Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday 3rd Week of Advent; Ferial Day; Saint Olympius; Saint Lazarus




FERIAL DAY
[Mass from Preceding Sunday]

SAINT OLYMPIA
 
Widow 410A.D.
(Historical)

Saint Olympia, the glory of the widows in the Eastern Church, was born of a noble and illustrious family. Left an orphan at a tender age, she was brought up by Theodosia, sister of Saint Amphilochius, a virtuous and prudent woman. At the age of eighteen, Olympias was regarded as a model of Christian virtues. It was then that she was married to Nebridius, a young man worthy of her; the new spouses promised one another to live in perfect continence. After less than two years of this angelic union, Nebridius went to receive in heaven the reward of his virtues.
The Emperor would have engaged her in a second marriage, but she replied: “If God had destined me to live in the married state, He would not have taken my first spouse. The event which has broken my bonds shows me the way Providence has traced for me.” She had resolved to consecrate her life to prayer and penance, and to devote her fortune to the poor. She liberated all her slaves, who nonetheless wished to continue to serve her, and she administered her fortune as a trustee for the poor. The farthest cities, islands, deserts and poor churches found themselves blessed through her liberality.
Nectarius, Archbishop of Constantinople, had a high esteem for the saintly widow and made her a deaconess of his church. The duties of deaconesses were to prepare the altar linens and instruct the catechumens of their sex; they aided the priests in works of charity, and they made a vow of perpetual chastity. When Saint John Chrysostom succeeded Nectarius, he had for Olympias no less respect than his predecessor, and through her aid he built a hospital for the sick and refuges for the elderly and orphans. When he was exiled in the year 404, he continued to encourage her in her good works by his letters, and she assisted him to ransom some of his fellow captives.
Saint Olympias, as one of his supporters, was persecuted. When she refused to deal with the usurper of the episcopal see, she was mistreated and calumniated, and her goods were sold at a public auction. Finally she, too, was banished with the entire community of nuns which she governed in Constantinople. Her illnesses added to her sufferings, but she never ceased her good works until her death in the year 410. She outlived the exiled Patriarch by about two or three years.

SAINT LAZARUS
1st C. 
[Historical]

The disciple and friend of Jesus raised from the dead byJesus. He was the brother of Martha and Mary, and resided in Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem, Israel. No mention is made in the New Testament of his activities after being brought back to life, but several traditions survive. In one, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary go to France, where he became the first bishop of Marseilles, before being martyred. In other traditions, Lazarus and his sisters went to Cyprus, where he became bishop of Kition, or Lamaka. Still another legend reports that he went to Syria. His supposed relics were translated to Constantinople and numerous churches were built in his honor. Devotion to Lazarus was commonplace in the early Church.

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