St. Januarius and his Companions
MANY centuries ago, St. Januarius died for the Faith in the persecution of Diocletian, and to this day God confirms the faith of His Church, and works a continual miracle, through the blood which Januarius shed for Him. The Saint was Bishop of Beneventum, and on one occasion he travelled to Misenum in order to visit a deacon named Sosius. During this visit Januarius saw the head of Sosius, who was singing the gospel in the church, girt with flames, and took this for a sign that ere long Sosius would wear the crown of martyrdom. So it proved. Shortly after Sosius was arrested, and thrown into prison. There St. Januarius visited and encouraged him, till the bishop also was arrested in turn. Soon the number of the confessors was swollen by some of the neighboring clergy. They were exposed to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. The beasts, however, did them no harm; and at last the Governor of Campania ordered the Saints to be beheaded. Little did the heathen governor think that he was the instrument in God's hand of ushering in the long succession of miracles which attest the faith of Januarius. The relics of St. Januarius rest in the cathedral of Naples, and it is there that the liquefaction of his blood occurs. The blood is congealed in two glass vials, but when it is brought near the martyr's head it melts and flows like the blood of a living man.
Reflection. —Thank God Who has given you superabundant motives for your faith; and pray for the spirit of the first Christians, the spirit which exults and rejoices in belief.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 36, 39
The salvation of the just is from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. Ps. 36, 1. Be not emulous of evil-doers: nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be …
O God, who dost gladden us each year by the Feast day of thy holy Martyrs, Faustinus and Jovita, mercifully grant that rejoicing in their merits we may be quickened by their example. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Heb. 10, 32-38
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.
[Because of the insufficiency of the sacrifices of the law, Christ our high priest shed his own blood for us, offering up once for all the sacrifice of our redemption. He exhorts them to perseverance.]
BRETHREN, call to mind the former days, wherein, being illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions. And on the one hand indeed, by reproaches and tribulations, were made a gazingstock; and on the other, became companions of them that were used in such sort. For you both had compassion on them that were in bands, and took with joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better and a lasting substance. Do not therefore lose your confidence, which hath a great reward.
For patience is necessary for you; that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise. For yet a little and a very little while, and he that is to come, will come, and will not delay. But my just man liveth by faith.
Gradual • Ps. 33, 18, 19
The just cried, and the Lord hear them, and delivered them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart; and He will save the humble of spirit.
Alleluia, alleluia. The white-robed army of martyrs praiseth Thee, O Lord. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 24, 3-13
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ foretells the destruction of the temple, with the signs that shall come before it and before the last judgment. We must always watch.]
At that time, as Jesus was sitting on mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world? And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you: For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.
And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name' s sake. And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.
Offertory • Wis. 3, 1-3
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise thy seemed to die, but they are in peace, alleluia.
Be appeased, O Lord, with the gifts we offer, and, by the intercession of Thy holy martyrs, Januarius and Companions, defend us from all dangers. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 10, 2, 7
That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light; and that which you hear in the ear preach ye upon the housetops.
May this communion, O Lord, purge us of guilt and, by the intercession of Thy holy martyrs, Januarius and Companions, make us partakers of the heavenly salvation. Through our Lord.