February 5, 2007
vol 18, no. 36

Double Feast of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr.
RED Vestments

Missa "Gaudeamus omnes"

       Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr (Collect), was born in Sicily of noble parentage, but she estimated that for her the highest nobility would be to belong to Jesus, Whom she took as her Spouse (Gospel).

       Endowed with remarkable beauty, she had to resist the solicitations of the governor Quinitanus, who, unable to attain his end by persuasion, had recourse to violence. Her breast was torn by his order, but was healed on the following night, by the apostle St. Peter, who appeared to her in her prison (Communion). Then the body of the saint was rolled on pieces of broken pottery and on burning coals, and when she was brought back to her cell, she expired while praying. This happened at Catana in 251, during the persecution of the emperor Decius. God almighty, by granting the victory of martyrdom to a feeble woman (Collect), wished to show that He alone is our Redeemer, for it is with this "end in view that He chooses what is weak in the world to confound with their nothingness those who trust in their own strength" (Epistle).

       On several occasions the virginal veil which covered the tomb of St. Agatha held up the torrents of burning lava rushing down from Etna and threatening to ruin the town. God thus honored the resistance that her very pure soul had shown to all the assaults of passion. Her name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. Her feast was already celebrated at Rome in the sixth century. The church of St. Agatha in Rome was made a Stational church by Pius XI in 1934 (Third Tuesday in Lent)

       Let us invoke St. Agatha to preserve our homes from fire and to extinguish through the spirit of penitence, the impure flames that consume our bodies and our souls.

    Wednesday Septuagesima Week

        Today is also Monday in Septuagesima Week, and Abbe Dom Prosper Gueranger imparts a reflection on this day from the fourth volume of The Liturgical Year: "The serpent said to the woman:'Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?'(1)- {Gen. iii. 1} Thus opened the conversation, which our mother Eve so rashly consents to hold with God's enemy. She ought to refuse all intercourse with Satan; she does not; and thereby she imperils the salvation of the whole human race.

        Let us recall minding the events that have happened up this fatal hour. God, in His omnipotence hand love, has created two beings, upon whom He has lavished all the riches of His goodness. He has destined them for immortality; and this undying life is to have everything that can make it perfectly happy. The whole of nature is made subject to them. A countless posterity is to come from them, and love them with all the tenderness of grateful children. Nay, this God of goodness who has created them, deigns to be on terms of intimacy with them; and such is their simple innocence, that this adorable condescension does not seem strange to them. But there is something far beyond all this. He, whom they have hitherto known by favors of an inferior order, prepares for them a happiness which surpasses all they could picture with every effort of thought. They must first go through a trial; and if faithful, they will receive the great gift as a recompense they have merited. And this is the gift: God will give them to know Him in Himself, make them partakers of His own glory, and make their happiness infinite and eternal. Yes this is what God has done, and is preparing to do for these two beings, who but a while ago were nothing.

        In return for all these gratuitous and magnificent gifts, God asks of them but one thing: that they acknowledge His dominion over them. Nothing, surely, can be sweeter to them than to make such a return; nothing could be more just. All they are, and all they have, and all the lovely creation around them, has been produced out of nothing by the lavish munificence of this God; they must, then, live for Him, faithful, loving, and grateful. He asks them to give Him one only proof o this fidelity, love, and gratitude: He bids them not to eat of the fruit of one single tree. The only return He asks for all the favors He has bestowed upon them, is the observance of this easy commandment. His sovereign justice will be satisfied by this act of obedience. They ought to accept such terms with hearty readiness, and comply with them with a holy pride, as being not only the tie which will unite them with their God, but the sole means in their power of paying Him what He asks of them.

        But there comes another voice, the voice of a creature, and it speaks to the woman: 'Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree?' And Eve dares, and has the heart, to listen to him that asks why her divine Benefactor has put a command upon her! She can bear to hear the justice of God's will called in question! Instead of protesting against the sacrilegious words, she tamely answers them! Here God is blasphemed, and she is not indignant! How dearly we shall have to pay for this ungrateful indifference, this indiscretion! 'And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat, and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.'(1)-{Gen. iii. 2,8.} Thus Eve not only listens to the serpent's question, she answers him; she converses with the wicked spirit that tempts her. She exposes herself to danger; her fidelity to her Maker is compromised. True, the words she uses show that she has not forgotten His command; but they imply a certain hesitation, which savors of pride and ingratitude.

        The spirit of evil finds that he has excited, in this heat, a love of independence; and that, if he can but persuade her that she will not suffer from her disobedience, she is his victim. He, therefore, further addresses her with these blasphemous and lying words: 'No, you shall not die the death; for God knoweth that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.'(1)-{Gen. iii. 4, 5.} What he proposes to Eve is open rebellion. He has enkindled within her that perfidious love of self which is man's worst evil, And which, if it be indulged, breaks the tie between him and his Creator. Thus the blessings God has bestowed, the obligation of gratitude, personal interest, all are to be disregarded and forgotten. Ungrateful man would become a god; he would imitate the rebel angels: he shall fall as they did.

      We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945 and Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butlerís Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Missa "Gaudeamus omnes"

INTROIT:    Daniel 3. 84, 87
Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore beatae Agathae Virginis et Martyris : de cujus passione gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. (Psalm 44: 3 ) Etructavit cor meum verbum bonum : dico ego opera mea Regi. V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
RepeatGaudeamus omnes...
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honour of blessed Agatha, virgin and martyr ; at whose passion the Angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. (Psalm 44: 3) My heart hath uttered a good word ; I speak my words to the King. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
RepeatO ye priests of the Lord...
Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Oremus. Deus, Qui inter cetera potentiae Tuae miracula etiam in sexu fragili victoriam martyrii contulisti : concede propitious ; ut, qui beatae Agathae Virginis et Martyris Tuae natalitia colimus, per ejus ad Te exempla gradiamur. Per Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray. O God, who among other miracles of Thy power, hast granted even to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the festival of blessed Agatha, Thy virgin and martyr, may walk to Thee by her example. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.

EPISTLE:   2 Corinthians 1: 26-31
Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Corinthians. Fratres : Videte vocationem vestram, quia non multi sapientes secundum carnem, non multi potentes, non multi nobiles : sed quae stulta sunt mundi elegit Deus, ut confundat sapientes : et infirma mundi elegit Deus, ut confundat fortia : et ignobilia mundi, et contemptibilia elegit Deus, et ea quae non sunt, ut ea quae sunt destrueret : ut non glorietur omnis caro in conspectus ejus. Ex ipso autem vos estis in Christo Jesu, qui factus est nobis sapientia a Deo, et justitia, et sanctification, et redemption : ut quemadmodum Scriptum est: Qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur.
Deo Gratias.
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren : See your vocation, 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.
Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL:   Psalm 45: 6, 5.
Adjuvabit eam Deus vultu suo : Deus in medio ejus, non commovebitur. V. Fluminis impetus laetificat civitatem Dei : sanctificavit tabernaculum suum Altissimus.
God will help her with His countenance; God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. The stream of the river makes the city of God joyful; the most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle. V.

TRACT:   Psalm 125: 5-6
Qui seminant in lacrimis, in gaudio metent. V. Euntes ibant, et flebant, mittentes semina sua. V. Venientes autem venient cum exsultatione, portantes manipulos suos.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. V. Going they went, and wept, casting their seeds. V. But coming, they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves.

GOSPEL:    Matthew: 19. 3-12
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.
R.Gloria tibi, Domine

In illo tempore : Accesserunt ad Jesus Pharisaei tentantes eum, et dicentes : 'Si licet homini dimittere uxorem suam quaecumque ex causa?' Qui respondens, ait eis : non legistis, quia, qui fecit hominum ab initio, masculum et feminan fecit eos? et dixit: Propter hoc dimittet homo patrem, et matrem, et adhaerebit uxori suae, et erunt duo in carne una. Itaquae jam non sunt duo, sed una caro. Quod ergo Deus conjunxit, homo non separet.' Dicunt illi : 'Quid ergo Moyses mandavit dare libellum repudii, et dimittere?' Ait illis : 'Quoniam Moyses ad duritiam cordis vestri permisit vobis dimittere uxores vestras : ab initio autem non fuit sic. Dico autem vobis, quia quicumque dimiserit uxorem suam, nisi ob fornicationem, et aliam duxerit, moechatur : et qui dimissam duxerit, moechatur.' Dicunt ei discipuli ejus : 'Si ita est causa hominis cum uxore, non expedit nubere.' Qui dixit illis : 'Non omnes capiunt verbum istud, sed quibus datum est. Sunt enim eunuchi qui de matris utero sic nati sunt : et sunt eunnuchi, qui facti cunt ab hominibus: et sunt eunnuchi, qui seipsos castraverunt propter regnum caelorum. Qui potest capere, capiat.'
Laus tibi Christe.

The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
R. Glory to Thee, O Lord

At that time, the Pharisees came to Jesus tempting Him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And He said: 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.' They say to Him: 'Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?' He saith to them: Because Moses, by reason of the hardness of your heart, permitted you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery. His disciples say unto Him : 'If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.' Who said to them : 'All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given ; for there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made so by man; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take it, let him take it.'
Praise be to Christ

OFFERTORY:    Psalm 44: 15
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Afferentur regi virgins post eam : proximae ejus afferentur Tibi.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

After her shall virgins be brought to the King; her neighbors shall be brought to Thee.
Suscipe, Domine, Munera, quae in beatae Agathae Virginis et Martyris tuae solemnitate deferimus : cujus nos confidimus patrocinio liberari. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Receive, O Lord, the offerings we bring on the solemn festival of Thy blessed virgin and martyr, Agatha; by whose intercession we hope for deliverance. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.

PREFACE   Common Preface
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sursum corda.
R.Habemus ad Dominum.
Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et justum est.

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi simper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates, Coeli, Coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim socia exultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti, jubeas, supplici confessione dicentes:
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
R.We have lifted them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just.

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:

Qui me dignatus est ab omni plaga curare, et mamillam meam meo pectori restituere, ipsum invoco Deum vivum.
I invoke Him the living God, who vouchsafed to cure me of every wound, and to restore my breast to my body.

Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Auxilientur nobis, Domine, sumpta mysteria : et, intercedente beata Agatha, Virgine et Martyre tua, sempiterna faciant protectione gaudere. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
May we be helped, O Lord, by the mysteries we have received; and blessed Agatha, Thy virgin and martyr, interceding for us, may they strengthen us with everlasting protection. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
For ever and ever.
R. Amen.


Daily Proper of the Mass for February 5