Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Our Lady of Ransom; Saint Pacific of San Severino



This feast was extended to the whole Church in thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin, for having in the thirteenth century inspired St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Pennafort to found a religious order for the release of Christians captured by the Saracens. The Mercedarians vowed to give themselves up as hostages for the imprisoned Christians when ransom and military means failed. Their heroism saved countless souls from apostasy and despair.

Ps 118:137; 118:124
You are just, O Lord, and Your ordinance is right. Deal with Your servant according to Your kindness.
Ps 118:1
Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
You are just, O Lord, and Your ordinance is right. Deal with Your servant according to Your kindness.

Mass of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY,except


O God, through the glorious Mother of Your Son You enriched the Church with a new religious congregation dedicated to freeing Christians from slavery among the heathens. We venerate Mary as the foundress of this institution and pray that she may also deliver us from our sins and the slavery of the devil through her own merits and intercession. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

Lesson from the letter of St Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians
Eph 4:1-6
Brethren: I, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, careful to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and throughout all, and in us all, Who is blessed forever and ever. Amen.

Ps 32:12; 32:6
Happy the nation whose God is the Lord, the people the Lord has chosen for His own inheritance.
V. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made; by the breath of His mouth all their host. Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps 101:2
V. O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to You. Alleluia.

Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
Matt 22:34-46
At that time, the Pharisees came to Jesus and one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting Him to the test, asked Him, Master, which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus questioned them, saying, What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is He? They said to Him, David’s. He said to them, How then does David in the spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool?’ If David, therefore, calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son? And no one could answer Him a word; neither did anyone dare from that day forth to ask Him any more questions.

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 . . .

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 . . .

Saint Pacific of San Severino
(San Pacifico di San Severino)

Feast Day – September 24
Saint Pacific of San Severino was born of a distinguished family in the Italian city of San Severino. As a child he evinced unusual seriousness, great piety, and love of mortification.
Early in his youthful life this spirit of mortification was put to the test. He was quite young when he became an orphan, and was taken to the home of his uncle, who brought him up very strictly. Two servants in his uncle’s home could not bear the sight of the boy and caused him many unpleasant experiences. If anything went wrong in the house, even if they were to blame for it, they accused the boy; and his uncle would then punish him severely for it. Pacific accepted the punishment in the spirit of mortification, bore it with remarkable patience, and so advanced in virtue.
Our Lord saw to it that his virtue was made manifest. One day a servant knocked the spigot of a wine barrel loose and all the wine ran out into the cellar. She blamed Pacific for it. His uncle took the boy down into the cellar with him to show him what he had done and to give him the punishment he deserved. The boy went along calmly. When they reached the cellar, they found the floor quite dry and the barrel full of wine. The maid was called, and when she saw the miracle, she admitted her fault and praised the holiness of the innocent boy.
When he was seventeen years old, Pacific entered the Order of Friars Minor. After the year of probation, he made his vows, and from that time took great pains to observe them perfectly. He was ordained to the priesthood when he was twenty-five years old. He was first assigned to the surrounding villages of the Apennines, where he found the greatest delight in preaching the Gospel to the poor and the uneducated. No road was too rough, no mountain too steep for him. He looked up the poor shepherds in their out-of-the-way huts in order to instruct and guide them on the road that leads to God.

Saint Pacific of San Severino was not long to enjoy this apostolic work. After a few years, he became ill and never completely recovered his health, so that he was obliged to serve God patiently with an infirm body for more than thirty years.
Pacific was completely satisfied with God’s designs in his regard. “God wills it,” he said in a cheerful way, “and so may His will be done.”
The painful suffering he had to endure, and the many acts of mortification he performed in addition, he joined to his unceasing prayers and offered them up for the salvation of souls and the conversion of sinners. Even in his sickness he was so modest that he would never allow anyone else to dress the ugly sores on his legs, but always took care of them himself.
When he was able to say holy Mass, Saint Pacific did it with the utmost fervor and devotion. In his later years he was often favored with ecstasies after the elevation at holy Mass. His countenance shone with a radiance like that of the sun. The sick were miraculously cured by him, and he foretold many future events.
When death finally summoned him and he had received Holy Communion for the last time with admirable devotion, he once more expressed his gratitude to God for all His benefits, and then, with his hands crossed upon his breast, surrendered his soul to his Creator. The day was September 24, 1721.
Many miracles occurred at his grave, and two dead persons were restored to life after his holy relics were applied to them. He was buried in a common grave used by his deceased brothers in the community, but his body was found incorrupt after four years, even though he was given no coffin.
When the body was moved, the head of the saint was accidently struck so hard against a stairway that the head of the corpse detached from the body. Blood flowed freely from the neck, splattering blood as if the body were still alive. The blood was sopped up with a shirt and kept as a relic.
Pope Gregory XVI cononized Saint Pacific in 1839.
from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM

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