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Sancte Dei pretiose, O holy Protomartyr Stephen, Protomartyr Stephane, most dear to God! in the Qui virtute charitatis virtue of charity, wherewith Circumfultus undique,
thou wast armed on every Dominum pro inimico side, thou didst beseech the Exorasti populo.
Lord to have mercy on thine Glory and honour to the Gloria et honor Deo, God who gave thee thy Crown Qui te flore roseo of roses and thy throne above Coronavit et locavit the stars. May he free us In throno sidereo : from the sting of death, and Salvet reos, solvens eos save us sinners Amen. A mortis aculeo.
enemies. Tu cælestis primitivus Thou art the StandardSignifer militiæ,
bearer of heaven's martyr-host; Veritatis assertivus, the herald of truth; the first Testis primus gratiæ,
witness of Christian grace; Fundamento lapis vivus, the living foundation-stone, Basis patientiæ
and ground-work of martyr
dom. Saxo cæsus, non mucrone, Stones were the instrument Per saxorum cuspides, of thy martyrdom, not the Corpus membri passione sword. The sharp-edged stones, Circumcidi prævides : like knives of a second cirAd decorem sunt coronæ cumcision, tore thine innocent Rubricati lapides.
flesh; but, tinged in thy blood, they were made rubies for thy
Crown. Tu coelorum primus stra- Thou wast the first to tread tam
the stony rugged path, that Consternis lapideam, leads to heaven; thou wast the Tu per Christum hebetatam first to breast thatsword, which Primus transis rhomphæam, had slain our Lord and lost its Primum granum trituratum, keen edge by piercing Him ; Ditans Christi aream. thou wast the earliest win
nowed wheat, that graced the
granaries of Christ. Tibi primum reseratæ To thee were heaven's gates Coeli patent janua,
first opened, showing thee Jesum vides potestate, Jesus in his power, for whom Cui pugnas strenue; thou didst so bravely fight : Stans cum Patris majestate He, standing at the right hand Tecum est assidue.
of his Father's majesty, is with
thee incessantly. Funde preces pro
devoto Pray now for this thy devout Tibi nunc collegio,
people, that our Lord, through Ut tuo propitiatus
thy prayers, may mercifully Interventu Dominus forgive us our sins, and grant Nos purgatos a peccatis us fellowship with the citizens Jungat cæli civibus.
We will close our selection with a Sequence, composed by Notker; we find it in the collection of Saint-Gall.
SEQUENCE. Let us solemnise this Feast Hanc concordi famulatu, in the union of fraternal cha- colamus solemnitatem, rity,
Instructed by the sweet ex- Auctoris illius exemplo ample of its Saint,
docti benigno, Who prayed for his guilty Pro persecutorum prepersecutors.
cantis fraude suorum. Hear us, o Stephen, thou O Stephane, signifer Restandard-bearer of the infi- gis summe boni, nos exaudi : nitely merciful King,
Who heard the prayers thou Proficue qui es pro tuis didst offer him for thine ene- exauditus inimicis. mies.
By thy prayers, O Stephen, Paulus tuis precibus, Stethat very Paul, who once per- phane, te quondam persesecuted thee, was converted to cutus Christo credit, believe in Jesus,
And now exúlts with thee Et tecum tripudiat in regin that Kingdom, nigh which no, cui nullus persecutor no persecutors come.
appropinquat : Then, we who humbly cry to Nos proinde, nos supplithee for pity, and besiege thee ces ad te clamantes et prewith our prayers,
cibus te pulsantes, We, surely, shall be recon- Oratio sanctissima nos ciled to our God by thy most tua semper conciliet Deo holy prayers.
nostro. Peter ordained thee as a Te Petrus Christi minisminister of Christ : and thou trum statuit : Tu Petro norto the faithful Peter didst mam credenti adstruis, ad affirm and show this truth, dextram summi Patris osthat He, whom the mad popu- tendendo, quem plebs fulace crucified, is at the right rens crucifixit. hand of the Father.
Se tibi Christus eligit, Christ chose thee, O SteStephane, per quem fideles phen! as the example wheresuos corroboret, se tibi in- by he would give courage to ter rotatus saxorum solatio his faithful ones, for he showed manifestans.
himself to thee amidst the shower of stones, and sweetly
consoled thee. Nunc inter inclytas Mar- Now amidst the red-robed tyrum purpuras coruscas army of the Martyrs thou coronatus.
shinest as The Crowned Prince.
We return thee our grateful thanks, O glorious Stephen! for the help thou hast given us in this great Feast of Christmas. It is thy yearly office to initiate us into the sublime mystery of the Birth of Jesus. Thy Feast ever brings us into the company of this Divine Child, and the Church trusts to thy revealing him to the hearts of her children, as thou heretofore didst to the Jews. Thou hast done thy work, dear Saint! and here is our faith :-we adore this Babe of Bethlehem as the Word of God; we hail him as our King; we offer ourselves to him, to serve him as thou didst; we acknowledge his absolute right over us, and our obligation of serving him even to the last drop of our blood, should he put our loyalty to that great test. Stephen, the Faithful Deacon ! pray for us, that we may have the grace to
, give our whole heart to Jesus, from this time forward; that we may use our best efforts to please him; and that we may conform our lives and affections to his blessed will. Doing this, we shall have the grace to fight his Fight, if not before tyrants and persecutors, at least before the base passions of our own hearts. We are the descendants of the Martyrs, and the Martyrs conquered the world; for Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, had conquered it before them :shall we, then, be cowards, and re-enslave ourselves to our eternal enemy? Obtain for us, also, that fraternal charity, which pardons every injury, and prays for them that hate us, and converts sinners and
heretics when all means else have failed.-0 valiant Martyr of Jesus ! watch over us at the hour of our death ; assist us in our agony; show us that Jesus, whom thou hast shown us so often as the dear Babe of Bethlehem ; show us him then as the glorified, the triumphant, but, above all, as the merciful Jesus, holding in his divine hands the Crown he has prepared for us; and may our last words be those which thou didst utter when going to thy God : Lord Jesus ! receive my Spirit !!
THE OCTAVE OF SAINT JOHN,
APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST.
The Octave of the Beloved Disciple closes to-day : let us devoutly offer him our parting homage. We shall meet him again, during the year; for, on the 6th of May, when the Resurrection of his Divine Master is gladdening the Church with the Easter joys, we shall have the Feast of our Apostle's Confession, made before the Latin Gate :—but his grand Feast ends to-day, and he has done too much for us this Christmas, that we should allow this Octave Day to pass without returning him our warmest thanks. Let us begin by exciting ourselves to a great reverence for our Saint; and for this end, let us continue the considerations, we were making this day week, on the favours conferred upon him by Jesus.
The Apostolate of St. John produced a plentiful harvest among the people to whom he was sent. The Parthians received the Gospel from him, and most of the Churches of Asia Minor were founded by him. Of these latter, seven, together with their Angels, were chosen by Christ himself, to typify the several kinds of Pastors; and probably, as some bave interpreted this passage of the Apocalypse, these Seven may be taken as representing the seven Ages of the Church herself. Neither must we forget, that these Churches of Asia Minor, shortly after St. John had founded them, sent Apostles into our western