St Laurence of Canterbury, Bishop & Confessor; Comm. St Blaise, Bishop & Martyr: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus”
St Laurence: He was one of those who accompanied St. Austin into this island, about the year 597, and was his immediate successor in the see of Canterbury, in 608, in which he sat eleven years. When Eadbald, son and successor to the holy king Ethelbert, not only refused to follow his father’s example in embracing the faith, but gave into idolatry, and incestuously took to his bed his father’s widow, Laurence having labored hard for his conversion to no purpose, and despairing of reclaiming him, thought of nothing but retiring to France, as some others had already done. But he was severely scourged by St. Peter, in a dream, on the eve of his intended departure, with reproaches for designing to forsake that flock for which Christ had laid down his life. This did not only prevent his going, but had such an effect upon the king, when he was shown the marks of the stripes he had received on this occasion, that he became a thorough convert, doing whatever was required of him, both for his own sanctification, and the propagation of Christianity in his dominions. St. Laurence did not long survive this happy change, dying in the year 619. He is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology.
St Blaise: Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint Blaise’s protection of those with throat troubles apparently comes from a legend that a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.
Very few facts are known about Saint Blaise. We believe he was a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.
The legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that he was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. After becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. Recognizing Blaise as a bishop, they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles. Finally Blaise was killed by the governor.
Blaise is the patron saint of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 45: 30
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. (Ps. 131: 1) O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness. 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 Lord made to him a covenant of peace…
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the august solemnity of Thy blessed confessor and pontiff, Laurence, may increase our devotion and promote our salvation. Through the same 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 S. Blasii
O God, Who gladden us with the yearly festival of blessed Blaise, Your Martyr and Bishop, mercifully grant that, as we venerate the anniversary of his martyrdom, we may also rejoice in his 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.
EPISTLE Wisdom (Ecclesiasticus) 44: 16-27; 45: 3-20
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath was made a reconciliation. There was not any found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings: He preserved for him His mercy: and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him; and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood and to have praise in his name, and to offer to him worthy incense for an odour of sweetness.
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God. V. (Eccl. 44: 20) There was not any found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps 109: 4 ) Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia. V. This is the priest whom the Lord hath crowned. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his particular ability, and then he went on his journey. And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more. In like manner, he who had received the two gained two more. But he who had received the one went away and dug in the earth and hid his master’s money. Then after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; behold, I have gained five others in addition.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had received the two talents came, and said, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; behold, I have gained two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88:21-22
I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, that My hand may be always with him, and that My arm may make him strong.
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.
Commemoration of S Blasii
Sanctify the offerings dedicated to You, O Lord, and through the intercession of blessed Blaise, Your Martyr and Bishop, look upon us with mercy because of them. 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 Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12:42
The faithful and prudent servant whom the master will set over his household to give them their ration of grain in due time.
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.
Commemoration of S Blasii
May this Communion, O Lord, cleanse us of sin, and through the intercession of blessed Blaise, Your Martyr and Bishop, may it make us sharers of heavenly healing. 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.