St. Stephen the Great (977-1038), was the son of the Magyar chieftain Geza, Stephen succeeded him as leader in 997. Already raised a Christian, in 996 he wed the daughter of Duke Henry II of Bavaria and devoted much of his reign to the promotion of the Christian faith. He gave his patronage to Church leaders, helped build churches, and was a proponent of the rights of the Holy See. Stephen also crushed the pagan counterreaction to Christianity, forcibly converting the so-called Black Hungarians after their failed rebellion. In recognition of his efforts, Stephen was anoited king of Hungary in 1000, receiving the cross and crown from Pope Sylvester II. The remainder of his reign was taken up with the consolidation of the Christian hold on the region. His crown and regalia became beloved symbols of the Hungarian nation, and Stephen was venerated as the ideal Christian king. Canonized in 1083 by Pope St. Gregory VII, he became the patron saint of Hungary.
INTROIT Psalm 36: 30-31
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. 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.
We beseech You, almighty God, that Your Church be worthy to have as her glorious defender in heaven blessed Stephen, Your Confessor, whom she had as her champion while he reigned on earth. 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. 31: 8-11
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? For he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting: he that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed, and could do evil things, and hath not done them: therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the church of the saints shall declare his alms.
GRADUAL Psalm 91: 13, 14
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow in the house of the Lord. Ps 91:3 V. To proclaim Your kindness at dawn and Your faithfulness throughout the night. Alleluia, alleluia. James 1:12 V. Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 19:12-26
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A certain nobleman went into a far country to obtain for himself a kingdom and then return. And having summoned ten of his servants, he gave them ten gold pieces and said to them, ‘Trade till I come.’ But his citizens hated him; and they sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not wish this man to be king over us.’ And it came to pass when he had returned, after receiving the kingdom, that he ordered the servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him in order that he might learn how much each one had made by trading. And the first came, saying, ‘Lord, your gold piece has earned ten gold pieces.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten towns.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your gold piece has made five gold pieces.’ And he said to him, ‘Be you also over five towns.’ And another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold your gold piece, which I have kept laid up in a napkin; for I feared you, because you are a stern man. You take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I am a stern man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow. Why, then, did you not put my money in a bank, so that I on my return might have gotten it with interest?’ And he said to the bystanders, ‘Take away the gold piece from him, and give it to him who has the ten gold pieces.’ But they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten gold pieces.’ I say to you that to everyone who has shall be given; but from him who does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
Look with favor, almighty God, upon the offerings we bring to you, and grant that we, who celebrate the mysteries of our Lord’s passion, may strive to imitate what we commemorate. 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 Matthew 24: 46-47
Blessed is the servant, whom when the Lord shall come, He shall find watching: Amen I say to you, He shall set him over all his goods.
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we may follow in proper reverence the faith of blessed Stephen, Your Confessor, who as a reward for spreading that faith, was found worthy to pass from an earthly throne into the glory of Your heavenly Kingdom. 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.