St. Veronica of Milan
VERONICA'S parents were peasants of a village near Milan. From her childhood she toiled hard in the house and the field, and accomplished cheerfully every menial task. Gradually the desire for perfection grew within her; she became deaf to the jokes and songs of her companions, and sometimes, when reaping and hoeing, would hide her face and weep. Knowing no letters, she began to be anxious about her learning, and rose secretly at night to teach herself to read. Our Lady told her that other things were necessary, but not this. She showed Veronica three mystical letters which would teach her more than books. The first signified purity of intention; the second, abhorrence of murmuring or criticism; the third, daily meditation on the Passion. By the first she learned to begin her daily duties for no human motive, but for God alone; by the second, to carry out what she had thus begun by attending to her own affairs, never judging her neighbor, but praying for those who manifestly erred; by the third she was enabled to forget her own pains and sorrows in those of her Lord, and to weep hourly, but silently, over the memory of His wrongs. She had constant ecstasies, and saw in successive visions the whole life of Jesus, and many other mysteries. Yet, by a special grace, neither her raptures nor her tears ever interrupted her labors, which ended only with death. After three years' patient waiting she was received as a lay-sister in the convent of St. Martha at Milan. The community was extremely poor, and Veronica's duty was to beg through the city for their daily food. Three years after receiving the habit she was afflicted with secret but constant bodily pains, yet never would consent to be relieved of any of her labors, or to omit one of her prayers. By exact obedience she became a living copy of the rule, and obeyed with a smile the least hint of her Superior. She sought to the last the most hard and humbling occupations, and in their performance enjoyed some of the highest favors ever granted to a Saint. She died in 1497, on the day she had foretold, after a six months’ illness, aged fifty-two years, and in the thirtieth of her religious profession.
Reflection. —When Veronica was urged in sickness to accept some exemption from her labors, her one answer was, "I must work while I can, while I have time." Dare we, then, waste ours?
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Octave-Day of the Epiphany
Introit • Mal. 3, 1
Behold the Lord the Ruler is come: and a kingdom in His hand, and power and dominion. Ps. 71, 1. Give to the king thy judgement, O God: and to the king’s son Thy justice. Glory be …
O God, Whose only-begotten Son, hath appeared in the substance of our flesh, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be inwardly made in a new form by Him Whose form we have known to be outwardly like ours. Who with Thee.
Epistle • Is. 60, 1-6
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.
[The light of true faith shall shine forth in the church of Christ, and shall be spread through all nations, and continue for all ages.]
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the. strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.
Gradual • Is. 60, 1
All thy from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Alleluia, alleluia. Matt. 2, 2. We have seen His star in the east: and are come with gifts to adore the Lord. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 1, 29-34
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[The divinity and incarnation of Christ. John bears witness of him. He begins to call his disciples.]
At that time, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. This is he, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me.
And I knew him not, but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.
Offertory • Ps. 71, 10, 11
The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts: and all kings of the earth shall adore Him; all nations shall serve Him.
We bring Thee offerings, O Lord, for the epiphany of Thy Son that is born, humbly beseeching thee that, as He is the author of our gifts, so also He, Jesus Christ Our Lord, may mercifully receive them. Who with Thee.
We pray Thee, O Lord, at all times and in all places go before us with Thy heavenly light, that we may with clear sight discern the mystery of which Thou hast willed that we should partake and partake of it with fitting devotion. Through our lord.
Grant, we beseech Thee O almighty God, by the understanding of hearts made pure we may comprehend that which by solemn rite we celebrate. Through our Lord.