Thursday in Paschaltide II: Missa “Si diligis Me“
These two Sovereign Pontiffs were martyred for the Faith 200 years apart in the early years of the Church. According to the testimony of St. Irenæus, the third successor was Pope Saint Cletus who should be identified with Anacletus, who governed the Church after Pope St. Linus, who was St. Peter’s immediate successor and before Pope St. Clement. Of his actions we know nothing beyond the notice in the Liber Pontitifcalis to the effect that he embellished the tombs of the Princes of the Apostles, and that he himself was buried in the Vatican. The fact that Cletus was raised to the supreme pontificate, whilst the immediate disciples of Peter and St. Paul were still living, testifies to his great merits. He built the oratory for burying martyrs and was the first responsible for rules governing ecclesiastical dress. He died in 88 A.D. after serving for 12 years as Sovereign Pontiff.
Even more obscure is the history of Pope Saint Marcellinus, concerning whom the strangest legends were circulated from very early days. According to certain apocryphal writings, dating from the time of the disputes of Symmachus, he had formerly offered incense to idols, but had afterwards expiated his apostasy like Peter, and had voluntarily exposed himself to martyrdom. He was born in Rome and elected as the 29th successor of Peter on June 30, 296. It was during his pontificate that the terrible persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian reached its zenith destroying so many churches and sacred texts in addition to countless Christian lives. Marcellinus himself was martyred on October 25, 304.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs; feed My sheep. Alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 29: 1) I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen…
Eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the blessed Cletus and Marcellinus Thy Martyrs and Supreme Pontiffs, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherds of the whole Church. Through Our Lord…
LESSON 1 Peter 5: 1-4, 10-11
Dearly beloved, the ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech , who am myself also am ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ : as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily: neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
Alleluia, alleluia. (Matth. 16: 18) Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia. (Ps. 44: 17, 18) Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall remember Thy name through-out all generations. Alleluia.
GOSPEL St. Matthew 16: 13-19
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that the Son of man is?” But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them, “But whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 92: 15
Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to waste and to destroy, and to build and to plant.
In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to Thee. Through our Lord…
PREFACE of the Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangesl, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 16: 18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia.
Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through our Lord…