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cast their stones against thee, and bruise and tear thy flesh, as they please:—nothing can distract thee from this sight of the Eternal King, who raised himself from his throne to applaud thee, and deck thee with the Crown, which he had prepared for thee from all eternity! Now that thou art reigning in the kingdom of heaven, pray for us, that we also may be faithful, and faithful even unto death, to this same Jesus, who not only left his throne, but even came down among us as a Little Child.
Princes sat, and spoke against me: and the wicked persecuted me.
8. Help me, O Lord my God: save me for thy mercy' s sake.
t. I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the power of God, Alleluia.
Sederunt principes, et adversum me loquebantur: et iniqui persecuti sunt me.
Adjuva me, Domine Deus meus; salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam.
t Video ccelos apertos, et Jesum stantem a dextris virtutis Dei. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time: Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees: Behold, I send to you Prophets, and wise men, and scribes ; and some of them you will put to death, and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias, the son of
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Mattbaeum.
In illo tempore: dicebat Jesus scribis et Pharisaeis: Ecce ego mitto ad vos Prophetas, et sapientes; et scribas; et ex illis occidetis, et crucifigetis, et ex eis flagellabitis in synagogis vestris, et persequemini de civitate in civitatem: ut veniat super vos omnis sanguis Justus, qui effusus est super terrain, a sanguine Abel justi usque ad sanguinem Zachariae, filii Barachiae, S
quem occidistis inter tem- Barachias, whom you killed plum et altare. Amen dico between the temple and the vobis, venient haec omnia altar. Amen, I say to you, all super generationem istam. these things shall come upon Jerusalem, Jerusalem, quae this generation. Jerusalem, occidis Prophetas, et lapi- Jerusalem, thou that killest das eos qui ad te missi sunt, the Prophets, and stonest them quoties volui congregare that are sent unto thee, how filios tuos, quemadmodum often would I have gathered gallina congregat pullos together thy children, as the suos sub alas, et noluisti! hen doth gather her chickens Ecce relinquetur vobis do- under her wings, and thou mus vestra deserta. Dico wouldst not? Behold, your enim vobis, non me videbi- house shall be left to you detis amodo, donee dicatis: solate. For I say to you, you Benedictus qui venit in no- shall not see me, henceforth, mine Domini. till you say: Blessed is he that
cometh in the name of the
The Martyrs are given to the world that they may continue the ministry of Christ on the earth, by bearing testimony to his word, and by confirming this testimony by their blood. The world has despised them; like their divine Master, they have shone in the darkness, and darkness has not understood their light. Nevertheless, many have received their testimony, and the seed of the Martyrs' blood has brought forth in them the rich fruit of Faith. The Synagogue was cast off by God for its having shed the blood of Stephen, after having imbrued its hands in that of Jesus. Unhappy, they who cannot appreciate the Martyrs! Let us, who are Christians, take in the sublime lessons taught us by their generous sacrifice; and let our respect and love for them testify, that we are grateful for the noble ministry they have fulfilled in the Church, and are still fulfilling. The Church is never without Martyrs, just as she is never without Miracles: it is the twofold testimony that she will give to the end of time, and by which she evidences the divine life she has received from her almighty Founder.
During the Offertory, the Church once more proclaims the merits and the glorious death of Stephen; and by this she teaches us that the sacrifice of the holy Deacon is united with that of Jesus himself.
The Apostles chose Stephen, Elegerunt Apostoli Stea Levite, full of faith and of phanum Levitam, plenum the Holy Ghost, whom the tide et Spiritu Sancto; quem Jews stoned, praying and say- lapidaverunt Judaei oraning: Lord Jesus, receive my tem, et dicentem: Domine spirit. Alleluia. Jesu, accipe spiritum meum.
Receive, O Lord, these offer- Suscipe, Domine, munera
ings in memory of thy Saints; pro tuorum commemora
and as their sufferings have tione Sanctorum ; ut sicut
made them glorious, so may illos passio gloriosos effecit,
our devotion render us free ita nos devotio reddat inno
from sin. Through, dkc. cuos. Per Dominum.
Commemoration of Christmas Day.
Sanctify, O Lord, our offer- Oblata, Domine, munera, ings, by the new Birth of nova Unigeniti tui nativithine Only Begotten Son, and tate sanctifies, nosque a peccleanse us from the stains of catorum nostrorum maculis our sins. Through the same, emunda. Per eumdem. &c.
United by Holy Communion to her divine Spouse, the Church, too, sees the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. She sends up to this Incarnate Word the yearnings of her intense love, and derives from the heavenly Food she has received that meekness, which makes her bear with the injuries and insults put upon her by her enemies, in order that she may win them all to the faith and love of Jesus Christ. It was by partaking of this same heavenly Food, that Stephen got the superhuman strength, whereby he won his victory and Crown. COMMUNION.
Video codes apertos, et I see the heavens opened,
Jesum stantem a dextris and Jesus standing on the
virtutis Dei: Domine Jesu, right hand of the power of
accipe spiritum meum, et God : Lord Jesus, receive my
ne statuas illis hoc pecca- spirit, and lay not this sin to
tum. their charge.
Auxilientur nobis, Do- May the mysteries we have
mine, sumpta mysteria: et received, 0 Lord, be help to
intercedente beato Ste- us : and, by the intercession
phano, Martyre tuo, sempi- of the blessed Martyr Ste
terna protectione connr- phen, strengthen us with
ment. Per Dominum. thy perpetual protection.
Commemoration of Christmas Day.
Praesta, quaesumus, omni- Grant, we beseech thee, O
potens Deus; ut natus ho- Almighty God, that as the
die Salvator mundi, sicut Saviour of the world, who was
divine nobis generationis born this day, procured for us
est auctor, ita et immortali- a divine Birth, he may, also,
tatis sit ipse largitor. Qui bestow on us immortality.
tecum. Who liveth, &c.
The solemnity of the Christmas Octave—from which the Feast of St. Stephen has, in a manner, distracted us—returns at Vespers, in all its splendour. The Church sings the Psalms and Antiphons of Christmas Day, and the Martyr's Feast is, so to speak, suspended until she comes to the Capitulum. In this same way she celebrates the Vespers on all the Feasts which are kept during this Octave.
The Psalms and Antiphons are given above, page 234.
O God! thou the inheritance, Crown, and reward of thy Soldiers! absolve from the bonds of our sins us who sing the praises of thy Martyr.
For, counting the joys of the world, and the deceitful bait of its caresses, as things embittered with gall, thy Martyr Stephen obtained the delights of heaven.
Bravely did he go through, and manfully did he bear, his pains; and, shedding his blood for thy sake, he now possesses thy eternal gifts.
Therefore, most merciful Father! we beseech thee, in most suppliant prayer, forgive us, thy unworthy servants. our sins, for it is the feast of thy Martyr's triumph.
Deus tuorum militum Sors, et corona, praemium, Laudes canentes Martyris Absolve nexu criminis.
Hic nempe mundi gaudia, Et blanda fraudum pabula, Imbuta felle deputans, Pervenit ad ccelestia.
Poenas cucurrit fortiter, Et sustulit viriliter, Fundensque pro te sanguinem,
iEterna dona possidet.
Ob hoc precatu supplici Te poscimus, Piissime, In hoc triumpho Martyris, Dimitte noxam servulis.
q In the Monastic Breviary,:
B. breve. Posuisti, Domine,
* Super caput ejus. Posuisti. V. Coronam de lapide pretioso.
* Super. Gloria Patri. Gloria et honore.
Deus, tuorum militum Boris, et corona, praemium, Laudes canentes Martyris Absolve nexu criminis.
Hie nempe mundi gaudia, Et blandimenta noxia, Caduca rite deputans Pervenit ad coelestia.
is as follows :—
Poenas cucurrit fortiter,
Ob hoc precatu supplici
Gloria tibi Domine,