St. Anastasius I

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St. Anastasius I

Pope
(401)

A pontiff who is remembered chiefly for his condemnation of Origenism. A Roman by birth, he became pope in 399, and died within a little less than four years. Among his friends were Augustine, and Jerome, and Paulinus. Jerome speaks of him as a man of great holiness who was rich in his poverty. It was during the time of the barbarian invasions.

Acta SS., III, September; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints. 27 September.

Blessed Urban V

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Blessed Urban V

Pope
(† 1370)

Blessed Urban V, whose family name was William de Grimoard, was born in Mende, on a mountain of the Cevenne hills. He rapidly mastered the various disciplines of literature and the sciences. It was religious life which then appeared to him as the ideal which could best respond to the propensities of his mind and the needs of his heart. He went to knock at the door of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Victor near Marseille, and there, in the peaceful shadows of the cloister, he advanced day by day in all the virtues. He was remarked in particular for his tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Religious profession had augmented his ardor for learning, and his Superiors soon judged the humble monk capable of teaching. In effect, his illustrious voice brought honor to the professorial chairs confided to him in Montpellier, Paris, Avignon and Toulouse. A few years later, after serving for a short time as Abbot of Saint Germain d’Auxerre, he was sent to Italy by Pope Clement VI as his legate. This, unbeknown to himself, was to be a step toward the highest existing dignity. He was elected Pope in October of 1362 and took the name of Urban V, because all the popes who had borne that name had ennobled it by the sanctity of their lives.

It is he who added to the papal tiara a third crown, not out of pride, but to symbolize the triple royalty of the pope over the faithful, the bishops, and the Roman States. When he mounted the throne of Saint Peter at that time in Avignon, he envisioned three great projects — the return of the Papacy from Avignon to Rome, the reformation of morals, and the propagation of the Catholic faith in distant lands. His return to Rome, which had not seen a Pope for sixty years, was a triumph. Nonetheless, the morals of Rome had undergone a sad decline.

Urban lived as a Saint during the days of his great works, fasting like a monk and directing all glory to God. At his death, he asked that the people be allowed to circulate around his bed: The people must see, he said, how Popes die.

Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l’année, by Abbé L. Jaud (Mame: Tours, 1950).

O RADIX JESSE

THIRD ANTIPHON.
O RADIX JESSE

by the Very Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger
Abbot of Solesmes

O radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super est quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O Root of Jesse, who standest as the standard of the people ; before whom Kings shall not open their lips; to whom the nations shall pray: come and deliver us; tarry now no more.

At length, O Son of Jesse! thou art approaching the city of thy ancestors. The Ark of the Lord has risen, and journeys, with the God that is in her, to the place of her rest. “How beautiful are thy steps, O thou daughter of the Prince,” [Cant. vii. 1.] now that thou art bringing to the cities of Juda their salvation! The Angels escort thee, thy faithful Joseph lavishes his love upon thee, heaven delights in thee, and our earth thrills with joy to bear thus upon itself its Creator and its Queen. Go forward, O Mother of God and Mother of Men! Speed thee, thou propitiatory that holdest within thee the divine Manna which gives us life! Our hearts are with thee, and count thy steps. Like thy royal ancestor David, “we will enter not into the dwelling of our house, nor go up into the bed whereon we lie, nor give sleep to our eyes, nor rest to our temples, until we have found a place in our hearts for the Lord whom thou bearest, a tabernacle for this God of Jacob.” [Ps. cxxxi. 3-5.] Come, then, O Root of Jesse! thus hid in this Ark of purity; thou wilt soon appear before thy people as the standard round which all that would conquer must rally. Then, their enemies, the Kings of the world, will be silenced, and the nations will offer thee their prayers. Hasten thy coming, dear Jesus! come and conquer all our enemies, and deliver us.

RESPONSORY OF ADVENT.

(The Ambrosian Breviary, Sixth Sunday of Advent.)

R. Beatus uterus Mariae Virginis qui portavit invisibilem: quem septem throni capere non possunt in eo habitare dignatus est: * Et portabat levem in sinu suo. V. Dedit illi Dominus sedem patris sui et regnabit in domo Jacob in aeternum, cujus regni non erit finis: * Et portabat levem in sinu suo.

R. Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the invisible God: there did He deign to dwell, whom Seven Thrones cannot hold: * And she bore him as a light weight in her womb. V. The Lord hath given him the David throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end: * And she bore him as a light weight in her womb