STIGMATA OF SAINT FRANCIS
DOUBLE / WHITE
In 1224, two years before his death, three years after he had laid down active leadership of his order, Francis of Assisi received the greatest gift of his singularly blessed life -- the Stigmata. During the course of a 40-day fast on Mount Alvernia in honor of St. Michael, Francis was visited by a dazzling seraphic figure whose feet and hands were nailed to a cross -- to indicate to Francis that the martyrdom he yearned for would be of the mystical, rather than the physical order. He was then afflicted with the five wounds of the Crucifixion, and bore their sufferings until his death.
INTROIT Gal. 6:14
But as for me, God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
Ps. 141:2. With a loud voice I cried out to the Lord, with a loud voice I pleaded with the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord Jesus Christ, You reproduced the sacred marks of Your suffering in the body of the most blessed Francis in order that Your love might set our hearts afire in a world that has grown cold. may the merits and prayers of saint Francis help us to bear our cross and win forgiveness through true repentance; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
EPISTLE Gal. 6:14-18
Brethren: But as for me, God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision: but a new creature. And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them and mercy: and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me: for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
GRADUAL Ps. 36:30-31
The mouth of the just man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justly.
V. The law of God is in his heart, and his steps do not falter.
Alleluia, alleluia! V.
The poor and humble Francis enters heaven a rich man, and is welcomed with heavenly music. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matt. 16:24-27
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works."
My truth and My mercy shall be with him; and in My name shall his power be exalted.
Bless the gifts we offer to You, O Lord, and cleanse us from all stain of sin through the intercession of blessed Francis. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 12:42
This is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master has set over his household to give them their ration of grain in due time.
O God, in many ways You displayed the wondrous mystery of redemption in Your blessed confessor Francis. Grant that we may imitate his devotedness to the cross and find our strength by constantly meditating upon it. Through our Lord . . .