Feast of Saint Didacus, Confessor: Missa “Justus ut palma”
This holy lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor was born around the turn of the 15th century to poor Spanish parents who placed him under the direction of a hermit living in the neighbourhood of San Nicolas del Puerto, his native town. Feeling himself called to the religious life, he applied for admission to the Franciscan Order at the convent of Arizafa and was received as a lay brother. He led a life perfect in the observance of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Though he lacked a formal education, he was sought out for his insights into the Christian life.
In 1445 he was chosen guardian of the Franciscan community on the Canary Island of Fortaventura; and though it was an exception to the ordinary rules for a lay brother to be made superior, his great zeal, prudence, and sanctity fully justified his choice by the religious of Castile. He remained superior at Fortaventura until 1449 when he was recalled to Spain, whence he went to Rome to be present at the canonisation of St. Bernardine of Siena in 1450.
At Rome he fulfilled the humble office of infirmarian in the convent of Ara Coeli; and his biographers record the miraculous cure of many whom he attended, through his pious intercession. He was finally recalled to Spain and was sent by his superiors to Alcalá where he spent the remaining years of his life in penance, solitude, and the delights of contemplation.
As death drew nearer, he assembled all around his deathbed and asked forgiveness, embracing the holy crucifix, he repeated with saintly sincerity words, “Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet”, and peacefully died in the odour of sanctity on November 12. St. Didacus was canonised by the Franciscan Pope Sixtus V in 1588 and his universal feast set for the day after he died on November 13. Many miracles are attributed to this humble lay brother both when he was alive and after his death including his body remaining incorrupt. He so emulated his holy Father Francis of Assisi and it is why Fr. Junipero Serra dedicated this oldest Mission to St. Didacus – San Diego de Alcala.
Didacus is the Latin translation of the Spanish name Diego which means “learned person.” Truly St. Didacus learned much and reaped his rewards in Heaven. In this time of the Great Apostasy, how much have we learned? Can we be called “learned persons” if we refuse to connect the dots and see that the church posing as the Catholic church today in Rome is an apostate church which broke away from the True Church at Vatican I? If you doubt that, praying to St. Didacus just might do wonders considering Psalm 138, verse 17 of today’s Introit: “The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.” There are so few true houses of the Lord remaining where He truly resides Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
INTROIT Psalm 91: 13, 14
The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God. 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 In the midst of the Church..
Almighty, eternal God, Who, in Thy wonderful providence, dost choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong, mercifully grant unto our lowliness that, by the prayers of blessed Didacus, Thy confessor. 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
EPISTLE 1 Corinthians 4: 4,19
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, we are made a spectacle to the world and to angels and men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ: we are weak, but you are strong: you are honourable, but we without honour. Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode, and we labour working with our own hands. We are reviled, and we bless: we are persecuted, and we suffer it: we are blasphemed, and we entreat: we are made as the refuse of this world, the off-scouring of all, even until now. I write not these things to confound you, but I admonish you as my dearest children in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUAL Psalm 44: 5
With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. V. Because of truth, and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 111: 1) Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, he delights exceedingly in His commandments. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 12: 33-36
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “No man lighteth a candle, and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel: but upon a candlestick, that they that come in may see the light. The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome; but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If then thy whole body be lightsome, having no part of darkness, the whole shall be lightsome, and as a bright lamp shall enlighten thee.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 20: 2,3
In thy strength, O Lord, the just shall joy, and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly: Thou hast given him his heart’s desire.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the offering of our lowliness may be pleasing to Thee in honour of Thy saints, and purify us in both body and mind. 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
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:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 19: 28-29
Amen I say to you, that you, who have left all things and followed Me, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
We pray Thee, O almighty God, that, having received heavenly nourishment, we may thereby, through the intercession of blessed Didacus, Thy confessor, be fortified against all harm and danger. 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.