Obrazy na stronie

Quem pie laudant populi per throughout the world, deorbem,

voutly celebrate, merited on Hac die lætus meruit beatas this day to ascend in joy to

Scandere sedes. the heavenly mansions. Qui pius, prudens, humi- As long as the present life lis, pudicus,

kept him in this world, he was Sobriam duxit' sine labe pious, prudent, humble, movitam,

dest, sober, and irreproachDonec humanos animavit able.


Spiritus artus. Cujus ob præstans meri- Such were his merits, that,

tum, frequenter. oftentimes, they who were sick Ægra, quæ passim jacuere were restored to health, by his membra,

intercession, and the virulence Viribus morbi domitis, sa- of disease was conquered.


Restituuntur. Noster hinc illi chorus Therefore is it, that our obsequentem

choir sings willingly his praise Concinit laudem, celebres- and his palms; that so, by que palmas;

his prayers, we may be helped Ut piis ejus precibus juve- for all eternity.


Omne per ævum. Sit salus illi, decus, atque To him, the Tri-une God, virtus,

that shineth on his heavenly Qui super cæli solio corus- throne, and governs the unicans,

versal' world—be salvation, Totius mundi seriem guber- honour, and power!


Trinus et unus. Amen.

Amen. 7. Amavit eum Dominus . The Lord loved him and et ornavit eum.

adorned him. R. Stolam gloriæ induit R. And hath clothed him

with a robe of glory.



ANTIPHON OF THE Magnificat. Sacerdos et Pontifex, et O Priest and Pontiff, and virtutum opifex, pastor bone worker of virtuous deeds, good in populo, ora pro nobis Do- Shepherd of thy people, pray minum.

for us to the Lord.


Grant, we beseech thee, O

Da, quæsumus, omnipo

Almighty God, that the vene- tens Deus, ut beati Silvestri, rable solemnity of blessed Confessoris tui atque PonSylvester, thy Confessor and tificis, veneranda solemnitas Bishop, may improve our et devotionem nobis augeat devotion, and strengthen in et salutem. Per Dominum. us the hopes of salvation. Through, dc.

Commemoration of the Sunday. ANT. The Child Jesus ad- Ant. Puer Jesus proficievanced in age and wisdom bat ætate et sapientia coram with God and men.

Deo et hominibus.
The Prayer, as in
Commemoration of Christmas Day.

Page 292.
Commemoration of St. Thomas of Canterbury.

Page 322.
Commemoration of St. Stephen.

Page 262.
Commemoration of St. John.

Page 291.
Commemoration of Holy Innocents.

Page 322.

page 376.

On this the sixth day since the Birth of our Emmanuel, let us consider how the Divine Infant lies in the Crib of a Stable, and is warmed by the breath of the Ox and the Ass, as Isaias had foretold: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel hath not known me. Thus does thé great God enter that world, which his own hands have created! The dwellings of men are refused him, for man has a hard heart for his God, and an indifference which is a real contempt. The only shelter he can find to be born in, is a Stable; and that necessitates his coming into the world in the company of poor dumb brutes.

1 Is. i. 3.

At all events, these animals are his own work. When he created the irrational world of living things, he subjected it, as the inferior part of creation, to Man; and Man was to ennoble it, by referring it to the Creator. When Adam sinned, this subjection, this harmony, was broken. The Apostle teaches us, that the brute creation is not insensible to the degradation thus forced upon it by sinful Man. It obeys him with reluctance; it not unfrequently rebels against and deservedly punishes him; and on the day of judgment, it will take the side of its Creator, and avenge itself of that wickedness, of which Man has made it the unwilling instrument.2

In the mystery of his Birth, the Son of God visits this part of his creation; men refused to receive him, and he accepts the hospitality of the dwelling of brutes. It is from their dwelling that he begins the divine career of the Three-and-Thirty years. The first human beings he invites into the company of his blessed Mother and his dear St. Joseph, the first he admits into the Stable to see and adore himself, are Shepherds, who were busy watching their flocks, and whose simple hearts have not been corrupted by the atmosphere of cities.

The Ox—which, as we learn from Ezechiels and St. John,4 is one of the symbolic creatures standing round God's throne—is the figure of the sacrifices of the Old Law. The blood of oxen has flowed in torrents upon the altar of the Temple: it was the imperfect and material offering prescribed to be made to God, until he should send the True Victim. The Infant Jesus, who lies in the Crib, is that Victim, and St. Paul tells us what he says to his Eternal Father: Sacrifices, and Oblations, and Holocausts for sin, thou wouldst not have, neither are they pleasing to thee; behold, I come !5

5 Heb. x. 8,

i Rom. viii. 19, 20.
2 Wisd. v. 21.


3 Ezech. i. 10.

Apoc. iv. 7.

The Prophet Zachary, foretelling the peaceful triumph of the Meek King, says that he will make his entry into Sion riding upon an Ass. We shall assist, further on in the year, at the accomplishment of this prophecy. Now that we are at Bethlehem, in our Christmas mystery, let us observe how the heavenly Father places his Divine Son between the instrument of his peaceful triumph, and the symbol of his Sacrifice on Calvary.

Ah! dear Jesus ! Creator of heaven and earth how strange is this thy entrance into thine own world! The whole universe should have given thee a welcome of love and adoration—and yet, what motionless indifference! Not one house to take thee in! Men buried in sleep! And when Mary had placed thee in the Crib, thy first sight was that of two poor animals, the slaves of him who proudly rejected thee! Yet, this sight did not displease thee -for, thou dost not despise the work of thy hands. What afflicts thy loving Heart, is the presence of sin in our souls, the sight of that enemy of thine, which has so often caused thee to suffer. Oh ! hateful sin! we renounce it, and wish, dear Jesus, to acknowledge thee for our Lord and Master, as did the Ox and the Ass. We will unite in that hymn of praise, which creation is ever sending up to thee, by henceforth adding to it the homage of our adoration and gratitude; nay, we will lend speech to nature, and give it soul, and sanctify it, by referring all creatures to thy service.

The following Prose is the composition of Adam of Saint-Victor, and is one of the most mystical of the Sequences in the Missals of the Middle-Ages. It will serve us as a further tribute of praise to the Divine Infant.

1 Zach. ix. 9, quoted by St. Matth. xxi. 5.

SEQUENCE. Splendor Patris et figura, He that is the brightness of Se conformans homini, the Father, and his figure,

taking to himself the likeness

an nature of man, Potestate, non natura, Gave fruitfulness to the Partum dedit virgini. Virgin, who became Mother,

not by nature, but by his di

vine power. Adam vetus,

The old Adam is at length Tandem lætus,

made glad, and may sing a Novum promat canticum ; new canticle ; Fugitivus,

And he that was a fugitive Et captivus,

and captive, may now come Prodeat in publicum. before the world. Eva luctum,

Eve brought forth sadness Vitæ fructum

to mankind; Mary, the glad Virgo gaudens edidit. Virgin, brought forth the

Fruit of Life.
Nec sigillum,

Neither did she thereby lose
Propter illum,

the treasure of virginity. Castitatis perdidit.

Si crystallus sit humecta, Hold a dew-wet crystal up Atque soli sit objecta, to the sun ; the spark glitters Scintillat igniculum :

through, Nec crystallus rumpitur, Yet breaks not the crystal : Nec in partu solvitur so in the Birth of Jesus, it Pudoris signaculum. injured naught of the Mo

ther's purity. Super tali genitura,

Law and Nature stood wonStupet usus et natura, dering at that divine Birth, Deficitque ratio.

and reason was confounded. Res est ineffabilis :

Yea, the Birth of Christ is Tam pia, tam humilis an ineffable mystery—so full Christi generatio.

of love, and so humble ! Frondem, florem, nucem Aaron's sapless Branch sicca

yields leaf and flower and Virga profert, et pudica almond : so does the chaste Virgo Dei Filium.

Virgin her Child, the Son of

Fert cælestem

Gedeon's Fleece bears the

dew from heaven ; the creaCreatura creatorem, ture bears the creature's ranCreaturæ pretium. som—the Creator. Frondis, floris,

The Leaf and Flower, the Nucis, roris ;

Almond and the Dew, are


Vellus rorem,

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