Carissimi; Sunday’s Mass: The Invention of the Holy Cross


The FINDING OF THE HOLY CROSS; Comm. Sunday IV Easter: Missa “Nos autem”

The “invention” (from Latin invenire, “to find”) of the Holy Cross: The Cross on which Our Blessed Lord suffered for us was, following Jewish usage, buried on Mount Calvary after the Crucifixion. The precise spot was revealed in a vision to the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor. This date commemorates the recovery of the True Cross in the reign of the Emperor Heraclius and its delivery by him about the year 629 into the hands of the Patriarch Zacharias of Jerusalem, from which city it had been carried away some years previously by the Persians with the object of transporting it to their own country. God has been pleased to give so much power to the Cross that at its sign alone the demons fly; by it the priest blesses the faithful, the devout receive abundant graces. The early Christians had so much devotion to it that, according to the ancient Fathers, they never began any action without first making the sign of the cross upon themselves. In the Middle Ages no public deed, inscription, law etc., was begun to be written without first tracing upon it the sign of the cross. This sign was accepted as the signature of the uneducated; it often preceded that of ecclesiastics, and in many country districts even the dough and the bread were marked with a cross before they were baked.

In the Epistle the triumph of the Redeemer of the world, Our Lord Jesus Christ, must be preceded by “His humiliation unto death, even the death of the Cross.” In the Gospel Christ reveals His mission in His discourse with Nicodemus: “The Son of Man must be lifted up” on the Cross for the salvation of mankind.

It is also the feast of Pope St. Alexander I, Sts. Eventius, Theodulus, and St. Juvenal, Martyrs. Pope St. Alexander was martyred in 119, the tenth year of his pontificate. With him suffered Sts. Eventius and Theodulus. St. Juvenal was a holy bishop from Central Italy who died for the faith in 367.

INTROIT Galatians 6: 14

It behooves us to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in Whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection: by Whom we are saved and delivered, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 66, 2) May God have mercy on us and bless us: May He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us. 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 It behooves us…


God, Who, in the glorious finding of the cross of our salvation, didst renew the miracles of Thy passion, grant that, by the price of that lifegiving wood, we may obtain the privilege of eternal life. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Dominica IV Post Pascha
O God, of Whom it cometh that the minds of thy faithful people be all of one will, grant unto the same thy people that they may love the thing which Thou commandest, and desire that which Thou dost promise, that so, amid the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found.

Commemoration of Pope St. Alexander I and Companions
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, venerating the natal feast of Thy saints, Alexander, Eventius, Theodulus, and Juvenal, we may, by their intercessions, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.

EPISTLE Philippians 2: 5-11

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. Brethren, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself as nothing, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above all names: (Here all kneel down) that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.


Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 95: 10) Say ye among the gentiles, that the Lord hath reigned from the wood. Alleluia. V. Sweet the wood, Sweet the nails, sweet the load that hangs thereon, to bear up the King and Lord of Heaven, no tree was worthy, save thou, O holy cross. Alleluia.

GOSPEL John 3: 1-15

At that time There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night; and said to Him Rabbi, we know that Thou art come, a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which Thou dost, unless God be with him. Jesus answered and said to him; “Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born again, when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born again? Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he can not enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit. Wonder not that I said to thee, You must be born again. The Spirit breatheth where He will; and thou hearest His voice, but thou knowest not whence He cometh, nor whither He goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How can these things be done? Jesus answered, and said to him, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? Amen, amen, I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony. If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe if I shall speak to you heavenly things? And no man hath ascended into Heaven, but He that descended from Heaven, the Son of man Who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting.”

OFFERTORY Psalm 117: 16, 17

The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord, alleluia.


Look with favor, O Lord, upon the sacrifice which we immolate to Thee, that it may preserve us from the horrors of war and, through the banner of the holy cross of Thy Son, may establish us in the security of Thy protection, to trample under foot the snares of the enemy’s power. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Dominica IV Post Pascha
O God, who by the august communion of this sacrifice hast make us partekers of one Sovereign Godhead, grant we beseech thee, that as we know thy truth, so we may follow it up by worthy behavior.

Secret for the Feast of Pope St. Alexander and Companions
Let plenteous benediction, we beseech Thee, O Lord, descend upon these sacrifices, both to work Thy merciful sanctification in us and to bring us joy in the solemnity of Thy saints. 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.

PREFACE of the Holy Cross

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 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 be admitted while we say with lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…


By the sign of the cross, deliver us from our enemies, O Thou our God, alleluia.


Filled with heavenly food, and refreshed with the spiritual cup, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that Thou defend us from the. malice of the enemy, as Thou hast bidden us triumph by the wood of the holy cross, the armor of justice for the salvation of the world. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Dominica IV Post Pascha
Stand by us, O Lord, our God, that by what we have faithfully received we may be cleansed from our vices and rescued from all dangers.

Postcommunion Prayer in commemoration of Pope St. Alexander and Companions
Let us pray. Refreshed by partaking of Thy sacred gift, we pray, Thee, O Lord, our God, that by the intercessions of Thy saints Alexander, Eventius, Theodulus, and Juvenal, we may experience the effect of that to which we pay our worship. 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.


In that time: But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see me no longer. And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you. He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you.
R. Thanks be to God.