This homily was given at Old Saint John, Silver Spring, Maryland:
The thirteenth century text of ‘The Golden Legend’ tells a beautiful story about today. A noblewoman was distraught, being unable to celebrate the feast by attending Holy Mass. As she went into her chapel, simply to pray before the altar, she fell asleep and witnessed a vision of “a Priest, a Deacon and a Subdeacon, all revested, going to the altar as for to say Mass”. As the angels, also present, began to sing the Introit of the Mass, she realized that the Deacon and Subdeacon were in fact Saint Laurence and Saint Vincent, and the Priest was Christ himself. As she was given her candle – as you were this morning but, in her case, by an angel – she awoke to find herself still holding it as a memento of the Mass offered, in order that she need not go without. The Legend recounts that, “all the days of her life after she kept that piece of that candle much preciously, like an holy relic, and all they that were touched therewith were guerished and healed of their maladies and sicknesses”.