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St. John of Matha

Confessor

February 8

THE life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self-sacrifice for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor; and he often told them he had come into the world for no other end but to wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order that his talents might render greater service to others; and, for this end, John gladly sacrificed his high rank and other worldly advantages. At his first Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascertain what this signified, John repaired to St. Felix of Valois, a holy hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a life of extreme penance. The angel again appeared, and they then set out for Rome, to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of captives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Christian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and prisoners in all countries. The charity of St. John in devoting his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked him at sea, over- i powered his vessel, and doomed it to destruction, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying, "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud." Suddenly the wind filled the small sail, and, without guidance, carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis. Worn out by his heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of fifty-three.

Reflection. —Let us never forget that our blessed Lord, bade us love our neighbor not only as ourselves, but as He loved us, Who afterwards sacrificed Himself for us. you!  
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk




Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS

Introit • Ps. 36, 30, 31

The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 36, 1. Be not emulous of evil-doers; nor envy them that work iniquity. Gory be …

Collect (Prayer)

O God, Who by means of St. John, didst vouchsafe divinely to institute the order of the Most Holy Trinity to redeem captives from the hands of the Saracens, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the power of his merits we may be delivered by Thy help from captivity of body and of soul. Through our Lord.

Epistle • Ecclus. 31, 8-11

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.

[The just man that hath not gone after earthly things is praised on earth and shall have glory everlasting.]

Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? For he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting: he that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them: therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the Church of the Saints shall declare his alms.

Gradual • Ps. 91, 13-14

The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus in the house of the Lord. Ps. 91, 3. To show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and Thy truth in the night.

Lesser Alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia. James 1, 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life: Alleluia.




Gospel • Luke 12:35-40

Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke. 

[Christ admonishes all to watch and be ready for His Coming.]

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands, and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately.
Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: amen I say to you that he will gird himself and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready, for at what hour you think not the Son of Man will come.

Offertory • Ps. 88, 25

My truth and My mercy shall be with Him: and My name shall his horn be exalted. (P.T. alleluia.)

Secret

We offer Thee, O Lord, sacrifices of praise in commemoration of Thy saints, by who we trust to be delivered from evils both present and future. Through our Lord.

Communion • Matt. 24, 46, 47

Blessed is the servant who when the Lord shall come, He shall find watching: Ament I say to you, He shall set him over all His goods. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Postcommunion

We, THY suppliants, who are refreshed with heavenly food and drink, beseech Thee, O our God, that we may be fortified by the prayers of him in whose commemoration we have partaken of these gifts. Through our Lord.