St Peter of Verona, Martyr; Comm. Octave of St George Patron of England: Missa “Protexisti“
In 1205 the glorious martyr Peter was born at Verona of Manichean parents; there he nonetheless attended a Catholic school. One day his Manichean uncle asked what he learnt there. The Creed, answered Peter: I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth. No arguments could shake his faith, and at the age of sixteen he received the habit from Saint Dominic himself at Bologna.
After his ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy and converted multitudes. Saint Peter was constantly obliged to dispute with heretics, and although he was able to confound them, still the devil took occasion thereby to tempt him one day against faith. Instantly he had recourse to prayer before an image of Our Lady, and heard a voice saying to him the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it. (Luke 22:32)
He often conversed with the Saints, and one day the martyred virgins Catherine, Agnes and Cecilia appeared to him and conferred with him. A passing religious, hearing their feminine voices, accused him to their Superior, who without hesitation or questions, exiled him to a convent where no preaching was being done. Saint Peter submitted humbly, but complained in prayer to Jesus crucified that He was abandoning him to his bad reputation. The crucifix spoke: And I, Peter, was I too not innocent? Learn from Me to suffer the greatest sorrows with joy. Eventually his innocence was brought to light; for his part, he had learned in his solitude to love humiliation and confusion.
Again engaged in preaching, miracles accompanied his exhortations. He travelled all over Italy and became famous. Once when preaching to a vast crowd under the burning sun, the heretics defied him to procure shade. He prayed, and a cloud overshadowed the audience.
Every day at the elevation of the Mass he prayed, Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, who for me didst die. His prayer was answered. His enemies, confounded by him, sought his life. Two of them attacked him in 1252 on the road to Milan and struck his head with an axe. Saint Peter fell, commended himself to God, dipped his finger in his own blood, and wrote on the ground, I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth. He was then stabbed to death. The brother religious accompanying him also suffered death. The details of the crime were made known by Saint Peter’s murderer, named Carino, who after fleeing from justice confessed his crime, asking for a penance from the Dominican Fathers. He took the habit, and according to their testimony lived the life of a saint and persevered to the end. Miracles at Saint Peter’s tomb and elsewhere converted a great many heretics.
Reflection. From his boyhood Saint Peter boldly professed his faith among heretics. He spent his life in preaching the Faith to them and received the glorious and long-desired crown of martyrdom at their hands. Are we, too, courageous, firm, zealous, full of prayer for their conversion, and unflinching in our profession of faith?
INTROIT Psalm 63: 3
Thou last protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia. alleluia. (Ps. 63: 2) Hear, O God, my prayers, when I make supplication to Thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy 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…
Grant us grace, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, to follow with zeal conformable thereto after the pattern of that great example of faith, thy blessed Martyr Peter, who, for the spreading of the same faith, did so run as to obtain the palm of martyrdom. Through Our Lord…
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 favours through him, may obtain them by the gift of Thy grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.
LESSON 2 Timothy 2: 8-10; 3,10-12
Dearly beloved, be mindful that the Lord Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel. Wherein I labor even unto bands, as an evil-doer: but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions, such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured and out of them all the Lord delivered me. And all that will live godly in Jesus Christ shall suffer persecution.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 88: 6) The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord; and Thy truth in the Church of the saints. Alleluia. V. (Ps. 20: 4) O Lord, Thou halt set on his head a crown of precious stones. Alleluia.
GOSPEL St. John 15:1-7
In that time, Jesus said to his disciples: I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 6
The Heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord, and Thy truth in the church of the saints, alleluia, alleluia.
Graciously regard, O Lord, the prayers we offer thee, through the intercession of blessed Peter, thy Martyr; and keep ever under thy protection the champions of the faith. Through our Lord…
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 the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.
PREFACE of Easter
It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, at all times to praise Thee, O Lord, but more gloriously especially this when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the Lamb Who hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath destroyed our death: and by rising again hath restored us to life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 63: 11
The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in Him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised, alleluia, alleluia.
May the Sacrament, O Lord, which we, the faithful people have received, hold us in safe keeping, and through the intercession of thy blessed Martyr Peter defend us from all assaults of the enemy. Through our Lord…
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, God, world without end. R.Amen.