Universalis
Tuesday 24 April 2018    (other days)
Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest, Martyr 
 or Tuesday of the 4th week of Eastertide 
 or Saint George, Martyr 

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
The martyrs living now with Christ
In suffering were tried,
Their anguish overcome by love
When on his cross he died.
Across the centuries they come,
In constancy unmoved,
Their loving hearts make no complaint,
In silence they are proved.
No man has ever measured love,
Or weighed it in his hand,
But God who knows the inmost heart
Gives them the promised land.
Praise Father, Son and Spirit blest,
Who guides us through the night
In ways that reach beyond the stars
To everlasting light.
Francis E. Mostyn (1860-1939)

Psalm 101 (102)
Prayers and vows of an exile
Let my cry come to you, Lord: do not hide your face from me.
Lord, listen to my prayer
  and let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me:
  whenever I am troubled,
  turn to me and hear me.
Whenever I call on you,
  hurry to answer me.
For my days vanish like smoke,
  and my bones are dry as tinder.
My heart is cut down like grass, it is dry –
  I cannot remember to eat.
The sound of my groaning
  makes my bones stick to my flesh.
I am lonely as a pelican in the wilderness,
  as an owl in the ruins,
  as a sparrow alone on a rooftop:
  I do not sleep.
All day long my enemies taunt me,
  they burn with anger and use my name as a curse.
I make ashes my bread,
  I mix tears with my drink,
  because of your anger and reproach –
you, who raised me up, have dashed me to the ground.
My days fade away like a shadow:
  I wither like grass.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Let my cry come to you, Lord: do not hide your face from me.

Psalm 101 (102)
Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.
But you, Lord, remain for ever
  and your name lasts from generation to generation.
You will rise up and take pity on Zion,
  for it is time that you pitied it,
  indeed it is time:
for your servants love its very stones
  and pity even its dust.
Then, Lord, the peoples will fear your name.
  All the kings of the earth will fear your glory,
when the Lord has rebuilt Zion
  and appeared there in his glory;
when he has listened to the prayer of the destitute
  and not rejected their pleading.
These things shall be written for the next generation
  and a people yet to be born shall praise the Lord:
because he has looked down from his high sanctuary,
 – the Lord has looked down from heaven to earth –
and heard the groans of prisoners
  and freed the children of death
so that they could proclaim the Lord’s name in Zion
  and sing his praises in Jerusalem,
where people and kingdoms gather together
  to serve the Lord.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Turn, Lord, to the prayers of the helpless.

Psalm 101 (102)
You founded the earth, Lord, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Alleluia.
He has brought down my strength in the midst of my journey;
  he has shortened my days.
I will say, “My God, do not take me away
  half way through the days of my life.
Your years last from generation to generation:
  in the beginning you founded the earth,
  and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will pass away but you will remain;
  all will grow old, like clothing,
  and like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed.
“But you are always the same,
  your years will never run out.
The children of your servants shall live in peace,
  their descendants will endure in your sight.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
  and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
  is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
You founded the earth, Lord, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Alleluia.

Christ, risen from the dead, dies no more, alleluia.
Death will have no more power over him, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 14:1-13 ©
The victorious Lamb
Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps. There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world. These are the ones who have kept their virginity and not been defiled with women; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb. They never allowed a lie to pass their lips and no fault can be found in them.
  Then I saw another angel, flying high overhead, sent to announce the Good News of eternity to all who live on the earth, every nation, race, language and tribe. He was calling, ‘Fear God and praise him, because the time has come for him to sit in judgement; worship the maker of heaven and earth and sea and every water-spring.’
  A second angel followed him, calling, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, Babylon which gave the whole world the wine of God’s anger to drink.’
  A third angel followed, shouting aloud, ‘All those who worship the beast and his statue, or have had themselves branded on the hand or forehead, will be made to drink the wine of God’s fury which is ready, undiluted, in his cup of anger; in fire and brimstone they will be tortured in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb and the smoke of their torture will go up for ever and ever. There will be no respite, night or day, for those who worshipped the beast or its statue or accepted branding with its name.’ This is why there must be constancy in the saints who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write down: Happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.’
ResponsoryCf. Rv 14:6-7
℟. I heard the voice of many angels in heaven, saying,* Fear God and praise his greatness. Worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water, alleluia.
℣. I saw a mighty angel of God flying in mid-heaven, and he cried out in a loud voice:* Fear God and praise his greatness. Worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water, alleluia.

Second Reading
From a eulogy for Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr
Faithful in name and in truth
Pope Benedict XIV praised Fidelis as a confessor of the Catholic faith in these words: “He practised the fullness of charity in bringing consolation and relief to his neighbours as well as strangers. With a father’s love he embraced all those who were in trouble. He supported great numbers of poor people with the alms he had collected from every quarter.
  “With wealth collected from the powerful and from princes, he comforted widows and orphans in their loneliness. He was always helping prisoners in their spiritual and bodily needs. He showed constant zeal in visiting and comforting the sick whom he would win back to God and prepare for their last struggle.
  “The most outstanding example of this meritorious way of life occurred when the Austrian army, stationed in the area of Raetia, was almost totally destroyed by an epidemic. To show compassion he used to bring food for the weak and the dying.”
  In addition to this charity, he was faithful in truth as well as in name. His zeal for defending the Catholic faith was unsurpassed and he preached it tirelessly. A few days before he shed his blood to bear witness to his preaching, he gave his last sermon. These are the words he left as a testament: “O Catholic faith, how solid, how strong you are! How deeply rooted, how firmly founded on a solid rock! Heaven and earth will pass away, but you can never pass away. From the beginning the whole world opposed you, but you mightily triumphed over everything. This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. It has subjected powerful kings to the rule of Christ; it has bound nations to his service.
  “What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony and bitter torments, except faith, and especially faith in the resurrection?
  “What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love. It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods. It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.”
Responsory
℟. I have run the great race, I have finished the course, I have kept faith,* and now the prize, the garland of righteousness awaits me, alleluia.
℣. I have lost everything that I may learn to know Christ and what it means to share his sufferings, moulded into the pattern of his death,* and now the prize, the garland of righteousness awaits me, alleluia.

Let us pray.
Lord God, you crowned Saint Fidelis with a martyr’s death,
  when, filled with your love, he was preaching the faith.
Let our lives be rooted in love,
  so that with him, and by his prayer,
  we may know the power of God’s resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis apps, programs and downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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