St. Peter Celestine
AS a child, Peter had visions of our blessed Lady, and of the angels and saints. They encouraged him in his prayer, and chided him when he fell into any fault. His mother, though only a poor widow, put him to school, feeling sure that he would one day be a Saint. At the age of twenty, he left his home in Apulia to live in a mountain solitude. Here he passed three years, assaulted by the evil spirits and beset with temptations of the flesh, but consoled by angels’ visits. After this his seclusion was invaded by disciples, who refused to be sent away; and the rule of life which he gave them formed the foundation of the Celestine Order. Angels assisted in the church which Peter built; unseen bells rang peals of surpassing sweetness, and heavenly music filled the sanctuary when he offered the Holy Sacrifice. Suddenly he found himself torn from his loved solitude by his election to the Papal throne. Resistance was of no avail. He took the name of Celestine, to remind him of the heaven he was leaving and for which he sighed, and was consecrated at Aquila. After a reign of four months, Peter summoned the cardinals to his presence, and solemnly resigned his trust. St. Peter built himself a boarded cell in his palace, and there continued his hermit's life; and when, lest his simplicity might be taken advantage of to distract the peace of the Church, he was put under guard, he said, "I desired nothing but a cell, and a cell they have given me." There he enjoyed his former loving intimacy with the saints and angels, and sang the Divine praises almost continually. At length, on Whit-Sunday, he told his guards he should die within the week, and immediately fell ill. He received the last sacraments; and the following Saturday, as he finished the concluding verse of Lauds, "Let every spirit bless the Lord!" he closed his eyes to this world and opened them to the vision of God.
Reflection. —"Whose," says the Imitation of Christ, "withdraweth himself from acquaintances and friends, to him will God draw near with His holy angels."
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. Glory be …
O God, Who didst raise blessed Peter Celestine to sublime height of the pontificate, and didst teach him to prefer humility to that dignity, mercifully grant that we may have the grace by his example to disdain all the things of the world, and the happiness to attain the rewards promised to the humble. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Pudentiana
Graciously hear us, O God, our Savious, that, as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Pudentiana, Thy virgin, so we may be taught by the spirit of pious devotion. Though 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.
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, 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. Alleluia).
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.
Commemoration of St. Pudentiana
May the offering of Thy consecrated people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honor of Thy saints, by whose merits it knoweth that it hath received aid in time of trouble. 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.
Commemoration of St. Pudentiana
Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession whose festival we celebrate. Through our Lord.