St Thomas Becket ~ December 29th


Pro S. Thoma Martyre
Deus, pro cuius Ecclésia gloriósus Póntifex Thomas gládiis impiórum occúbuit: præsta, quǽsumus; ut omnes, qui eius implórant auxílium, petitiónis suæ salutárem consequántur efféctum.

O God, for whose Church Bishop Thomas, now in glory, fell by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech You, that the prayers of all who implore his assistance may be effective and may lead to salvation.


Múnera tibi, Dómine, dicáta sanctífica: et, intercedénte beáto Thoma Mártyre tuo atque Pontífice, per éadem nos placátus inténde.

O Lord, through the intercession of blessed Thomas, Your martyr and bishop, sanctify the offerings dedicated to You, and because of them, look upon us with mercy.

Post Communion

Hæc nos commúnio, Dómine, purget a crímine: et, intercedénte beáto Thoma Mártyre tuo atque Pontífice, coeléstis remédii fáciat esse consórtes.

May this Communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin and, by the intercession of blessed Thomas, Your martyr and bishop, impart to us heavenly healing.



Ps 8:3.
Ex ore infántium, Deus, et lacténtium perfecísti laudem propter inimicos tuos.
Ps 8:2
Dómine, Dóminus noster: quam admirábile est nomen tuum in univérsa terra!

Out of the mouths of babes and of sucklings, O God, You have fashioned praise because of Your foes.
Ps 8:2
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth!



Deus, cuius hodierna die præcónium Innocéntes Mártyres non loquéndo, sed moriéndo conféssi sunt: ómnia in nobis vitiórum mala mortífica; ut fidem tuam, quam lingua nostra lóquitur, étiam móribus vita fateátur.

O God, Whose praise the Innocents, Your martyrs, this day proclaimed, not by speaking, but by dying, put to death in us all the wickedness of sin, so that Your faith which our tongue professes may be proclaimed also by our life.


HEROD, who was reigning in Judea at the time of the birth of Our Saviour, having heard that the Wise Men had come from the East to Jerusalem in search of the King of the Jews, was troubled. He called together the chief priests, and learning that Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, he told the Wise Men: “When you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him.” But God having warned them in a dream not to return, they went back to their homes another way. St. Joseph, too, was ordered in his sleep to “take the Child and His Mother and fly into Egypt.” When Herod found that the Wise Men did not return, he was furious, and ordered that every male child in Bethlehem and its vicinity of the age of two and under should be slain. These innocent victims were the flowers and the first-fruits of His martyrs, and triumphed over the world, without having ever known it or experienced its dangers.

Reflection.—How few perhaps of these children, if they had lived, would have escaped the dangers of the world! What snares, what sins, what miseries were they preserved from! So we often lament as misfortunes many accidents which in the designs of Heaven are the greatest mercies.

St John the Evangelist – December 27th


Eccli 15:5
In médio Ecclésiæ apéruit os eius: et implévit eum Dóminus spíritu sapiéntiæ et intelléctus: stolam glóriæ índuit eum
Ps 91:2
Bonum est confitéri Dómino: et psállere nómini tuo, Altíssime.

In the midst of the assembly the Lord opened his mouth; and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding; He clothed him with a robe of glory.
Ps 91:2
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to Your name, Most High.


Ecclésiam tuam, Dómine, benígnus illústra: ut, beáti Ioánnis Apóstoli tui et Evangelístæ illumináta doctrínis, ad dona pervéniat sempitérna.

O Lord, graciously shed light upon Your Church, so that, enlightened by the teachings of blessed John, Your Apostle and Evangelist, she may gain Your everlasting rewards.

December 27—ST. JOHN, Evangelist

ST. JOHN, the youngest of the apostles in age, was called to follow Christ on the banks of the Jordan during the first days of Our Lord’s ministry. He was one of the privileged few present at the Transfiguration and the Agony in the garden. At the Last Supper his head rested on the bosom of Jesus, and in the hours of the Passion, when others fled or denied their Master, St. John kept his place by the side of Jesus, and at the last stood by the cross with Mary. From the cross the dying Saviour bequeathed His Mother to the care of the faithful apostle, who “from that hour took her to his own;” thus fitly, as St. Austin says, “to a virgin was the Virgin intrusted.” After the Ascension, St. John lived first at Jerusalem, and then at Ephesus. He was thrown by Domitian into a caldron of boiling oil, and is thus reckoned a martyr, though miraculously preserved from hurt. Afterwards he was banished to the isle of Patmos, where he received the heavenly visions described in tine Apocalypse. He died at a great age, in peace, at Ephesus, in the year 100.

Reflection.–St. John is a living example of Our Lord’s saying, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.”


Ioann 21:19-24
In illo témpore: Dixit Iesus Petro: Séquere me. Convérsus Petrus vidit illum discípulum, quem diligébat Iesus, sequéntem, qui et recúbuit in cena super pectus eius, et dixit: Dómine, quis est qui tradet te ? Hunc ergo cum vidísset Petrus, dixit Iesu: Dómine, hic autem quid? Dicit ei Iesus: Sic eum volo manére, donec véniam, quid ad te? tu me séquere. Exiit ergo sermo iste inter fratres, quia discípulus ille non móritur. Et non dixit ei Iesus: Non móritur; sed: Sic eum volo manére, donec véniam: quid ad te? Hic est discípulus ille, qui testimónium pérhibet de his, et scripsit hæc: et scimus, quia verum est testimónium eius.
R. Laus tibi, Christe!

At that time, Jesus said to Peter, Follow Me. Turning around, Peter saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, the one who, at the supper, had leaned back upon His breast and said, Lord, who is it that will betray You? Peter therefore, seeing him, said to Jesus, Lord, and what of this man? Jesus said to him, If I wish him to remain until I come, what is it to you? You, follow Me. This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple was not to die. But Jesus had not said to him, He is not to die; but rather, If I wish him to remain until I come, what is it to you? This is the disciple who bears witness concerning these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his witness is true.

St Stephen -December 26th

December 26—ST. STEPHEN, First Martyr

THERE is good reason to believe that St. Stephen was one of the seventy-two disciples of our blessed Lord. After the Ascension he was chosen one of the seven deacons. The ministry of the seven was very fruitful; but Stephen especially, “full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people.” Many adversaries rose up to dispute with him, but “they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the spirit that spoke.” At length he was brought before the Sanhedrim, charged, like his divine Master, with blasphemy against Moses and against God. He boldly upbraided the chief priests with their hard-hearted resistance to the Holy Ghost and with the murder of the “Just One.” They were stung with anger, and gnashed their teeth against him. But when, “filled with the Holy Ghost and looking up to heaven, he cried out, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God,’ they rushed upon him, and dragging him forth without the city, they stoned him to death”

Reflection.—If ever you are tempted to resentment, pray from your heart for him who has offended you.


Ps 118:23; 118:86; 118:23
Sedérunt príncipes, et advérsum me loquebántur: et iníqui persecúti sunt me: ádiuva me, Dómine, Deus meus, quia servus tuus exercebátur in tuis iustificatiónibus.
Ps 118:1
Beati immaculáti in via, qui ámbulant in lege Dómini

Princes met and talked against me, and the wicked persecuted me wrongfully; help me, O Lord my God, for Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Ps 118:1
Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.


Da nobis, quǽsumus, Dómine, imitári quod cólimus: ut discámus et inimícos dilígere; quia eius natalícia celebrámus, qui novit étiam pro persecutóribus exoráre Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum:

Grant us, we beseech You, O Lord, to imitate what we celebrate, so that we may learn to love even our enemies; because we keep the anniversary of the death of Him Who knew how to plead even for His persecutors with our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son,


Lectio Actuum Apostolorum.
Act 6:8-10; 7:54-59
In diebus illis: Stéphanus plenus grátia et fortitúdine, faciébat prodígia et signa magna in pópulo. Surrexérunt autem quidam de synagóga, quæ appellátur Libertinórum, et Cyrenénsium, et Alexandrinórum, et eórum, qui erant a Cilícia et Asia, disputántes cum Stéphano: et non póterant resístere sapiéntiæ et Spirítui, qui loquebátur. Audiéntes autem hæc, dissecabántur córdibus suis, et stridébant déntibus in eum. Cum autem esset Stéphanus plenus Spíritu Sancto, inténdens in coelum, vidit glóriam Dei, et Iesum stantem a dextris Dei. Et ait: Ecce, vídeo coelos apértos, et Fílium hóminis stantem a dextris Dei. Exclamántes autem voce magna continuérunt aures suas, et ímpetum fecerunt unanímiter in eum. Et eiiciéntes eum extra civitatem, lapidábant: et testes deposuérunt vestiménta sua secus pedes adolescéntis, qui vocabátur Saulus. Et lapidábant Stéphanum invocántem et dicéntem: Dómine Iesu, súscipe spíritum meum. Pósitis autem génibus, clamávit voce magna, dicens: Dómine, ne státuas illis hoc peccátum. Et cum hoc dixísset, obdormívit in Dómino.
R. Deo gratias.

In those days, Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. But there arose some from the synagogue which is called that of the Freedmen, and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of those from Cilicia and the province of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit Who spoke. Now as they heard these things, they were cut to the heart and gnashed their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed upon him all together. And they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And while they were stoning Stephen he prayed and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, saying, Lord, do not lay this sin against them. And with these words he fell asleep.
R. Thanks be to God.


Act 6:5; 7:59
Elegérunt Apóstoli Stéphanum Levítam, plenum fide et Spíritu Sancto: quem lapidavérunt Iudaei orántem, et dicéntem: Dómine Iesu, áccipe spíritum meum, alleluia.

The Apostles chose Stephen to be a levite, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit: whom the Jews stoned, praying and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Alleluia.

Post Communion

Auxiliéntur nobis, Dómine, sumpta mystéria: et, intercedénte beáto Stéphano Mártyre tuo, sempitérna protectióne conferment.

May the sacrament we have received aid us, O Lord; and by the intercession of blessed Stephen, Your Martyr, may it sustain us under Your everlasting protection.


Christmas Tidbits

The following in from the book “Why do Catholics Eat Fish on Fridays?”

Though Christmas is obviously still regarded as a Christian holiday, it should also be remembered that it is a deeply Catholic feast.  To this day the anniversary of Our Lord’s birth is named after the Catholic Masses offered during it, Christmas being a contraction of “Christ’s Mass”.  Christmas, however, not only has a Catholic name, but in some parts of these united States it was regarded as a predominantly Catholic holiday.  In New England, Puritans virtually outlawed the ceclebration of this ‘papist’ feast, requiring employees to work and students to attend school on December 25, all under penalty of dismissal or expulsion.  Factory owners would even open their plants earlier than usual on Christmas Day to make sure that Catholics could not attend a morning Mass.


Christmas symbols these days are also apt to ose their religious significance. Christmas trees, for example, are either treated as secular adornments for office buildings or equated with the pagan yule customs of pre Christian Germany.  Both assessments are incorrect.  The Christmas tree has an entirely medieval Catholic origin, being a combination of two phenomena: a pyramid of candles representing Christ’s ancestors called a Weinachtspyramide in German and the so called Paradise Tree.  In the Eastern churches, December 24 is the Feast of Adam and Eve, and though this holiday is not in the Latin calendar, Church officials nevertheless allowed Roman Catholics to observe it.  In the Middle Ages mystery plays that were staged on this day included a Paradise tree, a tree representing both the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as well as the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:9).  To symbolize both of these Edenic arbors, the Paradise tree was decorated with apples to represent the forbidden fruit and sweets to reprent the Tree of Life.  When the mystery plays were suppressed in the 15th century, the faithful moved the Paradise trees from the stage to their homes.  The apples were later substituted for other round objects (such as shinny red balls) while a Star of Bethlehem and lights from the Weinachtsyramide were added, but the symbolism remained essentially the same.  Thus, our modern Christmas tree is actually the medieval Paradise tree, a reminder of the reason why God became man in the first place and a fortaste of the sweet Tree from which Our Lord’s birth would once again enable us to taste.

Two other seemingly secular customs bear mention: Christmas lights and decking the halls with boughs of holly. The custom of putting lights in the window was begun by Catholics in Ireland during the times of the persecution, when Mass was outlawed by the British and had to be held in secret.  Faithful Irish believers would place a candle in the window on Christmas Eve as a sign to any priest who happened by that this home was a safe haven in which Mass could be offered.  When interrogated by the Brittish about the meaning of this practice, the Irish replied that the lights were an invitation for Joseph and Mary to stay the night.  Unthreatened by this supposed superstition, the Brittish left them alone.

Christmas holly harkens back to a number of beautiful stories about this popular holiday plant.  According to one tradition, holly’s prickly edges and red berries point backward to the thorny bush glowing red with fire that Moses saw on Mt Sinai as well as forward to the bloody crown of thorns that the newborn King would one day wear.  The use of holly as an emblem of the burning bush is particularly appropriate. On the testimony of the traditional Advent liturgy, it is not just God but God the Son who appeared to Moses in the bush, the same God who would become a helpless babe in a manger.  Similarly, the bush itself was seen as a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose virginity was preserved despite childbirth just as the bush was perserved despite the fire engulfing it.

From Brian Kelly’s piece at we have this:

Finally, did You Know that the red leaf Poinsettia flower that adorns our altars at Christmas time was named after an anti-Catholic Freemason, Joel Roberts Poinsett. When Latin American countries complain of the United States (add British and French) businesses monopolizing much of their natural reserves (from silver [Sterling Co., etc.] and rubber (Firestone) to bananas, guavas and other exotic fruits [United Fruit Co.]), poinsettias don’t readily come to mind. But, Poinsett actually did take out a patent for the plant after he returned with it in 1825 from Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. He had swiped the flower from a Nativity Scene in the Franciscan church of Santa Prisca in Taxco, Guerrero. The patent was later sold to the Paul Ecker Ranch of Encinitas, California. They still own that patent today.

It was William Prescott, a historian and horticulturist, who named the plant the poinsettia in honor of Joel Poinsett’s “discovery.” On account of the fact that Prescott had just published a book called the Conquest of Mexico, in which he detailed Poinsett’s fascination with the plant, he had been asked by the Horticultural Society to give the popular plant Euphorbia pulcherrima a new name.

Joel Roberts Poinsett was born in Charleston in 1779. He studied law, military science, botany, and medicine and toured Europe and Asia for five years. He was fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Russian. He returned to the U.S. in 1808 amid rumors of an impending war with Great Britain, which began three years later. From 1810-1814 he served as a special (secret) agent to Latin American countries. All of his work south of the border was to promote U.S. financial interests and undermine Spain’s authority. His funding of the republican revolution in Argentina did not stop the rebels from being defeated there, and getting himself run out of the country; however, he and his American money did have more success in Chile, whose revolution in 1821 won them independence from Spain, and a fourth of July holiday. For a time Poinsett even served in the army of the anti-royalist forces there under General Jose Maria Carrera, earning for himself the rank of general on account of his military prowess. Long before the CIA there was Joel Poinsett.

The worst of the damage this scheming imperialistic Freemason did was in Mexico. After serving several terms as a South Carolinan congressman he entered the diplomatic service and was assigned as special envoy (spy) to Mexico from 1822-1823. While he was there he worked with his fellow Masonic brothers of the Scottish York Rite against General Iturbide who had declared himself Emperor Agustin I. Masonry had been introduced into Mexico in the 1780s. Most of the members of the congress in Mexico City were Freemasons as were the writers for the city’s most influential newspaper, El Sol. Before Poinsett left for the U.S. General Santa Ana’s forces had conquered the capital and Iturbide was allowed to go to France into exile.

In 1825, President John Quincy Adams appointed him Minster to Mexico, the term “minister” being used prior to that of “ambassador.” His main objective was to cut a deal with the republicans. If they would accept American support against royalists and despots by way of munitions, trade privileges, and money, they must cede Texas to the United States in return. Poinsett was already involved with government plans to make war on the southern Indian tribes and force them and the Cherokee in Texas to move westward. And, even though he was a Unionist, slavery was no issue with him; he was all for it. In fact his family owned many slaves and its fortune depended on the institution. More slave states were needed and Texas, he hoped, would be a big one. As it was, there was no slavery in all of Mexico, the last significant trafficker in the inhuman business left port in 1739. Father Hidalgo, heretic, insurrectionist, and rebel against the Catholic Church, outlawed it for good in 1810. Such is Mexico. Wayward priests ( and Hidalgo was off the wall, morally and doctrinally) sometimes get somethings right.

With the help of the Yorkistas in Congress, and the fear of liberal insurrections in many states, the last of the great insurgent leaders, Vincente Guerrero, was appointed president in 1828. Poinsett was practically a member of his cabinet. The Church had exposed Guerrero as an anti-Catholic Mason, but, sad to say, the brotherhood could count members even among the Catholic conservatives. Poinsett became overconfident. He next tried to coerce Guerrero, who had accepted so much of his bribery money, to send all full-blooded Spaniards back to Spain. They were the bulk of the opposition; they ran the banks, owned much of the land, and owned the mines. But they also had indispensable skills: they were teachers, doctors, and engineers, most of them middle class. Too, most of them were married to Mexicans. This displacement would have destroyed the country. It would have led to a horrible civil war. Guerrero was beginning to see the ugliness of the opportunistic gringo he was dealing with.

Finally, the free-thinking Yorkista lost all sense of balance. On his own authority he made an offer to his “friend” to buy Texas outright. Guerrero had had enough. He was still a patriot. Hoping to get rid of the obnoxious minister he leaked his letters to the press (some of them contained veiled threats of U.S. military action). Overnight, Poinsett became persona non grata. He was immediately recalled to Washington.

After serving another term in Congress, President Martin Van Buren made him his Secretary of War. He served from 1837-1841, presiding over the expulsion of thousands of southern Indians west of the Mississippi. He rallied the troops during the second Seminole War (1845-1842).

Mexico’s most notorious persona non grata, enemy of Spain and the Catholic Church, died at the home of his doctor in 1851 at the age of seventy-two.

There’s website for Sumter, South Carolina. It must have been a Mason who posted a page on Poinsett. He ends his very brief sketch with a short log about his Masonic connections and activities:

Brother Poinsett is recorded as having been Past Master of Recovery Lodge No. 31, Greenville, and Solomon’s Lodge No. 1, Charleston, South Carolina. In 1821, Brother Poinsett was elected Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, but was never able to serve as Grand Master, because of his appointment as Secretary of War (1837-1841) under President Van Buren. He did serve as Grand High Priest in South Carolina (1821-1841). At the request of Mexican Freemasons, he sent for charters for five lodges, which were granted by the Grand Lodge of New York. Subsequently, he helped establish the Grand Lodge of Mexico, and is credited with introducing Royal Arch Masonry to Mexico.

St Francis Xavier Cabrini ~ December 22

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was born as Maria Francesca Cabrini on July 15, 1850 in Sant’ Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, Italy. She was born two months premature and the youngest of thirteen children. Unfortunately, only three of her siblings survived past adolescence and Frances would live most of her life in a fragile and delicate state of health.

Frances became dedicated to living a life for religious work from a young age and received a convent education at a school ran by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. She graduated with high honors and a teaching certificate.

When Frances was 18, she applied for admission to the religious congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, but was turned down because of her poor health. Instead, a priest asked her to teach at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadagono, Italy. She taught at the girls’ school for six years and drew a community of women in to live the religious way of life.

In 1877, she became Mother Cabrini after she finally made her vows and took the religious habit, also adding Xavier to her name in honor of St. Francis Xavier. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini carried a small statue of St Philomena on her numerous journeys.

When the House of Providence Orphanage closed, her bishop asked her, along with six other women from her orphanage in Cadagono, to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for the poor children in both schools and hospitals. Frances composed the Rule and Constitution for the religious institute.

In its first five years, the institute established seven homes and a free school and nursery. Frances wanted to continue her mission in China, but Pope Leo XIII urged her to go to the United States, a nation that was becoming flooded with Italian immigrants who needed her help. “Not to the East, but the West,” was his advice to her.

On March 31, 1889, Frances arrived in New York City along with six other sisters ready to begin her new journey. However, right from the beginning she encountered many disappointments and hardships. The house originally attended for her new orphanage was no longer available, but Frances did not gve up, even though the archbishop insisted she return to Italy.

After she refused, Archbishop Michael Corrigan found them housing with the convent of the Sisters of Charity. Frances then received permission to found an orphanage in what is now West Park, New York and now known as Saint Cabrini Home.

Filled with a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, Frances founded 67 institutions, including orphanages, schools, and hospitals, within 35 years dedicated to caring for the poor, uneducated, sick, abandoned, and especially for the Italian immigrants. Her institutions were spread out in places all over the United States, including New York, Colorado, and Illinois.

Frances was known for being as resourceful as she was prayerful. She was always able to find people to donate their money, time, and support for her institutions.

In 1909, Frances became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Eight years later, on December 22, 1917, Frances passed at the age of 67, due to complications from dysentery at the Columbus Hospital, one of her own hospitals, in Chicago, Illinois.

Frances’ body was originally placed at the Saint Cabrini Home, but was exhumed in 1931 as part of her canonization process. Her head is preserved in Rome at the chapel of the congregation’s international motherhouse. One of her arms is at the national shrine in Chicago, and the rest of her body rests at a shrine in New York.

Frances has two miracles attributed to her. She restored sight to a child who was believed to have been blinded by excess silver nitrate, and she healed a terminally ill member of her congregation.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was beatified on November 13, 1938, by Pope Pius XI and canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 7, 1946, making her the first United States citizen to be canonized. Her feast day is celebrated on November 13 and she is the patron saint of immigrants.



Mother Cabrini loved the mountains of Colorado. The foothills west of Denver held a special attraction for her. During her journeys in 1902 to visit the Italian workers and their families in the Clear Creek, Argentine, and South Park mining districts, Frances X. Cabrini discovered a property on the east slope of Lookout Mountain owned by the town of Golden. No reliable source of water was known to exist on the property at that time, although there were two fine barns and a springhouse built in the 1890s. In 1909 -1910, she negotiated the purchase of this property as a summer camp for her charges at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver, CO. A farming operation, with poultry, other livestock and dairy cows, was established and maintained by three of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who set up living quarters in the loft of the larger barn. During the summer months, groups of about twenty girls, according to age, would spend several weeks at the summer camp. They enjoyed the freedom of the outdoors and recreational activities in addition to tending the animals and performing farm chores.

The only water was in a small pond next to the spring house. All of the water needed for drinking and cooking had to be brought up to the summer camp from the stream at the bottom of Mt. Vernon Canyon. In September 1912, the sisters complained to Mother Cabrini that they were dying of thirst and there was no water to be had. She answered, “Lift that rock over there and start to dig. You will find water fresh enough to drink and clean enough to wash.” The spring, which is housed in an 8,000 gallon tank, has never stopped running. Many pilgrims, through their faith, believe the water has brought healing and peace to their lives.

A replica of the grotto of Lourdes, France, was built over this spring in 1929 and was demolished and replaced in 1959 by the present one, built of sandstone. Here, in the quiet atmosphere of candlelight before the Mother Cabrini altar, many come to pray and ask her intercession with the Sacred Heart and His Holy Mother. The people present their many requests and, through faith, say their prayers are answered.

It was during Mother Cabrini’s last visit to the foothills in 1912 that she and a builder, Thomas Eckrom, drew up the plans for the Stone House that would serve as a dormitory for the girls. The house was to be built of native rock. She called the sisters who were with her and said, “daughters, I dropped my cane… go back and find it. Where you find it make a sign with stones because that is where the house is to be built.” The cane was on a level spot overlooking the city of Denver. Each evening the girls would load a cart, drawn by a donkey, with stones from a nearby quarry for the next day’s building activity. The construction of the Stone House commenced in the fall of 1912 and was finally completed in 1914. The house was used as a summer camp for the girls from the Queen of Heaven orphanage. The ground floor of the Stone House has the chapel, sleeping quarters for the supervising Sisters, a living room, an entry area with main staircase, a back staircase, and several small utility areas which remain basically unchanged. The second and third floors were open dormitory areas. Upon the closing of the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in 1967, the summer camp became a year around retreat facility, and a place for small prayer gatherings. Today, the Stone House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colorado Historical Society has granted over $138,000 to restore and renovate the Stone House. Extensive work has been done to the roof, windows, electrical system and wood work.

On her last visit to Colorado in 1912, Mother Cabrini took several sisters and a few of the children from the orphanage by horse and buggy along a cow path to the foot of the highest hill. Leaving the buggy at the base, they climbed to the top where they gathered white stones and arranged them on the mountain in the shape of a Heart surmounted by a cross; with the smaller stones, she formed a crown of thorns on the highest promontory, overlooking the city of Denver. Frances X. Cabrini dedicated the hill to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, naming it the “Mount of the Sacred Heart”. Those stones are still present there beneath a glass case and preserved for all to see.

In 1954 a twenty-two foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, carved by an Italian artist was mounted on an eleven foot base and erected above the Heart of Stones. Beginning September 11, 1954, 373 steps leading up to the top of the Mount of the Sacred Heart were placed and completed in just 67 days. The stairway follows the path Mother Cabrini, the sisters and the children took to the top of the mountain. This stairway following the Saint’s footsteps is also symbolic of the pathway Christ took on His sorrowful way to His crucifixion and death, through the Stations of the Cross. Each station is made of stone mosaics made in Italy and depicts the suffering of our divine Lord as He gave His life for our salvation. Mary, through the mysteries of the rosary, invites the faithful to continue the journey begun with the Stations of the Cross reminding us through recitation and meditation on important events in the life of her Son, each mystery brings us closer to the Heart of Christ. In 1955 the Knights of Columbus placed terra cotta benches along the stairway, thus allowing pilgrims to rest, pray and meditate. At the entrance to the stairway is a large crucifix.

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart moved to the Stone House and resided there until the convent was completed in June of 1970. This three-story structure is built of Williamsburg brick. It contains a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart, meeting rooms, a gift shop with an exhibit of artifacts and clothing used by Mother Cabrini, housing for the resident Sisters, and overnight accommodations for visitors.

The beautiful stained-glass windows just off the main chapel, depict Mother Cabrini’s life, her birth, her confirmation, her missionary vocation, the founding of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her meeting with Pope Leo the XIII, her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the voyage to America, working with Italian immigrants, crossing the Andes, Mother Cabrini’s death, her miraculous cure of infant Peter Smith, and her canonization to sainthood. The windows originally came from Villa Cabrini in Burbank, California, which was a school formerly sponsored by the Missionary Sisters.

Today’s Shrine embodies the fulfillment of Cabrini’s foresight when she wrote, “I can envision many small chapels here where many pilgrims will come to pray.”

St Thomas the Apostle ~ December 21st


Ps 138:17.
Mihi autem nimis honoráti sunt amíci tui, Deus: nimis confortátus est principatus eórum.
Ps 138:1-2
Dómine, probásti me et cognovísti me: tu cognovísti sessiónem meam et resurrectiónem meam.

To me, Your friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened.
Ps 138:1-2
O Lord, You have probed me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.


Da nobis, quǽsumus, Dómine, beáti Apóstoli tui Thomæ sollemnitátibus gloriári: ut eius semper et patrocíniis sublevémur; et fidem cóngrua devotióne sectémur.

O Lord, grant us, we beseech You, to glory in the feast-day of blessed Thomas, Your Apostle, that we may be helped continually by his patronage and imitate his faith with a devotion like his.

December 21.—ST. THOMAS, Apostle.

ST. THOMAS was one of the fishermen on the Lake of A Galilee whom Our Lord called to be His apostles. By nature slow to believe, too apt to see difficulties, and to look at the dark side of things, he had withal a most sympathetic, loving, and courageous heart. Once when Jesus spoke of the mansions in His Father’s house, St. Thomas, in his simplicity, asked: “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?” When Jesus turned to go toward Bethany to the grave of Lazarus, the desponding apostle at once feared the worst for his beloved Lord, yet cried out bravely to the rest: “Let us also go and die with Him” After the Resurrection, incredulity again prevailed, and whilst the wounds of the crucifixion were imprinted vividly on his affectionate mind, he would not credit the report that Christ had indeed risen. But at the actual sight of the pierced hands and side, and the gentle rebuke of his Saviour, unbelief was gone forever; and his faith and ours has ever triumphed in the joyous utterance into which he broke: “My Lord and my God!”

Reflection.—Cast away all disquieting doubts, and learn to triumph over old weaknesses as St. Thomas did, who

p. 384

[paragraph continues] “by his ignorance hath instructed the ignorant, and by, his incredulity hath served for the faith of all ages.”


Débitum tibi, Dómine, nostræ réddimus servitútis, supplíciter exorántes: ut, suffrágiis beáti Thomæ Apóstoli, in nobis tua múnera tueáris, cuius honoránda confessióne laudis tibi hóstias immolámus.

O Lord, we who dutifully worship You humble entreat You that, by the prayers of Your blessed Apostle Thomas, in honor of whose martyrdom we offer these sacrifices of praise. You safeguard Your gifts within us.

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT ~ Dom Prosper Gueranger


To-day, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to lessen some what the austerity of this penitential season by the innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first, this Sunday has had the name of Gaudete given to it, from the first word of the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare. The organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-colour; the deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious mitre. How touching are all these usages, and how admirable this condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the graceful poetry of the formulae of her liturgy. Let us enter into her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent, because our Lord is now so near unto us. To-morrow we will resume our attitude of servants mourning for the absence of their Lord and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful and makes love sad.

The Station is kept in the basilica of St. Peter, at the Vatican. This august temple, which contains the tomb of the prince of the apostles, is the home and refuge of all the faithful of the world; it is but natural that it should be chosen to witness both the joy and the sadness of the Church.

The night Office commences with a new Invitatory. The voice of the Church no longer invites the faithful to come and adore in fear and trembling the King, our Lord, who is to come. Her language assumes another character; her tone is one of gladness; and now, every day, until the vigil of Christmas, she begins her nocturns with these grand words:

Prope est jam Dominus: venite adoremus. The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Now let us take the book of the Prophet, and read with the Church:

De Isaia Propheta. Cap. xxvi.
In die illa cantabitur canticum istud in terra Juda: Urbs fortitudinis nostrae Sion; Salvator ponetur in ea murus et antemurale. Aperite portas, et ingrediatur gens justa, custodiens veritatem. Vetus error abiit, servabis pacem; pacem, quia in te speravimus. Sperastis in Domino in saeculis aeternis: in Domino Deo forti in perpetuum. Quia incurvabit habitantes in excelso, civitatem sublimem humiliabit. Humiliabit eam usque ad terram, detrahet eam usque ad pulverem. Conculcabit campes; pedes pauperis, gressus egenorum. Semita justi recta est, rectus callis justi ad ambulandum. Et in semita judiciorum tuorum, Dornine, sustinuimus te nomen tuum, et memoriale tuum in desiderio animae. Anima mea desideravit te in nocte: sed et spiritu meo in praecordiis meis, de mane vigilabo ad te.
From the Prophet Isaias.Ch. xxvi.
In that day shall this canticle be sung in the land of Juda. Sion the city of our strength: a Saviour, a wall, and a bulwark shall be set therein. Open ye the gates and let the just nation, that keepeth the truth, enter in. The old error is passed away, thou wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee. You have hoped in the Lord for evermore: in the Lord God mighty for ever. For he shall bring down them that dwell en high, the high city he shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground, he shall pull it down even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down; the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. The way of the just is right, the path of the just is right to walk in. And in the way of thy judgements, O Lord, we have patiently waited for thee: thy name and thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. My soul hath desired thee in the night: yea, and with my spirit within me in the morning early I will watch to thee.

O holy Roman Church, city of our strength! behold us thy children assembled within thy walls, around the tomb of the fisherman, the prince of the apostles, whose sacred relics protect thee from their earthly shrine, and whose unchanging teaching enlightens thee from heaven. Yet, O city of strength: it is by the Saviour, who is coming, that thou art strong. He is thy wall, for it is He that encircles, with His tender mercy, all thy children; He is thy bulwark, for it is by Him that thou art invincible, and that all the powers of hell are powerless to prevail against thee. Open wide thy gates, that all nations may enter thee for thou art mistress of holiness and the guardian of truth. May the old error, which sets itself against the faith, soon disappear, and peace reign over the whole fold! O holy Roman Church! thou hast for ever put thy trust in the Lord; and He, faithful to His promise, has humbled before thee the haughty ones that defied thee, and the proud cities that were against thee. Where now are the Caesars. who boasted that they had drowned thee in thine own blood? where the emperors, who would ravish the inviolate virginity of thy faith? where the heretics, who, during the past centuries of thine existence, have assailed every article of thy teaching, and denied what they listed? where the ungrateful princes, who would fain make a slave of thee, who hadst made them what they were? where that empire of Mahomet, which has so many times raged against thee, for that thou, the defenceless State, didst arrest the pride of its conquests? where the reformers, who were bent on giving the world a Christianity, in which thou wast to have no part? where the more modern sophists, in whose philosophy thou wast set down as a system that had been tried, and was a failure, and is now a ruin? and those kings who are acting the tyrant over thee, and those people that will have liberty independently and at the risk of truth, where will they be in another hundred years? Gone and forgotten as the noisy anger of a torrent; whilst thou, O holy Church of Rome, built on the immovable rock, wilt be as calm, as young, as unwrinkled as ever. Thy path through all the ages of this world’s duration, will be right as that of the just man; thou wilt ever be the same unchanging Church, as thou hast been during the eighteen hundred years past, whilst everything else under the sun has been but change. Whence this thy stability, but from Him who is very truth and justice? Glory be to Him in thee! Each year, He visits thee; each year, He brings thee new gifts, wherewith thou mayst go happily through thy pilgrimage; and to the end of time, He will visit thee, and renew thee, not only with the power of that look wherewith Peter was renewed, but by filling thee with Himself, as He did the ever glorious Virgin, who is the object of thy most tender love, after that which thou bearest to Jesus Himself. We pray with thee, O Church, our mother, and here is our prayer: ‘Come, Lord Jesus! Thy name and Thy remembrance are the desire of our souls: they have desired Thee in the night, yea, and early in the morning have they watched for Thee.’


The assembly of the faithful is attentive; the cantors intone the Gregorian melody, and the church echoes with these sweet words:


Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.
Ps. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob. V. Gloria Patri.
Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be  known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every prayer let your petitions be made known to God.
Ps. O Lord thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of  Jacob. V. Glory.

In the Collect, the Church asks for the grace of that divine visit, which dispels darkness and brings light. Darkness produces fear in the soul; whereas, light gives courage and joy to the heart.


Aurem tuam, quaesumus, Domino, precibus nostris accommoda: et mentis nostrae tenebras gratia tuae visitationis illustra. Qui vivis. Bend thine ear, O Lord, we beseech thee, to our prayers; and enlighten the  darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visitation. Who livest, &c.

The other Collects of the blessed Virgin, against the persecutors of the Church, and for the Pope, are given in the Mass of the first Sunday of Advent.


Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Philippenses. Cap. iv. 
Fratres, gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis; sed in omni oratione, et obsecratione, cum gratiarum actione, petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. Et pax Dei, quae exsuperat omnem sensum, custodiat corda vestra, et intelligentias vestras, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro.
Lesson of the Epistle of  St. Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. Ch. iv.
Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing is more just than that we rejoice in the Lord. Both the prophet and the apostle excite us to desire the Saviour, both of them promise us peace. Therefore, let us not be solicitous: the Lord is nigh; nigh to His Church, and nigh to each of our souls. Who can be near so burning a fire, and yet be cold? Do we not feel that He is coming to us, in spite of all obstacles? He will let nothing be a barrier between Himself and us, neither His own infinite high majesty, nor our exceeding lowliness, nor our many sins. Yet a little while, and He will be with us. Let us go out to meet Him by these prayers and supplications, and thanksgiving which the apostle recommends to us. Let our zeal to unite ourselves with our holy mother the Church become more than ever fervent: now every day her prayers will increase in intense earnestness, and her longings after Him, who is her light and her love, will grow more ardent. First let us say together with her:


Qui sedes, Domine, super Cherubim, excita potentiam tuam et veni.
V. Qui regis Israel, intende: Qui deducis velut ovem Joseph.Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Excita Domine potentiam tuam, et veni, ut salvos facias nos. Alleluia.
O Lord, who sittest on the Cherubim, exert thy power and come.
V. Thou who rulest Israel, hearken. Thou who leadest Joseph as a sheep.Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Exert, O Lord, thy power, and come to save us. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem. Cap. i.
In illo tempore: Miserunt Judaei ab Jerosolymis sacerdotes et levitas ad Joannem ut interrogarent eum: Tu quis es? Et confessus est, et non negavit, et confessus est: Quia non sum ego Christus. Et interrogaverunt eum: Quid ergo? Elias es tu? Et dixit: Non sum. Propheta es tu? Et respondit: Non. Dixerunt ergo ei: Quis es, ut responsum demus his qui miserunt nos? Quid dicis de te ipso? Ait: Ego vox clamantis in deserto: Dirigite viam Domini, sicut dixit Isaias propheta. Et qui missi fuerant erant ex Pharisaeis. Et interrogaverunt eum, et dixerunt ei: Quid ergo baptizas, si tu non es Christus, neque Elias, neque propheta? Respondit eis Joannes, dicens: Ego baptizo in aqua: medius autem vestrum stetit, quem vos nescitis. Ipse est, qui post me venturus est, qui ante me factus est: cujus ego non sum dignus ut solvam ejus corrigiam calceamenti. Haec in Bethania facta sunt trans Jordanem, ubi erat Joannes baptizans.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John. Ch. i.
At that time: the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou a prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias. And they that sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor a prophet? John answered them saying: I baptize with water; but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. The same is he that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

There hath stood One in the midst of you, whom you know not, says Saint John the Baptist to them that were sent by the Jews. So that our Lord may be near, He may even have come, and yet by some be not known! This Lamb of God is the holy Precursor’s consolation: he considers it a singular privilege to be but the voice, which cries out to men to prepare the way of the Redeemer. In this, St. John is the type of the Church, and of all such as seek Jesus. St. John is full of joy because the Saviour has come: but the men around him are as indifferent as though they neither expected nor wanted a Saviour. This is the third week of Advent; and are all hearts excited by the great tidings told them by the Church, that the Messias is near at hand? They that love Him not as their Saviour, do they fear Him as their Judge? Are the crooked ways being made straight, and the hills being brought low? Are Christians seriously engaged in removing from their hearts the love of riches and the love of sensual pleasures? There is no time to lose: the Lord is nigh! If these lines should come under the eye of any of those Christians who are in this state of sinful indifference, we would conjure them to shake off their lethargy, and render themselves worthy of the visit of the divine Infant: such a visit will bring them the greatest consolation here, and give them confidence hereafter, when our Lord will come to judge all mankind. Send Thy grace, O Jesus, still more plentifully into their hearts; ‘compel them to go in,’ and permit not that it be said of the children of the Church, as St. John said of the Synagogue: There standeth in the midst of you One, whom you know not.

During the Offertory the faithful should unite in the prayer of the Church, and beg that the captivity in which our sins hold us may be brought to an end, and that the divine Deliverer may come.


Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam; avertisti captivitatem Jacob, remisisti iniquitatem plebis tuae. Lord, thou hast blessed thy land; thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob, thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people.


Devotionis nostrae tibi, quaesumus, Domine, hostia jugiter immoletur: quae et sacri peragat instituta mysterii, et salutare tuum in nobis mirabiliter operetur. Per Dominum. May we always, O Lord, offer thee this sacrifice of our devotion; both to effect that for which thou didst institute this mystery, and wonderfully to procure ourselves that salvation which thou designest us. Through, &c.

The other Secrets are as on the first Sunday.

During the Communion, the Church chants the words of the prophet Isaias, which bid the heart of the sinner take courage. Fear not, Christian people! He that is coming is God; but He comes to save His creatures, and to give himself to them.


Dicite: Pusillanimes, confortamini et nolite timere: ecce Deus noster veniet, et salvabit nos. Say: Be comforted, O ye timid of heart, and fear not; behold our God will come, and save us.

The Church asks of God, in the following prayer, that the secret visit which she has just been receiving from her divine Spouse, may fit her for that solemn one which she is preparing to receive at the feast of Christmas.


Imploramus, Domine, clementiam tuam: ut haec divina subsidia, a vitiis expiatos ad festa ventura nos praeparent. Per Dominum. We implore, O Lord, thy mercy: that these divine helps, having cleansed us from sin, may prepare us for the ensuing solemnity. Through, &c.

The other Postcommunions as on the first Sunday.


1. ANT. Veniet Dominus, et non tardabit, et illuminabit abscondita tenebrarum, et manifestabit se ad omnes gentes, alleluia.
2. ANT. Jerusalem, gaude gaudio magno, quia veniet Salvator, alleluia.
3. ANT. Dabo in Sion salutem, et in Jerusalem gloriam meam, alleluia.
4. ANT. Montes et omnes colles humiliabuntur: et erunt prava in directa, et aspera in vias planas: veni, Domine, et noli tardare, alleluia.
5. ANT. Juste et pie vivamus, exspectantes beatam spem, et adventum Domini, alleluia.
1. ANT. The Lord will come, and will not delay, and he will reveal things hidden in darkness, and will manifest himself to all nations, alleluia.
2. ANT. Rejoice, O Jerusalem, with great joy, for thy Saviour will come to thee, alleluia.
3. ANT. I will settle salvation in Sion, and my glory in Jerusalem. alleluia.
4. ANT. Mountains and hills shall be brought low: the crooked paths shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth: come, O Lord, and delay not, alleluia.
5. ANT. Let us live justly and piously, expecting the blessed hope, and the coming of the Lord, alleluia.


Fratres, gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always: again I say rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh.

The hymn Creator alme siderum, and the canticle Magnificat, are given elsewhere.


Beata es, Maria, qui credidisti Domino; perficientur in te, quae dicta sunt tibi a Domino, alleluia. Blessed art thou, O Mary, who didst believe the Lord; what the Lord said to thee shall be fulfilled in thee, alleluia.

But if the third Sunday of Advent fall on December 17, then, instead of the above, is said the first of the Great Antiphons (O Sapientia), which will be found, with the other six, in the proper of saints, from December 17 to 23.

Aurem tuam, quaesumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda, et mentis nostrae tenebras gratiae tuae visitationis illustra. Qui vivis.
Bend thine ear, O Lord, we beseech thee, to our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visitation. Who livest, &c.

On the Office of Compline During Advent – Dom Prosper Gueranger


This Office, which concludes the day, commences by a warning of the dangers of the night: then immediately follows the public confession of our sins, as a powerful means of propitiating the divine justice, and obtaining God’s help, now that we are going to spend so many hours in the unconscious, and therefore dangerous, state of sleep, which is also such an image of death.

The lector, addressing the priest, says to him:

V. Jube, domne, benedicere. V. Pray, father, give thy blessing.

The priest answers:

Noctem quietam, et finem perfectum concedat nobis Dominus omnipotens.
R. Amen.
May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
R. Amen.

The lector then reads these words, from the first Epistle of St. Peter:

Fratres: Sobrii estote, et vigilate: quia adversarius vester diabolus, tamquam leo rugiens, circuit quaerens quem devoret: cui resistite fortes in fide. Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis. Brethren, be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour: whom resist ye, strong in faith. But thou, O Lord, have mercy on us.

The choir answers:

R. Deo gratias. R. Thanks be to God.

Then the priest:

V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini. V. Our help is in the name  of the Lord.

The choir:

R. Qui fecit coelum et terram. R. Who hath made heaven and earth.

Then the Lord’s Prayer is recited in secret; after which the priest says the Confiteor, and, when he has finished, the choir repeats it.

The priest, having pronounced the general form of absolution, says:

V. Converte nos, Deus, salutaris noster.
R. Et averte iram tuam a nobis.
V. Deus, in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina.
Gloria Patri, &c.ANT. Miserere.
V. Convert us, O God, our Saviour.
R. And turn away thine anger from us.
V. Incline unto my aid, O God.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory, &c.ANT. Have mercy.

The first psalm expresses the confidence with which the just man sleeps in peace; but the wicked know not what calm rest is. It also speaks of the eternal Word, the Light of the Father, who is coming to dispel our darkness.


Cum invocarem exaudivit me Deus justitiae meae: * in tribulatione dilatasti mihi.
Miserere mei: * et exaudi orationem meam.
Filii hominum, usquequo gravi corde? * ut quid diligitis vanitatem, et quaeritis mendacium?
Et scitote quoniam mirificavit Dominus sanctum suum: * Dominus exaudiet me, cum clamavero ad eum.
Irascimini, et nolite peccare: * quae dicitis in cordibus vestris, in cubilibus vestris compungimini.
Sacrificate sacrificium justitiae, et sperate in Domino: * multi dicunt: Quis ostendit nobis bona?
Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui Domine: * dedisti laetitiam in corde meo.
A fructu frumenti, vini et olei sui: * multiplicati sunt.
In pace in idipsum: * dormiam et requiescam.
Quoniam tu, Domine, singulariter in spe: * constituisti me.
When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me.
Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.
O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?
Know ye also that the Lord hath made his Holy One wonderful: the Lord will hear me when I shall cry unto him.
Be ye angry and sin not: the things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds.
Offer up the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord:
many say, Who showeth us good things?
The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us: thou hast given gladness in my heart.
By the fruit of their corn, their wine, and oil, they are multiplied.
In peace, in the selfsame, I will sleep, and I will rest.
For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.

The Church has introduced here the first six Verses of the thirtieth Psalm, because they contain the prayer which our Saviour made when dying: Into thy hands, O Lord, O commend my spirit! words so beautifully appropriate in this Office of the close of day.

[Note – these verses were omitted from the Pope St. Pius X revision of the Divine Office of 1911.]


In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum: * in justitia tua libera me.
Incline ad me aurem tuam: * accelera ut eruas me.
Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in domum refugii: * ut salvum me facias.
Quoniam fortitudo mea, et refugium meum es tu: * et propter nomen tuum deduces me, et enutries me.
Educes me de laqueo hoc, quem absconderunt mihi: * quoniam tu es protector meus.
In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum: * redemisti me, Domine, Deus veritatis.
In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in thy justice.
Bow down thy ear to me: make haste to deliver me.
Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge, to save me.
For thou art my strength, and my refuge: and for thy name’s sake thou wilt lead me, and nourish me.
Thou wilt bring me out of this snare, which they have hidden for me: for thou art my protector.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.

The third psalm gives the motives of the just man’s confidence, even during the dangers of the night. Then we have God Himself speaking, and promising to show us our Saviour.


Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi: * in protectione Dei coeli commorabitur.
Dicet Domino: Susceptor meus es tu, et refugium meum: * Deus meus, sperabo in eum.
Quoniam ipse liberavit me de laqueo venantium: * et a verbo aspero.
Scapulis suis obumbrabit tibi: * et sub pennis ejus sperabis.
Scuto circumdabit te veritas ejus: * non timebis a timore nocturno.
A sagitta volante in die, a negotio perambulante in tenebris: * ab incursu, et daemonio meridiano.
Cadent a latere tuo mille, et decem millia a dextris tuis: * ad te autem non appropinquabit.
Verumtamen oculis tuis considerabis: * et retributionem peccatorum videbis
Quoniam tu es, Domine, spes mea: * Altissimum posuisti refugium tuum.
Non accedet ad te malum: * et flagellum non appropinquabit tabernaculo tuo.
Quoniam angelis suis mandavit de te: * ut custodiant te in omnibus viis tuis.
In manibus portabunt te: * ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.
Super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis: * et conculcabis leonem et draconem.
Quoniam in me speravit, liberabo eum: * protegam eum, quoniam cognovit nomen meum.
Clamabit ad me, et ego exaudiam eum: * cum ipso sum in tribulatione, eripiam eum et glorificabo eum.
Longitudine dierum replebo eum: * et ostendam illi salutare meum.
He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most high, shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven.
He shall say to the Lord: Thou art my protector, and my refuge: my God, in him will I trust.
For he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word.
He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust.
His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night.
Of the arrow that flieth in the day: of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noon day devil.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee.
But thou shalt consider with thy eyes: and shalt see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast said: Thou, O Lord, art my hope: Thou hast made the Most High thy refuge.
There shall no evil come to thee, nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling.
For he hath given his angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways.
In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt walk upon the asp and basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon.
God will say of thee: Because he hoped in me, I will deliver him: I will protect him, because he hath known my name.
He Will cry to me, and I will hear him: I am with him in tribulation, I will de liver him, and I will glorify him.
I will fill him with length of days: and I will show him my salvation.

The fourth psalm invites the servants of God to persevere with fervour, in the prayers they offer during the night. The faithful should say this psalm in a spirit of gratitude to God, for raising up in the Church adorers of His holy name, whose grand vocation is to lift up their hands, day and night, for the safety of Israel. On such prayers depend the happiness and the destinies of the world.


Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum: * omnes servi Domini.
Qui statis in domo Domini: * in atriis domus Dei nostri.
In noctibus extollite manus vestras in sancta: * et benedicite Dominum.
Benedicat te Dominus ex Sion: * qui fecit coelum et terram.ANT. Miserere mei, Domine, et exaudi orationem meam.
Behold now bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord.
Who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
In the nights lift up your hands to the holy places, and bless ye the Lord.
Say to Israel: May the Lord out of Sion bless thee, he that made heaven and earth.ANT. Have mercy on me, O Lord, and hear my prayer.


[See appendix for version according to Monastic usage.]

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator, poscimus,
Ut pro tua clementia
Sis praesul et custodia.Procul recedant somnia,
Et noctium phantasmata:
Hostemque nostrum comprime,
Ne polluantur corpora.

Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Regnans per omne saeculum.

Before the closing of the light, we beseech thee, Creator of all things! that, in thy clemency, thou be our protector and our guard.May the dreams and phantoms of night depart far from us; and do thou repress our enemy, lest our bodies be profaned.

Most merciful Father! and thou, his only-begotten Son, coequal with him! reigning for ever with the holy Paraclete! grant this our prayer. Amen.


(Jeremias xiv.)

Tu autem in nobis es, Domine, et nomen sanctum tuum invocatum est super nos; ne derelinquas nos, Domine Deus noster.R. In manus tuas, Domine: * commendo spiritum meum.
In manus tuas, Domine: * commendo spiritum meum.
V. Redemisti nos, Domine Deus veritatis. * Commendo spiritum meum.
Gloria Patri.
In manus tuas, Domine: * commendo spiritum meum.

V. Custodi nos, Domine, ut pupillam oculi.
R. Sub umbra alarum tuarum protege nos.

ANT. Salva nos.

But thou art in us, O Lord, and thy holy name has been invoked upon us: forsake us not, O Lord our God.R. Into thy hands, O Lord: * I commend my spirit.
Into thy hands, O Lord: * I commend my spirit.
V. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord God of truth. * I commend my spirit.
Glory be.
Into thy hands, O Lord: * I commend my spirit.

V. Preserve us, O Lord, as the apple of thine eye.
R. Protect us under the shadow of thy wings.

ANT. Save us.

The canticle of the venerable Simeon – who, while holding the divine Infant in his arms, proclaimed Him to be the light of the Gentiles, and then slept the sleep of the just – admirably expresses the rest which a good Christian, whose heart is united to God, enjoys in Jesus; for, as the apostle says, whether we wake or sleep, we live together with Him who died for us [1 Thess. v. 10.].


(St. Luke ii.)

Nunc dimittis servum  tuum, Domine: * secundum verbum tuum in pace.
Quia viderunt oculi mei: * salutare tuum.
Quod parasti: * ante faciem omnium populorum.
Lumen ad revelationem Gentium: * et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, etc.ANT. Salva nos, Domino, vigilantes: custodi nos dormientes, ut vigilemus cum Christo, et requiescamus in pace.
Now dost thou dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word, in peace.
Because my eyes have seen thy salvation.
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples.
A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory, etc.ANT. Save us, O Lord, while awake, and watch us as we sleep; that we may watch with Christ, and rest in peace.


Kyrie eleison, Christe elei son. Kyrie eleison.
Pater noster.
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.
V. Credo in Deum, &c.
V. Carnis resurrectionem.
R. Vitam aeternam. Amen.
V. Benedictus es, Domine Deus patrum nostrorum.
R. Et laudabilis et gloriosus in saecula.
V. Benedicamus Patrem, et Filium, cum Sancto Spiritu.
R. Laudemus, et superexaltemus eum in saecula.
V. Benedictus es, Domine, in firmamento coeli.
R. Et laudabilis, et gloriosus, et superexaltatus in saecula.
V. Benedicat et custodiat nos omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
R. Amen.
V. Dignare, Domine, nocte ista.
R. Sine peccato nos custodire.
V. Miserere nostri, Domine.
R. Miserere nostri.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos.
R. Quemadmodum speravimus in te.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Our Father.
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. I believe in God, &c.
V. The resurrection of the body.
R. And life everlasting. Amen.
V. Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers.
R. And praiseworthy and glorious for ever.
V. Let us bless the Father, and the Son, with the Holy Ghost.
R. Let us praise and magnify him for ever.
V. Thou art blessed, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
R. And praiseworthy, and glorious, and magnified for ever.
V. May the almighty and merciful Lord bless us and keep us.
R. Amen.
V. Vouchsafe, O Lord, this night.
R. To keep us without sin.
V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
R. As we have hoped in thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.

After these prayers (which are omitted if the Office be of a double rite), the priest says:

V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.OREMUS
Visita, quaesumus, Domine, habitationem istam, et omnes insidias inimici ab ea longe repelle: angeli tui sancti habitent in ea, qui nos in pace custodiant, et benedictio tua sit super nos semper. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
V. Benedicamus Domino.
R. Deo gratias.

Benedicat et custodiat nos omnipotens et misericors Dominus, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.
R. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.LET US PRAY
Visit, we beseech thee,  O Lord, this house and family, and drive from it all snares of the enemy: let thy holy angels dwell herein, who may keep us in peace, and may thy blessing be always upon us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless and preserve us.
R. Amen.


Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia coeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu sancto.

Gratiam tuam quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde, ut qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui Incarnationem cognovimus, per Passionem ejus et crucem ad Resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

V. Divinum auxilium maneat semper nobiscum.
R. Amen.*

* In the monastic rite, this response is as follows:-
R. Et cum fratribus nostris absentibus. Amen.

Sweet Mother of our Redeemer, gate whereby we enter heaven, and star of the sea! help us, we fall; yet do we long to rise. Nature looked upon thee with admiration, when thou didst give birth to thy divine Creator, thyself remaining, before and after it, a pure Virgin. Gabriel spoke his Hail to thee; we sinners crave thy pity.V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts; that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by his Passion and cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

V. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
R. Amen.*

* In the monastic rite, this response is as follows :- R. And with our absent brethren. Amen.

Then, in secret, Pater, Ave, and Credo.



According to the monastic rite, as follows:

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator, poscimus,
Ut solita clementia
Sis praesul ad custodiam.

Procul recedant somnia
Et noctium phantasmata;
Hostemque nostrum comprime,
Ne polluantur corpora.

Praesta Pater omnipotens,
Per Jesum Christum Dominum,
Qui tecum in perpetuum
Regnat cum sancto Spiritu.

On the Office of Vespers During Advent ~ Dom Prosper Gueranger



The limits which necessity requires us to put to this volume will not admit of our inserting any of the day Office beyond Vespers and Compline; moreover, the faithful rarely assist at any other of the Canonical Hours, during this part of the liturgical year.

The Office of Vespers, or Evensong, consists firstly of five psalms with their antiphons. The antiphons of each Sunday are given farther on, in the Proper of the Time.

The Church commences with the supplication, which she makes to God at the beginning of all her Hours:

V. Deus, in adjutorium meum intende.
R. Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina.
V. Incline unto my aid, O  God.
R. O Lord, make haste to  help me.

The first psalm is a prophecy of the glory of the Messias. Let us, during this season, the more earnestly proclaim the greatness of the Incarnate Word the more we see Him humbled, out of love for us, during these days which precede His divine birth.


Dixit Dominus Domino meo: * Sede a dextris meis.
Donec ponam inimicos tuos: * scabellum pedum tuorum.
Virgam virtutis tuae emittet Dominus ex Sion: * dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum.
Tecum principium in die virtutis tuae in splendoribus sanctorum: * ex utero ante luciferum genui te.
Juravit Dominus, et non poenitebit eum: * Tu es Sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech.
Dominus a dextris tuis: * confregit in die irae suae reges.
Judicabit in nationibus, implebit ruinas: * conquassabit capita in terra multo rum.
De torrente in via bibet: * propterea exaltabit caput.
The Lord said to my Lord, his Son: Sit thou at my right hand, and reign with me.
Until, on the day of thy last coming, I make thy enemies thy footstool.
O Christ! the Lord thy Father will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: from thence rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength, in the brightness of the saints: for the Father hath said to thee: From the womb before the day-star I begot thee.
The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: he hath said, speaking of thee, the God-Man: Thou art a Priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
Therefore, O Father, the Lord thy Son, is at thy right hand: he hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.
He shall also judge among nations: in that terrible coming, he shall fill the ruins of the world: he shall crush the heads in the land of many.
He cometh now in humility; he shall drink, in the way, of the torrent of sufferings: therefore shall he lift up the head.

The following psalm commemorates the mercies of God to His people, the promised Covenant, the Redemption, His fidelity to His promises.


Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo: * in consilio justorum et congregatione.
Magna opera Domini: * exquisita in omnes voluntates ejus.
Confessio et magnificentia opus ejus: * et justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi.
Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum, misericors et miserator Dominus: * escam dedit timentibus se.
Memor erit in seculum testamenti sui: * virtutem operum suorum annuntiabit populo suo.
Ut det illis hereditatem Gentium: * opera manuum ejus veritas et judicium.
Fidelia omnia mandata ejus, confirmata in saeculum saeculi: * facta in veritate et aequitate.
Redemptionem misit populo suo: * mandavit in aeternum testamentum suum
Sanctum et terribile nomen ejus; * initium sapientiae timor Domini.
Intellectus bonus omnibus facientibus eum: * laudatio ejus manet in saeculum saeculi.
I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: in the counsel of the just, and in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord: sought out according to all his wills.
His work is praise and magnificence: and his justice continueth for ever and ever.
He hath made a remembrance of his wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: and being the Bread of life he hath given food to them that fear him.
He will be mindful for ever of his covenant with men: he will come and will show forth to his people the power of his works.
That he may give them, his Church, the inheritance of the Gentiles: the works of his hands are truth and judgement.
All his commandments are faithful, confirmed for ever and ever: made in truth and equity.
He hath sent Redemption to his people, and this Re deemer will soon appear: he hath, thereby, commanded his covenant for ever.
Holy and terrible is his name: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
A good understanding to all that do it: his praise con tinueth for ever and ever.

The third psalm sings the happiness of the just man, and his hopes on the day of our Lord’s second coming. It also tells us what will be the confusion of the sinner on that terrible day.


Beatus vir, qui timet Dominum: * in mandatis ejus volet nimis.
Potens in terra erit semen ejus: * generatio rectorum benedicetur.
Gloria et divitiae in domo ejus: * et justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi.
Exortum est in tenebris lumen rectis: * misericors et miserator, et justus.
Jucundus homo, qui miseretur et commodat, disponet sermones suos in judicio: * quia in aeternum non commovebitur.
In memoria aeterna erit justus; * ab auditione mala non timebit.
Paratum cor ejus sperare in Domino, confirmatum est cor ejus: * non commovebitur donec despiciat inimicos suos.
Dispersit, dedit pauperi bus, justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi: * cornu ejus exaltabitur in gloria.
Peccator videbit, et irascetur, dentibus suis fremet et tabescet: * desiderium peccatorum peribit.
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall
delight exceedingly in his commandments.
His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.
Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.
To the righteous a light is risen up in darkness: he is merciful, and compassionate, and just.
Acceptable is the man that showeth mercy and lendeth: he shall order his words with judgement: because he shall not be moved for ever.
The just shall be in everlasting remembrance: he shall not fear the evil hearing.
His heart is ready to hope in the Lord; his heart is strengthened; he shall not be moved until he look over his enemies.
He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor; his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory.
The wicked shall see, and shall be angry: he shall gnash with his teeth, and pine away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

The fourth psalm is a canticle of praise to the Lord, who, from His high heaven, has taken pity on the fallen human race, and raised it up again by the Incarnation.


Laudate, pueri, Dominum: * laudate nomen Domini.
Sit nomen Domini benedictum: * ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
A solis ortu usque ad occasum: * laudabile nomen Domini.
Excelsus super omnes gentes Dominus: * et super coelos gloria ejus.
Quis sicut Dominus Deus noster qui in altis habitat:* et humilia respicit in coelo et in terra?
Suscitans a terra inopem: * et de stercore erigens pauperem.
Ut collocet eum cum principibus: * cum principibus populi sui.
Qui habitare facit sterilem in domo: * matrem filiorum laetantem.
Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord: from henceforth now and for ever.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is worthy of praise.
The Lord is high above all nations: and his glory above the heavens.
Who is as the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high:
and looketh down on the low things in heaven and on earth?
Raising up the needy from the earth: and lifting up the poor out of the dunghill.
That he may place him with princes: with the princes of his people.
Who maketh a barren woman to dwell in a house, the joyful mother of children.

The fifth psalm recalls the memory of the prodigies done under the ancient Covenant; this will naturally awaken within us the hope of seeing those things, which happened to the people of Israel in figure, realized at the coming of the Messias.


In exitu Israel de Aegypto: * domus Jacob de populo barbaro.
Facta est Judaea sanctificatio ejus: * Israel potestas ejus.
Mare vidit, et fugit: * Jordanis conversus est retrorsum.
Montes exsultaverunt ut arietes: * et colles sicut agni ovium.
Quid est tibi, mare, quod fugisti: * et tu Jordanis, quia conversus es retrorsum?
Montes exsultastis sicut arietes: * et colles sicut agni ovium?
A facie Domini mota est terra: * a facie Dei Jacob.
Qui convertit petram in stagna aquarum; * et rupem in fontes aquarum.
Non nobis, Domino, non nobis: * sed nomini tuo da gloriam.
Super misericordia tua, et veritate tua: * nequando dicant gentes: Ubi est Deus eorum?
Deus autem noster in coelo: * omnia quaecumque voluit, fecit.
Simulacra Gentium argentum et aurum: * opera manuum hominum.
Os habent et non loquentur: * oculos habent, et non videbunt.
Aures habent, et non audient: * nares habent, et non odorabun t.
Manus habent, et non palpabunt, pedes habent, et non ambulabunt: * non clamabunt in gutture suo.
Similes illis fiant qui faciunt ea: * et omnes qui confidunt in eis.
Domus Israel speravit in Domino: * adjutor eorum et protector eorum est.
Domus Aaron speravit in Domino: * adjutor eorum, et protector eorum est.
Qui timent Dominum, speraverunt in Domino: * adjutor eorum, et protector eorum est.
Dominus memor fuit nostri: * et benedixit nobis.
Benedixit domui Israel: * benedixit domui Aaron.
Benedixit omnibus qui timent Dominum: * pusillis
cum majoribus.
Adjiciat Dominus super vos: * super vos, et super filios vestros.
Benedicti vos a Domino: * qui fecit coelum et terram.
Coelum coeli Domino: * terram autem dedit filiis homi num.
Non mortui laudabunt te, Domine: * neque omnes qui descendunt in infernum.
Sed nos qui vivimus, benedicimus Domino: * ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
When Israel went out of Egypt: the house of Jacob from a barbarous people.
Judea was made his sanctuary: Israel his dominion.
The sea saw and fled: Jordan was turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams: and the hills like the lambs of the flock.
What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou didst flee: and thou, O Jordan, that thou wast turned back?
Ye mountains that ye skipped like rams: and ye hills like lambs of the flock?
At the presence of the Lord the earth was moved, at the presence of the God of Jacob.
Who turned the rock into pools of water, and the stony hill into fountains of waters.
Not to us, O Lord, not to us: but to thy name give glory.
For thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake: lest the Gentiles should say: Where is their God ?
But our God is in heaven: he hath done all things whatsoever he would.
The idols of the Gentiles are silver and gold: the works of the hands of men.
They have mouths, and speak not: they have eyes, and see not.
They have ears, and hear not: they have noses, and smell not.
They have hands, and feel not: they have feet, and walk not: neither shall they cry out through their throat.
Let them that make them become like unto them: and all such as trust in them.
The house of Israel hath hoped in the Lord: he is their helper and their protector.
The house of Aaron hath hoped in the Lord: he is their helper and their protector.
They that fear the Lord have hoped in the Lord: he is their helper and their protector.
The Lord hath been mindful of us, and hath blessed us.
He hath blessed the house of Israel: he hath blessed the house of Aaron.
He hath blessed all that fear the Lord, both little and great.
May the Lord add blessings upon you: upon you, and upon your children.
Blessed be you of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The heaven of heaven is the Lord’s: but the earth he has given to the children of men.
The dead shall not praise thee, O Lord: nor any of them that go down to hell.
But we that live bless the Lord: from this time now and for ever.

After these five psalms, a short lesson from the holy Scriptures is sung. It is called the Capitulum, or Little Chapter, because it is always very short. It will be found in its proper place for each Sunday. Then follows the hymn:


Creator alme siderum,
Aeterna lux credentium,
Jesu, Redemptor omnium,
Intende votis supplicum.Qui daemonis ne fraudibus
Periret orbis, impetu
Amoris actus, languidi
Mundi medela factus es.

Commune qui mundi nefas
Ut expiares, ad crucem,
E Virginis sacrario
Intacta prodis victima.

Cujus potestas gloriae
Nomenque quum primum sonat,
Et coelites et inferi
Tremente curvantur genu.

Te deprecamur, ultime
Magnum diei judicem,
Armis supernae gratiae
Defende nos ab hostibus.

Virtus, honor, laus, gloria,
Deo Patri cum Filio,
Sancto simul Paraclito,
In saeculorum saecula.

O Jesus, thou kind Creator of the heavens, eternal light of believers, and Redeemer of all mankind, hear the prayers of thy suppliants.Lest the world should perish by the fraud of the devil, thou, impelled by the vehemence of thy love for us, didst thyself become the remedy of all our weakness.

To expiate the sin of the whole world, thou didst come
from the sanctuary of the Virgin’s womb, a victim destined to the cross.

How glorious is thy power, when, at the very sound of thy name, heaven and hell bend the trembling knee.

We beseech thee, dread Judge of the last day, defend us from our enemies by the armour of thy heavenly grace.

Power, honour, praise, and glory, be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the holy Paraclete, for ever and ever, Amen.

V. Rorate, coeli, desuper, et nubes pluant Justum.
R. Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorem.
V. Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.
R. Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour.

Here is sung the Magnificat antiphon which is given in the proper of each Sunday. After this the Church always sings at Vespers the canticle in which our blessed Lady, all full of the God whom she had within her womb, gave utterance, in the presence of St. Elizabeth, to the transports of her joy and gratitude. This canticle harmonizes most sweetly with the spirit of Advent, for it is during this very time that Mary is almost incessantly before our minds, as the beautiful Mother that bears her precious and divine Fruit. Let us therefore unite with her, in celebrating the matchless honour bestowed on her by God; the merits of that profound humility which rendered her worthy of such an honour; the overthrow of the proud spirits who are driven from heaven; and the exaltation of human nature, of itself so poor and miserable, to that high place from which angels fell.

(St. Luke i.)

Magnificat: * anima mea Dominum.
Et exsultavit spiritus meus: * in Deo salutari meo.
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae: * ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est: * et sanctum nomen ejus.
Et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies: * timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo: * dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede: * et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes iniplevit bonis: * et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum: * recordatus misericordiae suae.
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros: * Abraham et semini ejus in saecula.
My soul doth magnify the Lord;
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generation, to them that fear him.
He hath showed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy.
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

The Magnificat antiphon is then repeated. The prayer, or collect, is given in the proper of each Sunday.

The Vespers end with the following versicles:

V. Benedicamus Domino.
R. Deo gratias.
V. Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.
V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.




According to the monastic rite, it is as follows :-

R. breve. Ostende nobis Domine, * Misericordiam tuam.
V. Et salutare tuum da nobis: * Misericordiam. Gloria Patti, &c. Ostende.
Short Resp. Show us, O  Lord, * Thy mercy. Show us.
V. And grant us Thy salvation. * Thy mercy.
Glory be to the Father, etc.
Show us.

Conditor alme siderum,
Aeterna lux credentium,
Christe Redemptor omnium,
Exaudi preces supplicum.

Qui condolens interitu
Mortis perire saeculum,
Salvasti mundum languidum,
Donans reis remedium:

Vergente mundi vespere,
Uti sponsus de thalamo,
Egressus honestissima
Virginis matris clausula:

Cujus forti potentiae
Genu curvantur omnia,
Coelestia, terrestria,
Nutu fatentur subdita.

Te deprecamur, agie,
Venture judex saeculi,
Conserva nos in tempore,
Hostis a telo perfidi.

Laus, honor, virtus, gloria,
Deo Patri, et Filio,
Sancto simul Paraclito,
In saeculorum saecula.