WILLIBRORD was born in Northumberland in 657, and when twenty years old went to Ireland, to study under St. Egbert; twelve years later, he felt drawn to convert the great pagan tribes who were hanging as a cloud over the north of Europe. He went to Rome for the blessing of the Pope, and with eleven companions reached Utrecht. The pagans would not accept the religion of their enemies, the Franks; and St. Willibrord could only labor in the track of Pepin Heristal, converting the tribes whom Pepin subjugated. At Pepin's urgent request, he again went to Rome, and was consecrated Archbishop of Utrecht. He was stately and comely in person, frank and joyous, wise in counsel, pleasant in speech, in every work of God strenuous and unwearied. Multitudes were converted, and the Saint built churches and appointed priests all over the land. He wrought many miracles, and bad the gift of prophecy. He labored unceasingly as bishop for more than fifty years, beloved alike of God and of man, and died full of days and good works.
Reflection. —True zeal has its root in the love of God. It can never be idle; it must labor, toil, be doing great things. It glows as fire; it is, like fire, insatiable. See if this spirit be in you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Of the Octave of All Saints
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of all the saints, in whose solemnity the angels rejoice and join in praising the Son of God. Ps. 32, 1. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. Glory be …
O almighty, eternal God, Who hast granted us to venerate the merits of all Thy saints in one solemnity, vouchsafe to us, we beseech Thee, through the multitude of our intercessors, that abundance of Thy mercy for which we ever have hoped. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Apoc. 7, 2-12
Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of blessed John the Apostle.
[The number of them that were marked with the seal of the living God and clothed in white robes.]
In those days, behold, I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda, were twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Ruben, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand signed:
Of the tribe of Aser, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Nephthali, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Manasses, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Zabulon, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: And they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, Saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen. Jesus.
Gradual • Ps. 33, 10, 11
Fear the Lord, all ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.
Alleluia, alleluia. Matt. 11, 28. Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 5, 1-12
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ's sermon upon the mount. The eight beatitudes.]
At that time, Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain; and when He was sat down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.
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 they seemed to die, but they are in peace, Alleluia.
We offer Thee, O Lord, the gifts of our devotion; may they be made pleasing to Thee for the honor of all the just and, by Thy mercy, be profitable to our selves. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 5, 8-10
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God: blessed are the peacemakers, for thy shall be called the children of God: blessed are thy that suffer persecution for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Grant to Thy faithful people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, ever to rejoice in the veneration of all Thy saints, and to be defended by their unceasing prayers. Through our Lord.