St. Philip Benizi
ST. PHILIP BENIZI was born in Florence, on the Feast of the Assumption, 1233. That same day the Order of Servites was founded by the Mother of God. As an infant at the breast, Philip broke out into speech at the sight of these new religious, and begged his mother to give them alms. Amidst all the temptations of his youth, he longed to become himself a servant of Mary, and it was only the fear of his own unworthiness which made him yield to his father's wish and begin to practise medicine. Alter long and weary waiting, his doubts were solved by Our Lady herself, who in a vision bade him enter her Order. Still Philip dared only offer himself as a lay brother, and in this humble state he strove to do penance for his sins. In spite of his reluctance, he was promoted to the post of master of novices; and as his rare abilities were daily discovered, he was bidden to prepare for the priesthood. Thenceforth honors were heaped upon him; he became general of the Order, and only escaped by flight elevation to the Papal throne. His preaching restored peace to Italy, which was wasted by civil wars; and at the Council of Lyons, he spoke to the assembled prelates with the gift of tongues. Amid all these favors Philip lived in extreme penitence, constantly examining his soul before the judgment-seat of God, and condemning himself as only fit for hell. St. Philip, though he was free from the stain of mortal sin, was never weary of beseeching God's mercy. From the time he was ten years old he said daily the Penitential Psalms. On his death-bed he kept reciting the verses of the Miserere, with his cheeks streaming with tears; and during his agony he went through a terrible contest to overcome the fear of damnation. But a few minutes before he died, all his doubts disappeared and were succeeded by a holy trust. He uttered the responses in a low but audible voice; and when at last the Mother of God appeared before him, he lifted up his arms with joy and breathed a gentle sigh, as if placing his soul in her hand. He died on the Octave of the Assumption, 1285.
Reflection. —Endeavor so to act as you would wish to have acted when you stand before your Judge. This is the rule of the Saints, and the only safe rule for all.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 91, 13, 14
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of God. (P.T.) Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 91, 2. It is good to give praise to the Lord; and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. Gory be …
O God, Who, through blessed Philip, Thy confessor, hast afforded us a distinguished example of humility, grant unto Thy servants to despise, after his example, the prosperity of the world and ever to seek after heavenly things. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 1 Cor. 4, 9-14
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[God's ministers are not to be judged. He reprehends their boasting of their preachers and describes the treatment the apostles every where met with.]
BRETHREN, we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour.
Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now. I write not these things to confound you; but I admonish you as my dearest children in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 36, 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: and his steps shall not be supplanted.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 111, 1. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: in His commandments, he hath great delight. 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. 20, 2, 3
In thy strength, O Lord, the just shall joy, and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly: Thou hast given him his heart’s desire. (P. T. Alleluia.)
Grant, us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the offering of our lowliness may be pleasing to Thee in honor of Thy saints, and purify us in both body and mind. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 19, 28-29
Amen I say to you, that you who have left all things and followed Me, shall receive a hundred-fold, and possess life everlasting. (P. T. Alleluia.)
We pray Thee, O almighty God, that, having received heavenly nourishment, we may thereby, through the intercession of blessed Vincent, Thy confessor, be fortified against all harm and danger. Through our Lord.