Station for the Mass of Monday after the First Sunday of Lent is the collecta of Saint Cosmas and Damian.
Pope Felix IV (526-30) constructed the basilica where the collecta in honor of the two celebrated Eastern doctors, Sts. Cosmas and Damian, takes place. During the Byzantine period it was held in very great veneration, and crowds flocked to the sanctuary of the two martyred physicians as to a sure source of health.
The chains of St. Peter are preserved at the Basilica in exsquiliis, dedicated by Sixtus III to the Apostles Peter and Paul; the relics of the seven martyred Machabees are preserved under the altar. The Chains of St. Peter are kept there; those of St. Paul are at the Ostian basilica. The Prayer begs almighty God to illuminate our minds with His heavenly light, so that the Lenten fast may not only discipline our bodies, but may render our souls both contrite and earnest. The Lesson from Ezechiel describes a scene frequently reproduced in the cubicula of the ancient cemeteries. It teaches the docility with which the soul entrusts itself to the care of the divine Shepherd, keeps it from all danger, and renders it the object of his heart’s tenderest solicitude.
In the OT Lesson, Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Shepherd who comes to seek His lost sheep; an allusion to the penitents about to be reconciled at Easter and to the Catechumens preparing for baptism. The Gospel from St. Matthew tells us of the separation that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Shepherd, will make forever between the sheep and the goats, or between the good who repent and give themselves up to works of charity, and the sinners.
ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to Our Saviour. We cannot doubt but that he was an early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after Our Saviour’s Resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church.
In the year 66, in which Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year,—before Vespasian, Nero’s general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judea,—and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.
Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but, Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.
INTROIT Psalm 122: 2
The eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us: have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. (Ps. 12: 1) To Thee have I lifted up my eyes: Who dwellest in Heaven. 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. Repeat The eyes of servants…
Convert us, O God, our salvation, and, that the Lenten fast may profit us, instruct our minds with Thy Heavenly instruction. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Commemoration of St Simeonis, Bishop & Martyr
Look down on our weakness, almighty God; and since the weight of our own deeds bears us down, may the glorious intercession of blessed Simeonis, Thy Bishop and Martyr, protect us.
Second Collect for the Intercession of Thy Saints
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body; that through the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and blessed N. (Here mention the titular saint of the church), and all the saints, mercifully grant us safety and peace; that all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE Ezechiel 34: 11, 16
Lesson from Ezechiel the Prophet. Thus saith the Lord. Behold, I Myself will seek My sheep, and will visit them. As the shepherd visiteth his flock, in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered; so will I visit My sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the countries, and will bring them to their own land; and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land. I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel: there shall they rest on the green grass, and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost: and that which was driven away I will bring again; and I will bind up that which was broken: and I will strengthen that which was weak; and that which was fat and strong I will preserve: and I will feed them in judgment, saith the Lord almighty.
GRADUAL Psalm 54: 23, 17-19
Behold, O God, our protector, and look upon Thy servants. V. O Lord God of hosts, graciously hear the prayers of Thy servants.
TRACT Psalm 102: 10
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. (Ps. 78: 8-9) O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor.
(Here all kneel down)
Help Us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.
GOSPEL Matthew 24: 31-46
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “When Son of man shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him, – then shall He sit upon the seat of His majesty; and all nations shall be gathered together before Him, and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; naked, and you covered Me; sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then shall the just answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see Thee hungry, and fed Thee; thirsty, and gave Thee drink; and when did we see Thee a stranger, and took Thee in; and naked, and covered Thee: or when did we see Thee sick or in prison, and came to Thee? And the King answering, shall say to them, Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me. Then He shall say to them also that shall be on His left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil arid his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave Me not to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me not to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me not in; naked, and you covered Me not; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. Then they also shall answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see Thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to Thee? Then He shall answer them, saying, Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you it to Me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment; but the just, into life everlasting.”
OFFERTORY Psalm 33: 8-9
I will lift up my eyes, and consider Thy wonders, O Lord, that Thou mayest teach me Thy justices: give me understanding, and I will learn Thy commandments.
Sanctify the gifts offered to Thee, O Lord, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Commemoration of St Simeonis, Bishop and Martyr
Graciously receive, O Lord, the sacrifice offered to Thee by the merits of blessed Simeonis, Thy Martyr and Bishop, and grant that it may be to us an unfailing help.
Second Secret to implore the Intercession of the Saints
Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, and by the virtue of this sacrament protect us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing on us both grace in this life and glory hereafter. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE of Lent
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION Matthew 25: 40, 34
Amen I say to you: what you did to one of My least ones, you did to Me: come ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.
Regaled with the gift of Thy salvation, O Lord, we, Thy suppliants, pray to be renewed by the effect of that by the taste of which we are gladdened. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Simeonis, Bishop and Martyr
We, who are refreshed by partaking of Thy holy Gift, beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that through the intercession of blessed Simeonis, Thy Martyr and Bishop, we may experience fruits of that which we worship.
Second Postcommunion to implore the Intercession of the Saints
May the oblation of this divine sacrament cleanse and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and, through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, blessed N. (here mention the titular saint of the church), and all the saints, purify us from all our sins and deliver us from all adversity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Let us pray. Bow down your heads before God.
Loose the bonds of our sins, we beseech You, O Lord, and mercifully turn aside whatever punishment we deserve for them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.