DOMITILLA, AND PANCRAS
Nereus, Achilleus, and Domitilla were Romans who died for Christ in the first century. Nereus and Achilleus were pretorian soldiers and probably executioners of Christians before their conversion. Domitilla was a great lady, the niece of one of the consuls of Rome at that time. Pancras is believed to have been martyred in about A.D. 304, when he was only 14 years old. Pope Gregory the Great dedicated a monastery in Rome to him, and Augustine of Canterbury, Gregory's missionary, named the first church in Canterbury in his honor, thus beginning a widespread cult of the boy-martyr in England.
INTROIT Ps. 32:18, 19, 20
Behold, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him, on those who trust in His mercy, alleluia, alleluia, to rescue them from death; for the Lord is our helper and protector, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 32:1. Rejoice in the Lord, you just; praise befits the upright.
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord, may the blessed feast of Your martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla, and Pancras fire us with zeal to serve You more worthily. Through Our Lord . . .
LESSON Wisdom 5:1-5
Then shall the just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labours. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation, Saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: "These are they, whom we had sometime in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour. Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints."
V. Here was true brotherliness which overcame the sinfulness of the world and followed Christ to attain the glorious kingdom of heaven. Alleluia!
V. The white-robed army of martyrs tenders You praise, O Lord. Alleluia!
GOSPEL John 4:46-53
At that time, there was a certain ruler, whose son was sick at Capharnaum. He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into Galilee, sent to him and prayed him to come down and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him: "Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not." The ruler saith to him: "Lord, come down before that my son die." Jesus saith to him: "Go thy way. Thy son liveth." The man believed the word which Jesus said to him and went his way. And as he was going down, his servants met him: and they brought word, saying, that his son lived. He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." The father therefore knew that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him:"Thy son liveth." And himself believed, and his whole house.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 88:6
The heavens proclaim Your wonders, O Lord, and Your truth in the assembly of saints, alleluia, alleluia!
Be pleased, O Lord, by the witness that the holy martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla, and Pancras gave to Your holy name. May their deaths make our gifts more acceptable to You and bring us Your unfailing mercy. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 32:1
Rejoice in the Lord, you just, alleluia! Praise befits the upright, alleluia!
O Lord, may the holy sacrament that we have received make us more acceptable to You through the prayers of Your blessed martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla, and Pancras. Through Our Lord . . .