Misericórdia Dómini

Dominica II Post Pascha

Introitus
Ps 32:5-6.

Misericórdia Dómini plena est terra, allelúia: verbo Dómini coeli firmáti sunt, allelúia, allelúia.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia.

Ps 32:1
Exsultáte, iusti, in Dómino: rectos decet collaudátio.

V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: praise is comely for the upright.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Misericórdia Dómini plena est terra, allelúia: verbo Dómini coeli firmáti sunt, allelúia, allelúia.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia.

Dominica II Post Pascha

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Dominica II Post Pascha

Evangelium
Ioann 10:11-16.

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

Saint Peter of Verona

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Saint Peter of Verona

Dominican Priest and Martyr
(1206-1252)

In 1205 the glorious martyr Peter was born at Verona of Manichean parents; there he nonetheless attended a Catholic school. One day his Manichean uncle asked what he learnt there. The Creed, answered Peter: I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth. No arguments could shake his faith, and at the age of sixteen he received the habit from Saint Dominic himself at Bologna.

After his ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy and converted multitudes. Saint Peter was constantly obliged to dispute with heretics, and although he was able to confound them, still the devil took occasion thereby to tempt him one day against faith. Instantly he had recourse to prayer before an image of Our Lady, and heard a voice saying to him the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it. (Luke 22:32)

He often conversed with the Saints, and one day the martyred virgins Catherine, Agnes and Cecilia appeared to him and conferred with him. A passing religious, hearing their feminine voices, accused him to their Superior, who without hesitation or questions, exiled him to a convent where no preaching was being done. Saint Peter submitted humbly, but complained in prayer to Jesus crucified that He was abandoning him to his bad reputation. The crucifix spoke: And I, Peter, was I too not innocent? Learn from Me to suffer the greatest sorrows with joy. Eventually his innocence was brought to light; for his part, he had learned in his solitude to love humiliation and confusion.

Again engaged in preaching, miracles accompanied his exhortations. He traveled all over Italy and became famous. Once when preaching to a vast crowd under the burning sun, the heretics defied him to procure shade. He prayed, and a cloud overshadowed the audience.

Every day at the elevation of the Mass he prayed, Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, who for me didst die. His prayer was answered. His enemies, confounded by him, sought his life. Two of them attacked him in 1252 on the road to Milan and struck his head with an axe. Saint Peter fell, commended himself to God, dipped his finger in his own blood, and wrote on the ground, I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth. He was then stabbed to death. The brother religious accompanying him also suffered death. The details of the crime were made known by Saint Peter’s murderer, named Carino, who after fleeing from justice confessed his crime, asking for a penance from the Dominican Fathers. He took the habit, and according to their testimony lived the life of a saint and persevered to the end. Miracles at Saint Peter’s tomb and elsewhere converted a great many heretics.

Reflection. From his boyhood Saint Peter boldly professed his faith among heretics. He spent his life in preaching the Faith to them and received the glorious and long-desired crown of martyrdom at their hands. Are we, too, courageous, firm, zealous, full of prayer for their conversion, and unflinching in our profession of faith?

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 5

Saint Hugh of Cluny

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Saint Hugh

Abbot of Cluny
(1024-1109)

Saint Hugh was a prince related to the sovereign house of the dukes of Burgundy, and received his education under the tutelage of his pious mother and by the solicitude of Hugh, Bishop of Auxerre, his great-uncle. From his infancy he was given to prayer and meditation, and his life was remarkably innocent and holy.

One day, hearing an account of the wonderful sanctity of the monks of Cluny under Saint Odilo, he was so moved that he set out at that moment, and going there humbly begged the monastic habit. After a rigid novitiate, he made his profession in 1039, at the age of sixteen years. His extraordinary virtue, especially his admirable humility, obedience, charity, sweetness, prudence, and zeal, gained him the respect of the entire community.

At the death of Saint Odilo in 1049, though Saint Hugh was only twenty-five years old, he succeeded to the government of that great abbey, which he continued for sixty-two years. During those years, the role of Cluny was immense. From it came two very illustrious Popes, Urban II and Pascal II, both disciples of Saint Hugh. The king of Castille, Alphonsus VI, owed his deliverance from an imprisonment to the prayers and intervention of Saint Hugh. A count of Macon entered the monastery with thirty knights and a great many servants, while the countess, his wife, retired to a convent founded by Saint Hugh. Donations of large terrains were made to this Abbey, permitting innumerable foundations. Urban II gave Saint Hugh the right to wear pontifical ornaments for the solemn feast days.

Saint Hugh of Cluny died on the twenty-ninth of April, in 1109, at the age of eighty-five years. He was canonized twelve years after his death by Pope Calixtus II.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 5; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo

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Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo

Founder
(1786-1842)

Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo was born in 1786 at Bra in Piedmont, Italy. As a secular priest in Turin, he showed a special concern for the sick poor, receiving them into a small house. This Little House of Divine Providence, the Piccola Casa, as he called it, was the beginning of an entire city of more than 7,000 poor persons, orphans, sick and lame, retarded, penitents, served by several religious Orders. These were distinguished by their names and their religious habits, each group being dedicated to a specific work they were assigned to do. And of this Piccola Casa, as it is still called, one can say what Saint Gregory Nazienzen said in his funeral eulogy of his friend Saint Basil’s large hospital: Go a little way outside the city and se, in this new city storehouses of piety, the common treasure of the owners, where a surplus of wealth has been laid up, where sickness is borne with patience, misfortune is considered happiness, and compassion is efficaciously practiced.

For this ever more pressing work, the Saint founded fourteen religious communities which today are still very widespread, especially in Italy. Among them were some which were purely contemplative; the life of prayer its members led was destined to draw down upon the others the blessing of heaven, thus completing by a spiritual work of mercy the corporal works exercised there. These religious prayed in particular for those who have the greatest need of assistance, the dying and the deceased. The Saint trusted totally in the infinite kindness of God, and as one of his friends said, he had more confidence in God than did the entire city of Turin. When he was asked about the source of his revenues, he answered, Providence sends me everything.

Confidence in God did not, however, cause him to cross his arms and observe. He slept only a few hours, often on a chair or bench, and then returned to his daily labor, work and prayer. But Saint Joseph Benedict was exhausting his strength. In 1842, the doctors decided that he should go to visit his brother in Chieri. When he entered the carriage, one of the Sisters cried out in tears: Father, you are sick; what will become of us? Be at peace, he answered. When I am in heaven, where one can do everything, I will help you more than now I do. I will hold to the cloak of the Mother of God and keep my eyes fixed on you. Do not forget what I, a poor old man, say to you today! A few days later, on April 30, 1842, death came. The final word of this great Saint was that of the Psalm: I rejoiced when it was said unto me, Let us go unto the House of the Lord! Saint Joseph Benedict was canonized by Pope Pius XI, March 19, 1934.

Le vrai visage des Saints, by W. Schamoni (Desclée De Brouwer: Bruges, 1955).