St. Paulinus of Nola
PAULINUS was of a family which boasted of a long line of senators, prefects, and consuls. He was educated with great care, and his genius and eloquence, in prose and verse, were the admiration of St. Jerome and St. Augustine. He had more than doubled his wealth by marriage, and was one of the foremost men of his time. Though he was the chosen friend of Saints, and had a great devotion to St. Felix of Nola, he was still only a catechumen, trying to serve two masters. But God drew him to Himself along the way of sorrows and trials. He received baptism, withdrew into Spain to be alone, and then, in consort with his holy wife, sold all their vast estates in various parts of the empire, distributing their proceeds so prudently that St. Jerome says East and West were filled with his alms. He was then ordained priest, and retired to Nola in Campania. There he rebuilt the Church of St. Felix with great magnificence, and served it night and day, living a life of extreme abstinence and toil. In 409 he was chosen bishop, and for more than thirty years so ruled as to be conspicuous in an age blessed with many great and wise bishops. St. Gregory the Great tells us that when the Vandals of Africa had made a descent on Campania, Paulinus spent all he had in relieving the distress of his people and redeeming them from slavery. At last there came a poor widow; her only son had been carried off by the son-in-law of the Vandal king. "Such as I have I give thee," said the Saint to her; "we will go to Africa, and I will give myself for your son." Having overborne her resistance, they went, and Paulinus was accepted in place of the widow's son, and employed as gardener. After a time the king found out, by divine interposition, that his son-in-law's slave was the great Bishop of Nola. He at once set him free, granting him also the freedom of all the townsmen of Nola who were in slavery. One who knew him well says he was meek as Moses, priestlike as Aaron, innocent as Samuel, tender as David, wise as Solomon, apostolic as Peter, loving as John, cautious as Thomas, keen-sighted as Stephen, fervent as Apollos. He died in 431.
Reflection. —"Go to Campania," writes St. Augustine; "there study Paulinus, that choice servant of God. With what generosity, with what still greater humility, he has flung from him the burden of this world's grandeurs to take on him the yoke of Christ, and in His service how serene and unobtrusive his life!"
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 131, 9, 10
Let Thy priests O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for Thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of Thine anointed. (P. T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 131, 1. O Lord, remember David and all his meekness. Glory be …
O God, Who hast promised to those who leave all in this world for Thee a hundred-fold in the world to come and life everlasting, mercifully grant that, following closely in the footsteps of the holy bishop, Paulinus, we may have the grace to despise earthly things and desire only heavenly. Who livest.
Epistle • 2 Cor. 8, 9-15
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[He exhorts them to contribute bountifully to relieve the poor of Jerusalem.]
BRETHREN, Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich he became poor, for your sakes; that through his poverty you might be rich. And herein I give my advice; for this is profitable for you, who have begun not only to do, but also to be willing, a year ago.
Now therefore perform ye it also in deed; that as your mind is forward to be willing, so it may be also to perform, out of that which you have. For if the will be forward, it is accepted according to that which a man hath, not according to that which he hath not. For I mean not that others should be eased, and you burthened, but by an equality. In this present time let your abundance supply their want, that their abundance also may supply your want, that there may be an equality, As it is written: He that had much, had nothing over; and he that had little, had no want.
Gradual • Ps. 44, 16
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God. Eccl. 44, 20. There was not any found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 109, 4. Thou are a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 12, 32-34
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ warns us against hypocrisy, the fear of the world and covetousness. He admonishes all to watch.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. Sell what you possess, and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: Where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 21-22
I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him. (P. T. Alleluia, alleluia.)
Grant us, O Lord, to join the sacrifice of perfect charity with the oblation of the altar, after the example of holy bishop Paulinus, and, by zeal for good works, to deserve everlasting mercy. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 12, 42
A faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord hath set over His family, to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P. T. Alleluia, alleluia.)
Grant us, O Lord, by these holy things that sentiment of piety and humility which Thy holy bishop Paulinus dew from the same divine source, and by his intercession benignly pour the riches of Thy grace upon all who call upon Thee. Through our Lord.