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النشر الإلكتروني

GOSPEL.

Sequel of the holy Gospel Sequentia sancti Evangelii according to John.

Ch. X.

At that time: Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep; and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them, also, I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.

secundum Joannem.

Cap. X.

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus Pharisæis: Ego sum Pastor bonus. Bonus pastor animam suam dat pro ovibus suis. Mercenarius

autem, et qui non est pastor, cujus non sunt oves propriæ, videt lupum venientem, et dimittit oves, et fugit; et lupus rapit, et dispergit oves: mercenarius autem fugit, quia mercenarius est, et non pertinet ad eum de ovibus. Ego sum Pastor bonus: et cognosco oves meas, et cognoscunt me meæ. Sicut novit me Pater, et ego agnosco Patrem : et animam meam pono pro ovibus meis. Et alias oves habeo, quæ non sunt ex hoc ovili: et illas oportet me adducere, et vocem meam audient, et fiet unum ovile et unus Pastor.

All the strength of the Pontiffs and Pastors of the Church consists in their imitation of Jesus. It is not enough, that they have in them the character of his Priesthood; they must, also, be ready, like Him, to lay down their lives for their sheep. The Shepherd who thinks more of his own life than of the salvation of his flock, is a hireling-he is not a shepherd he loves himself, and not his sheep. His flock has a claim upon his shedding his blood for them; and if he will not, he is no longer an image of the Good Shepherd, Jesus. See how calmly St. Thomas lays down his life! He bows down his head to

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receive the blows of his executioners, as though he were simply acquitting himself of a duty, or paying a debt. After the example of Jesus, he gives his blood for the deliverance of his people; and no sooner has the sword done its work, than the Church, over which God had placed him, is set free: his blood has brought peace. He withstood the wolf, that threatened destruction to his flock; he vanquished him; the wolf himself was turned into a lamb, for the king visited the Tomb of his victim, and sought, in prostrate supplication, the Martyr's blessing.

Thomas knew his sheep, that is, he loved them; it was a happiness to him, therefore, to die for them. He was made Pastor, on the condition that he would die for them; just as our Emmanuel was made High-Priest in order that he might offer Sacrifice, in which, too, he was both Priest and Victim. Jesus' sheep know their divine Shepherd-they know that he came in order to save them; therefore is it, that his Birth at Bethlehem is so dear to them. The Shepherd of Canterbury, too, is also known by his sheep; and, therefore, the Feast of his triumphant martyrdom is very dear to them, not only in the century when it happened, but even now, and so will it ever be, even to the end of time. In return for this love and devotion, paid him by the Church on earth, Thomas blesses her from heaven. We cannot doubt it-the wonderful return to the ancient Faith, which we are now witnessing in our dear England, is due, in no little measure, to the powerful intercession of St. Thomas of Canterbury; and this intereession is the return, made by our glorious Martyr for that fervent and filial devotion, which is shown him, and which the faithful will ever show to him who was so heroically, what only the true Church can produce-a true Pastor.

1 Col. i. 20.

In the Offertory, the holy Church sings of the crown of glory, wherewith our Emmanuel encircled the brow of his Martyr. The Pastor gave his blood to purchase that crown; and his death gave him life.

OFFERTORY.

Thou hast set, O Lord, on his head a crown of precious stones: he asked life of thee, and thou didst give it him, alleluia.

Posuisti, Domine, in capite ejus coronam de lapide pretioso vitam petiit à te, et tribuisti ei, alleluia.

Whilst

The Secret shows us that the merits of the Martyr are united with those of the Divine Victim. offering the Blood of the Lamb to the Eternal Father, we remind him of that shed by his Martyr.

SECRET.

Sanctify, O Lord, the offerings consecrated to thee; and being appeased thereby, mercifully look upon us, by the intercession of blessed Thomas, thy Martyr and and Bishop. Through, &c.

Munera tibi, Domine, di. cata sanctifica: et intercedente beato Thoma, Martyre tuo atque Pontifice, per eadem nos placatus intende. Per Dominum.

In the Communion-Verse, we have our Divine Pastor Jesus speaking to us, the same that has just been giving himself to his sheep, as their food. It is by this Holy Sacrament, that the Sheep more intimately know their Shepherd, and that the Shepherd, who has just been born in the House of Bread, (Bethlehem), receives a proof of their love to him.

COMMUNION.

I am the Good Shepherd: Ego sum Pastor bonus: and I know my sheep, and my et cognosco oves meas, et sheep know me. cognoscunt me meæ.

In the Postcommunion, the Church once more pronounces the name of our great Martyr. She prays

that she may obtain, through his intercession, the grace of receiving more fully, than ever, the effects of the divine Mystery, which cleanses our souls, and is the remedy of their infirmities.

POSTCOMMUNION.

Hæc nos communio, Domine, purget a crimine: et intercedente beato Thoma, Martyre tuo atque Pontifice, cœlestis remedii faciat esse participes. Per Dominum.

May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin: and by the intercession of blessed Thomas, thy Martyr and Bishop, make us effectually partakers of this heavenly remedy. Through, &c.

VESPERS.

The Second Vespers are the same as the First, given in page 321. After the Prayer of the Feast, the following Commemorations are made:

Commemoration of the Sunday.

ANT. Dum medium silentium tenerent omnia, et nox in suo cursu medium iter perageret, omnipotens sermo tuus, Domine, a regalibus sedibus venit, alleluia. . Verbum caro factum est, alleluia.

Ry. Et habitavit in nobis, alleluia.

. Notum fecit Dominus, alleluia.

R7. Salutare suum, alleluia.

OREMUS.

Omnipotens, sempiterne

ANT. While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, thy Almighty Word, O Lord, came down from thy royal throne, alleluia.

. The Word was made flesh, alleluia.

R. And dwelt among us alleluia.

(or)

. The Lord hath made known, alleluia.

Ry. His Salvation, alleluia.

LET US PRAY.

C Almighty and Eternal

Deus, dirige actus nostros in God, regulate our actions ac

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As we might expect, the Liturgy of our English Church honours her beloved Martyr with an affectionate and enthusiastic homage. We copy from the ancient Salisbury Breviary several passages, and we begin with some of the Antiphons of Matins and Lauds. The whole Office is rhymed, according to the custom observed in the 13th century, the time when this Office of St. Thomas was composed.

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