ST. ANICETUS succeeded St. Pius, and sat about eight years, from 165 to 173. If he did not shed his blood for the Faith, he at least purchased the title of martyr by great sufferings and dangers. He received a visit from St. Polycarp, and tolerated the custom of the Asiatics in celebrating Easter on the 14th day of the first moon after the vernal equinox, with the Jews. His vigilance protected his flock from the wiles of the heretics Valentine and Marcion, who sought to corrupt the faith in the capital of the world. The first thirty-six bishops at Rome, down to Liberius, and, this one excepted, all the popes to Symmachus, the fifty-second, in 498, are honored among the Saints; and out of two hundred and forty-eight popes, from St. Peter to Clement XIII. seventy-eight are named in the Roman Martyrology. In the primitive ages, the spirit of fervor and perfect sanctity, which is nowadays so rarely to be found, was conspicuous in most of the faithful, and especially in their pastors. The whole tenor of their lives breathed it in such a manner as to render them the miracles of the world, angels on earth, living copies of their divine Redeemer, the odor of whose virtues and holy law and religion they spread on every side.Reflection. —If, after making the most solemn protestations of inviolable friendship and affection for a fellow-creature, we should the next moment revile and contemn him, without having received any provocation or affront, and this habitually, would not the whole world justly call our protestations hypocrisy, and our pretended friendship a mockery? Let us by this rule judge if our love of God be sovereign, so long as our inconstancy betrays the insincerity of our hearts.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • John 21, 15-17
If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs, feed My sheep. Ps. 29, 1. I will extol Thee, O lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Gory be …
O eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the blessed Anicetus Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 1 Peter 5, 1-4; 10-11
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle.
[He exhorts both priests and laity to their respective duties and recommends to all humility and watchfulness.]
Brethren: The ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also an ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ: as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre' s sake, but voluntarily: Neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory. But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
Gradual • Ps. 106, 32, 31
Let them exalt him in the Church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him, and the wonderful works to the children of men.
Alleluia, alleluia. Matth. 16, 18. Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia. Ps. 44, 17 18. Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: thy shall remember Thy name throughout all generations. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 16, 13-19
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ refuses to shew the Pharisees a sign from heaven. Peter's confession is rewarded. He is rebuked for opposing Christ's passion. All his followers must deny themselves.]
At that time, And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?
Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Offertory • Jerem. 1, 9-10
Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee this day over the kingdoms, to waste and to destroy, and to build and to plant. (P. T. Alluluia.)
In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and the shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to thee. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 16, 18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. (P.T. Alleluia.)
Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through our Lord.