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little ones. It is the glory of His Cross which transforms into palaces of Christ the hospitals where His pain-stricken members are lying. Beneath its radiance the unwearying tenderness of the sister of charity becomes the visible ministry of an angel of mercy. And thus, not without deep meaning, is an hospital sometimes called, as in Paris, Hôtel Dieu. For, except on His altar-throne, in Presence Real, where, in this sad distracted world, is the Divine Saviour found by the loving heart so near as in the house of poverty and woe? Thither many a grateful penitent repairs to wash His feet with tears. Again, what lure but the exalted Cross fascinates the eye of the devoted missioner, leading him onwards over sea and land, “in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness?" Let the blessed martyrs of Christ in Cochin China attest the love of the Christian missioner for the all-conquering Cross. Only a few years ago, they went joyfully to torture and a lingering death rather than tread upon its figure, which the heathen had laid in the public street, as a test of the faith of every one who entered the gates of the
"But here I make an end," in the words of Bona, "when I shall first have humbly saluted the Cross. Hail! blessed Cross, more splendid than the stars, more beautiful than the moon, more glorious than the sun, which art adorned with the Body of the Saviour as with glittering gems, and art purpled with the precious blood of God. Thou stretchest out thine arms above the stars of heaven. Hail! chosen wood, germinating life, fructifying joy, distilling the oil of
gladness, dropping the balsam of spiritual delights! Thou art the salvation of a lost world, the haven of those in danger, the rule of justice, the teacher of manners, the strength of combatants, the glory of conquerors, the reward, and the crown. O amiable and beloved Cross! save us all who are fortified with thy tremendous ensign; that He Who was pleased to use thee as the primary instrument of our redemption, may also carry us, sanctified through thee, to share His glory; that, at last, this our penitence being blissfully consummated in the Cross, through the ignominy of His Passion, we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection'." Amen.
Is this the standard of a king?
It is the Cross, that sign of mystery;
Blessed and blessed-making tree,
From what most noble stock didst thou arise,
Who, drop by drop, the world's price told that day,
Hail! holy Cross! sole refuge, hail!
Blessed memorial of our suffering Lord;
That they to us may health afford:
1 Divina Psalmodia, c. xvi. 5.
S. Lambert, Bishop and Martyr.
S. LAMBERT, or Landebert, was the son of rich and noble parents in the city of Maestricht. His family had professed the Christian faith for many generations. His father carefully instructed him in sacred learning, and recommended him to S. Theodard, bishop of Maestricht, to finish his studies. The holy prelate valued his scholar so highly, that he would gladly have consecrated him as his successor in the see, if the canons had allowed him. In 668, as S. Theodard was on his way to the court of Childeric II. King of Lorraine, to demand justice against certain noblemen who had plundered his church, he was waylaid and murdered by them. S. Lambert was chosen to succeed him, with the approval of Childeric and his whole court.
Childeric was the second son of Clovis II. and S. Bathilda. Clotaire III. his elder brother became king of France, while he succeeded to the sovereignty of Lorraine. On the death of Clotaire in 669, his younger brother, Theodoric III., filled the throne for a time. But Ebroin his minister, or Maire du palais, as he was called, made himself so odious to the people, that they deposed him, and forced both their sovereign and his minister into a monastery, as a condition of escaping the punishment of death. Childeric thus found himself sole monarch. But he did
not profit by the fate of his brother, and was in his turn dethroned and murdered in 673, with his queen and his son, by some of his nobles, who were enraged by his cruelty and debauchery. Theodoric and his Maire du Palais then resumed the government of Neustria and Burgundy; while the throne of Lorraine was filled by Dagobert, the son of Sigebert II. S. Lambert was driven into exile as a favourite of K. Childeric, and his see was filled by another. He retired with two of his servants into the monastery of Stavalo, where he spent the seven following years in strict observance of the monastic rule. An instance of his obedience is recorded. As he was rising, one night in winter, to his private devotions, he happened to let fall his wooden sandal or slipper with a loud noise. The abbat, thinking that some one had broken the rule of silence, sent an order that the brother who had made the noise should go and pray before the cross, which stood in the open air, near the door of the church. Without making any answer, S. Lambert laid down the upper garment which he was in the act of putting on, and went out as he was, barefoot and hardly covered, and remained kneeling before the cross for three or four hours. While the monks were warming themselves after matins, the abbat inquired who was absent. They replied that the brother whom he had sent to the cross had not returned. He immediately sent for him, and when he discovered that he was the holy bishop, he threw himself at his feet with the community, and asked his pardon. S. Lambert, who was covered with snow, and almost frozen with cold, could only answer, God forgive you for thinking you
stand in need of pardon for what you have done. As for myself, is it not in cold and nakedness, that, like S. Paul, I am to tame my flesh, and to serve God?
In 677 Dagobert was murdered by his nobles, and Theodoric became sole king of France. By the advice of Ebroin, he exercised a most despotic power, and persecuted S. Lambert and other prelates without ceasing. But the divine vengeance overtook his wicked minister. He was assassinated by a nobleman whom he had offended; and Pepin of Herstal succeeded him in the office of Maire du Palais. The new minister set himself to repair the injuries which his predecessor had inflicted. The clergy were rejoiced to see S. Lambert and the other banished prelates restored to their sees. The saint returned with new ardour to the exercise of his holy functions. He devoted himself to the conversion of the pagans whom he found in Toxandria, a province of Brabant; winning them to the true faith by his patient zeal, regenerating them in baptism, and destroying many of their temples and idols. He frequently visited S. Willibrord, the Apostle of Friesland, and the predecessor and companion of S. Boniface.
S. Lambert had offended Pepin, the lord of Herstal, by boldly denouncing his immoral life. Two of his retainers also had set the law at defiance, and had plundered the church of Maestricht. The relations of S. Lambert were so provoked by their outrages, that, without his knowledge, they attacked the spoilers and put them to death. Dodo, a powerful officer of Pepin, was related to them, and vowed