As late as the tenth century the Magyar tribesmen of eastern Europe were still strangers to Christianity. King Stephen (997-1038) summoned missioners from France and Germany to preach the Faith to his subjects, and he himself accompanied the foreign priests on their apostolic journeys. The royal apostle promoted the growth of the Church in his realm so tirelessly that even during his lifetime Hungary developed from a rough mission land into a Christian kingdom. The Holy Father established a Hungarian hierarchy and conferred upon Stephen the title of Apostolic King. Having dedicated his country to Mary, "the Great Lady," King Stephen died in 1038 on the feast of her Assumption.
Mass of a CONFESSOR OF THE FAITH, except
Almighty God, grant that the blessed confessor Stephen may now defend the Church from his throne in heaven, just as he fostered her growth when he ruled on earth. Through our Lord . . .
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus
Happy the man found without fault, who turns not aside after gain, nor puts his trust in money nor in treasures! Who is he, that we may praise him? For he has done wonders in his life. He has been tested by gold and come off safe, and this remains his glory forever; he could have sinned but did not, could have done evil but would not, so that his possessions are secure in the Lord, and the assembly of the Saints shall recount his alms.
R. Thanks be to God.
Ps 91:12, 14.
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow in the house of the Lord.
V. To proclaim Your kindness at dawn and Your faithfulness throughout the night. Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life. Alleluia.
Cleanse my heart and my lips, O almighty God, who didst cleanse the lips of the prophet Isaias with a burning coal, and vouchsafe, through Thy gracious mercy, so to purify me, that I may worthily announce Thy holy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Give me Thy blessing, O Lord. The Lord be in my heart and on my lips, that I may worthily and in a becoming manner, proclaim His holy Gospel. Amen.
P. The Lord be with you.
S. And with thy spirit.
Continuation ☩ of the Holy Gospel according to Luke
R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A certain nobleman went into a far country to obtain for himself a kingdom and then return. And having summoned ten of his servants, he gave them ten gold pieces and said to them, ‘Trade till I come.’ But his citizens hated him; and they sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not wish this man to be king over us.’ And it came to pass when he had returned, after receiving the kingdom, that he ordered the servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him in order that he might learn how much each one had made by trading. And the first came, saying, ‘Lord, your gold piece has earned ten gold pieces.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten towns.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your gold piece has made five gold pieces.’ And he said to him, ‘Be you also over five towns.’ And another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold your gold piece, which I have kept laid up in a napkin; for I feared you, because you are a stern man. You take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I am a stern man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow. Why, then, did you not put my money in a bank, so that I on my return might have gotten it with interest?’ And he said to the bystanders, ‘Take away the gold piece from him, and give it to him who has the ten gold pieces.’ But they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten gold pieces.’ I say to you that to everyone who has shall be given; but from him who does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
S. By the words of the Gospel may our sins be blotted out.
Look graciously upon our offerings, O Almighty God. Grant that we may imitate the selfless sacrifice of Our Lord's Passion which we celebrate in this Sacrificial Rite. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord . . .
Almighty God, may we walk with true devotion in the path of faith of Your blessed confessor Stephen, whose zeal for spreading that faith made him worthy to pass from an earthly kingdom to a glorious throne in heaven. Through our Lord . . .