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Sunday, June 29, 2008

On the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul

It's a glorious feast day today. And the Church always gifts us with beautiful and profound words to contemplate in the liturgy. Here's what we have for today's Preface:

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

You fill our hearts with joy
as we honor your great apostles:
Peter, our leader in the faith,
and Paul, its fearless preacher.

Peter raised up the Church
from the faithful flock of Israel.
Paul brought your call to the nations,
and became the teacher of the world.
Each in his chosen way gathered into unity
the one family of Christ.
Both shared a martyr's death
and are praised throughout the world.

Now, with the apostles and all the angels and saints,
we praise you for ever.

Also, here are two responsories I came across:


Seek ye a patron to defend -
Your cause? - then, one and all,
Without delay upon the Prince
Of the Apostles call.

Blest holder of the heavenly keys,
Thy prayers we all implore
Unlock to us the sacred bars
Of heaven’s eternal door.

By penitential tears thou didst
The path of life regain;
Teach us with thee to weep our sins,
And wash away their stain.

Blest holder, &c.

The angel touch’d thee, and forthwith
Thy chains from off thee fell;
O, loose us from the subtle coils
That bind us fast to hell.

Blest holder, &c.

Firm rock whereon the Church is based,
Pillar that cannot bend,
With strength endue us; and the faith
From heresy defend.

Blest holder, &c.

Save Rome, which from the days of old
Thy blood hath sanctified;
And help the nations of the earth
That in thy help confide.

Blest holder, &c.

O, worshipped by all Christendom,
Her realms in peace maintain;
Let no contagion sap her strength,
No discord rend in twain.

Blest holder, &c.

The weapons which our ancient foe
Against us doth prepare,
Crush thou; nor suffer us to fall
Into his deadly snare.

Blest holder, &c.

Grant us through life; and in that hour
When our last fight draws nigh,
O’er death, o’er hell, o’er Satan’s power,
Gain us the victory.

Blest holder, &c.

All glory to the Father be;
Praise to the Son sin who rose;
Praise to the Spirit Paraclete;
While age on ages flows.

Blest holder, &c.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

Blest holder, &c.

Ant. Thou art the shepherd of the sheep, Prince of the Apostles; to thee were given the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

V. Thou art Peter.
R. And upon this rock will I build My Church.

Let us pray.
O Lord, we beseech Thee, raise us up by the Apostolic might of Blessed Peter Thine Apostle; that the weaker we are in ourselves, the more powerful may be the assistance whereby we are strengthened through his intercession; that thus, ever fortified by the protection of Thine Apostle, we may neither yield to sin, nor be overwhelmed by adversity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Tears of St Peter - by El Greco


All ye who groan beneath
A load of ills oppress’d,
Entreat St. Paul, and he will pray
The Lord to give you rest.

O victim, dear to Heaven
O Paul, thou teacher true
Thou love and joy of Christendom,
To thee for help we sue.

Pierced by the flame of love,
Descending from on high
Twas thine to preach the faith which once
Thou soughtest to destroy.

O victim, &c.

Nor toil, nor threaten’d death,
Nor tempest, scourge, or chain,
Could from th’ assembly of the saints
Thy loving heart detain.

O victim, &c.

O, by that quenchless love
Which burnt in thee of yore,
Take pity on our miseries,
Our fainting hope restore.

O victim, &c.

True champion of the Lord,
Crush thou the schemes of hell;
And with adoring multitudes
The sacred temples fill.

O victim, &c.

Through thy prevailing prayer,
May charity abound
Sweet charity, which knows no ill,
Which nothing can confound.

O victim, &c.

To earth’s remotest shores
May one same faith extend;
And thy epistles through all climes
Their blessed perfume send.

O victim, &c.

Grant us the will and power
To serve Thee, God of might;
Lest, wav’ring still and unprepar’d,
We sink in depths of night.

O victim, &c.

Praise to the Father be;
Praise to the Son who rose
Praise to the Spirit Paraclete;
While age on ages flows.

O victim, &c.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

O victim, &c.

Ant. This is My vessel of election, to carry My Name among the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

V. Pray for us, O blessed Apostle Paul.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Almighty and Eternal God, who in Thy divine compassion didst direct Thy blessed Apostle Paul what to do that He might be filled with Thy Holy Spirit; grant that we may be so counselled by his teaching, and aided by the suffrage of his merits, that, serving Thee in fear and trembling, we may be filled with the consolation of Thy heavenly gifts. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St Paul - by El Greco

Solemn Blessing:
The Lord has set you firm within his Church,
which he built upon the rock of Peter's faith.
May he bless you with a faith that never wavers. Amen.

The Lord has given you knowledge of the faith
through the labors and preaching of Saint Paul.
May his example inspire you to lead others to Christ
by the manner of your life. Amen.

May the keys of Peter, and the words of Paul,
their undying witness and their prayers,
lead you to the joy of that eternal home
which Peter gained by his cross, and Paul by the sword. Amen.

"St. Peter, as prince of the apostles, is pre-eminently the patron for an apostolic organisation. He was the first Pope, but stands for all the illustrious line of Pontiffs, and for the present Holy Father. In invoking St. Peter, we express once again a Legion's loyalty to Rome, the centre of our faith, the source of authority, discipline, unity." (Decision of the Legion placing St. Peter's name in the list of invocations.)
The feast of Saints Peter and Paul occurs on 29 June.

"And I tell you, you are Peter,
and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Mt 16:18-19)


A soul that is to win others must be great and wide as the ocean. To convert the world, one's soul must be greater than the world. Such was St. Paul from the day when a sudden light from heaven shone round about him, and threw its radiance into his soul, and enkindled therein the burning desire to fill the world with the Name and Faith of Christ. The Apostle of the Gentiles - his work is his name. Untiringly he laboured till the sword of the executioner sent his indomitable spirit to God, and then his writings lived on, and ever will live, to continue his mission.
It is the way of the Church ever to join him with St. Peter in its prayer, which is praise indeed. It is fitting, too, for together these two great ones consecrated Rome by their martyrdom.
The Church celebrates their feast on the same day.

"With far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless floggings, and often near death. Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked." (2 Cor 11:23-27)
~ Legion Hanbook, p144-5
Have a blessed feast!

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