of his life, but one long conflict with a watchful foe?

How often did he not open the eyes of blind souls, who were wandering from the way of truth, and already hanging from the edge of a precipice over the abyss, and restore to them their sight, that they might see Christ? How often did he give the precious gift of hearing to ears that were deaf, afflicted by being stopped up by unbelief, that they might perceive the voice of the heavenly commandments; that they might hear God calling them to forgiveness, and might answer by obedience? How often did he not heal the wounds of the spirit by the skill of his prayers and angelic words?

How many, enfeebled by long neglect of the stain of sin and, as it were, full of infection of leprosy, have been cleansed by the grace of God working in him, and expiated through his teaching and discipline? How many, living in body, but already dead in soul and overwhelmed and buried beneath the weight of their sins, has he not raised to life in God, by calling them to amendment, as it were, to light? For, marvellous imitator of his Lord, he brought souls to a life-giving death, by which they die indeed to sin, but live unto God.

– From: Sermon of St Maximus, Bishop, ‘on the feast day of a Confessor Bishop’, from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

 

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JESUS, THE WORLD’S REDEEMER, HEAR (HYMN)

JESUS, THE WORLD’S REDEEMER, HEAR (HYMN)

Jesu, the world’s Redeemer, hear,

Thy Bishops’ fadeless crown, draw near:

Accept with gentlest love today

The prayers and praises that we pay.

 

The meek Confessor of thy Name

Today attained a glorious fame;

Whose yearly feast, in solemn state,

Thy faithful people celebrate.

 

The world and all its boasted good,

As vain and passing, he eschewed;

And therefore with Angelic bands,

In endless joy forever stands.

 

Grant then that we, most gracious God,

May follow in the steps he trod:

And, at his prayer, thy servants free

From stain of all iniquity.

 

To thee, O Christ, our loving King,

All glory, praise, and thanks we bring:

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation

of the Breviarium Romanum,

Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in More Inspirational Hymns

 

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“REACH OUT TO LONELY PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER,” RECOMMENDS BISHOP

THE ‘JANUARY BLUES’

“People should tackle ‘January blues’ by reaching out to others through Facebook and Twitter, a bishop has said.

Bishop Richard Moth, who is the lead bishop for the bishop’s conferences Mental Health Project, said January could be a ‘very tough month for people’ facing debt, a return to loneliness and isolation or stress at work. ‘Many people are affected by the long dark winter nights,’ he said.

A SHORT UPLIFTING MESSAGE

The bishop added: ‘While professional help should always be sought if necessary, for many a simple loving gesture can help to alleviate their immediate symptoms. Twitter, Facebook and SMS offer all of us a free and easy way to send someone a short uplifting message. Do consider those you know who might benefit from contact at the moment, and please don’t leave it there.

‘If you can pay someone a visit, or give them a phone call, don’t hold back. Your little gesture could make all the difference in the world.'”
– This article by Madeleine Teahan entitled “Bishop: reach out to lonely” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue January 24 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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PRAYER TO ST NINIAN

ST NINIAN, BISHOP; MEMORIAL (SCOTLAND): AUGUST 26

Lord our God,
you brought the Picts and Britons
to a knowledge of the faith
through the teaching of Saint Ninian, the bishop:
in your goodness listen to our prayers:
grant that we who have received from him
the light of your truth
may remain strong in faith
and active in works of charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

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PRAYER TO ST JOHN FISHER AND ST THOMAS MORE

John Fisher was born in 1469; he studied at Cambridge University, was ordained, became Bishop of Rochester. He was a pastoral bishop, charitable to the poor, a man of prayer, and a persistent opponent of the errors of the Protestant Reformation.

Thomas More was born in 1477, studied at Oxford University, married and had one son and three daughters. He became Chancellor of England. His writings include ‘Utopia’, and many prayers and letters which reveal his spirituality. Both were executed on the orders of King Henry VIII.

PRAYER:

Father,
you confirm the true faith
with the crown of martyrdom.
May the prayers of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More
give us the courage to proclaim our faith
by the witness of our lives.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

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PRAYER TO ST ATHANASIUS

ST ATHANASIUS, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH; MEMORIAL: MAY 2

St Athanasius was born at Alexandria in 295. He attended the Council of Nicaea, in 325, which had been called to rebut the heresy of Arius, which denied the divinity of Christ. Arius was also an Alexandrian. Athanasius became bishop of Alexandria in 328, and was tireless in combatting the heresy. He was exiled five times for his persistence. He wrote brilliantly, both in defence of doctrine, and on spiritual matters.

PRAYER:

Father,
you raised up Saint Athanasius
to be an outstanding defender
of the truth of Christ’s divinity.
By his teaching and protection
may we grow in your knowledge and love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

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THE LITURGY IN THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES OF THE CHURCH

The Roman Pontiffs of the first three centuries regulated the Liturgy with various interventions. Unfortunately, with the passing of time most of these have been lost. It is certain, nonetheless, that some of these were norms solely for the Church in Rome, others were updates of the most ancient Canons, and others still regarded the Church throughout the world.

The regulation of Pope St Victor I on Easter is not the only one which the Roman Pontiffs had expressed during the first three centuries. Recourse was had to them in all grave circumstances, as in the case of Eusebius, St Cyprian and St Irenaeus. Given the importance of liturgical matters, coupled with the sovereignty of their authority, such recourse must have given them frequent occasions for offering decrees and responses about the Sacred Rites. The text of these regulations has been lost with the passing of time. Nothing is left for us except a faint outline of them in the very short notes of the ‘Liber pontificalis’.

St Linus ordered that women enter Church with their head veiled.
St Cletus constructed the memorial and tomb of St Peter and fixed the place of the burial of the Bishops of Rome.
St Evaristus divided the titles and churches of Rome among the priests and established that the Bishop, in announcing the Word of God, be assisted by seven deacons.
St Alexander I ordered that the memory of the Passion of the Lord be inserted into the prayers of Sacrifice and that water for the aspersion of people’s homes be blessed with salt.
St Sixtus I established that the sacred vessels should not be touched by ministers and confirmed the use of singing the hymn ‘Sanctus, Sanctus…’ during the liturgical action.

St Telesphorus established that there be celebrated the Sacrifice on the night of Our Lord’s Birth, something which, on other days, should not occur before Ora Tertia. He also established that at the beginning of the same celebration there be sung ‘Gloria in excelsis Deo’.
St Anicetus prohibited clerics to let their hair grow long.
St Pius I, for the prayers of the virgin St Praxedes, consecrated the Baths of Novato (vicus Patricius) as a place of worship; he made large offerings to this new sanctuary; he frequently offered the Lord’s Sacrifice there and had a baptismal font constructed there where, with his own hand, he baptised many catechumen in the Name of the Holy Trinity.
St Soter prohibited the deaconesses from touching the sacred palls and placing incense in the thurible.
St Zephyrinus established that the ordination of priests, deacons and the simple clerics be done in the presence of both the clergy and the Faithful.

St Callistus I fixed the Saturday fast four times a year in the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months. He consecrated the Basilica of St Mary in Trastevere. He enlarged and decorated, along the via Appia, the famous cemetery which bears his name.
St Urban had sacred vessels made of silver and offered twenty-five patens of the same material.
St Fabian commissioned many constructions in the cemeteries.
St Cornelius removed the bodies of Ss. Peter and Paul from their resting place in the catacombs and relocated them: one in the valley of the Vatican, the other along the via Ostiensis.
St Stephen I prohibited priests and deacons from wearing, for common use, the vestments used at the altar.
St Felix I recommended that the Sacrifice be celebrated above the remains of the Martyrs and built a Basilica along the via Aurelia.
St Eutychian established that only the first fruits of wheat and the grape be blessed at the altar. He buried the Martyrs with his own hands and ordered the Faithful to cover the bodies of these courageous athletes of Christ with ornate vestments when they placed them in the ground.

We terminate, then, this enumeration of the laws of the early Roman Pontiffs on liturgical matters, as incomplete as it may be, and we content ourselves with underscoring that some of these regulations must be considered as norms only for the Church of Rome, others as updates of the most ancient Canons, and still others directed to all of the Churches, such as the decree of St Victor I on Easter.
– This article by the Servant of God Prosper Gueranger (part of a series) was published in “De vita Contemplativa”, Monthly magazine for Monasteries, Year VI, Number 12, December 2012

 

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