Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


SAINT SYLVESTER
Pope and Confessor

7th DAY IN THE OCTAVE
OF CHRISTMAS

[The Third Mass of Christmas is said]

DOUBLE / WHITE
During the pontificate of St. Sylvester, from 314 to 335, the long persecutions in Rome came to an end, and the Church emerged from her hidden existence in the catacombs. The blood of the early martyrs, the seed of Christianity, blossomed into a rich harvest as the Faith spread throughout the Roman Empire. St. Sylvester, the first Pope of Peace, further strengthened the faith by convening the first ecumenical council of Nice and condemning the heresy which taught that Christ was inferior to the Father in the Blessed Trinity.

Mass of a
Pope

COLLECT
O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Sylvester shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

The Profession of Faith is said.

The Christmas Preface is said.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


SUNDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE
OF CHRISTMAS
[Transferred from 12/28/08]

DOUBLE /WHITE
The Father has sent His Son to be the world's Savior. Though almighty king and ruler of the universe, Jesus came in silence and simplicity and obedience. After such an example there can be no excuse for not listening to Him. Everyone must believe Him or reject Him. He is the sign that divides the believers from their contradictors. making the choice and living by it, is part of our Christian adulthood: it is part of the loyalty due to Christ from His adopted brothers. To lead others to this adoption and brotherhood in Christ is the highest form of gratitude we can pay to Jesus.

INTROIT Sap. 18:14-15
While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, Your Almighty Word, O Lord, leapt down from heaven, from Your royal throne.
Ps. 92:1
. The Lord reigns, robed in beauty. The Lord is clothed and girt about with strength.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Almighty and Eternal God, direct our actions according to Your holy will, so that, in the name of Your beloved Son, we may lead lives that are marked by good deeds; who lives and rules with You . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

EPISTLE Gal. 4:1-7
Brethren: As long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all, but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father. So we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: that he might redeem them who were under the law: that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: "Abba, Father". Therefore, now he is not a servant, but a son. And if a son, an heir also through God.

GRADUAL Ps. 44:3, 2
You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured out upon your lips.
V. My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king; my tongue is as nimble as the pen of a skillful scribe.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 92:1
The Lord reigns, robed in beauty. The Lord is clothed with strength, and he has girded himself about with power.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 2:33-40
At that time, And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: "Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed."
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel.
And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. And the child grew and waxed strong, full of wisdom: and the grace of God was in him.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 92:1-2
God has made the world firm, and it shall not be shaken. Your throne, O God, is prepared from of old; You are from eternity.

SECRET
Grant that the gifts we offer to Your majesty, O Almighty God, may obtain for us the grace of sincere devotion and the reward of a blessed eternity. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of Christmas

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt. 2:20
Take the Child and His Mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child's life are dead.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, may this sacred rite wash away our sins and fulfill our reasonable desires. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

Monday, December 29, 2008

Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket

St. David the King

SAINT THOMAS OF CANTERBURY
Bishop and Martyr

Within the Octave of Christmas
Saint David the King
(Historical)

DOUBLE / RED
Thomas Becket, like "the good shepherd," laid down his life for the flock entrusted to his care. Already chancellor of England at the age of 35, he was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 1162 at the recommendation of Henry II. The king, relying on Thomas' gratitude and friendship, attempted to extend his jurisdiction over ecclesiastical affairs. But the archbishop fearlessly defended the independence of the Church and as a result was punished by banishment. After six years in exile, he returned and was brutally murdered by royal retainers while celebrating Vespers in his own episcopal church on December 29, 1170.

INTROIT
Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate the feast in honor of the blessed martyr Thomas, at whose martyrdom the angels rejoiced and praised the Son of God.
Ps. 32:1. Rejoice in the Lord, you just; praise befits the upright.
V. Glory be . . .

Gloria

COLLECT
O God, for the cause of the Church the glorious bishop Thomas was slain by the swords of evil men. May all who implore his aid obtain through him the petitions they ask. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

EPISTLE Heb. 5:1-6
Brethren: Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that he might be made a high priest: but he that said unto him: "Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee." As he saith also in another place: "Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech."

GRADUAL Eccli. 44:16, 20
Behold a great priest, who pleased God in his life.
V. There was none found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. John 10:14
I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep, and mine know me. Alleluia!

GOSPEL John 10:11-16
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf casteth and scattereth the sheep, And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring. And they shall hear my voice: And there shall be one fold and one shepherd."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 20:4-5
You have placed on his head a crown of precious stones, O Lord. He asked life of You, and You have given it to him, alleluia!

SECRET
Bless the gifts we have set apart for You, O Lord. may the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop, Thomas, help these offerings to win Your mercy for us. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

COMMUNION ANTIPHON John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and mine know me.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, may this Communion cleanse us from sin, and bestow on us spiritual health from heaven through the intercession of Your blessed martyr bishop Thomas. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

Sunday, December 28, 2008

HOLY INNOCENTS
Martyrs

SUNDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / PURPLE
There is mixed joy and sorrow in the feast of the innocent victims of the first persecution. The Church rejoices at the spiritual victory of the young witnesses to Christ. The purple vestments of the Mass denote the Church's common grief with the mothers of Bethlehem, who saw their babies massacred by the jealousy of Herod.

INTROIT Ps. 8:3
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, O God, You have fashioned praise because of Your enemies.
Ps. 8:2.
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth!
V.
Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O God, the martyred innocents bore witness to You this day not by words but by laying down their lives. Destroy in us the evil of sin, so that our lives may bear witness to our faith in You, which we profess in words. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
O Almighty and Eternal God, direct our actions according to Your holy will, so that, in the name of Your beloved Son, we may lead lives that are marked by good deeds; who lives and rules with You . . .

EPISTLE Apoc. 14:1-5
In those days, I beheld: and lo a Lamb stood upon mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty-four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the noise of many waters and as the voice of great thunder. And the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers, harping on their harps. And they sung as it were a new canticle, before the throne and before the four living creatures and the ancients: and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty-four thousand who were purchased from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth there was found no lie: for they are without spot before the throne of God.

GRADUAL Ps. 123:7-8
Our soul has been rescued as a bird from the snare of the hunters.
V. The snare has been broken and we are free. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.


TRACT Ps. 78:3, 10
They have poured out the blood of the saints like water around Jerusalem. V. And there was no one to bury them.
V.
Avenge, O Lord, the blood of Your saints which has been shed upon the earth.

GOSPEL Matt. 2:13-18
At that time, an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: "Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him." Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: "Out of Egypt have I called my son."
Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry: and sending killed all the menchildren that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: "A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 123:7
Our soul has been rescued as a bird from the snare of the hunters. The snare has been broken and we are free.

SECRET
O Lord, may Your saints' unfailing prayer of honor render our offerings acceptable to You and obtain Your pardon for us. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Grant that the gifts we offer to Your majesty, O Almighty God, may obtain for us the grace of sincere devotion and the reward of a blessed eternity. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt. 2:18
A voice was heard weeping in Rama, and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted, because they are no more.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, may these Gifts, which we have both offered to You and received from You, win for us Your assistance in this life and in the life to come through the prayers of the saints. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
O Lord, may this sacred rite wash away our sins and fulfill our reasonable desires. Through Our Lord . . .

Saturday, December 27, 2008

SAINT JOHN
Apostle and Evangelist

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / WHITE
In the group that Christ chose to be the messengers of God's love for men, St. John is singled out by the Gospel description as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." The great token of that love, the Mother of God, was entrusted to St. John by Christ in His dying moments. The New Testament writings of St. John -- the Fourth Gospel, the Apocalypse, and three epistles -- put into words the divine secret of love which the disciple learned in his intimacy with God and the Mother of God. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God" (I John 4:7).
Tradition persists that St. John, miraculously preserved from being killed, yet considered a martyr by Catholics, spent a long life forming the infant Church in Asia Minor in the simple and fundamental teaching of Christ, "Little children, love one another."

INTROIT Eccli. 15:5
In the gathering of the Church the Lord opened his mouth and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and clothed him with a robe of glory.
Ps. 91:2
. It is good to praise the Lord, and to sing to Your name. O Most High!
V.
Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord, let the Church be enlightened by the teachings of Your blessed apostle and evangelist John, so that she may enjoy Your everlasting gifts. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

LESSON Eccli. 15:1-6
He that feareth God, will do good: and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her, And she will meet him as an honourable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin. With the bread of life and understanding, she shall feed him, and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved. And she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbours. And in the midst of the church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory. She shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.

GRADUAL John 21:23, 19
A Saying went abroad among the brethren, that the disciple was not to die. But Jesus had not said, "He is not to die."
V.
But rather, "So I will have him to remain until I come, do thou follow me."

Alleluia, alleluia! V. John 21:24
This is the disciple who bears witness concerning these things, and we know that his witness is true.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 21:19-24
At that time, Jesus said to Peter: "Follow me." Peter turning about, saw that disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on his breast at supper and said: "Lord, who is he that shall betray thee?" Him therefore when Peter had seen, he saith to Jesus: "Lord, and what shall this man do?" Jesus saith to him: "So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? Follow thou me." This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say to him: "He should not die"; but: "So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee?"
This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things and hath written these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 91:13
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar of Lebanon.

SECRET
O Lord, accept the gifts we bring You on the feast of Your saint, through whose intercession we hope to be set free. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

COMMUNION ANTIPHON John 21:23
A saying went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple was not to die. But Jesus had not said, "He is not to die"; but rather, "So I will have him to remain until I come."

POSTCOMMUNION
Refreshed with heavenly Food and Drink, we humbly pray You, our God, that we may be strengthened by the prayers of Your saint, in whose memory we have received this Sacrament. through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

Friday, December 26, 2008


SAINT STEPHEN
First Martyr

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / RED
Stephen, the first to give his life for Christ, died, as did his master, praying for his persecutors. Stephen was one of the seven deacons appointed by the Apostles to preach and care for the poor. Because of the great signs and wonders he worked among the people, he was hailed before the Jewish Sanhedrin and condemned to stoning. St. Stephen's prayer, "Lord, do not lay this sin against them," fulfilled Christ's command to His followers, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you" (Matt. 5:44).


INTROIT Ps. 118:23, 86, 23
Princes met and spoke against me, and the wicked persecuted me. Help me, O Lord my God, because Your servant has followed Your commandments.
Ps. 118:1. Blessed are they who are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
V.
Glory Be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord, we celebrate the birthday of Stephen, who prayed for his persecutors. May we imitate this saint, whom we revere, and learn from him to love even our enemies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS

EPISTLE Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-60
In those days, Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. Now there arose some, of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart: and they gnashed with their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: "Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." And they, crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city. they stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: "Lord, lay not his sin to their charge": And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord.

GRADUAL Ps. 118:23, 86; 6:5
Princes met and spoke against me, and the wicked persecuted me.
V.
Help me, O Lord my God! Save me for Your mercy's sake.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Acts 7:56
I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the power of God.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 23:34-39
At that time, Jesus said to the scribes and pharisees, "Therefore behold I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify: and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not? Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.' "

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Acts 6:5; 7:59
The Apostles chose Stephen, a Levite, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, whom the Jews stoned while he prayed and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Alleluia!

SECRET
O Lord, receive our offerings in memory of Your saints; and as they were made glorious by their suffering, may we be made sinless by our devotion. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of CHRISTMAS
The Christmas Preface and Communicantes are said

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Acts 7:56, 59, 60
I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the power of God. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and lay not this sin against them.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, through the intercession of Your beloved martyr Stephen, may we be aided by the reception of the Blessed Sacrament and rejoice in Your everlasting protection. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the Octave of Christmas

Thursday, December 25, 2008

CHRISTMAS DAY
THIRD MASS

DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS, WITH OCTAVE / WHITE
After meditating upon the human circumstances of the Savior's birth, we come in this Mass to ponder upon His divinity. He is the eternal Son of God, the creator of all things. In those who accept Christ, His creative power begets supernatural life and calls our fellow men over the earth to be adopted sons and daughters of God. Even the Angels are only His messengers and worshiping creatures.


INTROIT Isa. 9:6
A Child is born to us, and a son is given to us; upon his shoulder is supreme sovereignty, and his name shall be called the Angel of great counsel.
Ps. 97:1
. Sing a new canticle to the Lord, for He has done wondrous things.
V.
Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Almighty God, free us from the old bondage and yoke of sin by Your only-begotten Son's new birth as man. Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE Heb. 1:1-12
God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days, hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world. Who being the brightness of his glory and the figure of his substance and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels hath he said at any time: "Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee?" And again: "I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?" And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith: "And let all the angels of God adore him. And to the angels indeed he saith: "He that maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire." But to the Son: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." And: "Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of thy hands are the heavens. They shall perish: but thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment. And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shalt be changed. But thou art the selfsame: and thy years shall not fail."

GRADUAL Ps. 97:3-4, 2
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Sing joyfully to God, all the earth.
V. The Lord has made His salvation known; in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice.


Alleluia, alleluia! V.
A blessed day has dawned on us! Come, you nations, and adore the Lord, for this day a great light has descended upon the earth!
Alleluia!

GOSPEL John 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life: and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world: and the world was made by him: and the world knew him not. He came unto his own: and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 88:12, 15
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth, the world and its fullness you have founded. Justice and judgment are the foundation of your throne.

SECRET
Bless these gifts we offer You, O Lord, by the new birth of Your only-begotten Son. May they cleanse us from the stain of our sins. Through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 97:3
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Almighty God, may the Savior of the world, who came upon earth this day to bring us the Gift of supernatural life, bestow on us also the treasure of eternal life; who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


THE VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS

PRIVILEGED VIGIL / PURPLE
All Advent seems concentrated on the Vigil Mass. All the desires and hopes of men point to this night of miraculous birth. "This day . . . the Lord will come." He is to be welcomed as Saviour and King; but also with the awareness that He is our Judge. The Gospel and Epistle are filled with the deep mystery of the divine and human in the Saviour. Both the name that Joseph was to give Him and the vocation of the Apostle Paul, tell us that the Saviour we possess is meant for all nations.

INTROIT Ex. 16:6-7
This day you shall know that the Lord will come and save us; and in the morning you shall see His glory.
Ps. 23:1. The earth and its fullness is the Lord's; the world and all those who dwell therein.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O God, who each year makes us happy with the anticipation of our redemption, grant that as we now joyfully welcome Your only-begotten Son as our Redeemer, we may also look with confidence on the same Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, when He comes as judge; who lives and rules with You . . .

EPISTLE Rom. 1:1-6
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. Which he had promised before, by his prophets, in the holy scriptures, Concerning his Son, who was made to him of the seed of David, according to the flesh, Who was predestinated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of sanctification, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith, in all nations, for his name: Among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ.

GRADUAL Ex. 16:6, 7; Ps. 79:2-3
This day you shall know that the Lord will come and save us; and in the morning you shall see His glory.
V. Take heed, You who rule Israel, You who are shepherd over Joseph. You who are enthroned above the Cherubim, reveal Yourself to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
Tomorrow the sinfulness of the earth shall be blotted out, and the Saviour of the world shall rule over us. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 1:18-21
When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: "Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 23:7
Lift up your gates, O princes, and be lifted up, O eternal gates, and the king of glory shall enter in.

SECRET
O Almighty God, we eagerly look forward to the adorable birthday of Your Son; grant that we may also receive His everlasting gifts with joy; who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Preface for Weekdays is said

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Isa. 40:5
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all men shall see the salvation of God.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, grant us new life as we celebrate the birthday of Your only-begotten Son, for His heavenly rite is our food and drink. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008



SAINT THOMAS
Apostle
[Transferred from December 21]

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / RED
When Jesus was about to go to Judea where He was in mortal danger from His enemies, intense love for his Master made St. Thomas say, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (John 11:8-16). As Christ said farewell to His disciples on the eve of His Passion, Thomas wanted to know the way to reunion with his Lord. Jesus said to him and to us, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:2-6). After the Resurrection, he sought the reassurance of feeling the wounds of the risen Savior (John 20:24-29). His short-lived but agonized incredulity has served through the centuries to strengthen Christian faith in the Resurrection, and his impulsive exclamation, "My Lord and my God!" is repeated by every Christian at the elevation of the Sacred Host.
According to the martyrology, after Pentecost Thomas preached the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, and Hyrcanians, and finally evangelized India, where he was martyred. There is in India today, in the region called Malabar Coast, a Christian community of Syriac Rite which claims that its ancestors were baptized by Thomas himself.

INTROIT (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established.
Ps. 138:1-2
. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.
V.
Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord, may we so celebrate the solemn feast of Your apostle Thomas that we may be aided by his prayers to imitate his faith in our lives at all times. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of preceding Sunday

EPISTLE (Eph. 2:19-22)
Brethren: Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners: but you are fellow citizens with the saints and the domestics of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into an holy temple in the Lord. in whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in the Spirit.

GRADUAL (Ps. 138:17-18)
Your friends are greatly honored, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established. V. Were I to try to count them, they would be more numerous than the sands.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 32:1.
Rejoice in the Lord, you just; praise befits the upright.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL (John 20:24-29)
At that time, Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said: "Peace be to you." Then he said to Thomas: "Put in thy finger hither and see my hands. And bring hither the hand and put it into my side. And be not faithless, but believing." Thomas answered and said to him: "My Lord and my God." Jesus saith to him: "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 18:5)
Their voice has gone forth through all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

SECRET
We worship You, O Lord, as it is our duty. Guard over the gifts You have bestowed upon us through the prayers of Your blessed apostle Thomas, whose faith we honor by offering You this sacrifice of praise. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the preceding Sunday

COMMUNION ANTIPHON (John 20:27)
Bring here thy hand and feel the place of the nails. and be not unbelieving, but believing.

POSTCOMMUNION
Be close to us, O merciful God, and through the prayers of Your blessed apostle Thomas,watch over the Gifts You have given us. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the preceding Sunday

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mother Cabrini in 1880

SAINT FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI
Virgin


In All Dioceses of the United States

DOUBLE, SECOND CLASS / WHITE
From childhood Frances Cabrini desired to become a missionary for Christ. After some unsuccessful starts, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Codogna, Italy; and in 1889 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, she accepted the invitation of New York's Archbishop Corrigan to work among the numerous Italian immigrants of that era. Mother Cabrini founded orphanages, schools, and hospitals all over the United States, and extended her institute to Central and South America, France, Spain, and England. Everywhere her work succeeded only through her unbounded trust in God's providence. Though always in poor health, she traveled constantly, crossing the Atlantic 25 times in spite of a great fear of ocean voyages. A naturalized citizen of the United States, Mother Cabrini died in 1917 in the convent of her great hospital in Chicago, and was canonized in 1946, the first American citizen-saint.

The chapel of the high school in Fort Washington, New York, where her body is enshrined, is a place of pilgrimage.


INTROIT Ps. 72:24
You have held me by my right hand, and guided me by Your counsel, and in the end You have received me in glory.
Ps. 72:1.
How good God is to Israel, to those whose hearts are upright.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O Lord, Jesus Christ, You enkindled the fire of Your Sacred Heart in the holy virgin Frances Xavier so that she might win souls for You in many lands, and establish a new religious congregation of women in Your Church. Grant that we too may imitate the virtues of Your Sacred Heart through her intercession, so that we may be worthy of the haven of eternal happiness, who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Commemoration of the preceding SUNDAY

EPISTLE I Cor. 1:26-31
Brethren: For see your vocation, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble. But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the "wise": and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. And the base things of the world and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen: and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his sight. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and justice and sanctification and redemption: That, as it is written: "He that glorieth may glory in the Lord."

GRADUAL Ps. 17:33-34
God has girded me with strength and made my way sinless.
V.
He has made my feet swift as those of a stag and set me on the heights.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. I Cor. 9:22
I became all things to all men, that I might save all.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 11:25-30
At that time Jesus answered and said: "I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to Me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 72:28
It is good for me to hold fast to God, to put my hope in the Lord God, that I may proclaim all Your praises at the gates of the daughter of Sion.

SECRET
Accept our offerings in honor of the holy virgin Frances Xavier, O Lord, and grant that we too may imitate the Sacred Heart of Your Son and make ourselves an acceptable sacrifice to You. Through the same Jesus Christ . . .

Commemoration of the preceding Sunday

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt. 11:28
Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

POSTCOMMUNION
From the fullness of the Sacred Heart of Your beloved Son, O God, You have bestowed heavenly gifts upon us. Grant that we may follow Saint Frances Xavier's example and seek the glory of Your Son so that we may attain to the rewards of His kingdom; who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Commemoration of the preceding Sunday

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


FERIAL MASS OF THE
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT


SAINT EUSEBIUS
Bishop and Martyr

SIMPLE / RED
Eusebius was bishop of Vercelli in northern Italy in the middle of the fourth century. St. Ambrose says that he was the first in the West to introduce the practice of community life among secular clergy. Eusebius was exiled to Palestine and Cappadocia by Emperor Constantius for his defense of St. Athanasius and his opposition to the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. Though greatly mistreated in exile, [he won the title of martyr for his grievous sufferings] the courageous bishop survived the ordeal and, on the death of the Emperor, took up the fight for the Church once more. He won other enemies, however, by urging clemency toward repentant Arian bishops, the very ones who had been a cause of his exile. St. Eusebius died in peace at Vercelli in 371.

Commemoration of SAINT EUSEBIUS

COLLECT

O God, who gladdens us each year by the feast of Your blessed martyr bishop Eusebius, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his birthday may also enjoy his protection. Through Our Lord . . .

SECRET
Bless the gifts we have set apart for You, O Lord. May the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Eusebius help these offerings to win Your mercy for us. Through Our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, may this Communion cleanse us from sin, and bestow on us spiritual health from heaven through the intercession of Your martyr bishop Eusebius. Through Our Lord . . .

Monday, December 15, 2008

From Rorate-Caeli :

Kneeling for communion and communion on the tongue:
"Profound meaning," says Cañizares

In an interview granted this Sunday to Spanish daily La Razón, the new Prefect of Divine Worship, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, had this to say on an important liturgical matter:

[La Razón:] Nevertheless, Benedict XVI has reiterated in some instances the propriety of receiving communion kneeling and in the mouth. Is it something important, or is it a mere matter of form?

[Cañizares:] - No, it is not just a matter of form. What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What dies it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.



OCTAVE OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION


SAINT CHRISTIANA (NINO) (4th C.)

Virgin (Apostle of Georgia (Asia) (Historical)


St. Nino (fl. III/IV Century) was born in Cappadocia. Tradition says she was a relative of St. George who travelled to Iberia (Georgia) to convert the people to Christianity. Scholars believe she was a slave to whom the name Nino (the Georgian form of Nina) was given; she has also been identified as Christiana. The quiet piety of her life and her preaching converted many people, and when she cured Queen Nana of a seemingly incurable disease, Nino converted the queen. When King Mirian also became a Christian, he sent to Constantinople for bishops and priests. Nino continued to preach throughout Georgia until her death at Bodke. A church dedicated to the memory of St. George was built on the site of her grave.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

St. Lucy, c. 1472-74
Lippi, Filippino

SAINT LUCY

Virgin and Martyr

DOUBLE / RED
Lucy, patron of Sicily, and one of the saints of the Canon of the Mass, was martyred at Syracuse in the persecution of Diocletian about the year 304. The legend of her martyrdom says that she was denounced as a Christian by a rejected suitor. Refusing to apostatize, she was condemned to a brothel, but a mysterious force prevented the persecutors from moving her from the tribunal. After an unsuccessful attempt had been made to burn her to death, her neck was pierced with a dagger.

INTROIT Ps. 44:8
You loved justice and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellow creatures.
Ps. 44:2 My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
Hear our prayer, O God our Savior, and let us learn the spirit of true devotion from Your blessed virgin and martyr Lucy, as we joyfully celebrate her feast. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the OCTAVE

EPISTLE II Cor. 10:17-18; 11:1-2
Brethren: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved: but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

GRADUAL Ps. 44:8
You loved justice and hated wickedness.
V
. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 44:3
Grace is poured out upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 13:44-52
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kinds of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
"Have ye understood all these things?" They say to him: "Yes." He said unto them: "Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 44:15, 16
Behind her the virgins shall be led to the king; her friends shall be brought to you with gladness and joy; they shall be brought into the temple of the king, the Lord.

SECRET
Accept this gift, O Lord, from a people dedicated to You. We offer it in honor of Your saints for the help we have received from them when we were in trouble. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the OCTAVE
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 118:161-162
Princes have persecuted me without cause, but my heart has stood in awe of Your words. I rejoice at Your words as one who has found great booty.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, You have feasted Your family with the Food of heaven. May we always be refreshed through the intercession of Your saint whose feast we celebrate this day. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the OCTAVE

Friday, December 12, 2008

Avery Cardinal Dulles passed away.

Please say a prayer for the repose of his soul.


OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / WHITE
On the summit of a hill a few miles north of Mexico City, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, a poor Aztec Indian convert, in December, 1531. In order that the Spanish Archbishop Zumarraga of Mexico might have faith in the apparitions, Mary made roses bloom on the cold, arid hillside, and impressed a picture of herself upon Juan Diego's roughly woven mantle. Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has helped to weld into a nation the various peoples of Mexico; [millions of Indians were baptized and entered the Church] and her shrine has never been closed, even during the most bitter conflicts between Church and State in that country.


INTROIT
Hail, Holy Mother, who brought forth the King who rules heaven and earth forever and ever.
Ps. 44:2.
My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT
O God, You have placed us under the special patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and through her You have favored us with endless blessings. May we, who joyfully honor her this day on earth, enjoy her company forever in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

During Advent, commemoration of the preceding Sunday

EPISTLE Eccli. 24:23-31
As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor: and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches.
I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.
For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.
My memory is unto everlasting generations.
They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.
He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.
They that explain me shall have life everlasting.

GRADUAL Cant. 6:9; Eccli. 50:8
Who is she who comes forth as th morning dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?
V.
As a rainbow that gives light in the bright clouds, and as the budding roses in the springtime.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Cant. 2:12
The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning has come.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 1:39-47
At that time, Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she cried out with a loud voice and said: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord." And Mary said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON II Par. 7:16
I have chosen and sanctified this place, that my name may be here, and my eyes and my heart may dwell here forever.

SECRET
O Lord, through Your mercy and the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, let this offering bring us prosperity and peace now and forever. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the preceding Sunday

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 147:20
He has not done this for any other nation, and His ordinances He has not made known to them.

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, grant that we who have received the Sacrament of our salvation may be protected through the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, in whose honor we have offered this Sacrifice to Your majesty. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of the preceding Sunday

Thursday, December 11, 2008



SAINT DAMASUS
Pope and Confessor

OUR LADY QUEEN OF ANGELS
[Historical]

SIMPLE / WHITE
The Spaniard Damasus was pope from 366 to 384. During his reign he had to contend with an antipope at Rome, schism at Antioch, Constantinople, and Sardinia, and Arian heresy over the whole Empire. St. Jerome, whom he commissioned to prepare the Vulgate translation of the Bible, calls him "an incomparable person, learned in the Scriptures, a virgin doctor of the virgin Church, who loved chastity and heard its praise with pleasure." Pope Damasus had great veneration for the Christian martyrs, wrote many of the epitaphs for their tombs, and out of humility, would not allow himself to be buried among his martyred predecessors.

Octave Mass (Mass of the Immaculate Conception), with the following commemoration of
SAINT DAMASUS

COLLECT
O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Damasus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this confessor and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through Our Lord . . .

SECRET
We have offered our gifts to You, O Lord. Let Your light graciously shine upon Your Church, so that this flock may everywhere prosper, and its pastors, under Your guidance, may be truly pleasing to You. Through Our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION
O Lord, govern the Church, which You have been pleased to nourish with Your heavenly Food. Guide her by Your powerful direction, so that she may enjoy greater freedom and remain unshaken in the fullness of faith. Through Our Lord . . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pope Saint Melchiades

SAINT MELCHIADES
Pope and Martyr

OUR LADY OF LORETO

SIMPLE / WHITE Pope Melchiades, who was called by St. Augustine an excellent man, a true son of peace, and a true father of Christians, suffered severe persecution under Maximian. He survived, however, to see Constantine establish toleration of Christianity in 313 A.D., and died peacefully the following year.

Octave Mass (Mass of the Immaculate Conception), with the following commemoration of
OUR LADY OF LORETO AND SAINT MELCHIADES

COLLECT

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Melchiades shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

O God, who through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, didst in Thy mercy sanctify the House of Blessed Mary the Virgin, and by wondrous means didst place it in the care of Thy Church, grant that we may keep aloof from the tabernacles of sinners, and become worthy habitants of Thy holy house. Through the same our Lord . . .

TRANSLATION
of the HOLY HOUSE of LORETO
(1291, 1294)

Towards the end of the thirteenth century, the terrible news reached Europe that the Holy Land was lost to the Christians, who during two centuries had been able to maintain the Latin kingdom there by virtue of their repeated Crusades. But at the time the Church was deploring this painful loss, a new joy was given them: the holy house of Nazareth — site of the birth of the Mother of God, of Her early education and of the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel of the wondrous news of the Incarnation of the Son of God — had been found, transported miraculously, near Tersatz in Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) on May 10th of the year 1291. Between Tersatz and nearby Fiume, the residents of the region beheld one morning an edifice, in a location where never had any been seen before. After the residents of the region talked among themselves of the remarkable little house surmounted by a bell tower, and which stood without foundations on the bare ground, describing its altar, an ancient statue of Our Lady, and other religious objects which their wondering eyes had seen within it, another surprise came to astound them once more.

Their bishop suddenly appeared in their midst, cured from a lingering illness which had kept him bedridden for several months. He had prayed to be able to go see the prodigy for himself, and the Mother of God had appeared to him, saying, in substance: “My son, you called Me; I am here to give you powerful assistance and reveal to you the secret you desire to know. The holy dwelling is the very house where I was born... It is there that when the announcement was brought by the Archangel Gabriel, I conceived the divine Child by the operation of the Holy Spirit. It is there that the Word was made flesh! After My decease, the Apostles consecrated this dwelling, illustrated by such elevated mysteries, and sought the honor of celebrating the August Sacrifice there. The altar is the very one which the Apostle Saint Peter placed there. The crucifix was introduced by the Apostles, and the cedar statue is My faithful image, made by the hand of the Evangelist Saint Luke... Your sudden return to health from so long an illness will bear witness to this prodigy.” Nicolas Frangipane, governor of the territory of Ancona, was absent, but when the news was carried to him, he returned from a war in order to verify its authenticity. He sent to Nazareth, at the eastern limits of the Mediterranean Sea, the bishop and three other persons, to examine the original site of the house. Indeed the house was no longer there, but its foundations remained and were found conformable in every detail of dimension and substance, to the stones at the base of the house now in Dalmatia. The testimony of the delegates was drafted according to legal formalities, and confirmed by a solemn oath.

Then, after three years spent in Dalmatia, the house disappeared. Paul Della Selva, a holy hermit of that period and of the region of Ancona, wrote: “During the night of December 10th, a light from heaven became visible to several inhabitants of the shores of the Adriatic Sea, and a divine harmony woke them that they might contemplate a marvel exceeding all the forces of nature. They saw and contemplated a house, surrounded by heavenly splendor, transported through the air.” The angelic burden was brought to rest in a forest, where again the local residents were able to contemplate the signal relics which it contained. The antique Greek crucifix mentioned by Our Lady was made of wood, and attached to it was a canvas on which the words Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, were painted. The cedar statue of the Virgin had been painted also; she wore a red robe and a blue cloak and held the Infant Jesus in Her arms. His right hand was raised in blessing; His left hand held a globe, symbol of His sovereign power.

The story was far from ended. The house moved again, after robbers began to intercept pilgrims coming through the forest to visit the marvel. Twice more it rose from its place, the first time coming to rest on a private terrain, which became then a source of dispute between two brothers; and finally on a hilltop where a dusty and uneven public road became its permanent site. For centuries the people of Dalmatia came across the sea on pilgrimage, often crying out to Our Lady and Her House to come back to them! Finally in 1559, after one such visit by 300 pilgrims, the Sovereign Pontiff had a hospice built at Loreto for families who preferred to remain near the house, rather than return to a land deprived of its sacred presence.

The reddish-black stones of the house are a sort entirely foreign to Italy; the mortar cementing them is again entirely different from the volcanic-ash-based substance used in that country. The residents of the region put up a heavy brick wall to support the house, which was exposed to the torrential rains and winds of the hilltop and was completely without foundation. But no sooner was that wall completed, than they came back one morning to find it had moved away from the house, as if to express its reverence, to a distance which permitted a small child to walk around it with a torch in hand. The Author of the miracle wanted it to be well understood that He who had brought it without human assistance, was capable also of maintaining it there where He had placed it, without human concourse.

The episodes concerning the Translation of the Holy House, all duly verified, were consigned in documents borne to Rome to the Sovereign Pontiffs at various epochs. Pope Sixtus IV declared that the house was the property of the Holy See, and assigned duties to a specified personnel named to be its custodians. By Pope Leo X the indulgence applicable to the visit of several churches of Rome was accorded also to a pilgrimage to Loreto. Eventually a magnificent basilica was built around the house, which within the basilica was itself enhanced by a white marble edicule. Pope Clement IX in 1667, placed the story of the House in the Roman Martyrology for the 10th of December under the title: At Loreto, in the territory of Ancona, translation of the Holy House of Mary, Mother of God, in which the Word was made flesh. Pope Benedict XIV, a prodigious scholar before he became Pope, established the identity of the house with that of Nazareth, against its detractors, and later worked for the embellishment of the August sanctuary. The feast of Our Lady of Loreto is observed in many provinces of the Church, inscribed in the Proper of their dioceses by their bishops.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14; Magnificat magazine, Vol. XXIX, no. 12, December 1994, pp. 260-264 (Magnificat: Saint Jovite, 1994); La Sainte Maison de la Sainte Vierge, by a priest of Montreal (Librairie Saint Joseph: Montreal, 1895).