St. John Gualbert
ST. JOHN GUALBERT was born at Florence, A. D. 999. Following the profession of arms at that troubled period, he became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. One Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his enemy in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord's holy Passion, to spare his life. St. John said to his enemy, "I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin." Grace triumphed. A humble and changed man, he entered the Church of St. Miniato, which was near; and whilst he prayed, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him as if to ratify his pardon. Abandoning the world, he gave himself up to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. Later he was led to found the congregation called of Vallombrosa, from the shady valley a few miles from Florence, where he established his first monastery. Once the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of St. Salvi, plundered it, and set fire to it, and having treated the monks with ignominy, beat them and wounded them. St. John rejoiced. "Now," he said, "you are true monks. Would that I myself had had the honor of being with you when the soldiers came, that I might have had a share in the glory of your crowns! " He fought manfully against simony, and in many ways promoted the interest of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died whilst the angels were singing round his bed, July 11, 1073.
Reflection. —The heroic act which merited for St. John Gualbert his conversion was the forgiveness of his enemy. Let us imitate him in this virtue, resolving never to revenge ourselves in deed, in word, or in thought.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Commemoration of Sts. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs
Introit • Ps. 36, 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 36, 1. Be not emulous of evil-doers; nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be …
May the intercession of the blessed abbot John Gualbert, commend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we can not attain by our own deserts we may attain through his patronage. Through our Lord.
Commemorations of Sts. Nabor and Felix
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as we never fail to celebrate the natal feast of Thy holy martyrs, Nabor and Felix, we may continually be helped by their prayers. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ecclus. 45, 1-6
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The praises of Moses, of Aaron, and of Phinees.]
He was beloved of God, and men: whose memory is in benediction; He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies; and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and shewed him his glory; He sanctified him in his faith, and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh; for He heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud; and He gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instructions.
Gradual • Ps. 20, 4, 5
O Lord, Thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. He asked life of Thee, and Thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 91, 13. The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus.
Gospel • Matt. 5, 43-48
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Offertory • Ps. 20, 4, 3
Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, O Lord, and hast not withholden from him the will of his lips; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. (P.T. alleluia.)
May the holy abbot John Gualbert, we beseech Thee, O Lord, pray that the sacrifices laid upon the sacred altars may avail for our salvation. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of Sts. Nabor and Felix
May the gifts of Thy people, we pray Thee, O Lord, be made pleasing by the favoring prayers of Thy holy martyrs, Nabor and Felix, and let these offerings which are made for their triumph, be also rendered worthy by their merits. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 12, 42
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord hath set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia.)
Together with the reception of Thy sacrament, O Lord, may the blessed abbot John Gualbert, protect us by interceding for us, that we may put into practice the virtues of his life and partake of the power of his intercession. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of Sts. Nabor and Felix
On the natal feast of Thy saints we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, being strengthened by the gift of the sacrament, we may enjoy forever the good things with which, through Thy grace, we are now comforted. Through our Lord.