St. Botolph, an Abbot, died c.680. His Feast day is the 17th June. A very popular Saint in Medieval England, but little is known about him. With his brother Adulf he became a monk abroad and in 654 established a monastery at Icanhoh, usually identified with Boston (Botulf’s stone) in Lincolnshire. St. Cedfrid is said to have journeyed all the way from Wearmouth (Tyneside) to converse with this man – ” of remarkable life and learning”. St. Botulph, whose name is perpetuated in that of the American city of Boston, Massachusetts, was certainly an historical personage, though the story of his life is very confused and unsatisfactory. What information we possess about him is mainly derived from a short biography by Folcard, monk of St. Bertin and Abbot of Thorney, who wrote in the eleventh century (Hardy, Catalogue of Brit. Hist., I, 373). According to him Botulph was born of noble Saxon parents who were Christians, and was sent with his brother Adulph to the Continent for the purpose of study. Adulph remained aboard, where he is stated to have become Bishop of Utrecht, though his name does not occur in any of the ancient lists. Botulph, returning to England, found favour with a certain Ethelmund, “King of the southern Angles”, whose sisters he had known in Germany, and was by him permitted to choose a tract of desolate land upon which to build a monastery. This place, surrounded by water and called Icanhoe (Ox-island), is commonly identified with the town of Boston in Lincolnshire, mainly on account of its name (Boston=Botulph’s town). There is, however, something to suggest that the true spot may be the village of Iken in Suffolk which of old was almost encircled by the little river Alde, and in which the church is also dedicated to St. Botulph. In favour of Lincolnshire must be reckoned the fact that St. Botulph was much honoured in the North and in Scotland. Thus his feast was entered in the York calendar but not in that of Sarum. Moreover, even Folcard speaks of the Scots as Botulph’s neighbours (vicini). In favour of Suffolk, on the other hand, may be quoted the tradition that St. Botulph, who is also called “bishop”, was first buried at Grundisburgh, a village near Woodbridge, and afterwards translated to Bury St. Edmunds. This, however, may be another person, since he is always closely associated with a certain St. Jurmin (Arnold, Memorials of Bury, I, 352). That Botulph really did build a monastery at Icanhoe is attested by an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the year 654: Botulf ongan thoet mynster timbrian oet Yceanho, i.e. Botulph began to build the minster at Icanhoe. That the saint must have lived somewhere in the Eastern counties is proved by the indisputable evidence of the “Historia Abbatum” (Plummer’s Bede, I, 389), where we learn that Ceolfrid, Bede’s beloved master at Wearmouth, “journied to the East Angles in order that he might see the foundation of Abbot Botulphus, whom fame had proclaimed far and wide to be a man of remarkable life and learning, full of the grace of the Holy Spirit”, and the account goes on to say that Ceolfrid “having been abundantly instructed, so far as was possible in a short time, returned home so well equipped that no one could be found more learned than he either in ecclesiastical or monastic traditions”. Folcard represents St. Botulph as living and dying at Icanhoe in spite of the molestations of the evil spirits to which he was exposed at his first coming. Later accounts, e.g. the lessons of the Schleswig Breviary, suppose him to have changed his habitation more than once and to have built at one time a monastery upon the bank of the Thames in honour of St. Martin. His relics are said after the incursions of the Danes to have been recovered and divided by St. Aethelwold between Ely, Thorney Abbey, and King Edgar’s private chapel. What is more certain is that St. Botulph was honoured by many dedications of churches, over fifty in all, especially in East Anglia and in the North. His name is perpetuated not only by the little town of Boston in Lincolnshire with its American homonym, but also by Bossal in Yorkshire, Botesdale in Suffolk, Botolph Bridge in Huntingdonshire, and Botolph in Sussex. In England his feast was kept on 17 June, in Scotland on 25 June..
INTROIT Psalm 36. 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. (Ps. 36. 1). Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity. 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. The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart.
May the intercession of blessed Botolph, the Abbot, commend us unto Thee, we beseech Thee, O Lord: so that what we may not have by any merits of ours, we may obtain by his patronage. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom…
for the Church
Mercifully hear the prayers of thy Church, we beseech thee, O Lord, that all adversities and errors being overcome, she may serve thee in security and feedom. 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 Ecclus. 45. 1-6
Lesson from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. 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 shewed 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 Ps. 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. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 91. 13). The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 19. 27-29
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. 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 ANTIPHON 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.
May the holy Abbot Botolph, we beseech Thee, O Lord, obtain by his prayers, that the Sacrifice laid on Thy holy altar, may profit us unto salvation. 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.
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter…
for the Church
Protect us, O Lord, who celebrate thy mysteries, that holding fast to divine things, we may serve thee with body and soul. 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, 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: 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 them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12: 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
May the pleading of blessed Botolph, the Abbot, for us, as well as the reception of Thy Sacraments, protect us, O Lord, that we may both share in the glory of his works, and receive the help of his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity…
for the Church
We beseech thee, O Lord, our God, that thou permit not those, to whom thou hast given a participation of divine things to be subjected to human dangers. 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.