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ST. NARCISSUS was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem about the year 180. He was already an old man, and God attested his merits by many miracles, which were long held in memory by the Christians of Jerusalem. One Holy Saturday in the church the faithful were in great trouble, because no oil could be found for the lamps which were used in the Paschal feast. St. Narcissus bade them draw water from a neighboring well, and, praying over it, told them to put it in the lamps. It was changed into oil, and long after some of this oil was preserved at Jerusalem in memory of the miracle. But the very virtue of the Saint made him enemies, and three wretched men charged him with an atrocious crime. They confirmed their testimony by horrible imprecations: the first prayed that he might perish by fire, the second that he might be wasted by leprosy, the third that he might be struck blind, if they charged their bishop falsely. The holy bishop had long desired a life of solitude, and he withdrew secretly into the desert, leaving the Church in peace. But God spoke for His servant, and the bishop's accusers suffered the penalties they had invoked. Then Narcissus returned to Jerusalem and resumed his office. He died in extreme old age, bishop to the last.
Reflection. —God never fails those who trust in Him; He guides them through darkness and through trials secretly and surely to their end, and in the evening time there is light.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Hail holy Mother, who in childbirth didst bring forth the King Who ruleth heaven and earth world without end. Ps. 44, 2. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King. Gory be …
GRANT us, Thy servants, O Lord God, we beseech Thee, to enjoy continual health of mind and body, and, by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever a virgin, to be delivered from present sorrow and partake of the fullness of eternal joy. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[Wisdom praiseth herself: her origin, her dwelling, her dignity, and her fruits.]
From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.
And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
Blessed and venerable art thou, O Virgin Mary, who with unsullied virginity, wast found to be the Mother of the Saviour. O virgin Mother of God, He Whom the whole world containeth not, becoming man, shut Himself in thy womb.
Alleluia, alleluia. After childbirth thou didst still remain an inviolate virgin; Mother of God, intercede for us. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ teaches his disciples to pray. He casts out a dumb devil, confutes the Pharisees, and pronounces woes against them for their hypocrisy.]
At that time, Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, a certain woman from the crowed, lifting up her voice, said to Him; Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breast that gave Thee suck. But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
By THY clemency, O Lord, and the intercession of blessed Mary, ever a virgin, may this oblation profit us unto eternal and also present well being and peace. Through our Lord.
Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary, which bore the Son of the eternal Father.
Having received the aids of our everlasting salvation, O Lord, we beseech Thee, grant us to be everywhere protected by the patronage of Blessed Mary, ever a virgin, in veneration of who we have made these offerings to Thy majesty. Through our Lord.