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

Saint Peter Nolasco

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Saint Peter Nolasco, Confessor

The Ransomer of Captives, Peter Nolasco, is thus brought before us by the Calendar, a few days after having given us the Feast of his master, Raymond of Penafort. Both of them offer to the Divine Redeemer the thousands of Christians they ransomed from slavery. It is an appropriate homage, for it was the result of the Charity, which first began in Bethlehem, in the heart of the Infant Jesus, and was afterwards so fervently practised by these two Saints.

Peter was born in France, but made Spain his adopted country, because it offered him such grand opportunities for zeal and self-sacrifice. In imitation of our Redeemer, he devoted himself to the ransom of his brethren; he made himself a prisoner to procure them their liberty; and remained in exile, that they might once more enjoy the happiness of home. His devotedness was blessed by God. He founded a new Religious Order in the Church, composed of generous hearted men, who, for six hundred years, prayed, toiled, and spent their lives, in obtaining the blessing of liberty to countless Captives, who would else have led their whole lives in chains, exposed to the imminent danger of losing their faith. Continue reading

St. Agnes

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St. Agnes, Her Second Feast
January 28th

Five days after the martyrdom of the Virgin Emerentiana, the parents of the glorious Saint Agnes visited the tomb of their child, during the night, there to weep and pray. It was the eighth day since her martyrdom. Whilst they were thinking upon the cruel death, which, though it had enriched their child with a Martyr’s palm, had deprived them of her society–Agnes suddenly appeared to them: she was encircled with a bright light, and wore a crown on her head, and was surrounded by a choir of virgins of dazzling beauty. On her right hand, there stood a beautiful white lamb, the emblem of the Divine Spouse of Agnes.

Turning towards her parents, she said to them, “Weep not over my death: for I am now in heaven, together with these virgins, living with Him, whom I loved on earth with my whole soul.”

It is to commemorate this glorious apparition, that the holy Church has instituted this Feast, which is called Saint Agnes’ Second Feast. (Sanctae Agnetis secundo.) Let us pray to this fervent spouse of the Divine Lamb, that she intercede for us with Him, and present us to Him in this life, until it be given to us to possess Him face to face in heaven.

SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY

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SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

Why is this Sunday called “Septuagesima”?

Because in accordance with the words of the First Council of Orleans, some pious Christian congregations in the earliest ages of the Church, especially the clergy, began to fast seventy days before Easter, on this Sunday, which was therefore called Septuagesima” – the seventieth day. The same is the case with the Sundays following, which are called Sexagesima, Quinquagesima , Quadragesima, because some Christians commenced to fast sixty days, others fifty, others forty days before Easter, until finally, to make it properly uniform, Popes Gregory and Gelasius arranged that all Christians should fast forty days before Easter, commencing with Ash Wednesday.

Why, from this day until Easter, does the Church omit in her service all joyful canticles, alleluias, and the Gloria in excelsis etc?

Gradually to prepare the minds of the faithful for the serious time of penance and sorrow; to remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors, and to exhort him to penance. So the priest appears at the altar in violet, the color of penance, and the front of the altar is covered with a violet curtain. To arouse our sorrow for our sins, and show the need of repentance, the Church in the name of all mankind at the Introit cries with David: The groans of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me: and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice from his holy temple. (Ps. XVII, 5-7.) I will love thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. (Fs. XVII. 2-3.) Glory be to the Father, etc.  Continue reading