9 October, Mass of Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions, Martyrs

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Today's memorial takes us to Montmartre, the Mount of Martyrs in Paris. Malouel's painting of the martyrdom of Saint Denis (1416) depicts the sacrifice of Christ, the King of Martyrs, at the center. The outstretched arms of the Eternal Father, partially hidden behind the cross, suggest that one can know the embrace of the Father only in the arms of the Crucified. At the same time, the arms of the Father receive the offering of the Son.

Blood and water are gushing abundantly from the pierced side of the Son, the hands, and the feet of Jesus. His Precious Blood runs onto the earth where it mingles with blood of Saint Denis to sanctify the hill that will come to be known as Montmartre, the Mount of the Martyrs.

On the left, Our Lord Himself brings Holy Communion as Viaticum to Saint Denis in prison. On the right, we see the cruel beheading of Saint Denis while his deacon Eleutherius looks on in sorrow.

It is recounted that, after his martyrdom, Saint Denis continued to preach, holding his head in his hands. The martyrs do, in fact, continue to preach the mystery of the Cross so often as the Church remembers them in the liturgy.


The blood of the holy martyrs
was poured out upon the earth for Christ;
therefore they have won rewards everlasting.


O God,
who sent forth Saint Denis and his companions
to preach your glory to the heathen
and strengthened them to suffer with undaunted courage,
grant, we beseech you,
that by imitating them
we may scorn worldly success
and fear no worldly misfortune.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


That, helped by the intercession of Saint Denis
and his companions,
the Church in Paris and throughout France
may rejoice today in the harvest of holiness
sown by the shedding of their blood for Christ,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That the Basilica of Montmartre
will continue to be a sign of the merciful love of Christ,
a place of repentance and of adoration,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That Catholic men and women seeking election to public office
may not depart from the Gospel of Christ
nor distance themselves from the teachings of the Church,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

Those those who fallen among robbers
of the body, the mind, or the soul,
may be restored to health by the care of Christians
and by the mercy of Christ poured out in the sacraments,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That all married couples
may find in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist
the true food of love,
strength for life’s journey,
and consolation in its trials,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That we may find healing today
in the oil of the Holy Spirit
and in the Chalice of the Blood of Christ,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.


Almighty and ever-living God,
who save us from every tribulation,
and heal us of every affliction
by the power that ever flows
from the sacrifice of your only-begotten Son,
increase in us, we pray,
that indefectible hope in the Cross
that was the strength of your martyrs in ages past,
and that remains, today and always,
the joy and gladness of your Church.
Through Christ our Lord.


The saints shall rejoice in their glory,
they shall be joyful in their repose:
the high praises of God
shall be in their mouth, alleluia (Ps 149:5–6).


Look graciously, Almighty God,
upon the offerings of your people
and, through the intercession of your blessed martyrs,
let us become a sacrifice pleasing to you
for the salvation of the whole world
Through Christ our Lord.


It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

As we celebrate the feast of your martyr
Denis and his companions;
we praise Christ, who kindles the fire of love
in the heart of his faithful servants,
so that they renounce the honours of this world
and by martyrdom take their place amid the citizens of heaven.

By their sufferings your Church is made holy and glorious
and placed with Christ at your right hand.
Her joy and radiance is the prayer of her martyrs,
persecuted in this world,
whom she presents to you
as the firstfruits of the world to come.

And so, through the heavens and the earth
all things adore you and sing a new song;
and we with all the angels give you glory
in this, their ever-joyful hymn of praise:


Everyone who confesses me before men,
I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven,
says the Lord (Mt 10:32).


Nourished, O Lord,
with the bread of the strong,
in celebration of your blessed martyrs,
we humbly implore you,
that by cleaving faithfully to Christ,
we may serve in your Church
for the salvation of all.
Through Christ our Lord.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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