Catholic devotions for the 25th September

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Saint of the Day
Reading of the Martyrology
Dedication of the Month
Dedication of the Day
Rosary
Five Wounds Rosary in Latin
Seven Sorrows Rosary in English
Latin Monastic Office
Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict
Celebration of Mass
Reading from the School of Jesus Crucified




Feast of Blessed Hermannus Contractus

Blessed Hermann of Reichenau  (18 July 1013 – 24 September 1054) was an 11th-century Benedictine monk and scholar. He composed works on history, music theory, mathematics, and astronomy, as well as many hymns. He has traditionally been credited with the composition of "Salve Regina", "Veni Sancte Spiritus", and "Alma Redemptoris Mater",although these attributions are sometimes questioned. His cultus and beatification were confirmed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1863.

Life
Hermann was a son of the Count of Altshausen. He was disabled due to a paralytic disease from early childhood. He was born on 18 July 1013 with a cleft palate and cerebral palsy and is said to have had spina bifida.  Based on the evidence, however, more recent scholarship indicates Hermann possibly had either amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy.  As a result, he had great difficulty moving and could hardly speak. At seven, he was placed in a Benedictine monastery by his parents who could no longer look after him.

He grew up in the Abbey of Reichenau, an island on Lake Constance in Germany. He learned from the monks and developed a keen interest in both theology and the world around him. At twenty, Hermann entered their order as a Benedictine monk, becoming literate in several languages (including Arabic, Greek and Latin) and contributing to all four arts of the quadrivium.

He wrote about history, mathematics, astronomy, and Christianity. He wrote a treatise on the science of music, several works on geometry and arithmetic, and astronomical treatises including instructions for the construction of an astrolabe which caused him to sometimes be credited as its inventor. As an historian, he wrote a detailed chronicle from the birth of Christ to his own present day, ordering them after the reckoning of the Christian era. It was later extended by his pupil Berthold of Reichenau.

He was a renowned religious poet and musical composer. Among his surviving works are officia for St. Afra and St. Wolfgang. When he went blind in later life, he began writing hymns. He was famous enough that he appears to have been credited with compositions by later writers; among the works traditionally attributed to him are the Salve Regina ("Hail Queen"), Veni Sancte Spiritus ("Come Holy Spirit"), and Alma Redemptoris Mater ("Nourishing Mother of the Redeemer").

Herman died on Reichenau on 24 September 1054, aged 41. The Roman Catholic Church beatified him in 1863.


The Reading from the Martyrology



September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows




Meditation of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri on the Seventh Sorrow

Of the Burial of Jesus

When a mother is by the side of her suffering and dying child, she undoubtedly feels and suffers all his pains; but after he is actually dead, when, before the body is carried to the grave, the afflicted mother must bid her child a last farewell; then, indeed, the thought that she is to see him no more is a grief which exceeds all other griefs. Behold the last sword of Mary’s sorrow, which we have now to consider; for after witnessing the death of her Son on the cross, and embracing for a last time His lifeless body, this blessed Mother had to leave Him in the sepulchre, never more to enjoy His beloved presence on earth.

That we may better understand this last dolour, we will return to Calvary and consider the afflicted Mother, who still holds the lifeless body of her Son clasped in her arms. O my Son, she seemed to say in the words of Job, my Son, “Thou art changed to be cruel towards me.” Yes, for all Thy noble qualities, Thy beauty, grace, and virtues, Thy engaging manners, all the marks of special love which Thou hast bestowed upon me, the peculiar favours Thou hast granted me,—all are now changed into grief, and as so many arrows pierce my heart, and the more they have excited me to love Thee, so much the more cruelly do they now make me feel Thy loss. Ah, my own beloved Son, in losing Thee I have lost all.

Thus does St. Bernard speak in her name: “O truly-begotten of God, Thou wast to me a father, a son, a spouse: Thou wast my very soul! Now I am deprived of my father, widowed of my spouse, a desolate, childless Mother; having lost my only Son, I have lost all.” Thus was Mary, with her Son locked in her arms, absorbed in grief.

The holy disciples, fearful that the poor Mother might die of grief, approached her to take the body of her Son from her arms, to bear it away for burial. This they did with gentle and respectful violence, and having embalmed it, they wrapped it in a linen cloth which was already prepared.

On this cloth, which is still preserved at Turin, our Lord was pleased to leave to the world an impression of His sacred body. The disciples then bore Him to the tomb. To do this, they first of all raised the sacred body on their shoulders, and then the mournful train set forth; choirs of angels from heaven accompanied it; the holy women followed, and with them the afflicted Mother also followed her Son to the place of burial.

When they had reached the appointed place, “O, how willingly would Mary have there buried herself alive with her Son, had such been His will!” for this she herself revealed to St. Bridget. But such not being the Divine will, there are many authors who say that she accompanied the sacred body of Jesus into the sepulchre, where, according to Baronius, the disciples also deposited the nails and the crown of thorns.

In raising the stone to close up the entrance, the holy disciples of the Saviour had to approach our Blessed Lady, and say: Now, O Lady, we must close the sepulchre: forgive us, look once more at thy Son, and bid Him a last farewell. Then my beloved Son (for thus must the afflicted Mother have spoken); then I shall see Thee no more? Receive, therefore, on this last occasion that I behold Thee, receive my last farewell, the farewell of Thy dear Mother, and receive also my heart, which I leave buried with Thee.

“The Blessed Virgin,” writes St. Fulgentius, “would ardently have desired to have buried her soul with the body of Christ.” And this Mary herself revealed to St. Bridget, saying: “I can truly say that at the burial of my Son one tomb contained as it were two hearts.”

Finally, the disciples raised the stone and closed up the holy sepulchre, and in it the body of Jesus, that great treasure-a treasure so great that neither earth nor heaven had a greater. Here I may be permitted to make a short digression, and remark that Mary’s heart was buried with Jesus, because Jesus was all her treasure: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” And where, may we ask, are our hearts buried? In creatures-perchance in mire. And why not in Jesus, who, although He has ascended to heaven, is still pleased to remain on earth, not dead indeed, but living in the most holy sacrament of the altar, precisely that our hearts may be with Him, and that He may possess them?

But let us return to Mary. Before leaving the sepulchre, according to St. Bonaventure, she blessed the sacred stone which closed it, saying, “O happy stone, that doth now enclose that sacred body, which for nine months was contained in my womb; I bless thee and envy thee; I leave thee the guardian of my Son, of that Son who is all my treasure and all my love.” Then raising her heart to the Eternal Father, she said, “O Father, to Thee do I recommend Him-Him who is Thy Son at the same time that He is mine.” Thus bidding her last farewell to her beloved Jesus and to the sepulchre, she left it, and returned to her own house.

“This Mother,” says St. Bernard, “went away so afflicted and sad, that she moved many to tears in spite of themselves; and wherever she passed, all who met her wept,” and could not restrain their tears. And he adds that the holy disciples and women who accompanied her “mourned even more for her than for their Lord.” Saint Bonaventure says, that her sisters covered her with a mourning cloak: “The sisters of our Lady veiled her as a widow, almost covering her whole face.”

He also says that, passing, on her return, before the cross still wet with the blood of her Jesus, she was the first to adore it. “O holy cross,” she then said, “I kiss thee, I adore thee; for thou art no longer an infamous gibbet, but a throne of love and an altar of mercy, consecrated by the blood of the Divine Lamb, which on thee has been sacrificed for the salvation of the world.” She then left the cross, and returned home.

When there, the afflicted Mother cast her eyes around, and no longer saw her Jesus; but, instead of the sweet presence of her dear Son, the remembrance of His beautiful life and cruel death presented itself before her eyes. She remembered how she had pressed that Son to her bosom in the crib of Bethlehem; the conversations she had held with Him during the many years they had dwelt in the house of Nazareth; she remembered their mutual affection, their loving looks, the words of eternal life which fell from those Divine lips; and then the sad scene which she had that day witnessed, again presented itself before her. The nails, the thorns, the lacerated flesh of her Son, those deep wounds, those uncovered bones, that open mouth, those dimmed eyes, all presented themselves before her. Ah, what a night of sorrow was that night for Mary! The afflicted Mother, turning to Saint John, mournfully said: “Ah, John, tell me where is thy Master?” She then asked the Magdalen: “Daughter, tell me, where is thy beloved? O God, who has taken Him from us?”

Mary wept, and all who were present wept with her. And thou, my soul, weepest not! Ah, turn to Mary, and address her with Saint Bonaventure, saying: “O my own sweet Lady, let me weep; thou art innocent, I am guilty.” Entreat her at last to let thee weep with her: “Grant that with thee I may weep.” She weeps for love; do thou weep through sorrow for thy sins. Thus weeping, thou mayest have the happy lot of him of whom we read in the following example.

Example

Father Engelgrave relates that a certain religious was so tormented with scruples, that he was sometimes almost driven to despair; but as he had the greatest devotion to Mary in Sorrow, he always had recourse to her in his interior agonies, and felt himself consoled whilst meditating on her dolours. Death came, and the devil then tormented him more than ever with scruples, and tempted him to despair. When, behold, the compassionate Mother seeing her poor son in such anguish, appeared to him, saying: “And thou, my son, why art thou so overcome with sorrow? Why fearest thou so much? Thou who hast so often consoled me by pitying me in my sorrows. But now,” she added, “Jesus sends me to console thee; be comforted, then; rejoice, and come with me to heaven.” On hearing these consoling words, the devout religious, filled with joy and confidence, tranquilly expired.

Prayer

My afflicted Mother, I will not leave thee alone to weep; no, I will accompany thee with my tears. This grace I now ask of thee: obtain that I may always bear in mind and always have a tender devotion towards the Passion of Jesus and thy sorrows, that the remainder of my days may thus be spent in weeping over thy sufferings, my own sweet Mother, and those of my Redeemer.

These sorrows, I trust, will give me the confidence and strength which I shall require at the hour of death, that I may not despair at the sight of the many sins by which I have offended my Lord. They must obtain me pardon, perseverance, and heaven, where I hope to rejoice with thee, and to sing the infinite mercies of my God for all eternity. Thus do I hope; thus may it be. Amen. Amen.


Monday is the Day dedicated to the Holy Ghost and the Souls in Purgatory

Little Litany of the Holy Souls

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Holy Souls, pray for us.

For the souls of our families, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of our friends, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of our enemies, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all pagans, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all priests, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all religious, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of the just, we pray Thee, O God.
For the souls of all sinners, we pray Thee, O God.
For the Holy Souls in Purgatory, we pray Thee, O God.
For those who have none to pray for them, we pray Thee, O God.

O almighty and eternal God, we beg Thee to have mercy on the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially those for whom we are bound to pray; and we ask Thee also to listen to the prayers of the Blessed Souls in our behalf. Amen.

Greater Litany for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on the suffering souls.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on the suffering souls.
God, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, have mercy on all the suffering souls.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on the suffering souls.


Holy Mary, pray for the suffering souls.
Holy Mother of God, pray for the suffering souls.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Michael, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Angels and Archangels, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye choirs of celestial spirits, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Joseph, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Peter, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Paul, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint John, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Stephen, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Martyrs, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Gregory, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Ambrose, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Augustine, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Jerome, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Pontiffs and Confessors, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Doctors, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Priests and Levites, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Monks and Hermits, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Mary Magdalen, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Katherine, pray for the suffering souls.
Saint Barbara, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye holy Virgins and Widows, pray for the suffering souls.
All ye Saints of God, pray for the suffering souls.


From all evil, O Lord, deliver them.
From Thy wrath, O Lord, deliver them.
From the rigor of Thy Justice, O Lord, deliver them.
From the gnawing worm of conscience, O Lord, deliver them.
From fearful darkness, O Lord, deliver them.
From their mourning and tears, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy holy Incarnation, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy blessed Nativity, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy Baptism and fasting, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy most profound humility, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy perfect submission, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thine infinite love, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thine anguish and sweat, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy bonds and chains, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy Crown of Thorns, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy ignominious Death, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thy sacred Wounds, O Lord, deliver them.
By The Cross and bitter Passion, O Lord, deliver them.
By The glorious Resurrection, O Lord, deliver them.
By Thine Ascension, O Lord, deliver them.
By the Descent of the Paraclete, O Lord, deliver them.
In the Judgment of Doomsday, O Lord, deliver them.


Sinners though we are, we beseech Thee, hear us.
Thou Who didst absolve the adultress, and pardon the penitent thief, we beseech Thee, hear us.
Thou Who savest by Thy grace, we beseech Thee, hear us.
Thou Who has the keys of death and of hell, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to deliver our parents, friends, and benefactors from tormenting flames, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to deliver all the faithful departed, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to have mercy on all those who have none in this world to remember or pray for them, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to have mercy on all, and to deliver them from their pains, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to fulfill their desires, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to admit them amongst Thine elect, we beseech Thee, hear us.
King of dreadful Majesty, we beseech Thee, hear us.
Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, give them rest.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, give them rest.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, give them eternal rest.


Jesus Christ, hear us. Jesus Christ, graciously hear us.


Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

V. From the gate of hell
R. O Lord, preserve their souls.

Let us pray. O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplication they obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.


The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are prayed on Monday
The Rosary in Latin
 

Chaplet of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ in Latin 

Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady in English


The Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict for September 25
VI. De humilitate
1 Clamat nobis scriptura divina, fratres, dicens: Omnis qui se exaltat humiliabitur, et qui se humiliat exaltabitur. 
2 Cum haec ergo dicit, ostendit nobis omnem exaltationem genus esse superbiae. 
3 Quod se cavere propheta indicat dicens: Domine, non est exaltatum cor meum, neque elati sunt oculi mei; neque ambulavi in magnis, neque in mirabilibus super me. 
4 Sed quid? Si non humiliter sentiebam, si exaltavi animam meam? - sicut ablactatum super matrem suam, ita retribuis in animam meam.

Chapter 6 Humility 
1 The Holy Scripture cries out to us, brothers, saying: Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11; 18:14).  
2 Therefore, by saying this it shows us us that all exaltation is a kind of pride, 
3 against which the prophet indicates that he guards himself, saying: Lord, my heart is not exalted nor are my eyes lifted up; nor have I walked in great things, nor in wonders above me (Ps 131:1).  
4 And why?  What if I did not think humbly, but instead exalted my soul? Then like a child weaned from its mother - so you would treat my soul (Ps 131:2).

Today's Celebration of the Mass






Jesus XPI Passio sit semper in cordibus nostris
May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts

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