May 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 123

Liturgy for Thursday and Friday May 3rd and 4th

Thursday, May 3, 2001    Meditation

    Feast of SAINT JAMES and SAINT PHILIP, Apostles
      Red vestments
Novus Ordo

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8
Responsorial: Psalm 19: 2-5
Gospel Reading: John 14: 6-14
Communion: John 14: 8-9

*Ordinary of the Mass of the Catechumens**

Introit: Galatians 6: 14; Psalm 66: 2
Epistle: Philippians 2: 5-11
Alleluia: Psalm 95: 10
Gospel: John 3: 1-15
Offertory: Psalm 117: 16-17


    These two saints were both Apostles hand chosen by Jesus. Sacred Scripture records that when Saint Philip first met Jesus, he went to Nathaniel - "We have found Him of Whom Moses wrote in the Law and the Prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Joseph." Nathaniel's famous reply: "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" Philip, Nathaniel, James and all the other Apostles and disciples would soon discover the answer: YES! After Our Lord ascended, Philip preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and was horribly crucified there in 83 AD. Saint James, known as James the Less to distinguish himself from James the Greater was a cousin of Jesus and a brother of the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus. James was also known as James the Just to depict the austere, chaste life he led of penance and prayer. He was one of the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection. Like Philip, he preached the Gospel but was also appointed Bishop of Jerusalem and sat beside Saint Peter and Saint Paul during the Council of Jerusalem. Later, after Paul had escaped the wrath of the Jews by appealing to Caesar the angry Jews turned on James and stoned him, driving him to a tower where he was thrown off and struck his head, dying instantly of a massive concussion. The sword he holds represents his martyrdom, while the cross Philip clutches represents his death.

Friday, May 4, 2001    Meditation

    Easter Weekday
    Feast of Saint Monica, Widow and Mother of Saint Augustine
      White vestments
Novus Ordo

Entrance: Apoc/Rev: 9: 1-20
First Reading: Acts 9: 1-20
Responsorial: Psalm 117: 1-2
Gospel Reading: John 6: 52-59

*Ordinary of the Mass of the Catechumens***

Introit: Psalm 118: 75, 120
Epistle: 1 Timothy 5: 3-10
Alleluia: Psalm 198: 44: 3, 5
Gospel: Matthew 13: 44-52
Offertory: Psalm 44: 3
Communion: Psalm 44: 8

Feast of Saint Monica, Widow and devoted mother of Saint Augustine

   Celebrated in the new liturgy on August 27, the Traditional Liturgy has long celebrated this feast on May 4th. Born into a Christian family in the village of Tagaste, Northern Africa in 332, Saint Monica learned at an early age the virtues of patience and obedience which she exhibited throughout her lifetime. When she reached womanhood her parents married her off to a nobleman by the name of Patricius who was a kind husband, but possessed a terrible temper and a wanderlust which Monica tolerated because of her marriage vows. She tried to calm and win him over through her obedience and patience, always praying that he would realize the error of his ways and come to see the only answer was God. Her prayers were answered in 371 when Patricius received Baptism as he lay dying. This patient love and total faith in God's Providence was transfered from Patricius to their son Augustine who was 17 when his father died, leaving Monica a widow. Though Augustine had begun studying as a catechumen his father's genes took hold and her son opted for the world, also being led down the wrong path by Manichean heresy rationalizing that he wasn't responsible for his own free will. Oh, how wrong he was and Monica knew it, but rather than alienating her son she opened her arms to him using the psychology of catching more flies with honey than vinegar. But her loving protection backfired as Augustine fled to Italy to do his own thing. Monica would not see her son for 15 more years when, under the influence of Saint Ambrose, Augustine's heart and mind finally discovered the truth and invited his mother to Ostia, Italy in 387 where, on Easter Sunday at the age of 33, Augustine was finally baptized into the true faith and a mother's patient prayers were finally answered. It had been her dying wish to see him come back to the Church and shortly after she passed on to her heavenly reward in the same year. Little did Monica realize how powerful were her prayers and what a gift her son would give back to Holy Mother Church as a great Doctor who had been tutored by another great Doctor of the Church St. Ambrose. Monica has become the role model for mothers everywhere especially mothers who have wayward children or offspring that have fallen away. Persevering prayer does indeed pay off, not necessarily in our timetable but in God's time. That is where patience and obedience play such a vital role. In 1586 St. Monica was officially added to the Roman Calendar by Pope Sixtus V and her relics were moved from Ostia to the church of St. Augustine where her son's relics rested and once again mother and son were reunited on earth as they were reunited in Heaven on Augustine's death in 430 AD.

* = Traditional Latin Mass promulgated by Pope St. Pius V to be said in perpetuity
**= Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross. In the eighth century this feast was transferred to May 3, and on September 14 was and still is celebrated the "Exaltation of the Cross," the commemmoration of a victory over the Persians by Heraclius, as a result of which the relic was returned to Jerusalem. In the traditional liturgy the Feasts of the Apostles Philip and James is celebrated on May 11.
***=Feast of Saint Monica. At one time her feast was celebrated on April 9, but was moved in 1430 to May 4th, which is the vigil of the conversion of Saint Augustine, when her relics were transferred from Ostia to the church of St. Augustine in Rome. The feast was not officially listed in the Roman Calendar until 1586 where it remained on May 4th until all the changes after Vatican II.

May 3, 2001
volume 12, no. 123
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