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Easter: May 19th

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Other Commemorations: St. Peter Celestine, pope (RM); St. Ives (RM); St. Urban I, pope and martyr

MASS READINGS

May 19, 2017 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Grant us, Lord, we pray, that, being rightly conformed to the paschal mysteries, what we celebrate in joy may protect and save us with perpetual power. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

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According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Peter Celestine, founder of the Celestine Order who was elected pope when he was 72 years old and reigned for five months. And today is also the feast of St. Prudentiana, daughter of a Roman senator, who consecrated herself wholly to Christ and died in the year 160 when she was sixteen. The Roman Martyrology also mentions "St. Yves, priest and confessor, who for the love of Christ, defended the cause of the orphan, the widow and the poor."

The feast of the Queen of Apostles was established on the first Saturday after the Ascension by the Sacred Congregation of Rites at the request of the Pallottine Fathers. Mary initiated her mission as Queen of Apostles in the Cenacle. She gathered the apostles together, comforted them, and assisted them in prayer. Together with them she hoped, desired and prayed; with them her petitions were heeded and she received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.


Mary, Queen of Apostles
Mary is Queen of Apostles because she was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ and to give him to the world; she was made the apostles' Mother and our own by our Savior on the cross. She was with the apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, obtaining for them the abundance of supernatural graces they received on Pentecost. The most holy Virgin was and always will be the wellspring for every apostolate.

She exercised a universal apostolate, one so vast that it embraced all others. The apostolate of prayer, the apostolate of good example, the apostolate of suffering—Mary fulfilled them all. Other people have practiced certain teachings of the Gospel; Mary lived them all. Mary is full of grace, and we draw from her abundance.

Mary attracts the zealous to the various apostolates, then protects and defends all these works. She sheds on each the warmth of her love and the light of her countenance. She presented Jesus in a manner unparalleled throughout the ages. Her apostolate is of the highest degree--never to be equaled, much less surpassed.

Mary gave Jesus to the world and with Jesus came every other blessing. Thus, because of Mary we have the Church: "Mary is the Mother of the Church not only because she is the Mother of Christ and his most intimate associate in 'the new economy when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that he might in the mysteries of his flesh free man from sin,' but also because 'she shines forth to the whole community of the elect as a model of the virtues' (Lumen Gentium. 55, 65). She now continues to fulfill from heaven her maternal function as the cooperator in the birth and development of the divine life in the individual souls of the redeemed" (The Great Sign, by Paul VI). What do we have of value that we have not received through Mary? It is God's will that every blessing should come to us through her.

Because the Blessed Mother occupies a most important position in God's plan of salvation, all humanity should pay homage to her. Whoever spreads devotion to the Queen of Apostles is an apostolic benefactor of the human race, because devotion to Mary is a treasure. Blessed is the person who possesses this treasure! Mary's devotees will never be without grace; in any danger, in every circumstance they will always have the means to obtain every grace from God.

Several religious congregations practice devotion to Mary under the title of Queen of Apostles, including the Pallotines, the Marianists, and the congregations founded by Bl. James Alberione (the Society of St. Paul, the Daughters of St. Paul, and several others). In the twentieth century, Bl. Alberione promoted this devotion in a particular way.

— Excerpted from Favorite Prayers and Novenas, copyright 1997 Pauline Books & Media


St. Peter Celestine
Saint Peter Celestine was the eleventh of the twelve children of a poor Italian farmer. As a child, Peter had visions of our Blessed Lady, Angels and Saints. His heavenly visitors encouraged him in his prayers and chided him when he fell into any fault. His mother, though only a poor widow, sent him to school, feeling sure that he would one day be a Saint.

At the age of twenty, he left his home in Apulia to live in a mountain solitude. Here he passed three years, assaulted by the evil spirits and beset with temptations of the flesh, but consoled by the visits of Angels. After this his seclusion was invaded by disciples who refused to be sent away; and the rule of life which he gave them formed the foundation of the Celestines, a branch of the Order of Saint Benedict. Angels assisted in the church which Peter built; unseen bells rang peals of surpassing sweetness, and heavenly music filled the sanctuary when he offered the Holy Sacrifice; he had consented to be ordained, to find in the Holy Eucharist assistance against temptation.

Suddenly the poor anchorite found himself torn from his loved solitude, having been named by acclamation to the Papal throne, which had remained vacant for twenty-seven months. Resistance was of no avail. He took the name of Celestine, to remind him of the heaven he was leaving and for which he sighed. He was seventy-two years old. After a reign of five months, Peter judged himself unfit for the office, and summoning the cardinals to his presence, he solemnly resigned his trust.

During the remaining three years of his life he worked many and great miracles. On the day after his abdication, his blessing after Mass healed a lame man. Saint Peter left the palace, desiring seclusion, but was brought back by the papal guards, for his successor feared a schism; crowds had followed Saint Peter. Lest he be prevailed upon to take back his office, he was put under surveillance at Anagni. Content, he remarked: I desired nothing but a cell, and a cell they have given me. And there he enjoyed his former loving intimacy with the Saints and Angels, and sang the Divine praises almost continually.

At length, on Pentecost Sunday he told his guards he would die within the week, and immediately fell ill. He received the Last Sacraments, and the following Saturday, as he finished the concluding verse of Lauds, Let every spirit bless the Lord! he closed his eyes to this world and opened them to the vision of God.

—Excerpted from The Lives of the Saints

Patron: Aquila, Italy; bookbinders.

Things to Do:

  • St. Peter Celestine proved one could place a life of humility above the highest ecclesiastical honors. Think of a specific way in which you can imitate him.

  • Read more about St. Peter Celestine at Catholic News Agency.

  • Read St. Peter Celestine's biography from The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints by the Rev. Alban Butler

  • See also Italy Heritage for more information.
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St. Ives (or Yves or Ivo) Kermartin of Bretagne
St. Ives, born at Kermartin, near Tréguier, Brittany, 17 October, 1253; died at Louannee, 19 May, 1303, was the son of Helori, lord of Kermartin, and Azo du Kenquis. In 1267 Ives was sent to the University of Paris, where he graduated in civil law. He went to Orléans in 1277 to study canon law. On his return to Brittany having received minor orders he was appointed "official", or ecclesiastical judge, of the archdeanery of Rennes (1280); meanwhile, he studied Scripture, and there are strong reasons for holding that he joined the Franciscan Tertiaries sometime later at Guingamp. He was soon invited by the Bishop of Tréguier to become his "official", and accepted the offer (1284). He displayed great zeal and rectitude in the discharge of his duty and did not hesitate to resist the unjust taxation of the king, which he considered an encroachment on the rights of the Church; by his charity, he gained the title of advocate and patron of the poor. Having been ordained he was appointed to the parish of Tredrez in 1285 and eight years later to Louannee, where he died. He was buried in Tréguier, and was canonized in 1347 by Clement VI, his feast being kept on 19 May. He is the patron of lawyers, though not, it is said, their model, for—"Sanctus Ivo erat Brito, Advocatus et non latro, Res miranda populo." He is noted as being a great preacher and arbitor. He built a hospital with his own money, providing for the sick poor. He is known as a miracle worker, with an instance of feeding hundreds from a single loaf of bread.

—Excerpted from Catholic Encyclopedia.

Patron: abandoned people; advocates; attorneys; bailiffs; barristers; Brittany; canon lawyers; canonists; judges; jurists; lawyers; notaries; orphans.

Symbols: Scroll with legal seals; law books.
Often represented as: lawyer enthroned between rich and poor litigants; lawyer holding a book, with an angel near his head and a lion at his feet; lawyer surrounded by suppliants, holding a parchment and pointing upwards; lawyer surrounded by symbols of the Holy Spirit such as doves.

Things to Do:


St. Urban
St. Urban, who succeeded Pope St. Callistus (cf. October 14), reigned from 222 to 230. During his pontificate the Church enjoyed peace, because Emperor Alexander Severus forbade the persecution laws to be enforced. Of special interest is a decree ascribed to Pope Urban regarding use made of the gifts offered at Mass. "The gifts of the faithful that are offered to the Lord can only be used for ecclesiastical purposes, for the common good of the Christian community, and for the poor; for they are the consecrated gifts of the faithful, the atonement offering of sinners, and the patrimony of the needy" (Breviary).

St. Urban's body was transferred to the Church of St. Praxedes in the year 818, where it remains to this day. Some hagiographers hold that his grave is in the Church of St. Cecilia in Rome. Vintagers honor Pope St. Urban as their patron.

—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Symbols: Vine and grapes; fallen idol beneath broken column; scourge; stake; severed head.

Things to Do: