St. Peter of Alcantara
PETER, while still a youth, left his home at Alcantara in Spain, and entered a convent of Discalced Franciscans. He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down; he ate but once in three days; his sack-cloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.
Reflection. —If men do not go about barefoot now, nor undergo sharp penances, as St. Peter did, there are many ways of trampling on the
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Saint Peter of Alcantara
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. Glory be …
O God, who didst vouchsafe to make blessed Peter, Thy confessor, glorious by the gift of a wonderful spirit of penance and most lofty contemplation, grant us, we beseech Thee, that, through his interceding merits, being mortified in the flesh, we may the more easily understand the things of heaven. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Philip 3, 7-12
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians.
[He warneth them against false teachers. He counts all other things loss, that he may gain Christ.]
BRETHREN, the things that were gain to me, the same I have counted loss for Christ. Furthermore, I count all things to be but loss, for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ; and may be found in Him, not having my justice, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ Jesus, which is of God, justice in faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings; being made conformable to His death, if by any means I may attain to the resurrection which is from the dead; not as though I has already attained, or were already perfect; but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
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 St. Peter, Thy confessor, be fortified against all harm and danger. Through our Lord.