Feast of the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Commemoration of the XXth Sunday Post Pentecost: Missa “Salve sancta parens”
In many places the feast of the Patronage is held with an additional title of Queen of All Saints, of Mercy, Mother of Graces. The Greeks have no feast of this kind, but the Ruthenians, followed by all the Slavs of the Greek Rite, have a feast, called “Patrocinii sanctissimæ Dominæ” etc., or Pokrov Bogorodicy, on 1 October.
In the year 911 AD, Constantinople was under military threat and the people were praying for God’s help in the Blachernae Church in the suburb of the city. It was in this church that the omophor or veil of the Virgin Mary was reserved as a most precious relic. The church was crowded for an all-night vigil. Andrew, the future Saint known as a fool-for-Christ, was there, along with his disciple Epiphanius.
At about four in the morning, Andrew and Epiphanius had a vision of the Virgin Mary: She entered through the church doors, escorted by St. John the Forerunner and St. John the Theologian and preceded by a host of angels. She stopped at the ambo (the great stair-cased pulpit in the center of the church) and knelt there, praying fervently and with tears. She then entered the altar and prayed again and finally removed Her veil and held it out over the faithful as She ascended from them.
They concluded from Her presence that Her intercession would be the protection to the faithful in this hour of trial. And so it happened that the feared military menace was averted.
Hail, holy Mother, who in childbirth brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth world without end. Ps 44:2 My heart overflows with a goodly theme; as I sing my ode to the King. 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. Hail, holy Mother, who in childbirth brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth world without end.
Grant us, Your servants, O Lord God, we beseech You, to enjoy lasting health of mind and body; and by the intercession of glorious and blessed Mary, ever virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrow and partake to the full of eternal happiness. 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 Ecclus 24:14-16
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus. Before all ages, in the beginning, He created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy Tent I ministered before Him, and in Sion I fixed my abode. Thus in the chosen city He has given me rest, in Jerusalem is my domain. I have struck root among the glorious people, in the portion of my God, His heritage, and my abode is in the full assembly of Saints.
Blessed and venerable are you, O Virgin Mary, who, with unsullied virginity, were found to be the Mother of the Saviour. V. O Virgin, Mother of God, He Whom the whole world does not contain, becoming man, shut Himself in your womb. Alleluia, alleluia. V. After childbirth you remained a pure virgin, O Mother of God, intercede for us. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 11:27-28
At that time, as Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, a certain woman from the crowd lifted up her voice and said to Him, Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that nursed You. But He said, Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Lk 1:28; 1:42
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Through Your mercy, O Lord, and by the intercession of blessed Mary, ever virgin, the Mother of Your only-begotten Son, may this offering profit us for prosperity and peace, now and forevermore. 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 BVM
It it 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: and that we should praise and bless, and proclaim Thee, in the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin: Who also conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and the glory of her virginity still abiding, gave forth to the world the everlasting Light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, and 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 these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the Eternal Father.
Having received the aids conducive to our salvation, O Lord, we beseech You, grant that we may everywhere be protected by the patronage of blessed Mary, ever virgin, in veneration of whom we have made these offerings to Your Majesty. 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.