St. Justin, a converted philosopher, and probably priest, is the greatest of the early Apologetes. Before arriving at the sublime knowledge of the Cross he passed through all the various schools of philosophy. He fearlessly proclaimed Christianity, both in argument with the Jew Trypho and in his Apologies to the Emperors and the Senate. As in the writings of St. Justin, so in his Mass said to-day, the antithesis between human learning and divine knowledge is ever recurring. Thus, in the Gradual we read “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (I Cor. iii, 19). Under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius he was scourged and put to death. April 13, 162. His tomb is believed to be in the Cemetery of Priscilla, and in 1882, Pope Leo XIII made him after Thomas Aquinas, Patron of Catholic Philosophy, and prescribed he celebration of his feast throughout the whole Church.
Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus
St. Valerian was espoused to St. Cecilia, and was converted to the Faith by her, and with her became the means of converting his brother, Tiburtius. Maximus, the officer appointed to attend their execution, was brought to the Faith by their example.
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 118, 85, 46
The wicked have told me fables, but not as Thy law; but I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluias.) Ps. 118, 1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
O God, Who, through the foolishness of the cross, didst wondrously teach blessed Justin, Martyr, the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Chris, grant us, by his intercession, that we may avoid the wiles of error and attain to firmness of faith. Through our Lord.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, as we observe the feast of Thy holy martyrs, Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus, we may likewise imitate their virtues. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 1 Cor. 1, 18-30
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[He reproveth their dissensions about their teachers. The world was to be saved by preaching of the cross, and not by human wisdom or eloquence.]
Brethren, the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of our preaching, to save them that believe. For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For see your vocation, brethren, that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble: But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. And the base things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his sight. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption.
Gradual • Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia. 1 Cor. 3, 19, 20. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written: The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Alleluia. Philipp. 3, 8. Furthermore I count all things to be knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. Alleluia.
Tract. 1 Cor. 2, 2, 7, 8
I judged not myself to know anything amongst you but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which is hidden, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.
Gospel • Luke 12, 2-9
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ warns us against hypocrisy, the fear of the world and covetousness. He admonishes all to watch.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: nor hidden, that shall not be known. For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in the chambers, shall be preached on the housetops. And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.
Offertory • 1 Cor. 2, 2
For I judges not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ; and Him crucified. (P.T. Alleluias.)
Graciously accept our gifts, O Lord, the wonderous mystery of which St. Justine martyr, strenuously defended against the calumnies of the impious. Through our Lord.
May this sacrifice, O Lord, which we offer commemorating the birthday of Thy martyrs, both loose us from the bonds of our base desires and gain for us the gifts of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
Communion • 2 Tim. 4, 8
There is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day. (P.T. Alleluias.)
Refreshed with heavenly food, we humbly pray Thee, O Lord, that, following the admonitions of Thy blessed martyr, Justin, we may give thanks incessantly of the gifts we have received. Through our Lord.
Filled with Thy sacred gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we celebrate in fulfillment of our bounded service we may feel in the increase of Thy salvation. Through our Lord.