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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

HAVING laid their offerings at the feet of Jesus, as the sign of the alliance they had, in the name of all mankind, contracted with him, and laden with his graces and blessings, the Magi take their leave of the Divine Babe; for such was his will. They take their departure from Bethlehem, and the rest of the world seems a wilderness to them. Oh, if they might be permitted to fix their abode near the new-born King and his incomparable Mother! But no; God's plan for the salvation of the world requires that everything savouring of human pomp and glory should be far from him who had come to take upon himself all our miseries.

Besides, they are to be the first messengers of the Gospel; they must go and tell to the Gentiles that the Mystery of Salvation has begun, that the earth is in possession of its Saviour, and that their salvation is nigh at hand. The star does not return to them; they needed it to find Jesus; but now they have him in their hearts, and will never lose him. These three men are sent back into the midst of the Gentile world, as the leaven of the Gospel which, notwithstanding its being so little, is to leaven the whole paste.[1] For their sakes, God will bless the nations of the earth; from this day forward infidelity will lose ground, and faith will progress; and when, the Blood of the Lamb having been shed, Baptism shall be promulgated, the Magi shall be, not merely men of desire, but perfect Christians, initiated into all the Mysteries of the Church.

The ancient tradition, which is quoted by the author of The Imperfect Work on St Matthew, which is put in all the editions of St John Chrysostom, and was probably written about the close of the 6th century, tells us that the three Magi were baptized by St Thomas the Apostle, and devoted themselves to the preaching of the Gospel. But we scarcely need a tradition on such a point as this. The vocation of these three Princes could never be limited to the mere privilege of being the first among the Gentiles to visit the eternal King who had come down from heaven to be born on this earth and show himself to his creatures; a second vocation was the consequence of the first, the vocation of preaching Jesus to men.

There are many details relating to the life and actions of the Magi, after they had become Christians, which have been handed down to us; but we refrain from mentioning them, as not being sufficiently ancient or important traditions to have induced the Church to give them place in her Liturgy. We would make the same observation with regard to the names assigned to them of Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthassar; the custom of thus naming them is too modern to deserve credit; and though it might be indiscreet to deny that these were their true names, it seems very difficult to give proofs of their correctness.

The Relics of these holy Kings were translated from Persia to Constantinople, under the first Christian Emperors, and, for a long time, were kept in the Church of Saint Sophia. At a later period, they were translated to Milan, when Eustorgius was Bishop of that city. There they remained till the 12th century, when, through the influence of the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, they were translated to the Cathedral Church of Cologne by Reynold, Archbishop of that metropolitan see. The Relics are in a magnificent Shrine, perhaps the finest specimen now extant of medieval metallic art, and the superb Cathedral where it is religiously kept is, by its size and architectural beauty, one of the grandest Churches of the Christian world.

Thus have we followed you, O Blessed Magi! Fathers of the Gentile world! from your first setting out from the East for Bethlehem to your return to your own country, and even to your sacred resting-place; which the goodness of God has made to be in this cold West of ours. It was the love of children for their parents that made us thus cling to you. Besides, were we not ourselves in search of that dear King whom you so longed for and found? Blessed be those ardent desires of yours, blessed be your obedience to the guidance of the star, blessed be your devotion at the Crib of Jesus, blessed be the gifts you made him, which, while they were acceptable to God, were full of instruction to us! We revere you as Prophets, for you foretold the characters of the Messias by the selection of your three gifts. We honour you as Apostles, for you preached, even to Jerusalem herself, the Birth of the humble Jesus of Bethlehem, of that Jesus whom his Disciples preached not till after the triumph of his Resurrection. We hail you as the Spring Flowers of the Gentile world, but Flowers which produced abundant and rich fruits, for you brought over entire nations and countless people to the service of our divine King. Watch over us, and protect the Church. Be mindful of those Eastern countries, whence rises to the earth the light of day, the beautiful image of your own journey towards Bethlehem. Bless this Western world of ours, which was buried in darkness when you first saw the star, and is now the favoured portion of God's earth, and on which the Divine Sun of Justice pours forth his brightest and warmest rays. Faith has grown weak among us; reenkindle it. Obtain of the divine mercy that the West may ever send forth her messengers of salvation to the South and North, and even to that infidel East, where are laid the tents of Sem, and where the light that you gave her has been long extinguished by her apostasy. Pray for the Church of Cologne, that illustrious sister of our holiest Churches in the West; may she preserve the faith, may she defend her sacred rights and liberty; may she be the bulwark of Catholic Germany, and be ever blessed by the protection of her Three Kings, and the patronage of the glorious Ursula and her virginal army. Lastly, we beseech you, O venerable Magi! to introduce us to the Infant Jesus, and his Blessed Mother; and grant us to go through these forty days, which the Church consecrates to the Mystery of Christmas, with hearts burning with love for the Divine Child, and may that same love abide with us during the pilgrimage of our life on this earth.

To-day, also, we will make use of the formulas employed by the several ancient Churches in honour of the Mystery of the Epiphany. Our first selection is a hymn written by the great Fulbert of Chartres.


Nuntium vobis fero de supernis;
Natus est Christus, Dominator orbis,
In Bethlehem Judæ; sic enim Propheta
Dixerat ante.

Hunc canit lætus chorus Angelorum,
Stella declarat, veniunt Eoi
Principes, dignum celebrare cultum,
Mystica dona.

Thus Deo, myrrham tribuunt sepulchro,
Auream Regi speciem decenti,
Dum colunt unum, meminere Trino
Tres dare terna.

Gloriam trinæ monadi canamus,
Cum Deo divæ Genitore Proli,
Flamini necnon ab utroque fuso
Corde fideli.

'I bring you tidings from heaven above:
Christ, the Ruler of the earth,
is born in Bethlehem of Juda:
for thus was it foretold by the Prophet.’

Thus sing the glad choir of Angels;
the same is announced by the Star,
and the Eastern Kings come to offer to Jesus
the worthy homage of their mystic gifts.

They offer their Frankincense to him as to their God;
the Myrrh honours his sepulchre; the Gold is the token of his Kingly character.
Whilst thus worshipping One,
the three offerers give three gifts to the Blessed Three,

Let us, too, sing praise to our Triune God:
glory to the Father, and to his divine Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, who is sent into the hearts of the faithful
by the Father and the Son.



Tu es. Domine, stella veritatis oriens ex Jacob, homoque consurgens ex Isræl: et in novo sidere ostenderis Deus, et in præsepio positus Deus et homo, unus crederis Christus: propter magnam misericordiam tuam visionis tuæ nobisproroga gratiam: appareat in nobis lucis tuæ radiabile signum, quod expellat omnes tenebras vitiorum; ut qui visionis tuæ desiderio anhelamus, visionis tuæ præmio consolemur. Amen.
Thou, O Lord, art the Star of truth, that riseth out of Jacob, and the man that springeth from Israel. In the new Star thou showest thyself as God, and lying in the Crib God and Man, we confess thee to be the one Christ. In thy great mercy grant us the grace of seeing thee, and show unto us the radiant sign of thy light, whereby all the darkness of our sins may be put to flight: that so we who now languish with the desire of seeing thee, may be refreshed with the enjoyment of that blissful vision. Amen.


Fulget, Domine, cœlum rutilum serenitate astrorum, terraque ipsa refulgenti lumine serenatur, quia apparere dignatus es mundo de habitaculo sancto tuo; sana ergo cordis nostri mœstitiam, quia ad hoc venisti, ut redimas universa: illudque nostris oculis lumen attribue, quo te purificati semper mereamur aspicere: ut qui Apparitionis tuæ gaudia lætabunda nuntiamus in gentibus, infinita tecum lætitia gaudeamus. Amen.
The heavens are shining with the clear beauty of the stars, O Lord, and the very earth is made beautiful by a shining light, because thou didst vouchsafe to appear to the world from out thy holy dwelling place. Remove, therefore, from our hearts all sadness, for unto this end art thou come, that thou mayest make all things new. Grant also that light unto our eyes which may purify us and fit us to behold thee for ever; that thus we who preach to the nations the glad joys of thy Apparition, may be made glad with thee in infinite joy. Amen.

We take the following Sequence from the ancient Missals of the Churches of Germany.


Nato nobis Salvatore
Celebremus cum honore
Diem natalitium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus,
Et nobiscum conversatus,
Lux et salus gentium.

Eva prius interemit;
Sed Salvator nos redemit
Carnis suæ merito.

Prima parens nobis luctum,
Sed Maria vitæ fructum
Protulit cum gaudio.

Negligentes non neglexit,
Sed ex alto nos prospexit
Pater mittens Filium.

Præsens mundo, sed abs consus,
De secreto tamquam sponsu:
Prodiit in publicum.

Gigas velox, gigas fortis,
Gigas nostræ victor mortis,
Accinctus potentia.

Ad currendam venit viam,
Complens in se prophetiam
Et Legis mysteria.

Jesu, nostra salutaris
Medicina, singularis
Nostra pax et gloria;

Quia servis redimendis
Tam decenter condescendis,
Te collaudant omnia.

Our Saviour is born unto us!
Let us solemnly celebrate
his Birthday.

To us was he given, unto us was he born,
and with us has he lived,
he the light and salvation of the Gentiles.

In the beginning Eve caused our death;
but Jesus, by the merits of the human nature he assumed,
has redeemed us.

Our first mother brought us woe;
but Mary joyfully brought forth
for us the fruit of life.

We neglected our heavenly Father, but he did not neglect us;
he looked down upon us from heaven,
and sent us his only Son.

This Jesus, though in the world, was hidden from the s world;
but, at length he came forth as a Bridegroom from the nuptial chamber,
and made himself known.

He is the Giant foretold by the Psalmist—swift, and strong,
and vanquishing our death,
for he was girt with power.

He came that he might run his course,
and so verify the prophecy,
and the mysteries of the Law.

Jesus, thou our
saving medicine,
our only Peace and glory!

May all creatures give thee praise,
for that thou didst so mercifully condescend
to redeem us thy servants!


This beautiful canticle in honour of the Infant Jesus is from the pen of St Ephrem, the sublime bard of the Syrian Church.


Hebrææ virgines assuetæ alias Jeremiæ Threnos recantare, pro lugubri suarum Scripturarum carmine, indidem acceptos lætitiæ hymnos hujusmodi refuderunt, Spiritu ipsarum ora movente:

Læta jam nunc oculos ab inferis attollat Eva hunc visura diem, in quo ipsius nepos vitæ auctor descendit extinctam Matris suæ genitricem excitaturus. Adoran dus puer caput serpentis contudit, cujus illa olim infecta veneno periit.

A cunis decori Isaac, Sara mater tuam speculabatur infantiam, teque illo adumbratum suo mulcebat cantu; relegensque infantiæ tuæ mysteria in eo puero expressa:Euge, fili, votorum fructus meorum, cantabat; jam nunc video in te, qui latet in te Dominum, omnium piorum vota precesque suscipiens, et ratas efficiens.

Nazaræus Samson juvenis fortissimus tuæ fortitudinis umbra fuit; leonem laceravit, mortis quam concidisti typum; rupisti scilicet mortem, vitamque ex ejus amarissimo ventre exclusisti, cujus usura nobis futura erat jucundissima.

Anna pariter te in Samuele figuratum, suo non semel pectori oppressiti tum primum, quando tuam præsensit justissimam severitatem ab illo repræsentatam eo die, quo regem Agag in frusta dissectum occidit, expressam diaboli imaginem: tum iterum, quando tuam contemplabatur clementiam ab eodem velut rudiore manu descriptam, eo tempore quo Saulis ruinam piis et veris lacrymis lugere non destitit.
The Hebrew maidens, who heretofore had been wont to chant the Lamentations of Jeremias in the plaintive strain of their Scriptures, now borrowed from the same holy volume joyful thoughts, and, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, sang them thus in hymns:

'Let Eve, in Limbo, now raise up her eyes, and see this day whereon one of her race, and he the author of life, descends to raise up from death the mother of his own dear Mother. The adorable Infant crushed the head of the serpent, by whose poison Eve had perished.

'Sara, the fair Isaac’s mother, foresaw thine Infancy, O Jesus, in her own son’s crib; the lullaby she sang over him told the mysteries of thy Childhood, which were foreshadowed and prefigured in her own child. Thus did she sing: “Sweet Babe! fruit of my prayers! I see in thee the Lord, who is hidden in thee as in his type: ’tis he receives the wishes and the prayers of pious hearts, and grants them their requests."

'The Nazarite Samson, the youth of exceeding strength, was a figure of thy strength, O Jesus! He tore a lion to pieces, typifying the death thou didst slay, for thou didst crush death, and from its bitter entrails didst draw forth life, whose taste would be most sweet to us.

'Anna, too, pressed thee to her bosom in the person of Samuel the Prophet, who was twice a figure of thy ministry; firstly when he prefigured thy most just severity on the day when he slew King Agag, the figure of the devil, and cut him to pieces; secondly, by imitating thy mercy, though imperfectly, when he unceasingly shed his tears of loving and sincere compassion over the fall of Saul.'

The Menæa of the Greek Church furnish us with these beautiful stanzas in honour of the holy Mother of God.

Die XVI Januarii

Terra inarata apparuisti, o augustissima, quæ spicam nobis protulisti, universi nutritorem Dominum Jesum, ex quo nos comedentes, ad vitam revocamur.

Deum ex te incarnatum videntes, o Virgo casta, Deiparam te proprie confitemur, quæ omnium reformationis, absque ulla dubitatione, causa fuisti.

Superessentialis ille, qui carnis erat expers, ex venerandis sanguinibus tuis incarnatus est, o castissima; et caro sine ulla mutatione factus, cum hominibus conversatus est.

Naturæ leges in te, o purissima Virgo, revera innovantur: Virgo quippe post partum manes, velut ante partum, Christum legislatorem enixa.

Miserabilis animæ meæ passionibus medere, o Dei Genitrix castissima; mentem tranquilla hostilibus invasionibus velut tempestatibus jactatam, et cor meum pacatum redde, o puella.

Rosam in medio spinarum te vere invenit in hujus mundi convallibus, o casta Virgo, Jesus omnium piantator atque ex utero tuo natus, nos divinæ cognitionis suavissimo perfudit odore.

Te spirituale candelabrum, qua lucem inaccessibilem suscepisti, agnovimus, o Virgo Maria, quæ omnium fidelium animos illuminasti, et peccati tenebras eliminasti.

Vocibus gratiarum actione plenis ad te clamamus: Ave, immaterialis, lucis habitaculum purissimum; ave, causa deificationis omnium; ave, maledictionis dissolutio; ave, terrigenarum expulsorum revocatio.
O most august Queen! thou wast the untilled land that gavest us our Wheat, Jesus, the Lord and feeder of the universe; by eating this Bread we are restored to life.

Seeing our Lord made incarnate from thee, chaste Virgin! we confess thee to be in very deed the Mother of God, that didst thus become, we hesitate not to proclaim it, the cause of the regeneration of all things.

He, the Being above all beings, who was a pure spirit, took flesh to himself from thy pure blood, O Spotless Maid! and remaining God as before, he was made flesh, and lived among men.

Nature’s Laws were truly suspended in thee, most pure Virgin! for thou remainest a Virgin after thy delivery, as thou wast before it, for thou didst give birth to him who is the giver of all laws, Christ.

Spotless Mother of God! heal the passions of my wretched soul: appease my mind, tossed by the attacks of my enemy as with tempests, and bring, O Virgin, peace unto my heart.

Jesus, the divine Husbandman of the world, found thee, chaste Virgin! in the lowly valley of this earth, growing as a Rose amidst thorns. He entered thy womb, and was born of thee, refreshing us with the delicious fragrance of the knowledge of divine things.

O Virgin Mary! we acknowledge thee to be the mystic candlestick on which was placed the Light inaccessible; thereby thou hast enlightened the minds of all the faithful, and hast put to flight the darkness of sin.

Thus do we cry out to thee in words of thankful love: Hail, most pure dwelling of spiritual Light! Hail, cause of our union with God! Hail, destroyer of the curse! Hail, O thou that didst call from their exile the children of this earth.

[1] St Matt. xiii 33.

ST BENET BISCOP is one of the great Benedictine saints to whom England owes so much. His devotion and loyalty to the Holy See, his love of learning, his zeal for the beauty of the house of God, for the monastic observance and for the Church's chant, show him to be a true monk, though his influence extended far wider than the narrow limits of his monastery, and affected the social condition of the people and the whole life of the Church in England. His feast is kept in several dioceses in England, but as there is no uniformity with regard to the date, we have inserted it in our calendar on the day of his death.

St Benet stands out among the great travellers in the cause of religion. He visited Rome no fewer than seven times, not only to satisfy his own devotion, but to obtain from the mother of all the churches the purest traditions, the most correct books for use in the divine liturgy, and objects of piety wherewith to inspire the devotion of the faithful. These treasures were all destined to be used for the benefit of his own countrymen, who were unable to seek them for themselves at the fountain-head. He inspired all those with whom he came in contact with a more exalted idea of the dignity of the worship of God. With regard to the Divine Service, his ruling principle was that nothing but the best was worthy of use, whether it were in the carrying out of liturgical functions or the actual fabric of the church. In his day Britain was far behind the continental nations in industry and art, and stone buildings were hardly known. St Benet, therefore, journeyed into Gaul to procure stonemasons, who came to the monastery at Wearmouth in Northumbria, and, with the help of the monks whom they instructed, built a stone church for the Community. The making and use of glass was also unknown in these islands at the time, and again St Benet sent messengers to Gaul who brought back workers in glass to glaze the windows of his church.

The record of St Benet's life has come down to us as written by the Venerable Bede, who was a monk of the abbey founded by the saint at Jarrow. Bede was admitted into this monastery when a child, during the lifetime of St Benet Biscop, and thus in his Life speaks from personal experience. He records several charming incidents which are not included in the Breviary lessons, one of which is given here as being illustrative of the saint's zeal for the Divine Office.

The Venerable Bede records that once during a visitation of the pestilence the monks at Jarrow were all stricken with the sickness with such severity that there remained but two persons in the house who were able to go to the church to sing the Divine Office, the Abbot Benet and Bede, who was still a child. These two performed the duties of the whole choir with unflagging zeal until the monks gradually regained sufficient strength to resume their share of the work of God. One can well imagine the joy of the angels at the sight of the venerable Abbot and the innocent child, each intent upon performing his share of the psalmody with exactitude so that it might never be said that the praise of God had ceased to resound through the Abbey church.

The following is the life of the saint as given in the Breviary lessons.

Benedictus cognomento Biscopus nobili stirpe genitus, quum esset minister Osvii regio, annos natus circiter viginti quinque Romam adiit, et Apostolorum Beatorum loca visere curavit. Ad patriam mox reversus, quævidit ecclesiasticæ vitæ instituía, non solum diligere et venerari, sed prædicare non desiit. Quo tempore Alchfridus Osvii filius et ipse Romani venire disponens, eum comitem accepit. Quem quum pater revocaret, ipse cœptum explens iter Romam rediit tempore Vitaliani Papæ. Et post menses aliquot inde digrediens, ad insulam Lirinensem tonsuram accepit, et disciplinam regularem, monachi voto insignitus, servavit; ubi per biennium institutus, rursus beati Petri Apostolorum Principis amore devictus, sacram ejus corpore civitatem repetere statuit, nec post longum tempus adveniente nave mercatoria desiderio satisfecit.

Eo tempore Egbertus Cantuariorum rex electum ad Episcopatus officium virum nomine Vigardum Romam miserat, qui veniens defunctus est. Ast Romanus Pontifex, ne legatio fructu careret, elegit de suis, quem Archiepiscopum mitteret, Theodorum nomine, et quia Benedictum sapientem, industrium, religiosum, et nobilem compererat, huic ordinatum commendavit. Venerunt Cantium, Theodorus sedem episcopalem conscendit, Benedictus vero monasterium beati Petri regendum suscepit. Quod ubi duobus annis rexit, tertium de Britannia Romam iter accipiens, libros divinæ eruditionis vel emptos vel largitos retulit. Tandem ad patriam pedens convertens Egfridum Transumbranæ regionis regem adiit, tantamque apud eum gratiam invenit, ut terram septuaginta familiarum largitus, monasterium ibi primo Pastori Ecclesiæ facere præciperet.

Unius anni spatio post fundatum monasterium interjecta, Benedictus Gallias petens casmentarios, qui lapideam sibi ecclesiam facerent, accepit. Proximante ad profectum opere, misit legatorios Galliam qui vitrificatores artifices Britannis eatenus incognitos, ad cancellandas fenestras adducerent. Ea quoque, quæ nec in Gallia reperiri valebant Romanis e finibus ecclesiæsuæ ut conferret, quarta illa post compositum monasterium profectione, ampliori quam prius fenore cumulatus rediit. Inter alia ordinem psallendi juxta morem Romanæ institutionis suo monasterio tradidit ab Agathone Papa accepto archicantore ecclesiæ sancti Petri, Joanne, Abbate monasterii Sancti Martini. Attulitetiam epistolam privilegii a Papa, qua monasterium ab extrinseca irruptione perpetuo redderetur liberum.

Verum quarta vice de Britannia Romam accurrens, innumeris donis locupletatus rediit, magna copia voluminum sacrorum, sed non minori sicut prius, sanctorum imaginum. Haud multo post morbo cœpit fatigari et per triennium languere, paulatim accrescente tanta paralysi membrorum parte factus sit præmortuus: superioribus solum, sine quorum vita vivere nequit homo, ad officium patientiæ virtutumque reservatio. Satagebat interim Benedictus advenientes sæpius ad se fratres de custodienda, quam statuerat, regula firmare; et hoc sedulus iisdem solebat iterare mandatum ne quis in electione Abbatis generis prosapiam, et non magis vivendi, docendique probitatem putaret esse quærendam. Vero inquit, dico vobis quia tolerabilius mihi est hunc locum si sic judicaverit Deus, in solitudinem sempiternam redigi, quam ut frater meus carnalis quem novimus viam veritatis non ingredi, in monasterio regendo post me succedat. Sexto decimo postquam monasterium fundavit anno quievit in Domino pridie Idus Januarii, sepultus in ecclesia beati Petri Apostoli, ut quem degens in carne semper solebat amare, ab hujus reiiquiis ex altari post mortem nec longius abesset.
Benedict, surnamed Biscop, of noble parentage and a member of the household of King Oswy, journeyed to Rome when he was about twenty-five years of age to visit the tombs of the blessed Apostles. Upon his return to his native land soon afterwards, he endeavoured to introduce the customs of ecclesiastical life which he had seen and which he had not ceased to love and venerate. Alchfrid, son of Oswy, wishing also to visit Rome, took Benedict as his companion, but when Alchfrid was recalled by his father, Benedict continued the journey and arrived at Rome in the time of Pope Vitalian. After spending some months there, he went to the island of Lerins,. where he received the tonsure, and making his monastic profession, followed the regular observance. After two years, again overcome by the love of blessed Peter, the prince of the Apostles, he decided to revisit the city made holy by his body, and not long after, upon the arrival of a merchant vessel, he was able to satisfy his desire.

About that time Egbert, King of Kent, had sent to Rome as bishop-elect a man named Vigard, who died in the Holy City. In order that this embassy should not be fruitless, the Roman pontiff chose Theodore from those about him and nominated him to the Archbishopric, and having learnt that Benedict, was wise, diligent, devout, and of noble birth, he entrusted the bishop to him. When they arrived in Kent, Theodore took possession of his see and Benedict was placed at the head of the monastery of blessed Peter. He governed this monastery for two years, at the end of which time he took the road from Britain to Rome a third time, whence he brought back books of divine learning which he had either bought or been given. At length, returning to his native land, he went to Egfrid, King of Northumbria, with whom he found so much favour that he received land enough to support seventy families, and was enjoined to found there a monastery in honour of the first pastor of the Church.

A year after the foundation of the monastery, Benedict fetched masons from Gaul to build a stone church. Glass had been hitherto unknown in Britain, and therefore shortly before the completion of this work he sent messengers into Gaul to bring back artificers to glaze the windows. When the church was finished he set out for Rome (the fourth journey after the foundation of the monastery) in order to obtain those things which he could not procure in Gaul, and he returned even more laden than before. Amongst other things, he introduced into his monastery the method of psalmody according to the custom of the Roman Church, having received from Pope Agatho the Archcantor of the Church of St Peter, John, Abbot of the monastery of St Martin. He also brought back a letter of privileges from the Pope by which the monastery was made free for ever from outside interference.

For the fourth time he hastened from Britain to Rome, and, enriched with many gifts, he returned with a great store of sacred books and with no less store of holy pictures. Shortly afterwards he was attacked by his last illness, which lasted three years, for his body was a prey to paralysis in such wise that while his lower members became entirely dead, the upper part of his body, without the use of which life is impossible, remained unafflicted for the exercise of patience and virtue. Meanwhile Benedict was careful to confirm the brethren who frequently visited him in the observance of the rule he had instituted, and he often repeated the following injunction lest anyone should think that in the election of the Abbot one should be sought for among his relatives and not rather by the test of life and teaching. ‘Truly,' he said, 'I tell you that I should prefer that this place should be reduced to a solitude for ever, if God so wills, rather than that my brother according to the flesh who, we know, has not entered upon the way of truth, should succeed me in the government of the monastery.' He slept in the Lord on the day before the Ides of January sixteen years after the foundation of the monastery, and was buried in the church of blessed Peter the Apostle, that his remains might rest after death not far from the relics and altar of him to whom, during life, he had always been most devout.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

THE thoughts of the Church today are fixed on the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan, which is the second of the three Mysteries of the Epiphany. The Emmanuel manifested himself to the Magi, after having shown himself to the Shepherds; but this manifestation was made within the narrow space of a stable at Bethlehem, and the world knew nothing of it. In the Mystery of the Jordan, Christ manifested himself with greater publicity. His coming is proclaimed by the Precursor; the crowd that is flocking to the river for Baptism is witness of what happens; Jesus makes this the beginning of his public life. But who could worthily explain the glorious circumstances of this second Epiphany?

It resembles the first in this, that it is for the benefit and salvation of the human race. The star has led the Magi to Christ; they had long waited for his coming, they had hoped for it; now they believe. Faith in the Messias having come into the world is beginning to take root among the Gentiles. But faith is not sufficient for salvation; the stain of sin must be washed away by water. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.[1] The time is come, then, for a new manifestation of the Son of God, whereby there shall be inaugurated the great remedy, which is to give to Faith the power of producing life eternal.

Now the decrees of divine Wisdom had chosen Water as the instrument of this sublime regeneration of the human race. Hence, in the beginning of the world, we find the Spirit of God moving over the Waters,[2] in order that they might ‘even then conceive a principle of sanctifying power,' as the Church expresses it in her Office for Holy Saturday.[3] But before being called to fulfil the designs of God’s mercy, this element of Water had to be used by the Divine Justice for the chastisement of a sinful world. With the exception of one family, the whole human race perished, by the terrible judgement of God, in the Waters of the Deluge.

A fresh indication of the future supernatural power of this chosen element was given by the Dove, which Noe sent forth from the Ark; it returned to him, bearing in its beak an Olive-branch, the symbol that peace was given to the earth by its having been buried in Water. But this was only the announcement of the mystery; its accomplishment was not to be for long ages to come.

Meanwhile, God spoke to his people by many events, which were figurative of the future Mystery of Baptism. Thus, for example, it was by passing through the waters of the Red Sea that they entered into the Promised Land, and during the miraculous passage, a pillar of a cloud was seen covering both the Israelites and the Waters to which they owed their deliverance.

But in order that Water should have the power to purify man from his sins, it was necessary that it should be brought in contact with the Sacred Body of the Incarnate God. The Eternal Father had sent his Son into the world, not only that he might be its Lawgiver, and Redeemer, and the Victim of its salvation, but that he might also be the Sanctifier of Water; and it was in this sacred element that he would divinely bear testimony to his being his Son, and manifest him to the world a second time.

Jesus, therefore, being now thirty years of age, comes to the Jordan, a river already celebrated for the prophetic miracles which had been wrought in its waters. The Jewish people, roused by the preaching of John the Baptist, were flocking thither in order to receive a Baptism which could indeed excite a sorrow for sin, but could not effect its forgiveness. Our divine King approaches the river, not, of course, to receive sanctification, for he himself is the author of all Justice—but to impart to Water the power of bringing forth, as the Church expresses the mystery, a new and heavenly progeny.[4] He goes down into the stream, not, like Josue, to walk dry-shod through its bed, but to let its waters encompass him, and receive from him, both for itself and for the Waters of the whole earth, the sanctifying power which they would retain for ever. The saintly Baptist places his trembling hand upon the sacred head of the Redeemer, and bends it beneath the water; the Sun of Justice vivifies this his creature; he imparts to it the glow of life-giving fruitfulness; and Water thus becomes the prolific source of supernatural life.

But in this the commencement of a new creation, we look for the intervention of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. All Three are there. The heavens open; the Dove descends, not as a mere symbol, prophetic of some future grace, but as the sign of the actual presence of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of love, who gives peace to men and changes their hearts. The Dove hovers above the head of Jesus, overshadowing at one and the same time the Humanity of the Incarnate Word and the water which bathed his sacred Body.

The manifestation is not complete; the Father's voice is still to be heard speaking over the Water, and moving by its power the entire element throughout the earth. Then was fulfilled the prophecy of David: The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of majesty hath thundered. The Voice of the Lord breaketh cedars, that is, the pride of the devils. The Voice of the Lord divideth the flame of fire, that is, the anger of God. The Voice of the Lord shaketh the desert, and maketh the flood to swell, that is, announces a new Deluge, the Deluge of divine Mercy.[5] And what says this Voice of the Father? This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.[6]

Thus was the Holiness of Emmanuel manifested by the presence of the Dove and by the voice of the Father, as his kingly character had been previously manifested by the mute testimony of the star. The mystery is accomplished, the Waters are invested with a spiritual purifying power, and Jesus comes from the Jordan and ascends the bank, raising up with himself the world, regenerated and sanctified, with all its crimes and defilements drowned in the stream. Such is the interpretation and language of the Holy Fathers of the Church regarding this great event of our Lord's Life.

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates this wonderful mystery of Jesus' Baptism; and we cannot be surprised at the Eastern Church having selected this day for one of the solemn administrations of the sacrament of Baptism. The same custom was observed, as we learn from ancient documents, in certain Churches in the West. John Mosch tells us that, as regards the Oriental Church, the Font was more than once miraculously filled with water on the Feast of the Epiphany, and that immediately after having administered the Sacrament, the people saw the water disappear. The Roman Church, even so early as the time of St Leo, decreed that Easter and Pentecost should be the only two days for the solemn administration of Baptism; but the custom of blessing the baptismal water with great solemnity on the Epiphany was still retained, and is observed even now in some parts of the West.

The Eastern Church has always religiously observed it. Amidst all the pomp of sacred rites, accompanied by his Priests and Ministers, who are clothed in the richest vestments, and followed by the whole people, the Bishop repairs to the banks of a river. After reciting certain beautiful prayers, which we regret not being able to offer to our readers, the Bishop plunges into the water a Cross richly adorned with precious stones; it represents our Lord being baptized by St John. At St Petersburg, the ceremony takes place on the River Neva, and it is through a hole made on the ice that the Metropolitan dips the Cross into the Water. This same ceremony is observed by those Churches in the West which have retained the custom of blessing the baptismal water on this Feast.

The faithful are very anxious to carry home with them the water of the stream thus sanctified; and St John Chrysostom, in his twenty-fourth Homily, on the Baptism of Christ, speaks to his audience of the circumstance, which was well known by all of them, of this water never turning corrupt. The same has been often seen in the Western Church.

Let us honour our Lord in this second Manifestation of his divinity, and thank him, with the Church, for having given us both the Star of Faith which enlightens us, and the Water of Baptism which cleanses us from our iniquities. Let us lovingly appreciate the humility of our Jesus, who permits himself to be weighed down by the hand of a mortal man, in order, as he says himself, that he might fulfil all justice;[7] for having taken on himself the likeness of sin, it was requisite that he should bear its humiliation, that so he might raise us from our debasement. Let us thank him for this grace of Baptism, which has opened to us the gates of the Church both of heaven and earth; and let us renew the engagements we made at the holy Font, for they were the terms on which we were regenerated to our new life in God.


The Introit, Epistle, Gradual and Alleluia-Verse, Offertory, Preface, and Communion, are the same as on the Feast.


Ecce advenit dominator Dominus; et regnum in manu ejus, et potestas, et imperium.

Ps. Deus, judicium tuum Regi da, et justitiam tuam filio Regis. ℣. Gloria Patri.

Ecce advenit.
Behold the Lord the ruler is come; and dominion, power, and empire are in his hand.

Ps. Give to the king thy judgement, O God, and to the king’s son thy justice. ℣. Glory.


In the Collect, the Church prays that her children may have the grace of becoming like to Jesus, who appeared in the Jordan, filled, indeed, with the Holy Ghost, and the object of the Heavenly Father's love, but at the same time, truly Man like us, and faithful in the fulfilment of all justice.


Deus, cujus Unigenitus in substantia nostræ carnis apparuit: præsta, quæsumus, ut per eum, quem similem nobis foris agnovimus, intus reformari mereamur. Qui tecum.
O God, whose Only Begotten Son appeared in the substance of our flesh: grant, we beseech thee, that we may be interiorly reformed by him, whom we confess to have outwardly taken our flesh on himself. Who liveth, etc.


Lectio Isaiæ Prophetæ.

Cap. LX.

Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem; quia venit lumen tuum, et gloria Domini super te orta est. Quia ecce tenebra operient terram, et caligo populos; super te autem onetur Dominus, et gloria ejus in te videbitur. Et ambulabunt gentes in lumine tuo, et Reges in splendore ortus tui. Leva in circuitu oculos tuos, et vide: omnes isti congregati sunt, venerunt tibi; filli tui de longe venient, et filiæ tuæ de latere surgent. Tunc videbis et afflues, et mirabitur et dilatabitur cor tuum, quando conversa fuerit ad te multitudo maris, fortitudo gentium venerit tibi. Inundatio camelorum operiet te, dromedarii Madian et Epha. Omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes, et laudem Domino annuntiantes.
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.

Ch. LX.

Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and Kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee; thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, thedromedaries of Madian and Epha; all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.


Omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes, et laudem Domino annuntiantes.

℣. Surge et illuminare, Jerusalem, quia gloria Domini super te orta est.

Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente, et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum. Alleluia.
All shall come from Saba, bringing gold and frankincense, and publishing the praises of the Lord.

℣. Arise, and be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. We saw his star in the East, and are come with our offerings to adore the Lord. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.

Cap. I.

In illo tempore: Vidit Joannes Jesum venientem ad se, et ait: Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi. Hic est de quo dixi: Post me venit vir, qui ante me factus est quia prior me erat. Et ego nesciebam eum; sed ut manifestetur in Isræl, propterea veni ego in aqua baptizans. Et testimonium perhibuit Joannes, dicens: Quia vidi Spiritum descendentem quasi columbam de cœlo, et mansit super eum. Et ego nesciebam eum, sed qui misit me baptizare in aqua, ille mihi dixit: Super quem videris Spiritum descendentem, et manentem super eum, hic est qui baptizat in Spiritu Sancto. Et ego vidi: et testimonium perhibui, quia hic est Filius Dei.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.

Ch. I.

At that time: John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sins of the world. This is he of whom I said: After me there cometh a man who is preferred before me; because he was before me. And I knew him not; but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me: he upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw: and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.

O Lamb of God! thou didst enter into the stream to purify it, the Dove came down from heaven, for thy sweet meekness attracted the Spirit of love; and having sanctified the waters, the mystery of thy Baptism was over. But what tongue can express the prodigy of mercy effected by it! Men have gone down after thee into the stream made sacred by contact with thee; they return regenerated; they were wolves, and Baptism has transformed them into lambs. We were defiled by sin, and were unworthy to stand near thee, the spotless Lamb; but the waters of the holy Font have been poured upon us and we are made as the sheep of the Canticle, which come up from the washing fruitful, and none is barren among them;[8] or as doves upon the brooks of water, white and spotless as though they had been washed with milk, sitting near the plentiful streams![9] Preserve us, O Jesus, in this white robe which thou hast put upon us. If, alas! we have tarnished its purity, cleanse us by that second Baptism, the Baptism of Penance. Permit us, too, dear Lord, to intercede for those countries to whom thy Gospel has not yet been preached; let this river of peace,[10] the waters of Baptism, flow out upon them, and inundate the whole earth. We beseech thee, by the glory of thy manifestation at thy Baptism, forget the crimes of men, which have hitherto caused the Gospel to be kept from those unhappy countries. Thy heavenly Father bids every creature hear thee; speak, dear Jesus! to every creature.


Reges Tharsis et insulæ munera offerent, Reges Arabum et Saba dona adducent: et adorabunt eum omnes Reges terræ; omnes gentes servient ei.
The Kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents, the Kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts: and all the Kings of the earth shall adore him; all nations shall serve him.

In the Secret, the Church once more proclaims the divine Manifestation, and begs that the Lamb, who by his Sacrifice has enabled us to offer God an acceptable oblation, may graciously receive it at our hands.


Hostias tibi, Domine, pro nati Filii tui Apparitione deferimus, suppliciter exorantes; ut sicut ipse nostrorum auctor est munerum, ita sit ipse misericors et susceptor, Jesus Christus Dominus noster. Qui tecum.
We offer sacrifice to thee, O Lord, in remembrance of the Manifestation of thy new-born Son, humbly beseeching thee; that as our Lord Jesus Christ is the author of what we offer, so he may mercifully receive the same. Who liveth, etc.


Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente, et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.
We have seen his star in the East, and are come with offerings to adore the Lord.

While giving thanks for the heavenly nourishment just received, the holy Church prays for the unceasing help of that divine Light, which has appeared to her, and which will enable her to contemplate the purity of the Lamb, and to love him as he deserves.


Cœlesti lumine, quæsumus, Domine, semper et ubique nos præveni; ut mysterium, cujus nos participes esse voluisti, et puro cernamus intuitu, et digno percipiamus affectu. Per Dominum.
May thy heavenly light, we beseech thee, O Lord, go before us at all times and in all places; that we may contemplate with a clear sight, and receive with due affection, the mystery whereof thou hast been pleased we should partake. Through, etc.

Let us once more sing the praises of the divine Epiphany—the Theophany. Let us make a concert, as it were, of the Liturgies of all the Churches. St Hilary of Poitiers shall be our first chanter, in the Hymn he has written on the three mysteries of this great Octave.


Jesus refulsit omnium
Pius Redemptor gentium;
Totum genus fidelium
Laudes celebret dramatum.

Quem stella naturn fulgida
Monstrat micans in æthera,
Magosque ducit prævia
Ipsius ad cunabula.

Illi cadentes parvulum
Pannis adorant obsitum
Verum fatentur ut Deum,
Munus ferendo mysticum.

Denis ter annorum cyclis,
Jam parte vivens temporis,
Lympham petit baptismatis,
Cunctis carens contagiis.

Felix Joannes mergere
Illum tremiscit flumine,
Potest suo qui sanguine
Peccata cosmi tergere.

Vox ergo Prolem de polis
Testatur excelsa Patris,
Virtus adestque Pneumatis,
Sancti datrix charismatis.

Nos, Christe, subnixa prece
Omnes, precamur, protege,
Qui præcipis rubescere
Aquas potenter hydriæ.

Laus Trinitati debita,
Honor, potestas omnium,
Perenniter sint omnia
Per sæculorum sæcula.

Jesus, the merciful Redeemer of all nations,
shone forth on this day;
let the faithful of every race
celebrate him in their songs of praise.

A Star, shining in the heavens,
announces his Birth;
it leads the way,
and guides them to his Crib.

Prostrating, they adore the Infant
wrapped in swaddling clothes;
they confess him to be the true God,
offering him their mystic gifts.

Thirty years of his life
had passed, and he,
the infinitely pure God,
seeks the laver of baptism.

John, the favoured Baptist,
trembles as he bends the head of Jesus beneath the waters
—that Jesus whose Blood was to purify
the whole earth from its sins.

The divine voice of the Father is heard from heaven,
bearing testimony to his Son;
and the Holy Spirit, too, is present,
the giver of holy grace.

We beseech thee in humble supplication,
O Jesus! protect thy people;
we ask it of thee by the power thou didst show
when thou didst command the water to be changed into wine.

May praise,
honour, and all power
be to the Trinity
for ever and for ever.


The Ambrosian Church of Milan thus celebrates the Baptism of our Lord in the beautiful Preface we take from its Missal.


Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper hic et ubique gratias agere, Domine sáncte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, qui te nobis super Jordanis alveum de cœlis in voce tonitrui præbuisti, ut Salvatorem cœli demonstrares, et te Patrem æterni iuminis ostenderes, cœlos aperuisti, ærem benedixisti, fontem purificasti: et tuum unicum Filium per speciem columbæ Sancto Spiritu declarasti. Susceperunt hodie fontes benedictionem tuam, et abstulerunt maledictionem nostram, ita ut credentibus purificationem omnium delictorum exhibeant, et Dei filios adoptione faciant ad vitam æternam. Nam quos ad temporalem vitam carnalis nativitas fuderat, quos mors per prævaricationem ceperat, hos vita æterna recipiens, ad regni cœlorum gloriam revocavit.
It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always, here and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Almighty Father, Eternal God, who didst show thyself unto us in the river Jordan by speaking to us from heaven in the voice of thunder, whereby thou wouldst manifest unto us our heavenly Saviour, and show thyself to be the Father of eternal light; and therefore thou didst open the heavens, and bless the air, and purify the stream: and thou didst announce him to be thine Only Begotten Son by the Holy Ghost, who appeared in the form of a Dove. On this day did the waters receive thy benediction, and take away our malediction, so that they give to believers the purification of all their sins, and make them by adoption sons of God unto life everlasting. For, they that were born by the flesh unto temporal life, and made by sin subject to death, have been admitted into life everlasting, and restored to the glory of the heavenly kingdom.

The venerable Antiphons we now give are the precious remnants of the ancient Gallican Liturgy: they are of Oriental origin, and are still preserved in the Cistercian Breviary.


Veterem hominem renovans Salvator venit ad baptismum, ut naturam quæ corrupta est, per aquam recuperaret: incorruptibili veste circumamictans nos.

Te, qui in Spiritu et igne purificas humana contagia, Deum et Redemptorem omnes glorificamus.

Baptista contremuit, et non audet tangere sanctum Dei verticem; sed clamat cum tremore: Sanctifica me, Salvator.

Caput draconis Salvator contrivit in Jordane flumine, et ab ejus potestate omnes eripuit.

Magnum Mysterium declarator hodie, quia Creator omnium in Jordane expurgat nostra facinora.

Baptizat miles Regem, servus Dominum suum, Joannes Salvatorem: aqua Jordanis stupuit, columba protestabatur: paterna vox audita est: Hic est Filius meus.

Fontes aquarum sanctificati sunt, Christo apparente in gloria: orbis terrarum, haurite aquas de fonte Salvatoris: sanctifica vit enim tunc omnem creaturam Christus Deus noster.
Renewing our old man, the Saviour comes to Baptism, that he might by water restore our nature which had been corrupted: he clothed us with an incorruptible garment.

We glorify thee as our God and Redeemer, that didst purify the contagious defilements of mankind in the Spirit and in fire.

The Baptist trembled, and dares not to touch the head of God; but cries out, with fear: Sanctify me, O Saviour!

The Saviour crushed the serpent's head in the river Jordan, and delivered us all from his power.

A great Mystery is this day declared to us; for the Creator of all wipes away our sins in the Jordan.

The soldier baptizes his King, the servant his Lord, and John his Saviour: the waters of the Jordan were amazed, and testimony was borne by the Dove: the voice of the Father was heard: This is my Son.

The springs of water were sanctified when the glory of Christ was manifested: all ye countries of the earth, draw out waters from the Saviour's fountains, for on that day did Christ our God sanctify every creature.


Orta lux mirifice,
Prævisa prophetice,
Nunc lucis deificæ
Monstrat ortum.

Hac Magus instruitur,
Herodes concutitur,
Ad Jesum gens ducitur,
Pacis portum.

Stella prodit Puerum,
Conditorem siderum,
Et ultorem scelerum,
Deum fortem.

Quem mystico munere
Monstrat cuncta regere
Et tandem redimere
Nos per mortem.

Hic aquis abluitur,
Et aquis infunditur
Virtus qua diluitur
Adas noxa.

Columba conspicitur,
Vox Patris complectitur
Natum, quo dignoscitur
Ejus doxa.

Joannis præconium
Profert testimonium,
Et sumit initium
Lex amoris.

Lætatur convivium
Cum facit officium
Vini, liquor fontium,

In Virginis clausula,
Sponsæ sine macula,
Dulci nubit copula
Verbum Patris.

Abluens piacula,
Nostra solvat vincuia,
Protegens in sæcula
Prece Matris.

A Star has miraculously risen,
that was foretold by the Prophets:
it tells the rising
of the divine Light.

It guides the Magi,
it terrifies Herod,
it leads the Gentiles to Jesus,
the haven of peace.

It reveals the Child,
the creator of the stars,
the avenger of crime,
the Strong God.

The mystic gifts proclaim him
to be the Ruler of all things,
and the Redeemer who saved
us by his death.

He is baptized in the waters,
and the waters imbibe from him
a virtue whereby they wash away
Adam’s sins.

The Dove is seen:
the voice of the Father speaks
his love of the Son,
therefore making known his glory.

The word of John
bears also testimony;
and the law of love
is begun.

The guests are gladdened
when the spring-water is made
to do the service
of the better wine.

The Word of the Father
is espoused in sweet love
in the womb of the Virgin,
the Spouse without stain.

May he cleanse our sins,
and so loosen our chains,
protecting us for ever,
at his Mother’s prayer.


Die VI Januarii, In Theophania

Conversus est olim Jordanis fluvius Elisei melota, rapto in altum Elia, et divisæ sunt aquæ hinc et inde, et ipsi sicca facta est via, et humida in typum vere baptismatis, per quod nos fiuidum vitæ transimus iter. Christus apparuit, omnem volens renovare creaturam.

Hodie aquarum sanctificata natura, scinditur Jordanis, et suorum sistit fluenta fontium, Dominum videns lavatum.

Tamquam homo in flumen venisti, Christe Rex, servile baptisma accipere; festinas, o bone, sub Præcursoris manu, propter peccata nostra, philanthrope.

Ad vocem clamantis in deserto: Præparate viam Domini, venisti, Domine, formam servi assumens, baptisma flagitans, qui peccatum nescis: viderunt te aquæ et tremuerunt; contremiscens effectus est Præcursor, et exclamavit dicens: Quomodo illuminabit lampas lumen? Quomodo imponet manus servus super Dominum? Sanctifica me et aquas, Salvator, qui tollis mundi peccatum.

Præcursoris et Baptistæ et Prophetæ, super omnes Prophetas honorati, tremuit dextera, quia contemplabatur Agnum Dei peccata mundi lavantem, et anxietate sollicitus, exclamabat: Non audeo imponere, o Verbum, manum capiti tuo; tu ipse sanctifica me et illumina, o misericors; ipse enim es vita et lux et pax mundi.

Mira res erat videre cœli terræque Dominum in fluvio denudatimi, baptismum a servo pro nostra salute suscipientem quasi servum; et stupebant Angelorum chori in timore et gaudio: cum illis te adoramus; salva nos.

Manum tuam, quæ Domini intactum tetigit caput, cum qua et digito ipsum nobis submonstrasti, eleva pro nobis ad ilium, Baptista, tamquam potestatem habens magnam: nam ab ipso major Prophetis declaratus es, oculosque iterum tuos, qui sanctissimum viderunt Spiritum in columbæ specie descendentem, ad ipsum converte, Baptista, misericorditer cum nobis operatus, et hic sta nobiscum approbans hymnum, incipiensque primus panegyriam.

Jordanica flumina te fontem receperunt, et Paraclitus in forma columbæ descendit. Inclinat caput, qui cœlos inclinavit; ejulat et clamat lutum plasmanti: Cur mihi jubes quæ supra me sunt; ego opus habeo tuo baptismate, o impeccabilis.

Inclinasti caput Præcursori, capita contrivisti draconum; in flumina descendisti, illuminasti omnia ad glorificandum te, Salvator, lumen animarum nostrarum.

Qui indutus est lumine sicut vestimento, pro nobis secundum nos fieri dignatus
est: fluenta induit hodie Jordanica, istis ipse ad purificationem non indigens, sed nobis in seipso dispensans regenerationem: o prodigium!

Venite, imitemur sapientes virgines; venite, eamus obviam manifestato Domino; quia venit tamquam sponsus ad Joannem. Jordanis te videns conversus est retrorsum; inflexit se et stetit. Joannes clamabat: Non audeo tangere immortale caput; Spiritus descendebat in forma columbæ ad sanctificandum aquas; et vox de cœlo: Hic est Filius meus veniens in mundum ad salvandum genus humanum. Gloria tibi, Christe.

Baptizatur Christus et ascendit de aqua; sursum effert cum seipso mundum, et videt reseratos cœlos, quos Adam sibi suisque clauserat. Et Spiritus confitetur divinitatem, et simul adest vox de cœlo; inde enim declaratur Salvator animarum nostrarum.

Domine, adimplere volens quæ ab æterno decrevisti, ab omni creatura mysterii tui ministeria suscepisti: ex Angelis, Gabrielem; ex hominibus, Virginem; e cœlis, stellam; ex aquis, Jordanem: peccatum mundi suscepisti. Salvator noster, gloria tibi.

Jordanis flumen, quid obstupescis, videns invisibilem nudum? Vidi, inquis, et exhorrui: et quomodo non tremuissem? Hunc videntes Angeli, horruerunt: commoti sunt cœli, terra contremuit, et contractum est mare, et omnia visibilia et invisibilia. Christus manifestatus est in Jordane, et aquas sanctificandas.

Maculatimi solem quis vidit, clamabat Præco, natura coruscantem? quomodo te, splendor gloriæ, æterni Patris imago, aquis abluam, cum fœnum sim? Quomodo ignem tangam tuæ divinitatis? Tu enim Christus, Dei sapientia et virtus.

Galilææ gentium, Zabulon regioni, et Naphtalim terræ, lumen magnum illuxit Christus, his qui erant in tenebris fulgidus visus est splendor in Bethlehem fulgida. Sed amplius ex Maria Dominus universo orbi terrarum ostendit radios, Sol justitiæ.

Ideo qui ex Adam nudi, venite omnes, induamus eum, ut refocillemur; tegumentum enim nudorum, tenebrosorum splendor venisti: manifestatus es inaccessibile lumen.
Elias had been taken up on high: Eliseus touched the Jordan with his cloak, and the stream was turned back; the waters divided, leaving the Prophet a dry yet moistened path, as a true type of that Baptism whereby we pass the streamlike path of life. Christ appeared, desiring to renew his creature.

On this day was sanctified the element of water; the Jordan is divided, and its waters cease to flow, seeing its Lord seeking baptism in its stream.

Thou hast come to the river, O Christ our King! thou hast come as Man to receive baptism at thy servant's hands; good Jesus! lover of mankind! thou art eager to bend beneath thy Precursor’s hand.

At the voice of him that cried out in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord! thou didst come, O Lord! taking to thyself the likeness of a servant, and thou that knowest not sin asking for Baptism! The waters saw thee and trembled. The Precursor trembled, and exclaimed: 'How shall the lamp give light to the Light? How shall the servant impose his hands on his Lord? O Saviour! that takest away the sins of the world, sanctify me and the waters.’

His right hand trembled, for though Precursor, and Baptist, and Prophet greater than all Prophets, he saw before him the Lamb of God that washes away the sins of the world: oppressed with anxious doubt, he exclaimed: 'O Word! I dare not put my hand upon thy head: do thou sanctify and enlighten me, O Merciful One! for thou art the life and light and peace of the world.'

It was a wonderful thing to see the Lord of heaven and earth standing naked in the river, receiving as a servant, and from his servant. Baptism for our salvation. The choirs of Angels stood amazed in fear and in joy. We adore thee, O Jesus! together with them. Save us.

O holy Baptist! raise up to him for us that hand of thine, which touched the untouched Head of our Lord, and wherewith thou didst point him out to us. Thou hast great power, for he declared thee to be greater than all the Prophets. Turn also to him thine eyes, which saw the Most Holy Spirit come down in the form of a Dove. Have pity on us, and be with us encouraging our hymn, and thyself beginning the canticle of praise.

The waters of the Jordan received thee, O Jesus, the Fountain of life! and the Paraclete came down upon thee in the form of a Dove. He who bent down the very heavens now bends his sacred Head! The clay that was formed cries out complainingly to Him who formed it: 'Why biddest thou me do what is above me? I have need to be baptized by thee, O Sinless One!'

Thou didst bend thine Head to thy Precursor; thou didst crush the heads of the serpents. Thou didst go down into the river; thou didst enlighten all things that they might glorify thee, O Saviour, thou Light of our souls!

He that is clad with light as with a garment, deigned for our sakes to become like unto us.
To-day he girds himself with the waters of the Jordan, not needing them for his own purification, but that he might give regeneration to us through himself. O wondrous work!

Come, let us imitate the wise virgins; come, let us go to meet our Lord thus manifested to us, for like a bridegroom he comes to John. The Jordan turned back when it saw thee, O Jesus! it bent its course and stood. John exclaimed: 'I dare not touch the head of the eternal God.' The Spirit came down, in the form of a Dove, to sanctify the waters, and a Voice said from heaven: 'This is my Son, that is come into the world to save mankind.’ Glory be to thee, O Christ!

Christ is baptized, and comes up from the water; he raises up the world with himself, and sees that heaven opened, which Adam had closed against himself and his children. The Spirit, too, proclaims the divinity of Him that was baptized, and a Voice from heaven is heard at the same time. Thus is Christ declared to be the Saviour of our souls.

When thou didst will, O Lord! to fulfil thy eternal decrees, thou didst permit all creatures to minister to thy Mystery! Gabriel among the Angels; the Virgin among men; the Star among the heavenly bodies; the Jordan among the streams of water. Thou didst take on thyself the sin of the world. Glory be to thee, O Saviour!

O Jordan, why wonderest thou at seeing the Invisible thus naked before thee? 'I saw,' thou repliest, 'and how should I not tremble? The angels see him, and are awed. The heavens were moved, the earth shook, the sea curled up its waves, and all things, visible and invisible, feared.' Christ manifested himself in the Jordan, that he might sanctify the waters.

The Precursor, the herald of Christ, exclaimed: 'Who is there that has seen a spot upon the sun, the orb of brightness! And how shall I, that am but as grass of the field, baptize thee, thou brightness of glory, and image of the eternal Father? How shall I dare touch the fire of the Divinity? For thou art the Christ, the wisdom and the power of God.'

Christ, the great Light, has shone on Galilee of the Gentiles, on the country of Zabulon, and on the land of Nephthalim; to them that sat in darkness there has appeared a bright light in Bethlehem the bright. But the Sun of Justice, the Lord, has risen from Mary, and shown far brighter rays on the whole earth.

Let us, therefore, who in Adam are naked of all good, put on Jesus, that we may grow warm; for thou art come, O Christ! to be the clothing of the naked, and the light of them that are in darkness. O Light inaccessible! thou hast appeared to the world.


Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia,
Quo fœcundata Deum peperit Virgo Maria,
Per quem sacrata floret Virginitas in Maria.
Spiritus alme, quo repletur Maria,
Tu rorem sacrum stillasti in Maria.
Amator sancte, quo intacta imprægnatur Maria.
Sub cujus umbra non torretur, dum fovetur Maria.
Tu præservasti ne prima culpa transfusa sit in Maria.
Tu cellam sacrasti sic benedicti ventris in Maria.
Ut tumeret, et Mater fieret Maria,
Sic pareret, nec florem perderet Maria.
Prophetas tu inspirasti, ut præcinerent quod Deum conciperet Maria.
Apostolos confortasti ut astruerent hunc Deum quem edidit Maria.
Quando machinam Deus mundanam fecit, est præfigurata Maria.
Tellus hominem, virgo virginem fudit primum, sic secundum Maria.
Tu animarum spes afflictarum dulcis Maria.
Tu servulorum tuorum nexus solve, Maria;
Tu collisum peccatis mundum ad vitam reparasti, Maria.
Idololatras et leges atras enervasti, Maria.
Ergo nos petimus supplices ut ope benigna subleves, Maria.
Et nato pro nobis supplices, qui tibi psallimus: Ave, Maria.
Tu felicibus felicior, Maria.
Tu sublimibus Angelorum cœtibus es prælata, Maria.
Ipsum hominem induisti, Maria,
Qui sine semine, rigante nemine, te fœcundavit, Maria.
Hunc Deum nobis placa, Maria.
May the grace of that Holy Spirit be now with us,
Whereby the Virgin Mary conceived, and brought forth Jesus, our God,
And holy Virginity, in this Mother, brought forth its Flower.
O Spirit of Love! thou didst fill Mary with thyself,
Thou didst infuse the dew of heaven into her.
O Divine Lover! the purest Virgin receives Jesus from Thee.
Under thy shadow, she continues a Virgin, and is made the Mother of God.
Thou didst preserve Mary from contracting the original guilt.
Thou didst consecrate the sanctuary of this so blessed womb,
That it might be the dwelling of Jesus, and Mary be his Mother,
And so bring forth her Son, as to be still the same pure Flower.
Thou it was that didst inspire the Prophets to foretell how Mary should conceive her God.
Thou it was that didst strengthen the Apostles to preach this God, the Son of Mary.
When God created this world, he gave us a type of Mary.
The virgin-earth produced the first Adam; so did Mary give birth to the second.
Thou art the hope of sorrowing hearts, sweet Mary!
Loosen the fetters of thy devoted servants, O Mary!
Thou didst restore to life the world that was crushed by sin, O Mary!I
Thou didst destroy idolaters and wicked laws, O Mary!
We humbly beseech thee, therefore, that thou mercifully help us, O Mary!
And pray to thy Son for us who sing to thee, Ave Maria!
Thou art Blessed of all the blessed, O Mary!
Thou art raised above the highest choirs of the Angels, O Mary!
Thou didst clothe with the nature of Man, O Mary,
Him who without the aid of man gave thee the fruitfulness of motherhood, O Mary!
He is our God; pray him to have mercy on us, O Mary!

[1] St Mark xvi 16.
[2] Gen. 1 2.
[3] The Blessing, of the Font.
[4] The Blessing of the Font.
[5] Ps. cxxviii 3, 5, 7, 8, 10.
[6] St Matt. iii 17.
[7] St Matt. iii 15.
[8] Cant. iv 2.
[9] Ibid. v 12.
[10] Isa. lxvi 12.

THE third Mystery of the Epiphany shows us the completion of the merciful designs of God upon the world, at the same time that it manifests to us, for the third time, the glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The star has led the soul to faith; the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering, during this Octave, the Bridegroom revealing himself to the Spouse; we have heard him calling her to come to him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified her, he invites her to the heavenly feast, where she is to receive the Wine of his divine love.

A Feast is prepared;[1] it is a Marriage-Feast; and the Mother of Jesus is present at it, for it is just that, having co-operated in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, she should take part in all that her Son does, and in all the favours he bestows on his elect. But, in the midst of the Feast, the Wine fails. Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth; for the Gentiles had never tasted its sweetness; and as to the Synagogue, what had it produced but wild grapes?[2] The True Vine is our Jesus, and he calls himself by that name.[3] He alone could give that Wine which gladdeneth the heart of man;[4] he alone could give us that Chalice which inebriateth,[5] and of which the Royal Psalmist prophesied.

Mary said to Jesus: They have no Wine. It is the office of the Mother of God to tell him of the wants of men, for she is also their Mother. But Jesus answers her in words which are apparently harsh: Woman! what is it to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. The meaning of these words is, that, in this great Mystery, he was about to act, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of God. Later on, the hour will come when, dying upon the Cross, he will do a work, in the presence of his Mother, and he will do it as Man, that is, according to that human nature which he has received from her. Mary at once understands the words of her Son, and she says to the waiters of the Feast, what she is now ever saying to her children: Do whatsoever he shall say to you.

Now, there were six large waterpots of stone there, and they were empty. The world was then in its Sixth Age, as St Augustine and other Holy Doctors tell us. During these six ages, the earth had been awaiting its Saviour, who was to instruct and redeem it. Jesus commands these waterpots to be filled with water; and yet water does not suit the Feast of the Spouse. The figures and the prophecies of the ancient world were this water, and until the opening of the Seventh Age, when Christ, who is the Vine, was to be given to the world, no man had contracted an alliance with the Divine Word.

But, when the Emmanuel came, he had but to say, Now draw out, and the waterpots were seen to be filled with the wine of the New Covenant, the Wine which had been kept to the end. When he assumed our human nature—a nature weak and unstable as water—he effected a change in it; he raised it up even to himself, by making us partakers of the divine nature;[6] he gave us the power to love him, to be united to him, to form that one Body, of which he is the Head, that Church of which he is the Spouse, and which he loved from all eternity, and with such tender love, that he came down from heaven to celebrate his nuptials with her.

St Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the star; St Luke, the Evangelist of Jesus' Priesthood, has been selected, by the same Holy Spirit, to instruct us in the Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple. He suggests to the Church the object of this third Mystery, by this expression: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and he manifested his glory.[7] At Bethlehem, the Gold of the Magi expressed the Divinity of the Babe; at the Jordan, the descent of the Holy Ghost and the voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus (known to the people as a carpenter of Nazareth) to be the Son of God; at Cana, it is Jesus himself that acts, and he acts as God, for, says St Augustine, he who changed the water into wine in the waterpots could be no other than the same who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was that, from that day, as St John tells us, his disciples believed in him,[8] and the Apostolic College began to be formed.


The Introit proclaims the joy of this day, which shows us human nature espoused to the Son of the eternal Father. Surely the earth will henceforth surrender itself wholly to the love and praise of this sacred Name which, in the Marriage Feast, has become that of the Sons of Adam.


Omnis terra adoret te, Deus, et psallat tibi: psalmum dicat nomini tuo, Altissime. Ps. Jubilate Deo omnis terra, psalmum dicite nomini ejus: date gloriam laudi ejus. Gloria Patri. Omnis terra.
Let all the earth adore thee, and sing to thee, O God: let it sing a psalm to thy name, O Most High. Ps. Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to his name; give glory to his praise. Glory be to the Father. Let all the earth.

This name of Sons of God which has become ours by right through the bond of the sacred nuptials is none other, as Jesus himself tells us in his Beatitudes, than Peace—the Peace of God, ours truly through the action of his grace ever working it out within us. In the Collect Peace again figures as the final end of God's government both in heaven and on earth, likewise as the supreme desire of the Church.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui cœlestia simul et terrena moderaris: supplicationes populi tui clementer exaudi, et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus. Per Dominum.
Almighty and Eternal God, supreme Ruler both of heaven and earth, mercifully give ear to the prayers of thy people, and grant us peace in our time. Through, etc.

Commemoration is made, by their proper Collects, of the Saint whose feast may occur with this Sunday; the third prayer will be that of the Blessed Virgin.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Deus qui salutis æternæ, beatæ Mariæ virginitate fœcunda, humano generi præmia præstitisti; tribue, quæsumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercederesentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitæ suscipere, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum. Qui tecum.
O God, who, by the fruitful Virginity of the Blessed Mary, hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience her intercession, by whom we received the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son. Who liveth, etc.


Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.

Cap. XII.

Fratres: Habentes donationes secundum gratiam, quæ data est nobis, differentes: sive prophetiam secundum rationem fidei, sive ministeriura in ministrando, sive qui docet in doctrina, qui exhortatur in exhortando, qui tribuit in simplicitate, qui præest in sollicitudine, qui miseretur in hilaritate. Dilectio sine simulatione. Odientes malum, adhærentes bono: Caritate fraternitatis invicem diligentes: Honore invicem prævenientes: Sollicitudine non pigri: Spiritu ferventes: Domino servientes: Spe gaudentes: In tribulatione patientes: Orationi instantes: necessitatibus sanctorum communicantes: Hospitalitatem sectantes. Benedicite persequentibus vos: benedicite et nolite maledicere. Gaudere cum gaudentibus, flere cum flentibus: idipsum invicem sentientes: non alta sapientes, sed humilibus consentientes.
Lesson from the Epistle of St Paul the Apostle to the Romans.

Ch. XII.

Brethren: Having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us, either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith: or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; he that exhorteth in exhorting; he that giveth with simplicity; he that ruleth with carefulness; he that sheweth mercy with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good. Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honour preventing one another. In carefulness not slothful, in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer: communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep. Being of one mind one towards another, not minding high things, but consenting to the humble.

This peace which characterizes, in the abode of saints, the Sons of God, effects in like measure on earth the oneness of the Bride, that is of the Church: peace it is that makes her to be but one body wherein the many members find their multiplicity upheld and guided by the head, the one lord; their functions, so diverse in themselves, regulated and brought under the rule and love of the Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. The Epistle which has just been read sets before us the different operations of this peace which has as its ruling motive Charity, the Queen of virtues, and which is so essential to Christianity; the Apostle specifies in detail its forms and conditions and adapts its practice to every social condition and circumstance of life. Of such value does the Church judge these considerations, that, on the following Sunday, she resumes the text of the Apostle where today she has interrupted it.

Far from a divine life in the peace of God which was its precious gift, the human race incurred death with its penalty of separation. Let us then in the Gradual sing of this wonder that has been wrought in our midst, and with the angelic choirs exalt the Lord in praise and admiration.


Misit Dominus verbum suum, et sanavit eos: et eripuit eos de interitu eorum.

℣. Confiteantur Domino misericordiæ ejus, et mirabilia ejus filiis hominum. Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Laudate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: Iaudate eum omnes virtutes ejus. Alleluia.
The Lord sent his word and healed them: and delivered them out of their distresses.

℣. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him: and his wonderful works to the children of men. Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Praise ye the Lord, all his angels, praise him all his hosts. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.

Cap. II.

In illo tempore: Nuptiæ factæ sunt in Cana Galilææ, et erat Mater Jesu ibi. Vocatus est autem et Jesus et discipuli ejus ad nuptias. Et deficiente vino, dicit Mater Jesu ad eum: Vinum non habent. Et dicit ei Jesus: Quid mihi et tibi est, mulier? nondum venit hora mea. Dicit Mater ejus ministris: Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite. Erant autem ibi lapideæ hydriæ sex, positæsecundum purificationem Judæorum, capientes singulæ metretas binas vel ternas. Dicit eis Jesus: Implete hydrias aqua. Et impleverunt eas usque ad summum. Et dicit eis Jesus: Haurite nunc, et ferte architriclino. Et tulerunt. Ut autem gustavit architriclinus aquam vinum factam, et non sciebat unde esset, ministri autem sciebant qui hauserant aquam; vocat sponsum architriclinus, et dicit ei: Omnis homo primum bonum vinum ponit, et cum inebriati fuerint, tunc id quod deterius est; tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc. Hoc fecit initium signorum Jesus in Cana Galilææ, et manifestavit gloriam suam, et crediderunt in eum discipuli ejus.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.

Ch. II.

At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to him, They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her, Woman, what is it to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters, Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six waterpots of stone; according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them, Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast: and they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him, Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

O the wonderful dignity of man! God has vouchsafed, says the Apostle, to show the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which had no claim to, nay, were unworthy of such an honour. Jesus bids the waiters fill them with water and the water of Baptism purifies us; but, not satisfied with this, he fills these vessels, even to the brim, with that heavenly and new Wine, which was not to be drunk save in the kingdom of his Father.[9] Thus, divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love, is communicated to us; and that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with himself, to which he called us, he raises us up even to himself. Let us, therefore, prepare our souls for this wonderful union, and, according to the advice of the Apostle, let us labour to present them to our Jesus with such purity as to resemble that chaste Virgin, who was presented to the spotless Lamb.[10]

During the Offertory, the Church resumes her songs of joy and gives free course to her holy transports. All faithful souls are invited by her to the celebration of this adorable Mystery, the intimate union of man with God.


Jubilate Deo universa terra: psalmum dicite nomini ejus, venite et audite, et narrabo vobis omnes qui timetis Deum, quanta fecit Dominus animæ meæ.Alleluia.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to his name. Come and hear, all ye who fear God, and I will tell you what great things he hath done for my soul. Alleluia.


Oblata, Domine, munera sanctifica: nosque a peccatorum nostrorum maculis emunda. Per Dominum.
Sanctify, O Lord, our offerings, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through, etc.

After the Secret of the Saint who is being commemorated today, that of the Blessed Virgin is said.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tua, Domine, propitiatione, et beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis intercessione, ad perpetuam atque præsentem hæc oblatio nobis proficiat prosperitatem et pacem. Per Dominum.
By thy merciful forgiveness, O Lord, and by the intercession of blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, let this offering avail us for welfare and peace, both now and for evermore. Through our Lord.

The Communion Antiphon recalls once more the miracle of the changing of the water into wine. This was only a dim figure of that wondrous transformation which is accomplished on our altars, only a symbol of that divine Sacrament, the food of our souls whereby, in an unspeakable way, is realized our union with God.


Dicit Dominus: Implete hydrias aqua et ferte architriclino. Cum gustasset architriclinus aquam vinum factam. dicit sponso: Servasti vinum bonum usque adduc. Hoc signum fecit Jesus primum coram discipulis suis.
The Lord saith: Fill the waterpots with water and carry to the chief steward of the feast. When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he said to the bridegroom: Thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus before his disciples.


Augeatur in nobis, quæsumus Domine, tuæ virtutis operatio: ut divinis vegetati sacramentis, ad eorum promissa capienda tuo munere præparemur. Per Dominum.
May the efficacy of thy power, O Lord, be increased in us, that being fed with thy divine sacraments, we may, through thy bounty, be prepared to receive what they promise. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hæc nos communio, Domine, purget a crimine: et intercedente beata Virgine Dei Genitrice María, cœlestis remedii faciat esse consortes.
May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin, and by the intercession of blessed Mary, the Virgin-Mother of God, make us partakers of thy heavenly remedy.


The Psalms, Capitulum, Hymn and Verse are given on pages 88-97.

Antiphon of the Magnificat

Ant. Deficiente vino, jussit Jesus impleri hydrias aqua, quæ in vinum conversa est. Alleluia.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui cœlestia simul et terrena moderaris: supplicationes populi tui dementer exaudi, et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus. Per Dominum.
Ant. The wine failing, Jesus commanded that the waterpots should be filled with water, and it was changed into wine. Alleluia.

Let us Pray

O Almighty and Eternal God, supreme Ruler both of heaven and earth, mercifully give ear to the prayers of thy people, and grant us peace in our time. Through, etc.

[1] St John ii.
[2] Isa. v 2.
[3] St John xv 1.
[4] Ps. ciii 15.
[5] Ibid. xxii 5.
[6] St Pet. i 4.
[7] St John ii 11.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Rom. ix 23.
[10] 2 Cor. xi 2.

THE variation of Easter Sunday necessitates almost every year a different arrangement of the Sundays after the Epiphany from that in which they stand in the Missal. Septuagesima often comes in January and the Feast of the Purification is occasionally later than Quinquagesima Sunday; hence the office of these four last Sundays may have to be transferred to another season of the liturgical cycle. We were obliged then to provide for these changes and simplify them for the Faithful by adopting our present plan. We have inserted here the third and fourth Sundays as usually falling in Christmastide, while the office of the fifth and sixth Sundays will be found in the volumes of Septuagesima and the second after Pentecost, this latter season being the one in which they are most frequently kept.


The Introit represents the Angels of God adoring him on his entrance into this world, as St Paul[1] explains this passage of the Psalms. The Church celebrates with David the gladness of Sion, and the joy of the daughters of Juda.


Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et lætata est Sion, et exsultaverunt filiæ Judæ. Ps. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. ℣. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. Ps. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. ℣. Glory, etc. Adore.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice: atque ad protegendum nos, dexteram tuæ majestatis extende. Per Dominum.
O Almighty and Eternal God, mercifully behold our weakness, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty to protect us. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Deus qui salutis æternæ, beatæ Mariæ virginitate fœcunda, humano generi præmia præstitisti; tribue, quæsumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercederesentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitæ suscipere, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
O God, who by the fruitful Virginity of Blessed Mary hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience her intercession, by whom we received the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.

The third Prayer is one of the following:

Against the persecutors of the Church

Ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte; ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate.
Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church, that all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure and undisturbed devotion.

For the Pope

Deus omnium fidelium Pastor et Rector, famulum tuum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, propitius respice; da ei, quæsumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus præest, proficere; ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum.
O God, the Pastor and Governor of all the Faithful, look down in thy mercy on thy servant N. whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church; and grant, we beseech thee, that both by word and example he may edify all those that are under his charge, and, with the flock intrusted to him, arrive at length at eternal happiness. Through, etc.


Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.

Cap. XII.

Fratres, nolite esse prudentes apud vosmetipsos: nulli malum pro malo reddentes: providentes bona non tantum coram Deo, sed etiam coram omnibus hominibus; si fieri potest, quod ex vobis est, cum omnibus hominibus pacem habentes: non vosmetipsos defendentes, carissimi, sed date locum iræ; scriptum est enim; Mihi vindicta, ego retribuam, dicit Dominus. Sed si esurierit inimicus tuus, ciba ilium; si sitit, potum da illi: hoc enim faciens, carbones ignis congeres super caput ejus. Noli vinci a malo, sed vince in bono malum.
Lesson of the Epistle of St Paul the Apostle to the Romans.

Ch. XII.

Brethren, be not wise in your own conceits. To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you, having peace with all men. Not revenging yourselves, my dearly beloved, but give place unto wrath. For it is written: 'Revenge to me, I will repay,' saith the Lord. But 'if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat: if he thirst, give him to drink: for doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.’ Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

This love of our neighbour, recommended to us by the Apostle, is a consequence of that universal brotherhood which our Saviour, by his Birth, brought us from heaven. He came to establish peace between heaven and earth; men, therefore, ought to be at peace one with another. Our Lord bids us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil by good:—and did not he first practise this by coming among us, who were children of wrath, that he might make us children of adoption by his humiliations and his sufferings?

In the Gradual, the holy Church again celebrates the coming of Emmanuel, and invites all nations, and all the kings of the earth, to come and praise his holy name.


Timebunt gentes Nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam.
℣. Quoniam ædificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.

Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.
The Gentiles shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
℣. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.

Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice; let many islands be glad. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. VIII.

In illo tempore, Cum descendisset Jesus de monte, secutæ sunt eum turbæ multæ; et ecce leprosus veniens, adorabat eum dicens: Domine, si vis, potes me mundare. Et extendens Jesus manum, tetigit eum dicens: Volo, mundare. Et confestim mundata est lepra ejus. Et ait illi Jesus: Vide, nemini dixeris; sed vade, ostende te sacerdoti et offer munus, quod præcepit Moyses, in testimonium illis. Cum autem introisset Capharnaum, accessit ad eum centurio, rogans eum et dicens; Domine, puer meus jacet in domo paralyticus, et male torquetur. Et ait illi Jesus: Ego veniam et curabo eum. Et respondens centurio, ait: Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum; sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur puer meus. Nam et ego homo sum sub potestate constitutus, habens sub me milites, et dico huic: vade, et vadit; et alii: veni, et venit; et servo meo: fac hoc, et facit. Audiens autem Jesus, miratus est, et sequentibus se dixit: Amen dico vobis, non inveni tantam fidem in Isræl. Dico autem vobis, quod multi ab oriente et occidente venient, et recumbent cum Abraham et Isaac et Jacob in regno cœlorum; filii autem regni ejicientur in tenebras exteriores: ibi erit fletus et stridor dentium. Et dixit Jesus centurioni: Vade, et sicut credidisti, fiat tibi. Et sanatus est puer in illa hora.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.


At that time, when Jesus was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him; and behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man, but go, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. And when he had entered unto Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And when Jesus heard this, he marvelled, and said to them that followed him: Amen, I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.

The human race was infected with the leprosy of sin: the Son of God touches it by the mystery of the Incarnation, and restores it to health. But he requires that the sick man, now that he is healed, shall go and show himself to the priest, and comply with the ceremonies prescribed by the law; and this, to show that he allows a human priesthood to co-operate in the work of our salvation. The vocation of the Gentiles, of which the Magi were the first-fruits, is again brought before us in the faith of the centurion. A Roman soldier, and millions like him, shall be reputed as true children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; while they who are the sons of this Patriarch according to the flesh, shall be cast out from the feast-chamber into the gloom of blindness; and their punishment shall be given as a spectacle to the whole earth.

Let man, then, saved as he has been by the coming of Emmanuel, sing a hymn of praise to the power of God, who has wrought our salvation by the strength of his almighty arm. Man had been sentenced to death; but now that he has God for a Brother, he shall not die: he will live: and could he spend his life better than in praising the works of this God that has saved him?


Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.


Hæc hostia, Domine, quæsumus, emundet nostra delicta: et sacrificium celebrandum subditorum tibi corpora, mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum.
May this offering, O Lord, we beseech thee, cleanse away our sins: and sanctify the bodies and souls of thy servants, to prepare them for worthily celebrating this sacrifice. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Tua, Domine, propitiatione, et beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis intercessione, ad perpetuam atque præsentem hæc oblatio nobis proficiat prosperitatem et pacem.
By thy mercy, O Lord, and by the intercession of blessed Mary ever a Virgin, may this oblation further our present and future prosperity and peace.

Against the persecutors of the Church

Protege, nos, Domine, tuis mysteriis servientes: ut divinis rebus inhærentes, et corpore tibi famulemur et mente.
Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries, that being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee both in body and mind.

For the Pope

Oblatis, quæsumus, Domine, placare muneribus, et famulum tuum N., quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum.
Be appeased, O Lord, with the offering we have made, and cease not to protect thy servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to appoint Pastor over thy Church. Through, etc.


℣. Per omnia sæcula sæculorum. ℟. Amen.
℣. Dominus vobiscum. ℟. Et cum spiritu tuo.
℣. Sursum corda. ℟. Habemus ad Dominum.
℣. Gratias agamus Dominum Deo nostro. ℟. Dignum et justum est.

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus. Qui cum unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu Sancto unus es Deus, unus es Dominus: non in unius singularitate Personæ, sed in unius Trinitate substantiæ. Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante, credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sancto, sine differentia discretionis sentimus. Ut in confessione veræ, sempiternæque Deitatis, et in Personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in Majestate adoretur æqualitas. Quam laudant Angeli atque Archangeli, Cherubim quoque ac Seraphim; qui non cessant clamare quotidie una voce dicentes, Sanctus, etc.
℣. For ever and ever. ℟. Amen.
℣. The Lord be with you. ℟. And with thy spirit.
℣. Lift up your hearts. ℟. We have them fixed on God.
℣. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. ℟. It is meet and just.

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God. Who together with thy Only Begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God and one Lord: not in a singularity of one Person, but in a Trinity of one substance. For what we believe of thy glory, as thou hast revealed, the same we believe of thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or distinction. So that in the confession of the true and eternal Deity, we adore a distinction in the Persons, a unity in the essence, and an equality in the Majesty. Whom the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim praise, and cease not daily to cry out with one voice, saying, Holy, etc.

After having distributed the Bread of Life, the Church reminds us how the people were in admiration at the words of Jesus. The children of the Church, initiated into all his Mysteries, are at this moment enjoying the effects of that ineffable Word, by means of which the Redeemer has changed the bread into his Body, and the wine into his Blood.


Mirabantur omnes de his quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.


Quos tantis, Domine, largiris uti mysteriis, quæsumus ut effectibus nos eorum veraciter aptare digneris. Per Dominum.
We beseech thee, O Lord, that we, to whom thou vouchsafest the use of these great mysteries, may be made truly worthy to receive the benefits thereof. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hæc nos communio, Domine, purget a crimine; et intercedente beata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cœlestis remedii faciat esse consortes.
May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin, and by the intercession of blessed Mary, the Virgin-Mother of God, make us partakers of thy heavenly remedy.

Against the persecutors of the Church

Quæsumus, Domine Deus noster, ut quos divina tribuis participatione gaudere, humanis non sinas subjacere periculis.
We beseech thee, O Almighty God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life, those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries.

For the Pope

Hæc nos, quæsumus, Domine, divini sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N., quem Pastorem Ecclesiæ tuæ præesse voluisti, una cum commisso sibi grege, salvet semper et muniat. Per Dominum.
May the participation of this divine Sacrament protect us, we beseech thee, O Lord; and always procure safety and defence to thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church, together with the flock committed to his charge. Through, etc.


The Psalms, Antiphons, Capitulum, Hymn, and Versicle are given on pages 89-96.

Antiphon Of The Magnificat

Ant. Domine, si vis, potes me mundare: et ait Jesus: Volo, mundare.
Ant. O Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus saith: I will: be thou cleansed.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice: atque ad protegendum nos dexteram tuæ majestatis extende. Per Dominum.
Let Us Pray

O Almighty and Eternal God, mercifully behold our weakness, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty to protect us. Through, etc.

[1] Heb. i 6.



Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et lætata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiæ Judæ. Ps. Dominus regnavit; exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. ℣. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. Ps. The Lord hath reigned; let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. ℣. Glory, etc. Adore.


Deus, qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos, pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis; ut ea quæ pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adjuvante, vincamus. Per Dominum.
O God, who knowest that through human frailty we are not able to subsist amidst such great dangers, grant us health of soul and body, that whatsoever things we suffer because of our sins, we may overcome by thine assistance. Through, etc.

Then are added the Collects special to the season of Christmas, in honour of our Lady, against the persecutors of the Church, or for the Pope; which are given above, page 251.


Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.

Cap. XIII.

Fratres, nemini quidquam debeatis, nisi ut invicem diligatis: qui enim diligit proximum, legem implevit. Nam: Non adulterabis; Non occides; Non furaberis; Non falsum testimonium dices; Non concupisces, et si quod est aliud mandatum, in hoc verbo instauratur: Diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum. Dilectio proximi malum non operatur. Plenitudo ergo legis est dilectio.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans.


Brethren, owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth his neighbour hath fulfilled the law. For, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet': and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word: 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ The love of our neighbour worketh no evil. Love, therefore, is the fulfilling of the law.

During this holy season, when the very Son of God is giving so great a proof of his love for man, whose nature he has assumed, the Church is continually exhorting the Faithful, in the words of the Apostle, to practise charity towards each other. Emmanuel comes to us as our Lawgiver: now he has resumed his whole Law in the precept of Love; he is come in order to unite what sin had divided. Let us comply with his divine intentions, and accomplish with earnestness the Law he has imposed upon us.


Timebunt gentes Nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam.
. Quoniam ædificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.
Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.
The Gentiles shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
℣. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.
Alleluia, alleluia.
℣. The Lord hath reigned; let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. VIII.

In illo tempore, Ascendente Jesu in naviculam, secuti sunt eum discipuli ejus. Et ecce motus magnus factus est in mari, ita ut navicula operiretur fluctibus; ipse vero dormiebat. Et accesserunt ad eum discipuli ejus, et suscitaverunt eum dicentes: Domine, salva nos. perimus. Et dicit eis Jesus: Quid timidi estis, modicæ fidei? Tunc surgens, imperavit ventis et mari, et facta est tranquillitas magna. Porro homines mirati sunt, dicentes: Qualis est hic, quia venti et mare obediunt ei?
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew. Ch. VIII.

At that time, when Jesus entered into the boat, his disciples followed him; and behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves; but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awakened him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up, he commanded the winds and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him!

Let us adore the power of our Emmanuel, who is come to calm the tempest which threatened the human race with death. In the midst of their danger, the successive generations of men had cried out: Lord! save us; we perish. When the fulness of time had come, he awoke from his rest; he had but to command, and the power of our enemies was destroyed. The malice of the devils, the darkness of idolatry, the corruption of paganism—all yielded. Nation after nation was converted to Jesus. They had said, when in their misery and blindness: 'Who is this Jesus, whom no power can resist?' and then they embraced his Law. This power of Jesus to break down every obstacle, and that, too, at the very time when men were disquieted at his apparent slumbering, has often shown itself in the past ages of the Church. How many times has he not chosen for saving the world that period which seemed the least likely for rescue! The same happens in the life of each one among us. Oftentimes we are tossed to and fro by violent temptations; it would seem as though the billows must sink us; and yet our will is firmly anchored to God! And what is all this, if not Jesus sleeping in the storm-tossed boat, protecting us by this his sleeping? And if our cry for help at length awaken him, it is only to proclaim his own and our victory; for he has already conquered, and we have conquered in him.


Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.


Concede, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus; ut hujus sacrincii munus oblatum, fragilitatem nostram ab omni malo purget semper et muniat. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the offering of this sacrifice may always cleanse our frailty from all evil, and be a protection to us. Through, etc.

To this are added the other Secrets, as given on page 255. The Preface is that of the Blessed Trinity, page 256.


Mirabantur omnes de his quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.


Munera tua nos, Deus, a delectationibus terrenis expediant, et cœlestibus semper instaurent alimentis. Per Dominum.
May thy gifts, of which we have partaken, O God, detach us from all earthly pleasures, and ever refresh and strengthen us with heavenly food. Through, etc.

Then are added the other Postcommunions, as given on page 257.


The Psalms, Antiphons, Capitulum, Hymn and Versicle are given on pages 89-96.

Antiphon of the Magnificat

Ant. Domine, salva nos, perimus: impera, et fac, Deus, tranquillitatem.
Ant. Save us, O Lord, we perish: command, O God, and make the sea calm.


Deus qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos, pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis; ut ea quæ pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adjuvante vincamus. Per Dominum.
Let Us Pray

O God, who knowest that through human frailty we are not able to subsist amidst so many dangers, grant us health of soul and body; that whatsoever we suffer for our sins, we may overcome by thy assistance. Through, etc.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.



Adorate Deum omnes angeli ejus: audivit et lætata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiæ Judæ.

Ps. Dominus regnavit: exsultet terra, lætentur insulæ multæ. V. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced.

Ps. The Lord hath reigned: let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. V. Glory, etc. Adore.


Familiam tuam, quæsumus Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut quæ in sola spe gratiæ cœlestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur. Per Dominum.
Preserve, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy family by thy constant mercy; that, as it leans solely on the hope of heavenly grace, it may always be defended by thy protection. Through, etc.

Second Collect

A cunctis nos, quæsumus Domine, mentis et corporis defende periculis: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, beatis apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo atque beato N. et omnibus sanctis, salutem nobis tribue benignus et pacem; ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, Ecclesia tua secura tibi serviat libertate.
Preserve us, O Lord, we beseech thee, from all dangers of soul and body: and by the intercession of the glorious and blessed Mary, the ever Virgin Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, of blessed N. (here is mentioned the titular saint of the church), and of all the saints, grant us in thy mercy, health and peace; that all adversities and errors being removed, thy Church may serve thee with undisturbed liberty.

A third Collect is added, at the choice of the priest.


Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses.

Cap. iii.

Fratres, induite vos, sicut electi Dei, sancti, et dilecti, viscera misericordiæ, benignitatem, humilitatem, modestiam, patientiam, supportantes invicem, et donantes vobismetipsis, si quis adversus aliquem habet querelam: sicut et Dominus donavit vobis, ita et vos. Super omnia autem liæc, charitatem habete, quod est vinculum perfections: et pax Christi exsultet in cordibus vestris, in qua et vocati estis in uno corpore: et grati estote. Verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter, in omni sapientia, docentes, et commonentes vosmetipsos, psalmis, hymnis, et canticis spiritualibus, in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris Deo. Omne quodcumque facitis, in verbo aut in opere, omnia in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, gratias agentes Deo et Patri per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.
Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.

Ch. iii.

Brethren, put ye on therefore as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another; even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection; and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word, or in work, all things do ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Christian, trained as he has been in the school of the Man-God who deigned to dwell upon this earth, should ever show mercy towards his fellow-men. This world which has been purified by the presence of the Incarnate Word, would become an abode of peace, if we were but to live in such manner as to merit the titles, given us by the apostle, of elect of God, holy, and beloved. The peace here spoken of should, first of all, fill the heart of every Christian, and give it an uninterrupted joy, which would be ever pouring itself forth in singing the praises of God. But it is mainly on the Sundays, that the faithful, by taking part with the Church in her psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, fulfil this duty so dear to their hearts. Let us, moreover, in our every-day life, practise the advice given us by the apostle, of doing all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in order that we may, in all things, find favour with our heavenly Father.


Timebunt gentes nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terræ gloriam tuam.

V. Quoniam ædificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra: lætentur insulæ multæ. Alleluia.

The Gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.

V. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthæum.

Cap. xiii.

In illo tempore; Dixit Jesus turbis parabolani hanc: Simile factum est regnum cœlorum homini, qui seminavit bonum semen in agro suo. Cum autem dormirent homines, venit inimicus ejus, et superseminavit zizania in medio tritici, et abiit. Cum autem crevisset herba, et fructum fecisset, tunc apparuerunt et zizania. Accedentes autem servi patrisfamilias, dixerunt ei: Domine, nonne bonum semen seminasti in agro tuo? Unde ergo habet zizania? Et ait illis: Inimicus homo hoc fecit. Servi autem dixerunt ei: Vis, imus, et colligimus ea? Et ait: Non; ne forte colligentes zizania, eradicetis simul cum eis et triticum. Sinite utraque crescere usque ad messem, et in tempore messis dicam messoribus: Colligite primum zizania, et alligate ea in fasciculos ad comburendum, triticum autem congregate in horreum meum.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Ch. xiii.

At that time: Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. Then the servants of the goodman of the house, coming said unto him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.

The kingdom of heaven, here spoken of by our Lord, is the Church militant, the society of them that believe in Him. And yet, the field He has tilled with so much care is oversown with cockle; heresies have crept in, scandals have abounded; are we, on that account, to have misgivings about the foresight of the Master, who knows all things, and without whose permission nothing happens? Far from us be such a thought! He Himself tells us that these things must needs be. Man has been gifted with free-will; it is for him to choose between good and evil; but God will turn all to His own greater glory, Heresies, then, like weeds in a field, may spring up in the Church; but the day must come when they will be uprooted; some of them will wither on the parent stems, but the whole cockle shall be gathered into bundles to burn. Where are now the heresies that sprang up in the first ages of the Church? And in another hundred years, what will have become of the heresy, which, under the pretentious name of ‘the reformation,’ has caused incalculable evil? It is the same with the scandals which rise up within the pale of the Church: they are a hard trial; but trials must come. The divine Husbandman wills not that this cockle be torn up, lest the wheat should suffer injury. First of all, the mixture of good and bad is an advantage; it teaches the good not to put their hopes in man, but in God. Then, too, the mercy of our Lord is so great, that at times the very cockle is converted, by divine grace, into wheat. We must therefore have patience. But, whereas it is while the men are asleep that the enemy oversows the field with cockle, it behoves us to pray for pastors, and ask their divine Master to bless them with that vigilance, which is the primary condition of the flock being safe, and is so essential a quality in every bishop, that his very name is ‘one who watches.’


Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me: non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.


Hostias tibi, Domine, placationis offerimus, ut et delicta nostra miseratus absolvas, et nutantia corda tu dirigas. Per Dominum.
We offer thee, O Lord, this sacrifice of propitiation, that thou wouldst mercifully forgive us our sins, and guide our faltering hearts. Through, etc.

Second Secret

Exaudi nos, Deus salutaris noster, ut per hujus Sacramenti virtutem, a cunetis nos mentis et corporis hostibus tuearis, gratiam tribuens in præsenti, et gloriam in futuro.
Graciously grant us, O God our Saviour, that by virtue of this Sacrament, thou mayst defend us from all enemies, both of soul and body; giving us grace in this life, and glory in the next.

A third Secret, at the choice of the priest, is added.


Mirabantur omnes de his, quæ procedebant de ore Dei.
All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.


Quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut illius salutaris capiamus effectum, cujus per hæc mysteria pignus accepimus. Per Dominum.
We beseech thee, O almighty God, that we may one day receive the effects of that salvation, of which we have received the pledge in these mysteries. Through, etc.

Second Postcommunion

Mundet et muniat nos, quæsumus, Domine, divini Sacramenti munus oblatum: et intercedente beata Virgine Dei genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, beatis apostolis tuis Petro. et Paulo, atque beato N. et omnibus sanctis, a cunctis nos reddat et perversitatibus expiatos, et adversitatibus expeditos.
May the oblation of this divine Sacrament, we beseech thee, O Lord, both cleanse and defend us; and, by the intercession of blessed Mary, the Virgin-Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, of blessed N. and of all the saints, free us from all sin, and deliver us from all adversity.

The third Postcommunion is at the choice of the priest.


The psalms and antiphons as on page 72.

(2 Cor. i.)

Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, who comforteth us in all our tribulations.

The hymn and versicle, page 79.

Antiphon of the Magnificat

Colligite primum zizania, et alligate ea in fasciculos ad comburendum triticum autem congregate in horreum meum, dicit Dominus.


Familiam tuam, quæsumus Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut quæ in sola spe gratiæ cœlestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur. Per Dominum.
Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn: but gather the wheat into my barn, saith the Lord.

Let us Pray.

Preserve, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy family by thy constant mercy; that, as it leans solely on the hope of heavenly grace, it may always be defended by thy protection. Through, etc.