S. John Gualbert, Abbot; Comm. SS Nabor & Felix, Martyrs: Missa “Os justi”
Born in Florence, Italy, around the year 993, John was born into a noble family, and led a predictably frivolous life as a youth, being concerned only with the pursuit of vain amusements and romantic intrigues.
However, when he was still a young man, his elder brother Hugh was murdered, and John was so overtaken with grief that he vowed to avenge him. His only desire was to find the murderer and kill him.
One day – it was Good Friday – as he was riding through the town, John spotted his brother’s murderer and drew his sword to kill him. The man fell to his knees and begged for mercy. At this instant John had a vision of Christ on the Cross, and powerfully moved by the example of the love of Christ who forgave His enemies, and he did the same.
After this encounter, he went straight to a monastery and begged to join. As a sign of his earnest desire, he shaved off all his hair. The abbot, who had been reluctant to admit John because he feared the displeasure of his influential father, agreed and John lived in the monastery for a few years before moving on to find a more solitary and strict life.
Discovering that many of the orders that he had looked into joining were tainted with the corruption that was rampant in the Church at the time, he decided that God was calling him to found something new.
On a plot of land east of Florence called Vallombrosa, together with men who were equally committed to a more austere and stricter following of the Rule of St. Benedict, he founded a humble monastery devoted to contemplation and prayer and care of the poor and sick.
Renowned for his humility, holiness of life, and his wisdom – he refused any office of privilege, and declined to receive holy orders of any kind – he was often consulted by popes. John died at the age of 80, in 1073, and was canonized in 1193.
The Vallombrosan Benedictines are still existent today, mainly in the region of Tuscany and Lombardy, and number a handful of monasteries.
Sts. Nabor and Felix suffered martyrdom at Milan under Maximian Herculeus, about the year 304. St. Ambrose honored their memory and from Milan devotion to spread throughout the Universal Church.
INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 45: 30
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: 30-31) 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. Repeat The mouth of the just…
May the intercession of the blessed abbot John, we are told, we beseech thee, O Lord, that we can not reach our patronage. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of Sts. Nabor & Felix
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we never fail to celebrate the birth of Thy holy martyrs, Nabor and Felix, we may be continually helped by their prayers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. 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 showed 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 commandment before His face, and a law of life and instruction.
GRADUAL Psalm 61: 13,14
Lord, Thou has 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 5: 43-48
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that you and your father are in Heaven, Who are you in the world? love you, what reward you do not have the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not have the heathens this? be perfect, your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 20: 3-4
Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, O Lord, and hast not withholden from him the willof his lips: Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.
May the holy Abbot, John, we beseech Thee, O Lord, pray that the sacrifices laid upon the sacred altars may avail for our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son for Lord, Who is liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of Sts. Nabor and Felix
May the gifts of Thy people, we pray Thee, O Lord, be made pleasing by the favoring prayers of Thy holy martyrs, Nabor and Felix, and let these propositions be made for their triumph, be also rendered worthy by their Merits. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son for Lord, Who is liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. 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
The faithful and wise servant whom his Lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
Together with the reception of Thy sacrament, O Lord, may the blessed abbot John, protect us by interceding for us, that we may put into practice the virtues of his life and partake of the power of his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who is liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of Sts. Nabor and Felix
Let us pray. We are the feast of Thy saints we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, being strengthened by the gift of the sacrament, we may enjoy forever the good things with which, through Thy grace, we are now comforted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who is liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.