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Ant. Iste est Joannes, qui supra pectus Domini in coena recubuit: beatus Apostolus, cui revelata sunt secreta ccelestia.

ft. Valde honorandus est beatus Joannes.

B. Qui supra pectus Domini in coena recubuit.

OREMUS.

Ecclesiam tuam, Domine, benignus illustra, ut beati Joannis Apostoli tui et Evangelist® illuminata doctrinis; ad dona perveniat sempiterna.

Ant. This is John, who leaned upon the Lord's breast at the Supper. Blessed Appstle, unto whom were revealed heavenly secrets.

ft. Most worthy of honour is the blessed John.

B. Who leaned upon the Lord's breast at the Supper.

Let us PRAY. Mercifully, O Lord, enlighten thy Church, that being taught by blessed John, thy Apostle and Evangelist, she may come to thy eternal rewards.

Commemoration of Christmas Day.

Ant. This day, Christ is born; this day, the Saviour hath appeared; this day, the Angels sing on earth; the Archangels rejoice; this day, the just exult, saying: Glory be to God in the highest, alleluia.

ft. The Lord hath made known, alleluia. B. His Salvation, alleluia.

Ant. Hodie Christus natus est; hodie Salvator apparent^ hodie in terra canunt Angeli: laetantur Archangeli: hodie exsultant justi, dicentes: Gloria in excelsis Deo, alleluia.

p Notum fecit Dominus, alleluia.

B. Salutare suum, alleluia.

OREMUS.

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut nos Unigeniti tui nova per carnem nativitas liberet, quos sub peccatijugo vetusta servitus tenet. Per eumdem.

LET us PRAY.

Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who groan under the old captivity of sin, may be freed therefrom by the new Birth of thine Only Begotten Son. Through the same, &c.

In honour of our Protomartyr, we will now give a selection from the ancient Liturgical Hymns, wherein his merits were celebrated by the various Churches. We begin with the Hymn composed by St. Ambrose, and which is in the Breviary of the Church of Milan.

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Probatus in laudem Dei, the Apostles, to be fervent in

Vexilla mortis rapuit, God's service, he outran all

Ut praeferretur omnibus. others and bore off the Banner

of death.

O praeferenda gloria! O glorious First place! O

0 beata victoria! blessed victory! Stephen to

Hoc meruisse Stephanum be the first to follow his Lord! Ut sequeretur Dominum.

Ipse martyr egregius, The noble Martyr preaches

Amore Christi praedicans, to men for the love of Christ,

Sancto repletus Spiritu, with his heart full of the Holy

Vultum gerens Angelicum. Spirit, and his face beaming

as an Angel's.

Ille levatis oculis, He raises his eyes, and sees

Visit Patrem cum Filio, the Father with the Son: he

Monstrans in coelis vivere, tells the people how he be

Quem plebs quaerebat per- holds, living in heaven, Him

dere. whom they had sought to destroy."

Judaei magis saeviunt. The Jews grow the more

Saxaque prensant manibus, enraged, and, seizing up stones

Currebant, ut occiderent in their hands, they ran out to

Sacratum Christi militem. kill the holy Soldier of Christ.

Iste paratus vertice, He was ready, and standing

Gaudens suscepit lapides, up, right gladly receives the

Rogans pro eis Dominum, stones: he asks God to for

Gaudens tradidit spiritum. give them, and j oyf ully breaths

forth his soul.

Gloria tibi, Domine, Glory be to thee, 0 Lord!

Gloria Unigenito, Glory be to thine Only Be

Una cum Sancto Spiritu, gotten Son, together with the

In sempiterna saecula. Holy Ghost, for everlasting ■

ages.

Amen. Amen.

The Gallican Sacramentary, on the Feast of St. Stephen, thus glorifies God for the graces bestowed on this the first of the Martyrs.

{Missa S. Stefani.)

Deus omnipotens, qui Ec- 0 Almighty God! who didst

clesiae tuae sanctum Stepha- give the holy Martyr Stephen

num martyrem? primum to thy Church as the first sheaf

messis tuae manipulum de- of thy harvest, and didst make

disti, et primitivam oblatio- this First-offering to be the

herald of a new confession, because he had yielded such quick ripened fruits,—grant to this whole assembly, by the intercession of thy well-deserving Martyr, that he may aid the Church by his prayers, as he honoured her by his ministry.

nem noveliae confessionis ostendisti praeconem, quod fructus maturescentes exhibuit; praesta universo coetui, intercessione martyris meriti, ut Ecclesiam tuam juvet suffragio, quani ornavit ministerio.

The Gothic Church of Spain has, in her Mozarabic Missal, these magnificent praises to God in his holy Martyr.

(In natali S. Stephani, Contestatio.)

It is meet and just, it is right and just, that we praise thee, and bless thee, and give thee thanks, O Almighty and eternal God! that art glorified in the assembly of thy Saints, whom thou didst choose before the foundation of the world, and didst mark with a spiritual blessing unto heavenly things ; whom also thou didst associate to thine Only Begotten Son, by his Incarnation and his redeeming the world by the cross. Thou didst make to reign in them thy Holy Spirit, under whose guidance they were led, by the sweetness of thy mercy, to the glory of happy martyrdom. It is just, therefore, O God of hosts, that this festive solemnity should be kept in thy praise; that this sacred day should be devoted to thee : for on it, the blood of blessed Stephen, thy first Martyr, was shed in testimony of thy truth, and thy name thereby received exceeding honour. For this is he, who was the first Confessor of that Name, which is above all

Dignum et justum est; aequum et justum est: te laudare, teque benedicere, tibi gratias agere, omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui gloriaris in conventu Sanctorum tuorum; quos ante mundi constitutionem praeelectos spirituali in ccelestibus benedictione signasti: quosque Unigenito tuo per adsumptionem carnis, et crucis redemptionem sociasti. In quibus Spiritum tuum Sanctum regnare fecisti; per quem ad felicis martyni gloriam pietatis tuae favore venerunt. Digne igitur tibi, Domine virtutum,festa solemnitas agitur; tibi haec dies sacrata celebratur ; qua beati Stephani primi martyris tui sanguis in tuae veritatis testimonio profusus, magnificum nominis tui hoDorem signavit. Hic est enim illius Nominis primus Confessor, quod est supra omne nomen : in quo unicum salutis nostrae praesidium, Pater aeterne, posuisti . Hic in Ecclesia tua quam splendidum ad cube- torum animos confirmandos, unicaelaudis praeeessitexemplum! Hic post passionem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Victoria, palmam primus invasit. Hic ut levitico ministerio per Spiritum Banctum ab Apostolis consecrates est; niveo candore confestim emicuit, martyrii cruore purpureus. O benedictum Abrahae semen, Apostolicae doctrinae, et dominicae crucis prior omnium factus imitator et testis! Merito coelos apertos vidit et Jesum stantem ad dexteram Dei. Digne igitur et juste talem sub tui nominis confessione laudamus, omnipotens Deus; quem ad tantam gloriam vocare dignatus es. Suffragia ejus nobis pro tua pietate concede. Talis pro hac plebe precetur; qualem ilium post trophaea venientem exsultans Christus excepit. Illi pro nobis oculi sublimentur; qui adhue in hoc mortis corpore constituti, stantem ad dexteram Patris Filium Dei in ipsa passionis horaviderunt. Hle pro nobis obtineat, qui pro persecutoribus suis dum lapidaretur, orabat ad te, sancte Deus, Pater omnipotens,perDominum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui pro peccatis nostris nasci carne per Virginem, et pati dignatus est mortem: ut martyres suos suo pati doceret exemplo. Cm merito omnes Angeli atque Archangeli sine cessatione pro

names, and in which, O Eternal Father, thou didst place the only source of our salvation. This is he, that left in thy Church an example of courage, but oh! who can say how grand is the example, and how above all praise? This is he, that was the first to seize the palm of victory, after the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is he, whom the Apostles, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, had scarce consecrated to the levitical ministry, than he straightways shone with a snow-white purity, and was vested in the scarlet of a martyr's blood. O truly noble child of Abraham! worthy to become the first follower and witness of the Apostles' teaching, and of Jesus' cross! How well did he deserve to see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God! It is, therefore, meet and just, O Almighty Lord, that, whilst giving praise to thy Name, we praise him whom thou didst graciously call to this so great glory. In thy mercy, grant that we may have him to intercede for us. May he pray for this thy people, now that he is in possession of the glory with which Christ welcomed him after his victory. May he now, for our sakes, lift up those eyes, which, during this his mortal life, and in the hour of his martyrdom, beheld the Son of God standing at the right hand of the Father. May ne be heard for us, who, whilst his persecutors were stoning him,

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