St. Laurence Justinian
LAURENCE from a child longed to be a Saint; and when he was nineteen years of age there was granted to him a vision of the Eternal Wisdom. All earthly things paled in his eyes before the ineffable beauty of this sight, and as it faded away a void was left in his heart which none but God could fill. Refusing the offer of a brilliant marriage, he fled secretly from his home at Venice, and joined the Canons Regular of St. George. One by one he crushed every natural instinct which could bar his union with his Love. When Laurence first entered religion, a nobleman went to dissuade him from the folly of thus sacrificing every earthly prospect. The young monk listened patiently in turn to his friend's affectionate appeal, scorn, and violent abuse. Calmly and kindly he then replied. He pointed out the shortness of life, the uncertainty of earthly happiness, and the incomparable superiority of the prize he sought to any his friend had named. The nobleman could make no answer; he felt in truth that Laurence was wise, himself the fool. He left the world, became a fellow-novice with the Saint, and his holy death bore every mark that he too had secured the treasures which never fail. As superior and as general, Laurence enlarged and strengthened his Order, and as bishop of his diocese, in spite of slander and insult, thoroughly reformed his see. His zeal led to his being appointed the first patriarch of Venice, but he remained ever in heart and soul an humble priest, thirsting for the sight of heaven. At length the eternal vision began to dawn. "Are you laying a bed of feathers for me?" he said. "Not so; my Lord was stretched on a hard and painful free." Laid upon the straw, he exclaimed in rapture, "Good Jesus, behold I come." He died in 1435, aged seventy-four.
Reflection. —Ask St. Laurence to vouchsafe you such a sense of the sufficiency of God that you too may fly to Him and be at rest.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ecclus. 45, 30
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince; that the dignity of priesthood should be to him forever. Ps. 131, 1. O Lord, remember David, and all his meekness. Gory be …
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the august solemnity of Thy blessed confessor and pontiff, Lawrence, may increase our devotion and promote our salvation. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ecclus. 44; 45
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath was made a reconciliation. There was not any found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings: He preserved for him His mercy: and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood and to have praise in his name, and to offer to him worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 109, 4. Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia. This is the priest whom the Lord hath crowned. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 25, 14-23
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ warns us against hypocrisy, the fear of the world and covetousness. He admonishes all to watch.]
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country, called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents, went his way, and traded with the same, and gained other five. And in like manner he that had received the two, gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way digged into the earth, and hid his lord' s money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliveredst two talents to me: behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 21-22
I have fund David my servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.)
May Thy saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, everywhere make us joyful, that, while we venerate their merits, we may experience their patronage. Through our Lord.
Communion • Luke 12, 42
A faithful and wise servant, who the Lord hath set over His family, to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.)
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, giving thanks for the favors we have received, we may, by the intercession of blessed Ubaldus, Thy confessor and bishop, obtain blessing still greater. Through our Lord.