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 in Lent – Friday, Second Week of Lent
Introit • Ps. 16, 15
But as for me, I will appear before Thy sight in justice: I shall be satisfied when Thy glory shall appear. Ps. 16, 1. Hear, O Lord, my justice: attend to my supplication. Glory be …
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, with the sacred fast to purify us, Thou mayest cause us to come with sincere minds to the holy things that are before us. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Gen. 37, 6-22
Lesson from the Book of Genesis.
[Joseph's dreams: he is sold by his brethren, and carried into Egypt.]
In those days Joseph said to his brethren: Hear my dream which I dreamed. I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf arose as it were, and stood, and your sheaves standing about, bowed down before my sheaf. His brethren answered: Shalt thou be our king? or shall we be subject to thy dominion? Therefore this matter of his dreams and words ministered nourishment to their envy and hatred. He dreamed also another dream, which he told his brethren, saying: I saw in a dream, as it were the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipping me. And when he had told this to his father and brethren, his father rebuked him, and said: What meaneth this dream that thou hast dreamed? shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren worship thee upon the earth?
His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself. And when his brethren abode in Sichem feeding their father' s flocks, Israel said to him: Thy brethren feed the sheep in Sichem: come, I will send thee to them. And when he answered: I am ready: he said to him: Go, and see if all things be well with thy brethren, and the cattle: and bring me word again what is doing. So being sent from the vale of Hebron, he came to Sichem: And a man found him there wandering in the field, and asked what he sought.
But he answered: I seek my brethren; tell me where they feed the flocks. And the man said to him: They are departed from this place: for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothain. And Joseph went forward after his brethren, and found them in Dothain. And when they saw him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him. And said one to another: Behold the dreamer cometh. Come, let us kill him, and cast him into some old pit: and we will say: Some evil beast hath devoured him: and then it shall appear what his dreams avail him: And Ruben hearing this, endeavoured to deliver him out of their hands, and said: Do not take away his life, nor shed his blood: but cast him into this pit, that is in the wilderness, and keep your hands harmless: now he said this, being desirous to deliver him out of their hands and to restore him to his father.
Gradual • Ps. 119, 1, 2
In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and He heard me. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips, and a deceitful tongue.
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 • Matt. 21, 33-46
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ rides into Jerusalem upon an ass. He casts the buyers and sellers out of the temple, curses the fig tree and puts to silence the priests and scribes.]
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitude of the Jews and chief priests: There was a certain householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen; and went into a strange country. And when the time of the fruits drew nigh, he sent his servants to the husbandmen that they might receive the fruits thereof. And the husbandmen laying hands on his servants, beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
Again he sent other servants more than the former; and they did to them in like manner. And last of all he sent to them his son, saying: They will reverence my son. But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance. And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen?
They say to him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end; and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season. Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this has been done; and it is wonderful in our eyes. Therefore I say to you, that the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation yielding the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they knew that he spoke of them. And seeking to lay hands on him, they feared the multitudes: because they held him as a prophet.
Offertory • Ps. 39, 14, 15
Look down, O Lord, to help me: let them be confounded and ashamed together, that seek after my soul to take it away: Look own, O Lord, to help me.
May this sacrifice, O God, both remain in us by its action and be made strong in operation. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 11, 8
Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve us: and keep us from this generation for ever.