Monday, August 15, 2022

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Saint Tarcisius (255 A.D.) Martyr


On 1 November 1950, Pius XII defined the dogma...Image via Wikipedia


The dogma of the Assumption is the answer of the Church to a materialistic world. It implicitly states that the perfection of our faculties and bodily skills will be fully exercised only in heaven, where they attain fulfillment in contemplating God. The Assumption was the moment of creation's fulfillment, the first-fruit of God's plan for mankind -- a plan which includes our own appearance, body and soul, before the throne of God. May the Immaculate Mother of God and our co-redeemer, in the new glory of this revelation, focus the mind of the world on the true aim of progress toward the goal of union with the Creator of the universe.

INTROIT Apoc. 12:1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
Ps. 97:1. Sing to the Lord a new canticle, for He has done wondrous deeds.
V. Glory be . . .

O Almighty and Eternal God, You have taken up into heavenly glory the body and soul of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of Your Son. May we always look upward toward heaven and come to be worthy of sharing her glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

LESSON Judith 13:22-25; 15:10
The Lord hath blessed thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought our enemies to nought. Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. Because he hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever, for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people.

GRADUAL Ps. 44:11-12, 14
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, for the king greatly desires your beauty.
V. All glorious, the daughter of the king enters, clothed in robes of spun gold.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
Mary was taken up to heaven; the choirs of angels are filled with joy. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Luke 1:41-50
At that time, 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.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him."

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.

Let our devoted offerings arise before You, O Lord. Inflame our hearts with the fire of love so that through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, who was assumed into heaven, they may yearn always for You. Through our Lord . . .

All generations shall call me blessed, because He who is mighty has done great things for me.

We have received the Sacrament of Salvation, O Lord, and now ask that we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection through the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was taken up into heaven. Through our Lord . . .

Third Century

A tradition dating from the sixth century says that St. Tarcisius was an acolyte whose fidelity and courage so impressed the leaders of the Church during the persecution of Valerian that he was entrusted with taking the Blessed Sacrament secretly to the Christians who awaited martyrdom in prison. This custom arose when the priests who ministered to the prisoners would be easily discovered, while the acolytes were less known to the heathens. The Roman Martyrology, based on the fourth-century poem of Pope St. Damasus, gives the story of the "boy martyr of the Eucharist" in these words: "At Rome, on the Appian way, the passion of St. Tarcisius the acolyte, whom pagans met carrying the sacrament of the Body of Christ and asked him what it was he was carrying. He deemed it a shameful thing to cast pearls before the swine, and so was assaulted by them for a long time with clubs and stones until he gave up the ghost. When they turned over his body, the sacrilegious assailants could find no trace of Christ's Sacrament either in his hands or in his clothing. The Christians took up the body of the martyr and buried it with honor in the cemetery of Callistus." In his poem Pope Damasus compares St. Tarcisius with St. Stephen who was stoned by the Jews, and praises the martyr for suffering a cruel death rather than surrender "the divine Body to raging dogs." The body of St. Tarcisius was most probably laid to rest with those of Pope St. Zephyrinus and others in the Basilica of St. Sixtus and Cecilia, but at present it is said to be in the Church of San Silvestro in Capite. St. Tarcisius is venerated as a model for altar boys and as an example of loving and heroic devotion to our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

Taken from"A Saint A Day" by Berchmans Bittle, O.F.M.Cap., published by The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee (c) 1958

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