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Optional Memorial of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

 

On July 25, 2014, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments confirmed the inscription of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest, into the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America. He is celebrated each year as an Optional Memorial on October 5.

His proper liturgical texts in Latin and English were also confirmed the same day. The texts in Spanish were confirmed on September 23, 2015. Below are the proper liturgical texts for Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos in English:

Roman Missal

From the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries.

Collect

O God, who made your Priest Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
outstanding in love,
that he might proclaim the mysteries of redemption
and comfort those in affliction,
grant, by his intercession,
that we may work zealously for your glory
and for the salvation of mankind.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Lectionary for Mass

Aside from the usual Mass readings of the day, any Lectionary readings from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries may be used for Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos (see Lectionary for Mass Supplement, no. 651A).

Liturgy of the Hours

From the Common of Pastors.

Biography

Born in Füssen, Germany in 1819, he entered the diocesan seminary, and, coming to know the charism of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, joined it and was sent to North America. Ordained a priest in 1844, he began his pastoral ministry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as assistant pastor of his confrere Saint John Neumann, serving also as Master of Novices and dedicating himself to preaching. He became a full-time itinerant missionary preacher, preaching in both English and German in a number of different states. He died in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 4, 1867.

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the letters of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest
(Archives of the Baltimore Province)

Place nothing ahead of God's love

This desire to bring a sacrifice to God again and again extends to everything that I ever loved in this life, and upon which my heart was set.

When I think of the beauties of nature, these do not stir up longing and melancholy, but I am filled with the greatest joy, because, since I am not giving God any real and true gifts, I can give him imagined and pretended ones. At the same time, in the overflowing of my good fortune, I cannot at all get away from the thought that in heaven God will give me those that, for him, I have forsaken in the world, and for this I also constantly pray.

And so, the novitiate and its completion, the taking of vows, the life with confreres of the Order, and above all, the insight to cherish these goods to the best of my ability, so that there is nothing left for me to desire, except to fulfill my duties better—these were the first blessings of divine mercy.

Everything was completely against my nature. But precisely the joyful acceptance of them, in God's boundless grace, made so clear to me the mystery of renunciation and patience in this world that I feel that I am much too fortunate in the possession of my religious confreres and all the spiritual and temporal blessings that are bound together with it. And what is still more, that God has exalted me so high as to announce the Gospel to the poor, and to teach, and share with them his treasures.

Every offering has value only insofar as one snatches it away from one's own benefit and dedicates it to God through this self-conquest. One loves and gives precisely because one loves, and because one considers what is given as a good, as a treasure. Love of creatures must be subordinated to the love of God, whom one is pledged to love above all things.

Time, in which we have found nothing to offer up to God, is lost for eternity. If it is only the duties of our vocation that we fulfill with dedication to the will of God; if it is the sweat of our faces that, in resignation, we wipe from our brow without murmuring; if it is suffering, temptations, difficulties with our fellowmen—everything we can present to God as an offering and can, through them, become like Jesus his Son. Where the sacrifice is great and manifold, there, in the same proportion, is the hope of glory more deeply and more securely grounded in the heart of him who makes it.

Responsory
Psalm 119:1-2; Mark 8:34

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
—Blessed are they who keep his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross and follow me.
—Blessed are they who keep his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.

Prayer

O God, who made your Priest Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
outstanding in love,
that he might proclaim the mysteries of redemption
and comfort those in affliction,
grant, by his intercession,
that we may work zealously for your glory
and for the salvation of mankind.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.



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