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Friday after Sexagesima


Martyrology -17th February

Upon the 17th day of February, were born into the better life:

At Rome, the holy martyr Faustinus, and forty-four others, who followed him to his crown.

In Persia, [in the year 251,] holy Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon, who in the persecution of Decius had his mouth broken with stones, and then with his hands stretched out and his eyes lifted up to heaven, gave up the ghost.

At Concordia, [in the year 303,] the holy martyrs Donatus, Secundianus, and Romulus, together with eighty-six others, who were partakers in their crown.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, [in the year 309,] holy Theodulus the Elder, of the household of the President Firmilian. He was stirred up by the example of the martyrs steadfastly to confess Christ, and being himself crucified gained by a noble victory the palm of martyrdom.

There also the holy martyr Julian the Cappadocian. He kissed the bodies of the slaughtered martyrs, and was therefore accused of Christianity, brought before the President, and burnt on a slow fire.

In the country of Tervan, holy Silvin, Bishop of Toulouse.

In Ireland, [in the middle of the sixth century,] the holy Priest and Confessor Fintan, [of the race of whom was Brigid he was Abbot of Cluain-ed-nech in Leinster, and was called chief head of the monks of Ireland.]

At Florence, [at the end of the thirteenth century,] the blessed Confessor Alexis de' Falconieri, one of the seven founders of the Order of Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He died a blessed death in the hundred and tenth year of his life, strengthened by the presence of Christ Jesus and of the angels.

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 Sexagesima: The Reading of the Scriptures

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow: first, on the reasons which ought to induce us to read and meditate upon the Holy Scriptures; second, on the manner of doing this well. We will then make the resolution: first, not to allow a single day to pass without reading at least one chapter of the Holy Scriptures; second, from time to time to read at least an abridgement of the edifying history contained in the pages of the Old Testament. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the verse of the Psalm: “How sweet are Thy words to my palate, more than honey to my mouth” (Ps. cxviii:103).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore the Holy Spirit inspiring the sacred writers, leading their hand, and by their pen leaving to all ages the storehouse of holy truths which are the riches, the treasure, and the consolation of Christians. Let us thank God for so precious a grace.

The reasons which ought to induce us to read and meditate upon the holy scriptures

What are the Holy Scriptures? They are a letter which God sends us, after having dictated it for us to the sacred writers. Now, if a monarch wrote a letter to one of his subjects, and if, after having received it, he did not care to open and to read it, would he not be guilty of a great want of respect? With still greater reason we should be inexcusable if we neglected the reading of this divine book, in which God, in order to lower Himself to our level, hiding Himself beneath the surface of the letter, speaks to us as really as He speaks to the angels and saints in heaven. If an interview with princes and kings is esteemed to be a very precious privilege what ought not to be the reading of a book in which God speaks to us? Is His word less venerable when the eye reads it than when the ear listens to it? In the one case as in the other, is it not always His word? When we pray, says St Ambrose, we speak to God, and when we read the Holy Scriptures it is God who speaks to us. Whence this great doctor inquires: Wherefore do you not employ every moment in reading the Holy Scriptures, that is to say, in conversing with Jesus Christ? (St Ambrose, de Officiis, lib. iii, c. xx) We have all kinds of interests to consult in this employment, for of all books it is the most useful. Holy Writ is a treasure above all treasures (Ps. cxviii:72, 162). It is there that the infidel is converted (Ps. xviii:8); the reading of the gospel has converted thousands of men, and a few lines of the apostle St Paul sufficed to fix the irresolution of St Augustine. It is there that the afflicted soul finds its consolation. The Machabees in the midst of persecution consoled themselves by the reading of the Holy Scriptures (I Mach. xii:9), and St Paul invited the Romans to seek for consolation in the Scriptures (Rom. xv:4). It is there that the tempted soul finds a sure weapon against sin (Ps. cxviii:11, 92), the soul that is a prey to weariness and disgust a delicious suavity (Ps. cxviii:111), the soul in the midst of darkness, a light to direct it (Ps. cxviii:105), the cold or tepid soul, a fire which warms it (Ps. cxviii:140), the soul disgusted with the world, a sweet repose (Ps.cxviii:85). Therefore the Psalmist lovingly meditated every day upon the Holy Scriptures (Ps. cxviii:97). Do we act in like manner? Let us condemn ourselves and be converted.

The manner of reading the holy scriptures

Although all the books of the Bible are useful to read, there are some amongst them the reading of which is more profitable and ought, consequently, to be more familiar to us; such are, in the New Testament, the gospels, and in the gospels, the Sermon on the Mount, and the discourse after the last supper; the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of St Paul to the faithful of Corinth and of Ephesus, to the Philippians, the Colossians and the Hebrews; the Epistles of St James and St Peter; in the Old Testament the book of Wisdom, of Sirach, of Ruth, of Tobias, of Esther, of Judith, and of the Maccabees, certain portions of the Pentateuch, of the Judges and of Kings. In order that this reading should be profitable, we must read, not from curiosity or the desire to learn something new, but, first, with a very pure intention to derive from it lessons and examples of virtue which may make us better; second, with a spirit of obedience to the Church, which alone is the infallible interpreter of Holy Writ, and in order to do so it is essential for us to use a correct translation, accompanied with short commentaries; third, in the presence of God, as though God Himself were there, instructing us, says St Basil; and therefore we must ask of Him by frequent aspirations to give us understanding, and to make us feel what we read (Ps. cxviii:18); fourth, in pausing at any passage which may touch us as long as we are touched, in order to enjoy the things of God, and to allow the Holy Spirit leisure to act within us. Having thus performed our reading, we deduct from it practical resolutions tending to render us better. Have we followed these rules? If we have not followed them up till now, let us make a resolution to

do so in future.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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