Saint Servulus of Rome

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Saint Servulus of Rome

Invalid and Beggar
(† 670)

Saint Servulus was a perfect model of submission to the divine Will; it would be difficult to offer a more consoling example to persons afflicted by poverty, illnesses and the other miseries of life. It is Saint Gregory the Great who narrates for us his edifying story:

We have seen under the portico of the Church of Saint Clement, a poor man named Servulus, who is known to all the people of Rome as to Us. He was deprived of all the goods of this world; a long illness had reduced him to a pitiful state. From his youth he was paralyzed in all his members. Not only could he not stand up, but he was unable to rise from his bed; he could neither sit down nor turn himself from one side to the other, nor bring his hand to his mouth. Nothing in him was sound except his eyes, ears, tongue, stomach and entrails.

This unfortunate man, who had learned the mysteries of religion, meditated unceasingly on the sufferings of the Saviour, and never did he complain. He was surrounded by the loving care of his mother and brother. Neither the mother nor the children had ever studied, yet the paralytic had pious books bought for himself, in particular the Psalms and the Holy Gospels, and he would ask the religious who came to visit him on his cot to read from them to him. In this way he learned these books by heart; he spent days and part of the nights in singing or reciting them, and meditating them, and he constantly thanked the Lord for having taken him to be a victim associated with the pains and sufferings of Jesus Christ.

Many alms came to the little house of the paralytic, to such an extent that he became rich in his poverty. After having taken from these what was necessary for his subsistence and that of his mother, he gave the rest to the indigent, who often assembled around him to be edified by his words and his virtues. His bed of pain was a pulpit of preaching, from which he converted souls.

When the time came which was decreed by God to reward his patience and put an end to his painful life, Servulus felt the paralysis spreading to the vital parts of his body, and he prepared for death. At the final moment, he asked those in attendance to recite Psalms with him. Suddenly he cried out: Ah! Don’t you hear that melody resounding in heaven?’ At that moment his soul escaped from his body, which until his burial gave forth a marvelous fragrance.

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

Spiritual Advice for the Coming Holidays

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Spiritual Advice for the Coming Holidays

by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

More than once during the year I have advised you, sometimes to take an hour, in which, setting aside all other cares, you should earnestly consider the state of your soul, and ponder well whether you can hope for salvation from the life you lead. In the same hour you should also carefully think how you ought to live in future, in order to gain salvation. As I am decidedly of opinion that this is an excellent means to live piously and save one’s soul, I must once more return to this subject. No time is better adapted for making use of this means than the approaching Christmas. The holidays will give you a good opportunity to do so. It is your duty to keep them holy; and how can you do this better than by employing them to this purpose? I will more fully explain to you in what manner this should be done.

Place yourself in spirit before the lowly manger of the Divine Infant, and devoutly pass one hour in the following manner:

First, beg of the Almighty God to bestow on you the grace to recognize all the sins and faults of which you have become guilty. After this, think how you have acted towards God during the past year, and thus occupy the first half hour. During the second half hour, think how you will act in future towards your God. After this, examine your conscience, as follows: Continue reading

INSTRUCTION FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT

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INSTRUCTION FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT

The Church’s Year
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

On this Sunday the Church redoubles her ardent sighs for the coming of the Redeemer, and, in the Introit, places the longing of the just of the Old Law upon the lips of the faithful, again exhorting them through the gospel of the day, to true penance as the best preparation for the worthy reception of the Savior. Therefore at the Introit she prays:

INTROIT Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just (Is. 45). Let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Savior. The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of his hands (Ps. 18:2). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Raise up, O Lord, we pray Thee, Thy power, and come, and with great might succor us: that, by the help of Thy grace, that which our sins impede may be hastened by Thy merciful forgiveness. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE (I Cor. 4:1-5). Brethren, Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now it is required among the dispensers, that a man be found faithful. But to me, it is a very small thing to be judged by you, or by man’s day: but neither do I judge my own self. For I am not conscious to myself of anything, yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge not before the time, until the Lord come: who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise from God. Continue reading