ST. VENANTIUS was born at Camerino in Italy, and at the age of fifteen was seized as a Christian and carried before a judge. As it was found impossible to shake his constancy either by threats or promises, he was condemned to be scourged, but was miraculously saved by an angel. He was then burnt with torches and hung over a low fire that he might be suffocated by the smoke. The judge's secretary, admiring the steadfastness of the Saint, and seeing an angel robed in white, who trampled out the fire and again set free the youthful martyr, proclaimed his faith in Christ, was baptized with his whole family, and shortly after won the martyr's crown himself. Venantius was then carried before the governor, who, unable to make him renounce his faith, cast him into prison with an apostate, who vainly strove to tempt him. The governor then ordered his teeth and jaws to be broken, and had him thrown into a furnace, from which the angel once more delivered him. The Saint was again led before the judge, who at sight of him fell headlong from his seat and expired, crying, "The God of Venantius is the true God; let us destroy our idols." This circumstance being told to the governor, he ordered Venantius to be thrown to the lions; but these brutes, forgetting their natural ferocity, crouched at the feet of the Saint. Then, by order of the tyrant, the young martyr was dragged through a heap of brambles and thorns, but again God manifested the glory of His servant; the soldiers suffering from thirst, the Saint knelt on a rock and signed it with a cross, when immediately a jet of clear, cool water spurted up from the spot. This miracle converted many of those who beheld it, whereupon the governor had Venantius and his converts beheaded together in the year 250. The bodies of these martyrs are kept in the church at Camerino which bears the Saint's name.
Reflection. —Love of suffering marks the most perfect degree in the love of God. Our Lord Himself was consumed with the desire to suffer, because He burnt with the love of God. We must begin with patience and detachment. At last we shall learn to love the sufferings which conform us to the Passion of our Redeemer.
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 hast consecrated this day to the triumph of blessed Venantius, Thy martyr, harken to the prayers of Thy people, and grant that we, who venerate his merits, may imitate the constancy of this faith. Through the same.
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.
May the merits of blessed Venantius render this oblation acceptable to Thee, O almighty God, that, being assisted by his help we may be made sharers of his glory. 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.
We have partaken, O Lord, of the sacrament of eternal life, humbly beseeching Thee, that by the prayer of blessed Venantius in our behalf it may gain for us pardon. Through our Lord.