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The Ascension

The Ascension of Our Lord

Thursday, Forty Days After Easter

Forty days after His Resurrection, Our Lord ascends into Heaven in the sight of His Apostles, having given them the Great Commission and bid them farewell. Tradition attests that Our Lord ascended at mid-day, the same hour in which He was raised upon the Cross on Good Friday. In less than two weeks, the Paraclete will descend upon the Apostles, and they shall go forth to fulfill Our Lord’s command to preach the Gospel to all nations. Traditionally the Easter Candle is extinguished after the reading of the Gospel at today’s Mass, demonstrating that the Resurrected Lord has returned to His place at the right hand of the Father, until He shall come again at the Last Judgement. Though a joyful feast indeed, celebrating as it does the return of the Son to the Father, the occasion is yet tinged with sadness at Our Lord’s departure from earth, following the forty days of Paschal happiness. Thus the Feast of the Ascension is preceded by the three Rogation Days, and what are called the Minor Litanies. Those days of penance do not contradict the joy of Easter, but they temper it with the solemn reminder of Our Lord’s departure today, ascending as He does with jubilee and the joyful cry of Alleluia, as the liturgy emphasizes. There is no time for sorrow today; all Christians must go about the Lord’s work, as He commanded.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 9th

AT Nazianzus, the birthday of St. Gregory, bishop and doctor of the church, surnamed the Theologian, because of his remarkable knowledge of divinity. At Constantinople, he restored the Catholic faith, which was fast waning, and repressed the rising heresies.

At Rome, St. Hermas, mentioned by the apostle St. Paul in the epistle to the Romans. Generously sacrificing himself, he became an offering acceptable to God, and adorned with virtues took his departure for the heavenly kingdom.

In Persia, three hundred and ten holy martyrs.

At Caglio, on the Flaminian road, the passion of St. Gerontius, bishop of Cervia.

In the castle of Windisch, the decease of St. Beatus, confessor.

At Constantinople, the translation of the apostle St. Andrew and the evangelist St. Luke, out of Achaia, and of Timothy, disciple of the blessed apostle Paul, from Ephesus. The body of St. Andrew, long after, was conveyed to Amalfi, where it is honored by the pious concourse of the faithful. From his tomb continually issues a liquid which heals diseases.

At Rome, also, the translation of St. Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church, from Bethlehem of Juda, to the basilica of St. Mary of the manger.

At Bari, in Apulia, the translation likewise of the holy bishop Nicholas, from Myra, a town of Lycia.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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