Strengthened By The Prayers At Mass

September 24, 2020

Fornerus, formerly Bishop of Bamberg, relates1 of the great Duke Simon Montfort, as follows: “This famous Duke was accustomed to hear Mass daily with great devotion, and at the elevation of the Sacred Host he would say with Simeon: ‘Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation.’2

His regular attendance at Mass was known to the Albigenses, his bitterest enemies, against whom he had been waging war for twenty years. The Albigenses, being driven to despair, determined to make a sadden attack upon the Duke’s army in the morning whilst he was at Mass. They executed their design, and really surprised his soldiers. Officers came to him whilst he was hearing Mass, announcing to him the great danger in which the whole army was, and begging him to come to their aid. The Duke answered, ‘Let me serve the Lord now, and men afterwards.’ No sooner were these officers gone than others arrived making the same most earnest request. The Duke replied, ‘I shall not leave this place until I have seen and adored my God and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ Meanwhile, he recommended his whole army to Our Lord, beseeching Him by the most august sacrifice of the Mass to assist his people.

Simon IV de Montfort

 

At the elevation of the Sacred Host, he poured out his heart in humble prayer to his Saviour, offering up the Heavenly Father, the Body and Blood of His well beloved Son, and making, at the same time, an oblation of his own life in honor of the Blessed Trinity. At the elevation of the chalice he prayed, ‘Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation.’

Battle of Muret

Then feeling inspired with great courage and confidence in the Lord, he said to his officers, ‘Now let us go, and if God pleases, die for Him Who has deigned to die for us on the Cross.’ His whole army consisted of but sixteen thousand men. With this little force, he attacked, in the name of the Blessed Trinity, the grand army of the Albigenses, commanded by the Count of Toulouse, who was supported by the army of Peter, King of Aragonia, his brother-in-law. Now, of this grand army Simon Montfort, the Christian hero, killed twenty thousand men on the spot, and the rest of his enemies he put to shameful flight. Every one said and believed that Montfort had gained this glorious victory more by his fervent prayers at Mass than by the strength of his army.

1 Miser, cone. 78.
2 Luke ii. 29, 30.

The Blessed Eucharist, our greatest treasure by Müller, Michael, 1825-1899, Pgs. 300 & 301

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 745

 

 

 

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