St. Peter of Verona
IN 1205, the glorious martyr Peter was born at Verona of heretical parents. He went to a Catholic school, and his Manichean uncle asked what he learnt. "The Creed," answered Peter; "I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth." No persuasion could shake his faith, and at fifteen he received the habit from St. Dominic himself at Bologna. After ordination, he preached to the heretics of Lombardy, and converted multitudes. St. Peter was constantly obliged to dispute with heretics, and although he was able to confound them, still the devil took occasion thence to tempt him once against faith. Instantly he had recourse to prayer before an image of Our Lady, and heard a voice saying to him the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, "I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith may not fail; and thou shalt confirm thy brethren in it." Once when exhorting a vast crowd under the burning sun, the heretics defied him to procure shade. He prayed, and a cloud overshadowed the audience. In spite of his sanctity, he was foully slandered and even punished for immorality. He submitted humbly, but complained in prayer to Jesus crucified. The crucifix spoke, "And I, Peter, what did I do?" Every day, as he elevated at Mass the precious blood, he prayed, "Grant, Lord, that I may die for Thee, Who for me didst die." His prayer was answered. The heretics, confounded by him, sought his life. Two of them attacked him as he was returning to Milan, and struck his head with an axe. St. Peter fell, commended himself to God, dipped his finger in his own blood, and wrote on the ground, "I believe in God, Creator of heaven and earth." They then stabbed him in the side, and he received his crown.
Reflection. —From a boy, St. Peter boldly professed his faith among heretics. He spent his life in preaching the faith to heretics, and received the glorious and long-desired crown of martyrdom from heretics. We are surrounded by heretics. Are we courageous, firm, zealous, full of prayer for their conversion, unflinching in our profession of faith?
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Fifth Sunday after Easter (White)
Introit • Ps. 48, 20
Declare the voice of joy, and let it be heard, alleluia: declare it even unto the ends of the earth; the Lord hath delivered His people, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 65, 1-2. Shout with joy to God all the earth: sing ye a psalm to His name, give glory to His praise. Glory be …
O God, from Whom all good things come, generously grant to us who beseech Thee that we may, by Thy inspiration, think those things which are right and, that we perform them under Thy guidance. Through the same.
Epistle • James 1, 22-27
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed James the Apostle.
[The benefit of tribulations. Prayer with faith. God is the author of all good, but not of evil. We must be slow to anger and not hearers only, but doers of the word. Of bridling the tongue and of pure religion.]
Dearly beloved, be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass. For he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was. But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty, and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; this man shall be blessed in his deed.
And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one's self unspotted from this world.
Alleluia, alleluia. Christ is risen, and hath shone His light upon us whom He hath redeemed with His blood. Alleluia. Jon 16, 28. I went out from the Father and came into the world; again, I leave the world and go to the Father. Alleluia.
Gospel • Joh 16, 23-30
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[The conclusion of Christ's last discourse to his disciples.]
At that time, Jesus saith to His disciples, Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh, when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will shew you plainly of the Father.
In that day you shall ask in my name; and I say not to you, that I will ask the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and I go to the Father. His disciples say to him: Behold, now thou speakest plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now we know that thou knowest all things, and thou needest not that any man should ask thee. By this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
Offertory • Ps. 65, 8, 9, 26
O bless the Lord our God, ye gentiles, and make the voice of His praise to be heard: Who hath set my soul to live, and hath not suffered my feet to be moved: blessed be the Lord, Who hath not turned away my prayer, and His mercy from me, alleluia.
Receive, O Lord, the prayers of the faithful, with offerings of sacrifices, that through these offices of pious devotion we may pass to heavenly glory. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 95, 2
Sing ye to the Lord, alleluia; sing ye to the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day, alleluia, alleluia.
Grant, O Lord, unto us, who have been regaled with the virtue of the heavenly table, both to desire what is right and obtain what we desire. Through our Lord.