St Bibiana, Virgin Martyr: Missa “Me expectaverunt“
St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr (Feast day – December 2nd) Other than the name, nothing is known for certain about this saint. However, we have the following account from a later tradition.
In the year 363, Julian the Apostate made Apronianus Governor of Rome. St. Bibiana suffered in the persecution started by him. She was the daughter of Christians, Flavian, a Roman knight, and Dafrosa, his wife. Flavian was tortured and sent into exile, where he died of his wounds. Dafrosa was beheaded, and their two daughters, Bibiana and Demetria, were stripped of their possessions and left to suffer poverty. However, they remained in their house, spending their time in fasting and prayer.
Apronianus, seeing that hunger and want had no effect upon them, summoned them. Demetria, after confessing her Faith, fell dead at the feet of the tyrant. St. Bibiana was reserved for greater sufferings. She was placed in the hands of a wicked woman called Rufina, who in vain endeavored to seduce her. She used blows as well as persuasion, but the Christian virgin remained faithful.
Enraged at the constancy of this saintly virgin, Apronianus ordered her to be tied to a pillar and beaten with scourges, laden with lead plummets, until she expired. The saint endured the torments with joy, and died under the blows inflicted by the hands of the executioner.
INTROIT Psalm 118:95 – 96.
THE ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies, O Lord: I see that all things come an end: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. Ps. ibid. Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way: and walk in the law of the Lord. v. Glory be…etc
O God, the giver of all good gifts, who in Thy handmaid Bibiana didst to the flower of virginity join the palm of martyrdom: do Thou, through her intercession so unite our minds in the bond of charity to Thee, that all dangers being done away, we may obtain everlasting rewards. 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.
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.
for the Church
Mercifully hear the prayers of thy Church, we beseech thee, O Lord, that all adversities and errors being overcome, she may serve thee in security and feedom. 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 Ecclesiasticus 51.13-17
O Lord my God, Thou hast exalted my dwelling place upon the earth, and I have prayed for death to pass away. I called upon the Lord, the Father of my Lord, that He would not leave me in the day of my trouble, and in the time of the proud without help. I will praise Thy Name continually, and will praise it with thanksgiving, and my prayer was heard. And Thou
hast saved me from destruction, and hast delivered me from the evil time. Therefore I will give thanks and praise to Thee, O Lord our God.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 45:6, 5
God will help her with His countenance: God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle. Alleluia, alleluia. This is a wise virgin, and one of the number of the prudent. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 13:44-52
The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44: 3
Grace is poured abroad in thy lips : therefore God hath blessed thee for ever and for ages of ages.
Graciously receive, O Lord, the offerings consecrated to Thee by the merits of blessed Bibiana, Thy Virgin and Martyr, and grant that they may ever bring us help. 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
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.
for the Church
Protect us, O Lord, who celebrate thy mysteries, that holding fast to divine things, we may serve thee with body and soul. 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 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 Ps. 118: 121
I have done judgment and justice, O Lord, let not the proud calumniate me; I was directed to all Thy commandments: I have hated all wicked ways.
Filled with the Gifts of Thy divine bounty, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our God; that by the intercession of blessed Bibiana, Thy Virgin and Martyr, we may partake thereof for evermore. Through the 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
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.
for the Church
We beseech thee, O Lord, our God, that thou permit not those, to whom thou hast given a participation of divine things to be subjected to human dangers. 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.