His father was an officer in the armies of King Dagobert, and the Saint spent some years in the court of King Clotaire III. and of his mother, St. Bathildes, but occupied his heart only, on God, despising worldly greatness as empty and dangerous, and daily advancing in virtue. His estate of Maurilly he bestowed on the Abbey of Fontenelle, or St. Vandrille, in Normandy. He was chosen and consecrated Archbishop of Sens in 682, which diocese he governed two years and a half with great zeal and sanctity. A tender compassion for the blindness of the idolaters of Friesland, and the example of the English zealous preachers in those parts, moved him to resign his bishopric, with proper advice, and after a retreat at Fontenelle to enter Friesland in quality of a poor missionary priest. He baptized great multitudes, among them a son of King Radbod, and drew the people from the barbarous custom of sacrificing men to idols. On a certain occasion, one Ovon having been selected as a victim of a sacrifice to the heathen gods, St. Wulfran earnestly begged his life of King Radbod; but the people ran tumultuously to the palace, and would not suffer what they called a sacrilege. After many words they consented, but on condition that Wulfran's God should save Ovon's life. The Saint betook himself to prayer; the man, after hanging on the gibbet two hours, and being left for dead, fell to the ground by the breaking of the cord; being found alive he was given to the Saint, and became a monk and priest at Fontenelle. Wulfran also miraculously rescued two children from being drowned in honor of the idols. Radbod, who had been an eye-witness to this last miracle, promised to become a Christian; but as he was going to step into the baptismal font he asked where the great number of his ancestors and nobles were in the next world. The Saint replied that hell is the portion of all who die guilty of idolatry; at which the prince refused to be baptized, saying he would go with the greater number. This tyrant sent afterwards to St. Willibrord to treat with him about his conversion, but before the arrival of the Saint was found dead. St. Wulfran retired to Fontenelle that he might prepare himself for death, and expired there on the 20th of April, 720.
Reflection. — In every age the Catholic Church is a missionary church. She has received the world for her inheritance, and in our own days many missioners have watered with their blood the lands in which they labored. Help the propagation of the faith by alms, and above all by prayers. You will quicken your own faith and gain a part in the merits of the glorious apostolate.Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Ferial Day in Passiontide – Tuesday in Passion Week
Introit • Ps. 26, 14
Expect the Lord, do manfully: and let thy heart take courage, and wait though for the Lord. Ps. 26, 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? Expect.
May our fasts be acceptable to Thee, O Lord; may they atone for our sins and render us worthy of Thy grace; and may they lead us to eternal remedies. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Dan. 14, 17: 28-42
Lesson from Daniel the Prophet.
[The history of Bel, and of the great serpent worshipped by the Babylonians.]
In those days, the Babylonians came to the King and said to him, Deliver us Daniel, who hath destroyed Bel, and slain the dragon; or else we will destroy thee and thy house. And the king saw that they pressed upon him violently: and being constrained by necessity he delivered Daniel to them. And they cast him into the den of lions, and he was there six days.
And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given to them two carcasses every day, and two sheep: but then they were not given unto them, that they might devour Daniel. Now there was in Judea a prophet called Habacuc, and he had boiled pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl: and was going into the field, to carry it to the reapers. And the angel of the Lord said to Habacuc: Carry the dinner which thou hast into Babylon to Daniel, who is in the lions' den. And Habacuc said: Lord, I never saw Babylon, nor do I know the den. And the angel of the Lord took him by the top of his head, and carried him by the hair of his head, and set him in Babylon over the den in the force of his spirit.
And Habacuc cried, saying: O Daniel, thou servant of God, take the dinner that God hath sent thee. And Daniel said: Thou hast remembered me, O God, and thou hast not forsaken them that love thee. And Daniel arose and ate. And the angel of the Lord presently set Habacuc again in his own place. And upon the seventh day the king came to bewail Daniel: and he came to the den, and looked in, and behold Daniel was sitting in the midst of the lions. And the king cried out with a loud voice, saying: Great art thou, O Lord the God of Daniel. And he drew him out of the lions' den.
But those that had been the cause of his destruction, he cast into the den, and they were devoured in a moment before him. Then the king said: Let all the inhabitants of the whole earth fear the God of Daniel: for he is the Saviour, working signs, and wonders in the earth: who hath delivered Daniel out of the lions' den.
Gradual • Ps. 42, 1, 3
Distinguish my cause, O Lord; deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. Send forth Thy light, and Thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto Thy holy hill.
Gospel • John 7, 1-13
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ goes up to the feast of the tabernacles. He teaches in the temple.]
At that time, Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. And his brethren said to him: Pass from hence, and go into Judea; that thy disciples also may see thy works which thou dost. For there is no man that doth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, manifest thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Then Jesus said to them: My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth: because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go you up to this festival day, but I go not up to this festival day: because my time is not accomplished. When he had said these things, he himself stayed in Galilee. But after his brethren were gone up, then he also went up to the feast, not openly, but, as it were, in secret.
The Jews therefore sought him on the festival day, and said: Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the multitude concerning him. For some said: He is a good man. And others said: No, but he seduceth the people. Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews.
Offertory • Ps. 9, 11, 12, 13
Let all those trust in Thee who know Thy name, O Lord: for Thou dost not forsake them that seek Thee: sing ye to the Lord Who dwelleth in Sion: for He hath not forgotten prayers of the poor.
We bring Thee, O Lord, to be immolated, the victims which signify the comforts of this life, that we may not despair of the eternal promises. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 24, 22
Redeem me, O God of Israel, from all my tribulation.