The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Thursday Vespers


God, come to my assistance
Lord, make haste to help me
Your help, propitious Mother, lend us
And from the dreadful foe defend us.

Byzantine Prokimen Vespers
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
My help comes from the Lord
Who made heaven and earth.
I lifted my eyes towards the mountains,
whence my deliverance shall come.

God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.

St. John Chrysostom
Rejoice, mother and heaven, maiden and cloud, virgin and throne, the boast and foundation of our Church. Plead earnestly for us that through you we may obtain mercy on the Day of Judgment and attain the good things reserved for those who love God, through the grace and love our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, and honor now and for ever and for all eternity. Amen.

Psalm 144

Antiphon: Mary received a blessing from the Lord and loving kindness from God her savior.

Blessed be the Lord my God,
who teaches my hands to fight,
and my fingers to war.

My mercy, and my refuge:
my support, and my deliverer:
My protector, and I have hoped in him:
who subdues my people under me.

Lord, what is man, that you are made known to him?
or the son of man, that you make account of him?
Man is like to vanity:
his days pass away like a shadow.

Lord, bow down your heavens and descend:
touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
Send forth lighting, and you shall scatter them:
shoot out your arrows, and you shall trouble them.

Put forth your hand from on high, take me out,
and deliver me from many waters:
from the hand of strange children:
Whose mouth has spoken vanity:
and their right hand is the right hand of iniquity.

Antiphon: The Most High has made his dwelling place a holy temple.

To you, O God, I will sing a new canticle:
on the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings I will sing praises to you.
Who gives salvation to kings:
who has redeemed your servant David from the malicious sword:

Deliver me, And rescue me out of the hand of strange children;
whose mouth has spoken vanity: and their right hand is the right hand of iniquity:
Whose sons are as new plants in their youth:
Their daughters decked out,
adorned round about after the similitude of a temple:
Their storehouses full,
flowing out of this into that.
Their sheep fruitful in young,
abounding in their goings forth:
their oxen fat.
There is no breach of wall, nor passage, nor crying out in their streets.

They have called the people happy, that have these things:
but happy is that people whose God is the Lord.

Antiphon: In the beginning, before time began, the Word was God; today he is born, the Savior of the world.

Revelation 11; 12
We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who are, and who was, and who is to come: because you have taken to you your great power, and you have reigned. And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should render reward to your servants the prophets and the saints, and to them that fear your name, little and great, and should destroy them who have corrupted the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail...Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein.

1 John 3
Behold what manner of charity the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knows not us, because it knew not him. Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it has not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is. And every one that has this hope in him, sanctifies himself, as he also is holy. Whosoever commits sin commits also iniquity; and sin is iniquity. And you know that he appeared to take away our sins, and in him there is no sin. Whosoever abides in him sins not; and whosoever sins, has not seen him, nor knows him. Little children, let no man deceive you. He that does justice is just, even as he is just. He that commits sin is of the devil: for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

St. John Chrysostom
Believe what we say about the Virgin, and do not hesitate to confess her to be both servant and Mother of God, both virgin and mother. She is a servant as the creature of him who was born of her; she is the Mother of God inasmuch as of her God was born in human flesh. She is a virgin because she did not conceive from the seed of man; she is a mother because she gave birth and became the mother of him who before all eternity was begotten of the Father. She is therefore the mother of the Lord of angels and our mother; from her the Son of God received the human body in which he consented to be crucified. Do you desire to know how far the Virgin surpasses the power of heaven? Give me your attention then. They veil their faces as they hover in fear and trembling, but she offers the human race to God, and through her we receive the forgiveness of our sins. She bore him whom the angels glorified when they came with reverence to be present at his birth. GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, they sang, AND PEACE TO HIS PEOPLE ON EARTH.

I shall glorify you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
You have not let my enemies rejoice over me
For you have rescued me.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

I shall glorify you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Angel's prayer at Fatima
Most Holy Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.

St. Alphonsus
O Queen of Paradise, who reigns above all the choirs of angels, and who are the nearest of all creatures to God, I, a miserable sinner, salute you from this valley of tears, and beseech you to turn your compassionate eyes towards me, for whichever side they turn they dispense graces. See, O Mary, in how many dangers I now am, and shall be as long as I live in this world, of losing my soul, of losing heaven and God. In you O Lady, I have placed all my hopes. I love you, and sigh to go soon to see you, and praise you in heaven. Ah, Mary, when will be that happy day on which I shall see myself safe at your feet, and contemplate my Mother who has done so much for my salvation? When shall I kiss that hand which has delivered me so many times from hell, and has dispensed me so many graces, when, on account of my sins, I deserved to be hated and abandoned by all? My Lady, in life I have been very ungrateful to you; but if I reach heaven, I shall no longer be ungrateful: there I shall love you as much as I can in every moment for all eternity, and shall make amends for my ingratitude by blessings and thanking you forever. I thank God with my whole heart, who gives me firm confidence in the blood of Jesus Christ and in you, and in the conviction that you will save me; that you will deliver me from my sins; that you will give me light and strength to execute the divine will; and, in fine, that you will lead me to the gate of Paradise. Your servants have hoped for all this, and not one of them was deceived. No, neither shall I be deceived. O Mary, my full confidence is that you have to save me. Beseech your Son Jesus, as I also beseech him, by the merits of his Passion, to preserve and always increase this confidence in me, and I shall be saved.

The Magnificat
My soul now magnifies the Lord.
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior
. Because he has regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty, has done great things to me;
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He has shown might in his arm:
he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their seat,
and has exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has received Israel his servant,
being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Christ the Lord is born today; today, the Savior has appeared.
Earth echoes songs of angel choirs, archangels' joyful praise.
Today on earth his friends exult.
Glory to God in the highest.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Louis de Montfort
Hail, Mary, most beloved daughter of the eternal Father; hail, Mary, most admirable mother of the Son; hail, Mary, most faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit; hail, Mary, Mother most dear, Lady most lovable. Queen most powerful! Hail, Mary, my joy, my glory, my heart and soul. You are all mine through God's mercy, but I am all yours in justice. Yet I do not belong sufficiently to you, and so once again, as a slave who always belongs to his master, I give myself wholly to you, reserving nothing for myself or for others.

If you still see anything in me which is not given to you, please take it now. Make yourself completely owner of all my capabilities. Destroy in me everything that is displeasing to God. Uproot it and bring it to nothing. Implant in me all that you deem to be good; improve it and make it increase in me.

May the light of your faith dispel the darkness of my mind. May your deep humility take the place of my pride. May your heavenly contemplation put an end to the distractions of my wandering imagination. May your continuous vision of God fill my memory with his presence. May the burning love of your heart inflame the coldness of mine. May your virtues take the place of my sins. May your merits be my adornment and make up for my unworthiness before God. Finally, most dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but yours to know Jesus and his divine will. May I have no soul but yours to praise and glorify the Lord. May I have no heart but yours to love God purely and ardently as you love him.

I do not ask for visions or revelations, for sensible devotions or even spiritual pleasures. It is your privilege to see God clearly in perpetual light. It is your privilege to savor the delights of heaven where nothing is without sweetness. It is your privilege to triumph gloriously in heaven at the right hand of your Son without further humiliation, and to command angels, men, and demons, with readiness on their part. It is your privilege to dispose at your own choice of all the good gifts of God with no exception. Such, most holy Mary, is the excellent portion which the Lord has given you, and which will never be taken from you, and which gives me great joy. As for my portion here on earth, I wish only to have a share in yours, that is, to have simple faith without seeing or tasting, to suffer joyfully without the consolations of men, to die daily to myself without flinching, to work gallantly for you even until death without any self-interest, as the most worthless of your slaves. The only grace I beg you in your kindness to obtain for me is that every day and moment of my life I may say this threefold Amen: Amen, so be it, to all you did upon earth; Amen, so be it, to all you are doing now in heaven; Amen, so be it, to all you are doing in my soul. In that way, you and you alone will fully glorify Jesus in me during all my life and my eternity.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Hail, wonderful dial Ezechias of old
Beheld when the prophet His destiny told;
The Word, That incarnate in you did become,
Receded, descending to man's lowly home.
Nine choirs He passed of superior powers,
To take up the tenth in this nature of ours.
The beams of this sun Are the light of your face,
And you the aurora Preceding his race.
The serpent that lurks In night's desperate gloom
You crushed, and caused, All beauties to bloom.

I have caused a never-fading light to rise in heaven;
And like a luminous veil have spread it over the earth.


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