Monday, October 07, 2019

A Litany for Sacristans and Those Receiving Minor Orders

Ordination of acolytes (FSSP)
Having in mind institutes and communities that continue to make use of the ancient rites for Minor Orders, seminaries and dioceses that implement the ministries of instituted acolytes and lectors, and Catholics who serve their local parish or chapel as sacristans, I have compiled the following litany of all of the holy sacristans, acolytes, exorcists, and lectors honored by Holy Mother Church in the last edition of the traditional Roman Martyrology. (Please note that anyone listed in the Martyrology as having exercised power over demons has been included.)

This litany is intended for private recitation by those who are either already in one or more of these offices, or who may be soon promoted to them. What could be better than to call upon the intercession of the glorious martyrs and confessors of the Faith who, in their own lifetimes, received the dignity of these offices in the Church and are forever remembered by her in that manner?

As far as I could tell, the Martyrology contains no porters or doorkeepers. If anyone is aware of a porter or doorkeeper who has been acknowledged by the Church as a saint, please let me know so that I may update the litany. In the following, I have adopted the general format of the Litany of the Saints. After the litany are the corresponding entries from the Martyrology.

Over the course of the coming months, I will be publishing similar litanies for Subdeacons and for Deacons. (It would not be possible to do so for priests, since there are far too many in the Martyrology for just one litany.) I also plan litanies for married couples — there are many couples listed in the preconciliar Martyrology, long before the canonization of Louis and Zélie Martin, though one would hardly know it from online commentary — as well as for saints who are mentioned expressly as fighters of heresy and schism, for martyrs killed by Muslims, and for martyrs who died in defense of holy images.

A Litany for Sacristans and Those Receiving Minor Orders

(for private use)

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. 
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us. 
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

St Abundius, sacristan in Rome of the Church of St Peter, pray for us.
St Constantius, church guardian remarkable for the grace of miracles, pray for us.

St Tharsicius, martyr for the Real Presence, pray for us.

St. Agatho, burnt up for God’s glory, pray for us.
St. Theodore, notable for works of power over demons, pray for us.
St. Philip, liberator of those possessed by demons, pray for us.
St. Calogerus, freeing the devil’s captives, pray for us.
St. Fortunatus, famous for putting unclean spirits to flight, pray for us.
St. Paulinus, renowned for casting out demons, pray for us.
St. Arsacius, adorned with virtue and authority over demons, pray for us.

St. Eutropius, falsely accused of arsony, pray for us.
St. Bassian, put to death by fire, pray for us.
Sts. Serapion and Ammonius, witnesses for Christ, pray for us.
St. Theodulus, drowned in the sea, pray for us.
African lector killed while singing the alleluia, pray for us.
St. Marian, strengthened in torment by revelations, pray for us.
St. Jovinian, victim for Christ, pray for us.
St. Dioscorus, favored with a shining light from heaven, pray for us.
St. Desiderius, fettered for the Word of God, pray for us.
St. Viator, faithful companion in years of desert exile, pray for us.
Sts. Fortunatus and Septimus, who refused to yield up the sacred books, pray for us.
St. Synesius, who converted many souls to Christ, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. 

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the intercession of holy Mary, Mother of God, and of all the holy apostles, martyrs, confessors, and virgins, and of all Thine elect, may everywhere gladden us, that, while we commemorate their merits, we may experience their protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Recipients of minor orders

Source of the Litany: Entries from the Martyrology

-At Rome, St Abundius, sacristan of the Church of St Peter. (Apr. 14)
-At Ancona, St Constantius, guardian of the church, remarkable for the grace of miracles. (Sep. 23)

-At Rome, on the Appian Way, St Tharsicius, an acolyte, whom the heathen found bearing the Sacrament of the Body of Christ, and asked what it was that he bore; but he deemed it unbecoming to cast pearls before swine, and was therefore attacked by them for a long time with sticks and stones, until he gave up the ghost. When his body was moved, the sacrilegious assailants could find nothing of Christ's Sacrament in his hands or among his clothing; but the Christians gathered up the body of the martyr and buried it with honour in the cemetery of Callistus. (Aug. 15)

-At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Cyrion, a Priest, Bassian, a Lector, Agatho, an Exorcist, and Moses, who were all burnt and winged their flight to heaven. (Feb. 14)
-At Constantinople, St Theodore, Confessor, surnamed Trichinas from the rough habit of sackcloth which he wore, who was noteworthy for many works of power, especially against demons. From his body flows an oil which gives health to the sick. (Apr. 20)
-At Agirone in Sicily, St Philip, Priest, who was sent to that island by the Roman pontiff, and converted a great part of it to Christ. His holiness was chiefly manifested in freeing those possessed with devils. (May 12)
At Sciacca in Sicily, St Calogerus, hermit, whose holiness was shown especially in liberating those possessed by devils. (Jun. 18)
-At Todi in Umbria, St Fortunatus, Bishop, who (as blessed Pope Gregory relates) was remarkable for his great power in putting unclean spirits to flight. (Oct. 14)
-At Nola, a town in Campania, birthday of blessed Paulinus, Bishop and Confessor, who, though a man of great riches and nobility, for Christ's sake became poor and humble, and what was more, even gave himself up into slavery to redeem a widow's son, whom the Vandals had taken captive into Africa after the devastation of Campania. He was renowned, not only for learning and for the great holiness of life, but also for his power over demons. SS. Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Pope Gregory set forth his praises in their writings. His body was afterwards translated to Benevento, and thence to Rome, but was eventually restored to Nola by command of Pope St Pius X. (June 22)
-At Nicomedia, St Arsacius, Confessor, who in the persecution of Licinius forsook the life of a soldier and lived as a solitary. He was adorned with so great virtues that he is said to have cast out demons, and by prayer to have slain a huge dragon; at last, after foretelling the future destruction of the city, he yielded up his spirit in prayer to God. (Aug. 16)

-At Constantinople, SS. Tigrius, Priest, and Eutropius, Lector, who in time of the Emperor Arcadius were falsely accused of the fire which destroyed the chief church and the Senate House; it was alleged that they had caused the fire to avenge the exile of St John Chrysostom. They suffered under Optatus the prefect of the city, a man attached to the worship of false gods and a hater of the Christian religion. (Jan. 12)
-At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Cyrion, a Priest, Bassian, a Lector, Agatho, an Exorcist, and Moses, who were all burnt and winged their flight to heaven. (Feb. 14)
-At Pentapolis in Libya, the birthday of the holy martyrs (Bishop), Irenxus (Deacon), Serapion and Ammonius (Lectors). (Mar. 26)
- At Thessalonica, the holy martyrs Agathopodes, Deacon, and Theodulus, Lector, who, under the Emperor Maximian and the governor Faustinus, were for their confession of the Christian faith drowned in the sea, with stones tied to their necks. (Apr. 4)
-In Africa, the passion of the holy martyrs who, in the persecution of Genseric, the Arian king, were slain the church on Easter Day; and among them a lector, who, while he was singing the Alleluia in the pulpit, was pierced through throat by an arrow. (Apr. 5)
At Lambesa in Numidia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Marian, Lector, and James, Deacon; the former, when he had overcome the assaults of the Decius persecution in his confession of Christ, was again taken with his renowned companion, and both suffered dire and cruel torments, during which they were twice miraculously strengthened by divine revelations. Finally with many others they were martyred by the sword. (Apr. 30)
-At Auxerre, the passion of St Jovinian, a Lector. (May 5)
-At Heracles in Egypt, St Dioscorus, Lector, against whom the governor practiced many different torments, such as pulling out his nails, and burning his sides with torches. But those who were torturing him fell down, terrified by the shining of a light from heaven: and at last, burnt with hot plates, he completed his martyrdom. (May18)
- At Pozzuoli in Campania, holy martyrs Januarius, Bishop of the city of Benevento; Festus, his Deacon; and Desiderius, a Lector; Sosius, a Deacon of the church of Miseno; Proculus, a Deacon of Pozzuoli; Eutychius and Acutius. All these being fettered and imprisoned were beheaded, under the Emperor Diocletian. (Sep. 19)
-At Lyons in France, St Justus, Bishop and Confessor, a man of wondrous sanctity and endowed with the spirit of prophecy. He gave up his bishopric and departed with Viator, his lector, into an Egyptian
desert and, after leading an almost angelic life for many years, and the fitting end of his labours drew nigh, he passed to the Lord to receive just reward. His holy body, and the bones of blessed Viator, his minister, were afterwards translated to Lyons on September 2. (Oct. 14)
-At Venosa in Apulia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Felix (an African Bishop), Audactus and Januarius (Priests), Fortunatus and Septimus (Lectors), who in the time of Diocletian were by the procurator Magdellian put into irons and for a long time enfeebled in prison in Africa and Sicily. Since Felix would not, in accordance with the emperor's edict, deliver up the sacred books, they were at last slain with the sword. (Oct. 24)
-At Rome, St Synesius, Martyr, who was ordained lector in the time of blessed Pope Sixtus II. After he had converted many folk to Christ, he was accused before the Emperor Aurelian and, being smitten with the sword, obtained the crown of martyrdom. (Dec. 12)

Ordination of a lector in the Eastern Church
(The authentic Roman liturgy and the Byzantine are blood brothers.)

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