The Assumption of Mary

August 11, 2019

This week we celebrate the Assumption of Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, and Masses are
available Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm and Thursday at 8:30 am (Latin), Noon, and 7:00 pm.
The Assumption of Mary has been celebrated since the fifth century, and is a celebration of
Mary’s entrance into Heaven. Because Mary was sinless from her Immaculate Conception, She
merited to be taken directly to Heaven, and that is the central focus of the Holy Day this week.
Mary is honored as the greatest of the Saints because She was the first to believe, and She is
model for all of us in regard to the worship of Her Son, Jesus Christ.
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 24)

August 4, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after St. Stephen, we find St. Matthias.
St. Matthias, after the Ascension of the Lord, was by the will of God called to the Apostolate —
in place of Judas Iscariot. It is said that he was beheaded with an axe, and that St. Helena
brought a portion of his relics to Treves. His head is preserved in the Church of S. Maria
Maggiore in Rome. His feast occurs on the 24th, or, in leap years, on the 25th of February.
St. Matthias, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 23)

July 29, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after St. John the Baptist, we find St. Stephen.
St. Stephen heads the brilliant host of Christian Martyrs, who, after the death of the
Savior, shed their blood for divine truth. He belongs to those seven wise and pious
men who were ordained as the first deacons by the Apostles; but, before all the
others, he is praised in Holy Scripture as a man “full of grace and strength,…full of
faith and of the Holy Ghost, … who did great signs and miracles among the
people.” As deacon, with loving solicitude, he exercised the charge of caring for the
poor and the sick; he likewise, with great wisdom and power, preached the doctrine of
Christ to the Jews. They obstinately resisted him, and in their fury they stoned to
death this courageous preacher of the truth, which they hated. This took place in the
Valley of Josaphat at the Brook Cedron. Yet “the stones of the brook were sweet to
him,” says the Church, at the same time putting these words in his mouth: “Because
my flesh was stoned for Thee, my God, my soul has adhered to Thee!” Overwhelmed
by the rain of stones and falling on his knees, he exclaimed: “Lord Jesus, receive my
spirit!” and then “he slept in the Lord.” Although ordained as deacon by the Apostles,
St. Stephen preceded the Apostles by his blessed and victorious death. The martyr’s crown
now shines gloriously on his head; the celebration of the day of his death (December 26)
follows the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, and the wonderful finding of his relics is separately
commemorated (August 3). In the sixth century the most of his relics were taken to Rome and
placed beside the remains of St. Lawrence under the high altar of the Basilica of St. Lawrence
Outside the Walls in a splendid marble sarcophagus.
St. Stephen, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 22)

In the Roman Canon, after the Consecration, we find a list of Martyrs, the first of whom is St.
John the Baptist.
In profound seclusion from the world, St. John the Baptist prepared himself by a life of
contemplation and severe asceticism for his vocation: to go before the face of the Lord, to
prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people, unto the remission of their sins
(Luke I:76-77). His whole appearance and penitential preaching made a wonderful impression
on the
people. He closed his blessed labors by a martyr’s death, for he was beheaded because he had
freely and severely censured the adulterous union of Herod with Herodias. His martyrdom is
celebrated on August 29. Through heavenly revelation his head was later on found, and is now
preserved and honored in the ancient Church of S. Silvestro in Capite. St. John the Baptist has
ever been highly honored in the Church; numerous churches are dedicated to him, and many
cities and countries have chosen him as their patron.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 21)

In the Roman Canon, after John and Paul, we find Cosmas and Damian.
Saints Cosmas and Damian were brothers, descended from a distinguished race in Arabia. They
practiced medicine in Roman territory without remuneration. Their learning, their skill in
healing, their devout mode of life, all combined, won for them universal confidence and high
esteem. Their acts of benevolence gained for the Christian religion many adherents. After
enduring many torments, they were at last —probably in 127 — decapitated at Egaea, in Cilicia.
Pope Felix IV (526-529) built, at Rome, the Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, and brought to it
the relics of the saintly martyred brothers. Both are honored as patrons of physicians and of
the science of medicine; their feast occurs on September twenty-seventh.
In the Roman Canon, only martyrs are named before and after the Consecration: this distinction
is justly due to them. They have merited it by the bloody sacrifice of their life; they appear as
the ripest and most glorious fruit of the Sacrifice of Christ. They resembled the Savior, not in
life merely, but also in death. For Christ they lived, for Him they died; in return for the Sacrifice
of His love, they offered the sacrifice of the world and of themselves – amid untold torments
and sufferings. The virtues of fortitude and patience, of faith and of love, which they practiced
in a heroic degree, shone resplendent in them.
St. Cosmas and St. Damian, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 20)

In the Roman Canon, after Chrysogonus, we find John and Paul.
John and Paul were brothers. As distinguished Romans, they were entrusted with high
positions of honor at the court of St. Constantia, a daughter of Constantine the Great. When
she had retired from the world, the two brothers lived as “Men of Mercy,” devoting themselves
to works of charity. The apostate, Emperor Julian, wished to compel them to sacrifice to the
idols, and to enter his service; but such an order they rejected with contempt. And, for this
reason, Julian had them secretly decapitated in their own palace, which stood on Mount
Coelius, on June 26, 362. On this site, as early as the fourth century, the Church of Sts. John and
Paul was built in honor of the martyred brothers. Their bodies rest in a magnificent
sarcophagus under the high altar. In the nave of the church, surrounded by an iron railing, may
be seen the marble slab which was stained with their blood and which annually on their feast
(June twenty-sixth) is strewn with flowers.
St. John and St. Paul, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 19)

In the Roman Canon, after Lawrence, we find five laypersons, the first of whom is Chrysogonus.
St. Chrysogonus converted many heathens in Rome to Christianity; he was also the teacher of
St. Anastasia in Christian doctrine, and also her counsel and consoler, when, on account of her
faith, she had many persecutions to suffer. He was arrested in Rome under Diocletian, and,
after long imprisonment, was sent to Aquileja where he was beheaded about the year 304. His
relics are preserved and venerated in the ancient Church of Chrysogonus, which is situated in
Rome, in the via Trastevere, and is in possession of the Trinitarians. His feast occurs on
November twenty-fourth.
St. Chrysogonus, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 18)

June 23, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Cyprian, we find the Deacon Lawrence.

St. Lawrence is highly extolled by the Fathers and held in great veneration by all Christian nations.  “As Jerusalem was glorified by Stephen, so is Rome renowned by its Lawrence from the rising to the setting of the sun,” says the holy Pope Leo in a sermon on the feast of this Saint.  Spain is regarded as his native country; but he was brought up and educated in Rome. Sixtus II ordained him deacon, and made him the first of the seven deacons of the Roman Church, wherefore he is also called Archdeacon of the Pope.

Exceedingly glorious is the martyrdom of the young Levite. When Pope Sixtus II was being dragged to the Catacombs for execution, Lawrence cried out to him: “Whither goest thou, Father, without thy son?  Where art thou hastening, holy priest, without thy deacon? Never wert thou accustomed to offer the Holy Sacrifice without thy minister.” And how singularly consoling are the words of the high priest to his deacon: “I am not forsaking thee, my son; greater combats await thee.  Cease to weep; after three days thou wilt follow me.” During those three days, the deacon hastened through the city, distributed the goods of the Church to the needy.

To the prefect of the city who ordered him to deliver up the treasures of the Church, he presented the poor of Christ as the treasures of the Church.  On this account the heathen became enraged, and subjected the young hero to all manner of torments. St. Lawrence was scourged, struck with leaden balls, stretched on the rack, and burned with red hot metallic plates.  The judge then threatened him with an entire night of tortures. Radiant with an unearthly brightness, the intrepid sufferer exclaimed: “For me this night has no darkness, but breaks forth into the bright light of day.”

Afterward he was laid on a burning gridiron, whence he addressed the tyrant: “Behold, wretch, the power of my God; your heat for me is refreshing coolness, but it will end for you in inextinguishable fire.”  In the midst of the tortures, the martyr prayed to Christ: “On the gridiron I have not denied Thee, my God, and over the fire I have confessed Thee, my Savior. Thou hast tried and examined my heart in the night; Thou hast proved me by fire, and found no falsehood in me.  My soul adhered to Thee, whilst my flesh burned for Thee.”

It is at this point that St. Lawrence utters his most quoted phrase: “Let my body be turned; one side is broiled enough.”  This is translated in modernity as “Turn me over, I’m done on this side!”

He then prayed for the triumph of Christianity in the city of Rome, and closed his heroic combat with the words: “I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou dost permit me to enter through the portals of heaven.”  Thus his indomitable soul passed to the glory of God on August 10, 258. Above his grave, Constantine had the magnificent basilica of St. Lawrence erected outside the walls. There beneath the high altar repose, in a marble sarcophagus, the united relics of both the deacons, Sts. Lawrence and Stephen.

St. Lawrence, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 17)

June 16, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after all of the Popes are named, we find the Bishop Cyprian.

St. Cyprian was born in the beginning of the third century at Carthage. He was of distinguished rank, rich, very talented, and very well educated.  Only in a more mature age was he won over to the Catholic Faith; his baptism took place about the year 246. He distributed his great wealth among the poor, made a vow of perpetual chastity, and spent his time in prayer and the study of the sacred sciences.

From the very beginning of his conversion, he was adorned with brilliant virtues and uncommon graces.  How happy he regarded himself in the possession of Christian truth and grace. St. Cyprian was raised to the priesthood, and, as he was so greatly renowned for his learning and exemplary manner of life, he was promoted to the Episcopal See of Carthage in the year 248. The ten years’ episcopacy of the saint (248-258) fell during the time of the most violent persecution and of other exterior misfortunes besides.  Powerful in word and deed, St. Cyprian fulfilled, with indefatigable zeal, his pastoral duties for the salvation of the faithful confided to his care, and for the welfare of the whole Church. He worked diligently for the unity and discipline of the Church against heretics and schismatics, animated all to cheerful endurance of martyrdom, and consumed himself in the ardor of Christian charity. His life, rich in blessings, was terminated by the glorious death of a martyr. He was put to death by the sword in the public place of Carthage, on September 14, 258.

St. Cyprian, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt

 

Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 16)

June 9, 2019

In the Roman Canon, after Sixtus, we find Cornelius.

St. Cornelius ascended the Chair of Peter in the year 251.  St. Cyprian extols him as quiet, modest, and humble. Under the tyrant Emperor Decius, St. Cornelius was in constant expectation of death.  Under the Emperor Gailus, in the year 252, a violent storm arose against the Christians in Rome; but they, with the Pope at their head, maintained the faith with such unanimity, fortitude and strength as to excite universal joy and jubilation, and St. Cyprian could not sufficiently praise and admire them.

St. Cornelius was banished to Centumn Cehlae (Civitavecehia), and there died a martyr on September 14, 252; as on the same day six years later (258) the holy Bishop Cyprian of Carthage was martyred, both names are, therefore, usually mentioned together.  Their joint feast is celebrated on September sixteenth.

St. Cornelius, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt