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Friday in the Third Week of Lent


Martyrology - 17th of March

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

In Ireland, the holy Confessor Patrick, Bishop [of Armagh,] the first who there preached the Gospel of Christ, and who was famous for great miracles and works of power, [in the year 464.]

At Jerusalem, holy Joseph of Arimathea, the honourable councillor, the disciple of the Lord, who took down His Body from the cross and laid it in his own new tomb.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Alexander and Theodore.

At Alexandria are commemorated many holy martyrs, who were seized by the worshippers of Serapis, and because they would not worship that idol were cruelly murdered by them, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius, who presently afterward sent a rescript to destroy the temple of Serapis.

At Constantinople, the holy martyr Paul, who was burnt under the Emperor Constantine Copronymus for defending the honouring of holy images.

At Chalons [-sur-Saone,] in Gaul, holy Agricola, Bishop of that see, [in the year 580.]

At Nivelles, in Brabant, the holy Virgin Gertrude, the daughter of an illustrious race, who despised this world, and busied herself all her life in holy deeds, so that she won to be espoused to Christ in heaven, [in the year 659.]

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

R. Thanks be to God


Hagiography - St Patrick

17 March: St Patrick

Patrick, called the Apostle of Ireland, was born in Great Britain. The name of his father was Calphurnius, and that of his mother Conchessa. She is said to have been a relation of St Martin, Bishop of Tours. When Patrick was a lad, he was several times taken prisoner by savages, and while being in their hands he was employed as a shepherd, he already showed marks of his saintliness to come. His spirit was filled with faith, and love, and fear of God, so that he would rise before the light, in snow, and frost, and rain, to make his prayers to God, being accustomed to address God in prayer an hundred times every day, and an hundred times every night. After being rescued from his third captivity, he was placed among the clergy, and for a long time exercised himself in sacred learning. To this end he travelled with much labour, through Gaul, Italy, and the islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea, but at last being called of God to work for the salvation of the Irish, and, having received from the Blessed Pope Celestine a commission to preach the gospel, and likewise being consecrated a Bishop, he betook himself to Ireland.

In the discharge of his calling it is a marvel with how many evils, with how many sufferings and labours, and with how many adversaries the Apostolic Patrick had to bear. Nevertheless, by the goodness of God, that island, which had up to that time been given over to the serving of idols, was, through the preaching of Patrick, so wrought on that she soon brought forth the fruit which won her the name of the Island of Saints. Patrick caused many of her people to be born again by the washing of regeneration; he ordained many Bishops and clerks; he decreed rules for virgins and widows living in continency. By the authority of the Bishop of Rome he established the See of Armagh as the Primatial See of all Ireland, and enriched the Church with relics of the Saints brought from Rome. Patrick, moreover, was so eminently adorned with heavenly visions, with the gift of prophecy, and with great signs and wonders from God, that the fame of him spread itself abroad more and more, day by day.

Besides that which came upon him daily, the care of all the Churches of Ireland, he never suffered his spirit to weary in constant prayer. They say that it was his custom to repeat every day the whole Book of Psalms, together with Songs and Hymns, and two hundred Prayers; that he bent his knees to God in worship three hundred times every day, and that he made on himself the sign of the Cross an hundred times at each of the Seven Hours of the Church Service. He divided the night into three portions; during the first he repeated the first hundred Psalms, and bent his knees two hundred times; during the second he remained plunged in cold water, with heart, eyes, and hands lifted up to heaven, and in that state repeated the remaining fifty Psalms; during the third he took his short rest, lying upon a bare stone. He was a great practiser of lowliness, and, after the pattern of the Apostle, he always continued to work with his own hands. At last he fell asleep in the Lord in extreme old age, refreshed with the Divine Mysteries, worn out with unceasing care for the Churches, and glorious both in word and work. His body is buried in Down in Ulster. He passed away in the fifth century after the giving of salvation by Christ.


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 my 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 practice 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 . I complete my meditation by saying:

Evening Prayer


Friday in the Third Week: The Five Wounds

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon the devotion to the five wounds of Our Lord, which the Church presents to us as the object of our devotion, and we will consider: first, that nothing is more just than this devotion; second, that the most precious graces are attached to it. We will then make the resolution: first, to keep a crucifix before our eyes during our work, and to look at it lovingly, especially in our trials and temptations, and often to press our lips upon its venerable wounds, above all upon the wound in the sacred side; second, to practise some mortification in honour of the five wounds. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of Isaiah: “He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins” (Is. lii:5).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us prostrate ourselves before the cross of our Redeemer, and let us render our homage of adoration, thanksgiving, and love to the two wounds of His feet, to the two wounds of His hands, but above all to the wound of His sacred side. Oh, how worthy of veneration are these wounds, and how just that our hearts should be filled with love in contemplating them! O sacred wounds! I cannot honour you as much as I would, but I offer you the sentiments of Mary and St John at the foot of the cross. I have a right to do this, since Mary being my mother and St John my brother, their merits are a heritage of which I can dispose in my favour.

Nothing is more just than the devotion to the five wounds

A son would not be looked upon as a man but as a heartless monster who could behold with indifference and without any emotion of compassion, of gratitude and of love, the wounds which his father had received in order that he might save him from the greatest possible misfortune, and at the same time to procure him the greatest blessings. Such, and worse still, would be the Christian who would feel nothing but in difference for the wounds of the Saviour, because Jesus Christ received them to save us from hell and to open heaven to us; to offer us in them so many sources of salvation, whence we may derive grace, strength, and consolation (Is. xii:3).

Christian soul, exclaims St Bonaventure, how, at the remembrance of these wounds, canst thou contain thy transports? Our amiable Jesus makes a great wound in His feet and His hands in order to receive thee and thou dost not hasten to enter it. He has opened His side in order to give thee His heart, and thou dost not hasten to unite thyself heart to heart with Him. Ah! as for me, says the holy doctor, it is there that I delight to dwell (Matt. xvii:4), it is there that I will make three tabernacles, the first in the hands of my Jesus, the second in His feet, the third in His sacred side. It is there that I will take my rest; it is there that I will watch, that I will read, that I will converse. O most amiable wounds, the eyes of my heart will always be fixed on you; during the day from the rising of the sun to its going down, and at night as many times as sleep shall withdraw from my eyelids. I will above all keep myself within the opening of the sacred side in order there to speak to the heart of my Master and to obtain from it all that I desire. O Jesus, St Bernard says in the same sense, Thy side is pierced to give us an entrance into Thy heart and to reveal to us by means of this visible wound the invisible wound of Thy love. I will apply my lips to it and I will suck from it the honey of love and the unction of divine consolation (Serm. iii, de Pass. Domini). Should we be the children of the saints if, after such examples, we had not a tender devotion towards the five wounds?

Graces attached to the devotion to the five wounds

The soul finds in these wounds all that is necessary to salvation (St Bernard, Collat. 7). I have found nowhere else, says St Augustine, so efficacious a remedy for all the ills of the soul (Manual., c. xii). Whatever may be our spiritual maladies, adds St Bernard, an assiduous meditation upon the wounds of the Saviour will cure them (Serm. lxii, in Cant. iv:7). Jesus Christ Himself says by His prophet: They shall look upon My wounds, and they shall be converted (Zach. xii:10). The heart of Jesus is an ocean, and His wounds are the channels through which flow the waters of grace and mercy (In Cant. lxi), St Bernard also remarks. It is, in fact, in these wounds that a lively faith is formed (John xx:27); it is there that confidence in God dilates (In Cant. lxi); it is there, above all, that charity is kindled as at its true source. By dint of considering the excess of love which opened these wounds for us, vile creatures and miserable sinners as we are, the heart is set aflame, and we can no longer live except by love. Therefore St Augustine called these sacred wounds his refuge in troubles, his asylum in tribulations, his remedies for the infirmities of the soul; it was therein that St Thomas Aquinas derived all his knowledge; there in that St Francis of Assisi, by dint of meditating upon them, became, through the seraphic ardour of his charity, a miracle of resemblance to the crucified Jesus; there that St Bonaventure filled himself with the spirit of piety which embalms all his writings—worthy disciple of St Francis that he was, and who wore out the feet of his crucifix by kissing them so often, and who never ceased to exhort the faithful to enjoy the ineffable delights and the delicious unction of piety attached to the devotion to the sacred wounds (St Bonaventure, Stim. Am., c. i p. i). If you cannot, says the Imitation of Christ, raise yourself to lofty contemplations, remain humbly in the wounds of the Saviour; you will there find consolation and strength (II Imit. i:4), Are these really our dispositions?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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