April 23, St Adalbert (Wojciech)

April 23
(in 2014 moved to April 28)
SAINT ADALBERT (WOJCIECH), BISHOP AND MARTYR
PRIMARY PATRON SAINT OF POLAND,
ARCHDIOCESES OF GNIEZNO, GDAŃSK AND WARMIA,
AND DIOCESES OF ELBLĄG AND KOSZALIN-KOŁOBRZEG
Solemnity

Adalbert (Wojciech) was born ca. 956 into a powerful dynasty of Slavniks. In 983 he became Bishop of Prague. Due to family struggles, he had to leave his fatherland twice. In Rome he entered the Benedictine abbey. He was a missionary in Hungary and Poland. He left Poland for Prussia, where he was murdered by pagans on 23 April 997. His relics remain in the Gniezno Cathedral.

[PDF Version]

EVENING PRAYER I

HYMN

O courageous pastor, and great martyr,
The pride of our land, our father and patron,
Graciously accept the homage we pay to you
On your feast.

As a young man you gave yourself to God
To suffer and work for your faith,
Patiently bearing the burden of the obstacles
That were nearing.

For Czechs you are a famous brother,
Poles praise you with joyous hearts,
Hungarians with gratitude name you
The teacher of light.

Father, hear these humble prayers,
Help priests, console the despondent
Be our defender and steward
In every hour.

Let our holy faith find unity,
Let our holy faith last till the end;
May the seed of your blood bring
Eternal fruit.

Glory and majesty to the Father and the Son
Who won by defeating death.
Faithful to the word of his promise
He gives us the Spirit. Amen.

Ant. 1 I come from the land of Polans to preach salvation to you, as a servant of the One who created heaven and earth, alleluia.

Psalms and Canticles from Common of One Martyr.

Ant. 2 Saint Adalbert called, “I come to you so that you may know our Creator and, washed in the spring of salvation, become confessors of Christ,” alleluia.

Ant. 3 My Lord, the more I shall love you, the better I know that you are my strength despite my weakness, alleluia.

READING Philippians 1:20-24

Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose. I am caught between the two. I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit.

RESPONSORY

The holy and just rejoice in the Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia.

God has chosen you as his heirs.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Holy and just rejoice in the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Adalbert preached the Gospel to many nations and shed blood for Christ, and now united with him he rejoices for ever, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS

Praising Saint Adalbert, patron saint of Poland, let us address our prayers to the Resurrected Christ and call to him:

Christ, you shed your blood of the new and eternal covenant to forgive sins, may your Church be constantly reborn by the power of this sacrifice.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, with your love you handed yourself over for us, be the power and hope of those who give up their lives in your name.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, you allowed Saint Adalbert to preach the true faith in our land, grant that we may preserve this faith till the end.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, by your resurrection you strengthened the disciples’ faith and sent them to the world, grant that bishops and priests may be faithful preachers of our Gospel.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, you shone you r light over the earth and gave new life to all people, give eternal light to all the dead.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Our Father.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
you strengthened our nation in confessing your name
by constant preaching and glorious martyrdom of Saint Adalbert.
Grant, we pray, that the one that preached faith to our ancestors,
intercede for us in heaven.
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.
Amen.

 INVITATORY

Ant. Let us worship Christ the King, celebrating Saint Adalbert’s Day, alleluia.

Invitatory psalm as in Ordinary.

 OFFICE OF READINGS

HYMN

O Man of God who carried the flame
Of true faith to pagan nations.
May your greatness be shown
To the whole world today.

Among torments of souls and confusion,
Burned by the heat of inner quandary,
You sought God on the path of the cross
With your Master.

O Pastor of sheep that did not want you,
You left them disdained and silent,
Sacrificing yourself to God
For their salvation.

For if the grain does not fall to the ground,
It remains just a grain, but if it dies,
It finds life and produces much fruit
In hundredfold ears.

Glory be to the Triune God,
For the joy of Passover and grace of bath,
And praise to Adalbert for the blood he shed
On our land. Amen.

FIRST READING

From the Acts of the Apostles 20:17-36
Paul’s farewell to the elder of the Church in Ephesus

From Miletus he had the presbyters of the church at Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.

But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace.

“But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.

Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day, I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears. And now I commend you to God and to that gracious word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.

I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You know well that these very hands have served my needs and my companions. In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” When he had finished speaking he knelt down and prayed with them all.

RESPONSORY

How magnificently does God’s grace shine in Saint Adalbert; both in youth and in his priestly service, sealed by glorious martyrdom.
He became a gift pleasant to God, alleluia.

As a boy sacrificed to God, he connected his toil with Jesus’s salutary work and as a martyr he shed blood for faith.
He became a gift pleasant to God, alleluia.

SECOND READING

From the Life of Saint Adalbert by John Canaparius
Nothing more beautiful than to sacrifice your life to Christ

As a new day was born with the pink light of dawn, they walked on, singing psalms to shorten the way, and praising Christ, the sweet joy of their lives. Passing by forests and backwoods occupied by wild animals, at noon they reached a glade. During the Holy Mass celebrated there by Gaudentius, the holy monk received the Holy Communion, after which, in order to relieve the fatigue caused by the journey, he ate a little. Having recited a verse and the next psalm, he stood up from the lawn, only to sit down on the ground after moving a stone’s or arrow’s throw away. There he felt drowsy, and, being weary of the long journey, he was overcome with sleep.

Eventually, when all were sleeping, ferocious pagans ran over and slashed at them with rage, binding them all. Saint Adalbert, though, standing in front of Gaudentius and another bound brother, said, “Brethren, do not despair! You know that we suffer in the name of the Lord whose perfection is above all virtues, his power ineffable, and goodness unusual. Is there anything more valiant, more beautiful than to sacrifice a dear life to the dearest Jesus?” Out of the enraged group jumped the impetuous Sicco, brandishing a huge javelin, and pierced across his heart. Being the sacrificer of gods and the leader of the pack, out of duty he inflicted the first wound. Subsequently, everyone hurt him many a time, feeding on their fury.

Red blood flows from wounds on the both sides and he stands praying, with eyes and hands raised heavenward. A scarlet stream gushes and the spears reveal seven immense wounds. Adalbert stretches his released hands forming a cross and sends prayers to the Lord to save him and his oppressors. In this way this holy soul flies from his prison; thus this noble body, stretched like a cross, takes possession of the earth and due to the loss of blood he gives up the ghost and finally rejoices his dearest Christ in the land of happiness! O how holy and blessed is the man from whose countenance an angelic light always shone, in whose heart Christ always dwelt. How pious and venerable: then with his hands and whole body he embraced the cross that he had always desired and borne in his soul.

Thus suffered Adalbert, saint and glorious martyr of Christ, on 23 April, on Friday; on the same day our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for man, this man also suffered for his God. His is mercy forevermore, honour, glory and power for ever. Amen.[1]

RESPONSORY

With seven gifts Christ enriched you.
With great power the grace of the Holy Spirit overflowed for you, alleluia.

Now embraced your desired Christ, pierced with seven spearheads for his glory.
With great power the grace of the Holy Spirit overflowed for you, alleluia.

TE DEUM You are God: we praise you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.

 MORNING PRAYER

HYMN

A happy day shines now,
Honoured by Adalbert’s passion
That is brighter than the sun
And makes earth closer to heaven.

Welcome, O noble man,
Among heavenly choirs,
Hear our prayers
And praise God with us!

You sowed the seed of suffering
And made it grow with your blood,
May it raise in Father’s light
And be the joy of the Church.

When praising the Lord
We worship you, Adalbert,
Help us walk our path
And rejoice with you in heaven.

Let us thank for ever
The Father, the Son and the Spirit
For the martyrdom of the pastor
And Protector of our land. Amen.

Ant. 1 Your grace, Lord, is more precious than life, my soul goes out to you, alleluia.

Psalms and Canticles from Sunday in the First Week.

Ant. 2 Let us praise God with Adalbert, who worships him in eternity, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Let us sing a new hymn for the Lord, who crowned Adalbert with victory, alleluia.

READING Philippians 1:27-28

Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear news of you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind struggling together for the faith of the gospel, not intimidated in any way by your opponents.

RESPONSORY

Preach the glory of our Lord among nations.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Announce his miracles to all peoples.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Preach the glory of our Lord among nations. Alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Through Saint Adalbert’s merits, hear us O Christ and through his intercession come to our aid, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us praise Christ, the Conqueror of death and the Giver of life and beg him with trust:

Christ, you died on the cross to gather your dispersed children into one, preserve the Holy Church in unity and sanctify it in truth.
Through your martyrs’ blood, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, your martyrs stayed faithful till death, strengthen our faith.
– Through your martyrs’ blood, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, you made Saint Adalbert sacrifice his whole life to you, help us stand by you in all our toil and sufferings.
Through your martyrs’ blood, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, you are the reward of your followers, make us serve you with devotion and love you above all.
Through your martyrs’ blood, hear us, O Lord.

Our Father.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
you strengthened our nation in confessing your name
by constant preaching and glorious martyrdom of Saint Adalbert.
Grant, we pray, that the one that preached faith to our ancestors,
intercede for us in heaven.
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.
Amen.

 EVENING PRAYER II

HYMN O courageous pastor as in Evening Prayer I.

Ant. 1 Red blood flows from wounds of both sides, Adalbert prays with eyes heavenward set, alleluia.

Psalms and Canticles from Common of One Martyr.

Ant. 2 Scarlet spring gushes heavily, and the spear opens seven immense wounds, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Adalbert like a cross stretches his released hands and humbly prays to the Lord for his and his oppressors’ salvation, alleluia.

READING Philippians 1:29-30

For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him. Yours is the same struggle as you saw in me and now hear about me.

RESPONSORY

The just will shine in God’s face.
Alleluia, alleluia.

All of righteous heart will rejoice.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
You crowned Mary with honour and glory, O Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Noble Adalbert’s body stretched like a cross takes possession of the earth, his spirit takes delight in Christ in the land of happiness, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS

Praising Saint Adalbert, patron saint of Poland, let us address our prayers to the Resurrected Christ and call to him:

Christ, you shed your blood of the new and eternal covenant to forgive sins, may your Church be constantly reborn by the power of this sacrifice.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, with your love you handed yourself over for us, be the power and hope of those who give up their lives in your name.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, you allowed Saint Adalbert to preach the true faith in our land, grant that we may preserve this faith till the end.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, by your resurrection you strengthened the disciples’ faith and sent them to the world, grant that bishops and priests may be faithful preachers of our Gospel.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Christ, you shone you r light over the earth and gave new life to all people, give eternal light to all the dead.
Through Adalbert’s merits, hear us, O Lord.

Our Father.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
you strengthened our nation in confessing your name
by constant preaching and glorious martyrdom of Saint Adalbert.
Grant, we pray, that the one that preached faith to our ancestors,
intercede for us in heaven.
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.
Amen.


[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).

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