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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.

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GRADUAL. Princes sat, and spoke Sederunt principes, et adagainst me : and the wicked versum me loquebantur: et persecuted me.

iniqui persecuti sunt me. W. Help me, O Lord my ř. Adjuva me, Domine God: save me for thy mercy's Deus meus; salvum me sake.

fac propter misericordiam

tuam. Alleluia, alleluia.

Alleluia, alleluia. 7. I see the heavens opened, 7. Video coelos apertos, and Jesus standing at the et Jesum stantem a dextris right hand of the power of virtutis Dei. Alleluia. God. Alleluia.

GOSPEL.

Sequel of the holy Gospel Sequentia sancti Evangelii according to Matthew. secundum Matthæum. Ch. XXIII.

Cap. XXIII. At that time : Jesus said to In illo tempore : dicebat the Scribes and Pharisees: Jesus scribis et Pharisæis : Behold, I send to you Pro- Ecce ego mitto ad vos Prophets, and wise men, and phetas, et sapientes, et scriscribés; and some of them you bas; et ex illis occidetis, et will put to death, and crucify, crucifigetis, et ex eis flageland some you will scourge in labitis in synagogis vestris, your synagogues, and perse- et persequemini de civitaté cute from city to city: that in civitatem : ut veniat suupon you may come all the per vos omnis sanguis jusjust blood that hath been shed tus, qui effusus est super upon the earth, from the blood terram, a sanguine Abel of Abel the just, even unto the justi usque ad sanguinem blood of Zacharias, the son of Zachariæ, filii Barachiæ,

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quem occidistis inter tem- Barachias, whom you killed plum et altare. Amen dico between the temple and the vobis, venient hæc omnia altar. Amen, I say to

you,

all super generationem istam. these things shall come upon Jerusalem, Jerusalem, quæ 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, donec 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

Lord. 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.

OFFERTORY.

The Apostles chose Stephen, Elegerunt Apostoli Stea Levite, full of faith and of phanum Levitam, plenum the Holy Ghost, whom the fide et Spiritu Sancto; quem Jews stoned, praying and say- lapidaverunt Judæi oraning: Lord Jesus, receive my tem, et dicentem : Domine spirit. Alleluia.

Jesu, accipe spiritum meum.
Alleluia.

SECRET.

Receive, O Lord, these offer- Suscipe, Domine, munera ings in memory of thy Saints; pro tuorum commemoraand 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 innofrom sin. Through, &c. cuos. Per Dominum.

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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 sanctifica, 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 coelos apertos, et I see the heavens opened, Jesum stantem à 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.

POSTCOMMUNION.

Auxilientur nobis, Do- May the mysteries we have mine, sumpta mysteria : et received, O Lord, be help to intercedente beato Ste- us : and, by the intercession phano, Martyre tuo, sempi- of the blessed Martyr Steterna protectione confir- phen, strengthen us with ment. Per Dominum. thy perpetual protection.

Through, &c.

Commemoration of Christmas Day. Præsta, quæsumus, 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 divinæ 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.

VESPERS. 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.

CAPITULUM.

(Acts, VI.) But Stephen, full of grace Stephanus autem plenus and fortitude, did great won- gratia et fortitudine facieders and signs among the bat prodigia, et signa magpeople.

na in populo.

HYMN.* O God! thou the inheri- Deus tuorum militum tance, Crown, and reward of Sors, et corona, præmium, thy Soldiers ! absolve from the Laudes canentes Martyris bonds of our sins us who sing Absolve nexu criminis. the praises of thy Martyr.

For, counting the joys of Hic nempe mundi gaudia, the world, and the deceitful Et blanda fraudum pabula, bait of its caresses, as things Imbuta felle deputans, embittered with gall, thy Pervenit ad cælestia. Martyr Stephen obtained the delights of ħeaven.

Bravely did he go through, Penas cucurrit fortiter, and manfully did he bear, his Et sustulit viriliter, pains; and, shedding his blood Fundensque pro té sanguifor thy sake, he now possesses nem, thy eternal gifts.

Æterna dona possidet. Therefore, most merciful Ob hoc precatu supplici Father! we beseech thee, in Te poscimus, Piissime, most suppliant prayer, forgive In hoc triumpho Martyris, us, thy unworthy servants, our Dimitte noxam servulis. sins, for it is the feast of thy Martyr's triumph.

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* In the Monastic Breviary, it is as follows :-
R. breve. Posuisti, Domine, Ponas cucurrit fortiter,
Super caput ejus. Posuisti. Et sustulit viriliter
V. Coronam de lapide pretioso. Pro te effundens sanguinem

Super. Gloria Patri. Gloria Æterna dona possidet. et honore.

Ob hoc precatu supplici Deus, tuorum militum Te poscimus, Piissime, Sors, et corona, præmium, In hoc triumpho Martyris Laudes canentes Martyris Dimitte noxam servulis. Absolve nexu criminis.

Gloria tibi Domine, Hic nempe mundi gaudia, Qui natus es de Virgine, Et blandimenta noxia,

Cum Patre, et Sancto Spiritu, Caduca rite deputans

In sempiterna sæcula. Pervenit ad coelestia.

Amen.

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