Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Saint Peter's Chains
August 1st
Breviary ex Guéranger

    During the reign of Theodosius the younger, Eudocia, his wife, went to Jerusalem to fulfill a vow, and while there she was honored with many gifts, the greatest of which was an iron chain adorned with gold and precious stones, and said to be that wherewith the apostle Peter had been bound by Herod. Eudocia piously venerated this chain, and then sent it to Rome to her daughter Eudoxia. The latter took it to the sovereign pontiff who in turn showed her another chain which had bound the same apostle under Nero.

    When the pontiff thus brought together the Roman chain and that which had come from Jerusalem, they joined together in such a manner that they seemed no longer two chains, but a single one, made by one same workman. On account of this miracle the holy chains began to be held in such great honor that a church at the title of Eudoxia on the Esquiline was dedicated under the name of St. Peter ad vincula, and the memory of its dedication was celebrated by a feast on the Kalends of August.

    From that time St. Peter's chains began to receive the honors of this day instead of a pagan festival which it had been customary to celebrate. Contact with them healed the sick, and put the demons to flight. Thus in the year of salvation 969, a certain count who was very intimate with the Emperor Otho, was taken possession of by an unclean spirit, so that he tore his flesh with his own teeth. By command of the emperor he was taken to the pontiff John, who had no sooner touched the count's neck with the holy chain than the wicked spirit was driven away, leaving the man entirely free. On this account, devotion to the holy chains was spread throughout Rome.

At Lauds and Vespers:

    [V] Precious in the sight of the Lord.

    [R] Is the death of His saints.


    O Peter, at the bidding of God, loose the chains of earth, who openest to the blessed kingdom of heaven.


    O God, who didst loose the blessed apostle Peter from his bonds and didst send him forth unharmed; loose, we pray Thee, the chains of our sins, and in Thy great mercy keep us from all evil. Through our Lord....

    O God, Who by the preaching of Blessed Paul, Thine Apostle, didst teach the multitude of the gentiles, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who venerate his memory may also enjoy his patronage with Thee. Through our Lord.... 

At lauds, the Holy Machabees are commemorated (P. 2019)



Finding of Saint Stephen, Protomartyr
August 3rd
Breviary ex Guéranger

    During the reign of the Emperor Honorius the bodies of St. Stephen the protomartyr, Gamaliel, Nicodemus and Abibo were found near Jerusalem. They had long lain buried, unknown, and neglected, when they were revealed by God to a priest named Lucian. While he was asleep, Gamaliel appeared to him as a venerable and majestic old man and showed him the spot where the bodies lay, commanding him to go to Bishop John of Jerusalem, and persuade him to give these bodies more honorable burial.

    On hearing this, the Bishop of Jerusalem assembled the neighboring bishops and clergy, and went to the spot indicated. The tombs were found, and from them exhaled a most sweet odor. At the rumor of what had occurred, a great crowd came together, and many of them who were sick and weak from various ailments went away perfectly cured. The sacred body of St. Stephen was then carried with great honor to the holy church of Sion. Under Theodosius the younger it was carried to Constantinople, and from thence it was translated to Rome under Pope Pelagius I and placed in the tomb of St. Lawrence the Martyr, in Agro Verano.

At Lauds & Vespers

Little Chapter: Acts vi: 8

    And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people.


At Lauds:
"Invícte Martyr" (730)

At Vespers:
"Deus tuórum" (734)

    [V] Stephen saw the heavens opened.

    [R] He saw and entered in. Blessed is he unto whom the heavens were opened.


    Devout men buried Stephen, and made great mourning over him.


    Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to imitate what we revere, that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate the day of his finding, who could even plead on behalf of his persecutors with Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Who with Thee....


Our Lady of the Snow
August 5
Breviary ex Guéranger

    Under the pontificate of Liberius, John, a Roman patrician, and his wife who was of an equally noble race, having no children to whom they might leave their estates, vowed their whole fortune to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, begging her most earnestly and continually to make known to them by some means in what pious work she wished them to employ the money. The Blessed Virgin Mary graciously heard their heartfelt prayers and vows, and answered them by a miracle.

    On the nones of August, usually the hottest time of the year in Rome, a part of the Esquiline hill was covered with snow during the night. That same night, the Mother of God appeared in a dream to John and his wife separately, and told them to build a church on the spot they should find covered with snow, and to dedicate it to the Virgin Mary; for it was in this manner that she wished to become their heiress. John related this to Pope Liberius who said that he had dreamt the same thing.

    He went therefore with a solemn procession of priests and people to the snow-clad hill, and chose the site of a church which was built with the money of John and his wife. It was afterwards rebuilt by Sixtus III. At first it was called by different names, the Liberian Basilica, St. Mary at the Crib. But since there are many churches in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and as this one surpasses all other basilicas in dignity and by its miraculous beginning, it is distinguished from them also by the title St. Mary Major. On account of the miraculous fall of snow, the anniversary of the dedication is celebrated by a yearly solemnity.

Saints Cyriacus and Companions, Martyrs
August 8
Breviary ex Guéranger

    Cyriacus, a deacon, underwent a long imprisonment together with Largus, Sisinius, and Smaragdus, and worked many miracles. Amongst others, by his prayers, he freed Arthemia, a daughter of Diocletian, from the possession of the devil. He was sent to Sapor, King of Persia, and delivered his daughter, Jobia, in like manner from the devil. He baptized the king, her father, and four hundred and thirty others, and then returned to Rome. There he was seized by command of the Emperor Maximian, and dragged in chains before his chariot. Four days afterwards he was taken out of prison, boiling pitch was poured over him, he was stretched on the rack, and at length he was put to death by the axe, with Largus, Smaragdus, and twenty others at Sallust's Gardens on the Salarian Way. A priest named John buried their bodies on the same Way, on the seventeenth of the Kalends of April, but on the sixth of the ides of August Pope Marcellus and the noble lady Lucina wrapped them in linen with precious spices, and translated them to Lucina's estate on the Ostian Way, seven miles from Rome.

St. Philomena
August 10 (or 11)

    On May 24th, 1802, during an excavation of the Roman catacombs, a tomb was found containing the remains of a young girl who had suffered martyrdom. Placed within the tomb was a vial containing the girls blood, a custom denoting martyrdom during the early times of Roman persecution. When properly arranged, the three tiles on the exterior of the tomb indicated her name, "Filumena," along with several symbols intended to describe her martyrdom. A lily and a palm indicate virginity and martyrdom. An anchor, a scourge, and three arrows (one of them flaming) seem to indicate the nature of her fatal torments. While the details of Philomena's life are shrouded by the darkness of history, it is generally believed that she was the daughter of Eastern royalty, roughly thirteen years of age, who was put to death for refusing the adulterous affections of the Roman Emperor.

    Philomena's relics were taken to Naples, and ultimately to a suburb known as Mugnano, where they were credited with working the miraculous cures of the severely ill. One of those cured was Pauline Marie Jaricot, later the foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, The Association of the Holy Childhood, and The Living Rosary. On St. Philomena's feast, upon receiving Holy Communion, Miss Jaricot was relieved of a malady of the heart and lungs after many years of debilitating suffering. This cure was declared authentic by Pope Gregory XVI, who was personally familiar with its details. The same pope approved the public veneration of the virgin-martyr Philomena as a saint. Her feast is observed together with the famed Roman martyr-deacon Lawrence on August 10th, or on the 11th in churches where she is held in particular honor.

    St. Philomena was dear to many renowned saints, including Madeleine Sophie Barat, Peter Chanel, and Peter Julian Eymard. Her most well known promoter, though, is St. John Vianney, the Curé d' Ars. Though separated by centuries, the saintly Curé and his little Saint seem, in some ways to be brother and sister, and in others to be partners in his priestly apostolate for souls. The shrine of St. Philomena at Ars was the site of many conversions and prayers answered. As one of the earliest saints to be removed from the calendar of the conciliar modernist church, she is venerated by traditional Catholics everywhere.


Saints Tiburtius and Susanna, Virgin, Martyrs

August 11th
Extracted from Alban Butler's Lives

    Tiburtius is said to have been a subdeacon at Rome, who was betrayed to the persecutors by an apostate and brought before the prefect Fabian. He walked unharmed over burning embers by the power of his faith; but this miracle was dismissed as magic, and he was beheaded on the Via Labicana, three miles from Rome. He was buried on the same Via, at the place called Two Laurels, later the site of a small church.

    The virgin martyr Susanna was the daughter of a learned priest St. Gabinius, and a niece of Pope St. Caius. She was as beautiful as she was charming, and so highly educated that her scholarship matched her father's. She refused marriage to Diocletian's son-in-law Maximian, bringing about a train of events that ended in the martyrdom of Susanna and her father, who were beheaded; and her uncles Ss. Claudius and Maximus, and Claudius' wife and sons, all of whom were burned alive.

Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners
Saints Hippolytus, Antipope and Cassian, Martyrs

August 13th
Lesson from the Saturday Office of Our Lady for June (986)
Lesson for the martyrs
From various sources

    The name Hippolytus is associated with that of St. Lawrence; the former said to be the Roman officer in charge of the latter. This Hippolytus, was converted and baptized by St. Lawrence, and was punished by the emperor for unbecoming conduct. His nurse Concordia, and nineteen others were beaten to death with leaded whips. Hippolytus was dragged by horses, and perhaps pulled apart by them.

    A second martyr named Hippolytus was the Roman priest who criticized Pope St. Zephyrinus for his tolerance of heresy, and who set himself up as Pope in opposition to his successor, St. Callistus. Outliving Callistus, Hippolytus found himself deported to Sardinia together with his new opponent, Pope St. Pontian, in 235, during the persecution of Maximinus. Both Hippolytus and Pontian resigned all claim to the See of Peter, were reconciled, and died martyrs. His body was later returned to Rome and buried in the cemetery on the Via Tiburtina.

    In about the year 320, officials at Imola arrested Cassian, a Christian schoolteacher who refused to sacrifice to the false gods. The governor ordered him to be tortured by his own pagan pupils. After making barbarous sport of Cassian in various ways, the pagan boys stabbed their teacher to death with their iron writing syli. Cassian was buried by his fellow Christians at Imola.


Vigil of the Assumption
August 14th
Lesson i
Luke xi: 27-28

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke:

At that time, as Jesus spoke to the crowds, a certain woman lifted up her voice from the crowd, and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee." But He said, "Rather blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."

A homily of Saint John Chrysostom
on John, chapter ii, homily number 20, near the end

When you hear that woman saying, "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee," and the Lord answering, "Rather blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it," do not think that in saying this He is belittling His Mother. Rather, He means to show that the title of mother would be no use to her if she did not excel in goodness and faith. But if her motherly love would be of no use to Mary without virtue, how much less advantage will we draw from the goodness inherent in fatherhood, motherhood, or sonship, unless we contribute something of our own.

Responsories of the current feria in the proper of time.

Lesson ii

For no one can hope for salvation from anything, after divine grace, except his own virtues. If relationship to Him had been useful to Mary by itself, it would have been useful also to the Jews, who were Christ's relatives according to the flesh; it would have been useful to the city in which He was born; it would have been useful to His close relatives. But as long as His close relatives cared for their own interests, the title of relationship was of no advantage to them, and they were condemned with the rest of the world.

Lesson iii

But they began to be worthy of admiration when they shone by their own virtues. His country, indeed, gained nothing from being His fatherland, and was destroyed by fire; His fellow citizens were killed and perished miserably; His relatives according to the flesh gained nothing for salvation, lacking the protection of virtue. But the Apostles became the most renowned of all, since by obedience they gained His true and desired friendship and companionship. Thus we are to understand that faith is always necessary to us, and a life shining with virtues; this alone can save us.

The Assumption of the B.V.M.

August 15
Lesson i:
From the Book of Genesis: iii: 9-15

    But the Lord God called Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid." Then He said, "Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat." Adam said, "The woman you placed at my side gave me the fruit from the tree, and I ate." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "Why have you done this?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you among all the animals, and among all the beasts of the field; on your belly shall you crawl, dust shall you eat, all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel."

Lesson ii
From the first Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians: xv: 20-26

    Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also comes resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made to live. But each in his own turn, Christ as first-fruit, then they who are Christ's, who have believed, at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He does away with all sovereignty, authority, and power. For He must reign, until "He has put all His enemies under His feet." And the last enemy to be destroyed will be death.

Lesson iii
Ibid. xv: 53-57

    For this corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal body must put on immortality. But when this mortal body puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the word that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory! O death, where is thy sting?" Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lesson iv
Discourse ii on the Dormition, near the beginning.

    Today the sacred and living ark of the living God, she who conceived the Creator in her womb, comes to rest in the temple of the Lord which was not made by men's hands. David her father leaps with joy, and with him the Angels lead the dance, the Archangels celebrate, the Virtues give glory to God, the Principalities exult, the Powers are glad, the Dominations rejoice, the Thrones keep a feast day, the Cherubim give praise, and the Seraphim proclaim her glory. Today the Eden of the new Adam receives the living paradise in which our condemnation was dissolved, in which the tree of life was planted, in which our nakedness was clothed.

Lesson v

    Today the immaculate Virgin, who was soiled with no earthly desires, but reared in heavenly thinking, did not return to dust, but since she was a living heaven, was placed in the heavenly tabernacles. She from whom the true life has flowed to all men, how could she taste death? But she yielded to the law laid down by Him whom she conceived, and, as a daughter of the old Adam, underwent the old sentence (for her Son, who is Life itself, did not refuse it); but, as the Mother of the living God, she was rightly taken up to His side.

Lesson vi

From the Acts of Pope Pius XII

    The universal Church through the ages has always shown faith in the bodily assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This truth rests upon sacred Scripture, it is deeply rooted in the souls of the faithful, and is clearly consonant with other revealed truths. With almost perfect unanimity, the hierarchy of the whole world asked that this truth be defined as a dogma of the divine and Catholic Faith. And so, Pope Pius XII, consenting to the desires of the whole Church, decided solemnly to proclaim this privilege of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore on the first day of November in the year of the great Jubilee, 1950, at Rome in the court of St. Peter's basilica, amidst a great crowd including many cardinals of the holy Roman Church, and bishops even from distant places, and a great multitude of the faithful, to the applause of the whole Catholic world, he proclaimed the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven by his infallible pronouncement in these words: "After frequently praying to God, and invoking the light of the Spirit of truth, to the glory of almighty God, who enriched the Virgin Mary with special favor, to the honor of her Son, the immortal King of Ages, and victor over death and sin, to the increase of the glory of His august Mother, to the joy and exultation of the whole Church, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and by Our own authority, We declare and define as a revealed dogma that the immaculate Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, when she had finished the course of her earthly life, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven.

Lesson vii

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke: i: 41-50

    At that time, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who has believed, because the things promised her by the Lord shall be accomplished." And Mary said, " My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.; and His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him."

A homily of St. Peter Canisius, Priest
On Mary, the Virgin Mother of God
book v, chapter 6

    The Church both reverently and frequently celebrates feasts of the Mother of God. For she knows with certainty that it is a work pleasing to God, and worthy of the faithful, to honor among all the saints, the most saintly Mother of our Lord and God, on numerous established days of the year with public ceremonies. And among these feasts which have been observed for many centuries, down to our time, the feast of the Assumption is considered the greatest, and holds the chief place. For we can see that no other day was so happy and joyful for Mary herself, if we rightly contemplate the new happiness of soul and body granted to her on that day. As previously her soul and body had wonderfully rejoiced in the living God, now they did so as never before; she could now say with full right: "He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid; for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He who is mighty has done great things for me."

Lesson viii

    And so, thrice blessed, and truly august Mother, we who love you and your Son cannot but rejoice in your wonderful and unequalled joy, the more especially because everything that was said to you and about you by the Lord is fulfilled by your beautiful death, and made perfect in every way. You are blessed today, not only because you believed, but also because you have attained the fruit and purpose of all virtue, and have merited at last to enjoy the glad sight of Him whom you so greatly loved and desired. When Emmanuel entered into the house of this world, you hospitably received Him as a guest; today in turn you are received into His royal palace, and magnificently honored as befits the mother of such a Solomon.

Lesson ix

    O happy day, which transferred such a precious gift from the desert of this world, and brought it to the holy, eternal city in such a way as to stir up a communal and unbelievable joy in all the heavenly beings; and just as much admiration as joy! O happy day, which granted the long and ardent desire of the Bride, faint with love, to find Him whom she had sought, to receive Him whom she had asked for, to possess securely what she had hoped for, resting completely in the perfect vision and enjoyment of that highest and eternal good! O happy day, which raised up and exalted the humble handmaid of the Lord to such a height that she became the most glorious Queen of heaven, and Mistress of the world; nor could she have risen higher, for she was exalted to the very throne of the kingdom, and seated in a glory second only the Christ's! Clearly this happy day is to be honored, which established and proclaimed as our Queen and Mother, one who is, at once, so powerful, and so merciful that we may have her, who ever remains the Mother of the Judge, as a Mother of mercy, protecting and interceding for us with Christ, and faithfully watching out for whatever concerns our salvation.


    V. The holy Mother of God has been exalted.

    R. Above choirs of angels to the heavenly kingdom.

    Ant. Who is she * that comes forth as the rising dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, awe-inspiring as bannered troops?


    All powerful, eternal God; Thou who hast assumed into heaven the body and soul of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of Thy Son: Grant, we beseech Thee, that, as we are always intent on supernatural goods, we may be made worthy to share in the same glory of her assumption.


    V. and R. [As at Lauds.]

    Ant. This day * the Virgin Mary ascended the heavens! Rejoice, for she is reigning with Christ forever.


St. Joachim,
Father of the BVM
A homily of St. John Damascene
(Book 4 on the orthodox Faith, ch. 15)

    The holy Evangelists Matthew and Luke clearly demonstrate that Joseph took his origin from the tribe of David. But they differ in that Matthew traces Joseph's descent from David through Solomon, while Luke traces it through Nathan. Both are silent about the origin of the holy Virgin. Concerning this it is helpful to realize that neither among the Hebrews nor in Sacred Scripture was it customary to set out the genealogy of women. But in the Law there is a warning not to take wives from any other tribe. And so Joseph, who came from the tribe of David and cultivated justice (this praise is given him by the divine Gospel) would not have espoused the holy Virgin in a way contrary to the prescriptions of the Law, or unless she had come from the same race. Because of this the Evangelist thought it enough to show Joseph's genealogy.

    Therefore from the stock of Nathan, son of David, Levi begot Melchi and Panther. And Panther begot Bar-Panther (so he was called) and Bar-Panther begot Joachim. Joachim then begot the holy Mother of God. Or, again, from the stock of Solomon, son of David, Nathan begot Jacob of his wife. And when Nathan had died, Melchi of the tribe of Nathan, son of Levi and brother of Panther, took in marriage the wife of that same Nathan, who was also the mother of Jacob, and from her begot Heli. Thus Jacob and Heli were half brothers, sons of the same mother; but Jacob came from the tribe of Solomon, Heli from the tribe of Nathan.

    Then Heli, of the tribe of Nathan, departed this life without having any children. And for this reason Jacob his brother, of the tribe of Solomon, took Heli's wife and brought forth seed for his brother, begetting Joseph. Joseph was therefore the natural son of Jacob, coming from Solomon; but by law his father was Heli, of the stock of Nathan. So things stood when Joachim married that most excellent woman Anne, worthy of all praise. But even as the first Anna, when she suffered the affliction of sterility, brought forth Samuel by her prayers and vows, so that she might not be inferior to any of the famous mothers. And so Grace (for this is what Anne means) brought forth the lady (for this is what the name Mary means). And truly she was made the lady of all created things when she became the Mother of the Creator.


Saint Agapitus, Martyr, Saint Helen, Widow

August 18th
From Dom Guéranger

    Palestrina, the ancient city of Præneste, sends a representative to Mary's court today, in the person of its valiant and gentle martyr, Agapitus. By his youth and his fidelity, he reminds us of that other gracious athlete, the acolyte Tarcisius, whose victory gained on August 15th, is eclipsed by the glory of Mary's queenly triumph. During the persecution of Valerian, and just before the combats of Sixtus and Lawrence, Tarcisius, carrying the Body of our Lord, was met by some pagans, who tried to force him to show them what he had; but, pressing the heavenly treasure to his heart, he suffered himself to be crushed beneath their blows rather than "deliver up to mad dogs the members of the Lord." Agapitus, at fifteen years of age, suffered cruel tortures under Aurelian. Though so young he may have seen the disgraceful end of Valerian; while the new edict, which enabled him to follow Tarcisius to Mary's feet, had scarcely been promulgated throughout the empire, when Aurelian, in his turn, was cast down by Christ, from whom alone kings and emperors hold their crowns.

    In Rome, in the cemetery of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, were first deposited the relics of the pious empress Helena, [mother of the emperor Constantine] who entered heaven on this day. The Roman Church deemed no greater honor could be given her than to mingle, so to say, her memory on May 3rd with that of the sacred Wood [of the True Cross] which she restored to our adoring love. Let us offer our homage to her who set up the standard of salvation, and placed the Cross on the brow of princes who were once its persecutors.


St. John Eudes, Confessor
August 19
Lesson iii

    John was born in 1601 of good and devout parents in the village of Ri in the diocese of Seez. While yet a boy, when refreshed with the Bread of Angels, he vowed perpetual virginity. In the schools where he pursued his studies in a praiseworthy way, he shone for his wonderful piety. He loved the Blessed Virgin above all, and burned with greater charity for his neighbor. Having joined the Berullian Congregation of the Oratory, he was ordained priest at Paris. He was made rector of the house of the Oratory at Cæn, but left it, although sadly, to educate suitable young men for the service of the Church. To this end, with five companions, he founded the congregation of priests to which he gave the most holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and opened the first seminary at Caen, which was followed later by many others. In order to call sinful women back to the Christian life, he founded the Order of Our Lady of Charity. Of this noble tree, the Congregation of the Good Shepherd of Angers is a branch. He also founded the Society of the Admirable Heart of the Mother of God and other charitable institutions. Burning with a singular love for the most sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, he was the first to think -- not without some inspiration from God -- of offering them a liturgical cult. As an Apostolic Missionary, he preached the Gospel to many villages and towns. Worn out with his great labors, he died peacefully on the 19th of August, 1680. Famous for many miracles, he was numbered among the Blessed by Pope Saint Pius X, and among the Saints by Pope Pius XI on the day of Pentecost in the holy year, and his Office and Mass were extended to the universal Church.



The Immaculate Heart of Mary
August 22nd
Second Nocturn


A sermon of St. Bernardine of Sienna
(From sermon 9 on the Visitation)
Lesson iv

    What mortal man, unless he were protected by a divine pronouncement, would presume with his impure lips to speak briefly or at length about the true Mother of God and man -- about her whom God the Father predestined before all ages to be a perpetual virgin, whom the Son chose for His most worthy Mother, whom the Holy Ghost prepared as the dwelling place of every grace? With what words can a mere man like myself say anything of the lofty thoughts of that Virgin's Heart, uttered by her most holy lips; thoughts for which the tongues of all the Angels would not be adequate? For the Lord said, "The good man from the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good"; and this word can also be a treasure. Among those who are merely human, who can be thought of as better than she who merited to be made Mother of God, who for nine months gave the hospitality of her heart and her womb to God Himself? What treasure could be better than that divine love with which the heart of the Virgin burned like a fiery furnace?

Lesson v

    And so, from this heart, as a furnace of divine ardor, the Blessed Virgin brought forth good words; that is, words of the most ardent love. For as from a vase full of the best wine only the best wine can be poured, or as from a very hot furnace nothing can come forth that is not burning hot, so indeed from the Mother of Christ could come no word except one of the highest and greatest divine love and ardor. And as the words of a wise mistress and lady are few, but substantial and full of meaning, so it is that seven times approximately seven words are read as having been spoken by the Blessed Mother of Christ; a mystic way of showing that she was full of the sevenfold grace. To the Angel she spoke twice only, and twice also to Elizabeth. And she spoke twice to her Son, once in the temple and once at the marriage feast; and once to the servers at that feast. On all these occasions she spoke very little, though she spoke at greater length in praise of God and in thanksgiving when she said, "My soul magnifies the Lord"; and here she spoke not with men, but with God. These seven words were spoken in a wonderful gradation and order according to the seven progressions and acts of love; they are like seven flames from the furnace of her heart.

Lesson vi
From Church documents

    At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Apostolic See first approved the liturgical worship by which the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary is given due honor. The way was prepared for this cult by many holy men and women. Pope Pius VII instituted the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, to be celebrated in a devout and holy way by all the dioceses and religious congregations which had requested it. Later Pope Pius IX added the proper Office and Mass. But the ardent zeal and hope, which had arisen even in the seventeenth century and had grown day by day, that this feast should be given greater solemnity and be extended to the whole Church, was graciously fulfilled by Pope Pius XII in the year 1942, when a terrible war was spreading through almost the whole world. He had pity on the limitless hardships of the people, and because of this devotion and trust in the heavenly Mother, he solemnly commended the whole human race to her most gentle Heart and appointed that a feast with its own Mass and Office be celebrated forever and everywhere in honor of her Immaculate Heart.



Saint Zephyrinus, Pope and Martyr
August 26th
Breviary ex Guéranger

    Zephyrinus, a Roman by birth, was chosen to govern the Church during the reign of the emperor Severus. He ordained that, according to custom, Holy Orders should be conferred on candidates at a fitting time and in the presence of many both clergy and laity; and also that learned and worthy men should be chosen for that dignity. Moreover, he decreed that when the bishop was offering the Holy Sacrifice, he should be assisted by all the priests. He also ordained that neither patriarch nor primate, nor metropolitan, might condemn a bishop without the authority of the apostolic See. His pontificate lasted eighteen years and eighteen days. In four ordinations which he held in the month of December, he ordained thirteen priests, seven deacons, and thirteen bishops for divers places. He was crowned by martyrdom under the emperor Antoninus, and was buried on the Appian Way, near the cemetery of Callixtus, on the seventh of the Calends of September.


Our Lady, Health of the Sick
Saturday before the Last Sunday of August
St. Bernard, Abbot
On the Blessed Virgin

    To commend His grace to us, and to destroy human wisdom, God was pleased to take flesh of a woman who was a virgin, and so to restore by like, to cure a contrary by a contrary, to draw out the poisonous thorn, and most effectively to blot out the decree of sin. Eve was a thorn; Mary is a rose. Eve was a thorn in her wounding; Mary a rose in the sweetening of the affections of all. Eve was a thorn fastening death upon all; Mary is a rose giving the heritage of salvation back to all. Mary was a white rose by reason of her virginity, a red rose by reason of her charity; white in her body, red in her soul; white in cultivating virtue, red in treading down vice; white in purifying affection, red in mortifying the flesh; white in loving God, red in having compassion on her neighbor.

At Lauds and Vespers:

Give us help from trouble.
For vain is the salvation of man.

Bless the Lord, O my soul: Let all that is within me bless His holy name. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities: who healeth all thy diseases.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to us Thy servants, that we may evermore enjoy health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin be delivered from present sorrow and obtain everlasting happiness.



Saint Augustine, Bishop & Doctor
August 28th
Lesson iv
From Pius Parsch, The Church's Year of Grace.

    Augustine Aurelius was born on November 13, 354, in Tagaste, North Africa. His father was a pagan, his mother Saint Monica. Still unbaptized and burning for knowledge, he came under the influence of the Manicheans. As a rhetorician he went to Rome, seeking that truth which he finally found at Milan through the help of Saint Ambrose. The tears of his mother, the sanctity of Milan's bishop, the book of Saint Anthony the hermit, and the sacred scriptures wrought his conversion, which was sealed by Baptism on Easter night 387. In 388 he returned to Tagaste, where he lived a common life with his friends. In 391 he was ordained priest at Hippo, in 394 made coadjutor to bishop Valerius, and then from 396 to 430 bishop of Hippo.

Lesson v

    Augustine, numbered among the four great Doctors of the Western Church, possessed one of the most penetrating minds of ancient Christendom. He was the most important Platonist of patristic times, the Church's most influential theologian, especially with regard to clarifying the dogmas of the Trinity, grace, and the Church. A great speaker, a prolific writer, a saint with an inexhaustible spirituality. His Confessions, a book appreciated in every age describes a notable portion of his life (until 400), his errors, his battles, and his profound religious observations. Famous too is his work The City of God, a worthy memorial to his genius, a philosophy of history. Most edifying are his homilies, especially those on the psalms and on the Gospel of Saint John.

Lesson vi

    Augustine's episcopal life was filled with mighty battles against heretics, over all of whom he triumphed. His most illustrious victory was that over Pelagius, who denied the necessity of grace; from this encounter, he earned the surname, "Doctor of Grace." As an emblem Christian art accords him a burning heart to symbolize the ardent love of God which permeates all his writings. He is the founder of canonical life in common; therefore Augustinian monks and the Hermits of Saint Augustine honor him as their spiritual father. He died during the Vandal invasions of North Africa on August 28th, 430, and since the eighth century, has reposed in the Augustinian church of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia.



Our Lady of Consolation
Saturday after August 28th, the feast of St. Augustine
(Celebrated in some Augustinian churches on the Sunday after August 28th or on September 2nd.)

From The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, P. 357

    According to an old tradition, St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo, received a black leathern belt from the Blessed Virgin Mary, who assured the holy widow that she would take under her special protection all those who wore it in her honor. Monica related this vision to Saint Ambrose of Milan and to St.  Simplicianus; both saints took to wearing such a belt, and Ambrose is said to have girded St. Augustine with it at his baptism. Later on it was adopted by the hermits of St. Augustine as a distinctive part of their habit. After the canonization of St. Nicholas of Tolentino it came into general use among the faithful. In 1575, Pope Gregory XIII, in the bull "Ad ea," confirmed the union of several similar confraternities under the title of "The Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Consolation." Members of the confraternity wear the black leathern belt, recite daily thirteen Paters and Aves and the Salve Regina, fast on the vigil of St. Augustine, and receive Holy Communion of the feasts of the saints associated with the confraternity.

At Lauds and Vespers:

Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one and come.
[R] For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.

Antiphon (Jer xviii):
Remember, O Virgin Mary, in the sight of God, to speak the good for us, that He might turn his indignation away from us.

Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all consolation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who on earth venerate Thy most Blessed Mother Mary under the title of our Consolation; forever may be united with Thee through her in heaven. Who lives and reigns.


Dei via est íntegra
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