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ACCORDING to the ancient Martyrologies, St. Margaret suffered at Antioch in Pisidia, in the last general persecution. She is said to have been instructed in the Faith by a Christian nurse, to have been persecuted by her own father, a pagan priest, and, after many torments, to have gloriously finished her martyrdom by the sword. From the East, her veneration was exceedingly propagated in England, France, and Germany, in the eleventh century, during the holy wars. Her body is now kept at Monte-Fiascone in Tuscany.
ST. JEROME EMILIANI was a member of one of the patrician families of Venice, and, like many other Saints, in early life a soldier. He was appointed governor of a fortress among the mountains of Treviso, and whilst bravely defending his post, was made prisoner by the enemy. In the misery of his dungeon he invoked the great Mother of God, and promised, if she would set him free, to lead a new and a better life. Our Lady appeared, broke his fetters, and led him forth through the midst of his enemies. At Treviso he hung up his chains at her altar, dedicated himself to her service, and on reaching his home at Venice devoted himself to a life of active charity. His special love was for the deserted orphan children whom, in the times of the plague and famine, he found wandering in the streets. He took them home, clothed and fed them, and taught them the Christian truths. From Venice he passed to Padua and Verona, and in a few years had founded orphanages through Northern Italy. Some pious clerics and laymen, who had been his fellow-workers, fixed their abode in one of these establishments, and devoted themselves to the cause of education. The Saint drew up for them a rule of life and thus was founded the Congregation, which still exists, of the Clerks Regular of Somascha. St. Jerome died February 8, 1537, of an illness which he had caught in visiting the sick.
Reflection. —Let us learn from St. Jerome to exert ourselves in behalf of the many hundred children whose souls are perishing around us for want of some one to show them the way to heaven.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
My liver is poured out upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the child and the suckling fainted away in the streets of the city. Ps. 112, 1. Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord. Glory be …
O God, the Father of mercies, grant, by the intercession of blessed Jerome, whom Thou didst will to be the helper and father of orphans, that we may faithfully guard the spirit of adoption whereby we are both in name and reality Thy children. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Margaret.
May blessed Margaret, virgin and martyr, who was ever pleasing to Thee by her merit of chastity and by her extolling of Thy power, implore Thy forgiveness for us, we beseech Thee, O Lord. Through our Lord.
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.
[God rejects the hypocritical fasts of the Jews: recommends works of mercy, and sincere godliness.]
Thus said the Lord: Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday.
And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail.
Let thy fountains be conveyed abroad, and in the streets divide thy waters. Acceptable is the man that showeth mercy and lendeth, he ordereth his words with judgment; because he shall not be moved forever.Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 111, 5, 6. He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor; his justice remaineth forever and ever. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ declares matrimony to be indissoluble: he recommends the making one's self an eunuch for the kingdom of heaven; and parting with all things for him. He shews the danger of riches, and the reward of leaving all to follow him.]
At that time, little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such. And when he had imposed hands upon them, he departed from thence.
And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow Me.
When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord.
Most merciful God, Who, having destroyed the old man, didst vouchsafe to create in blessed Jerome a new man according to Thee, grant by his merits that we, renewed in like manner, may offer this sacrifice of propitiation for an odor of sweetness unto Thee. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Margaret.
Graciously accept, O Lord, the sacrifices dedicated to the merits of blessed Margaret, Thy virgin and martyr, and grant them as a perpetual aid in our behold. Through our Lord.
Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, and to keep ones’ self-unspotted from this world.
Refreshed with the bread of angels we humbly ask of Thee, O Lord, that we, who joyfully celebrate the annual commemoration of blessed Jerome, Thy confessor, may also imitate his example and be enabled to obtain a most abundant reward in Thy kingdom. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Margaret.
Filled with the bounty of Thy divine gift, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by the intercession of the blessed Margaret, Thy virgin and martyr, we may ever live in the partaking thereof. Through our Lord.