LITURGY OF THE SAINTS: September 6-9, 2001

Observance of Saint Pambo, Abbot and Confessor

Thursday, September 6, 2001

    "But I say to you, that to every one that hath, shall be given, and he shall abound, and from him that hath not, even that which he has, shall be taken from him."
      Luke 19: 26
  Since there is no recognized feast day for September 6 and 7th, we are reverting to the Roman Calendar when on September 6th the Church honored Saint Pambo, who was a disciple of Saint Antony of the Desert. St. Pambo is credited with founding in Egypt the Nitrian Desert monasteries where he was sought out by many including holy men like Saint Athanasius, Saint Rufinus and Saint Melina the Elder. He was renowned for his sage guidance and widely emulated austerities and penance. He died in the latter part of the 4th century, probably around 390 A.D.

        O God, by Whose grace Blessed Simeon, Thy Confessor, wrought wonders in the redemption of Thy faithful people by submitting to Thy Holy Will despite his desire for a contemplative life, by his intercession, we may, with accept our crosses and be obedient to Thee in all things so we 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.

Observance of Saint Regina, Virgin and Martyr

Friday, September 7, 2001 - FIRST FRIDAY

    "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
   In the second century Saint Regina was jailed, tortured and decapitated in Autun, Gaul which is today France. She was the daughter of the pagan Clement of Alise in the region of Burgundy. She is also known as St. Reine Her mother, who died shortly after Regina's birth, entrusted her to the care of a good Christian woman who nurtured her in the True Faith, but alas when her pagan father discovered her Christianity he exiled her. Later legend has it he tried to force her into a marriage of political convenience with the prefect of the village Olybrius. When she refused her fate was sealed as to the world, but her salvation was assured for she chose the narrow path that led to Heavenly joy.

        Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who acknowledge the courage of Thy humble martyr Regina in confessing Thy Name, may enjoy her 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 the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday, September 8, 2001

    "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac; and Isaac begot Jacob...and Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, Who is called Christ."
      Matthew 1: 1-2, 16
  This feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the first links between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the origins of the feast date back to the fifth century when a basilica was built on the site where the pool of Bethesda was as told in John 5: 1-9. The scholars of those days deducted that it was also the site of where Our Lady's parents Saint Joachim and Saint Anne lived and Mary was born. Since Mary was the temple in which God chose her to become the Mother of Jesus Christ,Savior, the Church felt it important to honor her feast. Though it started in the east, by the seventh century Rome was celebrating it in the universal Church instituted by Pope Sergius I in the early 700's. In the 13th century the feast became a Solemnity with a day of fasting the day before. Though there were various dates over the centuries on which different countries and cultures celebrated her birth, the Church officially attributed the Blessed Mother's birth to September 8 - nine months after the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception.

        Vouchsafe to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of Thy Heavenly grace, that as our salvation was begun in the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin, so from this solemn festival of her Nativity may we obtain an increase of peace. 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

    "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will sustain the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
      Matthew 6: 24
  On this fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the lesson is that the faithful should attend to their temporal interests without exaggerated preoccupation, for such anxiety offends God Who is our Father in Heaven. We cannot serve two masters: the flesh and the spirit at the same time. But let us serve the spirit given to us by the Holy Ghost, Who inclines us to supernatural life.

        Be resigned to My good pleasure, and thou shalt suffer no loss. If thou seekest this or that, or wouldst be here or there for thine own interests' sake, and the more to indulge thine own will, thou wilt never be at rest, nor free from solicitude; for in everything there will be found some defect, and in every place there will be someone that will cross thee.
    Daily Thought from The Following of Christ

Sunday is also the Feast of Saint Peter Claver, Confessor and Religious Missionary

    Known as the patron of the missionary work done among African-Americans, Saint Peter Claver, a Jesuit, was born in Catalonia, Spain in 1580. After receiving a degree from the University of Barcelona, Peter was assigned to Palma in Mallorca where he met Saint Alfonso Rodriguez, a Jesuit Lay Brother who convinced him to go to South America. Thus in April 1610, Peter arrived in Cartagena, Columbia and five years later was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus with throngs of natives he had converted in attendance. Peter knew the greatest problem facing him was the increasing African slave trade and that Cartagena was a major clearing house slave market. Though Pope Paul III and Pope Pius IV had condemned this inhuman practice, it continued unabated. Working under fellow Jesuit Father Alfonso de Sandoval, Peter devoted his life of 40 more years ministering to these chained children of God who had been shipped against their will to a foreign country. Calling himself the "slave of the slaves", Peter would meet each slave ship as it arrived in port and comfort them, feeding, clothing them and caring for their health; many had scurvy and other terrible diseases. He became their apostle, father, physician and friend. He also realized one man could not do it all and thus enlisted the help of numerous catechists and interpreters. In addition he formed several charitable societies among the Spanish people in Cartagena and elsewhere to assist in the ministry and care of the blacks. Throughout his lifetime he baptized an estimated 300,000 slaves. In 1650 Peter caught the plague that was ravaging the city and never fully recovered, being forced to give up the ministry and contact with the people he so dearly loved. The deadly plague took him as a victim on September 8, 1654 and only a few were with him when he died, but the angels were abundant as they whisked him to his Heavenly home. On earth he was honored with a massive state funeral as thousands paid their respects to this selfless saint who clearly exemplified his Savior Jesus Christ. In 1888 Pope Leo XIII canonized Peter along with his earlier companion Alfonso Rodriguez who had guided Peter to the ministry he performed for 40 years in the new world.

        O God, Who, when calling enslaved Negroes to the knowledge of Thy Name, didst endow Blessed Peter with wondrous love and patience, that he might assist them; grant through his intercession, that as we seek the things of Jesus Christ we may, in all our deeds, most truly love our neighbors. 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.

September 6-9, 2001
volume 12, no. 149
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