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..
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.
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.
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.
“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.”