Introduction

This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

Related website: http://www.liturgialatina.org/





Friday, 1 August 2014

1st August, St Peter ad Vincula

St. Peter's Chains

The Church venerates on this day in the basilica of St. Peter "ad vincula " on Mount Esquiline at Rome, the chains with which the prince of the apostles was fettered (Collect, Epistle). This church where the Station is held on the Monday of the first week in Lent and on the Monday in the octave of Pentecost, was built over the baths of Trajan and restored towards the middle of the fifth century by the princess Eudoxia, whence the name of Eudoxian basilica sometimes given to it. It was dedicated on this day.

The date of August 1 was chosen so as to substitute a solemnity in honour of the apostle, Bishop of Rome and head of the Church (Alleluia, Gospel, Communion) for the pagan festival which used to be kept at Rome in honour of the Emperor Augustus.

[As a compliment to the Emperor Augustus they gave his name to the sixth month of the year formerly called Sextilis, for in old Rome the year began in March. The word August comes from Augustus as July from Julius Caesar. The following months kept their denominations of seventh (September), eighth (October), ninth (November) and tenth (December).]

The chains of St. Peter are in two portions, one having eleven links of lengthened shape to bind the hands, and the other twenty-three links, to the last of which are fixed two half circles to hold the neck. The popes used to send, as a rich present, a few particles of the filings of these chains enclosed in a golden key. They symbolize the power of the keys by which Peter unbinds from sin.

They were also put into rings or crosses to preserve from dangers (Collect). On the same day the Church honours St. Paul. There are preserved with St. Peter's chains four links of the chains which bound his arms during his captivity at Rome.

Nunc scio vere, quia misit Dominus Angelum suum: et eripuit me de manu Herodis, et de omni exspectatione plebis Judaeorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me : tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.
Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up.
(Acts 12:9 and Psalm 138:1-2 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Petrum Apostolum, a vinculis absolutum, illaesum abire fecisti: nostrorum quaesumus, absolve vincula peccatorum; et omnia mala a nobis propitiatus exclude.
O God, who didst loose the blessed apostle Peter from his bonds and didst send him forth unharmed; loose, we pray Thee, the chains of our sins, and in Thy great mercy keep us from all evil.
(Collect)

Commemoration is made of St. Paul, by the Collects of the Mass of June 30th.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Peter: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11744a.htm


Thursday, 31 July 2014

31st July, St Ignatius Loyola, Confessor

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Confessor

Ignatius was born in Northern Spain, in 1491. He was the eleventh child of the Lord of Loyola, and at the age of fifteen, came as page to the court of king Ferdinand V.

His ardent and martial nature caused him to choose a military career. At the siege of Pamplona, he was severely wounded in the leg. During his long convalescence, in the absence of books of chivalry for which he had a passion, they gave him the lives of Jesus Christ and of the saints to read. This reading was for him a revelation. It dawned on him that the Church also has her army which, under the orders of the representative of Christ, fights to defend here below the sacred interests of the God of hosts.

[To the three religious vows St. Ignatius adds a fourth by which the members of the Society of Jesus bind themselves to go wherever the Pope will send them for the salvation of souls.]

He then laid down his sword at the feet of the Virgin, in the famous Benedictine Abbey at Montserrat, and his generous soul, once enamoured of worldly glory, now only longed for the greater glory of the King whom henceforth he will serve (Collect). Throughout the night of March 25, when the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word is solemnized, after confessing his sins he kept his knightly vigil, and the Mother of God armed him for Christ and the militant Church, His spouse. Soon he became General of the Society of Jesus, raised by Providence to combat Protestantism, Jansenism and returning paganism.

On the mountain the sons of Benedict, as a prelude to the liturgy in heaven, will continue the solemn celebration of the divine offices which Ignatius will recommend to the faithful, and whose sacred melodies he never heard without tears; and he, sacrificing himself to his mission, goes down into the plain to oppose with his valiant troops, the attacks of the hostile army whose violent onslaughts are always directed against his Institute (Epistle). Wherefore, to preserve in his sons the intense interior life required by the militant activity to which he devotes them, St. Ignatius subjects them to a strongly organized hierarchy and teaches them, in a masterly treatise highly approved of by the Church, his spiritual exercises which have sanctified thousands of souls. It has been affirmed that it was the practice of the Exercitatorium of the Benedictine Cisneros, abbot of Montserrat in 1500, which inspired him with the idea. Guided by grace, he realized it however at Manresa in a different and very personal way.


[The third of the eighteen rules made by St. Ignatius, as the crowning of the Spiritual Exercises, "that we may have the true sentiments of the orthodox Church," recommends to the faithful the Canticles of the Church, the psalms and the different canonial hours at their appointed times. And at the head of this book, in order to enable one to draw most profit from these Exercises, he rules in his twentieth note that he who can do so is to choose, for the duration of the Exercises, a dwelling whence he may easily go to the offices of Matins and Vespers, as well as to Mass " (Liturgical Year : July 31th, St. Ignatius of Loyola).]

St. Ignatius arms his sons giving them for their shield the name of Jesus (Introit), for their breastplate the love of God which the Saviour came to enflame on earth (Communion) and whose symbol, the Sacred Heart, they gloriously bear in the folds of their flag; and for their sword, preaching, writing, teaching and all other forms of apostolate.

[When he sent missionaries abroad he used to say to them: " Go, my brothers, Inflame the world and spread everywhere the fire which Jesus Christ came to kindle on the earth" (Communion).]

It was in a Benedictine monastery in Spain that at the feast of the Annunciation, St. Ignatius first used these arms; in a chapel of the Benedictine Abbey of Montmartre that on the Feast of the Assumption in 1534 and later on at the altar of the Virgin of the Basilica of St. Paul-without-the-Walls, served by Benedictines, that was born the Society of Jesus, that noble chivalry of Christ, and lastly it was the Benedictine Pope Pius VII, a native of Cesena and a monk of its abbey, who in 1814 re-established it in all its rights. It is therefore God Himself who unites at the feet of the Blessed Virgin these two Orders which powerfully help the Church, for Martha and Mary, action and contemplation, both contribute, by different means, to the glory of God. The mottoes of these two religious families are alike: " In all things God be glorified! I.O.G.D." and: "To the greater glory of God! A.M.D.G."

Not to do anything except for the glory of God and to do everything for His greater glory is the perfection of holiness. It is the end of the creation, the end of man's elevation to a supernatural life, the end indeed of the evangelical precepts which cause generous souls to renounce, by vow, things that are lawful, in order to devote themselves more freely to the interests of God, and to render to Him in its entirety the accidental glory He had been deprived of by man's use of unlawful things.

Benedict has filled Europe with his missionary monks whose principal work is to praise God, and Ignatius with his priest-apostles (Gospel) who make manifest their interior life by their untiring activity.

From Montserrat, twelve monks with their Superior started with Christopher Columbus for the new Continent. From Lisbon, started Francis Xavier who first evangelized Japan and China. It is the same tree of the love of God which, on different branches, bears the same fruit.

On July 31, 1556, St. Ignatius died pronouncing the name of Jesus, and his society spread throughout the world. It numbers nowadays forty four provinces, and several hundreds of colleges.

[The Society of Jesus numbers 23 canonized saints, 142 beatified, 3 venerables and over 100 whose 29 causes are being discussed. It had in 1934 24,270 members : there were 24,000 at the time of the suppression. It has given to the Church illustrious prelates and a large number of apostles, learned men, educators and influential men, as is proved by the numerous congregations or religious associations which have imbibed the spirit of the Pounder, and by the many pious institutions under the direction of the sons of St. Ignatius. The Apostleship of Prayer for instance, is believed to number some 30 millions associates.]

May we obtain by the intercession of St. Ignatius so to be sanctified in truth (Secret) by the sacred mysteries of Mass and Communion, the source of all holiness, that with the help of this saint, we may after his example, so combat evil on earth, as to be crowned with him in heaven (Collect).



In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, caelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. * Gloriabuntur in te omnes, qui diligunt nomen tuum: quoniam tu benedices justo.
In the name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in heaven, on earth and under the earth: and let every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. * All they that love Thy name shall glory in Thee: for Thou wilt bless the just.
(From the Introit of Mass, Philemon 2:10-11 and Psalm 5:12-13.)

Deus, qui ad majorem tui nominis gloriam propagandam, novo per beatum Ignatium subsidio militantem Ecclesiam roborasti: concede; ut, ejus auxilio et imitatione certantes in terris, coronari cum ipso mereamur in caelis.
O God, who for the spreading of the greater glory of Thy name didst, by means of blessed Ignatius, strengthen Thy church militant with a new army; grant that by his aid and by his example we may so fight on earth as to become worthy to be crowned with him in heaven. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

30th July, SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs

SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs

Abdon and Sennen, born in Persia "were arrested and taken to Rome under the Emperor Decius. They were scourged with cords weighted with lead and beheaded" (Roman Martyrology). This was in the middle of the third century (A. D. 254).

Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine, gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. * Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam.
Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy saints, which hath been shed. * O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.
(Psalm 78:11-12,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui sanctis tuis Abdon et Sennen ad hanc gloriam veniendi copiosum munus gratiae contulisti: da famulis tuis suorum veniam peccatorum; ut Sanctorum tuorum intercedentibus mentis, ab omnibus mereantur adversitatibus liberari.
O God, who didst endow Thy holy martyrs Abdon and Sennen with abundant gifts of grace that they might come to their present glory; forgive the sins of Thy servants, that the merits of Thy saints pleading on their behalf, they may deserve to be delivered from all adversity.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01032a.htm

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

29th July, SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, martyrs

SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, martyrs

"Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men - when we can do it - is no less a sin than to encourage them." Pope St. Felix III.

The holy Pontiff Felix III is a Pope of the fourth century. He was martyred in Tuscany in the time of the Arians (A.D. 365). He is sometimes referred to as Pope Felix II - there was a Pope Felix II in the earlier part of the fourth century, who is usually regarded as an antipope, and this causes confusion in enumeration.

Simplicius and Faustinus, denounced as Christians to the persecutors, were put to death at Rome under Diocletian A.D. 304. Beatrice, their sister, was arrested and strangled in prison. Leo II placed the relics of these three martyrs in a church at Rome dedicated in their names.

Sapientiam sanctorum narrent populi, et laudes eorum nuntiet Ecclesia: nomina autem eorum vivent in saeculum saeculi. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Let the people show forth the wisdom of the saints, and the Church declare their praise: and their names shall live unto generation and generation. * Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just : praise becometh the upright.
(Ecclesiasticus 44:15,14 and Psalm 32:1 from the introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine: ut, sicut populus christianus Martyrum tuorum Felicis, Simplicii, Faustini et Beatricis temporali solemnitate congaudet, ita perfruatur aeterna: et, quod votis celebrat, comprehendat effectu.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as Christian people rejoice in being able to celebrate the temporal solemnity of Thy martyrs Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, so they may also rejoice thereat in life eternal and receive the fruit of the sacrifice which they offer.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
On St Felix: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06030b.htm
On the Antipope Felix II: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06030a.htm
On SS Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14003a.htm

29th July, St Martha, Virgin

St. Martha, Virgin

After having celebrated on the 22nd of this month the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, we honour to-day Martha, her sister.

The daughter of noble and rich parents, she lived at Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem. "Jesus," says St. John, "loved Martha and her sister Mary and Lazarus," wherefore He preferred to dwell at their house when He was in Judea. There He spent the days which preceded His death. Martha, who was the elder, therefore often had the honour of being the hostess of Jesus (Gospel, Communion), the divine Spouse to whom she had consecrated her virginity (Epistle). While busy with serving Jesus, she requested Him to bid Mary help her. And Jesus, without blaming her for ministering to His wants, made her understand that certain souls, called by God, choose a still better part, since they commence on earth what all shall do in heaven. Active life, with all its labours and fatigues endured for the sake of Christ whom we serve in our neighbour, is very meritorious; "happy however is the home where Mary causes the complaint of Martha" and refuses to take away from prayer a life which ordinary occupations might appear to claim.

God is indeed the author of all grace and wishes to be recognized as such; and contemplative life, which puts souls in direct contact with Him, assures their personal sanctification more fully and obtains more efficaciously the graces by which a Christian apostleship becomes fruitful. Let us esteem at its just value the position that Jesus reserves to Mary, and if He calls us to share in Martha's solicitude, let us endeavour, like the saints, to make up by the spirit of prayer for what is wanting in active life.

Dilexisti justitiam, et odisti iniquitatem: properea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus, oleo laetitiae prae consortibus tuis. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Psalm 44:8,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Hear us, O God our Saviour; that as we rejoice in the festivity of blessed Martha, Thy Virgin, so we may be instructed in the affection of pious devotion.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09721b.htm

Monday, 28 July 2014

28th July, SS. Nazarius and Celsus Martyrs; Victor I, Pope and Martyr; Innocent I, Pope and Confessor

SS. Nazarius and Celsus Martyrs; Victor I, Pope and Martyr; Innocent I, Pope and Confessor 

The Church honours to-day several Saints who lived at different times and in different countries.

Nazarius, baptized by Pope St. Linus at Rome, in his turn baptized young Celsus who was born at Cimiez near Nice. They betook themselves to Milan, where they were arrested by the pagans and beheaded about the year 68. In 395 their bodies were discovered and in the tomb of St. Nazarius was found a phial of his blood as red as if it had been shed that very day.

Victor I, born in Africa, succeeded St. Eleutherius, on the pontifical throne. He fixed the date of Easter for the whole Church according to the rules observed still now. He decided that any one might baptize in cases of necessity with unblessed water. He was martyred under Septimus Severus, A.D. 202.

Innocent I was born at Albano and was a contemporary of St. Augustine and of St. Jerome. The latter wrote of him: "Keep the faith of St. Innocent who fills the Apostolic Chair and who is the successor and spiritual son of Anastasius, of happy memory; receive no other doctrine, however wise and attractive it may appear." He died A.D. 417.

Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine, gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. * Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam.
Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy saints, which hath been shed. * O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.
(Psalm 78:11-12,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Sanctorum tuorum nos, Domine, Nazarii, Celsi, Victoris et Innocentii confessio beata communiat: et fragilitati nostrae subsidium dignanter exoret.
May we draw strength, O Lord, from the blessed confession of Thy saints, Nazarius, Celsus, Victor and Innocent and do Thou vouchsafe that it be ever a help to us in our weakness.
(Collect)

St Nazarius and Celsus: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10728a.htm
Pope St Victor I: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15408a.htm
Pope St Innocent I: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08011a.htm

Sunday, 27 July 2014

27th July, St Pantaleon, Martyr

St Pantaleon, Martyr

At Nicomedia, says the Roman Martyrology, was martyred St. Pantaleon, a doctor, who having been arrested on account of his faith by order of the Emperor Maximian, was tortured on the rack and burned with flaming torches; he was consoled in his torments by an apparition of our Lord; the sword put an end to his glorious combat. This was under Dioclctlim about A.D. 303. St. Pantaleon is numbered by the Greeks among the great martyrs. Medical men honour him, after St. Luke, as their principal patron. He is one of the "fourteen auxiliary saints".


Laetábitur justus in Dómino, et sperábit in eo: et laudabúntur omnes recti corde. * Exáudi, Deus, oratiónem meam, cum déprecor: a timóre inimíci éripe ánimam meam.
The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in Him: and all the upright of heart shall be praised. * Hear, O God, my prayer when I make supplications to Thee: deliver my sould from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:11,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that by the intercession of blessed Pantaleon, Thy martyr, we may both be delivered from all adversities in body, and be purified from all evil thoughts in mind.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11447a.htm