ST. SIMPLICIUS was the ornament of the Roman clergy under Sts. Leo and Hilarius, and succeeded the latter in the pontificate in 468. He was raised by God to corn fort and support his Church amidst the greatest storms. All the provinces of the Western Empire, out of Italy, were fallen into the hands of barbarians. The emperors for many years were rather shadows of power than sovereigns, and, in the eighth year of the pontificate of Simplicius, Rome itself fell a prey to foreigners. Italy, by oppressions and the ravages of barbarians, was left almost a desert without inhabitants; and the imperial armies consisted chiefly of barbarians, hired under the name of auxiliaries. These soon saw that their masters were in their power. The Heruli demanded one third of the lands of Italy, and upon refusal chose for their leader Odoacer, one of the lowest extraction, but a resolute and intrepid man, who was proclaimed king of Rome in 476. He put to death Orestes, who was regent of the empire for his son Augustulus, whom the senate had advanced to the imperial throne. Odoacer spared the life of Augustulus, appointed him a salary of six thousand pounds of gold, and permitted him to live at full liberty near Naples. Pope Simplicius was wholly taken up in comforting and relieving the afflicted, and in sowing the seeds of the Catholic faith among the barbarians. The East gave his zeal no less employment and concern. Peter Cnapheus, a violent Eutychian, was made by the heretics Patriarch of Antioch; and Peter Mengus, one of the most profligate men, that of Alexandria. Acacius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, received the sentence of St. Simplicius against Cnapheus, but supported Mongus against him and the Catholic Church, and was a notorious changeling, double-dealer, and artful hypocrite, who often made religion serve his own private ends. St. Simplicius at length discovered his artifices, and redoubled his zeal to maintain the holy faith, which he saw betrayed on every side, whilst the patriarchal sees of Alexandria and Antioch were occupied by furious wolves, and there was not one Catholic king in the whole world. The emperor measured everything by his passions and human views. St. Simplicius, having sat fifteen years, eleven months, and six days, went to receive the reward of his labors in 483. He was buried in St. Peter's on the 2d of March.
Reflection. —"He that trusteth in God shall fare never the worse," saith the Wise Man in the Book of Ecclesiasticus. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Ferial Day - Thursday After Ash Wedneday
Introit • Ps. 54, 17, 19, 20, 23
When I cried to the Lord, He heard my voice from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, Who is before all ages and remains forever: cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. Ps. 50, 2, 3. Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me and hear me. Glory be …
O God, Who art offended by sin, and appeased by penance, graciously regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication to Thee, and turn aside the scourge of Thy anger, which we deserve for our sins. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Is. 38, 1-6
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.
[Ezechias being advertised that he shall die, obtains by prayer a prolongation of his life: in confirmation of which the sun goes back. The canticle of Ezechias.]
In those days Ezechias was sick even to death, and Isaias the son of Amos the prophet came unto him, and said to him: Thus saith the Lord: Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live. And Ezechias turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, And said: I beseech thee, O Lord, remember how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Ezechias wept with great weeping. And the word of the Lord came to Isaias, saying: Go and say to Ezechias: Thus saith the Lord the God of David thy father: I have heard thy prayer, and I have seen thy tears: behold I will add to thy days fifteen years: And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of the Assyrians, and I will protect it; said the Lord almighty.
Gradual • Ps. 54, 23, 17, 18, 19
Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. When I cried to the Lord, He hear my voice from them that draw near to me.
Gospel • Matt. 8, 5-13
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 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. 24, 1-3
To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: In Thee, O my God, I put my trust: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded.
Be appeased, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and look upon the sacrifices here before Thee, that they may profit both our devotion and our salvation. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 50, 21
Thou wilt accept the sacrifices or justice, oblations, and holocausts, upon They altar. O Lord.
Having received the blessing of the heavenly gift, we beseech and supplicate Thee, O almighty God, that the same may be the cause both of sacrament and of salvation. Through our Lord.