Martyrology - 26th of March
Upon the 26th day of March, were born into the better life:
At Rome, upon the Lavican Way, [in the third century,] the holy martyr Castulus. He was a chamberlain of the Palace, and a receiver of the saints. He was three times hung up and interrogated, and as he remained steadfast in confessing the Lord, he was crowned with martyrdom by being thrown into a pit, and buried alive in sand.
Likewise at Rome, the holy martyrs Peter, Marcian, Jovinus, Thecla, Cassian, and others.
In the Pentapolis, in Libya, the holy martyrs Theodore, Bishop [of Zaragossa, who was preaching in Pentapolis-Cyrene in North Africa,] the Deacon Irenaeus, and the Readers Serapion and Ammonius.
At Sirmium, the holy martyrs the Priest Montanus, and Maxima, [his wife,] who were drowned in the river for Christ's faith's sake.
Likewise the holy martyrs Quadratus, Theodosius, Emmanuel, and forty others.
At Alexandria, [in the year 354,] the holy martyrs Eutychius and others, who were slain with the sword for the Catholic faith, under the Arian Bishop George, in the time of the Emperor Constantius.
On the same day, [in the year 309,] holy Ludger, Bishop of Muenster, who preached the gospel to the Saxons.
At Zaragossa, in Spain, [in the year 651,] the holy Confessor Braulio, Bishop of that see.
At Trier, [in the year 400,] holy Felix, [who had been] Bishop [of that see for 12 years, and had then retired to a monastery which he had built in honour of the Blessed Virgin, the martyrs of the vanguard of the Theban Legion, and several magistrates of the town of Trier, who had been martyred at the same time.]
And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God
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 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 . I complete my meditation by saying:
Ask the Prayers of the Blessed Virgin, your Guardian Angel, and your Patron Saint.
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 angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
℟ And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
℣ Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
℟ Be it done unto me according to thy word.
℣ And the Word was made flesh.
℟ And dwelt among us.
℣ 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.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Place Yourself in the Presence of God and Humbly Adore Him.
O my God, I present myself before Thee at the end of an other day, to offer Thee anew the homage of my heart. I humbly adore Thee, my Creator, my Redeemer, and my Judge! I believe in Thee, because Thou art Truth itself; I hope in Thee, because Thou art faithful to Thy promises; I love Thee with my whole heart, because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved; and for Thy sake I love my neighbour as myself.
Return Thanks to God for All His Mercies.
Enable me, O my God, to return Thee thanks as I ought for all Thine inestimable blessings and favours. Thou hast thought of me and loved me from all eternity; Thou hast formed me out of nothing; Thou hast delivered up Thy beloved Son to the ignominious death of the cross for my redemption; Thou hast made me a member of Thy holy Church; Thou hast preserved me from falling into the abyss of eternal misery, when my sins had provoked Thee to punish me; Thou hast graciously continued to spare me, even though I have not ceased to offend Thee. What return, O my God, can I make for Thy innumerable blessings, and particularly for the favours of this day? O all ye saints and angels, unite with me in praising the God of mercies, who is so bountiful to so unworthy a creature.
The Lord’s Prayer...The Hail Mary...The Apostles’ Creed...
Ask of God Light to Discover the Sins Committed this Day.
O my God, sovereign judge of men, who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted and saved, enlighten my mind, that I may know the sins which I have this day committed in thought, word, or deed, and give me the grace of true contrition.
Here Examine your Conscience; then Say:
O my God, I heartily repent and am grieved that I have offended Thee, because Thou art infinitely good and sin is infinitely displeasing to Thee. I humbly ask of Thee mercy and pardon, through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. I resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, to do penance for my sins, and I will endeavour never more to offend Thee.
I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father, to pray to the Lord our God for me. May Almighty God have mercy upon us, and forgive us our sins, and bring us unto life everlasting. Amen.
May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins. Amen.
Pray for the Church of Christ.
O God, hear my prayers on behalf of our Holy. Father Pope N., our Bishops, our clergy, and for all that are in authority over us. Bless, I beseech Thee, the whole Catholic Church, and convert all heretics and unbelievers.
Pray for the Living and for the Faithful Departed.
Pour down Thy blessings, O Lord, upon all my friends, relations, and acquaintances, and upon my enemies, if I have any. Help the poor and sick, and those who are in their last agony. O God of mercy and goodness, have compassion on the souls of the faithful in purgatory; put an end to their sufferings, and grant to them eternal light, rest, and happiness. Amen.
Commend Yourself to God, to the Blessed Virgin, and the Saints.
Bless, O Lord, the repose I am about to take, that, my bodily strength being renewed, I may be the better enabled to serve Thee. O blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for me that I may be preserved this night from all evil, whether of body or soul. Blessed St. Joseph, and all ye saints and angels of Paradise, especially my guardian angel and my chosen patron, watch over me. I commend myself to your protection now and always. Amen.
Preparation for Meditation
At this point I will read the paragraph in the daily meditation from Hamon’s meditation of the next day entitled “Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation” and, if applicable, “Summary of the Meditation for the Feast...”
This will allow me to be passively thinking about, during the coming night, the meditation, and the points of the meditation, I will be doing in the morning, during my morning prayer.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, 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, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us. Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Holy virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of divine grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent. ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ... Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ... Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ... Tower of David, ... Tower of ivory, ... House of gold, ... Ark of the covenant, ... Gate of heaven, ... Morning star, ... Health of the sick, ... Refuge of sinners, ... Comforter of the afflicted, ... Help of Christians, ... Queen of angels, ... Queen of patriarchs, ... Queen of prophets, ... Queen of apostles, ... Queen of martyrs, ... Queen of confessors, ... Queen of virgins, ... Queen of all saints, ... Queen conceived without original sin. ... Queen of the most holy rosary, ... Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. 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.
Passion Sunday: How Jesus Crucified Loves us
At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe Me? He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered, and said to Him: Do we not say well that Thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil; but I honour My Father, and you have dishonoured Me. But I seek not My own glory; there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you, if any man keep My word he shall not see death forever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead and the prophets: and Thou sayest, if any man keep My word he shall not taste death forever. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost Thou make Thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father that glorifieth Me, of whom you say that He is your God. And you have not known Him; but I know Him. And if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it, and was glad. The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
The holy fortnight on which we are about to enter is destined for the honouring of the wounds of Our Saviour; and that we may appreciate how much love Jesus shows us in this mystery we will consider: first, who He is that suffers, and for whom He suffers; second, how much He suffers; third, what benefits He obtains for us by His sufferings. Our resolution shall be: first, to pass this fortnight in special sentiments of piety, of recollection, and of love towards the crucified Jesus; second, to keep the crucifix habitually before our eyes, and often and lovingly to kiss it. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Apostle: “He loved me and delivered Himself for me” (Gal. ii:20).
Meditation for the Morning
Let us adore Jesus Christ overwhelmed by a sea of suffering and of ignominy. Let us say with the Apostle: It is His love for me which has reduced Him to this state. Let us love and bless so much love; let us compassionate so much suffering.
Who is he that suffers? Who is he for whom he suffers?
Nothing is better suited than the contrast between these two thoughts to show what is the love of Jesus Christ for us in the midst of His sufferings. Great God! exclaims St Thomas, even if Thou wert my slave, and I Thy master, there would be in the devotedness of a slave who should suffer such great things for his master an heroic love capable of overwhelming with amazement the most insensible of souls. What ought I, then, to think of the contrary supposition, which is the only true one? For we know well that it is the God of Calvary, it is the Lord and Master of all things, who humbles Himself and dies for His servant; it is the Eternal King of Ages who immolates Himself for His servant; it is God dying for a worm. O abyss of love! Again, if he for whom this God humbles Himself and dies were a friend worthy of His interest and of His love, but no; he for whom this God dies is at one and the same time nothingness by nature, since he has only a borrowed existence, and is sin by his origin and sin by malice. It is baseness itself in revolt against God; and God, against whom he has rebelled, dies to expiate his rebellion! It is a frightfully audacious creature who has dared to offend his Creator, and the offended God wills to die for his having offended Him! It is an ungrateful wretch who will not feel, and God knows it well, any gratitude for such great devotion; who will look with a dry eye and an insensible heart at the figure on the cross; who will coldly celebrate the holydays consecrated to the memory of so touching a mystery; and, what is still worse, it is a traitor who will violate his oaths, who will recommence his insults, who will crucify his God afresh insofar as it depends upon him, and that not once, but thousands of times; and yet, for a creature so abominable, so worthy of the anathemas of heaven and of earth, a God humbles Himself and dies! O abyss of love! O fathomless mystery of love!
The greatness of the sufferings of the saviour
Here new abysses of love open themselves up. Jesus Christ might, with a single drop of His blood, a single tear from His eyes, have redeemed the whole human race; but as love is more shown in proportion to the greater suffering endured for its sake, He gave Himself up to all kinds of suffering and of ignominies. He sacrifices all; first, His liberty, for He allows Himself to be bound like a captive; then His honour, for He consents to pass for a fool, for a criminal, for a blasphemer, for a man worse even than Barabbas, who was a thief and an assassin worse than the two thieves between whom He was crucified, as being the most guilty of the three. He sacrifices His body; for, from the sole of His foot to the top of His head there are nothing but open wounds, blood which flows and bones exposed. He sacrifices His soul; for He gives it up as a prey to the anguish of death (Matt. xxvi:38), to the abandonment of creatures and of His own Father (Ibid. xxvii:46). Lastly, He sacrifices His life; for love immolates Him upon the altar of the cross (Is. liii:7); and, with His own free consent and His perfectly free will, He offers Himself for us to His Father (John x:17–18). O love! how in comprehensible thou art! How deep are thy abysses! And we, how have we responded to so much love? What have we done for Him who has done so much for us?
The immense benefits procured for us by the sufferings of the saviour
The generosity of a benefactor is measured not only by the greatness of the sacrifices which he makes, but also by the excellence of the benefits which he bestows; and here are displayed fresh abysses of love! For the benefits which the Passion of the Saviour procures for us are really ineffable. They are, first, heaven opened and hell closed, death and sin vanquished. Without the Redemption, the whole human race was damned; by the Redemption, he who wills it can be saved, and those alone are damned who will to be damned. They are, second, the titles of children of God, of heirs of the eternal Kingdom, of co-heirs and of members of Jesus Christ. What happiness and what glory! They are, third, faith, without which we should be like the heathen nations, without belief and without morals; hope, which consoles and supports; charity, which unites men to each other and to God; the Church, which teaches and directs us; the priesthood, that sun of the moral world; the holy sacrifice of the Mass, that mysterious link between heaven and earth; the sacraments, those channels through which the blood of the Saviour flows, bearing everywhere grace, strength, and life. Happy the fault of Adam, which was the means of our having such a Redeemer! (Bened. cer. pasch.) But woe to us if we abuse so many graces! Let us now at last decide better to love and better to serve the Author of these benefits.
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.