Carissimi; Today’s Mass: St Callistus of Rome

S. Callistus, Bishop of Rome & Martyr; commemoration of the Octaves of St Wilfrid of York, & of St Edward, King & Confessor: Missa “Sacerdotes Dei“

Early in the third century, it was to Callistus, then a deacon, that Pope Saint Zephyrinus confided the government of the clergy, as well as the creation and maintenance of the Christian cemeteries, which at that time were the catacombs of Rome. At the death of the Sovereign Pontiff, Callistus succeeded him as Head of the Church.

It is he who made obligatory for the entire Church, the fast of the Ember Days which the Apostles had instituted, to bring down blessings on each season of the year. During his time, the Christians began to build churches, which though destroyed during the various persecutions, were eventually rebuilt. Among the catacombs owed to his government, is the one on the Appian Way which bears his name. Many precious memories are conserved there; in it are found the tomb of Saint Cecilia, the crypts of several popes, and paintings which attest the perfect conformity of the primitive Faith with that of the present-day Church.

During the pontificate of Saint Callistus, several very striking conversions occurred among the very officers of the persecuting emperor Alexander Severus. At one time an officer, his family and household, forty-two persons in all, were baptized by the Pope on the same day. Many others asked him for Baptism; among them a Senator and sixty-eight persons of his household, and a guardian of the saintly Pope, whose name was Privatus, after the prayers of the Holy Father had cured him of an ulcer. All these new Christians were martyred, and their heads were exposed at the various gates of Rome to discourage any who would propagate the Faith of Christ in that city. Despite the continuing pursuits and his constant solicitude for all the churches, Saint Callistus found the means to have a diligent search made by fishermen for the body of a priest of his clergy, which had been cast into the Tiber after his martyrdom. When it was found he was filled with joy, and buried it with hymns of praise.

During the persecution Saint Callistus was obliged to take shelter in the poor and populous quarters of the city. The martyred priest, Calipodius, appeared to him soon afterwards, saying: Father, take courage; the hour of the reward is approaching; your crown will be proportionate to your sufferings. Soon afterwards he was discovered there, and the house was guarded by soldiers who received the order to allow no food to enter it for several days. And Saint Callistus was martyred in his turn. With a rock suspended from his neck, he was thrown from a window into a well on October 14, 223. The priest Asterius recovered and buried his body in the catacomb named for Calipodius. A week later Asterius too was arrested and thrown into the Tiber. The Christians interred this martyr also.

INTROIT Daniel 3. 84, 87

O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: O ye holy and humble of heart, praise God. (Daniel 3: 57) All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat O ye priests of the Lord…

COLLECT

O God, who seest that we fail through our own infirmity, mercifully restore us to thy love by the example of Thy saints. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

For the Octave of S. Wilfrid of York
O God, who by reason of the singular merits of thy blessed Bishop Saint Wilfrid, didst cause to shine forth in him many wondrous works, we beseech thee, mercifully to grant, that like as we have learnt from his teaching to seek earnestly after all things heavenly, so we may at all times be defended by his intercession.

For the Octave of S. Edward, King & Confessor
O God, Who hast crowned the blessed King Edward, Thy confessor, with the glory of eternity, make us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate him on earth that we may be able to reign with him in Heaven. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE Hebrews 5:1-4

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews. 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.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 87: 21-23

I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him: for my hand shall help him, and my are shall strengthen him; and the son of iniquity shall not hurt him. Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord loved him and adorned him; he clothed him with a robe of glory. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Matthew 10:26-32

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 25

My truth and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn  be exalted.

SECRET

May this mystical oblation avail us, O Lord: may it cleanse us from our sins; and confirm us in eternal salvation. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

For the Octave of S. Wilfrid of York
We offer sacrifice unto Thee, O Lord, on the solemnity of blessed Wilfrid, Thy bishop and confessor, humbly beseeching that the sheep which have gone astray may return to the one fold and be nourished with this food of salvation.

For the Octave of S. Edward, King & Confessor
We offer Thee, O Lord, sacrifices of praise in commemoration of Thy saints, by whom we trust to be delivered from evils both present and future. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

PREFACE of the Common

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 24:46-47

Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord shall come he shall find so doing. Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods.

POSTCOMMUNION

We beseech Thee, almighty God, that these holy offerings may cleanse us from our sins and bring us grace to lead good and holy lives. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

For the Octave of S. Wilfrid of York
Refreshed with the victim of salvation, we supplicate Thee, O Lord, that, through the intercessory patronage of blessed Wilfrid, it may always and everywhere be offered to Thy name.

For the Octave of S. Edward, King & Confessor
We, Thy suppliants, who are refreshed with Heavenly food and drink, beseech Thee, O our God, that we may be fortified by the prayers of him in whose commemoration we have par-taken of these gifts. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

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