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St. Anselm


April 21

ANSELM was a native of Piedmont. When a boy of fifteen, being forbidden to enter religion, he for a while lost his fervor, left his home, and went to various schools in France. At length his vocation revived, and he became a monk at Bec in Normandy. The fame of his sanctity in this cloister led William Rufus, when dangerously ill, to take him for his confessor, and to name him to the vacant see of Canterbury. Now began the strife of Anselm's life. With new health the king relapsed into his former sins, plundered the Church lands, scorned the archbishop's rebukes, and forbade him to go to Rome for the pallium. Anselm went, and returned only to enter into a more bitter strife with William's successor, Henry I. This sovereign claimed the right of investing prelates with the ring and crozier, symbols of the spiritual jurisdiction which belongs to the Church alone. The worldly prelates did not scruple to call St. Anselm a traitor for his defence of the Pope's supremacy; on which the Saint rose, and with calm dignity exclaimed, "If any man pretends that I violate my faith to my king because I will not reject the authority of the Holy See of Rome, let him stand forth, and in the name of God I will answer him as I ought" No one took up the challenge; and to the disappointment of the king, the barons sided with the Saint, for they respected his courage, and saw that his cause was their own. Sooner than yield, the archbishop went again into exile, till at last the king was obliged to submit to the feeble but inflexible old man. In the midst of his harassing cares, St. Anselm found time for writings which have made him celebrated as the father of scholastic theology; while in metaphysics and in science he had few equals. He is yet more famous for his devotion to our blessed Lady, whose Feast of the Immaculate Conception he was the first to establish in the West. He died in 1109.

Reflection. —Whoever, like St. Anselm, contends for the Church's rights, is fighting on the side of God against the tyranny of Satan.  

Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition

Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS

Friday in Easter Week (White)

Introit • Ps. 77, 53

The Lord brought them out in hope, alleluia: and the sea overwhelmed their enemies, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 77, 1. Attend, O my people, to My law: incline your ears to the words of My mouth. Glory be …

Collect (Prayer)

Almighty, eternal God, Who in the covenant of man’s atonement hast bestowed the paschal sacrament, grant unto our spirits that what we outwardly celebrate we may imitate effectually. Through our Lord.

Epistle • 1 Pet. 3, 18-22

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle.

[How wives are to behave to their husbands. What ornaments they are to seek. Exhortations to divers Virtues.]

Dearly beloved, Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.
Whereunto baptism being of the like form, now saveth you also: not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the examination of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who is on the right hand of God.

Gradual • Ps. 117, 24, 26, 27

This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; the Lord is God, and He hath shone forth unto us. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 95, 10. Say ye among the gentiles, the Lord hath reigned from a tree.

Gospel • Matt. 28, 16-20

Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew. 

[The resurrection of Christ. His commission to his disciples.]

At that time, the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Offertory • Ex. 12, 14

This day shall be for a memorial to you, alleluia: and you shall keep it a solemn feast to the Lord: in your generations, and everlasting legal day, alleluia, alleluia.


Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and accept the sacrifices we bring both for the expiation of the sin of those born again the Thee, and for the hastening of heavenly aid. Through our Lord.

Communion • Matt. 28, 18, 19

All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth, alleluia: going, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: alleluia, alleluia.


Have regard to Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and graciously absolve of their temporal sins those whom Thou hast deigned to refresh with eternal mysteries. Through our Lord.