Sunday, May 6, 2012


Petition to Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Most holy Virgin Immaculate,
my Mother Mary,
to thee who art the Mother of my Lord,
the queen of the universe,
the advocate,
the hope,
the refuge of sinners,
I who am the most miserable of all sinners,
have recourse this day.

I venerate thee,
great queen,
and I thank thee for the many graces thou has bestowed upon me even unto this day;
in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins.

I love thee,
most dear Lady;
and for the love I bear thee,
I promise to serve thee willingly forever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also.

I place in thee all my hopes for salvation;
accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle,
thou who art the Mother of mercy.
And since thou art so powerful with God,
deliver me from all temptations,
or at least obtain for me the strength 
to overcome them until death.
From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ.
Through thee I hope to die a holy death.
My dear Mother,
by the love thou bearest to Almighty God,
I pray thee to assist me always,
but most of all at the last moment of my life.
Forsake me not then,
until thou shalt see me safe in heaven,
there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity.
Such is my hope.



Fifth Sunday of Easter

Reading 1
Acts 9:26-31

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples,
but they were all afraid of him,
not believing that he was a disciple.
Then Barnabas took charge of him 
and brought him to the apostles,
and he reported to them how he had seen the Lord,
and that he had spoken to him,
and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 
in the name of Jesus.
He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem,
and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.
He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists,
but they tried to kill him.
And when the brothers learned of this,
they took him down to Caesarea
and sent him on his way to Tarsus.

The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, 
and Samaria was at peace.
It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32

R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
R. Alleluia.

I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the LORD.
The lowly shall eat their fill;
they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
"May your hearts live forever!"

R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
R. Alleluia.

All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the LORD;
all the families of the nations
shall bow down before him.

R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
R. Alleluia.

To him alone shall bow down
all who sleep in the earth;
before him shall bend
all who go down into the dust.

R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
R. Alleluia.

And to him my soul shall live;
my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
the justice he has shown.

R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2
1 Jn 3:18-24

Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, 
and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.

Jn 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:

"I am the true vine, and my Father 
is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me 
that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes 
so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word 
that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him 
will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and 
it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."


May 6

Blessed Gerard of Lunel (13th century)

Gerard, born into a noble family in southern France, showed an early inclination to piety—so much so that he received the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis at the age of five. When he was 18, Gerard and his brother, Effrenaud, hid themselves in a cave on the banks of a river and began two years of living as hermits. Both brothers then decided to go on a pilgrimage, in part to discourage the many visitors to the hermitage who had heard of their reputation for holiness. Making their way to Rome on foot, they spent two years there, visiting its many famous churches and shrines.

They intended to continue to Jerusalem, but Gerard collapsed on the way. While his brother went to seek help, he left Gerard in a simple cottage near Montesanto, Italy, but Gerard expired before his brother's return.

Many miracles are said to have taken place at Gerard's tomb, making it a favorite place of pilgrimage. People who were afflicted with headaches or subject to epilepsy experienced special relief through his intercession. The city of Montesanto has long venerated Blessed Gerard as its principal patron. He is sometimes known as Gery, Gerius or Roger of Lunel.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

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.

– The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.


O thou, the heavens’ eternal King,
Creator, unto thee we sing,
With God the Father ever One,
Coequal, coeternal Son.
Thy hand, when first the world began,
Made in thine own pure image man,
And yoked to fleshly form of earth
A living form of heavenly birth.
And when the envy of the foe
Had marred thy noblest work below,
Clothed in our flesh, thou didst restore
The image thou hadst made before.
Once wast thou born of Mary’s womb;
And now, newborn from out the tomb,
O Christ, thou bid’st us rise with thee
From death to immortality.
Redeemer, thou for us didst deign
To hang upon the Cross of pain,
And give to us the lavish price
Of thine own Blood in sacrifice.
Grant, Lord, in thee each faithful mind
Unceasing Paschal joy may find;
And from the death of sin set free
Souls newly born to life by thee.
To thee, once dead, who now dost live,
All glory, Lord, thy people give,
Whom, with the Father, we adore,
And Holy Spirit forevermore.

Psalm 1
The two paths

The stone was rolled back from the door of the tomb. 

Blessed the man who does not follow the counsels of the wicked,
or stand in the paths that sinners use,
or sit in the gatherings of those who mock:
his delight is the law of the Lord,
he ponders his law day and night.
He is like a tree planted by flowing waters,
that will give its fruit in due time,
whose leaves will not fade.
All that he does will prosper.
Not thus are the wicked, not thus.
They are like the dust blown by the wind.
At the time of judgement the wicked will not stand,
nor sinners in the council of the just.
For the Lord knows the path of the just;
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

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.

The stone was rolled back from the door of the tomb. 

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and victor

Who are you looking for, woman? 
Why search among the dead for one who lives? 

Why are the nations in a ferment?
Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
the leaders have united against the Lord,
against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in 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.

Who are you looking for, woman? 
Why search among the dead for one who lives? 

Psalm 3
The Lord is my protector

Do not cry, Mary: the Lord has risen from the dead. 

Lord, how many they are, my attackers!
So many rise up against me, so many of them say:
“He can hope for no help from the Lord.”
But you, Lord, are my protector, my glory:
you raise up my head.
I called to the Lord,
and from his holy mountain he heard my voice.
I fell asleep, and slept;
but I rose, for the Lord raised me up.
I will not fear when the people surround me in their thousands.
Rise up, O Lord;
bring me to safety, my God.
Those who attacked me – you struck them on the jaw,
you shattered their teeth.
Salvation comes from the Lord:
Lord, your blessing is upon your people.

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.

Do not cry, Mary: the Lord has risen from the dead. 

My body revives, alleluia.
– I will freely acknowledge the Lord, alleluia.

Apocalypse 18:21-19:10

Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, ‘That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.

Never again in you, Babylon,
will be heard the song of harpists and minstrels,
the music of flute and trumpet;
never again will craftsmen of every skill be found
or the sound of the mill be heard;
never again will shine the light of the lamp,
never again will be heard
the voices of bridegroom and bride.
Your traders were the princes of the earth,
all the nations were under your spell.

In her you will find the blood of prophets and saints, and all the blood that was ever shed on earth.’

After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, ‘Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God! He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed.’ They sang again, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever.’ Then the twenty-four elders and the four animals prostrated themselves and worshipped God seated there on his throne, and they cried, ‘Amen, Alleluia.’

Then a voice came from the throne; it said, ‘Praise our God, you servants of his and all who, great or small, revere him.’ And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints.’ The angel said, ‘Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’, and he added, ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God.’ Then I knelt at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Do not do that: I am a servant just like you and all your brothers who are witnesses to Jesus. It is God that you must worship.’ The witness Jesus gave is the same as the spirit of prophecy.


I heard a voice from heaven that sounded like a loud peal of thunder: ‘Our God is king for ever!’ Now God’s salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now the Messiah has shown his authority, alleluia!

Then there came from the throne the sound of a voice, saying, ‘Praise our God, all his servants, and all men, both great and small, who fear him! Now God’s salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now the Messiah has shown his authority, alleluia!

From a sermon by Saint Maximus of Turin, bishop

Christ is the day

Christ is risen! He has burst open the gates of hell and let the dead go free; he has renewed the earth through the members of his Church now born again in baptism, and has made it blossom afresh with men brought back to life. His Holy Spirit has unlocked the doors of heaven, which stand wide open to receive those who rise up from the earth. Because of Christ’s resurrection the thief ascends to paradise, the bodies of the blessed enter the holy city, and the dead are restored to the company of the living. There is an upward movement in the whole of creation, each element raising itself to something higher. We see hell restoring its victims to the upper regions, earth sending its buried dead to heaven, and heaven presenting the new arrivals to the Lord. In one and the same movement, our Saviour’s passion raises men from the depths, lifts them up from the earth, and sets them in the heights.

Christ is risen. His rising brings life to the dead, forgiveness to sinners, and glory to the saints. And so David the prophet summons all creation to join in celebrating the Easter festival: Rejoice and be glad, 
he cries, on this day which the Lord has made.

The light of Christ is an endless day that knows no night. Christ is this day, says the Apostle; such is the meaning of his words: Night is almost over; day is at hand. He tells us that night is almost over, not that it is about to fall. By this we are meant to understand that the coming of Christ’s light puts Satan’s darkness to flight, leaving no place for any shadow of sin. His everlasting radiance dispels the dark clouds of the past and checks the hidden growth of vice. The Son is that day to whom the day, which is the Father, communicates the mystery of his divinity. He is the day who says through the mouth of Solomon: I have caused an unfailing light to rise in heaven. And as in heaven no night can follow day, so no sin can overshadow the justice of Christ. The celestial day is perpetually bright and shining with brilliant light; clouds can never darken its skies. In the same way, the light of Christ is eternally glowing with luminous radiance and can never be extinguished by the darkness of sin. This is why John the evangelist says: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never been able to overpower it.

And so, my brothers, each of us ought surely to rejoice on this holy day. Let no one, conscious of his sinfulness, withdraw from our common celebration, nor let anyone be kept away from our public prayer by the burden of his guilt. Sinner he may indeed be, but he must not despair of pardon on this day which is so highly privileged; for if a thief could receive the grace of paradise, 
how could a Christian be refused forgiveness?


The Lord in all his beauty is exalted above the stars: he rides in splendour on the clouds of heaven, where his name will abide for ever, alleluia.

From the heights of heaven he comes forth, and to the heights of heaven he returns: he rides in splendour on the clouds of heaven, where his name will abide for ever, alleluia.

Te 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.

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.

Since it is from you, God our Father,
that redemption comes to us, your adopted children,
look with favour on the family you love,
give true freedom to us and to all who believe in Christ,
and bring us all alike to our eternal heritage.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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