Carissimi, today’s Mass: Pope St Pius I, Martyr

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The Daily Mass: Pope St Pius I

Pope St Pius I, Martyr; commemoration of St Oliver Plunkett, Bishop & Martyr &  Bl. Adrian Fortescue, Martyr: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus”

Today is the Feast of Pope Saint Pius I, Martyr and great Pope of the Second Century. According to the earliest list of the popes, given by Irenaeus (“Adv. haer.”, II, xxxi; cf. Eusebius, “Hist. eccl.”, V, vi), Pius was the ninth successor of St. Peter. The dates given in the Liberian Catalogue for his pontificate (146-61) rest on a false calculation of earlier chroniclers, and cannot be accepted. The only chronological datum we possess is supplied by the year of St. Polycarp of Smyrna’s death, which may be referred with great certainty to 155-6. On his visit to Rome in the year before his death Polycarp found Anicetus, the successor of Pius, bishop there; consequently, the death of Pius must have occurred about 154.

During the pontificate of Pius the Roman Church was visited by various heretics, who sought to propagate their false doctrine among the faithful of the capital. The Gnostic Valentinus, who had made his appearance under Pope Hyginus, continued to sow his heresy, apparently not without success. The Gnostic Cerdon was also active in Rome at this period, during which Marcion arrived in the capital. Excluded from communion by Pius, the latter founded his heretical body (Irenaeus, “Adv. haer.”, III, iii). But Catholic teachers also visited the Roman Church, the most important being St. Justin, who expounded the Christian teachings during the pontificate of Pius and that of his successor.

St Oliver Plunkett (also spelt Oliver Plunkett) (Irish: Oilibhéar Pluincéid), (1 November 1625 – 1 July 1681) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was the last victim of the Popish Plot. St. Oliver Plunkett was the last priest martyred at Tyburn, martyred on July 1, 1681. He forgave his persecutors, asked forgiveness for his own sins, made an Act of Contrition, prayed the Miserere, and commended his spirit to God. He was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, thus becoming the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years.

Blessed Adrian Fortescue Born to the English nobility, the son of Sir John Fortescue, and a cousin of Anne Boleyn. Made a Knight of the Bath in 1503, frequently serving in the royal court of King Henry VIII. Fought for England in France in 1513 and 1522. Married twice, and father of seven. Made a Knight of Saint John in 1532. He collected several lists of proverbs and folk sayings, often writing them in the margins of his Book of Hours. He lived as a tertiary Dominican. On 29 August 1534, for reasons never explained, he was arrested by the king‘s order, and imprisoned for several months. Arrested again on 3 February 1539, and sent to the Tower of London. Without trial, he was condemned to death in April for treason, though no specific act was alleged, only general “sedition and refusing allegiance”, a consequence of his loyalty to Rome.

INTROIT Ecclesiasticus 45: 30

The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. (Ps. 131: 1) 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. Repeat, The Lord made to him a covenant of peace…


O Lord, we beseech You, graciously hear the prayers of You people, that we may be helped by the merits of blessed Pius, Your Pope and Martyr, whose sufferings we celebrate. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.

Blessed Adrian Fortescue
Pour forth upon us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the spirit of constancy and fortitude wherewith Thou didst strengthen Thy blessed martyr Adrian for the defence of the Catholic faith; that we, being filled therewith, may be worthy to attain to the fellowship of his glory in heaven; in whose triumphal passion we rejoice on earth.

Blessed Oliver Plunkett
O God, Who for the sake of the Catholic Faith didst endue blessed Oliver, Thy martyr and bishop, with wondrous strength of spirit: grant unto us by his intercession and example; that we may imitate his constancy in faith, and in danger perceive his advocacy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.

EPISTLE James 1:12-18

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed James. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA  Psalm 88:21-23

The man I have found is my servant David, on him my consecrating oil has been poured my hand shall strengthen him, my arm shall give him courage. V. No enemy shall have his way with him, no emissary of wickedness shall have power to injure him. Alleluia, allelluia. v. Ps 109:4 Thou art a priest forever in the line of Melchisedech. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 14:26-33

At this time, Jesus said to the multitude: If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.


My faithfulness and mercy shall go with him: as my champion he shall rise to greatness.


Sanctify, O Lord, the offerings dedicated to Thee, and, by the intercession of blessed Pius, Thy martyr and bishop, and grant that we may find in them a never-failing source of help. 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.

Blessed Adrian Fortescue
May the Holy Ghost, O Lord, pour His blessing upon our gifts: and make us steadfast in that faith, whereto blessed Adrian Thy martyr bare witness both by the word of his mouth and the shedding of his blood.

Blessed Oliver Plunkett
Most merciful God, pour forth Thy blessing upon these Thy gifts, and confirm us in that faith to which by cruel torments blessed Oliver Thy martyr and bishop, bore witness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen.

PREFACE of the Apostles

It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd, but, through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:


Once for all I have pledged my inviolable word, his posterity shall continue forever; his royalty too, shall last on in my presence like the sun, like the moon’s eternal orb; the witness of heaven is unalterable.


Our strength renewed by partaking of Thy sacred gift, we pray, Thee, Lord our God, that through the prayer of Thy blessed martyr bishop, Pius, we who perform this rite may feel its power. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Blessed Adrian Fortescue
Grant, us, O Lord, through these Thy holy mysteries which we have received, to imitate the zeal and constancy of blessed Adrian: who by the example of his courage and by his martyrdom hath kindled us to desire the things eternal.

Blessed Oliver Plunkett
O Lord, let this heavenly table bestow on us that spirit of fortitude; wherewith the life of blessed Oliver, Thy martyr and bishop, was continually sustained that he might win the victory for the honour of Thy Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

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