Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Damasus I, Pope & Confessor

Saint Jérôme remettant son ouvrage à Damase 2St Damasus I Pope Confessor: Missa “Si díligis me“

On Liberius’ death, riots broke out over the election of a successor. The majority favored Damasus, who was born in Rome of Spanish descent. He had served as a deacon under Liberius and upheld the Nicene Creed. In less than a month, Damasus was installed in the Lateran palace. A minority, however, refused to accept the decision; they set up the antipope Ursinus. As the violence continued, Emperor Valentinian, who now ruled the West, was compelled to intercede and expel the antipope.

Pope Damasus fostered the development of the Church during this period of peace by publishing a list of the books of both the Old and New Testaments. He also encouraged his longtime friend and secretary, St. Jerome, to translate the Bible into Latin. This Vulgate edition continues to serve the Church usefully. Damasus himself composed eloquent verse which he had inscribed on marble slabs and placed over the tombs of martyrs and popes alike. But Damasus is best known for his devoted project in the catacombs. He ardently searched for the tombs of martyrs which had been both blocked up and hidden during previous persecutions. He lighted the passages and stairwells of the catacombs, encouraging pilgrimages to the martyrs. He did much to beautify existing churches, such as building the baptistery in St. Peter’s and laying down marble pavement in the basilica of St. Sebastian.

Damasus was a vigorous defender of the orthodoxy, as well. He condemned the heresies of such men as Macedonius and Apollinaris and continued the march against Eastern Arians. Although Emperor Valentinian was a Catholic, his less capable brother Valens was under the Arian influence. Valens kept the Eastern bishops in turmoil until his death in 378 by the determined Goths. Emperor Theodosius, who succeeded Valens, supported the orthodox and convened the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 381. The council settled the dispute by recondemning Arianism and adopting the pope’s teachings.

The chair of St. Peter was never more respected than during the pontificate of Damasus. He tirelessly promoted the Roman primacy, successfully persuading the government to recognize the Holy See as a court of first instance, although it declined to give the pope himself any particular immunity against the civil courts. Next in hierarchy came Alexandria, founded by St. Mark, and then Antioch, where Peter reigned before leaving for Rome.

Pious Pope Damasus died in December of 384 after a reign of eighteen years.

INTROIT John 21: 15-17

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…etc

COLLECT

Look forgivingly on thy flock, Eternal Shepherd, and keep it in thy constant protection, by the intercession of blessed Damasus thy Sovereign Pontiff, whom thou didst constitute Shepherd of the whole Church. 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. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Feria III infra Hebdomadam II Adventus
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Your only-begotten Son, so that through His coming we may be able to serve You with purified minds. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. R. Amen

EPISTLE 1 Peter 5: 1-4, 10-11

Lesson from the First Book of Peter. 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.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 106: 32, 31

Let them exalt him in the Church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients. V. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him, and the wonderful works to the children of men.  (Ps. 44: 17, 18) Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia.

GOSPEL 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 Jeremiah 1:9-10

See, I have inspired thy lips with utterance: I give thee authority over the nations; with a word thou shalt root them up and pull them down, with a word thou shall build them up and plant them anew.

SECRET

By the offered gifts we beseech thee, O Lord, that thou kindly enlighten thy Church, so that thy flock may everywhere progress and prosper, and thy shepherds, under thy guidance may be pleasing to thy name. 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. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Feria III infra Hebdomadam II Adventus
Be appeased, we beseech You, O Lord, by the prayers and offerings of our human frailty, and where the support of our own merits is lacking, come to our assistance with Your protection. 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.
R. Amen.

PREFACE of the Apostles

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst 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 Archangels, 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 it is upon this rock that I will build my Church.

POSTCOMMUNION

Being appeased, O Lord, guide thy Church, which has been nourished by holy refreshment, that under thy direction and powerful rule it may receive increase of liberty and may continue in religious integrity. 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. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Feria III infra Hebdomadam II Adventus
We who have been refreshed by the food of spiritual nourishment, humbly beseech You, O Lord, that through partaking of this sacrament You will teach us to disdain the things of earth and love those of heaven. 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. R. Amen.

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