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.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

15th June, SS. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, Martyrs

SS. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, Martyrs

Vitus, also called Guy, belonged to an illustrious Sicilian family. His father, learning that he had been baptized, delivered him to the judge Valerian to be scourged, but he was struck blind. The prayers of the saint obtained his recovery but did not convert him. Vitus was then saved from his father's cruelty by Modestus his tutor and by Crescentia his nurse who took him to another part of the country. There his holiness became so famous that Diocletian had recourse to him to deliver his son who was tormented by the devil. Guy healed him (Gospel). But the ungrateful prince having failed to induce the saint to worship the false gods, caused him to be arrested with Modestus and Crescentia. They were plunged into a cauldron of molten lead and flaming resin and were then quartered. After having tested them like gold in the furnace (Epistle), God delivered them from all these sufferings (Introit) and rejoiced them by giving them a place of honour at the heavenly banquet (Gradual). They died in 303. St. Vitus is one of the fourteen auxiliary saints.

Let us have recourse to St. Guy, to be preserved from the bite of mad dogs and from the sad disease which bears his name. He will obtain for us great docility towards the Holy Ghost, in order that we do good in all liberty, humility and charity (Collect).

Multae tribulationes justorum, et de his omnibus liberavit eos Dominus: Dominus custodit omnia ossa eorum: unum ex his non conteretur. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
Many were the afflictions of the just, and out of all these the Lord hath delivered them: the Lord keepeth all their bones; not one of them shall be broken. * I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:20-21,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Da Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, sanctis Martyribus tuis Vito, Modesto atque Crescentia intercedentibus, superbe non sapere, sed tibi placita humilitate proficere: ut, prava despiciens, quaecumque recta sunt, libera exerceat caritate.
Grant to Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Thy holy martyrs, Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, not to be proud-minded, but to make progress by humility pleasing unto Thee; that despising what is evil, she may exercise with an eager love the things which are right.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday, 14 June 2015

14th June, St Basil the Great, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Basil the Great, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Basil was born at Caesarea in Cappadocia. After having completed his studies at Constantinople and Athens with his intimate friend Gregory of Nazianzen, he renounced the world, left his family (Gospel), and embraced monastic life in the province of Pontus. Like fully seasoned salt (Gospel), he gave to his teaching the full flavour of the Gospel and nourished with holy truth the people of Caesarea committed to his care (Communion).

He was the author of the famous rule which bears his name; it was praised by St. Benedict and is still observed by the monks of the East. The Holy Ghost filled him with His divine wisdom and with intelligence (Introit): when, therefore, he wrote against those who rebelled against the sound doctrine (Epistle), he attacked the Arians, who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and prepared the triumph of orthodoxy over the error of the Macedonians by firmly establishing the Catholic dogma regarding the Holy Ghost.

He is one of the four great Doctors of the East. He died in 379.

Let us ask St. Basil to fill us with his faith in the divinity of the third Person of the Holy Trinity, and to deliver us from sin (Offertory) which hinders the working of the Holy Ghost in our souls.

In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. * It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O most High.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:5 and Psalm 91:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Exaudi, quaesumus, Domine, preces nostras, quas in beati Basilii Confessoris tui atque Pontificis solemnitate deferimus: et, qui tibi digne meruit famulari, ejus intercedentibus meritis, ab omnibus nos absolve peccatis.
Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers we offer to Thee on this festival day of blessed Basil, Thy confessor and bishop : he deserved to render Thee a worthy service ; may his merits appeal to Thee to absolve us from all our sins. Through our Lord.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday, 13 June 2015

13th June, St Antony of Padua, Confessor

St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor

"Always present and living in the Church, the Holy Ghost raised up, in the thirteenth century, the sons of Dominic and of Francis" writes Dom Gueranger. "These new hosts, organized for new needs, threw themselves into the arena, pursuing heretics, thundering against vice, mixing with the people whom they enrolled in crowds in their third orders, the assured refuge of Christian life. Of all the sons of the patriarch of Assisi, the best known, the most powerful before God and men, is Anthony, whose feast we are celebrating."

Born at Lisbon, of noble parents, he despised all riches (Gospel). Full of the Holy Ghost, who transformed the apostles, he entered the religious host so as to be able to fight for the faith and to be ready when the Master came (Gospel).

Living a retired life in Tuscany, he gave himself up to divine contemplation (Introit); he then received the mission to preach the Gospel. The wisdom of his doctrine and his eloquence caused him to be called the Ark of the Testament and the Hammer of Heretics. A year before his death he came to Padua where, loaded with merits, he died at the age of thirty five in 1231, and was established by Jesus over all His riches (Communion).

Remembering how Anthony recovered, by divine intervention, a sacred book that had been stolen from him, let us ask this saint not only to make us recover earthly and perishable things, but also to obtain for us the spiritual help by which we may deserve to enjoy eternal riches (Collect).

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium; lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Ecclesiam tuam, Deus, beati Antonii Confessoris tui solemnitas votiva laetificet: ut spiritualibus semper muniatur auxiliis, et gaudiis perfrui mereatur aeternis. 
May the votive solemnity of blessed Anthony, Thy confessor, give joy to Thy Church, O God; that it may be ever defended by spiritual assistance and deserve to possess eternal joys.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

The Most Pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart: The Most Pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The liturgical worship of "the most pure Heart of Mary" was suggested by the Fathers who commented the Canticle of Canticle; it was first joined to that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the XVIIth century, by St John Eudes; however, it was only at the beginning of the XIXth century that Pope Pius VII allowed some places to keep a feast in its honour, on the Sunday after the octave of her Assumption. Pius IX granted it a proper Mass and Office (Mass Omnis gloria). In other places it was kept on the Sunday or rather (since the present edition of the Roman Missal, made in 1920 in the spirit of Pius X) on the Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

See also 22nd August.

These are the characteristics of the heart of our blessed Lady which we set forth from the texts of the Mass:

1. All her holiness proceeds from her heart (Introit).
2. Her grief when she lost the child Jesus in the Temple (Gospel).
3. Her heart is filled with the love of God (Epistle, Secret, Communion).
4. Mary's heart is pure, therefore is it pleasing to God (Collect, Gradual).
5. Her heart is courageous (Offertory).
6. Mary's intercession (Postcommunion).


Omnis gloria ejus filiae Regis ab intus; in fimbriis aureis circumamicta varietatibus: adducentur Regi virgines post eam, proximae ejus afferentur tibi. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
All the glory of the King's daughter is from within with borders of gold; and clothed about with varieties: after her shall virgins be brought to the King; her neighbours shall be brought to thee. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Introit, Psalm 44:1)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in Corde beatae Mariae Virginis dignum Spiritus sancti habitaculum praeparasti: concede propitius; ut ejusdem Purissimi Cordis festivitatem devota mente recolentes, secundum Cor tuum vivere valeamus. 
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the heart of the blessed Virgin Mary didst prepare a dwelling worthy of the Holy Ghost; grant in Thy mercy, that we who with devout minds celebrate the festival of that most pure heart, may be able to live according to Thine own heart.

Lectio libri Sapientiae. Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super brachiurn tuum: quia fortis est ut mors dilectio, dura sicut infernus aemulatio: lampades ejus, lampades ignis atque flammarum. Aquae multae non potuerunt exstinguere caritatem, nec flumina obruent illam: si dederit homo omnem substantiam domus suae pro dilectione, quasi nihil despiciet eam.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm: for love is strong as death: jealousy is hard as hell; the lamps thereof are fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity; neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.
(Epistle: Canticles 8:6-7)

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. In illo tempore: Dixit Mater Jesu ad illum: Fili, quid fecisti nobis sic? Ecce pater tuus et ego dolentes quaerebamus te. Et ait ad illos: Quid est quod me quaerebatis? Nesciebatis quia in his, quae Patris mei sunt, oportet me esse? Et ipsi non intellexerunt verbum, quod locutus est ad eos. Et descendit cum eis, et venit Nazareth: et erat subditus illis. Et mater ejus conservabat omnia verba haec in corde suo.
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke. At that time: The mother of Jesus said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart.
(Gospel: Luke 2:48-51)

Friday, 12 June 2015

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

FRIDAY AFTER THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Protestantism in the sixteenth century and Jansenism in the seventeenth had attempted to spoil one of the essential dogmas of Christianity, namely the love of God for all men.

It became necessary that the Spirit of love, which directs the Church, should by some new means counteract the spreading heresy, in order that the Spouse of Christ, far from seeing her love for Jesus diminish, should feel it always increasing.

This was made manifest in Catholic worship, which is the sure rule of our faith, by the institution of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Yet in early Middle-Ages, the Doctors and Saints used to see in the wound of Jesus' side the source of all graces. St. Bonaventure invites us "to enter this wound and to dwell in the quiet of this Heart" (Third Nocturn).

The two Benedictine virgins, St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde, in the thirteenth century, had a clear vision of the grandeur of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. St. John the evangelist, appearing to the former, announced to her that "the meaning of the blessed beating of the heart of Jesus which he had heard while his head rested on His breast, was reserved for the latter times when the world grown old and cold in divine love, would require to have its fervour renewed by means of this mystery of burning love".

This Heart, say these two Saints, is an altar on which Christ offers Himself to the Father as a perfect and most acceptable victim. It is a golden censer from which rise towards the Father as many clouds of incense as there are kinds of men for whom Christ suffered. In this Heart the praise and thanks we give to God and all our good works are ennobled and become acceptable to the Father.

But in order to make this worship public and recognized, Providence first raised up St. John Eudes, who in 1670 composed an Office and a Mass of the Sacred Heart for the so-called Congregation of the Eudists. Providence then chose one of the spiritual daughters of St. Francis of Sales, St. Margaret-Mary Alacoque, to whom Jesus showed His Heart at Paray-le-Monial, on June 16th, 1675, Sunday after Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi.

Lastly, God employed for the propagation of this devotion, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere. He belonged to the Company of Jesus " the whole of which inherited his zeal in the propagation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart ".

In 1765, Clement XIII gave his approbation to the feast and the Office of the Sacred Heart, and in 1856 Pius IX, extended it to the universal Church. In 1929 Pius XI composed a new Mass and Office for this feast and gave it a privileged Octave of the third Order.

The solemnity of the Sacred Heart sums up all the phases of the life of Jesus recalled in the liturgy from Advent to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

It constitutes an admirable triptych giving us in abridgment all the mysteries, joyous, sorrowful and glorious, of the Saviour's life devoted to the love of God and men. This feast is indeed placed on a height fr m which may be contemplated the redeeming labours of the Saviour on earth and the glorious victories He will, by the working of the Holy Ghost, achieve in souls until the end of the world.

Coming after the feasts of Christ, this feast completes them, concentrating them in one object which is materially Jesus' Heart of flesh, and formally the unbounded charity symbolised by this Heart. This solemnity therefore does not relate to a particular mystery of the Saviour's life, but embraces them all; indeed the devotion to the Sacred Heart celebrates all the favours we have received from divine charity during the year (Collect), and all the marvellous things that Jesus has done for us (Introit, Tract, Alleluia). It is the feast of the love of God for men, a love which has made Jesus come down on earth for all by His Incarnation (Epistle), which has raised Him on the Cross for the Redemption of all and which brings Him down every day on our altars by transubstantiation, in order to make us benefit by the merits of His death on Calvary.

These three mysteries, which manifest to us the divine charity in a more special way, sum up the spirit of the feast of the Sacred Heart. It is " His love which forced Him to put on a mortal body" (Hymn at Matins). It is His love which willed that the Sacred Heart should be pierced on the cross (Gospel and Communion), in order that from the wound should flow a spring (Preface) we might draw from joyfully (f at 2nd Vespers), whose water cleanses us from our sins in baptism and whose blood nourishes bur souls in the Eucharist. And as the Eucharist is the continuation of the Incarnation and the sacrifice of Calvary, Jesus asked that the feast should be placed immediately after the Octave of Corpus Christi.

As these manifestations of Christ's love only show the more the ingratitude of men who only answer by coldness and indifference (Offertory) this solemnity has a character of reparation (Collect) demanded of us by the wounded Heart of Jesus and by His immolation in the Crib, on the Cross and on the Altar.

Let us learn from the Heart of Jesus, whose gentle and humble love turns no one away, and in it we shall find rest for our souls (Alleluia).

Cogitationes Cordis ejus in generatione et generationem: ut eruat a morte animas eorum et alat eos in fame. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino, rectos decet collaudatio.
The thoughts of His Heart are to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine. * Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright.
(Introit from Psalm 32:11,19,1)

Deus qui nobis in Corde Fllii tui, nostris vulnerato peccatis, infinitos dilectionis thesauros misericorditer largiri dignaris; concede, quaesumus, ut illi devotum pietatis nostrae praestantes obsequium, dignae quoque satisifactions exhibeamus officium.
O God, who in the Heart of Thy Son, wounded by our transgressions, dost mercifully vouchsafe to bestow upon us the infinite wealth of Thy love; grant, we beseech Thee, that revering it with meet devotion, we may make a worthy reparation for our sins.

Dulcis et rectus Dominus, propter hoc legem dabit delinquentibus in via. * Diriget mansuetos in judicio, docebit mites vias suas.
Alleluia, alleluia. * Tollite jugum meum super vos et discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis Corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris. Alleluia.
The Lord is sweet and righteous: therefore He will give a law to sinners in the way. f. He will guide the mild in judgment: He will teach the meek his ways. (Gradual Psalm 24:8-9)
Alleluia, alleluia. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. Alleluia. (St Matthew 11:29)

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
In illo tempore: Judaei, quoniam Parasceve erat, ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato, erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati, rogaverunt Pilatum ut frangerentur eorum crura et tollerentur. Venerunt ergo milites, et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius qui crucifixus est cum eo. Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura: sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. Et qui vidit testimonium perhibuit: et verum est testimonium ejus. Et ille scit quia vera dicit, ut et vos credatis. Facta sunt enim haec ut Scriptura impleretur : Os non comminuetis ex eo. Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit: Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.

Continuation of the holy Gospel, according to St. John.
At that time, the Jews, (because it was the Parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day (for that was a great Sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of Him. And again another Scripture saith: They shall look on Him whom they pierced.
(St John 19:31-37)

Improperium exspectavit Cor meum et miseriam, et sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur et non fuit; consolantem me quaesivi et non inveni.
My heart hath expected reproach and misery: and I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none; and for one that would comfort me, and I found none.
(Offertory: Psalm 68:21)

Ad Jesum autem * cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura, sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua.
But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat: St John 19:33)

12th June, St. John of San Facondo, Confessor

St. John of San Facondo, Confessor

St. John was born at San Facondo in Spain and his youth was spent in a Benedictine monastery. Favoured by the Holy Ghost with a marvellous gift for peace-making (Collect), from childhood he exhorted other children to concord. During the civil war he preached peace in Salamanca and succeeded in putting an end to factions there.

He distributed his rich revenues among the poor (Epistle) and devoted his time to works of charity, to prayer and to the contemplation of divine wisdom (Introit).

In order to be ready when the Master came to fetch him (Gospel) he entered the Order of St. Augustine, where he was distinguished for his extraordinary devotion during Holy Mass. He died in 1470, crying out: "Lord, I place all my confidence in Thee at this last hour, and into Thy hands I commit my soul."

Let us ask the Holy Ghost, author of peace and source of divine charity, to fill us with the love and spirit of reconciliation of which St. John gave us the example, so that we may never be separated from Jesus (Collect).

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium; lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, auctor pacis et amator caritatis, qui beatum Joannem Confessorem tuum mirifica dissidentes componendi gratia decorasti: ejus meritis et intercession concede; ut, in tua caritate firmati, nullis a te tentationibus separemur.
O God, the author of peace, and lover of charity, who didst adorn blessed John, Thy confessor, with a wonderful grace for reconciling those at variance; grant by his merits and intercession, that, being established in Thy charity, we may not by any temptations be separated from Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

12th June, SS. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, Martyrs

SS. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, Martyrs

These saints, Roman soldiers, noble by birth and illustrious by their virtues, became Christians under Diocletian. Arrested and cast into prison, they were condemned to death and beheaded. Their bodies were thrown to the wild beasts who respected them; they were buried with honour by the Christians.

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 Martyrum tuorum Basilidis, Cyrini, Naboris atque Nazarii, quaesumus, Domine, natalitia nobis votiva resplendeant: et, quod illis contulit excellentia sempiterna, fructibus nostrae devotionis accrescat.
O Lord, may the keeping of this festival of the heavenly birthday of Thy holy martyrs, Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, shed brightness on our lives; and may the eternal glory granted them, be increased by the devout service we pay Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: