According to tradition, the enemy of mankind was so irritated with St. Cuthman and other great saints and ascetics, through whose labors all the country became Christian during the late 7th century, that he plotted to kill the Christians of Sussex—the last Saxon kingdom to accept Christianity. One night the evil one began to dig a tunnel under the ground near the hill fort called Chanctonbury Ring, intending to dig a channel as far as the sea and so drown all the people of Sussex. But the Lord revealed Satan’s cunning plot to the holy ascetic and man of prayer, who prayed unceasingly even at night.
The saint lit a candle and prayed for the devil to be banished. Through the zeal of his prayer the candle began to burn so strongly that it seemed to turn into a pillar of light; the evil spirit was at once weakened, exhausted by the prayer of the saint and, exposed, moved away, unable to complete his evil plot. In that region of Sussex the hills have survived to this day in memory of that event (the legend says that this is the very earth that was thrown away by the evil one from the tunnel) around Chanctonbury Ring and other sites; ravines and ditches associated with that tradition have survived as well—one of them is called “Devil’s ditch”.
The identities of Wōden and the Devil have become conflated, as evidenced in the number of earthworks named after the Devil. As the Anglo-Saxon population converted to the new religion of Christianity, baptised converts renounced the old Saxon Gods along with the works of the Devil. It is thought that, as a result of this Christianisation, place names and features once associated with pre-Christian deities then came to be associated with the Devil, e.g. “Devil’s Dyke”.
Saints Faustinus and Jovita were brothers, nobly born, and were zealous professors of the Christian religion, which they preached without fear in their city of Brescia in Lombardy, during the persecution of Adrian. Their remarkable zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, and procured them a glorious death for their faith.
Faustinus, a priest, and Jovita, a deacon, were preaching the Gospel fearlessly in the region when Julian, a pagan officer, apprehended them. They were commanded to adore the sun, but replied that they adored the living God who created the sun to give light to the world. The statue before which they were standing was brilliant and surrounded with golden rays. Saint Jovita, looking at it, cried out: Yes, we adore the God reigning in heaven, who created the sun. And you, vain statue, turn black, to the shame of those who adore you! At his word, it turned black. The Emperor commanded that it be cleaned, but the pagan priests had hardly begun to touch it when it fell into ashes.
The two brothers were sent to the amphitheater to be devoured by lions, but four of those came out and lay down at their feet. They were left without food in a dark jail cell, but Angels brought them strength and joy for new combats. The flames of a huge fire respected them, and a large number of spectators were converted at the sight. Finally sentenced to decapitation, they knelt down and received the death blow. The city of Brescia honors them as its chief patrons and possesses their relics, and a very ancient church in that city bears their names.
INTROIT Psalm 54. 2, 3
Who will give me wings like a dove, and I will fly and be at rest? Lo, I have gone far off, flying away, and I abode in the wilderness, for I have seen iniquity and contradiction in the city. Ps. 54 Hear, O God, my prayer and despise not my supplication: be attentive to me and hear me. Glory be. Who will give me…
O Lord, saviour and keeper of those who seek Thee, who didst grant Blessed Cuthman, undefiled, to renounce this world and to flee to the protection of thy wings; grant by his intercession that thy people may have grace to flee from the contagion of the evil one, and to follow thee alone with a pure heart and mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God; throughout all ages, world without end. R. Amen
Com. SS Faustinus & Jovita, Martyrs:
O God, Who gladden us each year by the feast of Your holy Martyrs, Faustinus and Jovita, graciously grant that, as we rejoice in their merits, we may be inspired by their example.
Collect for the Saints
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body: and through the intercession of the blessed and glorious Mary, ever Virgin, mother of God, of St Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy loving-kindness grant us safety and peace; that, all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom. 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 Philippians 3:8-14
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. Brethren: Furthermore I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ: And may be found in him, not having my justice, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ Jesus, which is of God, justice in faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death, If by any means I may attain to the resurrection which is from the dead. Not as though I has already attained, or were already perfect; but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: forgetting the things that are behind, and stretching forth myself to those that are before, I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.
GRADUAL Psalm 83.11 & Ps 15.5-6
I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners. V. And hast set him over the works of Thy hands, O Lord.
TRACT Psalm 1.1-3
Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence. But his will is in the law of the Lord: and on his law he shall meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper.
GOSPEL Mark 10: 28-30
At that time; Peter began to say unto him: Behold, we have left all things, and have
followed thee. Jesus answering, said: Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Philippenses 3.14-15
Forgetting the things that are behind, and stretching forth myself to those that are before, I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.
Take from us, O Lord, all worldly desires, that we might worthily serve at thy altar; and grant us to follow the example of him, in whose honour we offer this immaculate sacrifice to thy divine majesty. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God; throughout all ages, world without end. R. Amen
Com. SS Faustinus & Jovita, Martyrs
O Lord, heed our prayers which we pour forth on the feast of Your saints; so that we who cannot rely on our own righteousness may be helped by the merits of those who have been pleasing to You.
Secret for the Saints
Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, and, by virtue of this Sacrament, defend us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing upon us Thy grace here and Thy glory hereafter. 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.
PREFACE of the Common
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, 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:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 30.20-21
How great are the multitude of thy mercies, O Lord, which thou hast laid up for those who fear thee! Thou wilt hide them in the hiding place of thy presence; thou shalt protect them in thy tabernacle.
We beseech thee O Lord by the virtue of this Sacrament, to grant us the grace to follow the example of Blessed Cuthman in thy service: and may that good work which thou hast begun in us, be brought to perfection in the day of Christ Jesus Our Lord, who liveth & reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen
Com. SS Faustinus & Jovita, Martyrs
Filled by these saving sacramental rites, we beseech You, O Lord, that the intercession of those whose festival we celebrate may help us.
Postcommunion for the Saints
May the gift of this Divine Sacrament which we have offered, cleanse us and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, of St. Joseph, of Thy holy apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, free us from all iniquity and deliver us from all adversity. 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.