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O Lord, Almighty God, who didst decree that Thy only- begotten Son, our Redeemer, should be born in a stable and laid in a manger between an ox and an ass, bless, we beseech Thee, this stable and preserve it from every deceit and snare of the devil that horses and cattle within it may be healthy and secure from all harm.

And if "the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib," grant that Thy servants, whom Thou hast made to Thy own image and hast placed only a little lower than the angels may not be like unreasoning animals; that they may not be like the horse and the mule that have no understanding, but that they may acknowledge Thee, the one true God, the Author of all good, and that Thy servants may persevere in Thy service. Grant that Thy servants may always give thanks to Thee for the gifts they have received from Thee; and make them worthy to receive ever greater benefits. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Translated by Most Reverend J. H. Schlarman Bishop of Peoria

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Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
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