Universalis
Friday 24 April 2015    (other days)
Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest, Martyr
 or Friday of the 3rd week of Eastertide

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
Love’s redeeming work is done,
fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo, our Sun’s eclipse is o’er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
death in vain forbids him rise;
Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our victorious King;
where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
following our exalted Head;
made like him, like him we rise,
ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection thou!

Psalm 68 (69)
I am consumed with zeal for your house
I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God. Alleluia.
Save me, O God,
  for the waters have come up to my neck.
I am stuck in bottomless mud;
  I am adrift in deep waters
  and the flood is sweeping me away.
I am exhausted with crying out, my throat is parched,
  my eyes are failing as I look out for my God.
Those who hate me for no reason
  are more than the hairs of my head.
They are strong, my persecutors, my lying enemies:
  they make me give back things I never took.
God, you know my weakness:
  my crimes are not hidden from you.
Let my fate not put to shame those who trust in you,
  Lord, Lord of hosts.
Let them not be dismayed on my account,
  those who seek you, God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I am taunted
  and covered in confusion:
I have become a stranger to my own brothers,
  a wanderer in the eyes of my mother’s children –
because zeal for your house is consuming me,
  and the taunts of those who hate you
  fall upon my head.
I have humbled my soul with fasting
  and they reproach me for it.
I have made sackcloth my clothing
  and they make me a byword.
The idlers at the gates speak against me;
  for drinkers of wine, I am the butt of their songs.
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.
I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God. Alleluia.

Psalm 68 (69)
For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
But I turn my prayer to you, Lord,
  at the acceptable time, my God.
In your great kindness, hear me,
  and rescue me with your faithful help.
Tear me from the mire, before I become stuck;
  tear me from those who hate me;
  tear me from the depths of the waters.
Do not let the waves overwhelm me;
  do not let the deep waters swallow me;
  do not let the well’s mouth engulf me.
Hear me, Lord, for you are kind and good.
  In your abundant mercy, look upon me.
Do not turn your face from your servant:
  I am suffering, so hurry to answer me.
Come to my soul and deliver it,
  rescue me from my enemies’ attacks.
You know how I am taunted and ashamed;
  how I am thrown into confusion.
You can see all those who are troubling me.
  Reproach has shattered my heart – I am sick.
I looked for sympathy, but none came;
  I looked for a consoler but did not find one.
They gave me bitterness to eat;
  when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
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.
For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Psalm 68 (69)
Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul. Alleluia.
I am weak and I suffer,
  but your help, O God, will sustain me.
I will praise the name of God in song
  and proclaim his greatness with praises.
This will please the Lord more than oxen,
  than cattle with their horns and hooves.
Let the humble see and rejoice.
  Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live,
for the Lord has heard the needy
  and has not despised his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
  the seas and all that swims in them.
For the Lord will make Zion safe
  and build up the cities of Judah:
  there they will live, the land will be theirs.
The seed of his servants will inherit the land,
  and those who love his name will dwell there.
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.
Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul. Alleluia.

Christ, at your resurrection, alleluia,
let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

First Reading
Apocalypse 10:1-11 ©
Then I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were pillars of fire. In his hand he had a small scroll, unrolled; he put his right foot in the sea and his left foot on the land and he shouted so loud, it was like a lion roaring. At this, seven claps of thunder made themselves heard and when the seven thunderclaps had spoken, I was preparing to write, when I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Keep the words of the seven thunderclaps secret and do not write them down.’ Then the angel that I had seen, standing on the sea and the land, raised his right hand to heaven, and swore by the One who lives for ever and ever, and made heaven and all that is in it, and earth and all it bears, and the sea and all it holds, ‘The time of waiting is over; at the time when the seventh angel is heard sounding his trumpet, God’s secret intention will be fulfilled, just as he announced in the Good News told to his servants the prophets.’
  Then I heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go,’ it said ‘and take that open scroll out of the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’ I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.’ So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time about many different nations and countries and languages and emperors.’
Responsory
When the trumpet sounds, then God will accomplish his secret plan, as he announced to his servants, the prophets: alleluia.
Then will appear in heaven the sign that heralds the Son of Man. All the peoples of the earth will see him coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory, as he announced to his servants, the prophets: 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 and 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 downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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