18 November, The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

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The days between the solemnity of All Saints and the First Sunday of Advent are rich in images of the heavenly Jerusalem. The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica on November 9th opened our eyes to the glorious mystery of the Body of Christ, our true and abiding Temple. Today, we celebrate the Dedication festival of two other Roman churches: the Vatican basilica of Saint Peter, and the Basilica of Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls, entrusted to the sons of Saint Benedict. The dedication of a fourth Roman basilica, that of Saint Mary Major, is celebrated on August 5th. Every feast of Dedication is an invitation to cross the threshold of “the house of God and the gate of heaven” (Gen 28:17), an opportunity to say again with Jacob, “Indeed, the Lord is in this place” (Gen 28:16)


You shall make them princes over all the earth.
They shall remember your name throughout all generations:
therefore shall people praise you forever;
from age to age (Ps 44:17–18.


Defend your Church, O Lord,
with the protection of the Apostles,
that, by the intercession of those
through whom she first received the knowledge of the faith.
she may lay hold of an increase of heavenly grace
until the end of the ages.
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 Catholics the world over
may cherish and preserve their communion
with the Church of Rome and with the Successor of Peter,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That the leaders of nations may not close their hearts
to the voice of Peter who, in our own day,
continues to announce the Splendour of Truth
and the Gospel of Life,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That, insofar as they are able to pray,
those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit
may persevere tirelessly in prayer
trusting in the mercy of God,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That it may be given us always to pray,
and not lose heart,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.


Almighty and ever–living God
who command us to pray always and never lose heart
and, who, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit,
make it possible to obey what you command;
pour into our hearts, we beseech you,
the grace of ceaseless prayer,
that your Son at His coming
may find us illumined by faith,
burning with love,
and joyful in hope.
Through Christ our Lord.


Their sound went out into all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world (Ps 18:5).


As we offer you, O Lord,
the gift of our bounden service,
we entreat your clemency,
that the truth handed on to us
by the ministry of the Apostles Peter and Paul
may continue unsullied in our hearts.
Through Christ our Lord.


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

You, the eternal Shepherd,
will never forsake your flock;
but through your holy apostles
you keep it under your continual protection;
so that your people may always be led by those
whom you have called to stand in the place of your Son
as shepherds at the head of your Church.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominations,
and with all the hosts of the heavenly army,
we sing a hymn to your glory,
and ceaselessly proclaim:


Lord, you have the words of eternal life,
and we have believed that you are the Christ,
the Son of God (cf. Jn 6:69–70).


Refreshed with bread from heaven,
may your people, O Lord,
rejoice in this commemoration of the Apostles Peter and Paul,
for, by your gift,
they are governed under their protection.
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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