St. Josaphat was a monk of the Order of St. Basil, and afterward Archbishop of Polotsk, in Poland. His labors for the union of the Ruthnian Church with that of Rome are almost incredible. After a youth of singular innocence mortified by voluntary peanace, Josophat, remembering the powerful support lent to the orthodox cause by the monastic orders, entered religion, and with the help of Velamin Rutski, devoted himself to the restoration of the rule of St. Basil.
As Superior of a monastery the saint had succeed in keeping his disciples free from any schismatic taint: so, too, as metropolitan he devoted himself to the conquest of error with ardent and enlightened charity. He gave to all the example of a holy life, and labored for souls by preaching, by teaching the catechism, and by the distribution of controversial works. As a result of his zeal many schematics were reconciled to the Catholic Church. His opponents at last resolved to take his life, and he suffered martyrdom at their hands with great courage and serenity at the age of forty-three years.
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival-day in honor of the blessed martyr Josaphat: at who martyrdom the angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. Ps. 32, 1. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just, praise becometh the upright. Glory be …
Stir up in Thy Church. O Lord, the spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy martyr and bishop, was filled when he laid down his life for his sheep so that, by his intercession, we, also, may be moved and strengthened by the same Spirit, and may not fear to lay down our lives for our brethren. Through… in the unity of the same.
Epistle • Heb 5, 1-6
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews.
[The Office of a high priest. Christ is our high priest]
BRETHREN, for every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that he might be made a high priest: but he that said unto him: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
Gradual • Ps. 88, 21-23
I have found David My servant: with My holy oil I have anointed him; for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall have no advantage over him, and the son of iniquity shall not hurt him.
Alleluia, alleluia. This is the priest whom the Lord hath crowned. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 10, 11-16
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ is the door and the good shepherd. He and his Father are one.]
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
Offertory • John 15, 13
Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
O most merciful God, pour Thy blessing over theses our offerings and confirm us in the Faith, which St. Josaphat, Thy martyr and bishop, upheld by the shedding of his blood. Through our Lord.
Communion • John 10, 14
I am the good Shepherd, and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me.
May this heavenly table, O Lord, impart to us the spirit of fortitude which constantly nourished the life of St. Josaphat, Thy martyr and bishop, unto victory for the honor of the Church. Through our Lord.