Emperor of Germany, Confessor
HENRY, Duke of Bavaria, saw in a vision his guardian, St. Wolfgang, pointing to the words "after six." This moved him to prepare for death, and for six years he continued to watch and pray, when, at the end of the sixth year, he found the warning verified in his election as emperor. Thus trained in the fear of God, he ascended the throne with but one thought—to reign for His greater glory. The pagan Slavs were then despoiling the empire. Henry attacked them with a small force; but angels and Saints were seen leading his troops, and the heathen fled in despair. Poland and Bohemia, Moravia and Burgundy, were in turn annexed to his kingdom, Pannonia and Hungary won to the Church. With the Faith secured in Germany, Henry passed into Italy, drove out the Antipope Gregory, brought Benedict VIII. back to Rome, and was crowned in St. Peter's by that Pontiff, in 1014. It was Henry's custom, on arriving in any town, to spend his first night in watching in some church dedicated to our blessed Lady. As he was thus praying in St. Mary Major's, the first night of his arrival in Rome, he "saw the Sovereign and Eternal Priest Christ Jesus" enter to say Mass. Sts. Laurence and Vincent assisted as deacon and sub-deacon. Saints innumerable filled the church, and angels sang in the choir. After the Gospel, an angel was sent by Our Lady to give Henry the book to kiss. Touching him lightly on the thigh, as the angel did to Jacob, he said, "Accept this sign of God's love for your chastity and justice;" and from that time the emperor always was lame. Like holy David, Henry employed the fruits of his conquests in the service of the temple. The forests and mines of the empire, the best that his treasury could produce, were consecrated to the sanctuary. Stately cathedrals, noble monasteries, churches innumerable, enlightened and sanctified the once heathen lands. In 1022 Henry lay on his bed of death. He gave back to her parents his wife, St. Cunegunda, "a virgin still, as a virgin he had received her from Christ," and surrendered his own pure soul to God.
Reflection. —St. Henry deprived himself of many things to enrich the house of God. We clothe ourselves in purple and fine linen, and leave Jesus in poverty and neglect.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
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 …
O God, Who on this day didst remove blessed Henry, Thy confessor, from the crown of an earthly empire to an everlasting kingdom, we humbly beseech Thee that, as, protected by the abundance of Thy grace, Thou didst enable him to overcome the temptations of the world, so thou make us, in imitation of him, to avoid the allurements of this world and to come with pure minds unto Thee. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ecclus. 31, 8-11
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The just man that hath not gone after earthly things is praised on earth and shall have glory everlasting.]
Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? For he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting: he that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them: therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the Church of the Saints shall declare his alms.
Gradual • Ps. 91, 13-14
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus in the house of the Lord. Ps. 91, 3. To show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and Thy truth in the night.
Alleluia, alleluia. James 1, 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the crown of life: Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 12:35-40
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ admonishes all to watch and be ready for His Coming.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands, and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately.
Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: amen I say to you that he will gird himself and make them sit down to meat, and passing will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready, for at what hour you think not the Son of Man will come.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with Him: and My name shall his horn be exalted. (P.T. alleluia.)
We offer Thee, O Lord, sacrifices of praise in commemoration of Thy saints, by who we trust to be delivered from evils both present and future. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 24, 46, 47
Blessed is the servant who when the Lord shall come, He shall find watching: Ament I say to you, He shall set him over all His goods. (P.T. Alleluia.)