Sts. Ursula and Her Companions
Virgins and Martyrs
A NUMBER of Christian families had intrusted the education of their children to the care of the pious Ursula, and some persons of the world had in like manner placed themselves under her direction. England being then harassed by the Saxons, Ursula deemed that she ought, after the example of many of her compatriots, to seek an asylum in Gaul. She met with an abiding-place on the borders of the Rhine, not far from Cologne, where she hoped to find undisturbed repose; but a horde of Huns having invaded the country, she was exposed, together with all those who were under her guardianship, to the most shameful outrages. Without wavering, they preferred one and all to meet death rather than incur shame. Ursula herself gave the example, and was, together with her companions, cruelly massacred in the year 453. The name of St. Ursula has from remote ages been held in great honor throughout the Church; she has always been regarded as the patroness of young persons and the model of teachers.
ST. HILARION was born of heathen parents, near Gaza, and was converted while studying grammar in Alexandria. Shortly after, he visited St. Antony, and, still only in his fifteenth year, he became a solitary in the Arabian desert. A multitude of monks, attracted by his sanctity, peopled the desert where he lived. In consequence of this, he fled from one country to another, seeking to escape the praise of men; but everywhere his miracles of mercy betrayed his presence. Even his last retreat at Cyprus was broken by a paralytic, who was cured by St. Hilarion, and then spread the fame of the Saint. He died with the words, "Go forth, my soul; why dost thou doubt? Nigh seventy years hast thou served God, and dost thou fear death?"
Reflection. —In the estimation of the wise man, "the guarding of virtue" is the most important part of the education of youth.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Saint Ursula and Her Companions
Introit • 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. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 36, 1. Be not emulous of evil-doers; nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be …
May the intercession of the blessed abbot Hilarion, commend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we can not attain by our own deserts we may attain through his patronage. Through our Lord.
Commemoration – Collect (Prayer)
GRANT us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, to venerate with unceasing devotion to victories of Thy holy virgins and Martyrs, Ursula and Companions, that, though we can not worthily celebrate their merits, we may at least offer them our humble service. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Ecclus. 45, 1-6
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The praises of Moses, of Aaron, and of Phinees.]
He was beloved of God, and men: whose memory is in benediction; He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies; and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and shewed him his glory; He sanctified him in his faith, and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh; for He heard him, and his voice, and brought him into a cloud; and He gave him commandments before his face, and a law of life and instructions.
Gradual • Ps. 20, 4, 5
O Lord, Thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. He asked life of Thee, and Thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 91, 13. The just shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 19, 27-29
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ declares matrimony to be indissoluble: he recommends the making one's self an eunuch for the kingdom of heaven; and parting with all things for him. He shews the danger of riches, and the reward of leaving all to follow him.]
At THAT time, Peter said to Jesus, Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them, Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My name' s sake, shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall possess life everlasting.
Offertory • Ps. 20, 4, 3
Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, O Lord, and hast not withholden from him the will of his lips; Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. (P.T. alleluia.)
May the holy abbot St. Hilarion, we beseech Thee, O Lord, pray that the sacrifices laid upon the sacred altars may avail for our salvation. Through our Lord.
Commemoration - Secret
Favorably look down, we beseech Thee, upon the gifts laid upon Thine altars, O Lord, for the festival of Thy holy virgins and martyrs, Sts. Ursula and Companions, that as Thou hast conferred glory upon them through these blessed mysteries, so Thou mayest bestow upon us forgiveness. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 19, 28-29
A faithful and wise steward, who the Lord hath set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season. (P.T. Alleluia.)
TOGETHER with the reception of Thy sacrament, O Lord, may the blessed abbot St. Hilarion, protect us by interceding for us, that we may put into practice the virtues of his life and partake of the power of his intercession. Through our Lord.
Commemoration - Postcommunion
GRANT us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Thy holy virgins and martyrs, St. Ursula and her Companions, that what we touch with our lips we may receive with pure hearts. Through our Lord.