BlESSED CYPRIAN MICHAEL IWENE TANSI, PRiEST
SAinT FABIEN, POPE AnD MARTYR
SAinT SEBASTiAn, MARTYR,
Father Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in 1903. He was brought up by the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) and trained as a teacher and a catechist. Later he decided to join the seminary and in 1937 he was ordained a priest. In 1950 he left his Diocese in order to go to England where he joined the Cistercian Abbey of Mount St Bernard, near Nottingham. He had been singled out as the ideal candidate to be trained in England and then return to establish a Trappist Monastery in the Diocese of Onitsha in Nigeria. Fr Tansi lived the monastic life with great faith and humility.
Where brothers unite to glorify God, there the Lord will give blessing.
O God, in the priest Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi you joined the apostolic zeal of a pastor to the way of life of a monk. Grant us by his intercession that persevering in prayer, we seek untiringly the coming of your kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son and our elder brother, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : 2 Samuel 1:1-4,11-12,17,19,23-27
David returned from his rout of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from the camp where Saul had been, his garments torn and earth on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did homage. ‘Where do you come from?’ David asked him. ‘I have escaped from the Israelite camp’ he said. David said to him, ‘What happened? Tell me.’ He replied, ‘The people have fled from the battlefield and many of them have fallen. Saul and his son Jonathan are dead too.’ Then David took hold of his garments and tore them, and all the men with him did the same. They mourned and wept and fasted until the evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, for the people of The Lord and for the House of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. Then David made this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan. Alas, the glory of Israel has been slain on your heights! How did the heroes fall? Saul and Jonathan loved and lovely, neither in life, nor in death, were divided. Swifter than eagles were they, stronger were they than lions. O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul who clothed you in scarlet and fine linen, who set brooches of gold on your garments. How did the heroes fall in the thick of the battle? O Jonathan, in your death I am stricken, I am desolate for you, Jonathan my brother. Very dear to me you were, your love to me more wonderful than the love of a woman. How did the heroes fall and the battle armour fail?
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 79:2-3,5-7
R/ Let your face shine on us, O Lord, and we shall be saved.
- O shepherd of Israel, hear us, you who lead Joseph’s flock, shine forth from your cherubim throne upon Ephraim, Benjamin, Manasseh. O Lord, rouse up your might, O Lord, come to our help.
- Lord God of hosts, how long will you frown on your people’s plea? You have fed them with tears for their bread, an abundance of tears for their drink. You have made us the taunt of our neighbours, our enemies laugh us to scorn.
Gospel : Mark 3:20-21
Jesus went home, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we pray, the offerings made for the salvation of your people, so that through the intercession of blessed Cyprian Michael we may flee the enticements of sin and draw near to the company of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.
Those who keep God’s word with a good and perfect heart patiently bring forth fruit.
Prayer after Communion
Grant our request, we pray, O Lord our God, that, defended by the protection of blessed Cyprian Michael, we may live by this Sacrament of your wisdom in serenity and moderation. Through Christ our Lord.
Some students secondary and high school, who try to be prayerful and refuse to indulge themselves in useless activities, get ridiculed by their peers. Some are nicknamed “Holy Maria” or “St Joseph”. Jesus experienced more than ridicule. He was greatly misunderstood. Even his own family thought he was out of his mind. This is because he was disturbingly different: healing the sick, forgiving sinners, associating with outcasts, spending whole nights at prayer. He didn’t have any home of his own. He claimed God as his Father and he challenged the religious leaders of his day. He taught people to love their enemies and to do good to those who hurt them. He calls us to take the lowest place where the world encourages us to strive for success and praise. He basically goes against the current by the call to holiness. The qualities he seeks to form in us go against the world and expose us to ridicule. We are blessed if we have a share in the ridicule he experienced.