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Friday after Ash Wednesday


Martyrology -24th February

Upon the 24th day of February, were born into the better life:

In Judea, the holy Apostle Matthias, who was chosen by the Apostles right after the Ascension of the Lord to take the place of the traitor Judas, and who suffered martyrdom for preaching the Gospel.

At Rome, the holy martyr Primitiva.

At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, [in the year 304,] the holy martyr Sergius, whose acts are held most famous.

In Africa, [in the year 259,] the holy martyrs Montanus, Lucius, Julian, Victoricus, Flavian, and their Companions, who were disciples of holy Cyprian, and finished their testimony under the Emperor Valerian.

At Rouen, [in the year 588,] the holy martyr Pretextatus, Bishop of that see.

At Trier, [about the year 499] the holy Confessor Modestus, Bishop of that see.

In England, [in the year 616,] holy Ethelbert, King of Kent, whom holy Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, converted to the faith of Christ, and whose feast we keep upon the 26th (27th) day of this present month of February.

At Jerusalem is commemorated the first finding, [in the fourth century,] of the Head of the Lord's forerunner.

And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God


Morning Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present: I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty.

An Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Thank God for All Favours and Offer Yourself to Him.

O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practice Virtue.

Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavour this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practise the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

The Lord’s Prayer...

The Hail Mary...

The Apostles’ Creed...

At this point, please go to the relevant text of Fr Hamon’s Meditation. Once I have read and meditated on the text, and its various points.

Ask the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin, your Guardian Angel, and your Patron Saint.

I complete my meditation by saying:

Holy Virgin, Mother of God, my Mother and Patroness, I place myself under thy protection, I throw myself with confidence into the arms of thy compassion. Be to me, O Mother of mercy, my refuge in distress, my consolation under suffering, my advocate with thy adorable Son, now and at the hour of my death.

Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom His love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

O great Saint whose name I bear, protect me, pray for me, that like thee I may serve God faithfully on earth, and glorify Him eternally with thee in heaven. Amen.

Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, hear us.

Jesus, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, ... Jesus, Son of the living God, ... Jesus, splendour of the Father, ... Jesus, brightness of eternal light, ... Jesus, king of glory, ... Jesus, sun of justice, ... Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary, ... Jesus, most amiable, ... Jesus, most admirable, ... Jesus, mighty God, ... Jesus, father of the world to come, ... Jesus, angel of great council, ... Jesus, most powerful, ... Jesus, most patient, ... Jesus, most obedient, ... Jesus, meek and humble of heart, ... Jesus, lover of chastity ... Jesus, lover of us, ... Jesus, God of peace, ... Jesus, author of life, ... Jesus, model of virtues, ... Jesus, zealous for souls, ... Jesus, our God, ... Jesus, our refuge, ... Jesus, father of the poor, ... Jesus, treasure of the faithful, ... Jesus, good shepherd, ... Jesus, true light, ... Jesus, eternal wisdom, ... Jesus, infinite goodness, ... Jesus, our way and our life, ... Jesus, joy of angels, ... Jesus, king of patriarchs, ... Jesus, master of apostles, ... Jesus, teacher of evangelists, ... Jesus, strength of martyrs, ... Jesus, light of confessors, ... Jesus, purity of virgins, ... Jesus, crown of all saints, ...

Be merciful, Spare us, O Jesus. Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil, Jesus, deliver us. From all sin, Jesus, deliver us. From Thy wrath, ... From the snares of the devil, ... From the spirit of fornication, ... From everlasting death, ... From the neglect of Thy inspirations, ... Through the mystery of Thy holy incarnation, ... Through Thy nativity, ... Through Thine infancy, ... Through Thy most divine life, ... Through Thy labours, ... Through Thine agony and passion, ... Through Thy cross and dereliction, ...Through Thy faintness and weariness, ... Through Thy death and burial, ... Through Thy resurrection, ... Through Thine ascension, ... Through Thy joys, ... Through Thy glory, ...

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast said: Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; grant, we beseech Thee, unto us who ask, the gift of Thy most divine love, that we may ever love Thee with all our hearts, and in all our words and actions, and never cease from showing forth Thy praise. Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name; for Thou never failest to govern those whom Thou dost solidly establish in Thy love. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

The Angelus

℣ The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.

℟ And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Hail, Mary...

℣ Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

℟ Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail, Mary...

℣ And the Word was made flesh.

℟ And dwelt among us.

Hail, Mary...

℣ Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.

℟ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord! Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may, by His passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Evening Prayer


Friday after Ash Wednesday: Jesus Crowned with Thorns

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

In conformity with the spirit of the Church, we will meditate tomorrow on the crowning with thorns, and we shall admire in this mystery: first, a mystery of suffering and humiliation; second, a precious lesson for our salvation. We will then make the resolution: first, heartily to accept the mortifications and humiliations which may present themselves to us; second, often to make acts of contrition for our sensuality and self-love. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of St Bernard: “Let us be ashamed to be delicate members under a Head crowned with thorns” (Serm. v, in Fest. Omn. SS., no. 9).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us, with very profound reverence, adore Jesus crowned with thorns, after having been cruelly scourged, and then presented to the Jews with a reed in His hand by way of sceptre, and an old garment of purple upon His shoulders by way of a royal mantle. O my Saviour! by all this they wish to turn Thy kingdom into ridicule; but under this insulting exterior I recognise Thee to be my Saviour and my God. I honour Thee, I praise Thee, I bless Thee under this unworthy disguise, which Thy love for me has caused Thee to accept.

Jesus crowned with thorns a mystery of suffering and humiliation

First, it is a mystery of suffering. For the thorns are strong and sharp; the soldiers drive them with heavy blows into the sacred head, which is the most sensitive part of the body, and they make the points pierce it so deeply that they make the little blood left by the scourging flow from it. From all parts the blood drops upon His adorable face, which is all disfigured by it. His holy humanity is thus wholly plunged in suffering; and the prophecy of Isaiah is literally accomplished: “From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein; wounds and bruises and swelling sores; they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil” (Is. i:6). He accepts with calmness and resignation these dreadful sufferings, offering them to His Father for the salvation of the world. What heroic self-sacrifice! What incomprehensible love! O Jesus, how shall we ever realise such great charity! Second, it is a mystery of humiliation. This great God is made a mock king and given up to public ridicule. A crown of thorns is placed on His head, to turn into ridicule the royal crown which He had a right to wear; He holds in His hand a reed as a sceptre; on His shoulders is a garment of purple instead of a royal robe; then they kneel down in His presence, and, mocking Him, they exclaim: “Hail! King of the Jews” (Matt. xxvii:9). From ridicule they pass on to cruelty: “Away with Him, away with Him I crucify Him!” (John xix:15) cries out the multitude. “We will have no king but Cæsar” (Ibid.). O my God, my true God! pardon these cries, pardon these sacrilegious mockeries! As for me, I will have no other king, no other God, save Thee (Ps. v:3).

Lessons to be drawn from the mystery of Jesus crowned with thorns

First, this mystery teaches us to weep over our past sins. On our knees, in presence of Jesus crowned with thorns, we ought to say to ourselves: Behold the work of my sins; behold what sufferings and what ignominies they have cost my God; and thinking thus, is it possible not to detest them, not to weep over them, not to wash them in our tears, mingled with the blood which flows from the adorable head of Jesus Christ? Is it possible not to join to grief for the past a firm resolution to lead a better and more Christian life for the future? Second, this mystery preaches mortification to us; for, as St Bernard says, it is a shame to be a delicate member of a Head crowned with thorns. It is a revolting contrast for the Saint of saints to be in suffering, and for me to be indulging in enjoyment; that Jesus should have His head crowned with thorns, and that I should seize every opportunity to procure myself pleasure when I can do so without committing a great crime. Third, this mystery teaches us humility. For the crown of ignominy which Jesus wears is the condemnation of that crown of pride and ambition which is the object of our sweetest dreams. In choosing for His portion a crown of humiliation, Jesus willed to show us that He reproves the passion of wishing to make an appearance, to obtain notice and to rise above our fellows; how, on the contrary, He loves humble souls, who, content with God alone, do not seek to obtain favour in the eyes of the creature; who do good in secret, without noise, without thinking of renown, because virtue suffices them. Let us collect together these precious lessons in our heart, and let us conform to them our sentiments and our acts.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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