Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Station at St George's in Velabro
The station is, since the time of Gregory II (7th century) at St George's in Velabro, one of the twenty-five parishes of Rome in the 5th century, where under the high altar is kept the head of this Christian warrior, a victim of the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian, and called by the Greeks "the great martyr."
The liturgy of today inculcates in us the spirit of prayer, which forms par of the forty days penance. It was by prayer that Ezechias obtained a prolongation of his life (Epistle) and the centurion the healing of his servant (Gospel), and it is by prayer that we shall obtain from God the strength to mortify ourselves in order that we may gain the pardon of our sins, and with it the healing of our souls and life eternal.
Remember that if sin offends God and draws upon us the scourge of His righteous anger, penance, on the contrary, appeases Him and procures for us the effects of His mercy (Collects).
Dum clamárem ad Dóminum exaudivit vocem meam ab his, qui appropínquant mihi: et humiliávit eos, qui est ante saecula, et manet in aetérnum: jacta cogitátum tuum in Dómino, et ipse te enútriet. * Exaúdi, Deus, oratiónem meam, et ne despéxeris deprecatiónem meam: intende mihi, et exáudi me.
When I cried to the Lord, He heard my voice from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, Who is before all ages, and remains forever: cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. * Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me and hear me.
(Psalm 54: 17,19-20,23,2-3 from the Introit of Mass)
Deus, qui culpa offénderis, poeniténtia placaris; preces pópuli tui supplicántis propitius réspice; et flagélla tuae iracúndiae, quae pro peccatis nostris merémur, avérte.
God, Who art offended by sin, and appeased by penance, graciously regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication to Thee, and turn aside the scourge of Thy anger, which we deserve for our sins.
A cunctis nos, quaesumus, Domine, mentis et corporis defende periculis: et intercedente beata et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, beatis Apostolis Tuis Petro et Paulo, atque beato N., et omnibus Sanctis, salutem nobis tribue benignus et pacem, ut destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, Ecclesia Tua secura Tibi serviat libertate.
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body; that through the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and blessed N., and all the saints, mercifully grant us safety and peace; that all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.
(For the intercession of the Saints)
Omnipotens sempiterna Deus, qui vivorum dominaris simul et mortuorum, omniumque misereris quos tuos fide et opera futuros esse praenoscis: te supplices exoramus; ut, pro quibus effundere preces decrevimus, quosque vel praesens saeculum adhuc in carne retinet, vel futurum jam exutos corpore suscepit, intercedentibus omnibus Sanctis tuis, pietatis tuae clementia omnium delictorum suorum veniam consequantur.
O almighty and eternal God, who hast dominion over both the living and the dead, and hast mercy on all whom Thou foreknowest shall be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that all for whom we have resolved to make supplication whether the present world still holds them in the flesh or the world to come has already received them out of the body, may, through the intercession of all Thy saints, obtain of Thy goodness and clemency pardon for all their sins.
(For the Living and the Dead)
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time, when Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus said to him: "I will come and heal him." And the centurion making answer said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And Jesus hearing this marvelled; and said to them that followed Him: "Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And Jesus said to the centurion: "Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee." And the servant was healed at the same hour.
(St Matthew 8:5-13)