Today’s station – Surrounded by the ruins of the empire that put its patron to death, the humble church of St. George in the Velabrum is a continuing reminder of the faith and sacrifice of that great saint..
The station at St. George’s was instituted by St. Gregory II (715-31), when the cultus of the great Cappadocian martyr had become exceedingly popular in Rome. A titular church already existed here in 482, as an inscription of that date mentions an Augustus lector de Belabru, but the dedication to St. George was certainly of later date.
Today’s Gospel, telling of the centurion of Capharnaum, alludes to the military character ascribed by tradition to St. George, which caused him to be specially invoked during the Middle Ages as the armed champion of the Christian family.
The Mass is a call to penance. The Lesson from Isaias recalls the warning given to Ezechias of his approaching death; the thought of death is a powerful inducement to us to change our mode of life. If we would only realize that the moment of our passing from this world to eternity may come unawares, we would implore earnestly a space of time in which to do penance, and resolve to lead a good life.
There is also a commemoration of St. Valentine, priest and martyr. The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr.
Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes. His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathens lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honor of their goddess Februata Juno, on the fifteenth of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.
INTROIT Psalm 54: 17, 19-20, 23
When I cried to the Lord, He heard my voice from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, Who is before all ages, and remains forever: cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. (Ps. 54: 2, 3) Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me and hear 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. Repeat When I cried to the Lord…
God, Who art offended by sin, and appeased by penance, graciously regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication to Thee, and turn aside the scourge of Thy anger, which we deserve for our sins. 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.
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.
Third Collect for the Living and the Dead
O almighty and eternal God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all whom Thou forekowest shall be Thine by faith and good works : we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication whether the present world still holds them in the flesh or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins. 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.
EPISTLE Joel 2: 12-19
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.In those days, Ezechias, was sick even to death; and Isaias the son of Amos the prophet came unto him, and said to Him, Thus saith the Lord, Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live. And Ezechias turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said, I beseech Thee, O Lord, remember how I have walked before Thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Ezechias wept with great weeping. And the word of the Lord came to Isaias, saying, Go, and say to Ezechias, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father: I have heard thy prayer and I have seen thy tears: behold I will add to thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of the Assyrians, and I will protect it; said the Lord almighty.
GRADUAL Psalm 54: 23, 17-19
Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. V. When I cried to the Lord, He heard my voice from them that draw near to me.
GOSPEL Matthew 8: 5-13
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus said to him: “I will come and heal him.” And the centurion making answer said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And Jesus hearing this marvelled; and said to them that followed Him: “Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion: “Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee.” And the servant was healed at the same hour.
OFFERTORY Psalm 24: 1-3
To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: In Thee, O my God, I put my trust: let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded.
Be appeased, O Lord, We beseech Thee, and look upon the sacrifices here before Thee, that they may profit both our devotion and our salvation. 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.
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.
Third Secret for the Living and the Dead
O God, Who alone knowest the number of the elect to be admitted to the happiness of Heaven, grant, we beseech Thee, tht through the intercession of all Thy saints, the names of all who have been recommended to our prayers and of all the faithful, may be inscribed in the book of blessed predestination. Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries; that, fixed upon things divine we may serve Thee in both body and mind. 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 Psalm 50: 21
Thou wilt accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations, and holocausts, upon Thy altar, O Lord.
Having received the blessing of the heavenly gift, we beseech and supplicate Thee, O almighty God, that the same may be the cause both of the sacrament and of salvation. 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.
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.
Third Postcommunion for the Living and the Dead
Let us pray. May the sacraments which we have received purify us, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful Lord; and through the intercession of all Thy saints, grant that this Thy sacrament may not be unto us a condemnation, but a salutary intercession for pardon; may it be the washing away of sin, the strength of the weak, a protection against all dangers of the world, and a remission of all the sins of the faithful, whether living or dead. 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 This occurs everyday of Lent in addition to the previous prayers, a special prayer of encouragement and persistence:
Let us pray. Bow down your heads before God. Look down, O Lord, in Thy mercy, upon those who bow before Thy majesty; that they who are refreshed by Thy divine gift may ever be sustained by heavenly aid. 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.