St. Bede

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St. Bede, Confessor and Father of the Church

A.D. 735.

THE CELEBRATED Dom. Mabillon 1 mentioning Bede as a most illustrious instance of learning in the monastic institute, says: “Who ever applied himself to the study of every branch of literature, and also to the teaching of others, more than Bede? yet who was more closely united to heaven by the exercises of piety and religion? To see him pray, says an ancient writer, one would have thought he left himself no time to study; and when we look at his books we admire he could have found time to do any thing else but write.” Camden calls him “the singular and shining light,” and Leland, “the chiefest and brightest ornament of the English nation, most worthy, if any one ever was, of immortal fame.” William of Malmesbury tells us, that it is easier to admire him in thought than to do him justice in expression. Venerable Bede, called by the ancients Bedan—who is not to be confounded with a monk of Lindisfarne of the same name, 2 but older—was born in 673, as Mabillon demonstrates from his own writings, in a village which soon after his birth became part of the estate of the new neighbouring monastery of Jarrow, but was gained upon by the sea before the time of Simeon of Durham. St. Bennet Biscop founded the abbey of St. Peter’s at Weremouth, near the mouth of the Were, in 674, and that of St. Paul’s at Girvum, now Jarrow, in 680, on the banks of the river Tyne, below the Capræ-caput, still called Goat’s-head or Gateshead, opposite to Newcastle. Such a harmony subsisted between the two houses that they were often governed by the same abbot, and called the same monastery of SS. Peter and Paul. St. Bennet was a man of extraordinary learning and piety, and enriched these monasteries with a large and curious library which he had collected at Rome, and in other foreign parts. To his care Bede was committed at seven years of age, but was afterwards removed to Jarrow, where he prosecuted his studies under the direction of the abbot Ceolfrid, who had been St. Bennet’s fellow-traveller. Among other able masters, under whom he made great progress, he names Trumbert, a monk of Jarrow, who had formerly been a disciple of St. Chad, bishop, first of York, afterwards of Litchfield, who had established a great school in his monastery of Lestingan in Yorkshire. The church music or chant Bede learned of John, formerly precentor of St. Peter’s of the Vatican, and abbot of St. Martin’s at Rome, whom Pope Agatho had sent over to England with St. Bennet Biscop. The Greek language our saint must have learned of Theodorus archbishop of Canterbury, and the abbot Adrian, by whose instruction that language became as familiar to several of their English scholars as their native tongue. For an instance of which Bede mentions Tobias bishop of Rochester. How great a master Bede was of that language appears from his Ars Metrica and other works. His poem on St. Cuthbert and other performances show him to have been a good poet for the age wherein he lived. But his comments on the holy scriptures, and his sermons prove that the meditation on the word of God, and the writings of the holy fathers chiefly engrossed his time and attention. 1 Continue reading

St. John

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St. John, Pope and Martyr

A.D. 526.

POPE JOHN was by birth a Tuscan. He distinguished himself from his youth in the Roman clergy, of which he became the oracle and the model. He was archdeacon when, after the death of Hormisdas in 523, he was chosen pope. Theodoric the Arian king of the Goths held Italy in subjection, and though endowed with some great qualities, did not divest himself of that disposition to cruelty and jealousy, which is always an ingredient in the character of an ambitious tyrant and a barbarian. It happened that the Emperor Justin published an edict, ordering the Arians to deliver up all the churches they were possessed of to the Catholic bishops, by whom they were to be consecrated anew. Theodoric, who was the patron of that sect, took this law very ill; and in revenge threatened, that if it were not repealed in the East, he would not only treat the Catholics in his dominions in the same manner, but would fill Rome with blood and slaughter. Being, however, in some awe of the emperor, he resolved to try what he could do by negotiation; and sent the pope at the head of an embassy of five bishops and four senators, of which three had been consuls, to Constantinople on that errand. John used all manner of entreaties to decline such a commission, but was compelled by the king to take it upon him. He was received in the East with the greatest honours possible; and the whole city of Constantinople went out twelve miles to meet him, carrying wax tapers and crosses. The emperor, to use the words of Anastasius, prostrated himself before the most blessed pope, who also relates that the saint entering the city, restored sight to a blind man at the golden gate, who begged that favour of him. The same is mentioned by St. Gregory the Great, who adds, that the horse on which he rode, would never after bear any other rider. 1 The joy of that city was universal on this occasion, and the pomp with which the successor of St. Peter was received, seemed to surpass the festival of a triumph. Authors vary as to the issue of his embassy; some say that the pope confirmed Justin in his resolution of taking away the churches from the heretics; but Anastasius tells us that the pope persuaded Justin to treat the Arians with moderation, and to leave them the churches of which they were possessed, and that the emperor acquiesced. However that be, whilst our saint was in the East, Theodoric caused the great Boëtius, who was the pope’s most intimate friend, both before and after he was raised to the pontificate, to be apprehended; 2 and no sooner was Pope John landed at Ravenna in Italy, but, together with the four senators his colleagues, he was cast into a dark and loathsome dungeon. The tyrant forbid any succour or comfort to be allowed to the prisoners, so that by the hardships of his confinement and the stench of the place, the good pope died at Ravenna on the 27th of May, 526, soon after the cruel execution of Boëtius, having sat two years and nine months. His body was conveyed to Rome, and buried in the Vatican church. The two letters which bear his name are suppositious, as appears from their very dates, &c. 1 Continue reading

INTROITUS: Benedícta sit sancta Trínitas

Dominica Sanctissimæ Trinitatis ~ I. classis

Tob 12:6.

Benedícta sit sancta Trínitas atque indivísa Unitas: confitébimur ei, quia fecit nobíscum misericórdiam suam.

Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to Him, because He has shown His mercy to us.

Ps 8:2
Dómine, Dóminus noster, quam admirábile est nomen tuum in univérsa terra!

O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your Name over all the earth!

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

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

Benedícta sit sancta Trínitas atque indivísa Unitas: confitébimur ei, quia fecit nobíscum misericórdiam suam.

Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to Him, because He has shown His mercy to us.


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

This festival is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, because as soon as the apostles were instructed and consoled by the Holy Ghost, they began to preach openly that which Christ had taught them.

Why do we celebrate this festival?

That we may openly profess our faith in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which is the first of Christian truths, the foundation of the Christian religion, and the most sublime of all mysteries; and that we may render thanks, to the Father for having created us, to the Son for having redeemed us, and to the Holy Ghost for having sanctified us.

In praise and honor of the most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of this day’s Mass:

INTROIT Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to him, because he hath shown his mercy to us: (Tob. XII.) O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth! (Ps. VIII. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted to Thy servants, in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of Thy, majesty, to adore the Unity: grant that, by steadfastness in the same faith, we may ever be defended from all adversities. Thro’. Continue reading