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The reading appointed from the Rule of St. Benedict for May 1:

Of This, that Not the Whole Observance of Righteousness Is Laid Down in this Rule

Now, we have written this Rule that, observing it in monasteries, we may show that we have acquired at least some moral righteousness, or a beginning of the monastic life.

On the other hand, he that hasteneth on to the perfection of the religious life, hath at hand the teachings of the holy Fathers, the observance of which leadeth a man to the height of perfection. For what page or what utterance of the divinely inspired books of the Old and the New Testament is not a most exact rule of human life? Or, what book of the holy Catholic Fathers doth not loudly proclaim how we may go straight to our Creator? So, too, the collations of the Fathers, and their institutes and lives, and the rule of our holy Father, Basil -- what are they but the monuments of the virtues of exemplary and obedient monks? But for us slothful, disedifying, and negligent monks they are a source for shame and confusion.

Thou, therefore, who hastenest to the heavenly home, with the help of Christ fulfil this least rule written for a beginning; and then thou shalt with God's help attain at last to the greater heights of knowledge and virtue which we have mentioned above.

Martyrology-May 2nd
Roman Martyrology-May 2nd- on this date in various years-

At Alexandria, the birthday of St. Athanasius, bishop of that city, confessor and doctor of the Church, most celebrated for sanctity and learning. Although almost all of the world had formed a conspiracy to persecute him, he courageously defended the Catholic faith, from the reign of Constantine to that of Valens, against emperors, governors, and a multitude of Arian bishops, whose underhanded attacks forced him to wander as an exile over the whole earth without finding a place of security. At length, however, he was restored to his church, and after overcoming many trials, and winning many crowns by his patience, he departed for heaven in the forty-sixth year of his priesthood, in the time of the emperors Valentinian and Valens.

At Florence, Bishop St. Antoninus of the Order of Preachers, renowned for sanctity and learning. His feast is kept on the 10th of this month.

At Rome, the holy marytrs Saturninus, Neopolus, Germanus, and Celestine, who after much suffering were thrown into prison, where they found rest in the Lord.

The same day, St. Vindemial, bishop and martyr, who with the holy bishops Eugene and Longinus, combated the Arians by his teaching and miracles, and was beheaded by order of Hunneric, king of the Vandals.

At Seville in Spain, St. Felix, deacon and martyr.

At Attalia in Pamphylia, the holy martyrs Exuperius and Zoe, his wife, with their sons, Cyriacus and Theodulus. They were the slaves of a man named Paganus. During the reign of Emperor Hadrian, because of their outspoken profession of the Christian faith, their master ordered them to be scourged and severely tortured. They were finally cast into an oven, and in this way gave up their souls to God.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

The reading appointed from the Rule of St. Benedict for May 2:


Listen, O my son, to the precepts of thy master, and incline the ear of thy heart, and cheerfully receive and faithfully execute the admonitions of thy loving Father, that by the toil of obedience thou mayest return to Him from whom by the sloth of disobedience thou hast gone away.

To thee, therefore, my speech is now directed, who, giving up thine own will, takest up the strong and most excellent arms of obedience, to do battle for Christ the Lord, the true King.

In the first place, beg of Him by most earnest prayer, that He perfect whatever good thou dost begin, in order that He who hath been pleased to count us in the number of His children, need never be grieved at our evil deeds. For we ought at all times so to serve Him with the good things which He hath given us, that He may not, like an angry father, disinherit his children, nor, like a dread lord, enraged at our evil deeds, hand us over to everlasting punishment as most wicked servants, who would not follow Him to glory.

Martyrology-May 3rd
Roman Martyrology-May 3rd- on this date in various years-

At Jerusalem, in the time of Emperor Constantine, the finding of the holy Cross of our Lord.

At Rome, on the Via Nomentana, the holy martyrs Pope Alexander and the priests Eventius and Theodulus. Alexander was bound, imprisoned, racked, lacerated with hooks, burned, and had all his limbs pierced with pointed instruments, and finally met death, under Emperor Hadrian and the judge Aurelian. Eventius and Theodulus after a long imprisonment were exposed to flames and then beheaded.

At Narni, St. Juvenal, bishop and confessor.

On Mount Senario in Etruria, Saints Sosteneo and Ugoccio, confessors, of the seven founders of the Order of Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Responding to a voice from heaven, they departed this life on the same day and at the same hour, while reciting the angelical salutation. Their feast is observed with the rest of their companions on the 12th day of February.

At Constantinople, the holy martyrs Alexander, soldier, and Antonina, virgin. In the persecution of Maximian, under the governor Festus, Antonina, having been condemned to remain in a place of debauchery, was delivered by Alexander, who secretly exchanged garments with her, and took her place. They were tortured together, both had their hands cut off, were cast into the fire, and received their crowns at the end of their heroic combat for the faith.

In Thebais, the holy martyrs Timothy and his wife Maura. The Arian prefect caused them to be tortured, and then fastened to a cross, on which they remained alive for nine days, encouraging each other to persevere in the faith, until they completed their martyrdom.

At Aphrodisia in Caria, the holy martyrs Diodorus and Rodopian, who were stoned to death by their fellow citizens, in the persecution of Diocletian.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

The reading appointed from the Rule of St. Benedict for May 3:

PROLOGUE (cont.)

Let us then rise at length, since the Scripture arouseth us, saying: "It is now the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Rom 13:11); and having opened our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with awestruck ears what the divine voice, crying out daily, doth admonish us, saying: "Today, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Ps 94[95]:8 . And again: "He that hath ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches" (Rev 2:7). And what doth He say? -- "Come, children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord" (Ps 33[34]:12). "Run whilst you have the light of life, that the darkness of death overtake you not" (Jn 12:35).

Martyrology-May 4th
Roman Martyrology-May 4th- on this date in various years-

At Ostia, the birthday of St. Monica, mother of blessed Augustine. He has left us in the ninth book of his Confessions a beautiful sketch of her life.

At the metal mines of Phennes in Palestine, the birthday of blessed Silvanus, bishop of Gaza, who was crowned with martyrdom with many of his clerics by the command of Caesar Galerius Maximian, in the persecution of Diocletian.

At Jerusalem, in the reign of Julian the Apostate, St. Cyriacus, bishop, who was murdered while visiting the holy places.

At Camerinum, St. Porphyry, priest and martyr. Because he converted many to the faith (among them Venantius), he was beheaded during the reign of Emperor Decius and the governor Antiochus.

Also in the mines of Phennes, thirty-nine holy martyrs, who were condemned to work there, to be branded with hot irons, to undergo other torments, and finally all to be beheaded at the same time.

At Lorch in Austria, under Emperor Diocletian and the governor Aquilinus, the martyr St. Florian, who was thrown into the River Enns, with a stone tied about his neck.

At Cologne, the martyr St. Paulinus.

At Tarsus, St. Pelagia, virgin, who endured martyrdom under Diocletian by being shut up inside an ox made of brass that had been heated to redness.

At Nicomedia, the birthday of St. Antonia, martyr, who was cruelly tortured, subjected to various torments, suspended by one arm for three days, kept two years in prison, and finally delivered to the flames for the confession of Christ by the governor Priscillian.

At Milan, St. Venerius, a bishop whose virtues are attested to by St. John Chrysostom in the epistle which he had written to him.

In the province of Perigord, St. Sacerdos, bishop of Limoges.

At Hildesheim in Saxony, St. Gothard, bishop and confessor, who was ranked among the saints by Innocent II.

At Auxerre, St. Curcodomus, deacon.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

The reading appointed from the Rule of St. Benedict for May 4:

PROLOGUE (cont.)
And the Lord seeking His workman in the multitude of the people, to whom He proclaimeth these words, saith again: "Who is the man that desireth life and loveth to see good days" (Ps 33[34]:13)? If hearing this thou answerest, "I am he," God saith to thee: "If thou wilt have true and everlasting life, keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile; turn away from evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps 33[34]:14-15). And when you shall have done these things, my eyes shall be upon you, and my ears unto your prayers. And before you shall call upon me I will say: "Behold, I am here" (Is 58:9).

What, dearest brethren, can be sweeter to us than this voice of the Lord inviting us? See, in His loving kindness, the Lord showeth us the way of life.

Martyrology-May 5th
Roman Martyrology-May 5th- on this date in various years-

Pope St. Pius V, confessor of the Order of Preachers, who went to sleep in the Lord on the 1st of May.

At Rome, the martyr St. Silvanus.

Also at Rome, St. Crescentia, martyr.

At Leocata in Sicily, St. Angelus, priest of the Order of Carmelites, who was murdered by the heretics because of his defence of the Catholic faith.

At Alexandria, St. Euthymius, deacon, who died in prison for the sake of Christ.

At Auxerre, the martyrdom of St. Jovinian, lector.

At Thessalonica, the birthday of the holy martyrs Irenĉus, Peregrinus, and Irene, who were burned alive.

At Jerusalem, St. Maximus, bishop, whom Maximian Galerius Caesar condemned to the mines, after having plucked out one of his eyes and branded him on the foot with a hot iron. He was afterwards freed, and allowed to rule the church at Jerusalem, where he died in peace, renowned for the glory of his confession.

At Edessa in Syria, St. Eulogius, bishop and confessor.

At Arles in France, the bishop St. Hilary, noted for his learning and sanctity.

At Vienne in France, the bishop St. Nicetus, a man venerable for his piety.

At Bologna, St. Theodore, a bishop who was eminent for merits.

At Milan, the bishop St. Geruntius.

On the same day, St. Sacerdos, bishop of Saguntum.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

The reading appointed from the Rule of St. Benedict for May 5:

PROLOGUE (cont.)

Therefore, having our loins girt with faith and the performance of good works, let us walk His ways under the guidance of the Gospel, that we may be found worthy of seeing Him who hath called us to His kingdom (cf 1 Thes 2:12).

If we desire to dwell in the tabernacle of His kingdom, we cannot reach it in any way, unless we run thither by good works. But let us ask the Lord with the Prophet, saying to Him: "Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle, or who shall rest in Thy holy hill" (Ps 14[15]:1)?

After this question, brethren, let us listen to the Lord answering and showing us the way to this tabernacle, saying: "He that walketh without blemish and worketh justice; he that speaketh truth in his heart; who hath not used deceit in his tongue, nor hath done evil to his neighbor, nor hath taken up a reproach against his neighbor" (Ps 14[15]:2-3), who hath brought to naught the foul demon tempting him, casting him out of his heart with his temptation, and hath taken his evil thoughts whilst they were yet weak and hath dashed them against Christ (cf Ps 14[15]:4; Ps 136[137]:9); who fearing the Lord are not puffed up by their goodness of life, but holding that the actual good which is in them cannot be done by themselves, but by the Lord, they praise the Lord working in them (cf Ps 14[15]:4), saying with the Prophet: "Not to us, O Lord, not to us; by to Thy name give glory" (Ps 113[115:1]:9). Thus also the Apostle Paul hath not taken to himself any credit for his preaching, saying: "By the grace of God, I am what I am" (1 Cor 15:10). And again he saith: "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (2 Cor 10:17).

Martyrology-May 6th
Roman Martyrology-May 6th- on this date in various years-

For 2013 At Rome, the Lesser Litanies in the church of St. Mary Major.

At Rome, the Apostle and Evangelist St. John before the Latin Gate. He was bound and brought to Rome from Ephesus by the order of Domitian, and the Senate condemned him to be taken to that gate and placed in a cauldron of boiling oil, from which he came forth more healthy and vigorous than before.

At Damascus, the birthday of St. John Damascene, priest and doctor of the Church, renowned for sanctity and learning. By means of his writing and preaching, he courageously resisted Leo the Isaurian, in defending the veneration paid to sacred images. By order of this emperor his right hand was cut off, but commending himself before an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which he had defended, his hand was immediately restored to him, entire and sound. His feast day is the 27th of March.

At Cyrene in Africa, Bishop St. Lucius, who is mentioned by St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles.

At Antioch, St. Evodius, who, as the blessed Ignatius wrote to the people of Antioch, was consecrated first bishop of that city by the apostle St. Peter, and ended his life by a glorious martyrdom.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Heliodorus and Venustus and seventy-five others.

In Cyprus, St. Theodotus, bishop of Cyrinia, who having undergone grievous afflictions under Emperor Licinius, at length yielded his soul to God when peace was restored to the Church.

At Carrhae in Mesopotamia, St. Protogenes, bishop and confessor.

In England, St. Eadbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, famed for his teachings and his piety.

At Rome, the virgin St. Benedicta.

At Salerno, the translation of St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist. His revered body, previously transferred from Ethiopia to various countries, was finally taken to Salerno, and with great pomp was there placed in a church dedicated to his name.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.


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