The Mass

St. Cajetan prefaced the Mass always with a sorrowful confession and a long preparation, which often lasted eight hours, which he spent wholly in acts of love and contrition, by way of preparation and thanksgiving.

The face of St. Ignatius used to glow while he was celebrating, and his heart became so inflamed, that in many cases he could not stand after Mass, and was obliged to be carried to his room, to the wonder of all.

St. Conrad was so enkindled, that the fingers with which he touched the body of the Lord, remained bright and glowing, so that in the darkness of night they served him for a lamp.

The venerable Father John Leonardi was, one morning, seen to come from the sacristy with his head surrounded by rays.

St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis Xavier, and many others, were often rapt in ecstasies at Mass.

In the act of celebrating, he [St. Philip Neri] was often noticed to heave deep sighs, and to melt into tears; sometimes he would pause, because he was unable to proceed; sometimes he would shiver and tremble, so as to shake the predella, and again, fall into such abstraction that it was necessary to pull his vestments to rouse him. When he reached the Offertory, the joy of his heart was so great while he was young, that his hand would rise of itself, and he could not pour the wine into the chalice, unless he rested his arm firmly on the altar. In elevating the Most Holy Sacrament, he would remain with his arms stretched upward, unable for a time to lower them; and at other times he would rise a span and more from the ground.

If he was to give Holy Communion, his fervor increased to such a degree that thrills were seen to run through his whole body, to the great wonder of those present; and when he took the Ciborium in his hand, he trembled so much that the sacred particles were shaken above the edge; his face, meanwhile, seemed all on fire, and an abundance of tears flowed from his eyes. In saying Mass, he uttered the words with so much devotion, that he often made those weep who listened to him.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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