St. Peter Damian
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
ST. PETER DAMIAN was born in 988, and lost both parents at an early age. His eldest brother, in whose hands he was left, treated him so cruelly that a younger brother, a priest, moved by his piteous state, sent him to the University of Parma, where he acquired great distinction. His studies were sanctified by vigils, fasts, and prayers, till at last, thinking that all this was only serving God by halves, he resolved to leave the world. He joined the monks at Font-Avellano, then in the greatest repute, and by his wisdom and sanctity rose to be Superior. He was employed on the most delicate and difficult missions, amongst others the reform of ecclesiastical communities, which was effected by his zeal. Seven Popes in succession made him their constant adviser, and he was at last created Cardinal Bishop of Ostia. He withstood Henry IV. of Germany, and labored in defence of Alexander II. against the Antipope, whom he forced to yield and seek for pardon. He was charged, as Papal Legate, with the repression of simony; again, was commissioned to settle discords amongst various bishops, and finally, in 1072, to adjust the affairs of the Church at Ravenna. He was laid low by a fever on his homeward journey, and died at Faenza, in a monastery of his order, on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks chanted matins around him.
Reflection. —The Saints studied, not in order to be accounted learned, but to become perfect. This only is wisdom and true greatness, to account ourselves as ignorant, and to adhere in all things to the teachings and instincts of the Church. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Friday, First Week of Lent
Introit • Ps. 24, 17, 18
Deliver me from my necessities O Lord: see my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins. Ps. 24, 1, 2. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: I Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. Glory be …
Be thou, O Lord, gracious to Thy people, and as Thou dost make them devoted to Thee, mercifully cherish them with Thy benign assistance. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ez. 18, 20-28
Lesson from Ezechiel the Prophet.
[One man shall not bear the sins of another, but every one his own; if a wicked man truly repent, he shall be saved; and if a just man leave his justice, he shall perish.]
Thus saith the Lord God: The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live. Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live? But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? all his justices which he hath done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die. And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse?
For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die. And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment, and justice: he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die saith the Lord almighty.
Gradual • Ps. 85, 2, 6
Save Thy servant, O my God, that trusteth in Thee. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer.
Tract. Ps. 102, 10
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. Ps. 78, 8, 9. O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor. Help us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.
Gospel • John 5, 1-15
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ heals on the sabbath the man languishing thirty-eight years. His discourse upon this occasion.]
At that time, there was a festival day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under. And there was a certain man there, that had been eight and thirty years under his infirmity.
Him when Jesus had seen lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, he saith to him: Wilt thou be made whole? The infirm man answered him: Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me. Jesus saith to him: Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed, and walked. And it was the sabbath that day. The Jews therefore said to him that was healed: It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed.
He answered them: He that made me whole, he said to me, Take up thy bed, and walk. They asked him therefore: Who is that man who said to thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? But he who was healed, knew not who it was; for Jesus went aside from the multitude standing in the place. Afterwards, Jesus findeth him in the temple, and saith to him: Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee. The man went his way, and told the Jews, that it was Jesus who had made him whole.
Offertory • Ps. 102, 2, 5
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee, and thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s.
Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the offerings of our homage, and graciously sanctify our gifts. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 6, 11
Let all my enemies be ashamed, and be very much troubles: let them be turned back, and be ashamed very speedily.
By the operation of this mystery, O Lord, may our sins be purged, and our righteous desires be accomplished. Through our Lord.