St. Serapion

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St. Serapion, Martyr

HE was a zealous Englishman, whom St. Peter Nolasco received into his Order at Barcelona. He made two journeys among the Moors for the ransom of captives, in 1240. The first was to Murcia, in which he purchased the liberty of ninety-eight slaves: the second to Algiers, in which he redeemed eighty-seven, but remained himself a hostage for the full payment of the money. He boldly preached Christ to the Mahometans, and baptized several: for which he was cruelly tortured, scourged, cut and mangled, at length, fastened to a cross, and was thereon stabbed and quartered alive in the same year, 1240. Pope Benedict XIII. declared him a martyr, and approved his immemorial veneration in his Order, by a decree in 1728, as Benedict XIV. relates. L. 2. de Canoniz. c. 24. sec. 42. p. 296.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

St. John Bosco

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The Life of St. John Bosco

One day Venerable Joseph Cottolengo met a young cleric. After they had exchanged a few words, Cottolengo said: “You are an excellent man, come into the Little House of Providence and work will not be wanting to you.” The one thus invited was the Venerable Don John Bosco.” The inscription over the entrance of the “Little House”: “Charitas Christi urget nos”–“The Charity of Christ presseth us” (2 Cor. v. 14) made a strong impression on him, and when he came into the reception room and read above the picture of the Blessed Virgin the words: “Infirmus eram et visitastis me”–“I was sick and you visited me” (Matt. xxv. 36), he was moved to tears. While going through the institution Don Bosco was highly edified and deeply impressed by everything he saw and heard. But one thing filled him with distress. He saw so many poor young people in the infirmary, who lay there wasting away and hopeless. It was the first time he clearly realized that vice alone had devoted them to death in the springtime of life. “You must save the young from vice,” said a voice within him. This thought indeed often enflamed his heart, but now it was his fixed purpose to work out this noble end in effect. Continue reading

SAINT MARTINA

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SAINT MARTINA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

A third Roman virgin, wearing on her brow a Martyr’s crown, comes today to share the honors given to Agnes and Emerentiana, and offer her palm to the Lamb. Her name is Martina, which the pagans were wont to give to their daughters in honor of their god of war. Her sacred relics repose at the foot of the Capitoline hill, in the ancient temple of Mars, which has now become the beautiful Church of Saint Martina. The holy ambition to render herself worthy of Him whom she had chosen as her divine Spouse, gave her courage to suffer torments and death for His sake; so that of her, as of the rest of the Martyrs, we may say those words of the Liturgy, she washed her robes in the Blood of the Lamb. Our Emmanuel is the Mighty God, the Lord that is mighty in war, not, like the Mars of the pagans, needing the sword to win his battles. He vanquishes His enemies by meekness, patience, and innocence, as in the martyrdom of today’s saint, whose victory was grander than was ever won by Rome’s boasted warriors. This illustrious virgin, who is one of the Patrons of the City of Rome, is honored by having her praises sung by one of the popes. Continue reading

St. Francis of Sales

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St. Francis of Sales, Bishop

The angelical Bishop Francis of Sales has a right to a distinguished position near the Crib of Jesus, on account of the sweetness of his virtues, the childlike simplicity of his heart, and the humility and tenderness of his love. He comes with the lustre of his glorious conquests upon him–seventy-two thousand heretics converted to the Church by the ardour of his charity; an Order of holy servants of God, which he founded; and countless thousands of souls trained to piety by his prudent and persuasive words and writings.

God gave him to His Church at the very time that heresy was holding her out to the world as a wornout system, that had no influence over men’s minds. He raised up this true minister of the Gospel in the very country where the harsh doctrines of Calvin were most in vogue, that the ardent charity of Francis might counteract the sad influence of that heresy. If you want heretics to be convinced of their errors, said the learned Cardinal Du Perron, you may send them to me; but if you want them to be converted, send them to the Bishop of Geneva. Continue reading

Introit: Circumdederunt me

Dominica in Septuagesima ~ II. classis

Introitus
Ps 17:5; 17:6; 17:7

Circumdedérunt me gémitus mortis, dolóres inférni circumdedérunt me: et in tribulatióne mea invocávi Dóminum, et exaudívit de templo sancto suo vocem meam.

Ps 17:2-3
Díligam te, Dómine, fortitúdo mea: Dóminus firmaméntum meum, et refúgium meum, et liberátor meus.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen