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St Frances of Roman, Optional Class III (March 9)

 [NB the reading is taken from the pre1955 Roman Office.]

Invitatory Antiphon

Laudémus Deum nostrum * In confessióne beátae Francescae.

Let us praise our God * for the confession of blessed Frances.

NR 230*

 

Hymn

Huius obtentu, Deus alme, nostris

Parce iam culpis, vitia remíttens,

Quo tibi puri resonémus almum

Péctoris hymnum.


Fountain of mercy, hear the prayers she offers;

Purge our offences, pardon our transgressions,

So that hereafter we to thee may render Praise with thanksgiving.

 

Gloria Patri, genitǽque Proli,

Et tibi, compar utriúsque semper,

Spíritus alme, Deus unus,

Omni témpore saecli. Amen.

Glory be to the All-Father, the One-Begotten,

And to you, equal power always possessing

Holy Ghost, One God

Throughout all the ages. Amen.

LR 212/LH 288

 

Nocturn I

 

 

Lectio i: De libro Ecclesiastici - Confitebor tibi, Domine rex, et collaudabo te Deum salvatorem meum. Confitebor nomini tuo,quoniam adjutor et protector factus es mihi,et liberasti corpus meum a perditione: a laqueo linguæ iniquæ, et a labiis operantium mendacium: et in conspectu astantium factus es mihi adjutor. Et liberasti me, secundum multitudinem misericordiæ nominis tui, a rugientibus præparatis ad escam: de manibus quærentium animam meam, et de portis tribulationum quæ circumdederunt me; a pressura flammæ quæ circumdedit me, et in medio ignis non sum æstuatus; de altitudine ventris inferi, et a lingua coinquinata, et a verbo mendacii, a rege iniquo, et a lingua injusta.

Reading 1: From the book of Ecclesiasticus - I will give glory to thy name: for thou hast been a helper and protector to me. And hast preserved my body from destruction, from the snare of an unjust tongue, and from the lips of them that forge lies, and in the sight of them that stood by, thou hast been my helper. And thou hast delivered me, according to the multitude of the mercy of thy name, from them that did roar, prepared to devour. Out of the hands of them that sought my life, and from the gates of afflictions, which compassed me about: from the oppression of the flame which surrounded me, and in the midst of the fire I was not burnt. From the depth of the belly of hell, and from an unclean tongue, and from lying words, from an unjust king, and from a slanderous tongue:

 

R. Diffúsa est / grátia in lábiis tuis, * Proptérea benedíxit te Deus in ætérnum.

V. Spécie tua et pulchritúdine tua inténde, † próspere procéde, et regna.

R. Proptérea benedíxit te Deus in ætérnum.

R. Grace is poured into thy lips; * Therefore God hath blessed thee forever.

V. Thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces whereby kings' daughters among thy honourable women have made thee glad.

R. Therefore God hath blessed thee forever.

LR 254

 

Lectio ii: Laudabit usque ad mortem anima mea Dominum, et vita mea appropinquans erat in inferno deorsum. Circumdederunt me undique, et non erat qui adjuvaret: respiciens eram ad adjutorium hominum, et non erat. Memoratus sum misericordiæ tuæ Domine, et operationis tuæ, quæ a sæculo sunt: quoniam eruis sustinentes te, Domine, et liberas eos de manibus gentium. Exaltasti super terram habitationem meam, et pro morte defluente deprecatus sum. Invocavi Dominum patrem Domini mei, ut non derelinquat me in die tribulationis meæ, et in tempore superborum, sine adjutorio. Laudabo nomen tuum assidue, et collaudabo illud in confessione: et exaudita est oratio mea, et liberasti me de perditione, et eripuisti me de tempore iniquo. Propterea confitebor, et laudem dicam tibi, et benedicam nomini Domini.

Reading 2: My soul shall praise the Lord even to death. And my life was drawing near to hell beneath. They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none. I remembered thy mercy, O Lord, and thy works, which are from the beginning of the world. How thou deliverest them that wait for thee, O Lord, and savest them out of the hands of the nations. Thou hast exalted my dwelling place upon the earth and I have prayed for death to pass away. I called upon the Lord, the father of my Lord, that he would not leave me in the day of my trouble, and in the time of the proud without help. I will praise thy name continually, and will praise it with thanksgiving, and my prayer was heard. And thou hast saved me from destruction, and hast delivered me from the evil time. Therefore I will give thanks, and praise thee, and bless the name of the Lord.

 

R. Pulchra facie, / sed pulchrior fide, beata es, Francisca, † respuens mundum laetaberis cum Angelis: * Intercede pro omnibus nobis.

V. Specie tua et pulchritudine tua intende, † prospere procede, et regna.

R. Intercede pro omnibus nobis.

R. You are beautiful, but more beautiful still is your faith, Frances, through which, despising the world, you shall rejoice with the angels: Intercede for all of us.

V. In thy comeliness and thy beauty, go forward, fare prosperously, and reign.

R. Intercede for all of us.

LR 218

 

Lectio iii: Francisca nobilis matrona Romana, ab ineunte ætate illustria dedit virtutum exempla: etenim pueriles ludos et illecebras mundi respuens, solitudine et oratione magnopere delectabatur. Undecim annos nata, virginitatem suam Deo consecrare, et monasterium ingredi proposuit: parentum tamen voluntati humiliter obtemperans, Laurentio de Pontianis, juveni æque diviti ac nobili nupsit. In matrimonio arctioris vitæ propositum, quantum licuit, semper retinuit: a spectaculis, conviviis, aliisque hujusmodi oblectamentis abhorrens, lanea ac vulgari veste utens, et quidquid a domesticis curis supererat temporis, orationi aut proximorum utilitati tribuens: in id vero maxima sollicitudine incumbens, ut matronas Romanas a pompis sæculi et ornatus vanitate revocaret. Quapropter domum Oblatarum, sub regula sancti Benedicti, congregationis Montis Oliveti, adhuc viro alligata, in Urbe instituit. Viri exsilium, bonorum jacturam, ac universæ domus mœrorem non modo constantissime toleravit: sed gratias agens cum beato Job, illud frequenter usurpabat: Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit: sit nomen Domini benedictum. Viro defuncto, ad prædictam Oblatarum domum convolans, nudis pedibus, fune ad collum alligato, humi prostrata, multis cum lacrimis earum numero adscribi suppliciter postulavit. Voti compos facta, licet esset omnium mater, non alio tamen quam ancillæ, vilissimæque feminæ, et immunditiæ vasculi titulo gloriabatur. Quam vilem sui existimationem et verbo declaravit et exemplo: sæpe enim e suburbana vinea revertens, et lignorum fascem proprio capiti impositum deferens, vel eisdem onustum agens per Urbem asellum, pauperibus subveniebat, in quos étiam largas eleemosynas erogabat: ægrotantesque in xenodochiis visitans, non corporali tantum cibo, sed salutaribus monitis recreabat. Corpus suum vigiliis, jejuniis, cilicio, ferreo cingulo, crebrisque flagellis in servitutem redigere jugiter satagebat. Cibum illi semel in die herbæ et legumina, aqua potum præbuit. Hos tamen corporis cruciatus aliquando confessarii mandato, a cujus ore nutuque pendebat, modice temperavit. Divina mysteria, præsertim vero Christi Domini passionem, tanto mentis ardore, tantaque lacrimarum vi contemplabatur, ut præ doloris magnitudine pene confici videretur. Sæpe étiam cum oraret, maxime sumpto sanctissimæ Eucharistiæ sacramento, spiritu in Deum elevata, ac cælestium contemplatione rapta, immobilis permanebat. Quapropter humani generis hostis variis eam contumeliis ac verberibus a proposito dimovere conabatur: quem tamen illa imperterrita semper elusit; Angeli præsertim præsidio, cujus familiari consuetudine gloriosum de eo triumphum reportavit. Gratia curationum et prophetiæ dono enituit, quo et futura prædixit, et cordium secreta penetravit. Non semel aquæ, vel per rivum decurrentes, vel e cælo labentes, intactam prorsus, dum Deo vacaret, reliquerunt. Modica panis fragmenta, quæ vix tribus sororibus reficiendis fuissent satis, sic ejus precibus Dominus multiplicavit, ut quindecim inde exsaturatis, tantum superfuerit, ut canistrum impleverit: et aliquando earumdem sororum, extra Urbem mense Januario ligna parantium, sitim recentis uvæ racemis ex vitæ in arbore pendentibus mirabiliter obtentis, abunde expleverit. Denique meritis et miraculis clara, migravit ad Dominum, anno ætatis suæ quinquagesimo sexto. Quam Paulus quintus Pontifex Maximus in Sanctorum numerum retulit.

Reading 3: The noble Roman matron Frances was born in the year 1384, and was a pattern of godliness from her earliest years. As a child she shrank from games, and set no store by the amusements of the world, but delighted to be continually alone and engaged in prayer. At the age of eleven years she desired to consecrate her virginity to God, and to enter a convent, but humbly yielded obedience to the wishes of her parents, and was married to Lawrence de' Pontiani, a young man whose rank was equal to his wealth. As a wife she persevered, as far as she lawfully could, in her determination to lead an austere life; she abstained as much as possible from going to shows, feasts, and such like amusements, dressed plainly in woollen stuffs, and spent in prayer or the service of her neighbour whatever time she did not occupy with her duties as mistress of her husband's house. She strove earnestly to wean the married women of Rome from the vanities of the world and the frivolities of dress. To this end she founded during her husband's lifetime the Sisterhood of the Oblates, under the rule of the Benedictine congregation called of the Mount of Olives. When it pleased God, (in the year 1413,) that her husband should be banished, all her goods taken away, and her home ruined, she meekly bowed down before His holy will, often repeating the words of the blessed Job The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. On her husband's death she (in 1437) betook herself immediately to the house of the Oblates, and, with her feet bare and a rope round her neck, threw herself down on the threshold, entreating the sisters with tears to receive her into their number. When she obtained her wish, although she was the mother of them all, she would be among them only as one that served, glorying rather to be called the most degraded of women and a vessel of uncleanness. Her lowly esteem of herself was shown both by her word and example. She passed often through the city from a vineyard in the country carrying a bundle of sticks on her head, or driving an ass laden with faggots; she succoured the needy, for whom she collected large alms, and visited the sick in the hospitals, ministering to them both food for the body and exhortations healthful for their souls. She strove continually to bring her body into subjection by watchings, fastings, haircloth, the wearing of an iron girdle, and the often use of a scourge. She never ate but once a day, and then only vegetables, and she took no drink but water. These severities she however sometimes relaxed, in obedience to her confessor, on whose word and wishes she framed her customs. So great was her mental realisation of the things of God, and chiefly of the sufferings of the Lord Christ, and so abundant her tears in contemplating them, that she seemed sometimes about to sink under her grief. Often when she was engaged in prayer, and principally after she had received the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, her spirit became altogether lifted up to God, and she remained motionless, carried away by the thought of heavenly things. The enemy of man assailed her with diverse reproaches and buffetings to break her off her intent, but she feared him not, and with the help of an Angel whom God gave her to be her familiar friend, she won a noble victory over the tempter. God glorified her with the gifts of healing and of prophecy, whereby she foretold things to come, and saw the secrets of the hearts of men. More than once while her thoughts were busy in God she remained unwet by streams or rain. When there was left only bread enough for three sisters, the Lord at her prayers was pleased so to multiply it, that fifteen had enough, and the basket was filled again with the fragments. In the month of January also, when the sisters were gathering sticks in the country, and were thirsty, she satisfied them abundantly with bunches of fresh grapes from a tree. She departed to be with the Lord, famous for good works and miracles, in the fifty-sixth year of her age, (upon the 9th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1440.) The Supreme Pontiff Paul V. caused her to be numbered among the saints.

 

. Veni, / elécta mea, et ponam in te thronum meum * Quia concupívit Rex spéciem tuam.

℣. Spécie tua et pulchritúdine tua inténde, † próspere procéde, et regna.

. Quia concupívit Rex spéciem tuam.

℣. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.

. Quia concupívit Rex spéciem tuam.

. Come, O my chosen one, and I will establish my throne in you; * For the King has greatly desired your beauty.

℣. In your comeliness and your beauty, go forward, fare prosperously, and reign.

. For the King has greatly desired your beauty.

℣. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

. For the King has greatly desired your beauty.

LR 216

 

Nocturn II

 

Chapter (Proverbs 31:20-21) and versicle

Manum suam apéruit ínopi, † et palmas suas exténdit ad páuperem. * Non timébit dómui suæ a frigóribus nivis.

. Deo grátias.

 

She has opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow.

 

. Dilexisti iustitiam, et odisti iniquitatem.

. Propterea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus,

oleo lætitiæ.

. You have loved justice, and hated iniquity.

. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness.

 

Collect

Orémus: Deus, qui beátam Francíscam fámulam tuam, inter cétera grátiæ tuæ dona, familiári Angeli consuetúdine decorásti: concéde, quǽsumus; ut, intercessiónis eius auxílio, Angelórum consórtium cónsequi mereámur.

Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum, Fílium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.

R. Amen.

O God, Who along with other gifts of thy grace honored blessed Frances, thy handmaid, with the close companionship of an angel, grant, we beseech thee, that by the help of her intercession we may be made worthy to attain the companionship of angels.

Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

R. Amen.

 

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