St Raymond Nonnatus, Confessor: Missa “Os justi”
Raymond, universally known as Nonnatus or not born due to his atypical birth, is the Mercedarian saint who achieved the greatest popularity among Christians in the places, kingdoms and nations where Mercedarians became established.
According to the most reliable Mercedarian tradition, Saint Raymond was born in the town of Portello, situated in the Segarra region of the Province of Lérida at the dawn of the thirteenth century. He was given the surname of Nonnatus or not born because he came into the world through an inspired and urgent incision which the Viscount of Cardona made with a dagger in the abdomen of the dead mother. In his adolescence and early youth, Raymond devoted himself to pasturing a flock of sheep in the vicinity of a Romanesque hermitage dedicated to Saint Nicholas where an image of the Virgin Mary was venerated. His devotion to the Holy Mother of Jesus started there.
He joined the Order of Mercy at a very early age. Father Francisco Zumel relates that young Raymond was a “student of the watchful first brother and Master of the Order, Peter Nolasco.” Therefore, Raymond was a redeemer of captives in Moorish lands. In a redemption which took place in Algiers, they had to stay behind as hostages. It was then that he endured the torment of having his lips sealed with an iron padlock to prevent him from addressing consoling words to Christian captives and from preaching the liberating good news of the Gospel. After he had been rescued by his Mercedarian brothers, Pope Gregory IX appointed him Cardinal of the Church of San Eustaquio. Summoned by the Supreme Pontiff, Raymond was on his way to Rome when he met death in the strong and rocky castle of Cardona in 1240. The Order of Mercy, the viscount and the city of Cardona were all arguing over his dead body, and where it should be buried, it was entrusted to Divine Providence on the harness of a blind mule. Without anyone leading it, the mule accompanied by a crowd trotted to Saint Nicholas hermitage where the venerable body was buried.
INTROIT Psalm 36:30-31
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom, and his tongue utters what is right. The law of his God is in his heart. Ps 36:1 Be not vexed over evildoers, nor jealous of those who do wrong. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom, and his tongue utters what is right. The law of his God is in his heart.
O God, Who made blessed Raymund, Your Confessor, famous for delivering Your faithful from the captivity of the infidels, grant us by his intercession that, having been released from the bonds of our sins, we may with free minds do what is pleasing to You. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
EPISTLE Sir 31:8-11
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus. Happy the man found without fault, who turns not aside after gain, nor puts his trust in money nor in treasures! Who is he, that we may praise him? For he has done wonders in his life. He has been tested by gold and come off safe, and this remains his glory forever; he could have sinned but did not, could have done evil but would not, so that his possessions are secure in the Lord, and the assembly of the Saints shall recount his alms.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 91:13; 91:14
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow in the house of the Lord. Ps 91:3 V. To proclaim Your kindness at dawn and Your faithfulness throughout the night. Alleluia, alleluia. Jas 1:12 V. Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life. Alleluia.
GOSPEL St Luke 12:35-40
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Let your loins be girt about and your lamps burning, and you yourselves like men waiting for their master’s return from the wedding; so that when he comes and knocks, they may straight-way open to him. Blessed are those servants whom the master, on his return, shall find watching. Amen I say to you, he will gird himself, and will make them recline at table, and will come and serve them. And if he comes in the second watch, and if in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But of this be assured, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would certainly have watched, and not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because at an hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88:25
My faithfulness and My kindness shall be with him, and through My name shall his horn be exalted.
We offer You sacrifices of praise, O Lord, in memory of Your Saints; trusting that by them we may be delivered from both present and future evils. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
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:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON St Matthew 24:46-47
Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, shall find watching. Amen I say to you, he will set him over all his goods.
Refreshed with heavenly food and drink, we humbly pray You, our God, that we also may be helped by his prayers in memory of whom we have partaken of these gifts. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.