Prayers by Blessed Bartolo Longo

Prayers to and by Blessed Bartolo Longo

From his writings

The Rosary a Teacher of Life

The Rosary is a teacher of life, a teacher full of gentleness and love, where people beneath the gaze of Mary, almost without noticing, discover they are being slowly educated in preparation for the second life, that which is authentic life, for it is not destined to end in a very few years, but to go on unto eternity.

The Rosary and the Eucharist

The Rosary, therefore, in a gentle, subtle way leads one to the Eucharist, to the Most Blessed Sacrament: those who approach Jesus in thought, year to approach Him in reality; those who know Jesus cannot but love Him; indeed, those who truly love Jesus cannot forego possessing Him.

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Bartolo Longo

God, Father of mercy, we praise you for having sent into the history of mankind, the Blessed Bartolo Longo, ardent apostle of the Rosary and shining example of a layman deeply involved in the evangelical witnessing of faith and of charity.

We thank you for his extraordinary spiritual journey, his prophetic intuitions, his tireless endeavors on behalf of the poorest and the neglected, the devotion with which he served your Church and built the new city of love at Pompeii.

We beseech you, grant that Blessed Bartolo Longo soon be numbered among the Saints of the universal Church, so that everyone may follow him as a model of life and benefit by his intercession.  Amen.

Prayer to Blessed Bartolo Longo

O Blessed Bartolo Longo, you who loved Mary with the tenderness of a son and who spread devotion by the reciting of the Holy Rosary and through her intercession received superabundant grace to love and serve Christ through service to abandoned children, obtain for us the grace to live in the spirit of prayer united to God, to love him, as you did, through our brothers. You, who at the end of your earthly journey declared never having tired of praying for every pain, for every hardship, for every calamity, trusting in the omnipotence of God and in the intercession of His Divine Mother, continue to intercede for those who are called to continue your work of faith and love at Pompeii and for all the Rosarians of the world. Pray for us that we, after the earthly contemplation of the joyful and sorrowful Mysteries, can with you share the joy of the glorious Mysteries in heaven with Mary, Queen of the angels and of the Saints. Amen

Prayer of Blessed Bartolo Longo to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii

O Virgin Mary,
Queen of the Blessed Rosary,
dispenser of graces in the Valley of Pompeii
and sweet Queen of my heart,
kindly accept the prayer
I address to you,
that your love
may spread in my heart
and in the hearts of
all those who honor you
by reciting the Blessed Rosary.
I long for the whole world
to come to know
the miracles and graces
you grant from your
Shrine of Pompeii,
and that the whole world
love you and experience
the power of your intercession,
the fruit of your bountiful graces.
Grant that all the sinners
of the world come
penitent to your feet
and once again find Jesus,
the source of peace and of true happiness;
and through your intercession
may I too meet Him at the end
of my life’s journey.

Blessed Bartolo Longo’s Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary

         O blessed rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death; yours our final kiss as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven. Amen!

The Supplica

Prayed at Midday on May 8th

O August Queen of Victories, O Sovereign of Heaven and Earth, at whose name the heavens rejoice and the abyss trembles, O glorious Queen of the Rosary, we your devoted children, assembled in your temple of Pompeii, (on this solemn day), pour out the affection of our heart and with filial confidence expresse our miseries to you.
From the throne of clemency, where you are seated as Queen, turn, O Mary, your merciful gaze on us, on our families, on Italy, on Europe, on the world. Have compassion on the sorrows and cares which embitter our lives. See, O Mother, how many dangers of body and soul, how many calamities and afflictions press upon us.
O Mother, implore for us the mercy of your divine Son and conquer with clemency the heart of sinners. They are our brothers and your children who cause the heart of our sweet Jesus to bleed and who sadden your most sensitive heart. Show all that you are the Queen of Peace and of Pardon.
Hail Mary.

It is true that although we are your children we are the first to crucify Jesus by our sins and to pierce anew your heart. We confess that we are deserving of severe punishment, but remember that, on Golgotha, you received with the divine blood, the testament of the dying Savior, who declared you to be our Mother, the Mother of sinners.
You then, as our Mother, are our Advocate, our Hope. And we raise our suppliant hands to you with sighs crying “Mercy!” O good Mother, have pity on us, on our souls, on our families, our relatives, our friends, our deceased, especially our enemies, and on so many who call themselves Christian and yet offend the heart of your loving Son. Today we implore pity for the misguided nations throughout all Europe, throughout the world, so that they may return repentant to your heart.
Hail Mary.
Kindly deign to hear us. O Mary! Jesus has placed in your hands all the treasures of his graces and mercies. You are seated a crowned Queen at the right hand of your Son, resplendent with immortal glory above the choirs of angels. Your dominion extends throughout heaven and earth and all creatures are subject to you.
You are omnipotent by grace and therefore you can help us. Were you not willing to help us, since we are ungrateful children and undeserving of your protection, we would not know to whom to turn. Your motherly heart would not permit you see us, your children, lost. The Infant whom we see on your knees and the blessed rosary which we see in your hand, inspire confidence in us that we shall be heard. We confide fully in you, we abandon ourselves as helpless children into the arms of the most tender of mothers, and on this day, we expect from you the graces we so long for.
Hail Mary.
One last favour we now ask of you, O Queen, which you cannot refuse us (on this most solemn day): Grant to all of us your steadfast love and in a special manner your maternal blessing. We shall not leave you until you have blessed us. Bless, O Mary, at this moment, our Holy Father. To the ancient splendors of your crown, to the triumphs of your Rosary, whence you are called the Queen of Victories, add this one also, O Mother: grant the triumph of religion and peace to human society. Bless our bishops, priests and particularly all those who are zealous for the honor of your sanctuary. Bless finally all those who are associated with your temple of Pompeii and all those who cultivate and promote devotion to your Holy Rosary. 

O blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we shall never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of agony: to you the last kiss of our dying life. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. Be blessed everywhere, today and always, on earth and in Heaven. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen.* 

The 54 day Novena to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

The 54 day Rosary Novena history

Among the numerous texts and prayers written by Blessed Bartolo Longo, there is the “Novena of Petition”, composed in July of 1879.  Having been struck down with typhoid fever, Bartolo Longo wrote it in order to ask for graces in the most desperate cases.

Every day he went before the Picture of the Virgin of the Rosary to be inspired and to do some corrections. But one day, owing to a serious worsening of His illness, he taught that the only remedy was to take the Picture of the Virgin from the Chapel and place it in His bedroom. Turning to Saint Catherine of Siena so that she would intercede in His favour with Our Lady, he suddenly recovered. Since then, the Heavenly Mother has been granting graces to anyone prays to Her with the Novena written by Her most profound devotee.

In 1894, at Arpino (Italy), Saint Catherine of Siena, represented at the feet of the Virgin in the Pompeiian Icon, appeared to a dying young girl and invited her to recite the Novena and to pray it together with her.  At the end of the prayer the young girl was perfectly cured. The Novena, approved by Pope Leo XIII on November 29th, 1887.

Among the many persons prodigiously cured by Our Lady of Pompeii, there is also the Commendatore Agrelli’s daughter of Naples, to whom Our Lady appeared personally in 1884 and told her: “Whenever you wish to obtain graces from me, make three Novenas of Petition and at the same time recite the fifteen decades of my Rosary and then three Novenas of Thanks”. The young Fortunatina Agrelli made according to the Virgin’s indications and was miraculously cured.

The Novena consists the 5 decades of the Holy Rosary of the day, each preceded by the five prayers of the Novena of Impetration (the first prayer followed by the first decade, the second prayer followed by the second decade and so on). At the end of these first 27 days, continue to recite the Holy Rosary for another 27 days in the same way, alternating the decades with the prayers of the Thanksgiving novena regardless of whether the request has been fulfilled. This is the 54 day rosary novena.

Text of the Novena of Petition to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

O Saint Catherine of Siena, my Protectress and Teacher, who from heaven assist your devotees as they recite Mary’s Rosary, come to my aid in this moment and deign to recite along with me the Novena to the Queen of the Rosary who has established the throne of her graces in the Valley of Pompeii, that through your intercession I may obtain the grace I desire. Amen.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, etc. I. O Immaculate Virgin and Queen of the Holy Rosary, in these times of dead faith and triumphant impiety you have desired to establish your throne of Queen and Mother in the ancient land of Pompeii, the resting place of deceased pagans. From this place in which idols and demons were worshipped, you today, as the Mother of divine grace, shower the treasures of heavenly mercy far and wide.

O Mary, from this throne upon which you graciously reign, turn upon me as well your benign eyes, and have mercy on me who am so greatly in need of your help. Show yourself to me, just as you have shown yourself to so many others, as the true Mother of mercy: while I with all my heart greet you, and invoke you as my Sovereign and Queen of the Holy Rosary.

Hail, Holy Queen II. Prostrate before your throne, O great and glorious Lady, my soul venerates you amidst the groans and sighs which afflict it beyond measure. In this state of anguish and affliction in which I find myself, I confidently lift up my eyes to you, who have deigned to choose the land of poor and abandoned peasants as your dwelling-place. And there, before the city and amphitheatre where there reign silence and ruin, you, the Queen of Victories, have raised your powerful voice to call from every part of Italy and the Catholic world your devoted sons and daughters, to build a Temple to you. May you now be moved to pity for this soul of mine that lies here humiliated in the mud.

Have mercy on me, O my Lady, have mercy on me who am overwhelmingly covered in misery and humiliation. You, who are the extermination of demons, defend me from these enemies besieging me. You, who are the Help of Christians, deliver me from these tribulations which wretchedly oppress me. You, who are our Life, triumph over death which threatens my soul in these dangers to which it is exposed; grant to me peace, serenity, love and health. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen III. The knowledge that so many have been helped by you, solely because they turned to you with faith, gives me new strength and courage to call upon you in my needs. You once promised St. Dominic that those wishing graces shall receive them through your Rosary. Now I, your Rosary in my hands, dare to remind you, O Mother, of your holy promises. Indeed, you yourself work endless miracles in our times in order to call your children to honour you in the Temple of Pompeii. You therefore long to wipe away our tears, you yearn to relieve our pain! Then I, with my heart bared and with burning faith, call upon you and invoke you: My Mother!… Dear Mother!… Beautiful Mother!… Most Sweet Mother, come to my aid!

Mother and Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii, delay no longer in stretching your powerful hand out to me, to save me: for you see, delay would be my ruin.

Hail, Holy Queen IV. And to whom else might I go, if not to you who are the Solace of the wretched, the Comforter of the forsaken, the Consolation of the afflicted? I confess to you, my soul is miserable: weighed down by enormous faults, it deserves to burn in hell, unworthy of receiving graces!

But are you not the Hope of those who despair, the Mother of Jesus the only mediator between God and humanity, our powerful Advocate by the throne of the Almighty, the Refuge of sinners? Then, only say a word on my behalf to your Son, and He shall hear you. Ask of Him, O Mother, this grace which I am so greatly in need of. (Here express the grace you desire.) You alone can obtain it for me: you who are my only hope, my consolation, my sweetness, my whole life. So I hope. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen V. O Virgin and Queen of the Holy Rosary, you who are the Daughter of our Heavenly Father, the Mother of the divine Son, the Bride of the Holy Spirit; you who can obtain everything from the Blessed Trinity: I beseech you, seek this grace so necessary for me, provided that it be not an obstacle to my eternal salvation. (Here repeat the grace you desire.)

I ask this of you through your Immaculate Conception, your divine Maternity, your joys, your sorrows, your triumphs. I ask it of you through the Heart of your loving Jesus, through those nine months you bore Him in your womb, through the hardships of His life, His bitter passion, His death on the cross, His most holy Name and His most precious Blood. Finally, I ask it of you through your sweetest Heart: in your glorious Name, O Mary, who are the Star of the sea, Our Powerful Lady, the Sea of sorrow, the Gate of Heaven and the Mother of every grace. In you I place my trust and my every hope; save me, I pray. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen V. Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us

That we may become worthy of Christ’s promises. Prayer – O God, by His life, death and resurrection your Only Begotten Son obtained for us the fruits of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech you, that by venerating these mysteries of Virgin Mary’s Holy Rosary, we imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.


O holy priest of God and glorious Patriarch, Saint Dominic, who were the friend, the beloved son and the confidant of our heavenly Queen, and who worked many miracles through the power of the Holy Rosary; and you, Saint Catherine of Siena, the leading daughter of this Order of the Rosary and a powerful mediator by the throne of Mary and the Heart of Jesus, with whom you exchanged hearts: O my dear holy Saints, consider my needs and pity the state I find myself in. On earth you possessed a heart open to all the miseries of others, and a hand powerful enough to take care of them. And now, in Heaven, neither your charity nor you power has been lessened.

On my behalf then, pray to our Mother of the Rosary and to her Divine Son, for I have great faith that through you I shall obtain the grace I ardently desire. Amen.

Three Glory be to the Father.

Text of the Novena of Thanks to the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Here am I at your feet, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus, who delight in being invoked as Queen of the Rosary of the Valley of Pompeii. Rejoicing in my heart, my soul overwhelmed by the most ardent gratitude, I return to you, my generous Benefactress, my sweet Lady, the Queen of my heart, to you who have truly shown yourself as my Mother who so dearly loves me.

In my laments you heard me, in my afflictions you comforted me, in my anguish you gave me peace. Sorrows and the pains of death were besieging my heart, and you, O Mother, from your throne in Pompeii, by your compassionate gaze, offered me relief. Who has ever turned to you with confidence and has not been heard? If all the world only knew how good you are, how compassionate with those who suffer, all creatures would turn to you. May you for ever be blessed, O Sovereign Virgin of Pompeii, by me and by everyone, by humanity and by the Angels, by Heaven and by earth. Amen

Glory be to the Father.

Hail, Holy Queen II.

I offer thanks to God and to you, O divine Mother, for the new favours that have been granted to me through your compassion and mercy. What would have become of me, had you turned your back on my groans and my tears? May the Angels of paradise and the choirs of Apostles, Martyrs, Virgins and Confessors thank you for me. May all the souls of sinners saved by you, who now enjoy the vision of your immortal beauty in heaven, thank you for me.

I wish all creatures to join me in loving you, and that all the world repeat the echo of my thanks. What have I to offer you, O Queen, rich in mercy and magnificence? What remains of my life I dedicate to you, and to the propagating of your cult everywhere, O Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, through whose invocation the grace of the Lord has visited me. I shall promote the devotion of your Rosary; I will tell everyone of the mercy you have obtained for me; I shall always proclaim your goodness towards me, so that others as well, unworthy as I and sinners, may turn to you with confidence.

Glory be to the Father.

Hail, Holy Queen III.

By what names shall I call you, O snow white dove of peace? By what titles shall I invoke you, whom the holy Doctors called Our Lady of creation, Gate of life, Temple of God, Royal Palace of light, Glory of the heavens, Holy among the Holy, Miracle of miracles, Paradise of the Most High? You are the Treasurer of graces, the Almighty of supplication, indeed, the very Mercy of God which descends upon the unfortunate.

Yet I know that your heart takes pleasure also in being invoked as the Queen of the Rosary, of the Valley of Pompeii. And when invoking you in this manner, I hear the sweetness of your mystical Name, O Rose of Paradise, transplanted in the Valley of tears to relieve the sorrows of us banished children of Eve; red Rose of charity, more fragrant than all the perfumes of Lebanon, drawing the hearts of sinners to the Heart of God in your Valley by the fragrance of your heavenly sweetness.

You are the Rose of everlasting freshness who, nourished by the streams of heavenly waters, planted your roots in soil scorched by a shower of fire; a Rose of unblemished beauty, who planted the Garden of the Lord’s delights in a land of desolation. May God be exalted, who made your name so wondrous. Bless, O nations, the Name of the Virgin of Pompeii, for all the earth is full of her mercy.

Glory be to the Father.

Hail, Holy Queen IV.

In the midst of the storms raging about me I lifted my eyes to you, new Star of hope that appeared in our times over the Valley of ruins. From the depths of sorrow I raised my voice to you, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, and I experienced the power of this title so dear to you. Hail, I shall always cry, Hail O Mother of mercy, immense sea of grace, ocean of kindness and compassion! Who shall worthily sing the glories of your Rosary, the victories of your Crown?

The world has freed itself of Jesus’ arms to become abandoned in those of Satan, yet you make ready to restore it to health in that Valley where Satan devours souls. Triumphant you rode over the ruins of the pagan temples, and upon the decay of idolatry placed the footstool of your rule. You transformed a region of death into a Valley of resurrection and life, and upon the land ruled over by your enemy you established a City of refuge, where you welcome the nations unto their salvation.

Behold your children, spread throughout the world, who raised a throne to you in this place, as a testimonial) of your miracles, as a trophy of your mercies. From this throne you have called me also, among your chosen children: upon me a sinner your merciful gaze has rested. May your works be everlastingly blessed, my Lady: and blessed be all the miracles worked by You in this valley of desolation and ruin.

Glory be to the Father

Hail, Holy Queen V.

May every tongue resound with your glory, O Mary; may the evening hand on to the following day the harmony of our blessings. Let every generation proclaim you blessed, and let all the regions of the earth and the heavenly choirs repeat, blessed are you. I too shall call you three times blessed with the Angels, the Archangels and the Principalities; three times blessed with the angelic Powers, the Virtues of the heavens and the celestial Dominations. I shall proclaim you most Blessed with the Thrones, the Cherubim and the Seraphim.

O my Sovereign Rescuer, may you never turn your merciful gaze away from this family, this nation, the entire Church. Especially, do not deny me the greatest of graces: that I never become separated from you through my weakness. Let me persevere until my last breath in the faith and love with which my soul in this moment burns.

And grant that all of us who contribute to the maintenance of your Shrine in Pompeii, and to the building-up of its charitable works, be included in the number of the chosen. O Holy Rosary of my Mother, I press you tightly to my bosom and kiss you with veneration. (Here kiss your rosary.) You are the way leading to every virtue, the treasure of merits for paradise, the pledge of my predestination, the strong chains binding the enemy, the source of peace for those who honour you throughout life, the promise of victory for those kissing you at the point of death. In that last hour I await you, O Mother. Your appearing will be the sign of my salvation; your Rosary shall open before me the gates of Heaven. Amen

Glory be to the Father

Hail, Holy Queen V.

Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us.

Prayer – O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who taught us to turn to you with confidence and call you: Our Father, who art in heaven; O gracious Lord, ever merciful and forgiving: through the intercession of Immaculate Virgin Mary, hear us who take delight in being called children of the Rosary. Accept our humble thanks for the gifts we have received; and daily render the throne you have established in the Shrine of Pompeii more glorious and lasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Marian Clergy Retreat at Douai Abbey with Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP

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Apologetics Episode 2: Baptism






[Easter is the Anglo- Saxon word for April, and was derived, as Venerable Bede tells us, (in his book De temporum ratione c. 13,) from Easter, a goddess of our pagan ancestors. Others derive Easter from Oest, Oost the Saxon for rising, or the east: and hence, Osteren, the Resurrection. Tr. from Butler’s Moveable Feasts.]



The night between Saturday and Sunday has well nigh run its course, and the day-dawn is appearing. The Mother of sorrows is waiting, in courageous hope and patience, for the blissful moment of her Jesus’ return. Magdalene and the other holy women have spent the night in watching, and are preparing to start for the sepulchre. In limbo, the Soul of our crucified Lord is about to give the glad word of departure to the myriads of the long-imprisoned holy souls, who cluster round Him in adoring love. Death is still holding his silent sway over the sepulchre, where rests the Body of Jesus. Since the day when he gained his first victim, Abel, he has swept off Countless generations; but never has he held in his grasp a prey so noble as this that now lies in the tomb near Calvary. Never has the terrible sentence of God, pronounced against our first parents, received such a fulfilment as this; but, never has death received such a defeat as the one that is now preparing. It is true, the power of God has, at times, brought back the dead to life: the son of the widow of Naim, and Lazarus, were reclaimed from the bondage of this tyrant death; but he regained his sway over them all. But his Victim of Calvary is to conquer him for ever, for this is He of whom it is written in the prophecy: ‘O death! I will be thy death!’ [Osee, xiii, 14]. Yet a few brief moments and the battle will be begun, and life shall vanquish death.

As divine justice could not allow the Body that was united to the Word to see corruption, and there wait, like ours must, for the Archangel’s word to ‘rise and come to judgement,’ so neither could it permit the dominion of death to be long over such a Victim. Jesus had said to the Jews: ‘A wicked generation seeketh a sign; and a sign shall not be given it, but that of Jonas the prophet.’ [St. Matth. xii, 39]. Three days in the tomb, – the afternoon and night of Friday, the whole of Saturday, and a few hours of the Sunday, – yes, these are enough: enough to satisfy divine justice; enough to certify the death of the Crucified, and make His triumph glorious; enough to complete the martyrdom of that most loving of mothers, the Queen of sorrows.

‘No man taketh away my life from Me: I lay it down of Myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again.’ [St. John, x, 18].  Thus spoke our Redeemer to the Jews before His Passion: now is the hour for the fulfilment of His words, and death shall feel their whole force. The day of light, Sunday, has begun, and its early dawn is struggling with the gloom. The Soul of Jesus immediately darts from the prison of limbo, followed by the whole multitude of the holy souls that are around Him. In the twinkling of an eye, it reaches and enters the sepulchre, and reunites itself with that Body, which, three days before, it had quitted amidst an agony of suffering. The sacred Body returns to life, raises itself up, and throws aside the winding-sheet, the spices, and the bands. The bruises have disappeared, the Blood has been brought back to the veins; and from these limbs that bad been torn by the scourging, from this head that had been mangled by the thorns, from these hands and feet that had been pierced with nails, there darts forth a dazzling light that fills the cave. The holy Angels had clustered round the stable and adored the Babe of Bethlehem; they are now around the sepulchre, adoring the conqueror of death. They take the shrouds, and reverently folding them up, place them on the slab, whereon the Body bad been laid by Joseph and Nicodemus.

But Jesus is not to tarry in the gloomy sepulchre. Quicker than a ray of light through a crystal, He passes through the stone that closes the entrance of the cave. Pilate had ordered his seal to be put upon this stone, and a guard of soldiers is there to see that no one touches it. Untouched it is, and unmoved; and yet Jesus is free! Thus, as the holy Fathers unanimously teach us, was it at His birth: He appeared to the gaze of Mary, without having offered the slightest violence to her maternal womb. The birth and the resurrection, the commencement and the end of Jesus’ mission, these two mysteries bear On them the seal of resemblance: in the first, it is a Virgin Mother; in the last, it is a sealed tomb giving forth its captive God.

And while this Jesus, this Man-God, thus breaks the sceptre of death, the stillness of the night is un disturbed. His and our victory has cost Him no effort. 0 death! where is now thy kingdom? Sin had made us thy slaves; thy victory was complete; and now, lo! thou thyself art defeated! Jesus, whom thou didst exultingly hold under thy law, has set
1 Apec. 1, 5. 2 I. Cor. xv, 26.
‘Ibid. 56.
Himself free; and we, after thou hast domineered over us for a time, we too shall be free from thy grasp. The tomb thou makest for us, will become to us the source of a new life, for He that now conquers thee is ‘the First-born among the dead ; ~1 and to-day is the Pasch, the Passover, the deliverance, for Jesus and for us, His brethren. He has led the way; we shall follow; and the day will come, when thou, the enemy, that destroyest all things, shalt thyself be destroyed by immortality.2 Thy defeat dates from this moment of Jesus’ resurrection, and, with the great Apostle, we say to thee: ‘O death! where is thy victory? O death! where is thy sting ? ‘


But the sepulchre is not to remain shut: it must be thrown open, and testify to men, that He, whose lifeless Body lay there, is indeed risen from the dead. As when our Jesus expired upon the Cross, so now, immediately after His resurrection, an earthquake shook the foundations of the world; but, this time, it was for joy. ‘The Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror,’ and fell on the ground ‘as dead men.’ God has mercy on them; they return to themselves, and quitting the dread sepulchre, they hasten to the city, and relate what they have seen.
Meanwhile, our risen Jesus, seen by no other mortal eye, has sped to His most holy Mother. He is the Son of God; He is the vanquisher of death; but He is, likewise, the Son of Mary. She stood near Him to the last, uniting the sacrifice of her mother’s heart with that He made upon the Cross; it is just, therefore, that she should be the first to partake of the joy of His resurrection. The Gospel does not relate the apparition thus made by Jesus to His Mother, whereas all the others are fully described. It is not difficult to assign the reason. The other apparitions were intended as proofs of the resurrection; this to Mary was dictated by the tender love borne to her by her Son. Both nature and grace required that His first visit should be to such a Mother, and Christian hearts dwell with delight on the meditation of the mystery. There was no need of its being mentioned in the Gospel; the tradition of the holy Fathers, beginning with St. Ambrose, bears sufficient testimony to it; and even had they been silent, our hearts would have told it us. And why was it that our Saviour rose from the tomb so early on the day He had fixed for His resurrection? It was because His filial love was impatient to satisfy the vehement longings of His dearest and most afflicted Mother. Such is the teaching of many pious and learned writers; and who that knows aught of Jesus and Mary could refuse to accept it?

But who is there would attempt to describe the joy of such a meeting? Those eyes, that had grown dim from wakefulness and tears, now flash with delight at beholding the brightness which tells her Jesus is come. He calls her by her name; not with the tone of voice which pierced her soul when He addressed her from the Cross, but with an accent of joy and love, such as a son would take when telling a mother that he had triumphed. The Body, which, three days ago, she had seen covered with Blood and dead, is now radiant with life, beaming with the reflections of divinity. He speaks to her words of tenderest affection, He embraces her, He kisses her. Who, we ask, would dare to describe this scene, which the devout Abbot Rupert says so inundated the soul of Mary with joy, that it made her forget all the sorrows she had endured.
Nor must we suppose that the visit was a short One, In one of tl~e ~eve1atjons ~rante4 to t1~e 8era~hiQ St. Teresa, our Lord told her, that when He appeared to His blessed Mother immediately after His resurrection, He found her so overwhelmed with grief that she would soon have died; that it was not until several moments had passed, that she was able to realize the immense joy of His presence; and that He remained a long time with her, in order to console her.’
Let us, who love this blessed Mother and have seen her offer up her Son on Calvary for our sake, let us affectionately rejoice in the happiness wherewith Jesus now repays her, and let us learn to compassion ate her in her dolours. This is the first manifesta tion of our risen Jesus: it is a just reward for the unwavering faith which has dwelt in Mary’s soul during these three days, when all but she had lost it. But it is time for Him to show Himself to others, that so the glory of His resurrection may be made known to the world. His first visit was to her who is the dearest to Him of all creatures, and who well deserved the favour; now, in His goodness, He is about to console those devoted women, whose grief is, perhaps, too human, but their love is firm, and neither death nor the tomb have shaken it.

Yesterday, when sun-set proclaimed to the Jews the end of the great Sabbath and the commencement of the Sunday, Magdalene and her companions went into the city and bought perfumes, wherewith, this morning at break of day, they purpose embalming the Body of their dear Master. They have spent a sleepless night. Before the dawn of day, Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James), and Salome, axe on the road that leads to Calvary, for the sepulchre is there. So intent are they on the one object, that it never occurs to them, until it is too late, to provide for the removing of the heavy stone, which closes the
1 Life of St. Teresa, written by herself: in the Additions. See in the translation by David Lewis, 1870.
1 St. Mark, xvi. 6.
2 ibid. 8. ‘ St. Luke, xxiv, 5, 6, 7.
‘St Mark, xvi. 7.
sepulchre. There is the seal, too, of the Governor, which must be broken before they can enter; there are the soldiers who are keeping guard: these difficulties are quite overlooked. It is early daybreak when they reach the tomb. The first thing that attracts their attention is, that the stone has been removed, so that one can see into the sepulchre. The Angel of the Lord, who had received the mission to roll back the stone, is seated on it, as upon a throne; he thus addresses the three holy women, who are speechless from astonishment and fear: ‘Be not affrighted! Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here.’ Then encouraging them to enter the sepulchre, he adds: ‘Behold the place where they laid Him ! ‘1

These words should fill them with joy: but no; their faith is weak, and, as the Evangelist says, ‘a trembling and fear seize them.’2 The dear Remains they are in search of are gone: the Angel tells them so: his saying that Jesus is risen fails to awaken their faith in the resurrection: they had hoped to find the Body! While in the sepulchre, two other Angels appear to them, and the place is filled with light. St. Luke tells us that Magdalene and her companions ‘bowed down their heads,’ for they were overpowered with fear and disappointment. Then the Angels said to them: ‘Why seek ye the Living with the dead? flemember how He spake auto you, when He was yet in Galilee, saying: “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of~ sinful men, and be cruci fied, and the third day rise again!” “ These words make some impression upon the holy women, and they begin to remember something of what our Lord had said of His resurrection. ‘Go!’ said one of the Angels, ‘tell His disciples and Peter, that He is going before you into Galilee.’4
1 St. Luke~ xxiv. 11.
2 ~ John, xx. 2,
‘.i’bid. 8.
‘Ibid. 6.
The three Women leave the sepulchre and return with haste to the city; they are full of fear, and yet there is an irresistible feeling of joy mingled with their fear. They relate what they have seen: they have seen Angels, and the sepulchre open, and Jesus’ Body was not there. All three agree in their account; but the Apostles, as the Evangelist tells us, set it down to womanish excitement: ‘Their words seem idle tales and they believe them not.’1 The Resurrection, of which their divine Master had so clearly and so often spoken, never once crosses their mind. It is particularly to Peter and John that Magdalene relates the wonderful things she has seen and heard; but her own faith is still so weak! She went with the intention of embalming the Body of Jesus, and she found it not! She can speak of nothing but her disappointment: ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him ! ~2

Peter and John determine to go themselves to the sepulchre. They enter. They see the ‘linen cloths lying ‘3 upon the slab whereon the Body of Jesus had been placed; but the Angels who are now keeping guard in the holy cave appear not to them. Saint John tells us, that this was the moment he received the faith in the resurrection: he believes.4 We are now merely giving the history of the events of this greatest of days, in the order in which they occurred: we will afterwards meditate upon them more leisurely, when the holy Liturgy brings them before us.

So far, Jesus has appeared to no one save His blessed Mother; the holy women have only seen the Angels, who spoke to them. These heavenly spirits bade them go and announce the resurrection of their Master to the disciples and Peter. They are not told
‘St. John, xx.
to bear the message to Mary; the reason is obvious: Jesus has already appeared to His Mother, and is with her while all these events are happening. The sun is now shedding his beams upon the earth, and the hours of the grand morning are speeding onwards: the Man-God is about to proclaim the triumph He has won for us over death. Let us reverently follow Him in each of these manifestations, and attentively study the lessons they teach us.

As soon as Peter and John have returned, Magdalene hastens once more to the tomb of her dear Master. A. soul like hers, ever earnest, and now tormented with anxiety, cannot endure to rest. Where is the Body of Jesus? Perhaps being insulted, by His enemies? Having reached the door of the sepulchre, she bursts into tears. Looking in, she sees two Angels, seated at either end of the slab on which her Jesus had been laid. They speak to her, for she knows not what to say: ‘Woman! why weepest thou? ‘—‘ Be cause they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.’ Without waiting for the Angels to reply, she turns as though she would leave the sepulchre; when lo! she sees a man standing before her, and this Man is Jesus.’ She does not recognize Him: she is in search of the dead Body of her Lord; she is absorbed in the resolution of giving it a second burial! Her love distracts her, for it is a love that is not guided by faith; her desire to find Him, as she thinks Him to be, blinds her from seeing Him as He really is,—living, and near her.
Jesus, with his wonted condescension, speaks to her: ‘Woman! why weepest thou :~ Whom seekest thou?’ Magdalene recognizes not this voice; her heart is dulled by an excessive and blind sentiment of grief; her spirit does not as yet know Jesus. Her eyes are fixed upon Him; but her imagination persuades her that this man is the gardener, who has care of the ground about the sepulchre. She thinks within herself, ‘This perhaps, is he that has taken my Jesus!’ and thereupon she thus speaks to him:

1 St. ~ohn, xx. 15,
2.Ibid, 16, ~ .Thid, 17,
‘Sir, if thou hast taken Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.1 How is our loving Redeemer to withstand this? If He praised her for the love she showed Him in the pharisee’s house, we may be sure He will now reward this affectionate simplicity. A single word, spoken to her with the tone of voice she so well understood, is enough:—’ Mary ! ‘—‘ Master! ‘ exclaims the delighted and humble Magdalene.2 All is now clear: she believes.
She rushes forward: she would kiss those sacred feet, as on the happy day when she received her pardon; but Jesus stays her; this is not the time for such a demonstration of her affection. Magdalene, the first witness of the resurrection, is to be raised, in reward of her love, to the high honour of publishing the great mystery. It is not fitting that the blessed Mother should reveal the secret favour she has received from her Son: Magdalene is to pro claim what she has seen and heard at the sepulchre, and become as the holy Fathers express it, the Apostle of the very Apostles. Jesus says to her:
‘Go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
The second apparition of Jesus, then, is to Mary Magdalene: it is the first in testimony of His resurrection, for the one to his blessed Mother was for an other object. The Church will bring it before us on the Thursday of this week, and we will then make it the subject of our meditation. At present, let us adore the infinite goodness of our Redeemer, who, before
1 St. John, xx. 18.
2 St. Matth. xxviii. 9.
seeking to fix the faith of His resurrection in them that are to preach it to all nations, deigns to recompense the love of this woman, who followed Turn even to the Cross, was faithful to Him after His death, and loved Him most, because most forgiven. By thus showing Himself to Magdalene, Jesus teaches us, that He is more anxious to satisfy the love He bears His faithful creature than to provide for His own glory.

Magdalene loses no time in doing her Master’s bidding. She hastens back to the city, and having come to the disciples, says to them: ‘I have seen the Lord, and these things He said to me.” But as yet, they have not faith; John alone has received that gift, although he has seen nothing more than the empty sepulchre. Let us remember, that, after having fled like the rest of the disciples, he followed Jesus to Calvary, was present at His death, and was made the adopted son of Mary.

Meanwhile, Magdalene’s two companions, Salome, and Mary the mother of James, are following her, though slowly and at some distance, to Jerusalem. Jesus meets them, and greets them, saying; ‘All hail.’2 Overcome with joy they fall down and adore Him, and kiss His sacred feet. it is the third apparition; and they that are favoured with it, are permitted to do what was denied to the more favoured and fervent Magdalene. Before the day is over, Jesus will show Himself to them whom He has chosen as the heralds of His glory; but He first wishes to honour those generous women, who, braving every danger, and triumphing over the weakness of their sex, were more faithful to Him, in His Passion, than the men He had so highly honoured as to make them His Apostles. When He was born in the stable at Bethlehem, the first he called to worship Him in His crib, were some poor shepherds; He sent his Angels to invite them to go to Him, before He sent the star to call the magi. So now,—when He has reached the summit of His glory, put the finish to all His works by His resurrection, and confirmed our faith in His divinity by the most indisputable miracle,—He does not begin by instructing and enlightening His Apostles, but by instructing, consoling, and most affectionately honouring, these humble but courage ous women. How admirable are the dispensations of our God! How sweet, and yet, how strong! 1 Well does He say to us by His prophet: ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts ! ‘2

‘W~ad. viii. 1. ‘Is. lv, 8, ‘1, Ocr. i. 24,
Let us suppose, for a moment, that we had been permitted to arrange the order of these two mysteries. We should have summoned the whole world, kings and people, to go and pay homage at the crib. We should have trumpeted to all nations the miracle of miracles, the resurrection of the Crucified, the victory over death, the restoration of mankind to immortality! But He who is ‘the power and wisdom of God,” Christ Jesus our Lord, has followed a very different plan. When born in Bethlehem He would have for His first worshippers a few simple minded shepherds, whose power to herald the great event was confined to their own village: and yet the birthday of this little Child is now the era of every civilized nation. For the first witnesses of His resurrection, He chose three weak women; and yet, the whole earth is now, at this very moment, celebrating the anniversary of this resurrection. There is in it a mysterious feeling of joy unlike that of any other day throughout the year: no one can resist it, not even the coldest heart. The infidel who scoffs at the believer, knows at least that this is Easter Sunday. Yea, in the very countries where paganism and idolatry are still rife, there are Christians whose voices unite with ours in singing the glorious Alleluia to our risen Jesus. Let us, then, cry out as Moses did, when the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, and were keeping their first Pasch: ‘Who, O Lord, is like unto Thee, among the strong ?‘ 1 We will resume our history of the resurrection, when we come to the hour of each apparition. It is now time for us to unite with the Church in her Office of Matins. She has spent the greatest part of the night in administering that holy Sacrament of regeneration, which gives her a new people; and now she is about to offer to God the wonted tribute of her praise.
1 Exod. xv. 11.

The Office of Lauds being over, the faithful retire from the church: but they will soon return, to assist at the solemn Sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb. In order the better to understand the holy Liturgy of our Easter, we will again imagine ourselves to be in one of the cathedral churches of the 4th or 5th century, where the sacred rites were carried out in all their magnificence.

The city is filled with strangers. The priests of the country churches have come to assist at the consecration of the oils, at the administration of Baptism, and at the grand functions of Easter. The inhabitants are not allowed to undertake any journey that would prevent them from assisting at the Offices of the Church; for we find several councils forbid ding even the nobles to go beyond the city walls until the Paschal solemnity is over. We shall not
1 Is. xlii. 3.
be surprised at these regulations, if we remember what we have already stated with regard to Palm Sunday, how the monks of the East, who had obtained permission from their Abbots to leave their monasteries at the beginning of Lent, and retire into the desert, there to live with God alone, were obliged to return for the celebration of Easter. St. Pachomius, – who was the first to organize, in the desert of the east, a congregation or confederation of all the houses that had sprung from his celebrated monastery of Tabenna, – insisted upon all his disciples convening every year in this central monastery, for the purpose of celebrating the 1~esurreet.ion. On some of these occasions, there were to be seen encamped around Tabenna as many as fifty thousand monks.

Even now, notwithstanding all the deplorable in juries done to the spirit of Christianity by heresy, our churches are crowded on the great Paschal solemnity. Even they that never think of entering the House of God on any other day of the year, make an exception for Easter Sunday, as though they could not resist the i)o~~’er of the great mystery of Jesus’ triumph. It is the last remnant of faith left in these men; it keeps them from total forgetfulness of their religion. When their last hour comes, their celebration of Easter, though so imperfect, may draw down upon them the mercy of their Saviour ; but if their Easters have been but so many neglects of the Sacraments, what consolation, what hope, can they yield? those slighted invitations to mercy will then cry out for vengeance, and give to the Resurrection the awful triumph of justice !—But these are thoughts far too sad for our festivity: let us turn them into a prayer to our risen Jesus, that He ‘break not the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax ; ‘ I let us delight in the thought of those bright days of the past, when faith made Easter so glorious a sight for heaven and earth; let us exult in the reflection, that the same faith is still that of millions, and will be so till the end of time!

And before going to Mass, let us aid our enthusiasm by a remembrance of the Martyrs of Easter. Yes, the grand solemnity was once consecrated by the blood of Saints, and the Church chronicles the event in her Martyrology. In the year 459, Easter Sunday fell upon the 5th of April. The Church in Africa was then suffering persecution from the Vandals; they were Arians, and had been brought into the country by their kings, Genserie and Hunnerio. The Catholics of the city of Regia were assembled in the church for the celebration of the Resurrection, and, in order to keep out the heretics, they had closed the doors. The Arians, marshalled by one of their priests, forced an entrance, and rushed in, brandishing their swords. At that very moment a lector was in the ambo, singing the Alleluia; an arrow, shot by one of the barbarians, pierced his throat; he fell, and finished his song in heaven. The Vandals fell upon the faithful, and the church streamed with blood. They dragged others from the holy place, and executed them by order of their king. The little children were the only ones spared. Let us unite with the Church, who honours these noble victims of Easter on the 5th of April.


It is the hour of Tierce (9 o’clock), and the basilica is crowded with the faithful. The sun is pouring in his brightest beams; and who has not felt the charm of an Easter sun? The pavement is strewed with flowers. Above the glittering mosaics of the apse, the wall is covered with rich tapestry. Fes toons hang from the sanctuary arch to the pillars of the nave and aisles. Lamps, fed with the purest oil, and suspended from the ciborium (or canopy), axe burning around the altar. The Paschal candle, which has been ceaselessly burning since last night, stands on its marble pillar; its bright flame attracts every eye, and the perfumes, wherewith its wick is saturated, fill the sacred edifice with a delicious fragrance. It is the noble symbol of Jesus, our light, and seems to say: ‘Alleluia! Christ is risen!’
But by far the most interesting object is the group of the neophytes, clad in their white garments, like the Angels that appeared at the sepulchre. They are the living expression of the mystery of our Lord’s Resurrection. Yesterday they were dead, by sin; now they are living, by that new life which is the fruit of Jesus’ victory over death. Oh! happy thought of our mother the Church, to choose for the day of their regeneration that on which the Man- God won immortality for us His creatures!
The Station, at Rome, was formerly in the basilica Df Saint Mary Major, the principal church of all bhose that are dedicated to the Mother of God in the holy city. \Vas it not just to associate with the Pasohal solemnity the memory of her, who, more than all other creatures, had merited its joys, not only because of the exceptional share she had had in all the sufferings of Jesus, but also because of the un shaken faith, wherewith, during those long and cruel hours of Ills lying in the tomb, she had awaited His Resurrection? But now the papal Mass is celebrated in St. Peter’s, as being more convenient, by its size and situation, to the immense concourse of the faithful, who flock to Rome, from every part of the Christian world, for the Feast of Easter. The Roman Missal, however, still gives Saint Mary Major as the stational church of to-day; and the indulgences are gamed, as formerly, by those who assist at the Services celebrated there.
In many of the western churches, the foliowing stanzas, written by St. ~‘,~enantius Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers, used formerly to be sung during the pro-
There is no water blessed for the Asperges to-day, as is the custom on all other Sundays throughout the year. We assisted, a few hours ago, at the imposing ceremony of the blessing of the water, svhioh was to be used for the Baptism of the catechumens. The water, which is ‘now going to be sprinkled upon the faithful, was taken from the font of regeneration. During this ceremony, the ohoir sings the following
Vidi aquam egredientem de templo a latere dextro, alleluia: et omnes, ad quos pervenit aqua ista, salvi fa cti sunt, et dicent: Alleluia, alleluia.
Es. Confltemini Domino, quoniam bonus: i~uoiii~im in sieculurn niisericordia ejus.
Gloria Patri. Vidi aquam.
t. Ostendenobis, Doinine, misericordiam tuam, alleluia.
it. Et salutare tuum da nobis, alleluia.
Exaudi nos, Domine san cte, Pater omnipotens, eter ne Deus: et mittere digneris sanctum Angelum tuum de cmlis, qui custodiat, foveat, protegat, visitet atque do fendat omnes habitantes in hoc habitaculo. Per Cliii stum Dominunt nostrum.
I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom tbat water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia.
Es. Praise the Lord, because he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Glory, &c. I saw.
t. Show us, U Lord, thy mercy, alleluia.
It. And grant us thy salva tion. allelnia.
Graciously hear us, 0 holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal (I od: and vouchsafe to send the holy Angel from heaven. who mae keef), cherish, pro tect, visit, and defend all who are assembled in ihis place. Through Christ our Lord. A men.
cession before to-day’s Mass. We insert them here, feeling assured that they will interest our readers, and assist them to enter more fully into the spirit of the great solemnity, for which our forefathers made them serve as a preparation. We shall find them replete ‘with the same enthusiasm that inspired the author when he composed the Vexilla Regis, and the hymn of the holy chrism: there is the same bold and energetic, almost harsh, diction, the same piety, the same richness of poetry and sentiment. The beautiful chant, to which this hymn was sung, is still extant.
Salve, festa dies, toto vene rabilis ~vo;
Qua Deus infernum vincit,
et astra tenet.
Ecce renascentis testatur
gratia mundi,
Omnia cum Domino dona
redisse suo.
Repeat. Salve, festa dies.
Namque triumphanti post
tristia tartara Christo,
Undique fronde nemus, gra Inina fore favent.
Salve, festa dies.
Legibus inferni oppressis,
super astra meantem,
Laudant rite Deum lux, p0-
ins, arva, fretum.
Salve, festa dies.
Qui crucifixus erat Dens,
ecce per omnia regnat;
Hail thou festive, ever ven erable day! whereon hell is conquered and heaven is won by Christ.
Lo! our earth is in her spring; bearing thus her wit ness that. with her Lord, she has all her gifts restored.
Repeat. Hail, thou festive.
For now the woods with their leaves, and the meadows with their flowers, pay homage to Jesus’ triumph over the gloomy tomb.
Hail, thou festive.
Light, firmament, fields and sea, give justly praise to the God that defeats the laws of death, and rises above the stars.
Hail, thou festive.
The crucified God now reigns over all things; and
cuncta every creature to its Creator tells a prayer.
Hail, thou festive.
Dantque creatori creata precem.
Salve, festa dies.
Christe salus rerum, bone conditor, atque redem ptor;
IJnica progenies ex Deitate Patris.
Salve, festa dies,
Qui genus humanum cernens mersum esse profundo,
Ut hominem eriperes, es quoque factus homo.
Salve, festa dies.
Nec voluisti etenim tantum te corpore nasci,
Sed caro quie nasci pertulit, atque mon.
Salve, festa dies.
Funenis exsequias pateris, vita~ auctor et orl)is.
Intrans mortis iter, dando salutis ôpem.
Salve, festa dies.
Tristia cesserunt
vincula legis,
Expavitque chaos
ore premi.
Salve, festa dies.
Depereunt tenebne (‘hristi fulgore fugatie,
£ternte noctis pallia crassa cadunt.
Salve, festa dies.
Pollicitam sed redde fidem precor, alma potestas,
Tertia lux rediit, surge se pulte meus.
Salve, festa dies.
O Jesus! Saviour of the world! Loving Creator and Redeemer! Only-begotten Son of God the Father!
Hail, thou festive.
Seeing the human race was sunk in misery deep, thou wast made Man, that thou mightest rescue man.
Hail, thou festive.
Nor wouldst thou be con tent to be born; but being born in the flesh, in the same wouldst thou suffer death.
Hail, thou festive,
Thou. the author of life and of all creation, wast buried in the tomb; treading the path of death, to give us salvation.
Ilail. thou festive.
The gloomful bonds of hell were broken; the abyss shook with fear, as the light shone
~~i)°” its brink,
IIail, thou festive.
The brightness of Christ put darkness to flight, and made to fall the thick veils of ever lasting night.
Hail, thou festive.
But, redeem thy promise, I beseech thee, merciful King! This is the third day; arise, my buried Jesus!
Hail, thou festive.
Non decet, ut viii tumulo tua membra tegantur,
Neu pretium mundi vilia saxa premant.
Salve, festa dies.
Lintea tolle, precor, sudaria linque sepulchro;
Tu satis es nobis, et sine te nihil est.
Salve, festa dies.
Solve catenatas infer,ii carceris umbras,
Et revoca sursum, quiquid ad itna ruit.
Salve, festa dies.
Redde tuam faciem, videant ut siecula lumen,
Redde diem, qui nos, te moriente, fugit.
Salve, festa dies.
Sed plane implesti reme ans, pie victor, ad orbem;
Tartara pressa jacent, nec sua jura tenent.
Salve, festa dies.
Inferus insaturabiliter cava guttura pandens,
Q ui rapuit semper, fit tin prieda, Dens.
Salve, festa dies.
Evomit absorptam trepide fera bellua plebem,
Et de fauce lupi subtrahit agnus oves.
Salve, festa dies.
‘Tis not meet, that thy Body lie in the lowly tomb, or that a sepulchral stone should keep imprisoned the ransom of the world.
Hail, thou festive.
Throw off thy shrouds, 1 pray thee! Leave thy winding- sheet in the tomb. Thou art our all; and all else, without thee, is nothing.
Hail, thou festive.
Set free the spirits that are shackled in limbo’s prison. Raise up all fallen things.
Hail, thou festive.
Show us once more thy faco, that all ages may see the light! Bring back the day, which fled when thou didst die.
Hail, thou festive.
But thou hast done all this, o loving conqueror, by return ing to our world: death lies defeated, and its rights are gone.
Hail, thou festive.
The greedy monster, whose huge throat had swallowed all mankind, is now thy prey, 0 God!
Hail, thou festive.
The savage beast now trem bling vomits forth the victims he had made, and the lamb tears the sheep from the jaw of the wolf.
Hail, thou festive.
The preparations completed, the cantors intone the majestic melody of the Introit. Meanwhile, the pontiff, accompanied by the priests, deacons, and other ministers, advances in processioll to the altar- steps. This opening chant is the cry of the Man- God as He rises from the tomb: it is the hymn of Jesus’ gratitude to His eternal Father.
In the Collect, the Church proclaims the grace of
Rex sacer, ecce tui radiat pars magna triumphi,
Cum puras animas sacra la vacra beant.
Salve, festa dies.
Candidus egreditur nitidis exercitus undis,
Atque vetus vitium purgat in amne novo.
Salve, festa dies.
Fulgentes animas vestis quo que candida signat,
Et grege de niveo gaudia pastor habet.
Salve, festa dies, toto ye nerabilis invo;
Qua Deus infernum vincit et astra tenet.
Resurrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, alleluia: posuisti super me manum tuam, alleluia:
mirabilis facta est scientia tua. Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Domine, probasti me et cognovisti me: tu cogno visti sessionem meam et re surrectionem meam. ~. Glo ria Patri. Resurrexi.
0 King divine! lo! here a bright ray of thy triumph,— the souls made pure by the holy font.
Hail, thou festive.
The white-robed troop comes from the limuid waters; and the old iniquity is cleansed in the new stream.
Hail, thou festive.
The white garments symbo lize uuspotted souls; and the Shepherd rejoices in his snow- like flock:
Hail, thou festive, ever ve nerable day~ whereon hell is conquered and heaven is won by Christ.
I have risen, and am as yet with thee, alleluia: thou hast stretched forth thy hand to me, ahleluia: thy knowledge is become wonderful. Alleluia, alleluia.
F. Lord. thou hast tried me, and known me: thou hast known my sitting down and my up-rising. ~. Glory, &c. I have risen, &c.
God commanded the Israelites to use unleavened bread when they ate the Paschal Lamb; hereby teaching them, that, before partaking of this myste rious food, they should abandon their sins, which are signified by kaven. We Ohristians, who are called to the new life which J’esus has created for us by His Resurrection, must, henceforth, be intent on good works, as the unleavened bread wherewith we must receive the Paschal Lamb, our Easter banquet.
immortality, which our Redeemer’s victory over death restored to mankind. She prays that her children may ambition the glorious destiny thus won for them.
Deus, qui hodierna die per (Inigenitum tuum, ~eterni ~atis nobis aditum, devicta rnorte, reserasti: vota no stra, qua~ pueveniendo a spiras, etiam adjuvando prosequere. Per eumdem.
Lectio Epistolie beati Pauli Apostoli ad Coninthios.
I. Cni’. I’.
Fratres, expurgate vetus fermentum, ut sitis nova conspersio, sicut estis azy mi. Etenim Pascha nostrum iinmolatus est Christus. Ita que epulemur, non in for mento veteri, neque in fer mento malithe et nequitne:
sed in azymis sinceritatis et venjtatis.
O God, who, on this day, by thy only-begotten Son’s vic tory over death, didst open for us a passage to eternity; grant that our prayers, which thy preventing grace inspireth, may by thy help become effec tual, Through the same, &c.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the
I. Cor. V.
Brethren: Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleav ened. For Christ, our pasch, is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
H~ec dies quam fecit Do- minus: exsultemus et l~ete mur in ea.
~. Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus: quoniam in s~eculum misericordia ejus.
This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us he glad and rejoice therein.
~. Praise ye the Lord, for he is good: and his mercy endureth for ever.
The Alleluia-Verse expresses one of the motives we have for rejoicing:—a banquet is prepared for us! Jesus is our Lamb. He was slain; now lIe is living:
slain, that we might be redeemed by His Blood; living, that we may share His immortality.
Alleluia, alleluia.
t. Pascha nostrum im molatus est Christus.
Allcluia, alleluia.
t. Christ, our Pasch, sacrificed.
The better to encourage her chillren to be glad, the Church adds to her ordinary chants a hymn full cf enthusiastic admiration for her risen Jesus. It is called a Sequence, because it is a continuation of the Alleluia.
The Gradual is formed of those joyous words, which the Church untiringly repeats in all her Offices of this solemnity of the Pasch. They are taken from the 117th Psalm. Joy, on such a day as this, is a duty incumbent on every Christian, both because of the triumph of our beloved Redeemer, and because of the blessings that triumph has won for us. Sadness would be a criminal protestation against the grand things, wherewith God has graced us through His Son, who not only died, but also rose from the grave, for us.
Victima~ pasebali laudes Immolent christiani.
Let Christians offer to the Pasclial Victim the sacrifice of praise.
The Church gives her preference to-day to the Evangelist ~t. Mark, who was a disciple of St. Peter, and wrote his Gospel at Rome, under the eye of this prince of the Apostles. It was fitting, that on such a festival as Easter, we should, in some manner, hear him speaking to us, whom our divine Master ap pointed to be the Rock of His Church, and the supreme pastor of all, both sheep and lambs.
At that time: Mary Magda len, and Mary the mother çf
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri Reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello
Conflixere mirando:
Dux vita~ mortuus
Regnat vivus.
Dic nobis. Maria,
Quid \-idisti in via?
~epulcliruin Christi vi ventis:
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis. Angelicos testes,
Sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit (‘hristus spes
Priecedet vos in Galilwam.
Scirnus (liristum surre xisse
A mortuis vere
Tu nohis victor Rex, misc rere. Ameii, Alleluia.
Sequentia saiicti Evangelii secundurn tlarcuin.
Cup. X[[.
Tn illo fempore: Maria Magdideiie. et Maria Jacobi,
The Lamb hath redeemed the sheep: the innocent Jesus bath reconciled sinners to his Father.
Death and life fought against each other, and won drous was the duel: the King of life was put to death; yet now he lives and reigns.
Tell us, 0 Mary! what sawest thou on the way?
I saw the sepulchre of the living Christ; I saw the glory of him that had risen.
I saw the Angels that were the witnesses; I saw the winding-sheet and the cloth.
Christ. my hope, bath risen! He shall go before you into Galilee.
We know that Christ hath truly risen from the dead. Do thou, U conqueror and King! have mercy upon us. Amen. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel ac cording to Mark.
(h XVI
He 18 ri8en: He is not here! The Corpse, laid by the hands of them that loved their Lord, on the slab that lies in that cave, is risen; and, without removing the stone that closed the entrance, has gone forth, quickened with a life which can never die. No man has helped Him. No prophet has stood over the dead Body, bidding it return to life. It is Jesus Himself, and by His own power, that has risen. He suffered death, not from necessity, but because He so willed; and again, because He willed, He has delivered Himself from its bondage. 0 Jesus! Thou, that thus mockest death, art the Lord our God! We reverently bend our knee before this empty tomb, which is now for ever sacred, because, for a few hours,
et Salome, emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jo- sum. Et valde mane una sabbatorum, veniunt ad mo numentum, orto jam sole. Et dicebant ad invicem:
Quis revolvet nobis lapidem ab ostio monumenti? Et re spicientes viderunt revolu turn lapidem. Erat quippe magnus valde. Et introeun tee in monumentum, vide runt juvenem sedentem in dextris, coopertum stola candida, et obstupuerunt. Qui dixit illis: Nolite expa vescere: Jesum qu~ritis Na zarenum, crucifixum: sur rexit, non est hic; ecce locus ubi posuerunt eum. Sed ite, dicite discipulis ejus, et Pc tro, quia pra~cedit vos in Galil~am: ibi eum videbitis, sicut dixit vobis.
James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled hack. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not aifright ed: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here, behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see him, as he told you.
Ps. xxix. 6.
it was the place of Thy abode. Behold the place where f/de,ij l(iUf Him! Behold the winding-sheet and bands, which remain to tell the mystery of thy having once been dead! The Angel says to the women: Ye seeh Jesus of Nazareth, who was cruel- fled! The recollection makes us weep. Yes, it was but the day before yesterday, that His Body was carried hither, mangled, wounded, bleeding. Here, in this cave, from which the Angel has now rolled back the stone,—in this cave, which His presence fills with a more than mid-day brightness,—stood the afflicted Mother. It echoed with the sobs of them that were at the burial, John and the two disciples, Magdalene and her companions. The sun sank beneath the horizon, and the first day of Jesus’ burial began. But the prophet had said: ‘In the evening weeping shall have place; and in the morning gladness.” This glorious, happy morning has come, 0 ~Jesus! and great indeed is our gladness, at seeing that this same sepulchre, whither we followed Thee with aching hearts, is now but the trophy of Thy victory! rllhy precious wounds are healed! It was we that caused them; permit us to kiss them. Thou art now living, more glorious than ever, and immortal. And because we resolved to die to our sins, when Thou wast dying in order to expiate them, Thou willest that we, too, should live eternally with Thee; that Thy victory over death should be ours; that death should be for us, as it was for Thee, a mere passage to immortality, and should one day give back, uninjured and glorified, these bodies which are to be lent for a while to the tomb. Glory, then and honour, and love, be to Thee, 0 Jesus! who thdst deign not only to die, but to rise again for us!
The Offertory is composed of the words, wherein David foretold that the earth would tremble, whei~
Terra tremuit et quievit, durn resurgeret in judicio Deus, ahleluia.
The earth trembled, and was silent, when God arose in judgment, alleluia.
Suscipe, qmusumus Dorni ne, preces popuhi tui cum oblationibus hostiarum: ut paschahibus initiata myste riis, ad ~ternitatis nobis medelam, te operante, profi ciant. Per Dominum.
Receive, 0 Lord, we beseech thee, the prayers of thy people, together with the offerings of these hosts: that what is con secrated by these paschal mys teries, may, by the help of thy grace, avail us to eternal life. Through, &c.
the Man-God arose. This earth of ours has not only witnessed the grandest manifestations of God’s power and goodness, but, by the sovereign will of its Maker, has been frequently made to share in them, by preternatural movements.
The whole assembly of the faithful is about to partake of the Paschal banquet; the divine Lamb invites them to it. The altar is laden with the offerings they have presented. The holy Church, in her Secret, invokes upon these favoured guests the graces, which will procure for them the blissful im mortality, whereof they are about to receive a pledge.
At the papal Mass, during the middle-ages, while the pontiff recited the Secret, the two youngest car dinal-deacons came forward, vested in white dal matics, and stood at each end of the altar, with their faces turned towards the people. They represented the two Angels who kept guard over our Saviour’s tomb, and announced to the holy women that He had risen. The two deacons remained in that posi tion until the pontiff left the altar at the Agnus
Del, in order to receive the holy Communion on the throne.
Another impressive custom was observed at Saint Mary Major’s. When the Pope, after breaking the Host, addressed to the faithful the wish of peace, with the usual greeting of Pa~ Domini sit semper vobiscurn, the choir did no~ answer the usual Et elm spiritu tuo. It was the tradition, that St. Gregory the Great was once officiating in this church on Easter Sunday, when, having sung these words, which bring down the Spirit of peace on the assembled people, a choir of Angels responded with such sweet melody, that the singers of earth were silent, for they feared to join in the celestial music. The year following the cantors awaited the angelic response to the words of the pontiff: the favour, how ever, was never renewed, but the custom of not answering the Et corn spuitu tao was observed for several centuries.
The moment has at length come for the faithful to partake of the divine Banquet. It was the practice in the ancient Church of Gaul, to chant the following solemn appeal to the people, who were about to re ceive the Bread of life.’ The music, wldcli accom panied the Antiphon. is most impressive and appro priate. Me give the words, as they will assist the devotion of the faithful.
Venite popuhi ad sacruin Come, (I) ye people, to the et immortale mysterium. et sacred tuid nnmortal mystery!
hbamen agendum. Come and receive the sacred
Cum timore, et fide acceda- Let us approach with fear
1 It was sting in cathedral churches even a ~ter the introduction of the Roman Liturgy into irance by Pepin and Charleningne. It was not entirely discontiiiued until the List rentury came with its unsanc tioned and ever to be regretted innovations.
mus manibus mundis, pccni tentim munus communice inus, quoniain pi’opter nos Agnus Dci Patris sacrifi cium propositum est.
Ipsum solum adoremus, ipsum glorificemus: cuin Angelis clamantes, alleluia.
Pascha nostrum irnmola ttis est C’hristiss, alleluia:
itaque epulimur in azvmis sinceritatis ct veritatis. Al leluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, our Pasch, is immo lated, alleluia: therefore, let us feast on the unleavened bread of siiicerity and truth. Alleluin, alleluia, alleluia.
and faith, and hands undefiled. Let us unite ourselves with Hint who is the reward of our repentance, for it is for us that the Lamb of God the Father offered himself in sacrifice.
Let us adore him alone, and
glorify him, singing with the
Angels, allelnia.
While the sacred ministers are distributing the divine Food, the Church celebrates, in her Commu nion-Anthem, the true Paschal Lamb, which has been mystically iml)dolofe(l on the altar, and requires, from them who receive it, that purity of soul, which is signified by tl1e unfI~(u’ened lo’ead, under whose accidents the reality lies hid.
The latt prayer made by the Church for them that have received their God, is, that the spirit of fraternal charity, which is the spirit of our Paseh, may abide in them. The Son of God, by assuming our nature in the mystery of the Incarnation, has made us to be His brothers; by shedding His Blood for us upon the Cross, He has united us to on o another by the bond of the redemption; and, by us resurrection, He has linked us together in one glorious immortality.
Spiritum nobis, Domine, Pour forth on us, () Lord, tua~ charitatis infunde: sit the spirit of thy love; that quos sacramentis paschtli- those whom thou hiast filled
bus satiasti, tua facias pieta- with the Paschal Sacrament, te concordes. Per Dominum. may, by thy goodness, live in
perfect concord. Through, &c.
The pontiff then gives his blessing to the people. They leave the House of God, to return thither for the Vespers, which most solemn Office will conclude the magnificent functions of our solemnity.
At Rome, the Pope descends from the throne, wearing his triple crown, lie ascends the sedia ge.statoria, which is borne on the shoulders of the servants of the palace, and is carried to the great nave. Having reached the appointed place, he descends and humbly kneels down. Then, from the tribune of the cupola, are shown by priests, vested in their stoles, the wood of the true Cross, and the Veil, called the JTeron ici, on which is impressed the face of our Redeemer. This commemoration of the sufferings and humiliations of the Man-God, at the very moment when His triumph over death has been celebrated with all the pomp of the Liturgy, eloquently proclaims the glory and power of our risen Jesus, and shows us how faithfully and how lovingly He fulfilled the mission He had so graciously taken upon 1-limseif, of working our salvation. It was on this very day, that lie Himself said to the disciples of Emmaus: ‘Thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day.’1 The Christian world, in the person of its supreme pastor, hereby pays its homage to the sufferings and glory of its Redeemer. The pontiff then resumes the triple Crown, and is carried, on the sedia, to the balcony, where he gives the papal benediction to the people assembled in the piazza of Saint Peter’s. We have already described this solemn rite.2
1 St. Luke xxiv. 46.
See Fassiontide: Maunday Thursday, page 359.
Formerly, when the Lateran palace was the papal residence, and the Station of Easter Sunday was held at Saint Mary Major’s, the sovereign Pontiff, vested in a cope, and wearing the tiara, went to the basilica on a horse eaparisoned in white. After the Mass, he proceeded to the banquet-hall, called the ~/‘i’iclio lam Leonianum. It was built by St. Leo III. and was decorated with mosaics representing Christ, St. Peter, Constantine and Char leruagne. A repast was pre pared, to which were invited, as guests of the pontiff, five cardinals, five deacons, and the first in dignity (the 1-’rimiceiias,) of the clergy attached to the church of St. John Lateran. Near to the Pope’s own table, a seat was prepared for a twelfth guest,—the prior, called basilicarius. The Paschd Lamb was then served up, laid on a rich dish. The Pope blessed it, and thus signified that the severe law of abstinence was at an end. He himself cut it into portions and sent one to each of his guests; but first of all he cut off a small piece, and gave it to the basiliearius, sav ing to him what would have scented a harsh allusion, but for tite words that followed: ‘What thou hast to do, do quickly! But what was said as a condemnation, I say to thee as a parion’ The repast began with joyous conversation ; but, after some time, the arch deacon gave a signal, and a deacon began to read. The papal choristers were afterwards introduced, and sang such of the favourite sequences as the Pope called for. This done, the choristers kissed the feet of the pontiff, who gave to each of them a cup full of wine from his own table; and each received a piece of money, called a besajif, from the treasurer.
Our object in mentioning such customs as this, is to show our readers the simple manners of the middle- ages. Tile custom of blessing and eating lamb on Easter Sunday still continues, though, in many ~nstanoes, it conveys very little meaning. For those
who, from idle pretexts, have scarcely observed a day’s abstinence during the whole of Lent, the Paschal lamb is a reproach. rather than a consolation. We here give the blessing as a completion to our Easter rites. The venerable prayer, used by the Church, will take us back in thought to other ages and prompt us to ask of God that He will grant us a return to the simple and practical faith, which gave such soul and grandeur to the every-day life of our Catholic forefathers.
Deus, qui per famulum tu inn Moysen, in libcratioae populi tui (IC Egypto, agnum occidi jussisti in similitu dinem Doraini nostri ,Jesn Christi. et utrosque pestes dosinorum de sanguine ejus denit agni perungi prlecepi sti: ita bencdicere, et san ctiflcare digneris bane urea turam carnis, quani sios f a mali tui ad laud eat tuani surnere desidcramus, ~ re— surrectioucul ejusdciu I)onn— ni nostri .J esa Christi. Q ui tecum vivit et regnat in stc cula sa-culorum. Amen.
() God. who, on the deliver ance of thy people from Egypt, dijst command, by thy ser vant Moses, that a lamb should lie slain as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ. and didst ordain that both side- posts of the houses should be
sPrinkled with its hilood:
vi uchsafe also to bless and sanctify this creature of flesh, which we thy servants desire to eat for thy glory, and in honour of the Resurrection of the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Who liveth and reign eth with thee, for ever and ever. Amen.
The law of Lent forbids not only flesh-meat, but also eggs. It is only by a dispensation that we are allowed to eat them during that holy season of penancç. The Churches of the east have strictly maintained the ancient discipline on this point, and no dispensation is admitted. Here again, the faith ful show their joy, by asking the Church to bless the eggs that are to appear at their Easter repast. The following is the prayer used for this blessing.
Subveniat, qu~sumus Do mine, tu~ benedictionis gra tia huic ovorum creatur~:
ut cibus salubris fiat fideli bu8 tuis in tuarum gratia rum actione sumentibus, ob resurrectionem Domini no stri Jesu Christi. Qui tecum vivjt et re~nat in s~ucula s~ culorum. Amen.
We beseech thee, 0 Lord, to give the favour of thy bless ing to these eggs; that so they may be a wholesome food to thy faithful, who gratefully take them in honour of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who liveth and reigneth with thee, for ever and ever. Amen.
Yes, let our Easter repast, blessed as it is by our mother the Church, be one of joy, and add to the gladness of this great day! The Feasts of religion should always be kept as feasts by Christian families:
but there is not one, throughout the year, that can be compared to this of Easter, which we have waited for so long and in such sorrow, and which has at length comes bringing with it the riches of God’s pardon, and the hope of our immortality.


The day is fast advancing, and Jesus has not yet shown Himself to His disciples. The holy women are overpowered with joy and gratitude at the favour they have received. They have told it to the Apostles, assuring them that not only have they seen Angels, but Jesus ilimseif ; that He has spoken to them; that they have kissed His sacred feet. But all their assurances fail to convince these men, who are oppressed with what they have seen of their Master’s Passion. They are cruelly disappointed, and their disappointment makes them deaf to every thing that speaks of consolation. And yet, we shall soon find them laying down their very lives in testi mony of the Resurrection of that Master, whose name and remembrance is now a humiliation to them.
1 ~ Luke, xxiv. 21-24.
We may form some idea of their feelings, from the conversation of two who have been spending a part of the day with them, and who themselves were disciples of Jesus. This very evening while re turning to Emmaus, they thus express their disap pointment: ‘We hoped that Jesus would have re deemed Isreal: and now besides all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company aifrighted us; who, before it was light, were at the sepulchre; and not finding His Body, came, saying that they had also seen a vision of Angels, who say that He is alive. And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said; but Him they found not.’ How strange, that the resurrection of which Jesus had so often spoken to them, even in the presence of the Jews, does not recur to their minds! They are still carnal-minded men, and the awful fact of His death stifles within them every idea of that new birth, which our bodies are to receive in the tomb.
But our risen Jesus must now show Himself to these men, who are to preach His divinity to the furthest ends of the world. So far, His manifesta tions have been made to satisfy His affection for His blessed Mother, and His infinite love for those souls, that had done all in their power to testify their gra titude towards iliiii. It is now time for Him to pro vide for His own glory; at least so it would seem to us. But no; having rewarded those that love Him, He would now show the generosity of His Heart; and then, after this, proclaim His triumph. The apostolic college, of which every member fled at the hour of danger, has seen its very head so forgetful of his duty as to deny his divine Master. But, from the mo ment when Jesus cast upon His disciple a look of
1 St. Mark, xvi. 1.
reproach and pardon, Peter has done nothing but shed bitter tears over his fall. Jesus would now console the humble penitent; tell him, with His own lips, that He has pardoned him; and confirm, by this mark of His divine predilection, the sublime prero gatives, that He so recently conferred upon him in the presence of all the other Apostles. As yet, Peter doubts of the resurrection; Magdalene’s testimony has not convinced him; but now, that his offended Master is about to appear to him, his faith will ac knowledge the grand mystery.
We have already heard the Angel sending Jesus’ message by the three women: ‘Go,’ said he, ‘tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee.” Why this express mention of Peter, but that he may know, that although he has denied Jesus, Jesus has not denied him? Why is he not, on this occasion, mentioned before the others, except to spare him the humiliation of the contrast between his high position and the unworthy conduct he has shown? But this special mention of his name tells him that he is still dear to Jesus, and that he will soon have an opportunity of expiating his sin, by expressing his regret and repentance at the very feet of his ever loving, and now glorified, Master. Yes, Peter is tardy in believing; but his conversion is sincere, and Jesus would reward it.
Suddenly, then, in the course of this afternoon, the Apostle sees standing before him that divine Master, whom, three days previously, he had beheld bound and led away by the servants of Caiphas. This Jesus is now resplendent with light; he is the conqueror, the glorious Messias: and yet, what most affects the Apostle, is the ineffable goodness of this his Lord, who comes to console him, rather than to show him the splendours of His resurrection. Who could
PA~li. TIME I.
St. Luke, xxii. 32.
describe the interview between the penitent and his offended Master; the sorrow of Peter, now that he finds himself treated with such generosity; the loving pardon which comes from Jesus’ lips, and fills the Apostle’s heart with Paschal joy? Blessed be Thy name, 0 Jesus! who thus raisest up from his fall him whom Thou art to leave us for our chief pastor and father, when Thou aseendest into heaven!
It is, indeed, just that we adore the infinite mercy which dwells in the Heart of our risen Jesus, and which he shows with the same profusion and power, as during His mortal life: but let us also admire bow, by this visit, He continues in St. Peter the mystery of the unity of the Church,—a mystery which is to be perpetuated in this Apostle and his successors. At the Last Supper, Jesus spoke these words to him, in the presence of the other Apostles:
‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.’ ~ The time is now come for establishing Peter in this faith which is never to fail: Jesus gives it to him. He Himself instructs Peter: He makes him the foun dation of His Church. In a few hours hence, He will manifest Himself to the other Apostles; but Peter will be present with his brethren. Thus, if Peter receive favours not granted to the rest, they never receive any but he has a share in them. It is their duty to believe on Peter’s word: they do so. On Peter’s testimony, they believe in the Resurrection, and proclaim it to others, as we shall soon see. Jesus is to appear likewise to them, for He loves them; He calls them His brethren; He has chosen them to be the preachers of His name throughout the world:
but He will find them already instructed in the faith of His resurrection, because they have believed Peter’s testimony; and Peter’s testimony has effected
1 St. Luke, xxiv. 34.
2 1. Cor. xv. 5.
in them the mystery of that unity, which he will effect in the Church to the end of time.
Jesus’ apparition to the prince of the Apostles rests on the authority of St. Luke’s Gospel’ and St. Paul’s first Epistle to the Corinthians.2 It is the fourth of those that took place on the day of the resurrection.


The Evening-Office, called on that account Vespeis, has brought an immense concourse of the faithful to the church. We continue our description of to-day’s Services as they were formerly celebrated, in order that our readers may the more fully enter into the spirit of the Feast. The solemn administration of Baptism having ceased to form an essential part of the Easter functions, the ancient rites which had reference to it, and especially those used during the Vespers, have fallen almost universally into disuse. We will endeavour to give an idea of them, by blend ing the ancient ceremonies with those that are now in use, and which, in most places, are the same as those of other solemnities throughout the year. It was not so eight hundred years ago.
The bishop vested in his pontifical robes, and accompanied by all the clergy, went to what we should now call the rood-screen, which was richly decorated, and on which stood the crucifix. Here the cantors intoned the Kyrie eleison, which was repeated nine times. Immediately after this, began the Vespers. The Antiphons of the Psalms were not the same as those we now sing, and which are taken from the Lauds. Of course, we only give the latter.
ANI’. Angelus autem Do- Axi’. And the An~’el of the mini descendit do enlo, et Lord descended from heaven; accedons revolvit lapidem, arid going to the stone, rolled


March 25th: Creation, Annunciation, & Calvary

In his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger writes about the connection between creation, the cross and Christ’s conception:

“Jewish tradition gave the date of March 25 to Abraham’s sacrifice, this day was also regarded as the day of creation, the day when God’s word decreed: ‘Let there be light.’ It was also considered, very early on, as the day of Christ’s death and eventually as the day of his conception. The mysterious words in Revelation 13:8 about the ‘Lamb slain from the beginning of the world’ could also perhaps be interpreted in the same way. … These cosmic images enabled Christians to see, in an unprecedented way, the world-embracing meaning of Christ.”

According to this tradition, the date of the Annunciation coincided with a number of significant events in salvation history. March 25 was not only the day on which Christ was conceived in Our Lady’s womb; it was also the day of the creation of the world, the day Adam and Eve fell, the day Abraham (nearly) sacrificed his son Isaac, the day the Israelites were set free from Egypt, and the day of the crucifixion.

In the Roman Martyrology, both the Annunciation and the feast of the Good Thief are assigned to March 25. Feast days for saints are usually assigned on the day of death, the day of the Good Thief’s crucifixion. Because that is the solemn feast of the Annunciation, the Good Thief’s feast day is never observed — one might say that it is “stolen” from him every year.

In the third chapter of the Gospel, Luke gives his version of Jesus’ genealogy, which begins with Jesus and works its way backward through His ancestors. This genealogy ends with the words “the son of Adam, the son of God.” In calling Jesus the “Son of God,” then, Luke is not only pointing to Christ’s relationship with the Father; he is also portraying Christ as the New Adam.

This interpretation of Luke’s Gospel goes as far back as the second century Church Father St. Irenaeus. In his Adversus Haereses, Irenaeus shows how not only Christ, but also Mary played a central role in undoing the sin of Adam and Eve:

In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin… Wherefore also Luke, commencing the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was He who regenerated them into the Gospel of life, and not they Him. And thus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith. (Adv. Haer. 3.22.4)

This traditional interpretation of the Annunciation as a reversal of the Fall also found its way into the arts. Many of Blessed Fra Angelico’s paintings of the Annunciation, for example, include a depiction of Adam and Eve being driven from the Garden, reminding us of the plight to which the incarnation is the solution.

St. Dionysius of Alexandria had earlier emphatically quoted mystical justifications for the choice of March 25 as the start of the year:

March 25 was considered to be the anniversary of Creation itself. It was the first day of the year in the medieval Julian calendar and the nominal vernal equinox (it had been the actual equinox at the time when the Julian calendar was originally designed). Considering that Christ was conceived at that date turned March 25 into the Feast of the Annunciation which had to be followed, nine months later, by the celebration of the birth of Christ, Christmas, on December 25.

The Alexandrian Era of March 25, 5493 BC was adopted by Church Fathers such as St. Maximus the Confessor and St. Theophanes the Confessor

St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom says clearly in his Homily “On the Cross and the Thief“, that Christ: “opened for us today Paradise, which had remained closed for some 5000 years.”[24]

St. Isaac the Syrian

St. Isaac the Syrian writes in a Homily that before Christ: “For five thousand years five hundred and some years God left Adam (i.e. man) to labor on the earth.”[25]

St. Augustine

St Augustine writes in the City of God (written AD 413-426):

“Let us omit the conjectures of men who know not what they say, when they speak of the nature and origin of the human race…They are deceived by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousands of years, though reckoning by the sacred writings we find that not 6,000 years have passed.”[26]

Augustine goes on to say that the ancient Greek chronology “does not exceed the true account of the duration of the world as it is given in our documents (i.e. the Scriptures), which are truly sacred.”

St. Hippolytus

St. Hippolytus of Rome (ca.170-235) maintained on Scriptural grounds that the Lord’s birth took place in 5500 AM, and held that the birth of Christ took place on a Passover day, deducing that its date was March 25. He gave the following intervals:

“…from Adam to the flood 2242 years, thence to Abraham 1141 years, thence to the Exodus 430 years, thence to the passover of Joshua 41 years, thence to the passover of Hezekiah 864 years, thence to the passover of Josiah 114 years, thence to the passover of Ezra 107 years, and thence to the birth of Christ 563 years.”

In his Commentary on Daniel, one of his earlier writings, he proceeds to set out additional reasons for accepting the date of 5500 AM:

First he quotes Exod. xxv. 10f. and pointing out that the length, breadth and height of the ark of the covenant amount in all to 5 1/2 cubits, says that these symbolize the 5,500 years from Adam at the end of which the Saviour was born. He then quotes from Jn. xix. 14 ‘it was about the sixth hour ‘ and, understanding by that 5 1/2 hours, takes each hour to correspond to a thousand years of the world’s life[27]

Around AD 202 Hippolytus held that the Lord was born in the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus[28] and that he was born in 5500AM. In his Commentary on Daniel he did not need to establish the precise year of the Lord’s birth; he is not concerned about the day of the week, the month-date, or even the year; it was sufficient for his purpose to show that Christ was born in the days of Augustus in 5500 AM.




After having proposed the forty-days’ fast of Jesus in the desert to the meditation of the faithful during the first four weeks of Lent, the holy Church gives the two weeks which still remain before Easter to the commemoration of the Passion. She would not have her children come to that great day of the immolation of the Lamb, without having prepared for it by compassionating with Him in the sufferings He endured in their stead.

The most ancient sacramentaries and antiphonaries of the several Churches attest, by the prayers, the lessons, and the whole liturgy of these two weeks, that the Passion of our Lord is now the one sole thought of the Christian world. During Passion-week, a saint’s feast, if it occur, will be kept; but Passion Sunday admits no feast, however solemn it may be; and even on those which are kept during the days intervening between Passion and Palm Sunday, there is always made a commemoration of the Passion, and the holy images are not allowed to be uncovered.

We cannot give any historical details upon the first of these two weeks; its ceremonies and rites have always been the same as those of the four preceding ones. [It would be out of place to enter here on a discussion with regard to the name Mediana under which title we find Passion Sunday mentioned both in ancient liturgies and in Canon Law.] We, therefore, refer the reader to the following chapter, in which we treat of the mysteries peculiar to Passiontide. The second week, on the contrary, furnishes us with abundant historical details; for there is no portion of the liturgical year which has interested the Christian world so much as this, or which has given rise to such fervent manifestations of piety.

This week was held in great veneration even as early as the third century, as we learn from St. Denis, bishop of Alexandria, who lived at that time [Epist. ad Basilidem, Canon i]. In the following century, we find St. John Chrysostom, calling it the great week [Hom. xxx in Genes.]:- ‘Not,’ says the holy doctor, ‘that it has more days in it than other weeks, or that its days are made up of more hours than other days; but we call it great, because of the great mysteries which are then celebrated.’ We find it called also by other names: the painful week (hebdomada poenosa), on account of the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the fatigue required from us in celebrating them; the week of indulgence, because sinners are then received to penance; and, lastly, Holy Week, in allusion to the holiness of the mysteries which are commemorated during these seven days. This last name is the one under which it most generally goes with us; and the very days themselves are, in many countries, called by the same name, Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday.

The severity of the lenten fast is increased during these its last days; the whole energy of the spirit of penance is now brought out. Even with us, the dispensation which allows the use of eggs ceases towards the middle of this week. The eastern Churches, faithful to their ancient traditions, have kept up a most rigorous abstinence ever since the Monday of Quinquagesima week. During the whole of this long period, which they call Xerophagia, they have been allowed nothing but dry food. In the early ages, fasting during Holy Week was carried to the utmost limits that human nature could endure. We learn from St. Epiphanius [Expositio fidei, ix Haeres. xxii.], that there were some of the Christians who observed a strict fast from Monday morning to cock-crow of Easter Sunday. Of course it must have been very few of the faithful who could go so far as this. Many passed two, three, and even four consecutive days, without tasting any food; but the general practice was to fast from Maundy Thursday evening to Easter morning. Many Christians in the east, and in Russia, observe this fast even in these times. Would that such severe penance were always accompanied by a firm faith and union with the Church, out of which the merit of such penitential works is of no avail for salvation!

Another of the ancient practices of Holy Week were the long hours spent, during the night, in the churches. On Maundy Thursday, after having celebrated the divine mysteries in remembrance of the Last Supper, the faithful continued a long time in prayer [St. John Chrysostom, Hom. xxx in Genes.]. The night between Friday and Saturday was spent in almost uninterrupted vigil, in honour of our Lord’s burial [St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. xviii.]. But the longest of all these vigils was that of Saturday, which was kept up till Easter Sunday morning. The whole congregation joined in it: they assisted at the final preparation of the catechumens, as also at the administration of Baptism; nor did they leave the church until after the celebration of the holy Sacrifice, which was not over till sunrise [Const. Apost. lib. 1. cap. xviii.].

Cessation from servile work was, for a long time, an obligation during Holy Week. The civil law united with that of the Church in order to bring about this solemn rest from toil and business, which so eloquently expresses the state of mourning of the Christian world. The thought of the sufferings and death of Jesus was the one pervading thought: the Divine Offices and prayer were the sole occupation of the people: and, indeed, all the strength of the body was needed for the support of the austerities of fasting and abstinence. We can readily understand what an impression was made upon men’s minds, during the whole of the rest of the year, by this universal suspension of the ordinary routine of life. Moreover, when we call to mind how, for five full weeks, the severity of Lent had waged war on the sensual appetites, we can imagine the simple and honest joy wherewith was welcomed the feast of Easter, which brought both the regeneration of the soul, and respite to the body.

In the preceding volume, we mentioned the laws of the Theodosian Code, which forbade all law business during the forty days preceding Easter. This law of Gratian and Theodosius, which was published in 380, was extended by Theodosius in 389; this new decree forbade all pleadings during the seven days before, and the seven days after, Easter. We meet with several allusions to this then recent law, in the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, and in the sermons of St. Augustine. In virtue of this decree, each of these fifteen days was considered, as far as the courts of law were concerned, as a Sunday.

But Christian princes were not satisfied with the mere suspension of human justice during these days, which are so emphatically days of mercy: they would, moreover, pay homage, by an external act, to the fatherly goodness of God, who has deigned to pardon a guilty world, through the merits of the death of His Son. The Church was on the point of giving reconciliation to repentant sinners, who had broken the chains of sin whereby they were held captives; Christian princes were ambitious to imitate this their mother, and they ordered that prisoners should be loosened from their chains, that the prisons should be thrown open, and that freedom should be restored to those who had fallen under the sentence of human tribunals. The only exception made was that of criminals whose freedom would have exposed their families or society to great danger. The name of Theodosius stands prominent in these acts of mercy. We are told by St John Chrysostom [Homil. in magn. Hebdom. Homil. xxx. in Genes. Homil. vi ad popul. Antioch.] that this emperor sent letters of pardon to the several cities, ordering the release of prisoners, and granting life to those that had been condemned to death, and all this in order to sanctify the days preceding the Easter feast. The last emperors made a law of this custom, as we find in one of St. Leo’s sermons, where he thus speaks of their clemency: ‘The Roman emperors have long observed this holy practice. In honour of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, they humbly withhold the exercise of their sovereign justice, and, laying aside the severity of their laws, they grant pardon to a great number of criminals. Their intention in this is to imitate the divine goodness by their own exercise of clemency during these days, when the world owes its salvation to the divine mercy. Let, then, the Christian people imitate their princes, and let the example of kings induce subjects to forgive each other their private wrongs; for, surely it is absurd that private laws should be less unrelenting than those which are public. Let trespasses be forgiven, let bonds be taken off, let offences be forgotten, let revenge be stifled; that thus the sacred feast may, by both divine and human favours, find us all happy and innocent.’ [Sermon xl. de Quadragesima, ii].

This Christian amnesty was not confined to the Theodosian Code; we find traces of it in the laws of several of our western countries. We may mention France as an example. Under the first race of its kings, St. Eligius bishop of Noyon, in a sermon for Maundy Thursday, thus expresses himself: ‘On this day, when the Church grants indulgence to penitents and absolution to sinners, magistrates, also, relent in their severity and grant pardon to the guilty. Throughout the whole world prisons are thrown open; princes show clemency to criminals; masters forgive their slaves.’ [Sermon x]. Under the second race, we learn from the Capitularia of Charlemagne, that bishops had a right to exact from the judges, for the love of Jesus Christ (as it is expressed), that prisoners should be set free on the days preceding Easter [We learn from the same capitularia, that this privilege was also extended to Christmas and Pentecost]; and should the magistrates refuse to obey, the bishops could refuse them admission into the church [Capitular. lib. vi.]. And lastly, under the third race, we find Charles VI, after quelling the rebellion at Rouen, giving orders, later on, that the prisoners should be set at liberty, because it was Painful Week, and very near to the Easter feast [Joan Juvénal des Ursins, year 1382].

A last vestige of this merciful legislation was a custom observed by the parliament of Paris. The ancient Christian practice of suspending its sessions during the whole of Lent, had long been abolished: it was not till the Wednesday of Holy Week that the house was closed, which it continued to be from that day until after Low Sunday. On the Tuesday of Holy Week, which was the last day granted for audiences, the parliament repaired to the palace prisons, and there one of the grand presidents, generally the last installed, held a session of the house. The prisoners were questioned; but, without any formal judgment, all those whose case seemed favourable, or who were not guilty of some capital offence, were set at liberty.

The revolutions of the last eighty years have produced in every country in Europe the secularization of society, that is to say, the effacing from our national customs and legislation of everything which had been introduced by the supernatural element of Christianity. The favourite theory of the last half century or more, has been that all men are equal. The people of the ages of faith had something far more convincing than theory, of the sacredness of their rights. At the approach of those solemn anniversaries which so forcibly remind us of the justice and mercy of God, they beheld princes abdicating, as it were, their sceptre, leaving in God’s hands the punishment of the guilty, and assisting at the holy Table of Paschal Communion side by side with those very men, whom, a few days before, they had been keeping chained in prison for the good of society. There was one thought, which, during these days, was strongly brought before all nations: it was the thought of God, in whose eyes all men are sinners; of God, from whom alone proceed justice and pardon. It was in consequence of this deep Christian feeling, that we find so many diplomas and charts of the ages of faith speaking of the days of Holy Week as being the reign of Christ: such an event, they say, happened on such a day, ‘under the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ:’ regnante Domino nostro Jesu Christo.

When these days of holy and Christian equality were over, did subjects refuse submission to their sovereigns? Did they abuse the humility of their princes, and take occasion for drawing up what modern times call the rights of man? No: that same thought which had inspired human justice to humble itself before the cross of Jesus, taught the people their duty of obeying the powers established by God. The exercise of power, and submission to that power, both had God for their motive. They who wielded the sceptre might be of various dynasties: the respect for authority was ever the same. Now-a-days, the liturgy has none of her ancient influence on society; religion has been driven from the world at large, and her only life and power is now with the consciences of individuals; and as to political institutions, they are but the expression of human pride, seeking to command, or refusing to obey.

And yet the fourth century, which, in virtue of the Christian spirit, produced the laws we have been alluding to, was still rife with the pagan element. How comes it that we, who live in the full light of Christianity, can give the name of progress to a system which tends to separate society from every thing that is supernatural? Men may talk as they please, there is but one way to secure order, peace, morality, and security to the world; and that is God’s way, the way of faith, of living in accordance with the teachings and the spirit of faith. All other systems can, at best, but flatter those human passions, which are so strongly at variance with the mysteries of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we are now celebrating.

We must mention another law made by the Christian emperors in reference to Holy Week. If the spirit of charity, and a desire to imitate divine mercy, led them to decree the liberation of prisoners; it was but acting consistently with these principles, that, during these days when our Saviour shed His Blood for the emancipation of the human race, they should interest themselves in what regards slaves. Slavery, a consequence of sin, and the fundamental institution of the pagan world, had received its death-blow by the preaching of the Gospel; but its gradual abolition was left to individuals, and to their practical exercise of the principle of Christian fraternity. As our Lord and His apostles had not exacted the immediate abolition of slavery, so, in like manner, the Christian emperors limited themselves to passing such laws as would give encouragement to its gradual abolition. We have an example of this in the Justinian Code, where this prince, after having forbidden all law-proceedings during Holy Week and the week following, lays down the following exception: ‘It shall, nevertheless, be permitted to give slaves their liberty; in such manner, that the legal acts necessary for their emancipation shall not be counted as contravening this present enactment.’ [Cod. lib. iii. tit. xii. de feriis. Leg. 8.]. This charitable law of Justinian was but applying to the fifteen days of Easter the decree passed by Constantine, which forbade all legal proceedings on the Sundays throughout the year, excepting only such acts as had for their object the emancipation of slaves.

But long before the peace given her by Constantine, the Church had made provision for slaves, during these days when the mysteries of the world’s redemption were accomplished. Christian masters were obliged to grant them total rest from labour during this holy fortnight. Such is the law laid down in the apostolic constitutions, which were compiled previously to the fourth century. ‘During the great week preceding the day of Easter, and during the week that follows, slaves rest from labour, inasmuch as the first is the week of our Lord’s Passion, and the second is that of His Resurrection; and the slaves require to be instructed upon these mysteries.’ [Constit. Apost. lib. viii. cap. xxxiii].

Another characteristic of the two weeks, upon which we are now entering, is that of giving more abundant alms, and of greater fervour in the exercise of works of mercy. St. John Chrysostom assures us that such was the practice of his times; he passes an encomium on the faithful, many of whom redoubled, at this period, their charities to the poor, which they did out of this motive: that they might, in some slight measure, imitate the divine generosity, which is now so unreservedly pouring out its graces on sinners.

St Patrick’s Day ~ 17 March


St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. (The term breastplate refers to a piece of armor worn in battle.)

More recent scholarship suggests its author was anonymous. In any case, this prayer certainly reflects the spirit with which St. Patrick brought our faith to Ireland! St. Patrick’s Breastplate, also known as The Lorica of Saint Patrick was popular enough to inspire a hymn based on this text as well. (This prayer has also been called The Cry of the Deer.)

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

[Note that people sometimes pray a shorter version of this prayer just with these 15 lines about Christ above. The conclusion follows below.]

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

When St. Paul referred to putting on the “Armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians (6:11) to fight sin and evil inclinations, he could have been thinking of prayers just like this one! We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives, but St. Patrick’s Breastplate can function as divine armor for protection against spiritual adversity.


Deus, qui ad prædicándam géntibus glóriam tuam beátum Patrícium Confessórem atque Pontíficem míttere dignátus es: eius méritis et intercessióne concéde; ut, quæ nobis agénda praecipis, te miseránte adimplére póssimus.

O, God, Who graciously sent blessed Patrick, Your Confessor and Bishop, to preach Your glory to the nations, grant through his merits and intercession, that by Your mercy we may be able to accomplish what You command.


Post Communion

Præsta, quǽsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, de percéptis munéribus grátias exhibéntes, intercedénte beáto Patrício Confessóre tuo atque Pontífice, benefícia potióra sumámus.

Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that as we thank You for the favors we have received, we may, by the intercession of blessed Patrick, Your Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings.


St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints. He was born in Roman Britain and when he was fourteen or so, he was captured by Irish pirates during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. At the time, Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans but Patrick turned to God and wrote his memoir, The Confession. In The Confession, he wrote:

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and was reunited with his family.

A few years after returning home, Patrick saw a vision he described in his memoir:

“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.'”

The vision prompted his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years, and was later ordained a bishop and sent to take the Gospel to Ireland.

Patrick arrived in Slane, Ireland on March 25, 433. There are several legends about what happened next, with the most prominent claiming he met the chieftan of one of the druid tribes, who tried to kill him. After an intervention from God, Patrick was able to convert the chieftain and preach the Gospel throughout Ireland. There, he converted many people -eventually thousands – and he began building churches across the country.

He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick’s message.

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first Irish church. He is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick. His grave was marked in 1990 with a granite stone.

In His Footsteps:

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. So complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission, he feared nothing -not even death.

“The Breastplate,” Patrick’s poem of faith and trust in God:

“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

Laetare Sunday ~ Dom Prosper Gueranger


This Sunday, called, from the first word of the Introit, Laetare Sunday, is one of the most solemn of the year. The Church interrupts her Lenten mournfulness; the chants of the Mass speak of nothing but joy and consolation; the Organ, which has been silent during the preceding three Sundays, now gives forth its melodious voice; the Deacon resumes his Dalmatic, and the Subdeacon his Tunic; and instead of purple, Rose-coloured Vestments are allowed to be used. These same rites were practised in Advent, on the third Sunday, called Gaudete. The Church’s motive for introducing this expression of joy in to-day’s Liturgy, is to encourage her Children to persevere fervently to the end of this holy Season. The real Mid-Lent was last Thursday, as we have already observed; but the Church, fearing lest the joy might lead to some infringement on the spirit of penance, has deferred her own notice of it to this Sunday, when she not only permits, but even bids, her children to rejoice!

The Station at Rome, is in the Basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem, one of the seven principal Churches of the Holy City. It was built in the fourth century, by the Emperor Constantine, in one of his villas, called Sessorius, on which account it goes also under the name of the Sessorian Basilica. The Emperor’s mother, St. Helen, enriched it with most precious relies, and wished to make it the Jerusalem of Rome. It was with this intention that she ordered a great quantity of earth, taken from Mount Calvary, to be put on the site. Among the other Relics of the Instruments of the Passion which she gave to this Church, was the Inscription which was fastened to the Cross; it is still kept there, and is called the Title of the Cross. The name of Jerusalem, – which has been given to this Basilica, and which recals to our minds the heavenly Jerusalem, towards which we are tending, – suggested the choosing it as to-day’s Station. Up to the fourteenth century, (when Avignon became, for a time, the City of the Popes,) the ceremony of the Golden Rose took place in this Church; at present, it is blessed in the Palace where the Sovereign Pontiff happens to be residing at this Season.

The blessing of the Golden Rose is one of the ceremonies peculiar to the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which is called on this account Rose Sunday. The thoughts suggested by this flower harmonise with the sentiments wherewith the Church would now inspire her Children. The joyous time of Easter is soon to give them a spiritual Spring, of which that of nature is but a feeble image. Hence, we cannot be surprised that the institution of this ceremony is of a very ancient date. We find it observed under the Pontificate of St. Leo the Ninth (eleventh century); and we have a Sermon on the Golden Rose preached by the glorious Pope Innocent the Third, on this Sunday, and in the Basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem. In the Middle Ages, when the Pope resided in the Lateran Palace, having first blessed the Rose, he went on horseback to the Church of the Station. He wore the mitre, was accompanied by all the Cardinals, and held the blessed Flower in his hand. Having reached the Basilica, he made a discourse on the mysteries symbolised by the beauty, the colour, and the fragrance of the Rose. Mass was then celebrated. After the Mass, the Pope returned to the Lateran Palace. Surrounded by the sacred College, he rode across the immense plain which separates the two Basilicas, with the mystic Flower still in his hand. We may imagine the joy of the people as they gazed upon the holy symbol. When the procession had got to the Palace gates, if there were a Prince present, it was his privilege to hold the stirrup, and assist the Pontiff to dismount; for which filial courtesy he received the Rose, which had received so much honour and caused such joy.

At present, the ceremony is not quite so solemn; still the principal rites are observed. The Pope blesses the Golden Rose in the Vestiary; he anoints it with Holy Chrism, over which he sprinkles a scented powder, as formerly; and when the hour for Mass is come, he goes to the Palace Chapel, holding the Flower in his hand. During the Holy Sacrifice, it is fastened to a golden rose-branch prepared for it on the Altar. After the Mass, it is brought to the Pontiff, who holds it in his hand as he returns from the Chapel to the Vestiary. It is usual for the Pope to send the Rose to some Prince or Princess, as a mark of honour; sometimes, it is a City or a Church that receives the Flower.

We subjoin a free translation of the beautiful Prayer used by the Sovereign Pontiff when blessing the Golden Rose. It will give our readers a clearer appreciation of this ceremony, which adds so much solemnity to the Fourth Sunday of Lent. “O God! by whose word and power all things were created, and by whose will they are all governed! O thou, that art the joy and gladness of all thy Faithful people! we beseech thy Divine Majesty, that thou vouchsafe to bless and sanctify this Rose, so lovely in its beauty and fragrance. We are to bear it, this day, in our hands, as a symbol of spiritual joy; that thus, the people that is devoted to thy service, being set free from the captivity of Babylon, by the grace of thine Only Begotten Son, who is the glory and the joy of Israel, may show forth, with a sin cere heart, the joys of that Jerusalem, which is above, and is our Mother. And whereas thy Church seeing this symbol, exults with joy, for the glory of thy Name;- do thou, O Lord! give her true and perfect happiness. Accept her devotion, forgive us our sins, increase our faith; heal us by thy word, protect us by thy mercy; remove all obstacles; grant us all blessings; that thus, this same thy Church may offer unto thee the fruit of good works; and walking in the odour of the fragrance of that Flower, which sprang from the Root of Jesse, and is called the Flower of the Field, and the Lily of the Valley, may she deserve to enjoy an endless joy in the bosom of heavenly glory, in the society of all the Saints, together with that Divine Flower, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.”

We now come to the explanation of another name given to the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which was suggested by the Gospel of the day. We find this Sunday called in several ancient documents, the Sunday of the Five Loaves. The miracle alluded to in this title not only forms an essential portion of the Church’s instructions during Lent, but it is also an additional element of to-day’s joy. We forget for an instant the coming Passion of the Son of God, to give our attention to the greatest of the benefits he has bestowed on us; for under the figure of these Loaves multiplied by the power of Jesus, our Faith sees that Bread which came down from heaven, and given life to the world’[ St. John, vi. 33]. The Pasch, says our Evangelist, was near at hand; and, in a few days, our
Lord will say to us: With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you [St. Luke, xxii. 15]. Before leaving this world to go to his Father, Jesus desires to feed the multitude that follows him; and in order to this, he displays his omnipotence. Well may we admire that creative power, which feeds five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and in such wise, that even after all have partaken of the feast as much as they would, there remain fragments enough to fill twelve baskets. Such a miracle is, indeed, an evident proof of Jesus’ mission; but he intends it as a preparation for something far more wonderful; he intends it as a figure and a pledge of what he is soon to do, not merely once or twice, but every day, even to the end of time; not only for five thousand men, but for the countless multitudes of believers. Think of the millions, who, this very year, are to partake of the banquet of the Pasch; and yet, He whom we have seen born in Bethlehem, (the House of Bread,) He is to be the nourishment of all these guests; neither will the Divine Bread fail. We are to feast as did our fathers before us; and the generations that are to follow us, shall be invited as we now are, to come and taste how sweet is the Lord [Ps. xxxiii. 9].

But observe, it is in a desert place, (as we learn from St. Matthew, [St. Matth, xiv. 13]) that Jesus feeds these men, who represent us Christians. They have quitted the bustle and noise of cities in order to follow him. So anxious are they to hear his words, that they fear neither hunger nor fatigue; and their courage is rewarded. A like recompense will crown our labours, – our fasting and abstinence, – which are now more than half over. Let us, then, rejoice, and spend this day with the light-heartedness of pilgrims, who are near the end of their journey. The happy moment is advancing, when our soul, united and filled with her God, will look back with pleasure on the fatigues of the body, which, together with our heart’s compunction, have merited for her a place at the Divine Banquet.

The primitive Church proposed this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves as a symbol of the Eucharist, the Bread that never fails. We find it frequently represented in the paintings of the Catacombs and on the bas-reliefs of the ancient Christian tombs. The Fishes, too, that were given together with the Loaves, are represented on these venerable monuments of our faith; for the early Christians considered the Fish to be the symbol of Christ, because the word Fish in Greek, is made up of five letters, each of which is the initial of these words: Jesus Christ, Son (of) God, Saviour.

The Greek Church, too, keeps this Sunday with much solemnity. According to her manner of counting the days of Lent, this is the great day of the week called, as we have already noticed, Mesonestios. The solemn adoration of the Cross takes place to-day; and breaking through her rule of never admitting a Saint’s Feast during Lent, this mid-Lent Sunday is kept in honour of the celebrated Abbot of the Monastery of Mount Sinai, St. John Climacus, who lived in the 6th century.


The seventy-years captivity will soon be over. Yet a little while, and the captives shall return to Jerusalem. This is the idea expressed by the Church in all the chants of to-day’s Mass. She ventures not to pronounce the heavenly Alleluia; but all her canticles bespeak jubilation; for, in a few days hence, the House of the Lord will lay aside her mourning, and will be keeping the gladdest of her Feasts.


Laetare, Jerusalem; et conventum facite omnes, qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: at exsultetis et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae.
Ps. Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.
V. Gloria Patri. Laetare.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and meet together all you who love her; rejoice exceedingly, you who have been in sorrow, that you may leap for joy, and be satiated with comfort from her breasts.
Ps. I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. V. Glory. Rejoice.

In the Collect, the Church acknowledges that her Children deserve the penance they are going through; but she begs that, to-day, the hope of the coming divine consolations may refresh their spirits. The full force of the closing word of her prayer, is that they may breathe awhile.


Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus; ut qui ex merito nostrae actionis affligimur, tuae gratiae consolatione respiremus. Per Dominum. Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who are justly afflicted according to our demerits, may be relieved by thy comforting grace. Through, &c.

The second and third Collects are given on the First Sunday of Lent, above.


Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Galatas.Cap. IV.
Fratres, scriptum est: Quoniam Abraham duos filios habuit: unum de ancilla, et unum de libera. Sed qui de ancilla, secundum carnem natus est: qui autem de libera, per repromissionem: qnue sunt per allegoriam dicta. Haec enim sunt duo testamenta. Unum quidem in monte Sina, in servitutem gencrans: quae est Agar: Sina enim mons est in Arabia, qui conjunctus est ei quae nunc est Jerusalem, et servit cum filiis suis. Illa autem, quae sursum est Jerusalem, libera est, qnae est mater nostra. Scriptum est enim: Laetare, sterilis, quae non paris: erumpe et clama, quae non parturis: quia multi filii desertae, magis quam ejus quae habet virum. Nos autem, fratres, secundum Isaac promissionis filii sumus. Sed quomodo tunc is, qui secundum carnem natus fuerat, persequebatur eum, qui secundum spiritum: ita et nunc. Sed quid dicit Scriptura? Ejice ancillam et filium ejus: non enim haeres erit filius ancillae cum filio liberae. Itaque, fratres, non sumus ancillae filii, sed liberae: qua libertate Christus nos liberavit.
Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Galatians.Ch. IV
Brethren  It is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman, and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond- woman, was born according to the flesh; but he by the free-woman, was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar; for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free; which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then, he that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also is it now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son; for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free; by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free.

Let us, then, rejoice! – we are children, not of Sina, but of Jerusalem. Our mother, the holy Church is not a bond-woman, but free; and it is unto freedom that she has brought us up. Israel served God in fear; his heart was ever tending to idolatry, and could only be kept to duty by the heavy yoke of chastisement. More happy than he, we serve God through love; our yoke is sweet, and our burden is light [St. Matth. xi. 30]. We are not citizens of the earth; we are but pilgrims passing through it to our true country, the Jerusalem which is above. We leave the earthly Jerusalem to the Jew, who minds only terrestrial things, is disappointed with Jesus, and is plotting how to crucify him. We also have too long been grovelling in the goods of this world; we have been slaves to sin; and the more the chains of our bondage weighed upon us, the more we talked of our being free. Now is the favourable time; now are the days of salvation: we have obeyed the Church’s call, and have entered into the practice and spirit of Lent. Sin seems to us, now, to be the heaviest of yokes; the Flesh, a dangerous burden; the World, a merciless tyrant. We begin to breathe the fresh air of holy liberty, and the hope of our speedy deliverance fills us with transports of joy. Let us, with all possible affection, thank our Divine Liberator, who delivers us from the bondage of Agar, emancipates us from the law of fear, and making us his new People, opens to us the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, at the price of his Blood.

The Gradual expresses the joy felt by the Gentiles, when invited to enter the House of the Lord, which is now become their own. The Tract shows God protecting his Church, the new Jerusalem, which is not to be conquered and destroyed as was that first one. This holy City communicates her own stability and security to them that are in her, for the Lord watches over both the Mother and her children.


Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.
V. Fiat pax in virtute tua: et abundantia in turribus tuis.
I rejoiced at the things that were said to me; we shall go into the house of the Lord.
V. Let peace be in thy strength, and abundance in thy towers.


Qui confidunt in Domino, sicut mons Sion : non commovebitur in aeternum, qui habitat in Jerusalem.
V. Montes in circuitu ejus: et Dominus in circuitu populi sui, ex hoc nunc, at usque in saeculum.
They that trust in the Lord, shall be as Mount Sion; he shall not be moved for ever that dwelleth in Jerusalem.
V. Mountains are round about it; so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth now and for ever.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secnudum Joannem.Cap. VI.
In illo tempore: Abiit Jesus trans mare Galilaeae, quot est Tiberiadis: et sequebatur eum multitudo magna, quia videbant signa quae faciebat super his qui infirmabantur. Subiit ergo in montem Jesus: et ibi sedebat cum discipulis suis. Erat autem proximum Pas cha, dies festus Judaeorum. Cum sublevasset ergo oculos Jesus, et vidisset quia multitudo maxima venit ad eum, dixit ad Philippum: Unde ememus panes, ut manducent hi? Hoc autem dicebat tentans eum: ipse enim sciebat quid esset facturus. Respondit ei Philippus: Ducentorum denariorum panes non sufficiunt eis, ut unusquisque modicum quid accipiat. Dicit ei unus ex discipulis ejus, Andreas, frater Simonis Petri: Est puer unus hic, qui habet quinque panes hordeaceos, et duos pisces: sed haec quid sunt inter tantos? Dixit ergo Jesus: Facite homines discumbere. Erat autem foenum multum in loco. Discubuerunt ergo viri, numero quasi quinque millia. Accepit ergo Jesus panes et cum gratias egisset, distribuit discumbentibus: similiter et ex piscibus quantum volebant. Ut autem impleti sunt, dixit discipulis suis: Colligite quae superaverunt fragmenta, ne pereant. Collegerunt ergo, et impleverunt duodecim cophinos fragmentorum ex quinque panibus hordeaceis, quae superfuerunt his qui manducaverant. Illi ergo homines cum vidissent quod Jesus fecerat signum, dicebant: Quia hic est vere Propheta, qui venturus est in mundum. Jesus ergo cum cognovisset quia venturi essent ut raperent eum, et facerent eum regem, fugit iterum in montem ipse solus.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.Ch. VI.
At that time: Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias; and a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. Now the Pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? And this he said to try him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him: Two hundred penny-worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are they among so many? Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were sat down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would; and when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now these men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the Prophet that is to come into the world. Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.

These men, whom Jesus has been feeding by a miracle of love and power, are resolved to make Him their King. They have no hesitation in proclaiming him worthy to reign over them; for where can they find one worthier? What, then, shall we Christians do, who know the goodness and the power of Jesus incomparably better than these poor Jews:- We must beseech him to reign over us, from this day forward. We have just been reading in the Epistle, that it is He who has made us free, by delivering us from our enemies. O glorious Liberty! But the only way to maintain it, is to live under his Law. Jesus is not a tyrant, as are the world and the flesh; his rule is sweet and peaceful, and we are his Children rather than his Servants. In the court of such a King “to serve is to reign.” What, then, have we to do with our old slavery? If some of its chains be still upon us, let us lose no time, – let us break them, for the Pasch is near at hand; the great Feast-Day begins to dawn. Onwards, then, courageously to the end of our journey! Jesus will refresh us ; he will make us sit down as he did the men of the Gospel; and the Bread he has in store for us will make us forget all our past fatigues.

In the Offertory, the Church again borrows the words of David, wherewith to praise the Lord; but, to-day, it is mainly his goodness and power that she celebrates.


Laudate Dominum, quia benignus est; psallite Nomini ejus, quoniam suavis est: omnia quaecumque voluit, fecit in coelo et in terra. Praise ye the Lord, for he is good, sing ye to his Name, for it is sweet: what he pleased he hath done, in heaven and on earth.

The Secret is a prayer for the increase of devotion. We ask it by the merits of the Sacrifice at which we are assisting, for it is the source of our Salvation.


Sacrificiis praesentibus, Domine, quaesumus, intende placatus: ut et devotioni nostrae proficiant et saluti. Per Dominum. We beseech thee, O Lord, mercifully regard this present Sacrifice that it may both increase our devotion, and advance our salvation. Through, &c.

The second and third Secrets are given on the First Sunday of Lent, above.

In the Communion-Anthem, the Church sings the praise of the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is figured by the Basilica of Holy Cross, as we have already explained. She speaks of the joy of the tribes of the Lord, who are assembled in this venerable Temple, and are contemplating, under the graceful symbol of the Rose, the Divine Spouse, Jesus. The fragrance of his perfections draws our hearts after him.


Jerusalem quae aedificatur ut civitas, cujus participatio ejus in idipsum: illuc enim ascenderunt tribus, tribus Domini, ad confitendum Nomini tuo, Domine. Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together; for thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to praise thy Name, O Lord.

The divine Mystery of the Bread of Life has been brought before us, that we might believe and love it. The Church, therefore, in the Postcommunion, prays that we may have the grace to receive this august Mystery with becoming respect and careful preparation.


Da nobis, quaesumus, misericors Deus: ut sancta tua, quibus incessanter explemur, sinceris tractemus obsequiis, et fideli semper mente sumamus. Per Dominum. Grant, we beseech thee, O merciful God, that we may sincerely respect, and receive with faith thy holy mysteries, with which thou daily feedest us. Through, &c.

The second and third Postcommunions are given on the First Sunday of Lent, above.


The Psalms and Antiphons are given above.


(Gal. iv.)

Fratres: Scriptum est, quoniam Abraham duos filios habuit: unum de ancilla, et unum de libera. Sed qui de ancilla, secundum carnem natus est; qui autem de libera, per repromissionem: quae sunt per allegoriam dicta. Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bond-woman, and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond- woman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free-woman, was by promise: which things are said by an allegory.

For the Hymn and Versicle, see above.


Subiit ergo in montem Jesus, et ibi sedebat cum discipulis suis. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus; ut qui ex merito nostrae actionis affligimur, tuae gratiae consolatione respiremus. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who are justly afflicted according to our demerits, may be relieved by thy comforting grace. Through, &c.


We borrow the following stanzas from the Triodion of the Greek Church. They are in keeping with to- day’s Office, and with the sentiments we should have on Mid-Lent Sunday.

(Dominica IV. Jejuniorum.)

Sacro jejunii stadio jam dimidio superemenso, ad futurum in laetitia recte curramus, bonorum operum oleo animos ungentes, ut Christi Dei nostri divinas passiones adorare, et ad ejus venerandam et sanctam resurrectionem pervenire mereamur.Qui vitem plantavit et operarios vocavit, prope adest Salvator; venite, jejunii athletae, mercedem capiamus, quia dives est dispensator et misericors; parum laborantes, animae misericordiam recipiemus.

O Deus qui das vitam, aperi mihi portas poenitentiae; vigilat enim ad templum sanctum tuum spiritus meus, templum corporis ferens penitus maculatum: sed tu miserans, purifica me propitiabili misericordia tua.

Venite, faciamus in mystica vite fructus poenitentiae in illa laborantes, non epulemur in escis et potibus, sed in precibus et jejuniis, actiones virtutis operantes his complacens Doniinus operis denarium praebet, per quod ab iniquitatis debito animas liberat solus multum Deus misericors.

We have passed one half of our journey through the holy Fast; let us, then, as it behoves us, joyfully complete what remains. Let us anoint our souls with the oil of good works, that we may be made worthy to celebrate the divine sufferings of Christ our Lord, and to be brought to his venerable and holy Resurrection.

Jesus, he that planted the vine and hired the labourers, is near at hand. Come, ye brave Fasters! let us receive the reward; for he that pays us is rich and merciful. After our short labours, he will requite our souls with his mercy.

O God, thou Giver of Life! open to me the gate of penance. My spirit keepeth watch in thy holy temple; but the temple of the flesh, which I have to carry with me, is defiled with many sins. Have pity on me, notwithstanding; and in thy tender mercy, cleanse me.

Come, let us, who are in the mystic Vine, produce fruits of penance. Here labouring, let our feasting be, not in meat and drink, but in prayer and fasting and good works. Our Lord, being pleased with our labour, will pay us with that, whereby he, the one God, rich in mercy, will forgive us the debt of our sins.

St Thomas Aquinas – 7 March


Commemoratio S. Thomae de Aquino Confessoris Ecclesiae Doctoris.
Deus, qui Ecclésiam tuam beáti Thomæ Confessóris tui mira eruditióne claríficas, et sancta operatióne fecúndas: da nobis, quǽsumus; et quæ dócuit, intelléctu conspícere, et quæ egit, imitatióne complére.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

O God, Who enlightened Your Church with the wondrous learning of blessed Thomas, Your Confessor, and enriched her through his holy life, grant us, we beseech You, both to understand what he taught and by following his example to do what he did.
through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.


Sancti Thomæ Confessóris tui atque Doctóris nobis, Dómine, pia non desit orátio: quæ et múnera nostra concíliet; et tuam nobis indulgéntiam semper obtíneat.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

May the pious prayer of holy Thomas thy Confessor and illustrious Doctor be not wanting to us, O Lord, but make our offerings acceptable to thee and ever win for us thy mercy.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

Post Communion

Ut nobis, Dómine, tua sacrifícia dent salútem: beátus Thomas Conféssor tuus et Doctor egrégius, quǽsumus, precátor accédat.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

May blessed Thomas thy Confessor and illustrious Doctor intercede for us, O Lord, that this thy sacrifice may obtain for us salvation.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

Prayer over the people

Humiliáte cápita vestra Deo.
Concéde, quǽsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui protectiónis tuæ grátiam quaerimus, liberáti a malis ómnibus, secúra tibi mente serviámus.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

Let us pray.
Bow your heads to God.
Grant, almighty God, we beseech You, that we who seek the grace of Your protection, delivered from all evils, may serve You with untroubled minds.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.