18th August
Blesseds John Baptist, Michael Aloysius, and James

(Rochefort, 1794)
Priests and Martyrs

OCD: Optional Memory

Fr John Baptist Duverneuil (born 1737 at Limoges) in religious life Fr. Leonard, Fr Michael Aloysius Brulard (born 1758 at Chartres), Fr James Gagnot (born 1753 at Frolois) in religious life Fr Hubert of St Claude, were among a group of 64 Martyrs, beatified 1st October, 1995, victims of the French Revolution who came from 14 French dioceses and from various religious Orders.
In their loyalty to God, the Church and the Pope, they refused to take the oath of the Civil Constitution for the Clergy imposed by the Constituent Assembly of the Revolution. As a result they were imprisoned, massed like animals, on a slave-trader anchored in Rochefort Bay awaiting in vain to be deported into slavery. During 1794, the first two Carmelites died on board ship: Fr John Baptist on 1st July, and Fr Michael Aloysius on 25th July, and both were buried on the island of Aix. After plague broke out on the ship, those remaining disembarked on the island of Madame where Fr James died and was buried on 10th September.
Not for their loving ministry to their fellow prisoners and their patience in accepting every type of outrage, privation and cruelty not to mention the vicissitudes of weather, hunger and sickness, our three Discalced Carmelite priest martyrs and their companions in martyrdom gave unsurpassable Christian witness to their faith and love.

Entrance Antiphon
The saints are happy in heaven because they followed Christ. They rejoice with him for ever because they shed their blood for love of him.

Opening Prayer
Lord God
to the martyrs Blessed John Baptist, Michael Aloysius, James
and their companions,
you gave the grace to remain faithful and to pardon
while suffering dismaying hardship.
Through their intercession
grant also to us, to be always willing
to remain faithful to your Church
and to be reconciled with one another.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans - 5:1-5
We can boast about our sufferings.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God's glory.
But this is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.

Responsorial Psalm - Ps 123:2-3, 4-5, 7b-8 (R.8a)
R/. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

If the Lord had not been on my side
when men rose against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger was kindled. R/.

Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters. R/.

Indeed the snare has been broken
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the lord,
who made heaven and earth. R/.

Gospel Acclamation - Jn:12:24
Alleluia, Alleluia!
If you are reproached for the name of Christ,
count yourself blessed,
for then the spirit of God rests on you.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John - Jn 12:24-26
If a wheat grain dies it yields a rich harvest.
Jesus said to his disciples:
'I tell you most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world
will keep it to eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him'.

Prayer over the Gifts
at this celebration of the eucharist
we honour the suffering and death
of your martyrs Blessed John Baptist, Michael Aloysius, James and their companions.
In offering this sacrifice
may we proclaim the death of your Son
who gave these martyrs courage
not only by his wounds
but also by the example of his own passion,
for he is Lord for ever and ever.

Communion Antiphon - Mk 8:35
Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel, says the Lord, will save it.

Prayer after Communion
may we who eat at your holy table
be inspired by the example
of Blessed John Baptist, Michael Aloysius, James
and their companions
May we keep before us the loving sacrifice of your Son,
and come to the unending peace of your kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.