St. Vincent and Anastasius
VINCENT was archdeacon of the church at Saragossa. Valerian, the bishop, had an impediment in his speech; thus Vincent preached in his stead, and answered in his name when both were brought before Dacian, the president, during the persecution of Diocletian. When the bishop was sent into banishment, Vincent remained to suffer and to die. First of all, he was stretched on the rack; and, when he was almost torn asunder, Dacian, the president, asked him in mockery "how he fared now." Vincent answered, with joy in his face, that he had ever prayed to be as he was then. It was in vain that Dacian struck the executioners and goaded them on in their savage work. The martyr's flesh was torn with hooks; he was bound in a chair of red-hot iron; lard and salt were rubbed into his wounds; and amid all this he kept his eyes raised to heaven, and remained unmoved. He was cast into a solitary dungeon, with his feet in the stocks; but the angels of Christ illuminated the darkness, and assured Vincent that he was near his triumph. His wounds were now tended to prepare him for fresh torments, and the faithful were permitted to gaze on his mangled body. They came in troops, kissed the open sores, and carried away as relics cloths dipped in his blood. Before the tortures could recommence, the martyr's hour came, and he breathed forth his soul in peace.
Even the dead bodies of the saints are precious in the sight of God, and the hand of iniquity cannot touch them, A raven guarded the body of Vincent where it lay flung upon the earth. When it was sunk out at sea the waves cast it ashore; and his relics are preserved to this day in the Augustinian monastery at Lisbon, for the consolation of the Church of Christ.
Reflection. —Do you wish to be at peace amidst suffering and temptation? Then make it your principal endeavor to grow in habits of prayer and in union with Christ. Have confidence in Him. He will make you victorious over your spiritual enemies and over yourself. He will enlighten your darkness and sweeten your sufferings, and in your solitude and desolation He will draw nigh to you with His holy angels.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Third Sunday After the Epiphany
Introit • Ps. 96, 7, 8
Adore God, all you His angels: Sion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. Ps. 96, 1. The Lord hath reigned; let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Glory be …
Almighty, eternal God, look with mercy upon our infirmities, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to protect us. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Rom. 12, 16-21
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
[Lessons of Christian virtues.]
BRETHREN, Be not wise in your own conceits. To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.
Gradual • Ps. 101, 16, 17
The gentiles shall fear Thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and He shall be seen in His majesty.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 96, 1. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 8, 1-13
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ cleanses the leper, heals the centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law, and many others: he stills the storm at sea, drives the devils out of two men possessed, and suffers them to go into the swine.]
At that time, When Jesus was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him: And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man: but go, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,
And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grieviously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.
And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
Offertory • Ps. 117, 16, 17
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.
May this offering, we beseech Thee, O Lord, wipe out our sins, and sanctify the bodies and minds of Thy servants for the celebration of the sacrifice. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 4, 22
They all wondered at these things, which proceeded from the mouth of God.
O Lord, Who dost give freely the enjoyment of so great mysteries, we beseech Thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to render us truly worthy to receive their effects. Through our Lord.