LITURGY OF THE SAINTS: August 30-September 3, 2001

Feast of Saints Felix and Saint Adauctus, Martyrs and Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin

Thursday, August 30, 2001

    "But He said to them, 'I was watching satan fall as lightning from Heaven. Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the might of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. But do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; rejoice rather in this, that your names are written in Heaven."
      Luke 10: 18-20
   Saint Felix, a Roman priest, was martyred under the emperors Diocletian and Maximian. As he was dying an unknown Christian joined him at the last moment. Both were beheaded in 303 A.D. Because the Church did not know the name of the young man who joined Felix they called him Adauctus - Latin for the "added one." Though he was not known on earth, he and Felix are well known in Heaven.

       Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who acknowledge the courage of Thy glorious Martyrs in confessing Thy Name, may enjoy their loving intercession for us before Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Feast of Saint Raymund Nonnatus, Confessor

Friday, August 31, 2001

    "Blessed are those disciples whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching: Amen I say to you that He will gird Himself and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them. And if He sahll come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants."
      Luke 12: 37-38
   Saint Raymund Nonnatus was one of three Founders of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy along with Saint Peter Nolasco and Saint Raymond of Pennafort. St. Raymund Nonnatus journeyed to northern Africa where he eventually gave himself up to the infidel Mohammedans in order to ransom a Christian from certain death. Pope Gregory IX made St. Raymund a cardinal upon his triumphant return to Rome, but he died soon after in 1240 A.D. He is often invoked for the liberation of prisoners and prayed to for intercession for those held in bondage to satan and his wiles.

       O God, by Whose grace Blessed Raymund, Thy Confessor, wrought wonders in the redemption of Thy faithful people from the hands of wicked men; grant, we beseech Thee, by his intercession, that being loosed from the bondage of our sins, we may, with minds set free, do always what is pleasing unto Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Feast of Saint Giles, Abbot

Saturday, September 1, 2001

    "And I say to you that to everyone who has shall be given; but from him who does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away. But as for these My enemies, who did not want Me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them in My presence."
      Luke 19: 26-27
  Saint Giles, an Athenian, fled to southern France in the seventh century, where he lived as a hermit in the forests there. Discovered by King Theodoric, he was asked to found a monastery. His works became famous on account of his miracles that spurred on a great number of churches to be named after him in France. He died in 721 and is considered the patron saint of the handicapped, especially crippled children. It is interesting that in America the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Distrophy is held on his feast day. While the secular sector makes no mention of this, you can bet St. Giles' intercession helps immensely in the cure of crippled children.

        We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the intercession of the Blessed Abbot Giles may commend us unto Thee, that we may obtain through his advocacy those things which we cannot of ourselves deserve. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday, September 2, 2001

    "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I say to you, many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and they have not seen it; and to hear wht you hear, and they have not heard it."
      Luke 10: 23-24
  On this thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the liturgy shows us that by faith we put all our hope in Jesus, for He is our refuge; and we ask for the virtue of charity, which renders us lovers of the divine law and practicers of it. Let us pray for an increase of faith, hope and charity. Through His One True Church Our Lord gives back health to the souls of all those who have recourse to Him. Those who put their faith in the merits of the Passion of Christ reenacted in the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass will be saved for those who eat His Body and drink His Blood shall have life everlasting.

        And they who attribute to God whatsoever good they have received, seek not glory from one another, but that glory which is from God alone; and they desire above all things that God may be praised in themselves, and in all the Saints, and to this they are always teaching.
    Daily Thought from The Following of Christ

Feast of Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

Monday, September 3, 2001 - Labor Day in the U.S.

    "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven."
      Matthew 16: 18-19

   The same barbarian ransacking that Augustine faced in the early 400's revisited in the early 600's while Pope Saint Gregory the Great was guiding Holy Mother Church as the 64th successor of Saint Peter. Born in Rome in 540 to a Roman Senator, Gregory began his career following in the footsteps of his father by becoming prefect of Rome from 573-578. After the death of his father, Gregory gave it all up for God. He gave everything he had to an assortment of monasteries, building six monasteries in Sicily and even turned his own palatial home in Rome into a monastery. In 579 Pope Pelagius II ordained Gregory a deacon, sending him as an emissary to Constantinople amid the opulence in the court of the Emperor there. But Gregory disdained these perks, opting to continue living the monastic way of life while still carrying out his duties. In 586 Pope Pelagius recalled him to Rome where Gregory was given the position of abbot of St. Andrew's Monastery, while performing the full time duties of the Holy Father's Secretary. It was an important step in his grooming for four years later he was chosen to succeed Pelagius who had died from the plague on February 7, 590. Seven months later on September 3, 590 Gregory became Pope. This Benedictine was the first monk in the history of the Church to be elevated to pontiff and continued his contemplative ways while still maintaining a busy, active schedule as the leader of his people, calling himself the "Servant of the servants of God." His first official act was forming penitential processions to the seven churches in Rome to petition God to end the deadly plague ravaging the city. Gregory's and the people's prayers were answered as the plague was diminished. Gregory knew this from the vision he received of an angel in a castle at the Vatican which, from that time on, became Castel Sant'Angelo near the river Tiber. During his fourteen year reign Gregory reaffirmed the civil authority of the pope, thus beginning the "temporal power." He was a pope who called for great reform within the Church unifying her with disciplinary measures necessary to expand the mission of the Church. That mission included England, France, Spain and Africa where he sent numerous missionaries to evangelize the true faith. Gregory was creative and original in his administration as Pope and his actions became the benchmark for how the Holy Father would rule from the Vatican to the entire world. He became an ideal role model for priests, bishops, religious and lay people throughout the world. Gregory also revised the Sacramentary and the liturgy of the Mass, introducing chants in the Mass which would become the celebrated Gregorian Chant. He was given the moniker "Great" seven hundred years later by Pope Boniface VIII and was proclaimed one of the great Doctors of the Church along with Saints Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine...all from the same era of the early centuries. Like our Holy Father Pope John Paul II today, the Canticle of Mary responsory proclaims that "Gregory put into practice all that he preached so that he might be a living example of the spiritual message he proclaimed."

        O God, Who hast given to the soul of Thy servant Gregory the rewards of eternal happiness, mercifully grant that we, who are cast down by the burden of our sins, may be lifted up by the power of his prayers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

August 30-September 2, 2001
volume 12, no. 147
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