Readings
for the Feast of

St. Sixtus II and companions

Martyrs
August 7


Go to the Liturgy of the Hours

MASS

From the Common of Martyrs: For Several Martyrs.


COLLECT
Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut nos, virtute Spiritus Sancti, et ad credendum dociles et ad confitendum fortes efficias, qui beato Xysto eiusque sociis propter verbum tuum et testimonium Iesu animas suas ponere tribuisti.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
we pray, almighty God,
make us docile in believing the faith
and courageous in confessing it,
just as you granted Saint Sixtus and his companions
that they might lay down their lives
for the sake of your word and in witness to Jesus.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          126:1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6

R. (5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.


ALLELUIA          Jas 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation,
for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life.


GOSPEL          Matthew 10:28-33
Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father."




Liturgy of the Hours
Sixtus II, Pope and Martyr and Companions, Martyrs


From the Common of Several Martyrs, except the following:


Office of Readings


SECOND READING

From a letter by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
(Epist 80; CSEL, 3, 839-840)

We know that the soldiers of Christ are not slain but crowned

I did not write to your community at once, dearest brother, because all the clergy, exposed as they are to the imminent danger of being put to the test and prepared in a spirit of dedication for the divine glory of heaven, were quite unable to leave here. But you must know that the messengers whom I dispatched to Rome have now returned. I sent them to find out the truth and report back whatever may have been decreed in our regard, for many conflicting and unreliable rumors are current.

The true state of affairs is this. Valerian has issued an edict to the Senate to the effect that bishops, presbyters and deacons shall suffer the death penalty without delay. Senators, distinguished men and members of the equestrian class, are to be deprived of their rank and property, and if, after forfeiting their wealth and privileges, they still persist in professing Christianity, they too are to be sentenced to death. Ladies of the upper classes are to be deprived of their property and exiled. In the case of members of the imperial staff, any who have either previously confessed or do now confess to being Christians shall have their property confiscated and shall be assigned as prisoners to the imperial estates.

To this decree the Emperor Valerian attached a copy of the letter he had sent to the provincial governors concerning us. Every day we are hoping that this letter will arrive, for we are standing firm in faith and ready to endure suffering, in expectation of winning the crown of eternal life through the help and mercy of the Lord. I must also inform you that Sixtus was put to death in a catacomb on the sixth of August, and four deacons with him. Moreover, the prefects in Rome are pressing this persecution zealously and without intermission, to such a point that anyone brought before them is punished and his property is claimed by the treasure.

I ask you to make these facts known to the rest of our fellow bishops, in order that by the exhortation of their pastors the brethren everywhere may be strengthened and prepared for the spiritual combat. Let all our people fix their minds not on death but rather on immortality; let them commit themselves to the Lord in complete faith and unflinching courage and make their confession with joy rather than in fear, knowing that in this contest the soldiers of God and Christ are not slain but rather win their crowns.

Farewell in the Lord, dearest brother.


RESPONSORY          2 Corinthians 4:11; Psalm 44:3
We are being handed over to death for Jesus' sake
- so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal bodies.

For your sake, O Lord, we are being put to death all day long,
and we are treated like sheep for the slaughter.
- So that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal bodies.


COLLECT
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
we pray, almighty God,
make us docile in believing the faith
and courageous in confessing it,
just as you granted Saint Sixtus and his companions
that they might lay down their lives
for the sake of your word and in witness to Jesus.
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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