THE episcopal see of Carthage had remained vacant twenty-four years, when, in 481, Huneric permitted the Catholics on certain conditions to choose one who should fill it. The people, impatient to enjoy the comfort of a pastor, pitched upon Eugenius, a citizen of Carthage, eminent for his learning, zeal, piety, and prudence. His charities to the distressed were excessive, and he refused himself everything that he might give all to the poor. His virtue gained him the respect and esteem even of the, Arians; but at length envy and blind zeal got the ascendant in their breasts, and the king sent him an order never to sit on the episcopal throne, preach to the people, or admit into his chapel any Vandals, among whom several were Catholics. The Saint boldly answered that the laws of God commanded him not to shut the door of His church to any that desired to serve Him in it. Huneric, enraged at this answer, persecuted the Catholics in various ways. Many nuns were so cruelly tortured that they died on the rack. Great numbers of bishops, priests, deacons, and eminent Catholic laymen were banished to a desert filled with scorpions and venomous serpents. The people followed their bishops and priests with lighted tapers in their hands, and mothers carried their little babes in their arms and laid them at the feet of the confessors, all crying out with tears, "Going yourselves to your crowns, to whom do you leave us? Who will baptize our children? Who will impart to us the benefit of penance, and discharge us from the bonds of sin by the favor of reconciliation and pardon? Who will bury us with solemn supplications at our death? By whom will the Divine Sacrifice be made? " The Bishop Eugenius was spared in the first storm, but afterwards was carried into the uninhabited desert country in the province of Tripolis, and committed to the guard of Antony, an inhuman Arian bishop, who treated him with the utmost barbarity. Gontamund, who succeeded Huneric, recalled our Saint to Carthage, opened the Catholic churches, and allowed all the exiled priests to return. After reigning twelve years, Gontamund died, and his brother Thrasimund was called to the crown. Under this prince St. Eugenius was again banished, and died in exile, on the 13th of July, 505, in a monastery which he built and governed, near Albi.
Reflection. —"Alms shall be a great confidence before the Most High God to them that give it. Water quencheth a flaming fire, and alms resisteth sin."
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 26, 7-9
Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to Thee: be Thou my helper, forsake me not, nor do Thou despise me, O God my Saviour. Ps. 26, 1. The Lord is my light, and my salvation: whom shall I fear? Glory be …
O God, Who hast prepared good things unseen for them that love Thee, pour into our hearts the fervor of Thy love, that, loving Thee in all things and above all things, we may attain Thy promises, which surpass all desire. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 1 Peter 3, 8-15
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle.
[How wives are to behave to their husbands. What ornaments they are to seek. Exhortations to divers Virtues.]
BRETHREN, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble: Not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this are you called, that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek after peace and pursue it: Because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers: but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil things. And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer any thing for justice' sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled; But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts.
Gradual • Ps. 83, 10, 9
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.
Behold, O God our protector, and look on Thy servants. O Lord God of hosts, give ear to the prayers of Thy servants.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 20, 1. In Thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in Thy salvation, he shall rejoice exceedingly. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 5, 20-24
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, Except your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.
Offertory • Ps. 15, 7, 8
I will bless the Lord, Who hath given me understanding: I set God always in my sight; for He is at my right hand, that I be not moved.
Be propitiated, O Lord, by our supplications, and graciously accept these oblations of Thy servants and Thy handmaidens, that what each has offered to the honor of Thy name may profit for the salvation of all. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 26, 4
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Grant, us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, whom Thou hast filled with the heavenly gift, that we be cleansed of our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies. Through our Lord.