ST. CLEMENT is said to have been a convert of noble birth, and to have been consecrated bishop by St. Peter himself. With the words of the apostles still ringing in his ears, he began to rule the Church of God; and thus he was among the first, as he was among the most illustrious, in the long line of those who have held the place and power of Peter. He lived at the same time and in the same city with Domitian, the persecutor of the Church; and besides external foes he had to contend with schism and rebellion from within. The Corinthian Church was torn by intestine strife, and its members set the authority of their clergy at defiance. It was then that St. Clement interfered in the plenitude of his apostolic authority, and sent his famous epistle to the Corinthians. He urged the duties of charity, and above all of submission to the clergy. He did not speak in vain; peace and order were restored. St. Clement had done his work on earth, and shortly after sealed with his blood the Faith which he had learned from Peter and taught to the nations.
Reflection. —God rewards a simple spirit of submission to the clergy, for the honor done to them is done to Him. Your virtue is unreal, your faith in danger, if you fail in this.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
St. Felicitas, the mother of the Seven Holy Martyrs, shortly after they died was called to give her life for Christ. She was beheaded, November 23, 150. Her remains rested in the Cemetery of Maximus with those of Silanus, the youngest of her sons. Subsequently the bones of this saint were placed in the title of Susanna where they still repose.
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Is. 59, 21; 56, 7
The Lord saith, My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth: and thy gifts shall be accepted upon My altar. Ps. 111, 1. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord; he delighteth exceedingly in His commandments. Glory be …
O eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the blessed Clement, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church.
Commemoration of St. Felicitas.
Grant, we beseech Thee O almighty God, hat, observing the festival of blessed Felicitas, Thy Martyr, we may be protected by her merits and prayers. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Philip 3, 17-21 4, 1-3
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians.
BRETHREN, be ye followers of me, brethren, and observe them who walk so as you have our model. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ; Whose end is destruction; whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things. But our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren, and most desired, my joy and my crown; so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beg of Evodia, and I beseech Syntyche, to be of one mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Gradual • Ps. 106, 32, 31
Let them exalt him in the Church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him and his wonderful works to the children of men.
Alleluia, alleluia Matth. 16, 18. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 16, 13-19
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ refuses to shew the Pharisees a sign from heaven. Peter's confession is rewarded. He is rebuked for opposing Christ's passion. All his followers must deny themselves.]
At that time, And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?
Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Offertory • Jerem. 1, 9-10
Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee this day over the kingdoms, to waste and to destroy, and to build and to plant.
In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and the shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to thee. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Felicitas.
Be merciful, O Lord, and look with favor upon the prayers of Thy people, and make us to rejoice in the patronage of her whose solemnity we celebrate. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 16, 18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.
Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through our Lord.