St. Venantius

Martyr

May 18

ST. VENANTIUS was born at Camerino in Italy, and at the age of fifteen was seized as a Christian and carried before a judge. As it was found impossible to shake his constancy either by threats or promises, he was condemned to be scourged, but was miraculously saved by an angel. He was then burnt with torches and hung over a low fire that he might be suffocated by the smoke. The judge's secretary, admiring the steadfastness of the Saint, and seeing an angel robed in white, who trampled out the fire and again set free the youthful martyr, proclaimed his faith in Christ, was baptized with his whole family, and shortly after won the martyr's crown himself. Venantius was then carried before the governor, who, unable to make him renounce his faith, cast him into prison with an apostate, who vainly strove to tempt him. The governor then ordered his teeth and jaws to be broken, and had him thrown into a furnace, from which the angel once more delivered him. The Saint was again led before the judge, who at sight of him fell headlong from his seat and expired, crying, "The God of Venantius is the true God; let us destroy our idols." This circumstance being told to the governor, he ordered Venantius to be thrown to the lions; but these brutes, forgetting their natural ferocity, crouched at the feet of the Saint. Then, by order of the tyrant, the young martyr was dragged through a heap of brambles and thorns, but again God manifested the glory of His servant; the soldiers suffering from thirst, the Saint knelt on a rock and signed it with a cross, when immediately a jet of clear, cool water spurted up from the spot. This miracle converted many of those who beheld it, whereupon the governor had Venantius and his converts beheaded together in the year 250. The bodies of these martyrs are kept in the church at Camerino which bears the Saint's name.

Reflection. —Love of suffering marks the most perfect degree in the love of God. Our Lord Himself was consumed with the desire to suffer, because He burnt with the love of God. We must begin with patience and detachment. At last we shall learn to love the sufferings which conform us to the Passion of our Redeemer.     

Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk




Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS

Within the Octave - Ascension Day

Introit • Acts 1, 11

Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? Alleluia; He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 46, 2. O clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy.  Glory be …

Collect (Prayer)

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, believing Thine only-begotten, our Redeemer, to have ascended to heaven on this day, we, too, may spiritually dwell in heavenly places. Through the same.

Epistle • Acts 1, 1-11

Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
[The ascension of Christ. Matthias is chosen in place of Judas.]

The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, Until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom he had chosen, he was taken up. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.
They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? But he said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments.
Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven.  
Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 46, 6. God hath ascended in jubilation, and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet. Alleluia. Ps. 67, 18, 19. The Lord is in Sina, in His holy place; ascending on high, He hath led captivity captive. Alleluia.




Gospel • Mark 16, 14-20

Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Mark. 

[Christ's resurrection and ascension.]

At that time, Jesus At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed. 

Offertory • Ps. 46, 6

God is ascended in jubilee, and the Lord with the sound of trumpet. Alleluia.

Secret

Receive, O Lord, the offering which we bring for the glorious ascension of Thy Son, and grant in Thy mercy that we may be delivered from present dangers and may attain unto life everlasting. Through our Lord.

Communion • Ps. 67, 33, 34

Sing ye to the Lord, Who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the east. Alleluia.

Postcommunion

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty and merciful God, that what we have received in visible mysteries, we may also obtain in their invisible effect. Through our Lord.