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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

THE Octave of the Beloved Disciple closes to-day: let us devoutly offer him our parting homage. We shall meet him again, during the year; for, on May 6, when the Resurrection of his Divine Master is gladdening the Church with the Easter joys, we shall have the Feast of our Apostle's Confession made before the Latin Gate: but his grand Feast ends to-day, and he has done too much on our behalf this Christmas for us to allow this Octave Day to pass without returning him our warmest thanks. Let us begin by exciting ourselves to a great reverence for our Saint; and to this end, let us continue the considerations we were making this day week on the favours conferred upon him by Jesus.

The Apostolate of St John produced a plentiful harvest among the people to whom he was sent. The Parthians received the Gospel from him, and most of the Churches of Asia Minor were founded by him. Of these latter, seven, together with their Angels, were chosen by Christ himself[1] to typify the several kinds of Pastors; and probably, as some have interpreted this passage of the Apocalypse, these Seven may be taken as representing the seven Ages of the Church herself. Neither must we forget that these Churches of Asia Minor, shortly after St John had founded them, sent Apostles into western Europe. Thus, for example, the illustrious Church of Lyons was one of the conquests made by these early Missioners; and St Pothinus, the first Bishop of Lyons, was a disciple of the disciple of St John—St Polycarp—the Angel of the Church of Smyrna,[2] whose Feast we shall keep a few days hence.

But St John’s apostolic labours in no wise interfered with the care which his own filial affection and the injunctions of our Saviour imposed upon him—the care of the Blessed Mother and Virgin Mary. So long as Jesus judged her visible presence on the earth to be necessary for the consolidation of his Church, so long did John enjoy the immense happiness of her society, and of being permitted to treat her as his most beloved Mother. After a certain number of years, during which he had dwelt with her in the city of Ephesus, he returned with her to Jerusalem, whence she ascended to heaven from the desert of this world, as the Church sings of her, as a pillar of smoke of aromatic spices of myrrh and frankincense.[3] The holy Apostle had to bear this second separation, and continue preaching the Gospel until that happy day should come when he also should ascend to that blissful region where Jesus his Divine Friend, and Mary his incomparable Mother, were awaiting his arrival.

The Apostles, those Lights placed by the hand of Jesus himself upon the candlestick[4] of the Church, died out by martyrdom one after the other, leaving St John the sole survivor of the Twelve. His white hair, as the early Fathers tell us, was encircled with a thin plate of gold, the mark of episcopal dignity; the Churches treasured up the words which fell from his inspired lips, and considered them as their rule of Faith; and his prophecy of Patmos, the Apocalypse, proves that the future of the Church was also revealed to him. Notwithstanding all this, John was humble and simple, like the Divine Infant of Bethlehem; and one cannot read without emotion what the early writers tell us of him, how he was often seen fondling a pet bird in his venerable hands.

He who had, when young, leaned his head upon the Breast of God, whose delights are to he with the children of men;[5] who had stood near his Lord during the Crucifixion, when all the other Apostles kept away in fear; who had seen the soldiers Spear pierce the Sacred Heart which so loved the world; when old age had come upon him, was for ever urging upon all he met the duty of loving one another. His tender compassion for sinners was such as we might naturally look for from the favourite Disciple of the Redeemer; and we are not surprised at that example, which would have been wonderful in any other Saint than John, of his going in search of a young man, whom he had loved with a Father's love, and who had abandoned himself, during the Apostle’s absence, to every sort of sin: old age was no hindrance to this fatiguing search, which ended in his finding the young man amidst the mountains, and leading him back to repentance.

And yet this same gentle and loving Saint was the inflexible enemy of heresy; for heresy, by destroying Faith, poisons Charity in its very source. It is from this Apostle that the Church has received the maxim she gives to us, of shunning heresy as we would shun a plague: If any man come to you and bring not the doctrine of Christ, receive him not into the house, nor say to him ''God speed thee for he that saith unto him, 'God speed thee,’ communicateth with his wicked works.[6] St John having one day entered one of the public baths, he was no sooner informed that the heresiarch Cerinthus was in the same building, than he instantly left the place as though it were infected. The disciples of Cerinthus were indignant at this conduct of the Apostle, and endeavoured to take away his life by putting poison into the cup from which he used to drink; but St John having made the sign of the cross over the cup, a serpent was seen to issue from it, testifying both to the wickedness of his enemies and to the divinity of Christ. This apostolic firmness in resisting the enemies of the Faith made him the dread of the heretics of Asia; and hereby he proved how justly he had received from Jesus the surname of Son of Thunder, a name which he shared with his Brother, James the Greater, the Apostle of Spain.

The miracle we have just related has suggested assigning to St John, as one of his emblems, a cup with a serpent coming from it; and in many countries, in Germany particularly, is a custom of blessing wine on the Feast of St John; and the prayer used on the occasion alludes to the miracle. In these same countries prevails also the custom of taking at the end of meals what is called St John’s Cup, putting as it were under the Saint’s protection the repast just taken.

For brevity’s sake, we omit several other traditions regarding our holy Apostle, to which allusion is made in many of the Medieval Liturgical pieces which we have quoted: but we cannot refrain from saying a few words in reference to his Death.

The passage of the holy Gospel read on the Feast of St John has often been interpreted in the sense that the Beloved Disciple was never to die, although our Lord’s words are easily explained without putting such a meaning upon them. The Greek Church, as we have already seen in her Offices, professes her belief in St John’s exemption from death. It was also the opinion of several holy Doctors of the Church, and found its way into some of the Hymns of the Western Church. The Church of Rome seems to countenance it, by one of the Antiphons at Lauds of the Feast; but it must be acknowledged that she has never favoured this opinion, although she has not thought proper to condemn it. Moreover, the Tomb of St John once existed at Ephesus; we have early traditions regarding it, and miracles are related which were wrought by the miraculous oil which flowed for centuries from the Tomb.

Still it is strange that no mention has ever been made of any Translation of the Body of St John; no Church has ever boasted of its possessing it; and as to particular Relics of this Apostle, they are not only very rare, but a great deal of vagueness has always clung to them. At Rome, when a Relic of St John is asked for, the only one given is a small piece of the Tomb. With these facts before us, we are forced into the idea that there is something mysterious in this total ignorance with regard to the Body of a Saint so dear to the whole Church; whereas the Bodies of all the other Apostles have been the subject of most interesting and detailed accounts, and we can name the Churches which have possessed either the whole or a portion of their venerable remains. Has our Redeemer willed that the Body of his dear Disciple should be glorified before the Day of Judgement? Has he, in his own inscrutable designs, withdrawn it from the sight of man, as he did that of Moses? These are questions which will, perhaps, never be solved on this earth; but it is almost impossible not to acknowledge, as so many holy writers have done, that the mystery wherewith it has pleased our Lord to shroud the virginal Body of St John may be considered as an additional reward given to the Disciple whom he so tenderly loved during life, on account of his purity.

The Mass is given above, p. 255, the other prayers are given on pp. 415-417.

Let us listen, once more, to the sweet praises given to St John in the various Liturgies. And first, let us open the Roman Breviary, where we shall find the following Responsories:

Responsories

℟. Iste est Joannes qui supra pectus Domini in cœna recubuit: * Beatus Apostolus, cui revelata sunt secreta cœlestia.


℣. Fluenta Evangelii de ipso sacro Dominici pectoris fonte potavit. * Beatus.

℟. Diligebat autem eum Jesus, quoniam specialis prærogativa castitatis ampliori dilectione fecerat dignum: * Quia virgo electus ab ipso, virgo in ævum permansit.

. In cruce denique moriturus, huic Matrem suam virginem virgini commendavit. * Quia.

. In illum diem suscipiam te servum meum, et ponam te sicut signaculum in conspectu meo: * Quoniam ego elegi te, dicit Dominus.

℣. Esto fidelis usque ad mortem, et dabo tibi coronam vitæ. * Quoniam.

This is John, who at the Supper reclined his head on the Lord’s Breast: * Blessed Apostle, unto whom the secrets of heaven were revealed.


℣. He drank in the streams of the Gospel from the sacred fount itself of our Lord's Breast. * Blessed.

℟. Jesus loved him, for the special prerogative of his chastity made him worthy of a special love: * Because, being chosen by Christ as a virgin, he remained a virgin for ever.

. When at length he was about to die on the Cross, he commended his Virgin-Mother to this his virgin disciple. * Because.

. In that day I will take thee to be my Servant, and I will make thee as a signet in my sight: * For I have chosen thee, saith the Lord.

. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life. * For.


The Mozarabic Breviary, in the Office of St John the Evangelist, contains the following beautiful prayer:

Capitulum

Ineffabilia sunt, Domine, fiuenta uteri tui, quibus præ cæteris dilectus ille a te discipulus, recubans in sinu tuo, satiari promeruit: quæsumus ergo, ut mortificatis membris nostris, tuis semper mereamur inhærere vestigiis: ut intercessu hujus sancti Joannis, ita nos ignis amoris tui concremet et absumat, qualiter beneplacitum nos tibi in toto holocaustum efficiat.
Ineffable, O Lord, are the streams of thy Heart, wherewith the Disciple whom thou lovedst above the rest deserved to be filled, when leaning on thy Breast: we therefore humbly beseech thee that, our senses being mortified, we may deserve to walk at all times in thy footsteps: that thus, by the intercession of this thy holy disciple John, the fire of thy love may so burn and consume us, as to make us in all things a holocaust well-pleasing unto thee.

We find also this other prayer in the Missal of the same Gothic Liturgy.

Prayer

Vide, vide, Deus, quibus gravati delictis obruimur; qualiterque nobis ipsi quotidie efficimur causa veneni et pœna supplicii, dum cum quotidiano carnis nostræ veneno polluimur, et de reparatione melioris vitæ nullo modo cogitamus. Sed quia certuni est quod hoc videas, qui semper es clemens; et ideo per confessionem nos ad te redituros exspectas, ideo suggerimus ut Apostolo tuo Joanne intercedente, qui invocato nomine tuo lethale ebibens virus, non solum ipse evasit, sed etiam alios ex eodem extinctos populo suscitavit. Procul a nobis efficias et incentivam carnis nostræ libidinem, et virus persuasionis hostis antiqui, ut fide te colentes, sicut Joannem Apostolum non nocuit oblatum venenum, ita nos non noceat latentium vitiorum virus occultum.
See, see, O God, the sins whereby we are weighed down, and how we daily create to ourselves the poison that destroys and the pain that punishes, inasmuch as we are each day infected with the poison of the deeds of our flesh, yet give we no thought to the amending our lives. But whereas faith teaches us that thou seest our sins, and because thou art merciful, thou awaitest us that we return to thee by humble confession; therefore do we beg the intercession of John thine Apostle, who having drunk a deadly poison, not only, by the invocation of thy name, escaped hurt himself, but raised them to life who had been poisoned by that same cup. By this his intercession, drive far from us both the lustful flames of our own flesh, and the poison of the old enemy’s suggestions; that worshipping thee by our faith, we may be guarded against the hidden poison of latent passions, as the poison offered to the Apostle John left him uninjured.

We take from the Menæa of the Greek Church a second selection of stanzas in honour of the holy Evangelist.

On The Feast Of St John The Theologian
(XXVI Septembris)

Maris abyssum derelinquens, crucis calamo omnes sapienter fidei piscatus es gentes velut pisces; nam, ut dixit tibi Christus, apparuisti piscator hominum carpens eos ad pietatem; ideo sparsisti Verbi gnosim; Patmos et Ephesum sermonibus cepisti tuis, Theologe Apostole; deprecare Christum Deum ut det lapsuum remissionem celebrantibus cum amore tuam sanctam commemorationem.


Lingua tua facta est calamus scriptoris Spiritus sancti, deifice demonstrans venerabile et divinum Evangelium.

Magnæ divinæque tuæ theologiæ faces totam; gloriose, illuminarunt terrain luce trisolari splendentem.

Vere fuit tamquam calamus velociter scribentis tua lingua theodica, veram pulchre scribens gnosim et legem novissimam in tabulis, theologe, cordium nostrorum.

Cœlorum scire celsitudines, marisque explorare abyssos temerarium et intentabile; astra autem numerare vel littoralem arenam par est. Sic de theologo dici non potest quot ipsum coronis quem amabat coronavit Christus, supra cujus pectus recubuit, et in mystica cœna eum lautissime refecit sicut theologum et Christi amicum.

Terrestrem peristi apud Christum sedem habere; at ille tibi pectus suum donat, o vocate theologe, tranquilla et permanente sede pulchritudinis ditatus es Apostolorum gloria.

Virginitatis florem, venerandarum virtutum electum habitaculum, sapientiæ instrumentum, templum Spiritus, os Ecclesiæ igniferum, charitatis manifestissimum oculum, venerandissimum Joannem, spiritualibus canticis nunc sursum celebremus, tamquam Christi famulum.

Evangelista Joannes, par Angelo, virgo a Deo docte, limpidissimum latus sanguine et aqua fluens prædicasti, per quem deducimur ad vitam æternam animabus nostris.

Leaving the waters of the sea, thou didst, with much wisdom, draw all nations to the Faith by the rod of the Cross; for, as Christ told thee, thou wast a Fisher of men, drawing them unto holiness. Therefore didst thou spread abroad the knowledge of the Word, and by thy preachings, O Theologian Apostle, thoudidst gain over Patmos and Ephesus. Beseech Christ our Lord to grant forgiveness of sin to us who lovingly celebrate thy holy memory.


Thy tongue was made the pen of him who wrote by thee, the Holy Ghost; it showed us, by divine inspiration, the venerable and divine Gospel.

The blaze of thy great and divine Theology, O glorious Apostle, illumined the earth that was shining with a triple light.

Truly was thy divinely taught tongue, O Theologian, as the pen of one that writes swiftly, for it beautifully wrote on the tablets of our hearts the true knowledge and the New Law.
To measure the height of the heavens, and explore the depths of the sea, is a rash and vain attempt: so too is it to count the stars or the sand on the shore. In like manner we may not count the number of crowns wherewith Christ crowned his Beloved Disciple, who reposed on his Breast, and in the mystic Supper was most sumptuously regaled as the Theologian and Friend of Jesus.

Thou didst once ask to sit near Jesus on a terrestrial throne; but he gave thee to recline on his Breast, and placed thee on a peaceful and eternal throne of beauty, O thou that art called the Theologian, and art the glory of the Apostles!

Let us now loudly celebrate in spiritual canticles this servant of Christ: he is the flower of holy Virginity, the chosen dwelling of sublime virtues, the instrument of wisdom, the temple of the Spirit, the burning tongue of the Church, the most bright eye of charity, the most venerable John.

O Evangelist John! angelic, virgin taught of God! 'twas thou didst tell us of that Sacred Side, from whence, as from a most limpid stream, flowed Blood and Water: thus didst thou teach our souls the way to life eternal.


The Latin Churches of the Middle Ages were fervent in their praises of St John, and have left us a great many Hymns in his honour. Out of the number we select only two; the first is the composition of Adam of St Victor, and is the finest of the four written on St John by the great lyric poet of those times.

Sequence

Gratulemur ad festivum,
Jocundemur ad votivum Joannis præconium.


Sic versetur laus in ore,
Ne fraudetur cor sapore
Quo degustet gaudium.

Hic est Christi prædilectus
Qui reclinans supra pectus,
Hausit sapientiam.

Huic in cruce commendavit
Matrem Christus; hic servavit
Virgo viri nesciam.

Intus ardens charitate,
Foris lucens honestate,
Signis et eloquio,

Ut ab æstu criminali,
Sic immunis a pœnali,
Prodiit ex dolio.

Vim veneni superavit,
Morti, morbis imperavit,
Nec non et demonibus.

Sed vir tantæ potestatis,
Non minoris pietatis
Erat tribulantibus.

Cum gemmarum partes fractas
Solidasset, has distractas
Tribuit pauperibus.

Inexhaustum fert thesaurum,
Qui de virgis fecit aurum,
Gemmas de lapidibus.

Invitatur ab amico Convivan;
Christum dico
Visum cum discipulis.

De sepulcro quo descendit
Redivivus sic ascendit,
Frui summis epulis.

Testem habes populum,
Immo, si vis, oculum,
Quod ad ejus tumulum
Manna scatet, epulum
De Christi convivio.

Scribens Evangelium,
Aquilæ fert proprium,
Cernens solis radium,
Scilicet Principium
Verbum in Principio.

Hujus signis est conversa
Gens gentilis, gens perversa,
Gens totius Asiæ.

Hujus scriptis illustratur,
Illustrata solidatur
Unitas Ecclesiæ.

Salve, salvi vas pudoris,
Vas cœlestis plenum roris,
Mundum intus, clarum foris,
Nobile per omnia!

Fac nos sequi sanctitatem;
Fac per mentis puritatem
Contemplan Trinitatem
In una substantia.

Amen.

'Tis the Feast of St John:
let us rejoice; let us sing his praise with glad hearts.

But let our lips so speak his praise
that our hearts be not devoid of fervour,
and so relish the hidden joy.

This is the Disciple the Beloved of Christ,
who leaned on his sacred breast,
and imbibed wisdom.

'Twas to him that Jesus,
dying on the Cross, left his Mother:
John, the virgin, was guardian of the Virgin.

His heart was filled with burning charity;
his exterior, his miracles,
his words, were a shining light.

As the fire of criminal passion had never impaired his soul,
so did he come unhurt
from the caldron of boiling oil.

He checked the power of poison;
death, disease and demons
fled at his bidding.

And yet, with all this heavenly power,
he was the tenderest-hearted friend
to them that were in grief.

Some precious stones had been broken;
he miraculously brought the fragments together,
and thus pieced, gave them to the poor.

He was a living treasure,
for he changed the branches of a tree into gold,
and stones into gems.

He is invited to a banquet by a Friend;
that Friend was Jesus,
surrounded by his Disciples:

From the tomb wherein he had been laid,
he then came forth alive,
and ascended to enjoy the infinite feast.

Innumerable witnesses will tell thee
(though thyself may see it, if thou wilt),
that round his tomb there falls a Manna,
the symbol of that Banquet
which Jesus gave him.

The Eagle is the emblem
of this Evangelist,
for he looks steadfastly at the Sun,
that is, at the Eternal Word
in the Bosom of the Eternal Father.

By his miracles the gentile world,
a stubborn world,
the world of Asia, was converted.

His writings enlighten,
and by their light confirm
the one true Church.

Hail then, vessel of unsullied chastity!
vessel filled with heavenly dew!
pure within, fair without,
and noble in every part.

Oh! pray for us, that we may follow the path of holiness,
and by the cleanliness of our hearts
be rewarded with the vision
of the Triune God.

Amen.


Our second Sequence is taken from the ancient Missals of the Churches of Germany, and is extremely beautiful.

Sequence

Verbum Dei,
Deo natum,
Quod nec factum nec creatum,

Venit de cœlestibus:
Hoc vidit, hoc attrectavit,
Hoc de cœlo reseravit
Joannes hominibus.

Inter illos primitivos
Veros veri fontis rivos
Joannes exsiliit,
Toti mundo propinare
Nectar illud salutare
Quod de throno prodiit.

Coelum transit, veri rotam
Solis ibi vidit, totam
Mentis figens aciem;
Speculator spiritalis
Quasi Seraphim sub alis
Dei videt faciem.

Audiit in gyro sedis
Quid psallant cum citharœdis
Quater seni proceres:
De sigillo Trinitatis
Nostræ nummo civitatis
Impressit characteres.

Iste custos Virginis
Arcanum originis
Divinæ mysterium,
Scribens Evangelium,
Mundo demonstravit:
Cordis cui sacrarium
Suum Christus lilium,
Filio tonitrui
Sub amoris mutui
Pace commendavit.

Haurit virus hic lethale,
Ubi corpus virginale
Virtus servat fidei:
Pœna stupet quod in pœna
Sit Joannes sine poena
Bullientis olei.

Hic naturis imperat
Ut et saxa transferat
In decus gemmarum:
Quo jubente riguit,
Auri fulvum induit
Virgula silvarum.

Hic infernum reserat,
Morti jubet, referat
Quos venenum stravit:
Obstruit quod Ebion,
Cerinthus et Marcion
Perfide latravit.

Volat avis sine meta
Quo nec vates, nec Propheta
Evolavit altius:
Tam implenda, quam impleta
Numquam vidit tot secreta
Purus homo purius.

Sponsus rubra veste tectus,
Visus sed non intellectus,
Redit ad palatium:
Aquilam Ezechielis
Sponsæ misit quæ de cœlis
Referret mysterium.

Dic, dilecte, de dilecto,
Qualis sit, et ex dilecto
Sponsus sponsæ nuncia:
Dic quis cibus Angelorum,
Quæ sint festa superorum
De sponsi præsentia.

Veri panem intellectus,
Cœnam Christi supra pectus
Christi sumptam resera:
Ut cantemus de patrono,
Coram Agno, coram throno,
Laudes super aethera.

The Word of God,
who was born of God,
and was not made nor created,
and who came down from heaven
—this Word was seen and handled
and revealed to men
by John the Evangelist.


John sprang up amidst those true rivulets,
which from the commencement
flowed from the True Fountain;
he has made the whole world
drink of that life-giving nectar
that flows from the throne of God.

He soared above the heavens,
and gazed with the fixedness of his soul's eye
on the brightness of the true Sun;
this spiritual contemplator saw,
as it were from under the wings of the Seraphim,
the Face of God.

He hears what songs are sung
round the Throne by the four
and twenty elders and the heavenly Harpers.
He has stamped upon the coin
of our terrestrial city the impress
and seal of the Holy Trinity.

He, the guardian of the Virgin,
wrote his Gospel,
that he might show to the world
the profound mystery
of the Divine Generation:
and Jesus, after allowing him
to recline on his Sacred Heart,
commended his own pure Lily,
Mary, to this his and her much loved one,
the Son of Thunder.

He drinks a deadly poison!
but the virtue of his faith
preserves his virginal body from death.
Nay, the very creature that was prepared to torture him
—the boiling oil—stood wondering
at his feeling not its cruel power to pain.

Nature is obedient to him.
He bids the stones be gems,
and they obey:
he bids the branch of a tree turn its pliant fibres
into the precious metal of gold,
and it obeys.

He bids the sepulchre and death
yield back them whom poison
had made their victims; they obey.
He stops the blasphemous
howlings of Ebion,
Cerinthus, and Marcion.

He is the Eagle,
soaring to the infinite;
nor Seer nor Prophet passed him in his flight.
No pure mind ever saw more clearly
than he so many mysteries,
already past or yet to come.

Jesus, the Bridegroom,
clothed in his scarlet robe,
after being seen by men, but not understood,
returned to his palace above:
he sent to his Bride the Eagle of Ezechiel,
that he might relate to her the mystery seen in heaven.

O Beloved Disciple! speak to us of thy Beloved:
tell the Church the beauty of this thy Jesus,
who is her chosen Spouse:
tell her who is the Bread of the Angels:
tell her what feasts her Spouse's presence
causes to the citizens of heaven.

Speak to her of that Bread which feeds the soul with truth;
reveal to her that Supper of thy Lord taken
on the Breast of thy Lord: we will sing to the Lamb,
we will sing round the Throne, we will praise him
above the heavens, for his having given
us such a Patron as thee.


O glorious Saint! we thank thee with all the gratitude of our hearts for the assistance thou hast so lovingly granted us during the celebration of this grand Feast of Jesus' Birth. Thou art ever with us at Christmas; but it is only to help us to know Jesus the more; for, in considering thy prerogatives, we are giving praise to him who gave them to thee. We offer thee, then, the homage of our admiration and thanks, dear Friend of Jesus, and adopted Child of Mary! Before leaving us, suffer us to offer thee once more our humble petitions.

Pray, sweet Apostle of Fraternal Love! that the hearts of all men may be united in holy charity; that dissensions may cease; that the simplicity of the dove, of which thou wast such a touching example, may become the spirit of our present age, adverse though it seem to this commandment of our Lord. May Faith, without which love and charity cannot exist, be maintained in all its purity; may the serpent of heresy be crushed, and its poisoned cup find neither teachers to offer it, nor disciples to drink it. May the attachment to the doctrines of the Church be firm and courageous; may no human schemes or theories, or cowardly toleration of error, enervate the principles of truth and morals; may the children of light boldly disown fellowship with the children of darkness.

Remember, O holy Prophet! the sublime vision granted thee of the Churches of Asia Minor; and obtain for the Angels who are set over ours, that unflinching faithfulness which alone wins the victory and the Crown. Pray also for those countries which received the Gospel from thee, but have since deserved to lose the Faith. They have been suffering now for ages the consequences of false doctrines, slavery and degradation; intercede for them, that they may be regenerated by Jesus and his Spouse the Church. From thy heavenly home send Peace to thine own dear Church of Ephesus, and to her Sister Churches of Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea; may they awake from their sleep; may they rise from their tomb; may Mohammedanism cease its brutalizing tyranny over them; may schism and heresy, which now keep the East in a state of barbarism, be extinguished; and may the whole flock be once more united in the one Fold. Cover with thy protecting love the holy Church of Rome, which was witness of thy glorious Confession, which she counts as one of those her grand glories which began with the Martyrdom of thy fellow Apostles, Peter and Paul. May she receive a fresh infusion of light and charity, now that the harvest is whitening over so many countries.[7] And, lastly, Beloved Disciple of the Saviour of mankind! pray that, on the last day we may enjoy the sight of thy glorified Body; and after having so often presented us on this earth to Jesus and Mary in Bethlehem, present us on that day to the same Jesus and Mary in the glories of the eternal Vision.


[1] Apoc.
[2] Apoc. ii 8.
[3] Cant. iii 6.
[4] St Matt. v 15.
[5] Prov. viii 31.
[6] 2 St John i 10, 11.
[7] St John iv 35.