Carissimi; Today’s Mass: St Mark the Evangelist

St Mark, Evangelist [transferred]; commemoration of St Catherine of Siena: Missa “Protexisti”

The feast of St. Mark was not regularly inserted into the Roman Calendar until about the Twelfth Century. This is explained by the original association of the commemorations of the saints with their tombs. Although St. Mark was among the first who with St. Peter brought the Faith to Rome and at the request of the Romans themselves, wrote his Gospel, he did not die in the Holy City.

St. Peter sent him to Alexandria in Egypt, and he was first bishop of that city. He governed his See for about twenty years and in the end was martyred, A.D. 70, by the heathen. His symbol is a lion, for his Gospel begins with the mission of John the Baptist in the desert and the voice of the lion resounds in desert places. Mark is said to have been the young man who, on the night that Jesus was made prisoner, left the sheet in which he was clothed, in the hands of the soldiers and fled naked. He accompanied his cousin, Barnabas and Paul, on their first apostolic mission. Paul, however, would not take him along on the second journey; when Paul was in prison at Rome, Mark was again closely associated with him.

His body was taken to Venice whose patron he has been since the Ninth Century.

We pray today for the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Pope Theodore II (Orthodox), Pope Tawadros II (Coptic Orthodox).

St Catherine of Siena: Born in Siena, on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1347, Catherine was the 23rd of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa’s 25 children. Her twin sister died in infancy.

She exhibited an unusually independent character as a child and an exceptionally intense prayer life. When she was seven years old she had the first of her mystical visions, in which she saw Jesus surrounded by saints and seated in glory. In the same year she vowed to consecrate her virginity to Christ. When, at the age of 16, her parents decided that she should marry, she cut off her hair to make herself less appealing, and her father, realizing that he couldn’t contend with her resolve, let her have her way.

She joined the Dominican Tertiaries and lived a deep and solitary life of prayer and meditation for the next three years in which she had constant mystical experiences, capped, by the end of the three years with an extraordinary union with God granted to only a few mystics, known as ‘mystical marriage.’

St. Catherine suffered many intense periods of desolation alongside her mystical ecstasies, often feeling totally abandoned by God.

She ended her solitude at this point and began tending to the sick, poor, and marginalized, especially lepers. As her reputation for holiness and remarkable personality became known throughout Siena, she attracted a band of disciples, two of whom became her confessors and biographers, and together they served Christ in the poor with even greater ardor.

The Lord called her to a more public life while she was still in her 20s, and she established correspondences with many influential figures, advising and admonishing them and exhorting them to holiness, including the Pope himself who she never hesitated to rebuke when she saw fit.

Great political acts which are attributed to her include achieving peace between the Holy See and Florence who were at war, to convince the Pope to return from his Avignon exile, which he did in 1376, and to heal the great schism between the followers of the legitimate Pope, Urban VI, and those who opposed him in 1380. She achieved this while on her deathbed.

Her Dialogues, one of the classics of Italian literature, are the record of her mystical visions which she dictated in a state of mystical ecstasy.

In 1375, while visiting Pisa, she received the stigmata, even though they never appeared on her body during her lifetime, owing to her request to God. They appeared only on her incorruptible body after her death.

She died in Rome on April 29, 1380, at the age of 33.

INTROIT Psalm 63:2

Thine to defend me, O God, from this malice, alleluia: the thronging enemies that are bent on my hurt, alleluia, alleluia. V. O God, listen to my prayer when I call for aid, save me from the threats of my mortal foe. 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 Thine to defend me, O God…

COLLECT

O God, Who didst endow blessed Mark, Thine evangelist, with the grace of preaching, grant us, we beseech Thee, ever to profit by his teaching and be defended by his prayers.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

For St Catherine of Sienna
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we which do keep the birthday of thy blessed Virgin Katharine, and. do year by year renew her memorial with solemn gladness in thy presence, may likewise be conformed to the pattern of her saintly walk with thee.

For the Octave of St George
O God, Who dost gladden us by the merits and inter-cession of blessed George, Thy Martyr, mercifully grant that we, who ask Thy favors through him, may obtain them by the gift of Thy grace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

EPISTLE Ezechiel 1: 10-14

Lesson from Ezechiel the Prophet. As for the likeness of the faces of the four living creatures; there was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side of all the four; and the face of an ox on the left side of all the four; and the face of an eagle over all the four. And their faces and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined, and two covered their bodies; and every one of them went straight forward; whither the impulse of the spirit was to go, thither they went, and they turned not when they went. And as for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like that of burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps. This was the vision running to and fro in the midst of the living creatures, a bright fire, and lightning going forth from the fire. And the living creatures ran and returned like flashes of lightning.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps. 88:6 The heavens, Lord, are witness of thy wonderful power, of thy faithfulness before the court of the holy ones. Alleluia. V. Lord, thou hast set a jewelled crown upon his head. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 10:1-9

In that time: the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein, and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

OFFERTORY Psalm 88:6

The heavens, Lord, are witnesses of thy wonderful power, of thy faithfulfulness before the court of the holy ones alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

SECRET

Bringing Thee gifts, O Lord. on the festival of blessed Mark, Thine evangelist, we pray Thee, that, as the preaching of the Gospel made him glorious, so his intercession may render us in word and deed acceptable to Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

For St Catherine of Sienna
May there rise up before thee, O Lord, the prayers, we offer on the feast of blessed Catherine, and the saving victim, fragrant with virgin sweetness.

For the Octave of St George
Sanctify the gifts we offer Thee, O Lord, and through the intercession of blessed George, Thy martyr, cleanse us by them from the stains of our sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

PREFACE of the Apostles

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangesl, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…

COMMUNION Psalm 63:11

The good man will rejoice and put his trust in the Lord; the upright heart will not boast in vain alleluia, alleluia.

POSTCOMMUNION

May Thy holy things, we beseech Thee, O Lord, bring us continual protection, so that, through the prayers of blessed Mark, Thine evangelist, they may ever guard us from all evils. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

For St Catherine of Sienna
May the heavenly repast of which we have partaken bestow on us, O Lord, eternal life, as as the blessed Virgin Catherina found in it the nourishment even of her mortal life.

For the Octave of St George
We beseech Thee, O almighty God, that those whom Thou dost refresh with Thy sacrament, Thou also grant them, by the intercession of blessed George, Thy martyr, to serve Thee, as befits them, with behavior pleasing unto Thee. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

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