Paulinus (died 644) played the principal role in the conversion of Northumberland, which by 625 had become the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, stretching from the Humber to the Firth of Forth, and from the North Sea to the Pennines. Unusually for someone of that period, we have an idea of Paulinus’s appearance. The Venerable Bede described him as “tall, with a slight stoop, black hair, a thin face, a slender aquiline nose, at once venerable and awe-inspiring in appearance”.
Probably he had once been a priest in Rome. Certainly he was a member of the second mission which Pope Gregory sent to Kent, in 601. For the next 24 years nothing is known about Paulinus. Evidently, though, he built a reputation, for when, in 625, Princess Ethelberga of Kent married the pagan King Edwin of Northumbria, Paulinus travelled north with her.
In 626 Paulinus claimed some Christian credit for the safe birth of a daughter to Edwin and Ethelberga. The baby princess was baptised, and the king promised to follow suit if his forthcoming campaign against the West Saxons proved successful. Yet after the enemy was put to flight Edwin still hesitated. Clearly worried about the political implications of conversion, he called a council. On Easter Day, April 12 627, in a timber chapel erected at York, King Edwin was finally baptised, “together with all the nobility and a large number of humbler folk”.
Subsequently Paulinus became the first Bishop of York. He pursued his Northumbrian mission for six more years and also preached in Lincolnshire. Such was his prestige that, around 630, he was called upon to consecrate a fellow Italian, Honorius, as Archbishop of Canterbury. In October 633, however, King Edwin was slain in battle by the forces of the paganissimus King Penda of Mercia. Paulinus fled with Queen Ethelberga back to Kent, where Archbishop Honorius returned the favour by installing him as Bishop of Rochester.
INTROIT Sir 45:30
The Lord made a covenant of friendship with him, and made him a prince; that he should possess the dignity of priesthood forever. Ps. 131:1 Remember, O Lord, David and all his meekness. 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.
Grant we beseach thee that we who celebrate the feast of Paulinus bishop also enjoy his intercession 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.
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, unto all thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness both of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of thine eternal gladness.
for the Pope
O God, the shepherd and ruler of all the faithful, graciously look upon thy servant Benedict, who thou hast willed to be chief pastor of thy Church; grant him we beseech thee, by word and example to profit those over whom he rules, that together with the flock entrusted to him, he may attain to life everlasting. 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 Sir 44:16-27 45:3-20.
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus: Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, by an oath, the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Sir 44:16; 44:20
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God. V. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps 109:4
You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedec. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his particular ability, and then he went on his journey. And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more. In like manner, he who had received the two gained two more. But he who had received the one went away and dug in the earth and hid his master’s money. Then after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; behold, I have gained five others in addition.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had received the two talents came, and said, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; behold, I have gained two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88:21-22
I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him, that My hand may be always with him, and that My arm may make him strong.
May Your Saints, we beseech You, O Lord, everywhere make us joyful: so that, while we reflect upon their merits, we may enjoy their help. 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.
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Through thy mercy, O Lord, and the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, may this oblation obtain for us prosperity and peace both now and forever.
for the Pope
Look down favorably, O Lord, we beseech thee, upon the gifts we have offered: and let thy constant protection direct thy servant Benedict, whom tho hast chosebn to be the chief pastor of the Church. 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 Luke 12:42
The faithful and prudent servant whom the master will set over his household to give them their ration of grain in due time.
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that as we thank You for the favors we have received, we may, by the intercession of blessed Paulinus, Your Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. 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.
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Grant, O Lord, that we, who had partaken of the aids of salvation, may be everywhere protected by the patronage of blessed Mary ever Virgin, in whose honor we have offered these gifts of thy majesty.
for the Pope
Let the reception of this divine Sacrament protect us, O Lord, we beseech theee: and may thy servant Benedict, whom thou has chosen as the chief pastor of thy Church, along with the flock committed to him derive always from it protection and help. 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