St. John Leonard
The parable of the Mustard Seed growing into a great tree is verified not only in the life of the Church but often in the work of saintly priests. It is vividly true in the career of the Saint honored today. Born in 1543 in Italy, where he died sixty-six year later, John Leonard was first a pharmacist’s helper in Lucca. It was not until he was twenty-six that he began to study for the priesthood. He was forty at the time of his ordination and for the next twenty-five years he engaged in many apostolic labors. The heresies of his day were robbing the young, particularly, of their birthright of the true faith. For them he established a Congregation, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God. I was, like so many zealous endeavors, threatened with dissolution but was saved by the direct action of the Pope. Burning with great zeal for souls, he wanted to go to the foreign missions but St. Philip Neri, who looked upon him as a real reformer, told him that his mission was to the people of Italy. This vocation at home, however, did not dampen his ardor for the fields afar and, through another priest, he managed to arrange a group to form young men to go as priests to pioneers in the work of the Propagation of the Faith. Pope Pius X beatified St. John Leonard, and he was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1938.
Reflection. —In our day, many people who in their early youth either felt no attraction to a life of zeal for others or were unable through circumstances to fulfill such a desire come “better late than never” to serve God and neighbor. These are generous souls who go forward despite difficulties. See what the world would have missed had St. John Leonard been discouraged.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Commemoration of Sts. Dionysius, Rusticus, and Eleutherius.
By the words of the Lord are His works: the sun giving light hath looked upon all things, and full of the glory of the Lord is His work. Ps. 95, 1. O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Gory be …
O God, Who for the propagation of the Faith among the People wast pleased in a wonderous manner to stir up blessed John, Thy confessor: and Who, through him, didst in Thy Church gather together a new Society for the instruction of the faithful: do Thou grant unto us Thy servants, that we may so profit by his teaching, as to attain unto the everlasting rewards. Through our Lord.
O God, Who on this day didst strengthen blessed Dionysius, Thy martyrs, with the virtue of fortitude in his suffering, and didst vouchsafe to join with him Rusticus and Eleutherius to preach Thy glory to the nations, grant us, we beseech Thee, to imitate them in contemning the prosperity of the world for the sake of Thy love, and to fear none of its adversity. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 2 Cor. 4, 1-6, 15-18
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[The sincerity of his preaching. His comfort in his afflictions.]
Brethren, seeing we have this ministration, according as we have obtained mercy, we faint not; But we renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the word of God; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience, in the sight of God. And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord; and ourselves your servants through Jesus.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.
Gradual. • Ps. 72, 21; 68
My heart hath been inflamed and my loins have been changed: the zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up. Is. 49, 2. He hath made my mouth like unto a sharp sword: in the shadow of His hand hath He protected me, and made me as a chosen shaft.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 70, 7. I am become to many as a wonder; But Thou art a strong helper. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 10, 1-9
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ sends forth and instructs his seventy-two disciples. The good Samaritan.]
At that time, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them, The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send laborers into His harvest. Go, Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house; and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein; and say to them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Offertory • Col. 1, 25
I am made a minister of Christ according to the dispensation of God, which is given to me, that I may fulfil the word of the Lord. (P. T. Alleluia.)
Received, O Lord, the clean oblation of this salutary sacrifice: and, by the intercession of blessed John, Thy confessor grant that everywhere among the nations it may fittingly be offered up. Through our Lord.
Graciously receive, O Lord, the gifts of Thy people in honor of Thy saints, and sanctify us by their intercession. Through our Lord.
The things that were gain to me, the same I counted loss for Christ. (P. T. Alleluia.)
Refreshed by the sacred mysteries of Thy precious body and blood, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, following the example of blessed John, Thy confessor, we may set ourselves to profess that which he believed, and in our actions to put into practice that which he taught. Who livest.
We who have received Thy sacraments, O Lord, pray that, by the intercession of Thy blessed Martyrs, Dionysius, Rusticus, and Eleutherius, we may be profited unto the increase of our everlasting redemption. Through our Lord.