THIS princess was daughter of Theodoric, a powerful Saxon count. Her parents placed her very young in the monastery of Erford, of which her grandmother Maud was then abbess. Our Saint remained in that house, an accomplished model of all virtues, till her parents married her to Henry, son of Otho, Duke of Saxony, in 913, who was afterwards chosen king of Germany. He was s pious and victorious prince, and very tender of his subjects. Whilst by his arms he checked the insolence of the Hungarians and Danes, and enlarged his dominions by adding to them Bavaria, Maud gained domestic victories over her spiritual enemies more worthy of a Christian and far greater in the eyes of Heaven. She nourished the precious seeds of devotion and humility in her heart by assiduous prayer and meditation. It was her delight to visit, comfort, and exhort the sick and the afflicted; to serve and instruct the poor, and to afford her charitable succor to prisoners. Her husband, edified by her example, concurred with her in every pious undertaking which she projected. After twenty-three years' marriage God was pleased to call the king to himself, in 936. Maud, during his sickness, went to the church to pour forth her soul in prayer for him at the foot of the altar. As soon as she understood, by the tears and cries of the people, that he had expired, she called for a priest that was fasting to offer the holy sacrifice for his soul. She had three sons: Otho, afterwards emperor; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; and St. Brunn, Archbishop of Cologne. Otho was crowned king of Germany in 937, and emperor at Rome in 962, after his victories over the Bohemians and Lombards. The two oldest sons conspired to strip Maud of her dowry, on the unjust pretence that she had squandered the revenues of the state on the poor. The unnatural princes at length repented of their injustice, and restored to her all that had been taken from her. She then became more liberal in her alms than ever, and founded many churches, with five monasteries. In her last sickness she made her confession to her grandson William, the Archbishop of Mentz, who yet died twelve days before her, on his road home. She again made a public confession before the priests and monks of the place, received a second time the last sacraments, and, lying on a sack-cloth, with ashes on her head, died on the 14th of March in 968.
Reflection. —The beginning of true virtue is most ardently to desire it, and to ask it of God with the utmost assiduity and earnestness. Fervent prayer, holy meditation, and reading pious books, are the principal means by which this virtue is to be constantly improved, and the interior life of the soul to be strengthened.
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 – Wednesday, Fourth Week of Lent
Introit • Eech. 36, 23-26
When I shall be sanctified in you I will gather you from every land: and I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness: and I will give you a new spirit. Ps. 33, 2. I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be ever in my mouth. Glory be …
O God, Who dost vouchsafe to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon through fasting, have mercy upon thy suppliants, that the confession of our guilt may have power to obtain for us forgiveness of our misdoings. Through our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 33, 23-28
Come, children, harken to me: I will teach the fear of the Lord. Come ye to Him, and be enlightened; and your faces shall not be confounded.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who have undertaken to chastise our bodies by fasting may, even in this devotion, find cause for rejoicing: forasmuch as earthly passions being thereby subdued, we are the better able to fix our hopes on the delights of heaven. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Is. 1, 16-19
[The prophet complains of the sins of Juda and Jerusalem, and exhorts them to a sincere conversion.]
Thus saith the Lord God, Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely, Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. If you be willing, and will hearken to me, you shall eat the good things of the land; saith the Lord almighty.
Gradual • Ps. 32, 12, 6
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom He hath chosen for His inheritance. By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of His mouth.
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 9, 1-38
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[He gives sight to the man born blind.]
At that time, Jesus passing by, saw a man, who was blind from his birth: And his disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had said these things, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay on his eyes, And said to him: Go, wash in the pool of Siloe, which is interpreted, Sent. He went therefore, and washed, and he came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar, said: Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said: This is he. But others said: No, but he is like him. But he said: I am he. They said therefore to him: How were thy eyes opened?
He answered: That man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me: Go to the pool of Siloe, and wash. And I went, I washed, and I see. And they said to him: Where is he? He saith: I know not. They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the sabbath, when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Again therefore the Pharisees asked him, how he had received his sight. But he said to them: He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see.
Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, who keepeth not the sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say therefore to the blind man again: What sayest thou of him that hath opened thy eyes? And he said: He is a prophet. The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight, And asked them, saying: Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see? His parents answered them, and said: We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
But how he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: ask himself: he is of age, let him speak for himself. These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves, that if any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore did his parents say: He is of age, ask himself. They therefore called the man again that had been blind, and said to him: Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. He said therefore to them: If he be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.
They said then to him: What did he to thee? How did he open thy eyes? He answered them: I have told you already, and you have heard: why would you hear it again? will you also become his disciples? They reviled him therefore, and said: Be thou his disciple; but we are the disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses: but as to this man, we know not from whence he is. The man answered, and said to them: Why, herein is a wonderful thing, that you know not from whence he is, and he hath opened my eyes.
Now we know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God, and doth his will, him he heareth. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, he could not do any thing. They answered, and said to him: Thou wast wholly born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out: and when he had found him, he said to him: Dost thou believe in the Son of God?
He answered, and said: Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him? And Jesus said to him: Thou hast both seen him; and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said: I believe, Lord. And falling down, he adored him.
Offertory • Ps. 65, 8, 9, 20
O ye gentiles, bless the Lord our God, and make the voice of His praise to be heard; Who hath set my soul to live and hath not suffered my feet to be moved: blessed be the Lord, Who hath not turned away my prayer nor His mercy from me.
We humbly entreat Thee, O almighty God, that our sins may be purged by these sacrifices; for so dost Thou grant us health of body and soul. Through our Lord.
Communion • John 9, 11
The Lord made clay of spittle, and anointed my eyes; and I went, and I washed, and I saw, and I have believed in God.
May the sacrament we have received, O Lord, our God, both fill us with spiritual nourishment and keep us with bodily assistance. Through our Lord.