Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 28: St. Augustine, B., C., D., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor, and Father of the Church.  Since today is also the VX Sunday after Pentecost which holds the rank of II Class, and since his feast in the Dominican Rite calendar is also II Class, we pray the Sunday office and make a commemoration of his feast at Lauds and Vespers.    Also, at Pretiosa, the obit is read of Albert de Chiavari of Genoa, 10th Master General of the Order. 

The Order’s has always given high honor to the Doctor of Grace, in part because our founder St. Dominic adopted the Rule of St. Augustine as the Rule for his Order in 1216. 

From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):
This illustrious Doctor of the Church has a special claim on the love and veneration of the children of Saint Dominic, as they serve God under the Rule which bears his name, and which he wrote for the nuns of the Convent which he had founded.  When, in the year 1215, the holy Father, Saint Dominic, applied to Pope Innocent III, for permission to found his Order, the Council of Lateran had just decreed that no new Orders were to be established in the Church; but that, if any one desired to found a new religious House, he was to observe the rule of one of the approved Orders.  The Soverign Pontiff, therefore, though convinced of the Divine will as regarded the institution of the Order of Preachers, was unwilling to act in direct contradiction to a principle so recently laid down.  Hence he bade the holy Founder return to France, and in concert with his companions, choose one of the ancient rules which should seem best fitted for their purpose.  Saint Dominic accordingly assembled his Brethren at Prouille, and, after earnestly invoking the Holy Spirit, they made choice of the Rule of Saint Augustine, under which the holy Patriarch had himself lived ever since he had assumed the habit of a Canon Regular at Osma, and which they had all hitherto observed.  The simplicity of this Rule, which merely enjoins the essential virtues of poverty, chastity, obedience, and fraternal charity, rendered it a suitable basis for the Constitutions by which Saint Dominic Was to mold the religious life of this sons and daughters.

Here are a few samples from his office from the Dominican Breviary:

1st Vespers Super Psalmos Antiphon (where celebrated as a 1st Class Feast): Rejoice, Jerusalem, our mother, because, for you, your King has ransomed from the slavery of Babylon, Augustine, a zealous steward and a most loyal citizen.

1st Vespers Magnificat Antiphon: This is the festive day on which the holy bishop, Augustine, being freed from the bonds of the flesh, was taken up among the angels. There he rejoices with the prophets. Filled with their spirit, he explained to us the mysteries they foretold, and after them, shone supreme with the added grace of expounding the word of God.

Hymn at Lauds

O citizens of heaven acclaim,
And, sweetly, brethren, sing his fame!
Our father's solemn fest is here,
As solar cycle ends a year.

What thus the tongue is heard to tell,
The inmost soul should feel as well;
The souls that will in praise concur,
To follow close should not demur.

When he his earthly course had run,
The court of heaven received this son,
Whom, with all those he faithful found,
The Lord above with glory crowned.

So let us try our very best,
Our prayer increasing with out rest;
That by Augustine's merits' powers,
The joys of heaven may be ours.

So, loving Father, let it be,
And Son of equal Deity,
And Holy Spirit Counselor,
Who lives and reigns for ever more.

Lauds Benedictus Antiphon:  In this day, the city of Hippo was besieged by a barbarian army; in that misfortune, tears were Augustine's portion day and night, and at that time, his last hour being at hand. he died in peace.


Hear our prayers, almighty God, and as you fill us with hope in your loving kindness, so also through the intercession of the blessed Augustine, your confessor and biship, mercifully bestow on us the fruit of your