COME HOLY SPIRIT, COME!
"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven." --Saint Pope Pius X
SAINT BEDE, CONFESSOR,
FATHER OF THE CHURCH.
The celebrated Dom. Mabillon,1 mentioning Bede as a
most illustrious instance of : learning in the monastic institute, says;
“ Who ever applied himself to the study of every branch of literature, and
also to the teaching of others, more than Bede ? yet who was more closely united
to heaven by the exercises of piety and religion? To see him pray, says an
ancient writer, one would have thought he left himself no time to study; and
when we look at his books we admire he could have found time to do any thing
else but write.” Camden calls him “ the singular and shining light,” and Leland,
“ the chiefest and brightest ornament of the English nation, most worthy, if any
one ever was, of immortal fame.” William of Malmesbury tells us that it is
easier to admire him in thought than to do him justice in expression.
His great piety and endowments supplying the defect of age, by the order of his abbot, Ceolfrid, he was ordained deacon in 691, at nineteen years of age, by St. John of Beverley, who was at that time Bishop of Hexham, in which diocess Jarrow was situated, there being then no episcopal see at Durham. From this time he continued his studies, till, at thirty years of age, in 702, he was ordained priest by the same St. John who was made Bishop of Hexham in 685, and Bishop of York in 704. In King Alfred’s version Bede is styled Mass Priest, because it was bis employment to sing every day the conventual mass. He tells us that the holy abbot and founder, St. Bennet Biscop, like the rest of the brethren, used to winnow the corn and thresh it, to give milk to the lambs and calves, and to work in the bakehouse, garden, and kitchen. Bede must have sometimes had a share in such employments, and he was always cheerful, obedient, and indefatigable. But his studies and writings, with assiduous meditation and prayer, must have chiefly employed him. He often copied books. From the time that he was promoted to priestly orders he began to compose books; and he had a great school, in which he brought up many eminent and holy scholars, and instructed his fellow monks, who amounted to the number of six hundred. Bede tells us of himself that he applied himself wholly to the meditation of the holy scriptures, and amidst the observance of regular discipline, and the daily care of singing in the church, it was his delight to be always employed either in learning, teaching, or writing. He says, that from the time of his being made priest to the fifty-ninth year of his age, when he wrote this, he had compiled several books for his own use, and that of others, gathering them out of the works of the venerable fathers, or adding egw comments, according to their sense and interpretation. He gives a list of forty-five different works which he had then composed, of which thirty—and many of those are divided into several books—consist of comments on the Old and New Testaments. He wrote several other works after this. All the sciences and every branch of literature were handled by him ; natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, the calendar, grammar, ecclesiastical history, and the lives of the saints, though works of piety make up the bulk of his writings. The ornaments of rhetoric were not his study; but perspicuity (the first qualification in writing), an unaffected honesty and simplicity, and an affecting spirit of sincere piety and goodness of heart and charity, run through all his compositions, and cannot fail to please. An honest candour and love of truth, are so visibly the characteristics of his historical works, that if some austere critics have suspected him sometimes of credulity, no man ever called in question his sincerity. If on the scriptures he often abridged or reduced to a methodical order the comments of St. Austin, St. Ambrose, St. Jerom, St. Basil, and other fathers, this he did, not out of sloth or for want of genius (as some later writers have done), but that he might stick closer to tradition in interpreting the sacred oracles; and in what he found not done by other eminent fathers, he still followed their rules, lest he should in the least tittle deviate from tradition. In the original comments which he wrote, he seems, in the opinion of good judges, not inferior in solidity and judgment to his ablest masters among the fathers.
John Bale, the apostate Carmelite friar, and the sworn enemy of the monks and fathers, who* was Bishop of Ossory under Edward VI., and died Canon of Canterbury under Queen Elizabeth, could not refuse Bede the highest encomiums, and affirms, that he certainly surpassed Gregory the Great in eloquence and copiousness of style, and that there is scarce any thing in all antiquity worthy to be read which is not found in Bede. Dr. John Pitts1 advances, that Europe scarce ever produced a greater scholar; and that even whilst he was living his writings were of so great authority, that a council ordered them to be publicly read in the churches. Folchard, a very learned monk of Christchurch, in Canterbury, and Abbot of Thorney, in the days of St, Edward the Confessor, and the Conqueror, originally from Sithiu, in his life of St. John of Beverley, quoted by Leland, says of Bede, “ It is amazing how this great man became *o perfect in all the branches of those sciences to which he applied himself, whereby he conquered all difficulties, and brought those of his own nation to form right notions; so that from the rude and boorish manners of their ancestors they began to be exceedingly civilised and polite through their desire of learning, of which he not only taught them the grounds whilst living, but in his works left them a kind of Encyclopaedia (or universal library) for the instruction of youth after his decease.”
(1) De Script. Angl.
The letter of Cuthbert3 deserves to have a
place in the life of Bede, though it is here something abridged.
Ranulph Higden1 relates the manner of his holy
departure. “After teaching all day, it was his custom to watch much in the
Alcuin1 having extolled the learning and virtues of this holy doctor, says that his sanctity was attested by the voice of heaven after his death; for a sick man was freed from a fever upon the spot by touching his relics. St.Lullus, Archbishop of Mentz, wrote to his scholar Cuthbert. then Abbot of Weremouth and Jarrow, to beg a copy of Bede’s works, and sent him a cloak for his own use, and a silk vest to cover the shrine of this great servant of God. At that time a vest was a usual present even to kings. Bede was buried in St. Paul’s Church, in Jarrow, where a porch on the north side bore his name. In 1020 his sacred remains were conveyed to Durham, and laid in a bag and wooden trunk in the shrine of St. Cuthbert, as Simeon of Durham relates. In 1155 they were taken up by Hugh, Bishop of Durham, and inclosed in a rich shrine of curious workmanship, adorned with gold, silver, and jewels, as we learn from the appendix to the History of Durham, compiled by Simeon of Durham, who wrote from the memoirs of Turgot, the learned Prior of Durham in the reign of Edward the Confessor, made Archbishop of St. Andrew’s in the reign of the Conqueror, whose declared enemy he was. Hence Turgot’s history has been by some ascribed to him. At the change of religion in England the shrines of the saints were plundered by the royal commissioners, but these were anticipated by private robbers in many places. At the same time the relics were scattered or publicly burnt. This latter part of the commission, which was rigorously executed near the court and in the southern provinces, was not much regarded in the more remote northern counties, where they were usually interred in the churches where their shrines were kept, as we see in St. Cuthbert’s, St. Jolin of Beverley’s, &c. Speed, in his Theatre of Britain, says his marble monument subsisted, when he wrote, in Our Lady’s Chapel, in the western part of the Church of Durham.
(1) Alcuin, Carm. de pontif. et Sanct. Eccl. Eborac v.
It was the happiness of Venerable Bede, that receiving his education under the direction of saints, by their example, spirit, and instructions, he learned from
(1) App. ad Hist. Bedse, p. 805.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT BEDE PRAY FOR THE WELFARE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND MY PRAYER REQUEST [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
SOURCE: BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN OF PAZZI
FEAST DAY: MAY 25TH
ST. MARY MAGDALEN of Pazzi, of an illustrious house in Florence, was born in the year 1566, and baptized by the name of Catherine. She received her first communion at ten years of age, and made a vow of virginity at twelve. She took great pleasure in carefully teaching the Christian doctrine to the ignorant. Her father, not knowing her vow, wished to give her in marriage, but she persuaded him to allow her to become a religious. It was more difficult to obtain her mother's consent; but at last she gained it, and she was professed, being then eighteen years of age, in the Carmelite monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, May 17th, 1584. She changed her name Catherine into that of Mary Magdalen on becoming a nun, and took as her motto, " To suffer or die;" and her life henceforth was a life of penance for sins not her own, and of love of our Lord, who tried her in ways fearful and strange. She was obedient, observant of the rule, humble and mortified, and had a great reverence for the religious life. She loved poverty and suffering, and hungered after Communion. The day of Communion she called the day of love. The charity that burned in her heart led her in her youth to choose the house of the Carmelites, because the religious therein communicated every day. She rejoiced to see others communicate, even when she was not allowed to do so herself; and her love for her sisters grew when she saw them receive our Lord. God raised her to high states of prayer, and gave her rare gifts, enabling her to read the thoughts of her novices, and filling her with wisdom to direct them aright. She was twice chosen mistress of novices, and then made superioress, when God took her to Himself, May 25th, 1607. Her body is incorrupt.
REFLECTION.—St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi was so filled with the love of God that her sisters in the monastery observed it in her love of themselves, and called her " the Mother of Charity," and "the Charity of the Monastery."
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT MARY MAGDALEN OF PAZZI, PLEASE PRAY FOR US [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
SAINT GREGORY VII
MAY 25TH --
GREGORY VII., by name Hildebrand, was born in Tuscany, about the year 1013. He was educated in Rome. From thence he went to France, and became a monk at Cluny. Afterwards he returned to Rome, and for many years filled high trusts of the Holy See. Three great evils then afflicted the Church: simony, concubinage, and the custom of receiving investiture from lay hands. Against these three corruptions Gregory never ceased to contend. As legate of Victor II. he held a Council at Lyons, where simony was condemned. He was elected Pope in 1073, and at once called upon the pastors of the Catholic world to lay down their lives rather than betray the laws of God to the will of princes. Rome was in rebellion through the ambition of the Cenci. Gregory excommunicated them. They laid hands on him at Christmas during the midnight Mass, wounded him, and cast him into prison. The following day he was rescued by the people. Next arose his conflict with Henry IV., Emperor of Germany. This monarch, after openly relapsing into simony, pretended to depose the Pope. Gregory excommunicated the emperor. His subjects turned against him, and at last he sought absolution of Gregory at Canossa. But he did not persevere. He set up an antipope, and besieged Gregory in the castle of St. Angelo. The aged pontiff was obliged to flee, and on May 25th, 1085, about the seventy-second year of his life, and the twelfth year of his pontificate, Gregory entered into his rest. His last words were full of a divine wisdom and patience. As he was dying, he said, " I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile." His faithful attendant answered, " Vicar of Christ, an exile thou canst never be, for to thee God has given the Gentiles for an inheritance, and the uttermost ends of the earth for thy possession."
REFLECTION.—Eight hundred years are passed since St. Gregory died, and we see the same conflict renewed before our eyes Let us learn from him to suffer any persecution from the world of the State, rather than betray the rights of the Holy See.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION: If you have a need of prayer for some matter, ask Saint Gregory XII. to intercede to God for your need.
First Letter of Peter
Saint Ephrem (c.306-373), deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on the Diatessaron, 20, 2-7 (cf. SC 121, p. 344f.)
"The Son of Man came... to give his life"
“If it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mt 26,39). Why
did you rebuke Simon Peter when he said: “No such thing shall
ever happen to you, Lord!” (Mt 16,22) when you yourself now say:
“If it is possible, let this cup pass from me”? He well knew
what he was saying to his Father and that it was indeed possible
for the cup to pass from him, but he had come to drink it on
behalf of all so that with this cup he might pay the debt that
the deaths of prophets and martyrs could not pay... He who had
described himself being put to death in the prophets and had
foreshadowed the mystery of his death through the just, did not
refuse to drink it when the time had come to bring this death to
fulfilment. If he had not wanted to drink it but to push it
aside he would not have compared his body to the Temple in the
words: “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it
up” (Jn 2,19), nor would he have said to the sons of Zebedee:
“Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink?” and again:
“There is a baptism with which I must be baptized” (Lk 12,50)...
SAINTS DONATIAN AND ROGATIAN, MARTYRS.
THERE lived at Nantes an illustrious young nobleman named
Donatian, who, having received the holy sacrament of regeneration, led a most
edifying life, and strove with much zeal to convert others to faith in Christ.
His elder brother, Rogatian, was not able to resist the moving example of his
piety and the force of his discourses, and desired to be baptized. But the
bishop having withdrawn and concealed himself for fear of the persecution, he
was not able to receive that sacrament, but was shortly after baptized in his
blood; for he declared himself a Christian at a time when to embrace that sacred
profession was to become a candidate for martyrdom. Donatian was impeached for
professing himself a Christian, and for having withdrawn others, particularly
his brother, from the worship of the gods. Donatian was therefore apprehended,
and having boldly confessed Christ before the governor, was cast into prison and
loaded with irons. Rogatian was also brought before the prefect, who endeavored
first to gain him by flattering speeches, but finding him inflexible, sent him
to prison with his brother. Rogatian grieved that he had not been able to
receive the sacrament of baptism, and prayed that the kiss of peace which his
brother gave him might supply it. Donatian also prayed for him that his faith
might procure for him the effect of baptism, and the effusion of his blood that
of the sacrament of confirmation. They passed that night together in fervent
prayer. They were the next day called for again by the prefect, to whom they
declared that they were ready to suffer for the name of Christ whatever torments
were prepared for them. By the order of the inhuman judge they were first
stretched on the rack, afterwards their heads were pierced with lances, and
lastly cut off about the year 287.
REFLECTION.—Three things are pleasing unto God and man, concord among brethren, the love of parents, and the union of man and wife.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Saints Donatian and Rogatian, please pray for us [state your prayer.]
SOURCE: BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS
ABORTION NEWS: From: The Washington Times,
May 20, 2016-- "The Oklamoma Legislature passed a bill Thursday making abortion a crime, hoping to set into motion a legal challenge to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision and have abortion regulations returned to the states. S.B. 1552 will head to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin, a pro-life Republican who has five business days to either sign or veto the legislation. If she does neither, the bill becomes law automatically."
PRAY FOR OKLAHOMA PROLIFE GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN (REP.) THAT SHE WOULD ALLOW THIS ABORTION BAN TO TAKE PLACE IN THE CHRISTIAN STATE OF OKLAHOMA AND THAT ALL THE OTHER STATES WOULD FOLLOW HER LEAD.
LITANY TO THE VIRGIN MARY TO END ABORTION
LITANY OF OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us. Mother of the Infant Jesus, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who invoke you with confidence, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who are devout toward the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor to obtain the outlawing of abortion in the United States,
pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining a lively faith, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for sustaining the hope of Christians, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining and persevering in charity, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing the law of God, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing perseverance in virtue and good works, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every spiritual necessity, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the revolt of self-will, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the occasion of sin, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temptation, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the evil spirit, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining contrition, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those wishing to re-enter the path of salvation, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the conversion of sinners, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temporal necessity, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every affliction, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of afflicted families, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the sick and the poor, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against contagious diseases and epidemics, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every accident, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by fire, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against lightning and tempest, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by flood, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of travelers, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of navigators, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the shipwrecked, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of our country, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in time of war, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those aspiring to the holy priesthood and the religious life, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of labourers in the Lord's vineyard, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of missionaries who spread the faith, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor of our Holy Father the Pope, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for those searching for the faith, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of the Church, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor at the hour of death, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the deliverance of the souls in purgatory, pray for us. Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. O Almighty and Eternal God, Who sees us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Your infinite goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Divine Son, may defend us from the evil spirit and protect us against all adversities, that always and with prompt succor she may deliver us from every evil of soul and body, and safely guide us to the kingdom of heaven, through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.