Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Feast of St Benedict

st-benedict-transparent-car-sticker-2-pack-_2040Feast of Saint Benedict, Abbot & Co-Patron of Europe; Comm. Friday of the Second Week in Lent: Missa “Os justi”

Known as the “Father of Western Monastic Life,” Saint Benedict is the founder of the Benedictines. Born in 480 into a noble family in the village of Nursia, Italy, he studied in Rome but, fearing he would succumb to the licentious life of his peers, left it all behind in 500 to embrace the monastic life. He retreated to the deserted mountain area of Subiaco where, guided by the Holy Ghost, he took up residence in a deep and remote cave. There he remained for three years many times depending on God’s providence for food as crows would bring him bread. The only human contact he had for three years was with the holy monk Romanus who brought him food, water and simple clothing.

Despite his solitude, the fame of his holiness spread far and wide, drawing many disciples to Subiaco. To minister to them Benedict founded a colony of monks and, with their help, built 12 monasteries at Subiaco. He also summoned his blood sister Saint Scholastica to help and she established numerous monasteries for nuns there to accommodate the women who wished to follow Benedict. The strictness of this holy abbot’s rule and the vice of jealousy played a role in rebellion by some monks who conspired to poison Benedict. One of the conspirators mixed poison into Benedict’s drink bowl. As was his custom, Benedict always blessed anything before he ate it. As he made the sign of the cross over the bowl it broke into pieces and the poison spilled harmlessly into the wood. Those monks who had planned this dastardly deed repented, seeing the hand of God in the event.

Shortly after, Benedict moved south to Montecassino where he founded the great abbey there which stood until World War II. There also he composed the bible of monastic life – the “Rule of St. Benedict” which has become the standard legislation for monastic life for religious men and women in the western world. Benedict held the personal love of Christ paramount for all with an emphasis on humility and prudence. His motto was Ora et labora, “Pray and work” with the insignia of a cross and a plough.

He was renowned for many, many miracles and knew six days before that he was going to die. On March 21, 543 he asked his fellow monks to carry him to the abbey sanctuary where, after having received the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion, held his arms high toward Heaven and calmly left this earth with a prayer on his lips.

Friday of the Second Week in Lent Missa “Ego autem”
Collecta at St. Agatha in Monasterio. Station at St. Vitalis. The meeting place today is in the deaconry of St. Agatha “of the Goths” in the Suburra, which was restored to Catholic worship by St. Gregory the Great.

From there the procession went to the neighboring Church of Vestian, dedicated under Innocent I (402-17) to the martyr Vitalis. The martyrology of Ado confused this Vitalis with the saint of the same name at Ravenna. In the Mass, the choice of the lesson of Joseph let down by his brothers into an empty well, and the Gospel of the wicked husbandmen who stoned their master’s son, was suggested by the Acta of St. Vitalis, which tell us how the martyr was first buried up to the waist in a pit and then stoned to death.

The Church, as though she feared that the very splendor of her liturgy might lead simple folk into thinking that Christianity consisted merely in holding functions and receiving the sacraments, insists continually in her Lenten formulas that we should by our good works, give reality to what is so sublimely expressed in the liturgy.

INTROIT Psalm 36: 30,31 14

The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment: the law of his God is in his heart(Ps. 36: 1). Be not emulous of evil-doers; nor envy them that work iniquity 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 mouth of the just…

COLLECT

May the intercession of the blessed abbot Benedict, commend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we cannot attain by our own deserts we may attain through his patronage. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, World without end. R.Amen.

Commemoratio: Feria Sexta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, with the sacred fast to purify us, Thou mayest cause us to come with sincere minds to the holy things that are before us. 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 Ecclesiasticus 45: 1-6

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. He was beloved of God and men, whose memory is in benediction; He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies; and with his words he made prodigies to cease; He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him his glory; He sanctified him in his faith and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh; for He heard him and his voice, and brought him into a cloud; and He gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instruction.

GRADUAL Psalm 20: 4, 5

Lord, Thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. V. He asked life of Thee, and Thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.

TRACT Psalm 1-3

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he hath he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life.

GOSPEL Matthew 19: 27-29

At that time, Peter said to Jesus, Behold we have left all things, and have followed Thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them, “Amen I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.”

OFFERTORY Psalm 20: 3, 4

Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, O Lord, and hast not withholden from him the will of his lips; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.

SECRET

May the holy Abbot, Benedict, we beseech Thee, O Lord, pray that the sacrifices laid upon the sacred altars may avail for 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.

Commemoratio: Feria Sexta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima
May this sacrifice, O Lord, both remain in us by its action and be made strong in operation.  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 Holy Cross

It it 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 didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the Cross; that whence death came, thence also life might arise again, and that he, who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome: 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  Luke 12: 42

A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord hath set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season.

POSTCOMMUNION

Together with the reception of Thy sacrament, O Lord, may the blessed abbot Benedict, protect us by interceding for us, that we may put into practice the virtues of his life and partake of the power of his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God World without end.

Commemoratio: Feria Sexta infra Hebdomadam II in Quadragesima
Grant, we beseech You, O Lord, that we who have received the pledge of everlasting salvation, may properly direct our course so that we may be able to attain our goal. 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.

PROPER LAST GOSPEL Matt. 21:33-46

At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude of the Jews and the chief priests: There was a man, a householder, who planted a vineyard, and put a hedge about it, and dug a wine vat in it, and built a tower; then he let it out to vine-dressers, and went abroad. But when the fruit season drew near, he sent his servants to the vine-dressers to receive his fruits. And the vine-dressers seized his servants, and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent another party of servants more numerous than the first; and they did the same to these. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But the vine-dressers, on seeing the son, said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance.’ So they seized him, cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When, therefore, the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-dressers? They said to Him, He will utterly destroy those evil men, and will let out the vineyard to other vine-dressers, who will render to him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, has become the cornerstone; by the Lord this has been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people yielding its fruits. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but upon whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they knew that He was speaking about them. And though they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the people, because they regarded Him as a prophet.

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