St William of York, Bishop & Confessor: Missa “Státuit ei Dóminus”
A disputed election as archbishop of York and a mysterious death. Those are the headlines from the tragic life of today’s saint.
Born into a powerful family in 12th-century England, William seemed destined for great things. His uncle was next in line for the English throne—though a nasty dynastic struggle complicated things. William himself faced an internal Church feud.
Despite these roadblocks, he was nominated as archbishop of York in 1140. Local clergymen were less enthusiastic, however, and the archbishop of Canterbury refused to consecrate William. Three years later a neighboring bishop performed the consecration, but it lacked the approval of Pope Innocent II, whose successors likewise withheld approval. William was deposed, and a new election was ordered.
It was not until 1154—14 years after he was first nominated—that William became archbishop of York. When he entered the city that spring after years of exile, he received an enthusiastic welcome. Within two months he was dead, probably from poisoning. His administrative assistant was a suspect, though no formal ruling was ever made.
Despite all that happened to him, William did not show resentment toward his opponents. Following his death, many miracles were attributed to him. He was canonized 73 years later.
INTROIT Ecclus 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…
O God, Who see that we cannot survive by any power of our own, mercifully grant that, by the intercession of blessed William, Your Confessor and Bishop, we may be made safe from all harm. 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.
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, 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. V. The blessed man, St. Martin, Bishop of the city of Tours, has gone to rest; and the Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominations and Powers have received him. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 11:33-36
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar or even under the measure, but upon the lamp-stand, that they who enter in may see the light. The lamp of your body is your eye. If your eye be sound, your whole body will be full of light. But if it be evil, your body also will be full of darkness. Take care, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. If, then, your whole body is full of light, having no part in darkness, it will all be illumined, as when a bright lamp illumines you.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps 88:25
My faithfulness and My kindness shall be with him, and through My name shall his horn be exalted.
Sanctify, we beseech You, O Lord God, the gifts we offer on the feast of Your holy Bishop, William, that through them our life, whether in fortune or misfortune, may always be directed aright. 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 Most Holy Trinity
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, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Mark 11: 24
Amen, I say to you, whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe that you shall receive and it shall be done to you.
Grant, we beseech You, O Lord our God, that this sacrifice may be beneficial for our salvation, by the intercession of those on whose feast-day it is offered. 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.