September 18, St Stanislaus (Stanisław) Kostka

September 18
SAINT STANISLAUS KOSTKA, RELIGIOUS
Patron Saint of Poland
and the Archdiocese of Warszawa and the Diocese of Płock
Feast

Stanislaus was born in Rostkowo in Masovia at the end of December 1550. Brought up in a religious household, he was known for deep piety. Together with his brother he was sent to Jesuit schools in Vienna. Miraculously healed of a serious disease by the Blessed Mother, he decided to join the Society of Jesus. To do so, he left Vienna in secret in 1567 and across Dillingen he went to Rome, where he was accepted as a novice by Saint Francis Borgia. He died in Rome at the night of 14-15 August 1568 in the odour of sanctity. He was canonised by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.

Common of Religious, except:

[PDF Version]

OFFICE OF READINGS

HYMN

Even if a just one dies prematurely,
In Lord’s peace he shall find rest,
For the mature age is measured with wisdom,
Blemishless life and quest for God.

Lord had mercy on his chosen servant,
He wished to deliver him from evil and sin,
And so that vanity may not seduce his soul,
He took him up from earth to his light.

Faithful and pure he lived through a lot,
Still young he became flawless
And his memory shines with bright glow
To show the path in the darkness.

To Holy Trinity: Father and Son
With fiery Spirit praise and glory;
May all people, worshipping God’s goodness,
Walk the paths of faith and love. Amen.

FIRST READING

From the book of Wisdom 4:7-20; 5:1-5
The Measure of Old Age Is Unsullied Life

But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest. For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years. Rather, understanding is the hoary crown for men, and an unsullied life, the attainment of old age.

He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported – snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul; for the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind.

Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account.

Yes, the just man dead condemns the sinful who live, and youth swiftly completed condemns the many years of the wicked man grown old. For they see the death of the wise man and do not understand what the Lord intended for him, or why he made him secure. They see, and hold him in contempt; but the Lord laughs them to scorn.

And they shall afterward become dishonoured corpses and an unceasing mockery among the dead. For he shall strike them down speechless and prostrate and rock them to their foundations; They shall be utterly laid waste and shall be in grief and their memory shall perish. Fearful shall they come, at the counting up of their sins, and their lawless deeds shall convict them to their face. Then shall the just one with great assurance confront his oppressors who set at nought his labours. Seeing this, they shall be shaken with dreadful fear, and amazed at the unlooked-for salvation. They shall say among themselves, rueful and groaning through anguish of spirit: “This is he whom once we held as a laughingstock and as a type for mockery, fools that we were! His life we accounted madness, and his death dishonoured. See how he is accounted among the sons of God; how his lot is with the saints!”

RESPONSORY Wisdom 4:10-11; 13

He who pleased God was loved; he who lived among sinners was transported.
Snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul.

Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career.
Snatched away, lest wickedness pervert his mind or deceit beguile his soul.

SECOND READING

Excerpt from the annual report on the state of the College in Vienna
(Archive of Society of Jesus, Epist. Germaniae 140 nn. 75)
He Pondered Jesus and the Society of Jesus Day and Night

A young Pole of the noble family, and even nobler in virtue, spent two years here in Vienna and insisted on joining the order. He was always declined. We should not accept him without his parents’ consent for he was the student of our school. Furthermore, there were more reasons for our refusal. Having lost his hope for realising his wishes here, he went a few days ago in an unknown direction to join somewhere else.

He left a great example of constancy and piety; he was dear to us all, never disagreeable; young of age, mature in prudence; short of height, tall in spirit. He attended the Holy Mass daily; he would confess more often than others and receive the Holy Communion; he would pray for a long time too. He studied rhetoric and not only matched others but surpassed those that had surpasses him earlier.

He pondered Jesus and the Society of Jesus day and night. With tears he begged the supervisors to accept him; he wrote letter to the papal legate to help him change their minds. All in vain. That is why he decided, against the will of his parents, brothers, acquaintances and relatives, to seek access to the Society of Jesus somewhere else, on a different path. And should this too fail, he would be a pilgrim for the rest of his life, abandoned and poor in the name of Christ’s love.

Our members, as soon as they learnt of his thoughts, started to dissuade him and encourage him to set off with his brother who would soon be returning to their fatherland. He ensured him too that the parents would approve of his intentions if they saw his constancy. He thought otherwise claiming to know his own parents better and that it would be in vain to wait for their approval; he thought he ought to fulfil what he had promised Christ.

Therefore, neither tutors nor confessor could discourage him from the decision he had made. One morning, after receiving the Holy Communion, he left Vienna without the knowledge of his guardian and brother. He renounced his considerable patrimony, leaving his clothes he would use at home and school, and clothing himself with linen and ordinary garment, he set off with a stick as a poor and simple man. Only God knows what will become of him; we do, however, trust that it all happened according to God’s inspiration. He has always been so constant in his decision that it seems to us that in this case he acted according to grace and not a boyish caprice.[1]

RESPONSORY 1 Corinthians 7:29; 30; 31; 2:12

The time is running out. From now on, let those rejoicing act as not rejoicing, those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

We have not received the spirit of the world.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

TE DEUM You are God: we praise you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.

MORNING PRAYER

HYMN

You run, O young man, with rush
In a joyous light of dawn,
To finish your way
Before the throne of Mother of God.

For she led you
Through all the roads of your life
So that we receive from the Lord
A knight’s belt of his service.

Awaken the desire of your brothers
To victorious battle for good;
May the soldiers of pure heart
See Christ.

Be a friend of the young
And show them the value of sacrifice:
They will reach true freedom
Loving God and man.

May one God in the Trinity Almighty
Accept the homage of praise,
Let us give him humble thanks
For Saint Stanislaus. Amen.

Ant. 1 Stanislaus pondered God during his vigils and longed for him like a dry land without water.
Psalms and Canticles from Sunday in the First Week.
Ant. 2 Praise our God, all his servants, small and great.
Ant. 3 Stanislaus’s heart and body rejoiced in the living God.

READING Romans 12:1-2

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

RESPONSORY

In the depths of his heart,
The law of God is his guide.

He will never lose his way;
The law of God is his guide.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
In the depths of his heart, the law of God is his guide.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Having become perfect in a short while, Stanislaus reached the fullness of a long career and was called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

INTERCESSIONS from Common of Holy Men.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
among many a miracle of your wisdom you gave Saint Stanislaus the grace of mature sanctity in his youthful years,
grant that we, following his example, may make use of our time by working fervently and with zeal strive for eternal peace.
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.

DAYTIME PRAYER

Antiphons and Psalms from Proper of Seasons. Reading and Responsory from Common of Holy Men.

EVENING PRAYER

HYMN

May Poland praise with a joyous song
Her saint Son
For today Stanislaus shines like a star
On the sky of his dear land.

The heart yearning for sacrificial love
Sought Jesus everywhere
Until it found him through his Virgin Mother
And gave itself up to him.

No journey proved too hard
Nor path too long,
For he felt he headed for the threshold of eternity
Where Jesus waits with Mary.

Hence weep not over such a short life
For he matched his measure,
And the young need brotherly friends
Who will seize their hearts upwards.

To Father, Son and Holy Spirit
May there be glory forever;
We give thanks with an evening hymn
For an example of youth joined with God. Amen.

Ant. 1 Stanislaus, having become perfect in a short while, reached the fullness of a long career.
Psalms and Canticles from Common of Holy Men.
Ant. 2 He served God since childhood, and found joy in his commandments.
Ant. 3 For he was pleasing to God, he found his love and was transported.

READING Wisdom 4:13-15

Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness. But the people saw and did not understand, nor did they take this into account that grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.

RESPONSORY

God chose Stanislaus
And loved him very much.

He let him dwell in his tabernacle.
And loved him very much.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
God chose Stanislaus and loved him very much.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Stanislaus, faithful worshipper of Mary, praises God with her.

INTERCESSIONS from Common of Holy Men.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).

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