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The Easter Octave - Thursday


The Roman Martyrology

Upon the 13th day of April, were born into the better life:

At Seville, in Spain, the holy martyr Hermenegild, son of Leovigild, the Arian king of the Visigoths. His misbelieving father had cast him into prison on account of his confession of the Catholic Faith, and when upon the solemn night of Easter he refused to receive Easter Communion from the Arian Bishop he caused him to be smitten with the axe, and so did this king as a martyr exchange a kingdom on earth for the kingdom of heaven, [in the year 586.]

At Pergamos, in Asia, the holy martyrs Carpus, Bishop of Thyatira, the Deacon Papylus, the excellent lady Agathonica his sister, their servant Agathodorus, and many others, who were diversely tormented, and crowned with martyrdom after blessed confessions, in the persecution under the Emperors Marcus Antoninus Verus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus. [More likely under Decius in the year 251.]

In the same persecution there suffered at Rome the holy martyr Justin, the admirable philosopher.

He had presented to the emperors aforenamed his second book in defence of our religion, and was then earnestly spreading the same by his disputations when he was accused of Christianity through the devices of Crescens the Cynic, whose infamous life and manners he had rebuked, and for a reward of his faithful speaking he received the crown of martyrdom, [in the year 167.] We keep his feast upon the 14th day of this present month.

Upon the same day, in the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian, the holy martyrs Maximus, Quintilian, and Dadas, [at Dorostis, in Bulgaria.]

At Ravenna, the holy Confessor Ursus, Bishop of that see, [in the year 396.]


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 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:

Evening Prayer


Thursday in Easter Week: His Apparition to Mary Magdalene

Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre, and she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him. When she had thus said she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, thinking that it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away. Jesus saith to her: Mary. She, turning, saith to Him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master). Jesus saith to her: Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren and say to them that I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and your God.

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon the apparition of the risen Christ to Mary Magdalene, as it is recounted in the gospel of the day, and we shall see, first, the ardent love of this holy soul in seeking the Saviour; second, the manner in which Jesus responds to her love. We will then make the resolution: first, often to make, during the day, acts of love towards Our Lord; second, every time the clock strikes to animate ourselves to live better, and better to perform the present action. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of Wisdom: “Wisdom is found by them that seek her” (Wis. vi:13).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ granting to St Mary Magdalene the favour of being the first, after the Blessed Virgin, to whom He appeared, after issuing from the tomb. Let us congratulate this illustrious lover of Our Lord and like her thank Jesus Christ by saying, Good Master. Oh, how good He is, and how He does indeed merit our whole heart’s love.

The ardent love shown by Mary Magdalene in seeking the saviour

After the death of Jesus, Mary Magdalene seemed not to be able to separate herself from Him to whom she had given all her love; she runs to the tomb, and, finding that the sacred body is no longer there, she imagines that it has been taken away. Where has it been put? She is determined to discover it, no matter at what price; and instead of going away, as the disciples and the other women had done, she remains there, retained by love, in order to seek Him whom she has lost; kept there by grief, to weep over Him whom she cannot find. She remains on the spot, without fearing anything, for, after having lost Jesus, there is no longer anything for her to lose. Jesus was the life of her soul, and having lost Him, it was more desirable in her estimation to die than to live, for she hoped that she should find, in dying, Him whom she could not find whilst living.

She remains there, and looks into the sepulchre several times to see if Jesus is not in it. Wherefore do you weep? said the angel who was seated there. “They have taken away my Lord” she replies, “and I know not where they have laid Him” (John xx:13). She turns her head and perceives a man; it is Jesus, who presents Himself to her without making Himself known. “Sir” she exclaims, “if thou hast taken Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away” (John xx:15). An ardent desire will not admit that anything is impossible, and renders a person capable of everything. How admirable is the love of Mary Magdalene! and how ardent it is! How intrepid is the desire which consumes her to find Jesus! Happy the soul who loves Jesus to the extent of thus desiring Him! God makes our desires the measure of His benefits; and often, with Him, the greatest blessings cost nothing more than a desire. If He sometimes defers granting our petitions at the very moment we offer them, it is only to make us the more earnestly desire His graces, and to make us appreciate them better when He does give them to us. Oh, if we did but desire to possess Jesus within us by recollection and love I do not say as Mary Magdalene desired Him, but only as much as the worldly man desires wealth and honours how quickly should we become saints! Our great misfortune is not to love, and, consequently, not to desire ardently our perfection. We lose a trifle, and grieve over it; we lose Jesus in losing recollection, humility, patience, mortification, charity, and it does not in the least distress us, and we do not say with Mary Magdalene: Tell me where He is; I am ready to do all and everything to recover Him. Let us beg of Our Saviour to infuse into our hearts the ardent desires which would make us saints.

How Jesus responded to the love of Mary Magdalene

St Mary Magdalene, at the beginning, had only a very imperfect faith, because, not having found Jesus Christ, she supposed that He had been taken away, and not that He had risen. Jesus, however, being touched by her love, sends to her, first, two angels clothed in white, whom she sees seated in the very place where His body had been! the one at the head, the other at the feet; then He presents Himself to her in person, beneath the humble form of a gardener. She does not recognise Him, but He makes Himself known to her by one single word: Mary! He says to her. Then Mary Magdalene cannot contain herself any longer. Intoxicated with joy and with love, she falls at the feet of Jesus, exclaiming: Rabboni! good Master! She would love to remain there forever, kissing His sacred feet, pressing them to her lips and her heart. No, said Jesus, you must do something more than delight in My presence; you must go quickly and find My brethren, and tell them that I am risen, and that soon they will see Me ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God. Happy Mary Magdalene! she is the first, after Mary, to whom Jesus has shown Himself; she is the elect of the Saviour, that she maybe the apostle of the apostles themselves, and go to announce to them that Jesus is risen. She promptly obeys the command, and teaches us by her example that we must know how to leave Christ, that we may console and help our neighbour; that it is better to be obedient and humble than to enjoy divine consolations; that it is not enough to love that we must make God, whom we love, to be also loved by others; lastly, that we must know how to moderate our joy, however holy and spiritual it may be, and never abandon ourselves wholly to it, lest we should be tempted to commit some want of respect, which would make us forget the reverential fear which is due to God and the prudent apprehension of losing the graces we have received. What precious lessons are conveyed to us in this behaviour of Mary Magdalene!

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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