St Leo II of Rome, Confessor; Com. Octave of the Holy Apostles Peter & Paul: Missa “Sacerdotes tui“
The pontificate of this great Pope was very brief but very fruitful, since in the ten months of his reign he accomplished good works which have caused his name to be blessed by all succeeding generations. Born in the seventh century in Sicily, he had been a Canon Regular, that is, an ecclesiastical dignitary who resided in his bishop’s palace, was charged with recitation of the Office in the cathedral, and was relied upon to serve as the auxiliary of the Ordinary. Saint Leo was a devout student of Holy Scripture, and was well versed in the Greek as well as the Latin language.
In his day grave difficulties frequently arose between the Holy See and the emperors of Constantinople, whose representatives at Ravenna tried to control the bishops of that see; the latter had been striving to become autonomous. Saint Leo published a decree ordering that in the future no bishop of Ravenna could enter into function before being consecrated for that office at Rome, by the Roman Pontiff.
He built three churches in Rome, to honor Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint Sebastian, and Saint George. Saint Leo was highly gifted in the domain of music, and he renovated the Gregorian literature or library, then in a state of confusion; he also composed new hymns, still conserved by the Church. He took special care of widows and orphans and the poor in general, relieving their sufferings with a truly apostolic charity.
Saint Leo confirmed the Acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which his predecessor had convoked at Constantinople against the Monothelite heresy, and translated its acts into Latin for the benefit of the Occidentals. When he died in July of 683, his death was deeply regretted by all the faithful. He was interred according to established custom in the church of Saint Peter. He is ordinarily pictured embracing a beggar or holding a book of music.
INTROIT Psalm 131: 9-10
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for Thy servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. Alleluia, alleluia. V. O Lord, remember David, and all his meekness. 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.
O God, the strength of those who trust in You, Who fortified blessed Leo, Your Confessor and Pontiff, with the virtue of firmness to protect the freedom of the Church, grant us, by his example and intercession, bravely to overcome all evil. 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.
Octave of the Holy Apostles
O God, Who made this day holy by the martyrdom of Your Apostle Peter and Paul, grant Your Church to follow in all things the teaching of those from whom she first received the faith. 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 Sir 44:16-27 45:3-20.
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus: Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, by an oath, the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood; and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him a worthy incense for an odour of sweetness.
GRADUAL Psalm 131: 16-17
Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord has sworn an oath there is no retracting: Thou art a priest for ever in the line of Melchisedech. Alleluia. V. The Lord loved him well, and ennobled him; he clothed him about with a robe of honour. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:14-23
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going abroad, called his servants and handed over his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his particular ability, and then he went on his journey. And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more. In like manner, he who had received the two gained two more. But he who had received the one went away and dug in the earth and hid his master’s money. Then after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; behold, I have gained five others in addition.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had received the two talents came, and said, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; behold, I have gained two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many; enter into the joy of your master.’
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted. Alleluia!
Having offered You our gifts, we beseech You, O Lord, mercifully to enlighten Your Church, so that Your flock may everywhere prosper, and its shepherds, under Your guidance, may be rendered acceptable to You. 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.
Octave of the Holy Apostles
May the prayers of Your holy Apostles, O Lord, accompany the sacrificial gifts which we offer to be hallowed in Your name, so that we may obtain forgiveness and protection. 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, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 24: 46-47
Blessed is that servant, whom when his lord cometh he shall find watching: Amen I say to you, he shall place him over all his goods. Alleluia!
Since Your Church has been nourished by sacred food, govern her in Your clemency, we beseech You, O Lord, so that, under the guidance of Your almighty rule, she may enjoy ever greater freedom and remain steadfast in purity of faith. 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.
Octave of the Holy Apostles
O Lord, by the prayer of Your Apostles, protect from all harm those whom You have fed with heavenly food. 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.