5th May - Saint Angelus of Sicily - Priest and Martyr
Born 1185 - died 1220. Angelus was one of the first Carmelites to come to Sicily from Mount Carmel, brought to Sicily to preach against the Albigensians and Bulgars. A Jewish convert, according to trustworthy sources, he was killed by unbelievers in Licata during the first half of the thirteenth century. Acclaimed as a martyr, his body was placed in a church built on the site of his death. Only in 1632 were his relics transferred to the Carmelite Church. Veneration of St Angelus spread throughout the Carmelite Order as well as among the populace. He has been named patron of many places in Sicily. Even to the present time devoted persons invoke him in their needs and faithfully honour him.
Entrance Antiphon - Ps 36:39
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord. He is their strength in time of need.
God our Father, strength of the faithful and crown of martyrs, by your grace Saint Angelus was called from Carmel to triumph victorious over the torments of martyrdom. By his prayers grant us that faithfully following his example, we may bear witness to your presence and goodness until death. 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 Gods glory. But that is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These fferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and hope is not deceptive because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
Responsorial Psalm Ps: 33:2-11
R/. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad. R/.
Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. R/.
Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called;
the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress. R/.
The angel of the Lord is encamped around those
who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him. R/.
Revere the Lord, you his sits.
They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
but those who fear the Lord lack no blessing. R/.
Gospel Acclamation cf. Lk 17,21; Mt 10,13
The kingdom of God is among you, says the Lord.
Proclaim the message of peace to all mankind.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 28,16-20
Go and make disciples of all the nations.
The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, accept these gifts we present in memory of Saint Angelus, for no temptation could turn him away from you. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon - Jn 15:5
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord;
Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, we are renewed by the mystery of the eucharist. By imitating the fidelity of Saint Angelus and by our patience may we come to share the eternal life you have promised. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Office of Readings
Second Reading - From The Flaming Arrow by Nicholas of France, prior general
Your first sons on Carmel, O holiest of Orders my Mother, were like stones mortared together in unfeigned charity, who held aloof from the least violation of what they had vowed when they made profession; while yet they strove, at home in their cells, to "ponder God's law" and "watch at their prayers," not because they were compelled to, but happily, moved by joy of
Remember, beloved Order, your worthiness in the days when you never failed to regale your hermits, our saintly forefathers, with spiritual sustenance of the richest, in pasturage unequalled, and to lead them forth to waters of unparalleled refreshment.
I tell you, my brothers, it is from Carmel that the brethren must climb to the Mountain - all those who deserve to be called "Carmelites," in other words, who, on account of the excellence of their ves, will go from strength to strength in a steady ascent from the Mount of the Circumcision of Vices until they reach, as they surely will, the Mountain which is Christ.
In the desert all the elements conspire to favor us. The heavens, resplendent with the stars and planets in their amazing order, bear witness by their beauty to mysteries higher still. The birds seem to assume the nature of angels, and tenderly console us with their gentle carolling. The mountains too, as Isaiah prophesied, "drop down sweetness" incomparable upon us, and the friendly hills "flow with milk and honey" such as is never tasted by the foolish lovers of this world. When we sing the praises of our Creator, the mountains about us, our brother conventuals, resound with corresponding hymns of praise to the Lord echoing back our voices and filling the air with strains of harmony as though accompanying our song upon stringed instruments. The roots in their growth, the grass in its greeenness, the leafy boughts and trees--l make merry in their own ways as they echo our praise; and the flowers in their loveliness, as they pour out their delicious fragrance, smile their best for the consolation of us solitaries. The sunbeams, though tongueless, speak saving messages to us. The shady bushes rejoice to give us shelter. In short, every creature we see or hear in the desert gives us friendly refreshment and comfort; indeed, for all their silence they tell forth wonders, and they move the interior man to give praise to the Creator - so much more wonderful than themselves.
Isaiah writes in figure of this joy that is to be found in solitude or in the desert: "The wilderness shall rejoice and shall flourish like the lily, it shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise." And we find in the psalms: "The beautiful places of the wilderness shall grow lush, and the hills shall be girded with joy."
Each wise solitary, resolute in his flight from the dangers of the world, longs to be so indissolublyunted to Christ, the cornerstone, that he might say effectively with the Prophet: "It is good for me to adhere to my God, to put my hope in the Lord."
R/. How goodly, sweet Jesus, is Your inebriating chalice, none so happy as those who can say in good conscience: * "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup" (alleluia).
V/. It is You who will restore my inheritance to me. * "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup" (alleluia).
Angelus, you left Carmel in order to prepare the way of the Lord. By your witness strengthen your brethren in holiness and justice all the days of our life (alleluia).
Angelus, you once were a glorious companion on our pilgrimage. Now you have reached the eternal shores while we remain in our time of trial. Be for us a sure guide, and pray that we too share heaven's delights (alleluia).