THE Church celebrates this day the memory of St. Eusebius, who opposed the Arians, at Rome, with so much zeal. He was imprisoned in his room by order of the Emperor Constantius, and sanctified his captivity by constant prayer. Another Saint of the same name, a priest and martyr, is commemorated on this day. In the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, before they had published any new edicts against the Christians, Eusebius, a holy priest, a man eminently endowed with the spirit of prayer and all apostolical virtues, suffered death for the Faith, probably in Palestine. The Emperor Maximian happening to be in that country, complaint was made to Maxentius, president of the province, that Eusebius distinguished himself by his zeal in invoking and preaching Christ, and the holy man was seized. Maximian was by birth a barbarian, and one of the roughest and most brutal and savage of all men. Yet the undaunted and modest virtue of this stranger, set off by a heavenly grace, struck him with awe. He desired to save the servant of Christ, but, like Pilate, would not give himself any trouble or hazard incurring the displeasure of those whom on all other occasions he despised. Maxentius commanded Eusebius to sacrifice to the gods, and on the Saint refusing, the president condemned him to be beheaded. Eusebius, hearing the sentence pronounced, said aloud, "I thank Your goodness and praise Your power, O Lord Jesus Christ, that, by calling me to the trial of my fidelity, You have treated me as one of Yours." He at that instant heard a voice from heaven saying to him, "If you had not been found worthy to suffer, you could not be admitted into the court of Christ or to the seats of the just." Being come to the place of execution, he knelt down, and his head was struck off.
Reflection. —Let us learn, from the example of the Saints, courage in the service of God. He calls upon us to endure suffering of body and of mind, if it is necessary, to prove our fidelity to Him; and He promises to support us by His strength, His light, and His heavenly consolation.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
The Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady – Commemoration of St. Eusebius
Introit • Ps. 44, 13, 15, 16
All the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to thee in gladness and rejoicing. Ps. 44, 2. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be …
O God, Who didst deign to choose for Thy dwelling the virginal womb of the blessed Mary, grant, we beseech Thee, that defended by her protection we may assist with joy at her festival. Who livest.
O God, Who dost gladden us by the annual feast of blessed Eusebius, Thy confessor, mercifully grant that, as we celebrate his natal day, we may also imitate his actions. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Wis. 24, 23-31
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[He warneth them against false teachers. He counts all other things loss, that he may gain Christ.]
As the vine, I have brought forth a pleasant odor, and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
Blessed and venerable at thou, O Virgin Mary, who, without spot, wast found the Mother of Saviour. Virgin Mother of God, He Whom the whole world constaineth not, being made man, shut Himself in thy womb.
Gospel • Luke 11, 27-28
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ teaches his disciples to pray. He casts out a dumb devil, confutes the Pharisees, and pronounces woes against them for their hypocrisy.]
At that time, Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, a certain woman from the crowed, lifting up her voice, said to Him; Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breast that gave Thee suck. But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Creator of all things: thou didst bring forth Him Who made thee, and remainest forever a virgin.
May our offerings be commended to Thy mercy, O Lord, by the prayer of the mother of God, who Thou hast removed from this world that she may with confidence intercede for us with Thee. Through our Lord.
O God, to Whom alone is known the number of the elect who shall attain the happiness of heaven, grant, we beseech Thee, that by the intercession of all Thy saints, the names of those who have been commended to our prayers and of all the faithful, may be written in the book of blessed predestination. Through our Lord.
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father.
Grant Thine assistance, O merciful God, to our frailty, that we, who anticipate the festival of God’s holy mother, may, by the aid for her intercession, rise from our iniquity. Through the same.
We, Thy suppliants, who are refreshed with heavenly food and drink, beseech Thee, O our God, that we may be fortified by the prayers of him in whose commemoration we have partaken of these gifts, Through our Lord.