Regali Solio Fortis Iberiae

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Regali Solio Fortis Iberiae

The royal throne of heroic Iberia counts thee, Hermenegild, as one of its glories: so, too, do the Martyrs, whose love of Christ has numbered them among the Blessed of heaven.

How courageously didst thou keep thy promised allegiance to God! He was dear to thee above all things else; and as to the dangerous pleasures of this world, thou warily didst reject them.

Thou restrainedst the passions, which excite and foster vice. Thou marchedst onwards, with unfaltering step, to where the path of truth directs.

Thy father’s promises could not seduce thee. The luxuries of a life of ease and wealth, the glitter of diamonds, the prospect of a throne,–they could not allure thee.

Thou wast not affrighted by the threat of a cruel death, or by the executioner’s merciless rage; for the everlasting joys of heaven were dearer to thee than those of time.

Do thou now kindly protect us from thy heavenly throne, and graciously receive the prayers we present to thee whilst celebrating the palm made thine by martyrdom.

To the Father, the Lord of all things, be eternal honour! Let the Faithful assembled here in prayer, glorify the Son; let them sing forth endless praise to the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Prayer:

We offer thee, O brave witness to the truth of holy Faith! our admiration and gratitude. Thy courageous death was proof of the love thou hadst for Christ; and thy contempt of earthly honours teaches us to despise them. Heir to a throne, a prison was thy abode here below. It was from thy prison that thou ascendedst to heaven, wearing on thy brow the laurels of Martyrdom,–a crown far brighter than that which was offered thee on condition of thy apostatising from the Faith. Pray now for us: the Church asks it of thee, by inserting thy name in the Calendar of her Saints. The Pasch was the day of thy triumph: obtain for us that this may be a true Pasch to us,–a real resurrection, which may lead us to the heaven above, where we may enjoy, with thee, the sight of our Risen Jesus. Intercede for us, that we may be firm in the Faith, obedient to the teachings of holy Church, and enemies to every error and innovation. Protect Spain, thy fatherland, which owes to thy Martyrdom long centuries of loyalty to the true Faith. Pray for her, that she may ever continue to merit her glorious title of The Catholic Kingdom.

Saint Hermenegild

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Saint Hermenegild

Martyr
(† 586)

Leovigild, Arian King of the Visigoths, had two sons, Hermenegild and Recared, who were reigning conjointly with him. All were Arians, but Hermenegild married a zealous Catholic, the daughter of Sigebert, King of France, and by her holy example was converted to the faith. His father, on hearing the news, denounced him as a traitor, and marched to seize his person. Hermenegild tried to rally the Catholics of Spain in his defense, but they were too weak to make any stand; and after a two years’ fruitless struggle, Hermenegild surrendered on the assurance of a free pardon. Once he was safely in the royal camp, the king had him loaded with fetters and cast into a foul dungeon at Seville.

Tortures and bribes were in turn employed to shake his faith, but Hermenegild wrote to his father that he regarded the crown as nothing, and preferred to lose scepter and life rather than betray the truth of God. At length, on Easter night, an Arian bishop entered his cell, and promised him his father’s pardon if he would receive Communion from his hands. Hermenegild indignantly rejected the offer, and knelt with joy for his death-stroke, praying for his persecutors. The same night a light streaming from his cell told the Christians keeping vigil nearby that the martyr had won his crown and was celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord with the Saints in glory.

King Leovigild, on his death-bed, was changed interiorly. He had been witness to the miracles that had occurred after his son’s cruel death, and he told his son and successor Recared to seek out Saint Leander, whom he himself had persecuted. Recared should follow Hermenegild’s example, said the king, and be received by the bishop into the Church. Recared did so; and although his father himself had not had the courage to renounce the false faith publicly, after his father’s death the new king labored so earnestly for the extirpation of Arianism that he brought over the whole nation of the Visigoths to the Church. Nor is it to be wondered, says Saint Gregory, that he came thus to be a preacher of the true faith, since he was the brother of a martyr, whose merits helped him to bring so many into the haven of God’s Church.

Reflection. The victory of Saint Hermenegild teaches us that constancy and sacrifice are the best arguments for the faith, and the surest way to win souls to God.

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 Julius I

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Saint Julius I

Pope
(† 352)

Saint Julius was by birth a Roman; he was chosen Pope on the 6th of February in 337, and was remarkable for the sanctity of his life and his zeal in strengthening the Christian faith.

The impious heresy of Arius was progressing dangerously everywhere in the East, and many holy bishops were obliged to leave their sees. Saint Julius received them warmly in Rome, Saint Athanasius in particular, and he defended them to the end against their adversaries. He condemned the synods which the Arians had assembled in Tyre and in Antioch, with the intention of abolishing the faith of Nicea. He assembled two councils in Rome, where he heard the exiled bishops and proclaimed their innocence.

By his counsel, the Emperor Constans, the pious prince of the West, influenced his brother Constantius to recall Saint Athanasius from exile.

Saint Julius rejected a deceptive formula of faith, imagined by the Eusebians, who were partisans of Arius at the second council of Antioch. He assembled the second Council of Sardica, composed of both Western and Oriental bishops. His legates presided there, and he saw to it that useful measures for the maintenance of the Catholic faith and the re-establishment of ecclesiastical discipline were drafted and implemented.

He built two basilicas in Rome and adorned them with sacred paintings. He had three cemeteries constructed, on the Flaminian and Aurelian ways, and at Porto. He regulated legal questions concerning the clergy, ordaining that they would plead nowhere but in ecclesiastical courts.

Saint Julius reigned for fifteen years, and died on the 12th of April, 352.

Reflection. The great Popes have all pleased God by their outstanding humility. When the Lord gives the graces of a good administrator to souls, He requires in them more than ordinary virtue, for it is His Authority which they merely share, by His permission. He does not permit that they attribute their success to their own imaginary powers.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 4.

Low Sunday

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Low Sunday

To the Apostles in the Supper Room–

“Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, ‘Peace be to you!’ And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and his side. The disciples therefore rejoiced at the sight of the Lord. He therefore said to them again, ‘Peace be to you! As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.’ When He had said this, He breathed upon them, and said to them, ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.'” (Luke 24:36f.)

To Thomas–

“And after eight days, His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being closed, and stood in their midst, and said, ‘Peace be to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Bring here thy finger, and see My hands; and bring here thy hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.’ Thomas answered and said to Him ‘My Lord and My God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.'” (John 20:26f).

Let us Pray. Pour into our hearts, O Lord, the Spirit of Thy love, that Thou mayest mercifully make to be of one mind, those whom Thou hast nourished with this Paschal Sacrament; through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

INSTRUCTION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER,
CALLED DOMINICA IN ALBIS

The Church’s Year
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

Why is this Sunday called Dominica in Albis or White Sunday?

Because on this day the neophytes laid aside the white dress which, as emblem of their innocence, they received on Holy Saturday, and put on their necks an Agnus Dei, made of white wax, and blessed by the pope, to remind them always of the innocence for which they were given, and of the meekness of the Lamb Jesus. For which reason the Church sings at the Introit:

INTROIT As newborn babes, alleluia: desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (I Pet II. 2.) Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob. (Ps. LXXX.) Glory, &c.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who have completed the paschal solemnities may, through Thy merciful bounty, ever retain them in our life and conversation. Through.

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