St John of the Cross; commemoration of St Chrysognous, Martyr: Missa “In medio”
Born Juan de Yepes y Alvarez in Fontiveros at Old Castile, Spain on June 24, 1542 of very poor parents, Saint John of the Cross was the youngest son of a silk weaver who died shortly after his birth. John’s mother moved to Medina del Campo where he was educated in the catechism school under the Jesuits there and learned to love his faith greatly at an early age. Though he had developed the trade of male nurse, he opted for the Carmelites by entering the seminary in 1563. After ordination he returned to Medina del Campo where he first met Saint Teresa of Avila, a spiritual and philosophical bonding that would carry on through their lifetimes. Though he yearned to join the Carthusians because they offered a deeper contemplative way of life, Teresa was able to convince him to stay and join her in reforming the Carmelite Order for both priests and nuns. Re-energized, he changed his name from John of Saint Matthias to John of the Cross dedicated to living Christ’s words in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wishes to follow Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily.” On November 28, 1568, aided by four others which included the former prior of the Carmelite Order in Medina Antonio de Heredia, he founded the first house of reform for Carmelite men at Durelo, Spain which marked the beginning of the Discalced Carmelites. Two years later he became rector of the Discalced house of studies at Alcala and in 1572 was reunited with St. Teresa when he was appointed spiritual director of her Convent of the Incarnation at Avila. During his five year stay here the Calced Carmelites, unhappy with the conservative bent of John and Teresa, mounted a campaign against the two saints. In 1577 they kidnapped John and held him prisoner in Toledo, subjecting him to great hardships behind bars as well as intense pressure to give up his crusade for reform and holiness. It was during this time he wrote his famous “The Dark Night of the Soul” where only his faith and goal of the cross kept him sane. After nine months of this intensive punishment that challenged John’s inner faith, he escaped the clutches of the Calced and, through the tireless efforts and never-say-no attitude of Teresa the Discalced Carmelites were finally officially recognized in 1579. Immediately John was placed in charge of the Discalced Carmelite College at Baeza for two years before being elected prior at Granada in 1582. Three years later he was appointed provincial of Andalusia and in 1587 selected prior at Segovia, Spain. Through out a twelve year period he established several Discalced houses for men, but in early 1591 the Madrid general chapter dealt the Discalced Carmelites a terrible blow by stripping John of all his offices because of his support for the conservative cause and reduced him to a simple monk, sending him to La Penuela Monastery in Andalusia. His enemies had hoped he’d become so discouraged he’d leave the order or do something that would prompt him to be expelled. Shortly after arriving at the monastery, John, ever the humble one, contracted a fever from which he never recovered. Moved to the priory at Ubeda where he could get the proper medical attention, he died shortly after arriving there on December 14, 1591. He had prophesied the day, date, time and place of his death and true to his words he passed on to a Greater Glory just as the friars began the midnight office. This great mystic’s writings which also include “The Ascent of Mount Carmel,” “The Spiritual Canticle,” and “The Living Flame of Love” have merited him the title of Doctor of the Church inferred on him by Pope Pius XI in 1926. He had been canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.
Today is also the feast of St. Chrysogonus, a Roman who was martyred under Emperor Diocletian. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. From the Fourth Century a basilica was dedicated to him at Rome in Trastevere. Functionary of the vicarius Urbis. Christian teacher of Anastasia, the daughter of the Roman noble Praetextatus. Thrown into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he comforted Anastasia by his letters. Martyred under Diocletian, he was Beheaded on 23 November 304 at Aquileia and his corpse thrown into the sea. It washed ashore, and was buried by the aged priest, Zoilus.
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INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. 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 In the midst of the Church…
O God, Who didst make Thy holy confessor and doctor, John, a man of perfect self-denial and an eminent lover of the cross, grant that, continually applying ourselves to imitating him, we may attain unto everlasting glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Commemoration of St. Chrysogonus
Give ear, O Lord, to our supplications, that we, who know ourselves to be guilty by reason of our own iniquity, may be delivered by the intercession of blessed Chrysogonus, Thy martyr. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE 2 Timothy 4: 1-8
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy. Dearly beloved, I charge thee before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming, and His Kingdom. Preach the word: be instant in season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience, and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed; and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the Faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day; and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.
GRADUAL Ps. 36: 30, 31
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment. V. The law of his God is in his heart; and his steps shall not be supplanted. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ecclus. 45: 9). The Lord loved him and adorned him: he clothed with a robe of glory. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 5: 13-19
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house; so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For, amen I say unto you, till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law till all be fulfilled.He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men,shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”
OFFERTORY Psalm 91: 13
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus.
Receive, O Lord, the gifts we bring to Thee on the feast of him, by whose pleading we hope to be delivered. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
Commemoration of St. Chrysogonus
Be appeased, O Lord, with the gifts offered Thee, and, by the intercession of blessed Chrysogonus, Thy martyr, defend us from all dangers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
PREFACE of the Holy Trinity
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; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth!
A faithful and wise steward, whom the Lord set over His family; to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
That Thy sacrifices may give us health, O Lord, may blessed John, Thy confessor and illustrious doctor, we beseech Thee, act as our intercessor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St. Chrysogonus
By the participation of Thy sacrament, O Lord, may we be cleansed from our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.