Readings for the Memorial of
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

February 17

MASS


From the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious
COLLECT
Beatorum fratrum, Domine, pietatem nobis benignus infunde, qua et Dei Genetricem sunt devotissime venerati, et tuum ad te populum provexerunt.
Impart to us, O Lord, in kindness
the filial devotion with which the holy brothers
venerated so devoutly the Mother of God
and led your people to yourself.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          Romans 8:26-30
Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God's will.
We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers.
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps. 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R./ O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
praise shall be always in my mouth.
My soul will glory in the Lord
that the poor may hear and be glad.
R./ O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Magnify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, who answered me,
delivered me from all my fears.
R./ O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to God that you may be radiant with joy
and your faces may not blush for shame.
In my misfortune I called,
the Lord heard and saved me from all distress.
R./ O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the Lord, who encamps with them,
delivers all who fear God.
Learn to savor how good the Lord is;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
R./ O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Fear the Lord, you holy ones;
nothing is lacking to those who fear him.
The powerful grow poor and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
R./ O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


ALLELUIA          Matthew 5:3
Beáti páuperes spíritu, quóniam ipsórum est regnum cælórum.
Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.


GOSPEL          Matthew 19:27-29
Peter said to Jesus,
"We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?"
Jesus said to them "Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life."


Liturgy of the Hours
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order

From the Common of Holy Men: Religious, except the following:

Morning Prayer


BENEDICTUS (Canticle of Zechariah)
Antiphon: See how good and delightful it is for brothers to live in unity.


COLLECT
Impart to us, O Lord, in kindness
the filial devotion with which the holy brothers
venerated so devoutly the Mother of God
and led your people to yourself.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Evening Prayer


MAGNIFICAT (Canticle of Mary)
Antiphon: Where brothers praise God together, there the Lord will shower his praises.


COLLECT
Impart to us, O Lord, in kindness
the filial devotion with which the holy brothers
venerated so devoutly the Mother of God
and led your people to yourself.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Office of Readings



From an account of the origin of the Servite Order
(Monumenta Ord. Serv. B. Mariae Virginis, 1, 3. 5. 6. 9. 11: pp. 71 ss)

Let us praise famous men

There were seven men worthy of all our praise and veneration, whom our Lady brought into one community to form this order of hers and of her servants. They were like seven stars joined together to form a constellation.

When I entered this order I found only one of the seven still alive, Brother Alexis, whom our Lady was pleased to preserve from death down to our own time so that we might listen to his account of the founding of the order. As I saw myself and observed at first hand, Brother Alexis led so good a life that all who met him were moved by the force of his example. Moreover, he was a living testimony to that special kind of religious perfection characteristic of that first community.

But where did these men stand before they formed their own community? Let us consider this in four respects.

First, as regards the Church. Some of them had never married, having vowed themselves to perpetual celibacy; some were married men at the time; some had lost their wives after marriage and now were widowers.

Second, regarding their status in the city of Florence. They belonged to the merchant class and engaged in buying and selling the goods of this world. But once they found the pearl of great price, our order, they not only gave all they had to the poor but cheerfully offered themselves to God and our Lady in true and loyal service.

Third, concerning their devotion and reverence to our Lady. In Florence there was an ancient guild dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Because of its age and the number and holiness of its members, both men and women, the guild had acquired a title of preeminence and was called the Major Guild of Our Blessed Lady. These seven men were devoted to our Lady and belonged to this guild before they established their own community.

Fourth, as for their spiritual perfection. They loved God above all things and dedicated their whole lives to him by honoring him in their every thought, word and deed.

But when by God's inspiration and the special urging of our Lady they had firmly resolved to form a community together, they set in order everything that concerned their homes and families, left to their families what they needed and gave all the rest to the poor. Then they sought the advice of virtuous men of good judgment, and described their plans to them.

They climbed the heights of Monte Senario and built on its summit a little house that would suit their purpose, and there they lived in common. As time passed, they began to realize that they were called not simply to sanctify themselves but to receive others into their community, and so increase the membership of this new order our Lady had inspired them to found. They recruited new members; some they accepted, and thus established our present order. In the beginning our Lady was the chief architect of this new order which was founded on the humility of its members, built up by their mutual love, and preserved by their poverty.


RESPONSORY          Acts 4:32; 2:46b-47a
The community of believers was of one heart, one mind.
- No one claimed as his own anything he possessed;
all things were held in common.

They took their food joyfully, in simplicity of heart;
they praised God, and were respected by all.
- No one claimed as his own anything he possessed;
all things were held in common.


COLLECT
Impart to us, O Lord, in kindness
the filial devotion with which the holy brothers
venerated so devoutly the Mother of God
and led your people to yourself.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.




The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.



 
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