St. Fedelis of Sigmaringen
FIDELIS was born at Sigmaringen in 1577, of noble parents. In his youth he frequently approached the sacraments, visited the sick and the poor, and spent moreover many hours before the altar. For a time he followed the legal profession, and was remarkable for his advocacy of the poor and his respectful language towards his opponents. Finding it difficult to become both a rich lawyer and a good Christian, Fidelis entered the Capuchin. Order, and embraced a life of austerity and prayer. Hair shirts, iron-pointed girdles, and disciplines were penances too light for his fervor; and being filled with a desire of martyrdom, he rejoiced at being sent to Switzerland by the newly-founded Congregation of Propaganda, and braved every peril to rescue souls from the diabolical heresy of Calvin. When preaching at Sevis he was fired at by a Calvinist, but the fear of death could not deter him from proclaiming divine truth. After his sermon he was waylaid by a body of Protestants headed by a minister, who attacked him and tried to force him to embrace their so-called. reform. But he said, "I came to refute your errors, not to embrace them; I will never renounce Catholic doctrine, which is the truth of all ages, and I fear not death." On this they fell upon him with their poignards, and the first martyr of Propaganda went to receive his palm.
Reflection. —We delight in decorating the altars of God with flowers, lights, and jewels, and it is right to do so; but if we wish to offer to God gifts of higher value, let us, in imitation of St. Fidelis, save the souls who but for us would be lost; for so we shall offer Him, as it were, the jewels of paradise.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 63, 3
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 63, 2. Hear, O God, my prayers, when I make supplication to Thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy. Glory be …
O God, Who didst vouchsafe to adorn with the grace of working miracles and palm of martyrdom in the propagation of the true faith the blessed Fidelis, inflamed with seraphic ardor of soul, we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, so to strengthen us through Thy grace in faith and charity that we may be worthy to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Wis. 5, 1-5
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The fruitless repentance of the wicked in another world: the reward of the just.]
The just stand with great constancy against those that have afflicted them, and taken away their labours. These seeing it, shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation. Saying within themselves, repenting, and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they, whom we had some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach. We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour. Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 88, 6. The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord; and Thy truth in the church of the saints. Alleluia. Ps. 20, 4. O Lord, Thou has set on his head a crown of precious stones. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 15, 1-7
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[A continuation of Christ's discourse to his disciples.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 6
The heavens shall confess Thy wonders, O Lord and Thy truth in the church of the saints, alleluia, alleluia.
Receive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our offerings and prayers: cleanse us by virtue of these heavenly mysteries and graciously hear us. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 63, 11
The just shall rejoice in the Lord and shall hope in Him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised, alleluia, alleluia.
Our strength renewed from having shared in Thy sacred gift, we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that by the intercession of blessed Fidelis Thy martyr, we may ever feel the mighty power of the sacrament we worship. Through our Lord.