St. Bertha

Widow, Abbess

July 4

BERTHA was the daughter of Count Rigobert and Umana, related to one of the kings of Kent in England. In the twentieth year of her age she was married to Sigefroi, by whom she had five daughters, two of whom, Gertrude and Deotila, are Saints. After her husband's death she put on the veil in the nunnery which she had built at Blangy in Artois, a little distance from Hesdin. Her daughters Gertrude and Deotila followed her example. She was persecuted by Roger, or Rotgar, who endeavored to asperse her with King Thierri III., to revenge his being refused Gertrude in marriage. But this prince, convinced of the innocence of Bertha, then abbess over her nunnery, gave her a kind reception and took her under his protection. On her return to Blangy, Bertha finished her nunnery and caused three churches to be built, one in honor of St. Omer, another she called after St. Vaast, and the third in honor of St. Martin of Tours. And then, after establishing a regular observance in her community, she left St. Deotila abbess in her stead, and shut herself in a cell, to pass the remainder of her days in prayer. She died about the year 725. A great part of her relics are kept at Blangy.

Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition

Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS

Ferial Day

Introit • Ps. 26, 1, 2

The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector my life: of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen Ps. 26, 3. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. Glory be …

Collect (Prayer)

Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the course of the world may be directed for us, and that Thy Church may rejoice in peace. Through our Lord.

Epistle • Rom. 8, 18-23

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans.

[There is no condemnation to them that, being justified by Christ, walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. Their strong hope and love of God.]

BRETHREN, For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope:
Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body; Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gradual • Ps. 78, 9, 10

Forgive us our sins, O Lord, lest the gentiles should at any time say, Where is their God? Help us, O God our Saviour; and for the honor of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us. Alleluia, alleleuia. Ps. 9, 5, 10. O God, Who sittest upon the throne, and judgest justice, be Thou the refuge of the poor in tribulation. Alleluia.

Gospel • Luke 5, 1-11

Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John. 

[The miraculous draught of fishes. The cure of the leper and of the paralytic. The call of Matthew.]

At that time, when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.

Offertory • Ps. 12, 4, 5

Enlighten my eyes, that I never sleep in death; lest at any time my enemy say, I have prevailed against him.


Receiving our oblations, be appeased, we pray Thee, O Lord, and in Thy kindness constrain our wills toward Thee, even when resisting. Through our Lord.

Communion • Ps. 17, 3

The Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer, my God is my helper.


May the mysteries we have received purify us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and by their virtue protect us. Through our Lord.