November 1st - Feast of All Saints
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November 1st

The Church day by day gives special veneration to one or more of the holy men and women who have helped to establish it by their blood, develop it by their labors, or edify it by their virtues. But, in addition to those whom the Church honors by special designation or has inscribed in her calendar, how many martyrs are there whose names are not recorded! How many humble virgins and holy penitents! How many unknown anchorites and monks, Christian fathers and mothers, young children snatched away in their innocence! How many courageous Christians, whose merits are known only to God and His heavenly court!

Should we forget those who remember us in their intercession? Are not some among them our ancestors? members of our immediate family? our friends and fellow-Christians, with whom we have lived in daily companionship? In fact, all of Heaven is but one family — Our Lord's, as He Himself said: Who is My mother and who are My brethren? And stretching forth His hand towards His disciples, He said, Behold My mother and My brethren! For whoever does the Will of My Father in heaven, is My brother and sister and mother. Today we have the opportunity to thank God, if at other times we forget, for their aid and their love. And today we adore Him with them, for the grace which raised them to their present joy. The Church requires this homage of us, by making this day a holy day of obligation for all. Our place, too, is awaiting us in this home of eternal light, peace and love, if we persevere to the end in the fulfillment of God's holy Will.
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November 1 – Feast of All Saints
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God!

Time is no more; it is the human race eternally saved, that is thus presented in vision to the prophet of Patmos. Our life of struggle and suffering on earth is, then, to have an end. Our long lost race is to fill up the angelic ranks thinned by Satan’s revolt; and, uniting in the gratitude of the redeemed of the Lamb, the faithful spirits will sing with us: Thanksgiving, honor, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever!

And this shall be the end, as the Apostle says; the end of death and suffering; the end of history and of its revolutions which will then be explained. The old enemy, hurled down with his followers into the abyss, will live on only to witness his own eternal defeat. The Son of Man, the Savior of the world, will have delivered the kingdom to God his Father; and God, the last end of creation and of redemption, will be all in all.

Long before the seer of the Apocalypse, Isaias sang: I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and elevated, and his train filled the temple. And the Seraphim cried one to another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of his glory. The train and fringes of God’s vesture are the elect, who are the adornment of the Word, the splendor of the Father. For since the Word has espoused our human nature, that nature is his glory, as he is the glory of God. The Bride herself is clothed with the justifications of the Saints; and when this glittering robe is perfected, the signal will be given for the end of time. This feast announces the ever-growing nearness of the eternal nuptials; for on it we annually celebrate the progress of the Bride’s preparations.

Blessed are they that are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb! Blessed are we all, who have received in Baptism the nuptial robe of holy charity, which entitles us to a seat at the heavenly banquet! Let us prepare ourselves for the unspeakable destiny reserved for us by love. To this end are directed all the labors of this life: toils, struggles, sufferings for God’s sake, all adorn with priceless jewels the garment of grace, the clothing of the elect. Blessed are they that mourn!

They that have gone before us wept as they turned the furrows and cast in the seed; but now their triumphant joy overflows upon us as an anticipated glory in this valley of tears. Without waiting for the dawn of eternity, the present solemnity gives us to enter by hope into the land of light, whither our fathers have followed Jesus the divine forerunner. Do not the thorns of suffering lose their sharpness at the sight of the eternal joys into which they are to blossom? Does not the happiness of the dear departed cause a heavenly sweetness to mingle with our sorrow? Let us hearken to the chants of deliverance sung by those for whom we weep; little and great, this is the feast of them all, as it will one day be ours. At this season, when cold and darkness prevail, nature herself, stripping off her last adornments, seems to be preparing the world for the passage of the human race into the heavenly country. Let us, then, sing with the Psalmist: “I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Our feet as yet stand only in thy outer courts; but we see thy building ever going on, O Jerusalem, city of peace, compacted together in concord and love. To thee do the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, praising the name of the Lord; thy vacant seats are being filled up. May all good things be for them that love thee, O Jerusalem; may peace be in thy strength, and abundance in thy towers. For the sake of my brethren and of my neighbors, who are already thy inhabitants, I take pleasure in thee; because of the Lord our God, whose dwelling thou art, I have placed in thee all my desire.”


PRAYER

O Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted us to venerate in one solemnity the merits of all thy Saints, we beseech thee, that as our intercessors are multiplied, thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of thy mercy. Through our Lord.


When Rome had completed the conquest of the world, she dedicated to all the gods, in token of her gratitude, the Pantheon, the most durable monument of her power. But when she herself had been conquered by Christ, and invested by him with the empire over souls, she withdrew her homage from vain idols and offered it to the Martyrs; for they, praying for her as she slew them, had rendered her truly eternal. To the martyrs then, and to Mary their Queen, she consecrated for ever, on the morrow of her merciful chastisement, the now purified Pantheon.

“Come forth from your dwellings, ye Saints of God, hasten to the place prepared for you” (Pontificate Rom. Ant. in Eccl. dedicatione) For three centuries the catacombs were the resting-place of our Lord’s athletes, when they were borne from the arena. These valiant warriors deserved the honours of a triumph far better than did the great victors of old. In 312, however, Rome disarmed but not yet changed in heart, was not at all disposed to applaud the men who had conquered the gods of Olympus and of the Capitol. While the Cross surmounted her ramparts, the white-robed army still lay entrenched in the subterranean crypts that surrounded the city like so many outworks. Three centuries more were granted to Rome, that she might make satisfaction to God’s justice, and take full cognizance of the salvation reserved for her by his mercy. In 609 the patient work of grace was completed; the Sovereign Pontiff Boniface IV. uttered the word for the sacred crypts to yield up their treasures. It was a solemn moment, a fore-runner of that wherein the Angel’s trumpet-call shall sound over the sepulchres of the world. (Sequence Dies ire) The successor of St. Peter, in all his apostolic majesty, and surrounded by an immense crowd, presented himself at the entrance of the catacombs. He was attended by eighteen chariots magnificently adorned for the conveyance of the martyrs. The ancient triumphal way opened before the Saints; the sons of the Quirites sang in their honour: “You shall come with joy and proceed with gladness; for behold, the mountains and the hills exult, awaiting you with joy. Arise, ye Saints of God, come forth from your hiding-places; enter into Rome, which is now the holy city; bless the Roman people following you to the temple of the false gods, which is now dedicated as your own church, there to adore together with you the majesty of the Lord.” (Pontificate Rom. Ant. in Eccl. dedicatione)

Thus, after six centuries of persecution and destruction, the martyrs had the last word; and it was a word of blessing, a signal of grace for the great city hitherto drunk with the blood of Christians. More than rehabilitated by the reception she was giving to the witnesses of Christ, she was now not merely Rome, but the new Sion, the privileged city of the Lord. She now burned before the Saints the incense they had refused to offer to her idols ; their blood had flowed before the very altar, on which she now invited them to rest, since the usurpers had been hurled back into the abyss. It was a happy inspiration that induced her, when she dedicated to the holy martyrs the temple built by Marcus Agrippa and restored by Severus Augustus, to leave upon its pediment the names of its primitive constructors and the title they had given it; for then only did the famous monument truly merit its name, when Christian Rome could apply to the new inhabitants of the Pantheon those words of the Psalm: “I have said, you are gods” (Psalm 81:6) The thirteenth of May was the day of their triumphant installation.

Every dedication on earth reminds the Church, as she herself tells us, of the assembly of the Saints, the living stones of the eternal dwelling which God is building for himself in heaven. (Collecta in die Dedications Altaris; Postcomm. Anniv. Ded. Eccl.) It is not astonishing, then, that the dedication of Agrippa’s Pantheon, under the above-mentioned circumstances, should have originated the feast of to-day. (Martyrolog. ad hanc diem.) Its anniversary, recalling the memory of the martyrs collectively, satisfied the Church’s desire of honouring year by year all her blessed sons who had died for the Lord; for, at an early date it became impossible to celebrate each of them on the day of his glorious death. In the age of peace there was added to the cultus of the martyrs that of the other just, who daily sanctified themselves in all the paths of heroism opened out to Christian courage. The thought of uniting these with the former in one common solemnity, which would supply for the unavoidable omission of many of them, followed naturally upon the initiative given by Boniface IV.

In 732, in the first half of that eighth century which was such a grand age for the Church, Gregory III. dedicated, at St. Peter’s on the Vatican, an oratory in honour of the Saviour, of his blessed Mother, of the holy Apostles, of all the holy Martyrs, Confessors, and perfect Just, who repose throughout the world.” (Lib pontific. in Gregorio III.) A dedication under so extensive a title did not, it is true, imply the establishment of our feast of All Saints by the illustrious Pontiff; yet from this period it began to be celebrated by divers churches, and that too on the first of November; as is attested, with regard to England, by Venerable Bede’s Martyrology and the Pontifical of Egbert of York. It was far, however, from being universal, when in the year 835 Louis le Debonnaire, at the request of Gregory IV. and with the consent of all the bishops of his realm, made its celebration obligatory by law. This decree was welcomed by the whole Church and adopted as her own, says Ado, with reverence and love. (Ado. Martyrol.)

The councils of Spain and Gaul, as early as the sixth century, (Concil. Gerund, an. 517, can. 3; Lugdun. II. an. 567, can. 1.) mention a custom then existing, of sanctifying the commencement of November by three days of penance and litanies, like the Rogation days which precede the feast of our Lord’s Ascension. The fast on the Vigil of All Saints is the only remaining vestige of this custom of our forefathers, who, after the institution of the feast, advanced the triduum of penance, so as to make it a preparation for the solemnity itself. “Let our devotion be complete,” is the recommendation of a contemporaneous author; “let us prepare ourselves for this most holy solemnity by three days of fasting, prayer and almsdeeds.” (Inter Opera ALUINI, Epist. xci. ad calcem.)

When extended to the entire world, the feast became complete; it was made equal to the greatest solemnities, and widened its horizon till it reached the infinite, embracing uncreated as well as created sanctity. Its object was now, not only Mary and the martyrs; not only all the just children of Adam, but moreover the nine choirs of Angels, and above all the Holy Trinity Itself, God who is all in all, the King of kings, that is, of the Saints, the God of gods in Sion. Hear now the Church awakes her children on this day: Come let us adore the Lord, the King of kings, for he is the crown of all the Saints.” (Invitatory of the Feast.) Such was the invitation addressed by our Lord himself to St. Mechtilde, the chantress of Helfta, the privileged one of his divine Heart: “Praise me, for that I am the crown of all the Saints.” The virgin then beheld all the beauty of the elect and their glory drawing increase from the Blood of Christ, and resplendent with the virtues practiced by him; and responding to our Lord’s appeal, she praised with all her might the blissful and ever adorable Trinity, for deigning to be to the Saints their diadem and their admirable dignity. (Liber specialis gratiae, P . I. cap . xxxi.)

Dante too describes Beatrice in the highest heaven, forming her crown of the reflection of the eternal rays. “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, sang the inhabitants of Paradise with one voice. I seemed, says the sublime poet, to behold a smile of the universe. The kingdom of bliss, with all its people both ancient and new, turned look and love all towards one point. O triple light, which shining in a single star dost so delight them, look down upon our tempests!” (Dante, Paradiso, xxvii, xxxi.)

In many churches, the ancient Office of the Feast, up to the sixteenth century, had this peculiarity, that at the Nocturns the first Antiphon, the first Blessing, the first Lesson, and the first Responsory treated of the Blessed Trinity; the second of these respective pieces spoke of our Lady, the third of the Angels, the fourth of the Patriarchs and Prophets, the fifth of the Apostles, the sixth of the Martyrs; the seventh of the Confessors, the eighth of the Virgins, the ninth of all the Saints. On this account the first Lesson, contrary to the custom of the rest of the year, was given to the highest dignitary of the choir, and the first Responsory to the first cantors. The rest followed in order down to the children ; one of whom sang the Lesson of the Virgins, and five others, clothed in white and holding lighted tapers in their hands in memory of the five wise virgins, sang the eighth Responsory before the Lady-Altar. The ninth Lesson and Responsory were again chanted by Priests. All, or nearly all, these customs have been successively modified; but the arrangement of the Responsories remains the same.

Our readers will be glad to find here the primitive Antiphons and Responsories referred to in the visions of Saints, who show us each order of the blessed in heaven taking part, during this sacred night, in the prayers and thanksgivings of earth. The following texts are found alike in the Breviaries of Aberdeen and Salisbury.


ANTIPHONS

1. Ant. Be propitious to us, O God, who art One and Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

2. Ant. As the lily among thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters.

3. Ant. Let us praise the Lord, whom the Angels praise, whom Cherubim and Seraphim proclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy.

4. Ant. Among those born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist.

5. Ant. Be valiant in war and fight with the old serpent, and you shall receive an eternal kingdom. Alleluia.

6. Ant. These are the holy ones, who for the love of God despised the threats of men ; the holy Martyrs now rejoice with the Angels in the eternal kingdom : On how precious is the death of the Saints, who continually stand before the Lord, and are not separated from one another.

7. Ant. Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands; and you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding.

8. Ant. Holy Virgins of God, pray for us, that through you we may deserve to obtain pardon of our crimes.

9. Ant. Sing praise to our God, all bis Saints, and you that fear the Lord, little and great, for the Lord our God Almighty hath reigned: let us rejoice and exult, and give glory to him.


RESPONSORIES.

1. ℟. To the most high Trinity, to the indivisible God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be one divinity, equal glory, co-eternal majesty. * Who subjects the whole world to his laws.

℣.  May the blessed Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and likewise of the Holy Spirit, grant us grace. * Who subjects the whole world to his laws.


2. ℟. Happy art thou, 0 holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise: * For from thee arose the Sun of justice, Christ our God.

℣. Pray for the people, plead for the clergy, intercede for the devout female sex, let all experience thy aid who celebrate thy solemnity. * For from thee.


3. ℟. Thee, holy Lord, all the Angels praise on high, saying: * To thee beseemeth * Praise and honour, O Lord.

℣. The Cherubim also and the Seraphim cry out, Holy; and every heavenly rank, saying: * To thee beseemeth. Glory be to the Father. * Praise and honour.


4. ℟. Among those born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: * Who prepared the way for the Lord in the desert.

℣. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. * Who prepared.


5. ℟.The fellow-citizens of the Apostles and the servants of God have come before us today: * Bearing a torch and enlightening our fatherland, to give peace to the nations, and to deliver the people of the Lord.

℣. Hear the prayers of suppliants imploring the rewards of eternal life, O ye who bear in your hands the sheaves of justice, and who come today rejoicing. * Bearing.


6. ℟.0 praiseworthy constancy of the Martyrs; O inextinguishable charity; O invincible patience! although under the tortures of the persecutors it appeared despicable, * It shall be found worthy of praise and glory and honour, * In the time of retribution.

℣. Therefore we pray that they may assist us with their blessed merits, now that they are honoured by the Father who is in heaven. * It shall be found. Glory be to the Father. * In the time.


7. ℟.Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands. * And you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when lie shall return from the wedding.

℣. Watch ye therefore, because you know not what hour your Lord will come. * And you yourselves.


8. ℟. I heard a voice coming from heaven: Come all ye most wise Virgins: * Keep oil ready in your vessels, for when the Spouse shall come.

℣. At midnight there was a cry made: Behold the Bridegroom cometh. * Keep oil.


9. ℟. Grant us, O Lord we beseech thee, the pardon of our sins; and through the intercession of thy Saints whose solemnity we celebrate today: * Bestow upon us such great devotion, * That we may deserve to be admitted into their company.

℣. May their merits assist us, who are hindered by our own crimes; may their intercession excuse us, who are accused by our own deeds; and thou who hast bestowed on them the palm of heavenly victory, refuse not to us the pardon of our sins. * Bestow upon us. Glory be to the Father. * That we may.

The Greeks honour with us, on one common solemnity, “all the Saints of all the countries on earth, of Asia, Lybia, and Europe, of North and South.” (Pentecostarion, in Dominica Sanctorum omnium.) But, whereas the West celebrates at the close of the year a feast which represents the gathering of the harvest into our heavenly Father’s granary, the East keeps it on the first Sunday after Pentecost, in that spring-time of the Church, when, under the action of the Holy Ghost, sanctity was everywhere beginning to blossom. (Leon. Philosoph. Oratio xv. In universæ terræ Sanctos universos.) We find it thus as early as the fourth century; for it was on this first Sunday after Pentecost, which with us Latins is now the feast of the most holy Trinity, that St. John Chrysostom pronounced his discourse in honour of “all the Martyrs, who have suffered throughout the world.” (Chrys. Opera ii, 711)

In the West also as we have seen, the origin of All Saints’ feast was this general commemoration of the Martyrs. This latter was placed by some Eastern churches on the Friday within the Octave of Easter. (Calendaria Syrorum et Chaldæorum) It was a happy thought thus to associate the confession of Christ’s witnesses with the victory over death won by him, whose divine confession before Pontius Pilate had been an example and a support to them in presence of their executioners. Indeed Rome herself had had the same inspiration, when she made her solemn commemoration of the Martyrs in the beginning of May; and she still reserves to the Martyrs and Apostles the honour of having a special Office for the whole of Paschal Time.

We borrow the following passages from the Greek Office for the “Sunday of All Saints.”

IN MAGNO VESPERTINO

The disciples of the Lord, the instruments of the Spirit, scattered throughout the world the seed of the divine word: whence sprang the Martyrs who intercede for our souls.

Support of the Church, perfection of the Gospel, O godlike choir of Martyrs, ye fulfilled the words of our Saviour. For, the gates of hell wide yawning against the Church ye have closed and bolted; by the shedding of your blood ye dried up the libations of the idols; your immolation gave birth to the fullness of believers. O admiration of the Angels, ye stand crowned before God; beseech him unceasingly for our souls.

Come, all ye faithful; let us celebrate with psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles the solemnity of all the Saints: behold it comes, bringing us the richest gifts. Therefore let us cry out and say: Hail, company of Prophets, who announced to the world the coming of Christ, seeing things afar off as though they were at hand. Hail, choir of Apostles, fishers of men, casting your net among the nations. Hail, army of Martyrs, brought together from the ends of the earth into one faith; ye endured, for that faith, injuries and torments, and gloriously won your laurels in the contest. Hail, honey-laden hive of the Fathers; who, having macerated your bodies with austerities, and mortified the passions of the flesh, raised your mind with divine love, as it were on wings, soaring even to heaven, where rejoicing with the Angels ye possess a blessed eternity. And now, O Prophets, O Apostles, 0 Martyrs and Ascetics, earnestly implore him who has crowned you to save us from our enemies both visible and invisible.

Hail, ye Saints and just ones; hail, praiseworthy choir of holy women. Intercede with Christ for the world; that he may give to our prince victory over the barbarians, and to our souls his great mercy.


Mass

Ancient documents referring to this day inform us that on the Calends of November the same eagerness was shown us as at Christmas to assist at the holy Sacrifice. However general the Feast was, or rather because of its universality, was it not the special joy of everyone, and the honor of Christian families? Taking a holy pride in the persons whose virtues they handed down to posterity, they considered the heavenly glory of their ancestors, who had perhaps been unknown in the world, to be a higher nobility than any earthly dignity.

Faith was lively in those days, and Christians seized the opportunity of this feast to make amends for the neglect, voluntary or involuntary, suffered during the year by the blessed inscribed on the general Calendar. In the famous Bull Transiturus de hoc mundo, by which he established the feast of Corpus Christi, Urban IV mentions this as one of the motives that had led to the prior institution of All Saints, and expresses a hope that the new solemnity may in like manner compensate for the distractions and coldness of the rest of the year towards this divine Sacrament, wherein he resides who is the crown and the glory of all Saints.

The Introit Antiphon resembles that of our Lady’s Assumption day. This feast is indeed a sequel to Mary’s triumph. As our Lord’s Ascension called for his Mother’s Assumption, both required for their completion the universal glorification of the human race which provides heaven with its King and Queen. Joy, then, on earth, which continues thus magnificently to give its fruit! Joy among the Angels, who see their vacant thrones filled up! Joy, says the Verse, to all the blessed, who are receiving the congratulations of heaven and earth!

Introit
Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore Sanctorum omnium: de quorum solemnitate gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival day in honor of all the Saints: at whose solemnity the Angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God.

Ps. Exaultate, justi, in Domino; rectos decet collaudatio. Gloria Patri. Gaudeamus.
Ps. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. Glory be to the Father. Let us all …


But we sinners, who are still in exile, have always and everywhere need of mercy. Today we may well hope for it, since so many are interceding for us. If the prayer of one Saint is powerful, what must be the united suffrages of all heaven!

Collect
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui nos omnium Sanctorum tuorum merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari: quæsumus, ut desideratum nobis tuæ propitiationis abundantiam, multiplicatis intercessoribus largiaris. Per Dominum.
O Almighty, everlasting God, who has granted us to venerate in one solemnity the merits of all thy Saints; we beseech thee, that as our intercessors are multiplied, thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of thy mercy. Through, etc.


Epistle
Lesson from the Book of the Apocalypse of blessed John the Apostle. Ch. vii.

In those days, behold I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda, were twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Ruben, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Aser, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Nephthali, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Manasses, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Zabulon, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand signed: Of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands: And they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, Saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Quote:At the time of his birth, the Man-God, through the instrumentality of Cæsar Augustus, took a census of the world; it was fitting that on the eve of the Redemption, the statistics of the human race should be officially registered. And now it is time to make a fresh enrollment, and to enter in the Book of Life the results of the work of Redemption.

“Wherefore this numbering of the world at the time of our Lord’s birth,” says St. Gregory in one of the Christmas homilies (Lectio vii. in Nocte Natal. Domini; ex Homil. viii. in Ev.), “save for this manifest reason, that he was appearing in the Flesh, who is to enregister the elect in eternity?” But many, having withdrawn themselves by their own fault from the benefit of the first enrollment, which included all men in the ranks of those to be redeemed, there was need of a second and definitive registration, which should cancel the names of the guilty. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and with the just let them not be written; such are the words of the Psalmist, quoted by St. Gregory in the above-mentioned homily.

Today, however, the Church is too full of joy to think of any but the elect; they alone take part in the glorious close of human history described in the Epistle. Indeed, they alone are reckoned before God; the reprobate are but the waste of a world where sanctity alone responds to the Creator’s advances, to the ventures of his infinite love. Let our souls be supple to receive the divine stamp, which is to render us comformable to the image of the Only-begotten Son, and mark us out as God’s coin. Whoever is unwilling to receive the divine impress will inevitably be marked with the character of the beast; and when the Angels come to make the final settlement, every coin unfit to bear the divine stamp will fall into the furnace, where the dross will burn eternally.

Let us, then, as the Gradual recommends, live in fear; not that of the slave, who dreads punishment, but that filial fear, which is anxious never to displease him from whom are all good things, and whose kindness deserves all our love in return. Without losing aught of their beatitude, or diminishing their love, the angelic Powers and all the Saints in heaven prostrate with a holy trembling beneath the gaze of God’s awful majesty.

Gradual
Timete Dominum omnes Sancti ejus: quoniam nihil deest timentibus eum.
Fear the Lord, all ye his Saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.

℣. Inquirentes autem Dominum, non deficient omni bono.
℣. But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. Venite ad me omnes, qui laboratis, et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. Alleluia.
℣. Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Alleluia.


Gospel
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. Ch. v.

At that time: Jesus, seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. The poor in spirit: That is, the humble; and they whose spirit is not set upon riches. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.

Quote:Earth is so near to heaven today that the one thought which fills all hearts is happiness. The Friend, the Bridegroom, the divine Brother of Adam’s children, comes and sits down among them, and talks of blessedness: “Come to me all you that labor and suffer,” sang the Alleluia-Verse, that sweet echo from our fatherland reminding us withal of our exile. And immediately in the Gospel appears the goodness and kindness of God our Savior. Let us listen to him, teaching us the ways of blessed hope, the holy delights which are at once an assurance and a foretaste of the perfect bliss of heaven.

On Sinai Jehovah held the Jew at a distance, giving him precepts under pain of death. On the summit of this other mountain where the Son of God is seated how differently the Law of love is promulgated! In the New Testament, the eight beatitudes have taken the place occupied in the Old by the Decalogue graven on stone. Not that the beatitudes repeal the Commandments; but their superabundant justice goes far beyond all prescriptions. It is from his Heart that Jesus brought them forth in order to imprint them, more lastingly than on stone, in the hearts of his people. They are the portrait of the Son of Man, the summary of our Redeemer’s life. Look, then, and do according to the pattern that was shown thee in the mount.

Poverty was the first mark of our God in Bethlehem; and who ever appeared so meek as Mary’s Child? Who wept for more noble causes than he in his crib, where he was already expiating our sins and appeasing his Father? They that hunger after justice, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peace-makers: where, save in him, will they find the incomparable ideal, never attained yet ever imitable? And by his death he became the leader of all those who are persecuted for justice’s sake. In this the highest beatitude on earth, the Incarnate Word takes delight, returning upon it, detailing it, and closing with it in today’s Gospel as with a song of ecstasy. The Church has never had any other ideal; she has ever walked in the footsteps of her Spouse, and her history, throughout the ages, has been but the prolonged echo of the Beatitudes. Let us also understand that we may be blessed both in this world and in the next, let us follow our Lord and the Church.

The evangelical beatitudes raise man above torments, above death itself, which disturbs not the peace of the just, but consummates it. Such is the burthen of the Offertory chant, taken from the book of Wisdom.

Offertory
Justorum animæ in manu Dei sunt: et non tanget illos tormentum malitiæ: visi sunt oculis insipientium mori, illi autem sunt in pace. Alleluia.
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace. Alleluia.


As the Secret explains, the Sacrifice in which we are allowed to take part glorifies God, honors the Saints, and renders the divine goodness propitious to us.

Secret
Munera tibi, Domine, nostræ devotionis offerimus: quæ et pro cunctorum tibi grata sint honore justorum, et nobis salutaria, te miserante, reddantur. Per Dominum.
We offer to thee, O Lord, the gifts of our devotion; and may they be pleasing to thee in honor of the just, and be made salutary to us by thy mercy. Through our Lord.


The Communion Antiphon, like an echo of the Gospel, repeats the last three beatitudes, referring them, and rightly, to the divine Sacrament whereby they are nourished.

Communion
Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt: beati pacifici, quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur: beati, qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum cœlorum.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God: blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God: blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


In the Postcommunion, the Church asks as the fruit of this feast that her children may always honor the Saints, and ever benefit by their favor with God.

Postcommunion
Da, quæsumus Domine, fidelibus populis, omnium Sanctorum semper veneratione lætari: et eorum perpetua supplicatione muniri. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee O Lord, to thy faithful people, ever to rejoice in the veneration of all the Saints, and to be defended by their perpetual supplication. Through, etc.


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VESPERS OF THE DEAD

No human science or eloquence could ever reach the depth of teaching, the power of soul-stirring supplication contained in the office of the Dead. This intimate knowledge of the secrets of the other world, and of the way to win the Heart of her Spouse, belongs to the Bride alone; and she alone, the true Mother of men, is able with exquisite tact to console the orphans and the bereaved, by shortening the painful purification of those who have passed away.

Dilexi: this first song of the holy souls is all love; as the Credidi, the last Psalm sung by the heavenly citizens on this feast, recalled their faith, and the trials they have endured on earth. We have just remarked that there is no transition between the two solemnities. What need of any? The suffering souls and the blessed, both are the captives of love; love gives them their dignity, and is their imperishable treasure. In the case of the blessed, faith having given place to the vision of God, their love is highest bliss; but to the suffering souls, imprisoned in darkness by sins not yet expiated, love is the source of inexpressible pain. However, they are now free from the anxieties of this world; they are confirmed in grace, and can never sin again; they are full of gratitude towards God who has saved them in his mercy, and in his justice is purifying them to make them worthy of himself. They are in a state of absolute and perfect resignation, and of calm expectancy, called by holy Church a “sleep of peace.” ( Canon Missæ)

Ant. I will please the Lord in the land of the living.


Psalm 114.

I have loved, because the Lord will hear the voice of my prayer.

Because he has inclined his ear to me, and in my days I will call to him.

The sorrows of death have surrounded me; and the dangers of hell are come upon me.

I have found tribulation and sorrow; and I have invoked the Name of the Lord.

O Lord, deliver my soul: the Lord is merciful and just: and our God shows mercy.

The Lord is the keeper of the little ones; I was humbled, and he delivered me.

Return, my soul, into thy rest: for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee.

Because he has delivered my soul from death, my eyes a from tears, and my feet from slipping.

I will please the Lord in the land of the living.

Instead of the usual doxology the Church makes, at the end of every Psalm, a fervent prayer for the departed.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Ant. I will please the Lord in the land of the living.



The soul in Purgatory, separated from the body which weighed her down and distracted her by a thousand vain preoccupations, is now entirely absorbed by the one desire of becoming at length perfectly pleasing to God. Towards this end her whole energy is directed; and so too is the force of the torments for whose violence she is so grateful. Purgatory is a crucible where the dross of sin is burnt away, until every debt is canceled. When its flames have effaced every stain and every wrinkle that marred the soul’s beauty, then she flees away to her Spouse, truly a blessed one and sure of offering no obstacle to the complacent love of her Lord.

Yet to what a sad length her exile is prolonged! True she is united by charity to the inhabitants of heaven: but the fire which torments her is of the same nature as that of hell; her abode is nigh to that of the damned: she must endure the proximity of the infernal Cedar f and of those adversaries of all peace, the detestable demons, who attacked her unceasingly during her mortal life with their assaults and their snares, and who still with deceitful tongue accuse her before the throne of God. Presently we shall hear the Church imploring: ” From the gate of hell deliver her!”

Ant. Woe is me, O Lord, that my sojourning is prolonged.


Psalm 119.

When I was in tribulation, I cried to the Lord; and he heard me.

O Lord, deliver my soul from unjust lips, and from a deceitful tongue.

What is to be given to thee, or what is to be added to thee: to a deceitful tongue?

The sharp arrows of the mighty: with coals of desolation.

Woe is me that my abode is prolonged. I have dwelt with the inhabitants of Cedar; my soul has been long a sojourner.

I was peaceable with those that hated peace; when I spoke to them, they insulted me for no reason.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. Woe is me, O Lord, that my sojourning is prolonged.

Yet the soul faints not; lifting up her eyes to the mountains, she feels that she can rely upon her Lord, and that she is abandoned neither by heaven which is expecting her arrival, nor by, her mother the Church on earth. ‘ Although Purgatory, where justice and peace meet and embrace, is so near to the region of endless weeping, it is still accessible to the Angels. These august messengers comfort the soul with divine communications; while the blessed in heaven and the just on earth assist her with their prayers and suffrages. She is well assured that sin, the only real evil, can never touch her.

Ant. The Lord preserve thee from all evil : may the Lord keep thy soul.


Psalm 120.

I lifted up my eyes to the mountains: from whence my help will come.

My help is from the Lord: who made heaven and earth.

May he not suffer thy foot to stagger; and may he not slumber that keeps thee.

Lo, he will not slumber nor sleep: that keeps Israel.

Our Lord keeps thee, our Lord is thy protection: on thy right hand.

The sun shall not burn thee by day: nor the moon by night.

The Lord preserveth thee from all evil; may the Lord keep thy soul.

May the Lord keep thy coming in, and thy going out: from henceforth, now and forever.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. The Lord preserve thee from all evil: may the Lord keep thy soul.

Christian usage has appropriated Psalm 129 as the peculiar prayer for the dead; it is a cry of anguish, mingled with hope. The destitute condition of the holy souls is well calculated to touch our hearts. Though not yet in heaven, they no longer belong to earth, and have consequently lost those privileges whereby God compensates us for the dangers which surround us in our passage through this world of trial. Their perfect acts of love, of hope, of faith, and of resignation have no merit. Such unspeakable sufferings, accepted with their dispositions, would earn for us a reward equal to that of a thousand martyrs; yet to these souls they profit nothing, for all eternity, beyond the mere payment of the penalty exacted by the just judge. Besides their inability to merit, they can no longer satisfy God’s justice by offering him an equivalent such as he can accept. Their powerlessness to help themselves is more absolute than that of the paralytic of the Pool of Bethsaida: (John 5) the saving waters are left behind on earth, together with the holy Sacrifice, the Sacraments, and the use of the all powerful keys entrusted to the Church.

The Church, however, albeit she has no longer any jurisdiction over these poor souls, still feels towards them all a mother’s tenderness; nor has she lost her credit with the Spouse. She makes their prayer her own. Opening the treasure she has inherited from the plenteous redemption of the Lord, she makes an offering from her dowry to him who gave it her, begging in return the deliverance of the captives, or at least an alleviation of their sufferings. Thus, all rights being duly respected, abundant mercy penetrates into the kingdom of inexorable justice.

Ant. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities. Lord, who shall bear it?


Psalm 129.

From the depths I cried unto thee, O Lord: Lord hear my voice.

Let thy ears be attentive: to the voice of my petition.

If thou wilt observe iniquities, O Lord: Lord, who shall sustain it?

Because with thee is propitiation: and for thy law I have expected thee, O Lord.

My soul has relied on his word: my soul has hoped in the Lord.

From the morning watch even until night: let Israel hope in the Lord.

Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.

And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord: And let perpetual light shine on them.

Ant. If thou wilt observe iniquities, O Lord; Lord who shall bear it?

I will praise thee for thou hast heard me. The Church’s prayer is never in vain. The last Psalm utters her gratitude, and that of the souls freed, by the Office we are now saying, from the abyss, or drawn nearer to heaven. The Church has prayed, and in answer to her prayer many who were captives this morning make their entrance into everlasting light on the evening of this beautiful feast ; and they enhance its joy and glory at its close. Let our hearts and our thoughts follow these new Saints; they smile upon us, they thank us their brethren and children, as they ascend all radiant from the land of shadows singing; In the sight of Angels I will sing to thee, O Lord; I mil adore in thy holy temple, — No; the Lord does not despise the works of his hands.



Ant. Despise not, O Lord, the works of thy hands.

Psalm 137.

I will praise thee, O Lord, with all my heart: because thou hast heard the words of my mouth.

I will sing to thee in the sight of angels: I will adore in thy holy temple, and I will give glory to thy name.

For thy mercy and thy truth; because thou hast magnified thy holy name above all.

In what day soever I shall call to thee, hear me: thou wilt increase strength in my soul.

Let all kings of the earth confess thee, O Lord; for they have heard all the words of thy mouth.

And let them sing in the ways of our Lord: because the glory of the Lord is great:

For the Lord is high, and he beholds the low things; and the high things he knows afar off.

If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, thou wilt quicken me; and upon the wrath of my enemies thou hast stretched thy hand, and thy right hand has saved me.

The Lord will repay for me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever: O despise not the works of thy hands.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord: And let perpetual light shine upon them.

Ant. Despise not, O Lord, the works of thy hands.

And now from heaven itself, as if sent to us by the dear newly-delivered souls, comes this intimation of their happiness: (Apocalypse 14:13)

℣. I heard a voice from heaven saying to me:
℟. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.


The whole of this wonderful liturgical drama, which has been represented before us, points to the fulfillment of our Lord’s promise, (John 6:37) which the Church repeats in the following Antiphon.

ANTIPHON OP THE MAGNIFICAT.
All that my Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will not cast out.

But as in this world every grace from Jesus comes to us through Mary, so in the next world it is through her that deliverance and all good things are obtained. The Mother of God is queen over all whom her Son has redeemed. Thus the revelations of the saints tell us that she is truly the queen of Purgatory; whether she graciously sends the Angels of her guard to represent her there; or deigns herself, the beautiful dawn of eternal day, to enter its gloomy precincts, and shed upon its flames the abundant dew of morning. Shall the snow of Libanus fail from the rock of the field? or can the cold waters that gush out and run down, be taken away? (Jeremiah 18:14) We must understand, then, why we sing the Magnificat in the Office of the Dead: it is the loyal homage to Mary of the souls that are entering heaven, and the sweet hope of those still detained in the region of expiation.

The Canticle Magnificat (beginning of this volume) concluding with the Requiem æternam. etc.

After the repetition of the antiphon all kneel, and the priest begins the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father.

The rest is said in silence as far as this conclusion, which is followed by the Versicles and Prayer that close the Vespers of the Dead.

℣. And lead us not into temptation,
℟. But deliver us from evil.
℣. From the gates of hell,
℟. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
℣. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.
℣. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come to thee.
℣. The Lord be with you.
℟. And with thy spirit.



PRAYER

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of thy servants, men and women, the remission of their sins; that by pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

℟. Amen.
℣. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord.
℟. And let perpetual light shine on them.
℣. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.



Let us offer our Lady this touching supplication, which for a long time many churches addressed to her for the dead. It was composed in the fourteenth century, by John IV. de Langoueznou, Abbot of Landevenec, inspired by his tender love for Mary.

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PROSE

To the sufferers in Purgatory, whom the burning flame is cleansing and sharp pains are tormenting, may thy compassion bring assistance, O Mary!

Fount accessible to all and washing away their sins, thou aidest all, despisest none: to the dead who languish in unceasing tortures stretch forth thy hand, O Mary!

How lovingly do the departed souls sigh towards thee, yearning to be delivered from their sufferings and to be admitted to the sight of thee in the enjoyment of eternal bliss, O Mary!

Hear their groans, and hasten, O Mother, to show the love of thy heart; obtain of Jesus that he would deign to heal them through his own wounds, O Mary!

Thou art the true hope of them that call upon thee: lo! united multitudes cry to thee for their brethren, that thou wouldst appease thy Son, and obtain for them the heavenly reward, O Mary!

In thy goodness, cause the tears thou seest us shed before the feet of the Judge, to speedily extinguish the flames of the avenging Are, that the dear souls may join the angelic choirs, O Mary!

And when the strict examination shall take place at God’s terrible judgment, oh! then implore thy Son the Judge that we may share the inheritance of the Saints, O Mary!

Amen.

Truly this day is grand and beautiful. Earth, midway between heaven and purgatory, has united them together. The wonderful mystery of the communion of saints is revealed in all its fullness. The immense family of the sons of God is shown to be one in love, while distinct in its three states of beatitude, trial, and purifying expiation: the trial and expiation being but temporary, the beatitude eternal. It is the fitting completion of the teaching given us through the entire year; and every day within the octave we shall see the light increase.

Meanwhile, every soul is recollected, pondering over the dearest and noblest memories. On leaving the home of God, let our thoughts linger lovingly upon those who have the best claim to them. It is the feast of our beloved dead. Let us hear their suppliant voices in the plaintive tones that, from belfry to belfry throughout the Christian world, are ushering in this dark November night. This evening or to-morrow they will expect us to visit them at . the tombs where their mortal remains rest in peace. Let us pray for them; and let us also pray to them: we need never be afraid to speak to them of the interests that were dear to them before God. For God loves them; and, as his justice keeps them in an utter inability to help themselves, he makes amends to his goodness by hearing them all the more willingly on behalf of others.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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Instructions for the Feast of All Saints

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Why has the Church instituted this festival?

O give praise to God in His saints (Ps. cl.), and to pay to the saints themselves the honor, which they merited by having made the promotion of the honor of God the work of their whole earthly life. 2. To impress vividly upon our minds, that we are members of that holy Catholic Church which believes in the communion of saints, that is, in the communion of all true Christians, who belong to the Church triumphant in heaven, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church militant upon earth; but, more particularly, to cause us earnestly to consider the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet battling on earth. 3. To exhort us to raise our eyes and hearts especially today to heaven, where before the throne of God is gathered the innumerable multitude of saints of all countries, times, nationalities, and ranks of life, who have faithfully followed Christ and left us glorious examples of virtues, which we ought to imitate. We can imitate them, for the saints too, were weak men; they fought and conquered only with the grace of God, which will not be denied to us. 4. To honor those saints, for whom there is no special festival appointed by the Church during the year. 5. Finally, that in answer to so many intercessors God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may permit us to share in their merits, and may give us grace to enjoy with them, some day, the bliss of heaven.


Who first instituted this festival?

Pope Boniface IV. gave the first suggestion of this festival, when in 610 he ordered, that the Pantheon, a pagan temple at Rome, dedicated to all the gods, should he turned into a Christian Church, and the relics of the saints, dispersed through the different Roman cemeteries, taken up and placed in it. He then dedicated the Church to the honor of the blessed Virgin and of all martyrs, and thus for the first time celebrated the Festival of All Saints, directing that is should be observed in Rome every year. Pope Gregory IV. extended its celebration to the whole Catholic Church, and fixed the day for it on the first of November.


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At the Introit the Church sings: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, and celebrate this festival in honour of all the saints, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice and praise the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright. Glory, &c.

PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Almighty and eternal God, by whose favour we honour on one solemnity the merits of all Thy saints: grant we may obtain a plentiful blessing of Thy so much desired mercy, since we have so many petitioners in our behalf. Through.

LESSON. (Apoc. vii. 2 - 12.) In Those Days: Behold I, John, saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we have signed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda, were twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Ruben, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Aser, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Nephtali, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Manasses, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Zebulon, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand signed. After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and tribes, and peoples and tongues: standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures: and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Quote:EXPLANATION. The words of this lesson relate and to the general judgment. At this judgment there will be chosen ones from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But that it might not be thought, that the elect are principally Christian converts from Judaism, St. John was shown a much greater and countless multitude of Christians from heathen lands, by which it is seen, that it is the heathens, who will principally fill the Church of Christ and heaven. This multitude clothed in white and carrying palms in the hands, stands before the throne of God and before the Lamb, that is, Christ. The white robes are tokens of their innocence; the palm is the emblem of their glory and of their victory over the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. They shall adore God, and forever sing to Him in communion with all the heavenly spirits a canticle of praise for the power and glory, which He has bestowed upon them. Let us strive so to live, that we may one day be among these chosen ones.


GOSPEL. (Matt. v. 1 - 12.) At That Time: Jesus seeing the multitude, went up into a mountain, and when He was set down, his disciples came unto Him. And opening His mouth He taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace makers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake; be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.

Quote:Why is the Gospel of the Eight Beatitudes read on this day?

Because they form, so to speak, a scale of steps, on which the saints courageously ascended to heaven. If you desire to be with the saints in heaven, you must also mount these steps with patience and perseverance, in doing which God's hand will assuredly aid you.


EXPLANATION OF THE EIGHT BEATITUDES

I. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven.

They are poor in spirit, who, like the apostles, leave all temporal things for Christ's sake and become poor; they, who have lost their property by misfortune or injustice, and patiently bear this loss with resignation to God's will: they, who are contented with their poor and lowly station in life, do not strive for greater fortune or a higher position, and would rather suffer want than make themselves rich by unlawful means; they, who though rich do not love wealth, nor set their hearts upon it, but use their wealth to aid the poor; and especially they, who are humble, that is, who have no exalted opinion of themselves, but are convinced of their weakness and inward poverty, have a low estimate of themselves and therefore feel always their need, like poor mendicants, to continually implore God's grace and assistance.


II. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.

He is meek who represses every rising impulse of anger, impatience, and desire of revenge, and willingly puts up with everything that God, to prove him, decrees or permits to happen to him or men to inflict upon him. He who thus controls himself, is like a calm and tranquil sea, in which the image of the divine sun can be ever reflected, clear and unruffled. He who thus conquers himself, is mightier than though he besieged and conquered strongly fortified cities (Prop. xvi. 32.), and will without doubt receive this earth, as well as heaven, as an inheritance, enjoying eternally in heaven the peace (Ps. xxxvi. 11.), which is already his on earth.


III. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

The mourners here mentioned, are not those who weep and lament over the death of relatives and friends, or over misfortune or loss of temporal riches, but those who mourn, that God is so often offended, so little loved and honored by men, that so many souls, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, are lost. Among these mourners are also they who lead a strict and penitential life, and patiently endure all distress; for sin is the only evil, the only thing to be lamented, and those tears only, which are shed on account of sin, are useful tears, that are recompensed with everlasting joy and eternal consolation.


IV. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.

They hunger and thirst after justice, that is, for those virtues which constitute Christian perfection, who if not already just, try to become so; and if they are so, continue day after day to advance in piety, striving with all their strength for the perfection of the love of God and their neighbor. He who seeks such perfection with ardent desire and earnest striving, will be filled, that is, will be adorned by God with the most beautiful virtues, and will be abundantly rewarded in heaven.


V. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

They are merciful, who assist the poor according to their means, who, practise every possible spiritual and corporal work of mercy, who as far as they can, patiently endure the faults of others, strive always to excuse them, and willingly forgive the injuries they have received. They especially are truly merciful, who are merciful to their enemy, and do good to him, as written: Love your enemies, and do good to them that persecute you. (Matt. v. 44.) Well is it for him who is merciful, the greatest rewards are promised him, but a judgment without mercy shall be given him, who is not merciful.


VI. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

They are clean of heart, who carefully preserve the innocence which they received in baptism, and keep their heart and conscience free not only from all sinful words and deeds, but from all sinful thoughts and desires, and in all their omissions and commissions think and desire only good. These while yet on earth see God in all His works and creatures, because their thoughts are directed always to the Highest Good, and in the other world they will see God from face to face, enjoying in this contemplation a peculiar pleasure which is reserved for pure souls only; for as the eye that would see well, must be clear, so those must be immaculate souls, which are to see God.


VII. Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the Children of God.

Those are peace makers who reign over their improper desires, who are careful to have peace in their conscience and all their actions ordered in quiet, who neither quarrel with themselves nor with their neighbors, are submissive to God's will. These are in a spiritual manner called Children of God, because they follow God who is a God of peace (Rom. xv. 33.) and who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world, and bring upon earth that peace which the world does not know and cannot give. (Luke ii. 14.; John xiv. 27.)


VIII. Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for their is the kingdom of heaven.

Those suffer persecution for justices' sake who by their words, writings, or by their life defend the truth, the faith, and Christian virtues; who cling firmly to God, and permit nothing to turn them from the duties of the Christian profession, from the practice of their holy religion, but on its account suffer hatred, contempt, disgrace, injury, and injustice from the world. If they endure all this with patience and perseverance, even, like the saints, with joy, then they will become like the saints and like them receive the heavenly crown. If we wish to be crowned with them, we must suffer with them: And all who live piously in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution, (ii. Tim. iii. 12.)


SUPPLICATION. How lovely, O Lord, are Thy tabernacles! My soul longs for Thy courts. My body and soul rejoice in Thee, Most Loving God, Thou crown and reward of all the saints, whose temporal pains and sufferings Thou dost reward with eternal joy, filling them with good. How blessed are they who have faithfully served Thee, for they carry Thy name on their forehead, and reign with Thee for all eternity. Grant us, we beseech Thee, O God, at their intercession, Thy grace that we after their example may serve Thee in sanctity and justice, in poverty and humility, in meekness and repentance, in the ardent desire for all virtues, by mercy, perfect purity of heart, in peacefulness and patience, following them, and taking part, one day, with them in heavenly joy and happiness. Amen.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#4
Sermons of Fr. Hewko for the Feast of All Saints


2016



2019 - Two Masses




2020



2021

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#5
The Litany of the Saints - The True Champions!


"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#6
Intercession of the Saints
by the Fathers of the Church - taken from here

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HERMAS
“[The Shepherd said:] ‘But those who are weak and slothful in prayer, hesitate to ask anything from the Lord; but the Lord is full of compassion, and gives without fail to all who ask him. But you, [Hermas,] having been strengthened by the holy angel [you saw], and having obtained from him such intercession, and not being slothful, why do not you ask of the Lord understanding, and receive it from him?’” (The Shepherd 3:5:4 [A.D. 80]).

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
“In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]” (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]).

ORIGEN
“But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep” (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]).

CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE
“Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy” (Letters 56[60]:5 [A.D. 253]).

METHODIUS
“Hail to you for ever, Virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for to you do I turn again. You are the beginning of our feast; you are its middle and end; the pearl of great price that belongs to the kingdom; the fat of every victim, the living altar of the Bread of Life [Jesus]. Hail, you treasure of the love of God. Hail, you fount of the Son’s love for man. . . . You gleamed, sweet gift-bestowing Mother, with the light of the sun; you gleamed with the insupportable fires of a most fervent charity, bringing forth in the end that which was conceived of you . . . making manifest the mystery hidden and unspeakable, the invisible Son of the Father—the Prince of Peace, who in a marvelous manner showed himself as less than all littleness” (Oration on Simeon and Anna 14 [A.D. 305]).

“Therefore, we pray [ask] you, the most excellent among women, who glories in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate the memory, which will ever live, and never fade away” (ibid.).

“And you also, O honored and venerable Simeon, you earliest host of our holy religion, and teacher of the resurrection of the faithful, do be our patron and advocate with that Savior God, whom you were deemed worthy to receive into your arms. We, together with you, sing our praises to Christ, who has the power of life and death, saying, ‘You are the true Light, proceeding from the true Light; the true God, begotten of the true God’” (ibid.).

CYRIL OF JERUSALEM
“Then [during the Eucharistic prayer] we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition . . . ” (Catechetical Lectures 23:9 [A.D. 350]).

HILARY OF POITIERS
“To those who wish to stand [in God’s grace], neither the guardianship of saints nor the defenses of angels are wanting” (Commentary on the Psalms 124:5:6 [A.D. 365]).

EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN
“You victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Savior, you who have boldness of speech toward the Lord himself, you saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may come upon us, and enlighten the hearts of all of us so that we may love him” (Commentary on Mark [A.D. 370]).

“Remember me, you heirs of God, you brethren of Christ; supplicate the Savior earnestly for me, that I may be freed through Christ from him that fights against me day by day” (The Fear at the End of Life [A.D. 370]).

THE LITURGY OF ST. BASIL
“By the command of your only-begotten Son we communicate with the memory of your saints . . . by whose prayers and supplications have mercy upon us all, and deliver us for the sake of your holy name” (Liturgy of St. Basil [A.D. 373]).

PECTORIUS
“Aschandius, my father, dearly beloved of my heart, with my sweet mother and my brethren, remember your Pectorius in the peace of the Fish [Christ]” (Epitaph of Pectorius [A.D. 375]).

GREGORY OF NAZIANZ
“May you [Cyprian] look down from above propitiously upon us, and guide our word and life; and shepherd this sacred flock . . . gladden the Holy Trinity, before which you stand” (Orations 17[24] [A.D. 380]).

“Yes, I am well assured that [my father’s] intercession is of more avail now than was his instruction in former days, since he is closer to God, now that he has shaken off his bodily fetters, and freed his mind from the clay that obscured it, and holds conversation naked with the nakedness of the prime and purest mind . . . ” (ibid., 18:4).

GREGORY OF NYSSA
“[Ephraim], you who are standing at the divine altar [in heaven] . . . bear us all in remembrance, petitioning for us the remission of sins, and the fruition of an everlasting kingdom” (Sermon on Ephraim the Syrian [A.D. 380]).

JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
“He that wears the purple [i.e., a royal man] . . . stands begging of the saints to be his patrons with God, and he that wears a diadem begs the tentmaker [Paul] and the fisherman [Peter] as patrons, even though they be dead” (Homilies on Second Corinthians 26 [A.D. 392]).

“When you perceive that God is chastening you, fly not to his enemies . . . but to his friends, the martyrs, the saints, and those who were pleasing to him, and who have great power [in God]” (Orations 8:6 [A.D. 396]).

AMBROSE OF MILAN
“May Peter, who wept so efficaciously for himself, weep for us and turn towards us Christ’s benign countenance” (The Six Days Work 5:25:90 [A.D. 393]).

JEROME
“You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard. . . . But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?” (Against Vigilantius 6 [A.D. 406]).

AUGUSTINE
“A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers” (Against Faustus the Manichean [A.D. 400]).

“There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended” (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).

“At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps” (Homilies on John 84 [A.D. 416]).

“Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ” (The City of God 20:9:2 [A.D. 419]).
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Reply
#7
The Golden Legend: Here followeth the Solemnity of All Hallows
Taken from here.

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The feast of all the saints was established for four causes.

First, for the dedication of the temple; secondly, for supplement of offences done; thirdly, for to take away negligence; and fourthly, for to get more lightly that thing which we pray for.

This feast was established principally for the dedication of the temple. For the Romans saw that they were seigniored all over the world, and therefore they made a right great temple and set their idol in the middle, and all about this idol they set the false images of all the provinces; so that all the images beheld right the idol of Rome. And it was ordained by art of the devil that, when a province would rebel against the Romans, the image of that province should turn his back to the idol of Rome, like as in showing that it departed from the seigniory of Rome. And then anon the Romans would bring great puissance into that province, and there subdued it to their seigniory. And yet it sufficed not to the Romans that they had in their seigniory all the false images of the provinces, but made to each of those false gods a temple, like as those gods had made them lords and vanquishers of all the provinces. And because that all the idols might not be in that temple, they made a greater temple, more marvellous and high than all the others, and for to show the more their woodness, they dedicated this temple in the honour of all their gods. And more for to deceive the people, feigned that it had been commanded to them of Cybele, a goddess, that is called mother of the gods. And they called this temple, Pantheon, which is as much to say as all gods; of pan, that is all, and theos, that is god. And because they would have victory of all the people, therefore they made a great temple to all the sons of Cybele. And the foundament of this temple was cast round by a sphere, that by this form the perdurability of their gods should be showed. And for as much as the great quantity of the earth which was within seemed not sustainable to be voided, and that the work was a little seen above the earth, they filled the crevices within the earth, and meddled pennies with the earth, and did always so till the said temple was fully accomplished. And then they gave licence that whosoever would take away the earth, that all the money that he found with the earth should be his. Then came hastily great company of people and voided anon the temple. And at the last the Romans made a pinnacle of copper and gilt, and set it in a right high place, and it is said all the provinces were entailed and graven marvellously within that pinnacle, so that all they that came to Rome might see in that pinnacle in what part his province was. And this pinnacle after long time fell, and remained in the overest part of the temple.

And in the time of Phocas the emperor, what time Rome had received the faith, Boniface, the fourth pope from S. Gregory, about the year of our Lord six hundred and five, gat of Phocas the said temple, and did do take away and efface all the ordure of all these idols. And the fourth kalends of May he hallowed it in the honour of our Lady S. Mary and of all the martyrs. And called it S. Mary at martyrs, which is now called Sancta Maria Rotunda, that is S. Mary the round. For then was made no solemnity of the confessors. And because there assembled great multitude of people at this feast, and there might not be found abundance of victual for the people that came, Pope Gregory established this feast to be in the kalends of November, for then ought to be greater abundance of victual, when the corn is had in, and wine made, and he established this day to be hallowed through the world in the honour of all saints.

And thus the temple that had been made for all the idols is now dedicate and hallowed to all the saints, and whereas the worshipping of idols was used, there is now the praising of all saints. Secondly, it is ordained for the supplement of things offended and trespassed, that is to say, for to accomplish such as we have overpassed, for we have left and overpassed many saints of whom we have made no feast. We may not hallow the feast of every saint by himself, as well for the great multitude, which be infinity, as for our infirmity. For we be feeble and weak, and may not suffice for the shortness of time, for the time may not suffice thereto. And as S. Jerome saith in an epistle which is in the beginning of his kalendar: There is no day, except the first day of January, but that there may be found every day more than five thousand martyrs.

And therefore, because we may not singularly make feast of every saint, S. Gregory the pope hath ordained and established that we shall on one day honour them generally and together. And Master William of Auxerre putteth six reasons, in the sum of the office, wherefore it was established that we should here in this world make solemnity of the saints.

The first is, for the honour of the divine majesty, for when we do worship the saint or saints, we worship God in his saints, and say that he is marvellous in them. For who that doth honour to saints, he honoureth him specially which hath sanctified them.

The second is to have aid in our infirmity, for by ourselves we may have none health, therefore have we need of the prayers of saints, and therefore we ought to honour them, that we may deserve that they aid and help us. It is read in the Third Book of Kings, of the first chapter, that Beersheba is as much to say as the pit of filling, which is to say the church triumphant saying to her son, that is to say that to the church triumphant he had obtained the reign by his prayers.

The third cause is for the augmentation of our surety, that is to say for the glory that is purposed in us; in their solemnity our hope and surety be augmented and increased. And if mortal men and dead might thus be enhanced by their merits, it is truth that the might and puissance shall nothing thereby be diminished nor lessened.

The fourth for the example of us following. For when the feast is remembered, we be called to ensue and follow them. So that by the example of them we despise all earthly things, and desire celestial things.

The fifth is for the debt of interchanging neighbourhood, for the saints make of us feast in heaven. For the angels of God and the holy souls have joy and make feast in heaven of a sinner that doth penance, and therefore it is right when they make of us feast in heaven, that we make feast of them in earth.

The sixth is for the procuration of our honour, for when we honour the saints we procure our honour, for their solemnity is our dignity, for when we worship our brethren we worship ourselves, for charity maketh all to be common, and our things be celestial, earthly and perdurable.

And above these reasons, John Damascene putteth three reasons in his fourth book the seventh chapter, why and wherefore the saints and their relics ought to be honoured, of which some be praised for their dignities and some for the preciousness of their bodies. And the dignity of them is in four manners. For they be friends of God, sons of God, heirs of God, and our dukes and leaders. And S. John putteth these authorities: Johannis decimo quinto.

For the first: Jam non dicam vos servos et cetera, I say you not now servants but friends.

For the second, Johannis primo: Dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, he gave to them power to be made the sons of God.

Of the third: Ad Romanos octavo, if ye be sons ye be heirs, et cetera.

Of the fourth he saith thus: How much shouldst thou labour to find a leader to bring thee to the king and speak for thee, that is to wit, that they be leaders of grace and of all human lineage, and speak and pray for us to God, wherefore they ought to be worshipped. Others be taken as touching the preciosity of their bodies.

And the said John Damascene putteth four reasons, and S. Augustine putteth thereto the fifth, by which is showed the preciosity of the bodies or of the relics. For the holy bodies were the celiers of God, temple of Jesu Christ; they were the alabaster or box of the precious ointment, and the fountain of the divine life, members of the Holy Ghost. First, they were the celiers of God, for the saints be celiers of God and pure adornments.

Secondly, they were the temple of Jesu Christ, for it followeth because that God dwelled in them by entendment, whereof the apostle saith: Ne know ye not that your bodies be the temple of the Holy Ghost dwelling in you? Hereof saith Chrysostom: Man delighteth him in edification of walls, and God delighteth him in the conversation of saints. Whereof David saith: Sire, I have loved the beauty of thy house. But that beauty is not made by diversity of marble, but it is given to living men by diversity of graces. The beauty of marble the flesh delighteth, the beauty of grace quickeneth the soul, the first deceiveth the eyes, and that other edifieth by double entendment.

Thirdly, they be the alabaster or box of spiritual ointment, wherefore it is said: Ointment of good odour cometh of himself, and this give the relics of saints. If the water ran from the rock and out of the stone, in desert, and also water ran out of the jaw of the ass to Samson which had thirst, then it is not incredible that there runneth from the relics of saints ointments well-smelling to them that know the gift of God and the honour of saints which cometh from him.

Fourthly, they be fountains of divinity. Of whom it is said: They that live in verity with free patience be assistant to God, and be to us wells of health. Our Lord Jesu Christ giveth unto relics of his saints many benefits in divers manners.

Fifthly, they be members of the Holy Ghost. This reason assigneth S. Augustine in the book, De Civitate Dei, and saith: They be not to be despised but to be honoured greatly, and to worship the bodies of the saints, of whom, when they lived, the Holy Ghost used as his own member in all good works. And the apostle saith: Ye seek experience of him that speaketh in me, Christ. And of S. Stephen it is said: They might not resist his wisdom, ne to the Holy Ghost that spake in him. And Ambrose saith in the Hexametron: It is a right precious thing that a man is made the member of divine voice, and with his bodily lips expresseth the words celestial. Thirdly, the feast of all the saints is established for the cleansing of our negligences. For howbeit that we hallow the feasts of a few saints, yet we keep them negligently ofttimes, and leave many things undone by ignorance and by negligence. And if we have not solemnised any feasts as we ought to do, but negligently, now in this general feast we ought to fulfil and amend it, and purge us of our negligence. And this reason is touched in a sermon that is recited this day in the church.

And it is ordained that at this day memory is made of all saints, that whatsomever fragility human hath done less than he ought by ignorance, by negligence, or by occupation of secular things in the solemnity of saints, that it be appeased in the observation of this holy feast. It is to be noted that there be four differences of the saints that we honour by the course of the year, which be of the New Testament, of whom on this day we gather together for to accomplish that which we have negligently done, that be apostles, martyrs, confessors, and virgins.

And after Rabanus, these four be signified by the four parts of the world, by the orient, that is east, the apostles; by the south, the martyrs; by the north, the confessors; and by the west, the virgins. The first difference is of the apostles, of whom the excellence is manifested because they surmount all the other saints in four things.

First, in sovereignty of dignity, for they be the wise princes of the church militant, they be the puissant assessors of the judge perdurable, they be sweet pastors of the sheep and flock of our Lord, and they be sweet judges. As Bernard saith: It beseemeth well to establish such pastors and such doctors of the human lineage that be sweet or soft, puissant and wise. Sweet or soft, that they receive us goodly by mercy, mighty, for to defend us puissantly, wise, for to bring us to the way of truth. After, they surmount the other saints in sovereignty of puissance, whereof S. Augustine saith thus: God gave power to the apostles over the devils, for to destroy them, above the elements, to change them, above nature, to cure it, above the souls for to assoil them of their sins, above the death, for to despise it, above the angels, for to sacre the precious body of our Lord Jesu Christ.
Thirdly, they exceed other saints in prerogative of holiness, so that by their great holiness and plenitude of graces, the life and conversation of Jesu Christ shone in them as in a mirror, and was known in them as the sun in his splendour, as a rose in his odour, and as fire in his heat. And hereof saith Chrysostom upon Matthew: Jesu Christ sent his apostles as the sun his rays, and as the rose is felt by his odour and as the fire is seen in his sparkles, so by the virtues of them is known the puissance of Jesu Christ. Fourthly, the apostles exceed other saints in the effect of profit. Of which utility S. Augustine, speaking of the apostles, saith: Of the most vile, of the most idiotic, and of the least, be ennobled, enlumined, and multiplied the most eloquent and fair speakers, the clearest wits and cunning, and most plenteous wisdom, of facound and speaking of authors and doctors.

The second difference is of martyrs, of whom the excellence is showed, by that they suffered in many manners profitably, constantly and multiplyingly. For above the martyrdom of blood-shedding they suffered three other martyrdoms without effusion of blood, that is scarceness in plenty, which David had, largesse in poverty, which Tobit showed, and chastity of widowhood in youth, of which Joseph used in Egypt. And after Gregory also, this is treble martyrdom without shedding of blood, that is patience in adversity, whereof it is said: We may be martyrs without iron if we keep verily patience in our courage. Compassion of them that be in affliction and torments, whereof it is said: Who that hath compassion of any that is in necessity, he beareth the cross in his thought. And he that suffered villainy and loveth his enemy is a martyr secretly in his mind. Secondly, they suffered martyrdom profitably, which profit on the part of the martyrs is remission of all sins, heaping and having plenty of merits and receiving of joy perdurable. And these things have they bought with their precious blood, and therefore it is said: Their blood is precious, that is to say, full of price. And of the first and second, Augustine saith, in the City of God: What thing is more precious than death, by which sins be pardoned and merits increased? And the same upon John, saith: The blood of Jesu Christ is precious without sin, and yet made he the blood of his saints precious, for whom he gave his precious blood. For if he had not made the blood of his saints precious, it should not be said that the death of saints is precious in the sight of our Lord. And Cyprian saith that martyrdom is the end of sin, term of peril, leader of health, master of patience and house of life. Of the third, S. Bernard saith: Three things there be that make the death of saints precious, rest of travail, joy of novelty, surety of perdurability. And as touching to us the profit is double; for they be given to us for an example to fight, whereof S. John Chrysostom saith to us: Thou, christian man, art a knight delicate if thou ween to have victory without fighting and triumph without battle. Exercise thy strength mightily, and fight thou cruelly in this battle. Consider the covenant, understand the condition, know the noble chivalry, know the covenant that thou hast made and promised, the condition that thou hast taken, the chivalry to whom thou hast given the name. For by that covenant all men fight, and by that condition all have vanquished and by that chivalry. This saith Chrysostom. Secondly, they be given to us, patrons for to aid and help us, they aid us by their merits and their prisons. Of the first, saith S. Augustine: O the immeasured pity of our Lord, which will that the merits of the martyrs be our aids and suffrages. He examineth them for to enseign and teach us. He breaketh them for to gather us, and he will that their torments be our profits. Of the second, saith S. Jerome against Vigilantius: If the apostles and martyrs, when they were yet in their bodies alive, might pray for others, and were therein diligent, how much more then ought they to do after their crowns, victory and triumphs? Of whom Moses, one only man, get pardon for six thousand men armed, and S. Stephen prayed for his enemies, and sith they be now with God should they do less? Thirdly, the martyrs have suffered constantly. S. Augustine saith that the soul of a martyr is the glaive resplendent by charity, sharp by verity, brandished by the virtue of' God fighting, the which hath surmounted the company of gainsaying them in reproving them. She hath smitten the wicked, and thrown down them that were contrary to her. And Chrysostom saith that the martyrs tormented were stronger than the tormentors, and the torn members vanquished the renting irons.

The third difference is of the confessors, of whom the dignity and excellence is manifested because they confessed God in three manners, by heart, by mouth, and by work. The confession of heart sufficeth not without confession of mouth; like as John Chrysostom saith and proveth it in four manners. And as to the first he saith thus: The root of confession is faith of the heart, and as long as the root is alive and quick in the earth it is necessary that she bring forth boughs and leaves, and if it bring none forth it is to understand that it is dried in the earth. And all in like wise when to the root of faith is whole in the heart, she bringeth forth always confession in the mouth, and if the confession of the heart appeareth not in the mouth, understand without doubt that the faith of the heart is dried up. As to the second, he saith: If it sufficeth to believe in the heart and not to confess it before men, then thou art untrue and a hypocrite. For how be it that he believeth not at the heart, yet it profiteth him to confess with his mouth. And if it profiteth not him that confesseth without belief, it profiteth not to him that believeth without confession. And as to the third, he saith: If it suffice to Jesu Christ that thou know him, how be it that thou confess him not tofore men, then it sufficeth to thee also that thou know him, and if thou confess Jesu Christ tofore God and if his cognisance sufficeth not to thee, no more sufficeth to thee thy faith. As to the fourth, he saith: If only the faith of thy heart should suffice to thee, God would then have created to thee but only the heart, but God hath created both the heart and the mouth, for to believe with thy heart, and to confess it with thy mouth. Thirdly, they confessed God by work, and S. Jerome showeth how God is confessed by work or renied, and saith: Jesu Christ is sapience, righteousness, truth, holiness, and strength. Sapience is denied by folly, righteousness by iniquity, truth by leasings, holiness by filth, and strength by feeble courage. And as oft as we be overcome by vices and by sins, we deny God. Also in the contrary, as oft as we do any good, we confess God.

The fourth difference is of the virgins, of whom the excellence and dignity is showed and manifested. First, in that they be the spouses of the eternal king, and hereof saith S. Ambrose: Who may esteem more greater beauty than the beauty of her that is loved of the king, approved of the judge, dedicated of God, always an espouse, and always without corruption? Secondly, because she is compared to angels; virginity surmounteth all conditions of nature human, by which men be associate to angels, and the victory of virgins is more than of angels. The angels live without flesh, and virgins living in their flesh triumph. Thirdly, for because they be more noble than other christian people, whereof Cyprian saith: Virginity is the flower of the seed of the church, beauty and adornment of spiritual grace, a glad joy of laud and honour, work entire and incorrupt, image of God, and yet more noble as to the holiness of God and portion of the flock of Jesu Christ. Fourthly, because they be put to their husbands; and this excellence that virginity had as to the respect of the accouplement of marriage appeareth by manifold comparation. For marriage filleth and swelleth the belly, and virginity the mind, whereof Augustine saith: Virginity chooseth to follow the life of angels in their flesh, than to increase the number of mortal people in their flesh. For it is more blessed and more plenteous to increase their mind than to be great with child. For some have children of sorrow, and virginity bringeth forth children of joy, virginity replenisheth heaven of children, and they that be married replenish the earth. And Jerome saith: The weddings fill the earth, and virginity filleth heaven; that one is of great business, and this is of great rest; virginity is silence of charge, peace of the flesh, redemption of vices and princess of virtues. Marriage is good, but virginity is better. S. Jerome saith to Palmatius the difference between marriage and virginity, and saith: The difference is as much as is between not to sin and to do well, or as I may clearlier say, as is between good and better. For marriage is compared to thorns, and virginity to roses. And he saith to Eustochius: I praise marriage, for they engender virgins. I gather from the thorns roses, gold from the earth, and out of the shell a precious margaret or stone. Fifthly is showed the dignity and excellence of virgins, for they enjoy many privileges. For the virgins shall have the crown that is called aureole, they only shall sing the new song, they shall be clad with vestments of the same with Jesu Christ, and joy always with him, and they shall follow always the Lamb.

The fourth and the last: This feast is established for to impetre and get the sooner that thing that we pray for, because that we honour this day all the saints generally which also pray for us all together, and so they may the lightlier get the mercy of our Lord for us. For if it be impossible that the prayers of some saints be not heard, it is much more impossible that the prayers of all should not be heard. And this reason is touched when it is said in the collect: Desideratam nobis tuæ propitiationis abundantiam multiplicatis intercessoribus largiaris: Lord, give to us by the multiplied prayers of all thy saints the desired abundance of thy debonairly. And the saints pray for us by merit and by effect, by merit when their merit helpeth us, by effect when they desire our desires to be accomplished, and this do they not but thereas they accomplish the will of our Lord. And that on this day all the saints assemble them for to pray for us, it is showed in a vision that happened in the second year after this feast was stablished. On a time when the sexton of S. Peter had by devotion visited all the altars of the church, and had required suffrages of all the saints, at the last he came again to the altar of S. Peter, and there rested a little, and saw there a vision. For he saw the King of Kings in a high throne sit, and all the angels round about him, and the Blessed Virgin of virgins came crowned with a right resplendishing crown, and there followed her a great multitude of virgins without number, and continents also. And anon the king arose against her and made her to sit on a seat by him. And after came a man clad with the skin of a camel, and a great multitude of ancient and honourable fathers following him, and after came a man in the habit of a bishop, and a great multitude in semblable habit following him. And after came a multitude of knights without number, whom followed a great company of divers people. Then came they all tofore the throne of the king, and adored him upon their knees. And then he that was in the habit of a bishop began matins, and the others followed. And an angel which led this sexton thus in the vision, expounded this vision to him and said that our Blessed Lady the Virgin was she that was in the first company, and he that was clad in the hair of camels was S. John Baptist with the patriarchs and prophets, and he that was adorned in the habit of a bishop was Peter with the apostles; the knights were the martyrs and the others the confessors; the which all came tofore our Lord sitting in his throne, for to give to him laud and thankings of the honour that was done to them in this world of the mortal people, and prayed to him for all the universal world. And after, the angel brought him into another place, and showed to him men and women, some in beds of gold, others enjoying in divers delights, others naked and poor, and others begging, and said to him that this was the place of purgatory, they that dwelled there were the souls. They that abounded in wealth were the souls of them which were succoured by their friends by many aids, the poor were the souls of whom their executors and friends set not by them, ne did nothing for them. And then he commanded him that he should show this to the pope, that after the feast of All Hallows he should establish the commemoration of all souls, and that general suffrages temporal might be done for them on the next day, where they may have none in special.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
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