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The Saints on the Power of the Divine Office

“The day when I came to know and love the Breviary I count as a turning point in my life” Blessed Cardinal Newman [1] 

“St Joseph of Cupertino was once asked by a bishop how the latter might best succeed in promoting the sanctity of his clergy, and the saint replied ‘Let your Lordship see to it that your priests celebrate the Mass and recite the Breviary devoutly’” [2]

“My Breviary is my faithful companion; I would not go anywhere without it”  St John Vianney [2]

“One day during the chant of Matins, St Mechtilde saw in  vision St John the Evangelist passing through the choir from stall to stall.  In his hand he bore a chalice, and approaching it to the lips of each one of the nuns, he gathered their fervor and their purity of intention in the chant of the psalms, and he offered this precious cup to Jesus who drained it with gladness”  [3]

"What terrible punishments God reserves for those who, obliged to recite the Office, abstain from saying it either through wearisomeness or in order to give themselves to worldly amusements" Saint Alphonsus Liguori [4]

“When one recites the office with attention, what merit and profit does one derive from it.  What lights are then obtained from the divine words!  With what holy maxims is the soul penetrated! How many acts of love, of confidence, of humility, of contrition, may one not make by merely paying attention to the verses which one recites"  Saint Alphonsus Ligouri [4]

"The saints found more pleasure in reciting the Office than worldings find in the midst of pastimes and amusements" Saint Alphonsus Liguori [4]

"One single Office recited with devotion may gain for us many degrees of glory in heaven.  What treasures of merit will not they then amass after they have recited the breviary for thirty or forty years with the required devotion and piety!" Saint Alphonsus Liguori  [4]

“After the Bible, I know of no grander work than the Roman Breviary” Saint Francis De Sales [5] 

“Oh, What graces may we not draw from the Divine Office when we recite it properly” Saint Vincent de Paul [5] 

“The Divine Office which gives so much glory to the Lord becomes for each of us an extremely fruitful source of sanctification.” Blessed Columba Marmion [6]

There is no work that comes anywhere near the Divine Office. All other works are opera hominum. This is truly "the Work of God" pre-eminently, because it is a work of praise that comes from God through the Word Incarnate and is offered by the Church, in Christ's Name. Blessed Columba Marmion[6]

“ I am certain that a monk who gives himself up to it with devotion cannot fail to obtain from it an abundance of divine help for every circumstance of his life.”  Blessed Columba Marmion [6]

“Religion has no purer manifestation than the Divine Office gravitating around the Eucharistic Sacrifice which is its crown.”  Blessed Columba Marmion [6]

"I know that the angels visit the canonical hours and the assemblies of the brethern.  What if they do not find me in the congregation? Would not thy have to say, Where is Bede? Why has he not come with his brethern to the appointed prayers?"  Venerable Bede. [7]


Sources
[1]Letters and Correspondence, Vol II, pg 58
[2] Hoornaert, Rodolphe, and William Busch. The Breviary and the Laity,. Reprint ed. Vol. 1. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1936. Print. Ser. 2007. pg 83-100
[3]L’anne liturgique d’apres St Gertrude et St. Mechtilde coll. Pax, t. 1. pg 29
[4]Liguori, Alfonso Maria De', and Eugene Grimm. The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus De Liguori: The Ascetical Works. Vol. 14. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1886. pg 26-30
[5]Bacuez, L., and Ethelred L. Taunton. The Divine Office, Considered from a Devotional Point of View:. London: Burns and Oates, 1885. pg 277-302 
[6] Marmion, Columba. Christ the Ideal of the Monk; Spiritual Conferences on the Monastic and Religious Life,. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder, 1926.
[7]  Browne, Forrest.  The Venerable Bede: His Life and Writings.  Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1919

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