Universalis
Monday 27 June 2016    (other days)
Our Lady of Unfailing Help, Principal Patroness of the Diocese 
Feast

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
Hail, of paradise the portal!
  Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
  And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
  On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
  Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
  Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
  Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
  Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
  Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
  Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
  Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
  Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
  Every spirit bow before thee.

Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple
The Virgin Mary received blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saved her.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
  the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
  and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
  Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
  who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
  and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
  seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
  The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
 – he is the king of glory.
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.
The Virgin Mary received blessings from the Lord and reward from the God who saved her.

Psalm 45 (46)
God, our refuge and our strength
The Most High has made holy the place where he dwells.
The Lord is our refuge and our strength,
  a true help in our troubles.
Therefore we do not fear,
  even when the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
the waves roar and foam
  and rise up to shake the mountains.
The streams of the river give joy to the city of God,
  the holy dwelling-place of the Most High.
God is within it, it will not be shaken;
  God will give help as the day dawns.
The nations are in turmoil and kingdoms totter:
  at the sound of his voice, the earth flows like water.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come and see the works of the Lord,
  who has done wonders on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the world:
  he tramples the bow, shatters weapons, and burns the shields with fire.
Stop and see that I am God:
  I will be exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
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.
The Most High has made holy the place where he dwells.

Psalm 86 (87)
Jerusalem, mother of all nations
Of you are told glorious things, O Virgin Mary!
Its foundations are set on the sacred mountains –
  the Lord loves the gates of Zion
  more than all the tents of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, city of God!
I shall count Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me.
  The Philistines, Tyrians, Ethiopians –
  all have their birthplace here.
Of Zion it will be said “Here is the birthplace of all people:
  the Most High himself has set it firm.”
The Lord shall write in the book of the nations:
  “Here is their birthplace.”
They will sing as in joyful processions:
  “All my being springs from you.”
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.
Of you are told glorious things, O Virgin Mary!

Mary stored up all these words,
and pondered them in her heart.

First Reading
Colossians 1:12-23 ©
We give thanks to the Father who has made it possible for you to join the saints and with them to inherit the light.
  Because that is what he has done: he has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
He is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation,
for in him were created
all things in heaven and on earth:
everything visible and everything invisible,
Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –
all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed,
and he holds all things in unity.
Now the Church is his body,
he is its head.
As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross.
You were once estranged and of hostile intent through your evil behaviour; now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body, to bring you before himself holy, faultless and irreproachable – as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the gospel, which you have heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become the servant.
Responsory
℟. Behold the appointed time is here: God has sent his own Son into the world, born of a woman, born under the law,* to redeem those under the law.
℣. For the great love he bore us God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,* to redeem those under the law.

Second Reading
The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Mary de' Liguori
To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve
Truly unfortunate are we, poor children of Eve. Guilty before God of her fault, and condemned to the same penalty, we have to wander about in this valley of tears as exiles from our country, and to weep over our many afflictions of body and soul. But blessed is he who, in the midst of these sorrows, often turns to the comfortress of the world, to the refuge of the unfortunate, to the great Mother of God, and devoutly calls upon her and invokes her!
  The holy Church carefully teaches us, “her children”, with what attention and confidence we should unceasingly have recourse to this loving protectress, and for this purpose commands a worship peculiar to Mary. This is what Mary desires. She wishes us always to seek her and invoke her aid, not as if she were begging of us these honours and marks of veneration (for they are in no way proportioned to her merit) but she desires them that, by such means, our confidence and devotion may be increased, and that, so, she may be able to give us greater succour and comfort. She, in the exercise of her mercy, knows not how to act differently from God: as he flies at once to the assistance of those who beg his aid, faithful to his promise, Ask, and you shall receive, so Mary, whenever she is invoked, is at once ready to assist him who prays to her. Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our confidence that Mary will grant our petitions when we cast ourselves at her feet. She is the mother of mercy: but mercy would not be needed did none exist who require it. On this subject Richard of St Lawrence remarks that “as a good mother does not shrink from applying a remedy to her child infected with ulcers, however nauseous and revolting they may be, so also is our good mother unable to abandon us when we have recourse to her, that she may heal the wounds caused by our sins, however loathsome they may have rendered us”.
  This good mother’s compassion is so great, and the love she bears us is such that she does not even wait for our prayers in order to assist us, but, as St Anselm says, she is beforehand with those who desire her protection. Her love for us is so tender, that in our wants she anticipates our prayers, and her mercy is more prompt to help us than we are to ask her aid. “And this arises,” adds Richard of St Victor, “from the fact that the heart of Mary is so filled with compassion for poor sinners, that she no sooner sees our miseries than she pours her tender mercies upon us. Nor is it possible for this benign queen to behold the want of any soul without immediately assisting it.”
  Should there be anyone who doubts as to whether Mary will aid him if he has recourse to her, Innocent III thus reproves him: “Who is there that ever, when in the night of sin, had recourse to this sweet Lady without being relieved? Such a case certainly never did and never will occur.”
  Let all, then, say with full confidence, in the words of that beautiful prayer addressed to the Mother of mercy, and commonly attributed to St Bernard: “Remember, O most loving virgin Mary, that it is a thing unheard of in any age that anyone had recourse to your protection and was left unaided.”
Responsory
℟. Blessed is the holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise.* Through her has risen the Sun of Justice, Christ, our God, by whom we are saved and redeemed.
℣. Let us joyfully celebrate this feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.* Through her has risen the Sun of Justice, Christ, our God, by whom we are saved and redeemed.

HymnTe Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, in reverencing this picture,
  we reverence your mother, Mary, ever ready to help us.
May we never cease to pray for her help,
  and so constantly feel the benefit of our redemption.
You live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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