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Tu lumen et splendor Pa-

Tu spes perennis omnium,
Intende quas fundunt preces
Tui per orbem servuli.

Memento, rerum conditor,
Nostri quod olim corporis,
Sacrata ab alvo Virginia
Nascendo, formam sump-

Testatur hoc praesens dies, Gurrens per anni circulum, Quod solus e sinu Patris Mundi salus adveneris.

Hunc astra, tellus, aequora, Hunc omne quod coelo subest,

Salutis auctorem novae
Novo salutat cantico.

Et nos, beata quos sacri
Rigavit unda sanguinis,
Natalis ob diem tui,
Hymni tributum solvimus.

J esu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre et almo Bpiritu,
In sempiterna saecula.


({r. Notum fecit Dominus, alleluia.

H. Salutare suum, alleluia.

0 thou the light and brightness of the Father! O thou the everlasting hope of all men! hear the prayers offered thee by thy servants, throughout the world.

Be mindful, O Creator of all things! that heretofore thou didst assume a Body like unto ours, and wast born from the sacred womb of a Virgin.

This present Day, which the year has brought round to us, tells us of this mystery—that thou, the one Saviour of the world, didst come to us from the Father's Bosom.

The stars, and earth, and sea, and all that is under heaven, greet this the Author of their new salvation, with a new Canticle.

And we, who have been redeemed by the stream of thy precious Blood, we, too, pay thee the tribute of this Hymn, in honour, of thy Birth-Day.

Glory be to thee, O Jesus! who wast born of the Virgin! and to the Father, and to the Spirit of love, for everlasting ages.


y. The Lord hath made known, alleluia. Bj. His Salvation, alleluia.

Antiphon or The Magnificat.

Hodie Christus natus est; This day, Christ is born;

hodie Salvator apparuit; this day, the Saviour hath ap

hodie in terra canunt An- peared; this day, the Angels

geli; laetantur Archangeli; sing on earth; the Archan

hodie exsultant justi, di- gels rejoice ; this day, the just

centes: Gloria in' excelsis exult, saying: Glory be to

Deo, alleluia. God in the highest, alleluia.

The Canticle, Magnificat, page 107.

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The great Day is over, and the night is coming upon us, when sleep will refresh us after the holy fatigues of last night. Before retiring to rest, let us give the holy Martyrs a thought, whose memory is offered to our veneration by the Church, in her Martyrology of this 25th of December. Dioclesian and his colleagues in the Empire had recently published the famous edict of persecution, which waged against the Church the fiercest war she has ever sustained. The edict was torn down from the Emperor's palace, at Nicomedia, by one of the Christians, who paid for this holy daring by a glorious martyrdom. The faithful of the same City were ready for the combat, and feared not to brave the Emperor's power, by continuing to frequent their Church, which was condemned to be pulled down. Christmas Day came, and several thousands of them had assembled there, in order to celebrate, for the last time within those walls, the Nativity of our Saviour. Being informed of it, the Emperor became furious, and sent one of the officers of his court to order the Church doors to be fastened, and a fire to be enkindled on each side of the building. This being done, the clang of trumpets was heard, and then a herald's voice proclaiming, to the faithful, in the Emperor's name, that they who wished to save their lives, would be permitted to leave the Basilica, on the condition of their offering incense on an altar of Jupiter, which had been placed near the door; but, that, otherwise, all were to be left a prey to the flames. One of the Christians thus answered, in the name of the whole assembly: "We "are all of us Christians; we honour Christ as the "one only God and King; and we are all ready to "lay down our lives for him, on this Day." Whereupon the soldiers were commanded to set fire to the Church. In a very short time, it was one immense mass of flames, whence was offered to the Son of God,—who deigned to begin, on this same day, the human life he had assumed,—the generous holocaust of these thousands of lives, laid down as witness to his having come into this world. Thus was glorified, in the year 303, our Emmanuel, who had come from heaven to dwell among us. Let us, after the example of the Church herself, join our homage to the Babe of Bethlehem with that offered him by these courageous Christians, whose fame the Liturgy will perpetuate even to the end of time.

Once more let us visit, in spirit, the dear Cave, where Mary and Joseph are loving, and nursing, and adoring, the Divine Infant. Let us, too, adore him, and ask his blessing. St. Bonaventure, with an unction worthy of his seraphic soul, thus expresses the sentiments which a Christian should have, on this Day, when admitted to the Crib of Jesus: "Do thou, "also, kneel down—thou hast delayed too long. "Adore the Lord thy God, and then reverence his "Mother, and salute, with much respect, the saintly "old man Joseph. After this, kiss the feet of the "Infant Jesus, laid as he is on his little bed, and ask "our Lady to give him to thee, or permit thee to "take him up. Take him into thine arms, press him "to thy heart, and look well at his lovely face, and "reverently kiss him, and show him confidently the "delight thou takest in him. Thou mayest venture "on all this, because it is for sinners that he came, "that he might save them: it was with sinners that "he so humbly conversed, and, at last, gave himself "to sinners, that he might be their food. I say, then, "that his gentle love will permit thee to treat him as "affectionately as thou pleasest, and will not call it "too much freedom, but will set it down to thy "love."1

1 Meditations on the Life of Christ, by St. Bonaventure.

Asa conclusion to our Feast, we give two favourite Pieces of the Middle-Ages, whereby our Fathers expressed their joy on this glorious Solemnity. The first is a Sequence, which is to be found in all the Roman-French Missals. For a long time, it was thought to have been written by St. Bernard: but, we have seen it in a Manuscript of the 11th century, and, consequently, it must have been written earlier than the date usually assigned to it.

Laetabundus Exsultet fidelis chorus. Alleluia. Regem regum Intactae profudit torus: Res miranda! Angelus Consilii Natus est de Virgine, Sol de Stella. Sol occasum nesciens, Stella semper rutilans, Semper clara. Sicut sidus radium, Profert Virgo Filium Pari forma. Neque sidus radio, Neque Virgo Filio Fit corrupts

Cedrus alta Libani Conformatur hyssopo Valle nostra.

Verbum ens Altissimi Corporari passum est, Carne sumpta.

Esaias cecinit, Synagoga meminit; Numquam tamen desinit Esse caeca.


Let the choir of all the faithful exult in their joy. Alleluia!

The Virgin's womb hath given us the King of Kings 1 O wonderful mystery!

The Angel of the great Counsel is born of the Virgin, the Sun is born of a Star!

The Sun knows no setting; the Star is ever shining, ever bright.

As a star gives forth its ray, so does the Virgin her Child.

The star loses naught of its purity by the ray it yields, so neither does the Virgin by her Child.

The lofty cedar of Libanus comes down into our valley, making itself little as the hyssop.

He that is the Word of the Most High God, deigns to take a body unto himself; he assumes our flesh.

Isaias had foretold all this; and the Jews, though they knew the prophecy by heart, see not its accomplishment in this mystery.

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