24th July - Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat
Virgin & Martyr
OCD Optional Memorial
Mercedes Prat was born on 6th March, 1880, in Barcelona, baptised on the following day, and made her First Holy Communion on 30th June, 1890. From her childhood she gave herself completely to God, whom she received every day in Communion. She displayed a great love for her neighbour and tried to foster this kind of love in others. During her years in school, she was known for her goodness and her dedication to school work, excelling especially in painting and needlework, which were areas in which she had a natural talent. Entering the noviciate of the Society of St Teresa of Jesus in 1904, in Tortosa, she made her temporary profession in 1907. She was a religious 'according to the heart of God:' prudent, and truthful, calm, and gentle in her reactions, having a natural goodness in all her dealing with others, but firm in character. God was her one love, and her love for God kept growing to the point where she would give her life for Him. In 1920 she was assigned to the mother house in Barcelona. From there the path to martyrdom began on 9th July 1936, when the community was forced to give up the school and flee. On 23rd July, because she was a religious, Sr Mercedes was arrested and shot: she died in the early morning of 24th July.
Entrance Antiphon (Ps 33:18)
The Lord will hear the just when they cry out; from all their afflictions he will deliver them.
God, Father of infinite goodness,
you gave Blessed Maria Mercedes, virgin,
the courage to bring to fullness in martyrdom
her offering to you and to the Church.
Grant us, through her interecession,
the grace to be so firmly rooted in the love of Christ
that nothing can ever separate us from this love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
First Reading - A reading from the first letter of St Peter
No one can hurt you if you are determined to do only what is right; if you do have to suffer for being good, you will count it a blessing. There is no need to be afraid or worry about them. Simply reverence the Lord Jesus in your hearts, and always have your answer ready for people who ask for the reason for the hope that you all have. But give it with courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience, so that those who slander you when you are living a good life in Christ may be proved wrong in the accusations that they bring. And if it is the will of God that you should suffer, it is better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong.
This is the word of the Lord.
R/. Our help is in the name of the Lord (Ps 123:203, 4-5, 7-8)
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/
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.
A reading from the holy Godpel according to John (12:24-26)
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,
where ever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.'
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Prayer over the Gifts
you gave Blessed Maria Mercedes
the fulfilment of her faith
in the vision of your glory.
May the gifts we bring to honour her memory
gain your pardon and peace.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon (2 Cor 4:11)
We are given over to death for Jesus, that the life of Jeus may be revealed in our living flesh.
Prayer after Communion
may this food of heaven
bring us a chare in the grace you gave the martyr
Blessed Maria Mercedes.
From her bitter sufferings may we learn to become strong
and by patient endurance earn the victory
of rejoicing in your holiness.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.