Profiles of the Saints and Feasts

E-mail       Print
Profiles of the Proper of the Saints, Feasts and Season


SUNDAY, December 15, 2002

    Semi-Double of the Third Sunday of Advent or Gaudete Sunday

        Rose-colored Vestments.

    Mass for Gaudete Sunday

    EPISTLE: Philippians 4: 4-7
    GRADUAL: Psalm 79: 2-3, 6
    GOSPEL: John 1: 19-28


Monday, December 16, 2002

    Traditional Semi-Double Feast of Saint Eusebius, Bishop and Martyr

        Red Vestments.

    Mass of Sacerdotes Dei for the Mass of a Martyr Bishop Outside Paschal

    EPISTLE: Corinthians 1: 3-7
    GRADUAL: Psalm: 8: 6-7
    GOSPEL: Matthew 16: 24-27

Saint Eusebius

   Saint Eusebius was born of a noble family on the island of Sardinia, where his father is said to have died in prison for the Faith. He was brought up in Rome in the practice of piety, and studied in Vercelli, a city of Piedmont. Eusebius was ordained a priest there, and served the Church of Vercelli with such zeal that when the episcopal chair became vacant he was unanimously chosen, by both clergy and people, to fill it.

    The holy bishop saw that the best and principal means to labor effectually for the edification and sanctification of his people was to have a zealous clergy. Saint Ambrose assures us that he was the first bishop who in the West united the monastic life with the clerical, living and having his clergy live almost like the monks of the East in the deserts. They shared a common life of prayer and penance, in a single residence, that of the bishop, as did the clergy of Saint Augustine in his African see. Saint Eusebius was very careful to instruct his flock in the maxims of the Gospel. The force of the truth which he preached, together with his example, brought many sinners to a change of life.

    When a Council was held in Italy, under the influence of the Emperor Constans and the Arian heretics, with the intention of condemning Saint Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, Saint Eusebius courageously resisted the heretics. He attempted to have all present sign the Nicene Creed, but the paper was torn out of his hands and his pen was broken. With Saint Dionysus of Milan, he refused to sign the condemnation of the bishop of Alexandria. The Emperor therefore had him banished to Scythopolis in Palestine with Saint Dionysus of Milan, then to Cappadocia, where Saint Dionysus died; and finally he was taken to the Upper Thebaid in Egypt, where he suffered grievously. The Arians of these places loaded him with outrages and treated him cruelly, and Saint Eusebius confounded them wherever they were.

    At the death of Constans in 361, he was permitted to return to his diocese, where he continued to combat Arianism, concertedly with Saint Hilarion of Poitiers. He has been called a martyr in two panegyrics appended to the works of Saint Ambrose. Two of his letters, written from his dungeons, are still extant, the only ones of his writings which have survived. One is addressed to his church, the other to the bishop of Elvira to encourage him to oppose a fallen heretic and not fear the power of princes. He died in about the year 370. His relics are in a shrine in the Cathedral of Vercelli.

Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14.


Tuesday, December 17, 2002

    Advent Feria

        Violet or Rose Vestments.

    Mass of the preceding Gaudete Sunday

    EPISTLE: Philippians 4: 4-7
    GRADUAL: Psalm 79: 2-3, 6
    GOSPEL: John 1: 19-28

   Today begins the Greater Antiphons. The Saint Andrew's Daily Missaly says that "the boundless desire for the coming of Christ,, which is a feature of the whole of Advent, is expressed in the Liturgy with an impatience which grows greater, the closer we come to Christmas and, so to speak, to the world's end. "The Lord cometh from afar" (First Vespers for First Sunday of Advent). "The Lord will come" (Introit for Second Sunday of Advent). "The Lord is nigh" (Introit for the Third Sunday of Advent). This gradation will be emphasised throughout the whole season, ever more and more. Thus on December 17th begin the Greater Antiphons, and which form an impassioned appeal to the Messiah Whose prerogatives and glorious titles they make known to us. The Abbot Dom Gueranger affirms that those antiphons contain the "whole marrow" of the Advent Liturgy. On account of their number, Honorius of Autun connects them with the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost with which our Lord was filled."

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum non viam prudentiae.
"O Wisdom, who camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence."


Wednesday, December 18, 2002

    Ember Wednesday - Advent Feria - Day of Fast and Partial Abstinence

        Violet or Rose Vestments.

    Mass for the preceding Gaudete Sunday

    EPISTLE: Philippians 4: 4-7
    GRADUAL: Psalm 79: 2-3, 6
    GOSPEL: John 1: 19-28

O Adonai, et dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
"O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, Who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai : come and with an outstretch arm redeem us."


Thursday, December 19, 2002

    Advent Feria

        Violet or Rose Vestments.

    Mass for the preceding Gaudete Sunday

    EPISTLE: Philippians 4: 4-7
    GRADUAL: Psalm 79: 2-3, 6
    GOSPEL: John 1: 19-28

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
"O Root of Jesse, Who standest for an ensign of the people, before Whom kings shall keep silence, and unto Whom the Gentiles shall make their supplication: come to deliver us, and tarry not."


Friday, December 20, 2002

    Ember Friday in Advent - Advent Feria - Day of Fast and Abstinence - Vigil of the Feast of the Apostle Saint Thomas

          Violet or Rose Vestments.

    Mass for the preceding Gaudete Sunday

    EPISTLE: Philippians 4: 4-7
    GRADUAL: Psalm 79: 2-3, 6
    GOSPEL: John 1: 19-28

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit, caudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
"O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, Who openest and no man shutteth, Who shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring forth from his prison-house, the captive that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death."


Saturday, December 21, 2002

    Double of the Second Class Traditional Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle and Ember Saturday in Advent - Day of Fast and Partial Abstinence

        Red Vestments.

Mass for the Double of the Second Class Feast of St. Thomas

EPISTLE: Ephesians 2: 19-22
GRADUAL: Psalm 138: 17-18
GOSPEL: John 20: 24-29

SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE

    Saint Thomas was one of the fisherman on the Lake of Galilee whom Our Lord called to be His Apostles. By nature slow to believe, too apt to see difficulties and to look at the dark side of things, he had nonetheless a very sympathetic, loving, and courageous heart.

    When Jesus spoke to His apostles of His forthcoming departure, and told His faithful disciples that they already knew the Way to follow Him, Saint Thomas, in his simplicity, asked: “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?”

    When the Master during a journey turned back to go toward Bethany, near Jerusalem, to the grave of Lazarus, the apostle Thomas, knowing of the malevolent intentions of the Jerusalem religious authorities, at once feared the worst for his beloved Lord. Yet he cried out bravely: “Let us go then and die with Him!”

    After the Resurrection his doubts prevailed, and while the wounds of the crucifixion remained vividly imprinted in his affectionate memory, he could not credit the report that Christ had risen. But at the actual sight of the pierced hands and side, and the gentle rebuke of his Saviour, his unbelief vanished forever. His faith and ours have always triumphed in his joyous utterance: “My Lord and my God!”

    That Saint Thomas, after the dispersion of the Apostles, went to India, where he labored and died at Meliapour, is a certain fact of history. The Roman Breviary states that he preached in Ethiopia and Abyssinia, as well as in Persia and Media. Surely his was a remarkable history, reserved for the inhabitants of Christ’s glory to see in its fullness some day.

    Before he died in Meliapour, he erected a very large cross and predicted to the people that when the sea would advance to the very foot of that cross, God would send them, from a far-distant land, white men who would preach to them the same doctrine he had taught them. This prophecy was verified when the Portuguese arrived in the region, and found that the ocean had advanced so far as to be truly at the foot of the cross. At the foot of this cross was a rock where Saint Thomas, while praying fervently, suffered his martyrdom by a blow from the lance of a pagan priest. This happened, according to the Roman Breviary, at Calamine, which is in fact Meliapour, for in the language of the people the word Calurmine means on the rock (mina). The name was given the site in memory of the Apostle’s martyrdom.

Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14.

O Oriens, spelndor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
"O Dawn of the East, brightness of the light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."


CREDO & CULTURE on the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church   FEATURES & ARTICLES in our op-ed section   DEVOTION & REFLECTION section   DAILY NEWS & INFORMATION   MAIN PAGE of the most current graphics issue