St Paul, Apostle; Commemoration of St Peter, Commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity of St John the Baptist: Missa “Scio cui crédidi”
Whereas the Greeks on this day are uniting in one solemnity the memory, as they express it, “of the illustrious Saints, the Twelve Apostles, worthy of all praise,” let us follow in spirit the Roman people of former times, who would gather around the Successor of St. Peter and make the splendid Basilica of the Ostian Way—St. Paul outside the Walls—re-echo with songs of victory, while he offered to the Doctor of the Gentiles the grateful homage of the city and of the world.
On the 25th of January we beheld St. Stephen leading to Christ’s Crib Saul, the once ravenous wolf of Benjamin (Gen. 49: 27), tamed at last, but who in the morning of his impetuous youth had filled the Church of God with tears and bloodshed. His evening did indeed come when, as Jacob had foreseen, Saul, the persecutor, would outstrip all his predecessors among Christ’s disciples in giving increase to the fold, and in feeding the flock with the choicest food of his heavenly doctrine.
By an unexampled privilege, Our Lord, though already seated at the right hand of His Father, vouchsafed not only to call, but personally to instruct this new disciple, so that he might one day be numbered amongst His Apostles. The ways of God can never be contradictory one to another; hence this creation of a new Apostle may not be accomplished in a manner derogatory to the divine constitution already delivered to the Christian Church by the Son of God. Therefore, as soon as the illustrious convert emerged from those sublime contemplations during which the Christian dogma had been poured into his soul, he went to Jerusalem to see St. Peter, as he himself relates to his disciples in Galatia. “It behooved him,” says Bossuet, “to collate his own Gospel with that of the Prince of the Apostles” (Sermon on Unity). From that moment, aggregated as a co-operator in the preaching of the Gospel, the Acts of the Apostles describes him at Antioch accompanied by St. Barnabas, presenting himself to the work of opening the Church to the Gentiles, the conversion of Cornelius having been already effected by St. Peter himself. He passes a whole year in this city, reaping an abundant harvest. After St. Peter’s imprisonment in Jerusalem, at his subsequent departure for Rome, a warning from on high makes known to those who preside over the Church at Antioch, that the moment has come for them to impose hands on the two missionaries, and confer on them the sacred character of Ordination and Consecration.
From that hour St. Paul attains the full power of an Apostle, and it is clear that the mission for which he has been preparing is now opened. At the same time, in St. Luke’s narrative, St. Barnabas almost disappears, retaining but a very secondary position. The new Apostle has his own disciples, and he henceforth takes the lead in a long series of pilgrimages marked by as many conquests. His first is to Cyprus, where he seals an alliance with ancient Rome, analogous to that which St. Peter contracted at Caesarea. Adapted from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger
INTROIT 2 Timothy 1:12
I know Whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day; being a just judge. (Ps. 138: 1, 2) Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou has known my sitting down, and my rising up. v. Glory be…etc
O God, Who didst teach the multitude of the nations by the preaching of the blessed apostle, Paul, grant us, we beseech Thee, that, venerating his natal day, we may experience the benefits of his intercession with Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration of St. Peter
Let us pray. O God, Who, in conferring upon blessed Peter, Thine apostle, the keys of the heavenly kingdom, didst commit to him the priestly power of binding and loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sin. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration of the Octave of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
O God, Who hast made this day honourable to us on account of the birth of blessed John, grant Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of everlasting salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Galatians 1: 11-20
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Brethren, I give you to understand that the gospel which was preached by me, it not according to man. For neither did I receive it of man, nor did I learn it; but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion: how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it; and I made progress in the Jews’ religion above many of my equals in my own nation, being more abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased Him, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, immediately I condescended not to flesh and blood. Neither went I to Jerusalem to the apostles who were before me: but I went into Arabia, and again I returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and I tarried with him fifteen days; but other of the apostles I saw none; saving James the brother of the Lord. Now the things which I write to You, behold before God I lie not.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Galatians 2: 8-9
He who wrought in Peter to the apostleship, wrought in me also among the Gentiles, and they knew the grace of God, -which was given to me. V. The grace of God in me hath not been void; but His grace always remaineth in me. Alleluia, alleluia. V. Holy apostle Paul, Preacher of truth, and doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 10: 16-22
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and simple as doves. But beware of men; for they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings, for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they shall deliver you up, take no thought of how, or what, to speak; for it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you. The brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against the parents, and shall put them to death; and you shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake; but he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 138: 17
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened.
Moved by the prayers of Thine apostle, Paul, O Lord, do Thou sanctify the gifts of Thy people, that what is pleasing to Thee, Who hast ordained it, may be the more pleasing by the patronage of his supplication. 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.
Commemoration of St. Peter
Sanctify, O Lord, the offerings Of Thy people, by the prayer of Thine apostle Peter, that those things which are pleasing to Thee by Thine own institution may become the more pleasing by the favour of his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration Nat. SJB
We heap Thine altars with gifts, O Lord, celebrating with fitting honour the nativity of him who heralded the coming of the Saviour, and pointed Him out when He had come, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and reignest, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God. 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.
PREFACE of the Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst 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 Archangels, with Thrones and Dóminations and with all the hosts of the Heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 17: 28
Amen I say to you, that you who have left all things, and have followed Me, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
Having partaken of Thy sacraments, O Lord, we implore Thee, that what we have celebrated in honour of blessed Paul, Thine apostle. may, by his intercession, avail us as a healing remedy. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, For ever and ever.
Commemoration of St. Peter
May the gift we have offered fill our hearts with joy, O Lord, that, as we declare Thee wonderful in Thine. apostle Peter, so through him we may receive the abundance of Thy pardon. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration of Nat. SJB
May Thy Church, O God, be joyful at the birth of blessed John the Baptist, through whom she knew the Author of her regeneration, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Who with Thee livest and reignest, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God. 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.