Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – Bethlehem! of Noblest Cities

Our Morning Offering – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Bethlehem! of Noblest Cities
By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413)
Trans. Fr Edward Caswell c.Orat. (1814–1878)

Bethlehem! of noblest cities
None can once with thee compare;
Thou alone the Lord from Heaven
Didst for us Incarnate bear.

Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the Star that told His Birth;
To the lands their God announcing,
Hid beneath a form of earth.

By its lambent beauty guided,
See, the Eastern Kings appear;
See them bend, their gifts to offer,
Gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.

Offerings of mystic meaning;
Incense doth the God disclose;
Gold a Royal Child proclaimeth;
Myrrh a future Tomb foreshows.

Holy Jesus! in Thy brightness
to the gentile world displayed!
With the Father and the Spirit,
Endless praise to Thee be paid!
Amen! Amen!

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, BREVIARY Prayers, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY TRINITY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Christmas Weekday “Month of the Most Holy Name”

Of the Father’s Love Begotten
(Excerpt)
By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413)

Trans. J M Neale (1818-1866)

Of the Father’s love begotten
Ere the world began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

Blessed was the day forever,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Saviour of our race
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His Sacred Face
Evermore and evermore.

Glory be to God the Father,
Glory be to God the Son
Glory be the Holy Ghost,
Persons Three, yet Godhead One,
Glory be from all creation
While eternal ages run,
Evermore and evermore.

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian Poet, born in the Roman Province of Tarraconensis (now Northern Spain) in c 348. He probably died in the Iberian Peninsula some time after 405, possibly around 413.
Prudentius practised law with some success and was twice Provincial Governor, perhaps in his native country. Towards the end of his life (possibly around 392) Prudentius retired from public life to become an ascetic, fasting until evening and abstaining entirely from animal food and writing poems, hymns and controversial works in defence of Christianity. Prudentius later collected the Christian poems written during this period and added a preface, which he himself dated 405.
The poetry of Prudentius is influenced by early Christian authors, such as Tertullian and St Ambrose, as well as the Sacred Scriptures and the Acts of the Martyrs. His hymn Da, puer, plectrum – “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”) and the hymn for Epiphany O sola magnarum urbium (“Earth Has Many A Noble City”), both from the Cathemerinon, are still frequently in use today, although many others are too but perhaps less frequently..

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 22 January – Saint Valerius of Saragossa (Died 315) and Saint Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) Deacon – Protomartyr of Spain.

Saint/s of the Day – 22 January – Saint Valerius of Saragossa (Died 315) Bishop of Saragossa, Spain from 290 until his death. Patronage – Saragossa.

There are few records of Valerius but tradition holds that he had a speech impediment, and that the Deacon, St Vincent of Saragossa, acted as his spokesman.

Both Valerius and Vincent suffered imprisonment under Diocletian. Vincent was Martyred at Valencia. Valerius was exiled for a time to a place called Enet, near Barbastro but is known to have been present at the Council Elvira, (c 306).

A chapel dedicated to him can be found at La Seo Cathedral in Saragossa. It includes a baroque entryway of gilded wood from the seventeenth century with scenes of the saints Valerius, Vincent, and Lawrence.

Statue of St Valerius at the Monastery of Santa María de Veruel, Spain

Saint Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) Deacon – Protomartyr of Spain. 22 January. Patronages – São Vicente, Lisbon, Diocese of Algarve, Valencia, Vicenza, Italy, vinegar-makers, wine-makers, Order of Deacons of the Catholic Diocese of Bergamo (Italy). His life and death here: https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/22/saint-of-the-day-22-january-st-vincent-of-saragossa-died-304-protomartyr-of-spain/

Vincent of Saragossa was one of the Church’s three most illustrious Deacons, the other two being Stephen and Lawrence. He is also Spain’s most renowned martyr. Ordained Deacon by St Valerius of Saragossa, he was taken in chains to Valencia during the Diocletian persecution and put to death. From legend we have the following details of his martyrdom. After brutal scourging in the presence of many witnesses, he was stretched on the rack but neither torture, nor blandishments, nor threats, could undermine the strength and courage of his faith. Next, he was cast on a heated grating, lacerated with iron hooks and seared with hot metal plates. Then he was returned to prison, where the floor was heavily strewn with pieces of broken glass. A heavenly brightness flooded the entire dungeon, filling all who saw it with greatest awe.

After this he was placed on a soft bed in the hope that lenient treatment would induce apostasy, since torture had proven ineffective. But strengthened by faith in Christ Jesus and the hope of everlasting life, Vincent maintained an invincible spirit and overcame all efforts, whether by fire, sword, rack, or torture, to induce defection. He persevered to the end and gained the heavenly crown of martyrdom.

Below are a few stanzas of the magnificent Hymn composed by Prudentius (c 348 – c 413) (Aurelius Prudentius Clemens), the renowned Poet, in honour of St Vincent. There is a short biography of Prudentius here: https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/08/quote-s-of-the-day-8-january-take-courage-it-is-i-and-bl-titus-zeman/

The Ambrosian Breviary has selected several verses of this long Poem, for one of its Hymns and there are offered to you.

O blessed Martyr!
bless this day of thy feast,
whereon the crown is given to thee,
the Conquero
and thou didst purchase it by thy blood.

This is the day which took thee
from this dark world to heaven
and restored thee in triumph to Christ,
for thou hadst conquered
thy torturer and thy judge.

Fellow now of the Angels,
thou shinest in thy bright stole,
which thou didst wash in the stream of thy blood,
for thou wast the invincible witness of Christ.

Thou wast a levite of the holy tribe,
a Minister of God’s altar,
which is surrounded by its seven snow-white pillars
and, by thy noble triumph,
thou art a Martyr of Christ.

Thou alone, O doubly noble!
didst bear away the palms of a double victory
and wreathe two laurels for thy brow.

Conqueror, once, in the hard death thou didst endure
and, then, after death,
thou wast conqueror over the tyrant-thief
and, with thy body alone,
didst gloriously defeat him.

Oh! by thy chains
and fires and hooks;
by thy prison-chains;
by the potsherds,
strewed to enhance thy glory.

Assist us now
and hear the humble prayers of thy suppliants
and make intercession for us sinners
at the throne of God.
Amen.

To God the Father
and to His Only Son
and to the Holy Paraclete,
be glory now and for all ages.
Amen

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 8 January – “Take courage, it is I” and Bl Titus Zeman

Quote/s of the Day – 8 January – Third day after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 4:11-18, Psalm 72:1-2, 10-13, Mark 6:45-52 and the Memorial of Blessed Titus Zeman SDB (1915-1969) Priest and Martyr

“They had all seen him and were terrified.   But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, be not afraid!” (Mark 6:50)

Prudentius (c 348 – c 413) (formally known as Aurelius Clemens Prudentius) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed during today’s Mass:

Thus I by my loquacious tongue
From the heaven of silence am led
Into perils unknown and dark.

Not as Peter, disciple true,
Confident in his virtue and faith,
I am as one whose unnumbered sins
Have shipwrecked on the rolling seas.

How easily can I be shipwrecked,
One untaught in seafaring arts,
Unless you, almighty Christ,
Stretch forth Your hand with help divine.

(Against Symmachus, 2)

Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian poet, born in the Roman province of Tarraconensis (now Northern Spain) in 348.   He probably died in the Iberian Peninsula some time after 405, possibly around 413.
Prudentius practised law with some success and was twice provincial governor, perhaps in his native country.   Towards the end of his life (possibly around 392) Prudentius retired from public life to become an ascetic, fasting until evening and abstaining entirely from animal food and writing poems, hymns and controversial works in defence of Christianity. Prudentius later collected the Christian poems written during this period and added a preface, which he himself dated 405.
The poetry of Prudentius is influenced by early Christian authors, such as Tertullian and St. Ambrose, as well as the Bible and the acts of the martyrs.   His hymn Da, puer, plectrum (including “Corde natus ex parentis” – “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”) and the hymn for Epiphany O sola magnarum urbium (“Earth Has Many A Noble City”), both from the Cathemerinon, are still in use today.mark 6 5- it is I be not afraid - how easily can I be shipwrecked - prudentius 8 jan 2020.jpg

“Even if I lose my life,
I do not consider it a waste,
knowing that at least one of those
whom I have saved,
has become a Priest
to take my place.”

Blessed Titus Zeman

even if i lose my life - bl titus seman 8 jan 2020.jpg