St. Catherine of Alexandria
CATHERINE was a noble virgin of Alexandria. Before her Baptism, it is said, she saw in vision the Blessed Virgin ask her Son to receive her among His servants, but the Divine Infant turned away. After Baptism, Catherine saw the same vision, when Jesus Christ received her with great affection, and espoused her before the court of heaven. When the impious tyrant Maximin II. came to Alexandria, fascinated by the wisdom, beauty and wealth of the Saint, he in vain urged his suit. At last in his rage and disappointment he ordered her to be stripped and scourged. She fled to the Arabian mountains, where the soldiers overtook her, and after many torments put her to death. Her body was laid on Mount Sinai, and a beautiful legend relates that Catherine having prayed that no man might see or touch her body after death, angels bore it to the grave.
Reflection. —The constancy displayed by the Saints in their glorious martyrdom cannot be isolated from their previous lives, but is their natural sequence. If we wish to emulate their perseverance, let us first imitate their fidelity to grace.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 118, 46, 47
I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed: I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved exceedingly. (P. T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 118, 1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be …
O God, who give the law to Moses on the summit of Mt. Sinai and by means of Thy holy angels didst miraculously place there the body of blessed Catherine, Thy virgin and martyr, grant we beseech Thee, that, by her merits and intercession, we may be able to come unto the mountain which is Christ. Who with Thee.
Epistle • Ecclus. 51, 1-12
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom
[A prayer of praise and thanksgiving.]
I will give glory to thee, O Lord, O King, and I will praise thee, O God my Saviour. I will give glory to thy name: for thou hast been a helper and protector to me. And hast preserved my body from destruction, from the snare of an unjust tongue, and from the lips of them that forge lies, and in the sight of them that stood by, thou hast been my helper. And thou hast delivered me, according to the multitude of the mercy of thy name, from them that did roar, prepared to devour. Out of the hands of them that sought my life, and from the gates of afflictions, which compassed me about:
From the oppression of the flame which surrounded me, and in the midst of the fire I was not burnt. From the depth of the belly of hell, and from an unclean tongue, and from lying words, from an unjust king, and from a slanderous tongue: My soul shall praise the Lord even to death. And my life was drawing near to hell beneath. They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none. I remembered thy mercy, O Lord, and thy works, which are from the beginning of the world. How thou deliverest them that wait for thee, O Lord, and savest them out of the hands of the nations.
Gradual • Ps. 44, 8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity. Therefore, God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 44, 15, 16. After her shall virgins be brought to the King, her neighbors shall be brought to thee with gladness. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 25, 1-13
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[The parable of the ten virgins and of the talents. The description of the last judgment.]
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.
But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.
Offertory • Ps. 44, 15, 16
After her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to the thee with gladness and rejoicing; they shall be brought into the temple to the King our Lord. (P.T. alleluia.)
Graciously receive, O Lord, the gifts which we offer on the solemnity of Thy virgin and martyr, Catherine by whose patronage we trust to be delivered from all evil. Through our Lord.
Communion • 118, 78-80
Let the proud be ashamed, because they have done unjustly toward me: but I will be employed in Thy commandments, in thy justifications, that I may not be confounded. (P.T. Alleluia.)
May the mysteries we have received, help us, O Lord, and, by the intercession of blessed Catherine, Thy virgin and martyr, may they cause us to rejoice in everlasting protection. Through our Lord.