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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Friday, 6 February 2015

6th February, St Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr

St Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr

St. Dorothy, a virgin of Caesarea in Cappadocia, was condemned to be beheaded: she received the double palm of virginity and martyrdom towards the end of the third century.

Me exspectaverunt peccatores, ut perderent me: testimonia mea, Domine, intellexi: omnis consummationis vidi finem: latum mandatum tuum nimis. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I have understood Thy testimonies, O Lord: I have seen an end of all perfection: Thy commandment is exceeding broad. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the Law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:95-96,1 from the Introit of Mass.

Deus, qui inter cétera poténtiae tuae mirácula etiam in sexu frágili victóriam martýrii contulísti: concéde propítius; ut, qui beátae Dorotheae Martyris tuae natalítia cólimus, per ejus ad te exémpla gradiámur.
O God, who among the wonders of Thy power hast granted even to the weaker sex the triumph of martyrdom: mercifully grant that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed Dorothy Thy virgin and martyr, may, through her example, advance nearer to Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

6th February, St Titus, Bishop and Confessor

St. Titus, Bishop and Confessor

Like the divine Sower mentioned in the Gospel of Sexagesima Sunday, Titus, the well-beloved disciple of St. Paul "endured the fatigues of numerous and distant voyages on land and sea to go and sow the divine word among nations of different countries speaking different tongues". Wherefore the Church declares that "God had adorned him with the virtues of an apostle" (Collect), and that he was one of the "husbandmen whom the Master of the harvest had sent to gather it in" (Gospel).

Employed by St. Paul in important circumstances, he landed with him in Crete and was made by the apostle, bishop of the island (Introit, Epistle, Offertory). It was there that he received from his master a letter included in the New Testament, of which we find extracts in the Epistle of certain masses. In to-day's Mass, we read, as Christ had already said (Communion), that the Bishop is "God's steward", and that "Jesus is the Saviour who has given Himself to redeem us". St. Titus died at the age of 94, towards the year 105, and his name is highly praised by St. John Chrysostom and by St. Jerome.

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento, Domine, David, et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclesiasticus 45:30 and Psalm 131:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Titum Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem, apostolicis virtutibus decorasti: ejus meritis et intercessione concede; ut juste et pie viventes in hoc saeculo, ad caelestem patriam pervenire mereamur.
O God, who didst adorn blessed Titus, Thy confessor and bishop, with apostolic virtues : grant that through his merits and prayers, we may live justly and piously in this world, and thereby made worthy to arrive at our heavenly country.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday, 5 February 2015

5th February, St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

St. Agatha, virgin and martyr (Collect), was born in Sicily of noble parentage, but she estimated that for her the highest nobility would be to belong to Jesus, whom she took as her Spouse (Gospel). Endowed with remarkable beauty, she had to resist the solicitations of the governor Quintianus, who, unable to attain his end by persuasion, had recourse to violence. Her breast was torn by his order, but was healed on the following night, by the apostle St. Peter, who appeared to her in her prison (Communion). Then the body of the saint was rolled on pieces of broken pottery and on burning coals, and when she was brought back to her cell, she expired while praying. This happened at Catana in 251, during the persecution of the emperor Decius. God almighty, by granting the victory of martyrdom to a feeble woman (Collect), wisbed to show that He alone is our Redeemer, for it is with this "end in view that He chooses what is weak in tbe world to confound with their nothingness those who trust in their own strength" (Epistle).

On several occasions the virginal veil which covered the tomb of St. Agatha held up the torrents of burning lava rushing down from Etna and threatening to ruin the town. God thus honoured the resistance that her very pure soul had shown to all the assaults of passion. Her name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (second list). Her feast was already celebrated at Rome in tbe sixth century. Tbe church of St. Agatha in Rome was made a Stational church by Pius XI in 1934 (Third Tuesday in Lent).

Let us invoke St. Agatha to preserve our homes from fire and to extinguish, through the spirit of penitence, the impure flames that consume our bodies and our souls.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore beatae Agathae Virginis et Martyris: de cujus passione gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honour of blessed Agatha, virgin and  martyr; at whose passion the  Angels rejoice, and give praise to the Son of God. * My  heart hath uttered a good  word: I speak my words to the King.
(Psalm 44:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui inter cétera poténtiae tuae mirácula étiam in sexu frágili victóriam martýrii contulísti: concéde propítius; ut, qui beátae Agathae Vírginis et Mártyris tuae natalítia cólimus, per ejus ad te exémpla gradiámur.
O God, who among other miracles of Thy power, hast granted even to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who celebrate the festival of blessed Agatha, Thy virgin and martyr, may walk to Thee by her example.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

4th February, St Andrew Corsini, Bishop and Confessor

St Andrew Corsini, Bishop and Confessor

St. Andrew, of the noble family of Corsini, was born at Florence, and from his birth was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin. His mother dreamed that she had given birth to a wolf which, on entering into the Carmelite church, was suddenly changed into a lamb. Her son indeed led a dissolute life in his youth. But Jesus exerted His redeeming power over him and Andrew entered the Carmelite order and soon became its head in Tuscany (Communion).

Having thus turned to good use the talents with which God had favoured him, he rose to a still higher dignity (Gospel) and as bishop of Fiesole he had a share in the priesthood of Christ, and accomplished His work of reconciling souls with God. Thus, having been sent to Bologna as legate by Urban V, he succeeded by his great prudence in extinguishing the burning hatred which had armed the citizens against each other (Epistle). The Blessed Virgin foretold him his death, which occurred in 1373.

Made wolves by sin, let us like St. Andrew become lambs by penance, in order that, "following in the footsteps of this holy confessor, we may obtain the same rewards" (Collect).

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento Domine David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince; that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclus. 45:30 and Psalm 131:1. From the Introit at Mass).

Deus, qui in Ecclésia tua nova semper instáuras exémpla virtútum: da pópulo tuo beáti Andréae Confessóris tui atque Pontíficis ita sequi vestígia; ut assequátur et praemia.
O God, who in every age dost manifest in Thy Church new examples of virtue; grant that Thy people may so follow in the footsteps of blessed Andrew, Thy confessor and bishop, that they may obtain the reward now enjoyed by him.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

3rd February, St Blaise, Bishop and Martyr

St Blaise, Bishop and Martyr

St. Blaise, elected Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia (Introit) had part in the redemption of the Saviour. "The sufferings of the Saviour abounded in him" (Epistle), and after a life of severe penance passed among wild beasts in a cave on Mount Argeus "he gave his life for Jesus" (Gospel), Having suffered the most atrocious torments under Licinius, he was beheaded in 316.

Like the Redeemer, St. Blaise healed bodies while healing souls, wherefore his intercession was often prayed for. In consequence of his having saved the life of a child who was dying, choked by a bone which had stuck in his throat, the Church recognizes his "prerogative for healing all diseases of the throat ". She blesses two candles to this effect and asks God for all those, whose necks the candles shall touch, that they may be delivered from throat disease or from any other ill through the I merits of this holy martyr's passion. He is one of the fourteen "Auxiliary Saints."

Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite Dominum: sancti et humiles corde, laudate Deum. * Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino: laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: O ye holy and humble of heart, praise God. * All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
(Daniel 3:84,87,85 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos beáti Blasii Mártyris tui atque Pontíficis ánnua sollemnitáte laetíficas: concéde propítius; ut, cujus natalítia cólimus, de ejúsdem étiam protectióne gaudeámus.
O God, who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of blessed Blaise Thy martyr and bishop, mercifully grant that we may rejoice in his protection whose birthday we celebrate.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday, 2 February 2015

2nd February, The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(also called Candlemas)

With the feast of the Purification ends the Sanctoral Cycle of the Season after Epiphany. It is one of the oldest feasts of our Lady and in Rome in the seventh century it ranked after the Assumption. The feast is kept on February 2, because Mary, wishing to obey the Mosaic law, had to go to Jerusalem forty days after the birth of Jesus (December 25th, February 2nd) to offer the prescribed sacrifices. Mothers were to offer a lamb, or if their means did not allow, "two doves or two young pigeons".
The blessed Virgin took with her to Jerusalem the infant Jesus, and the Candlemas procession recalls the journey of Mary and Joseph ascending to the temple to present "the Angel of the Covenant" (Epistle, Introit) as Malachy had prophesied.

"The wax of the candles signifies the virginal flesh of the Divine Infant," says St. Anselm, "the wick figures His soul and the flame His divinity."

The Purification to which the mother of the Saviour was not obliged to conform, as her motherhood was beyond ordinary laws, is not placed in the foreground by the liturgy and the Presentation of Jesus is the principal object of this feast.

If this solemnity is considered as belonging to the Season of Christmas, Jesus will be seen manifested by Simeon as the God who "shall illumine the Gentiles with His light and shall be the glory of the people of Israel" (Gospel); and if, as belonging to the Season after Epiphany, we shall adore Jesus in the accomplishment of this prophecy, either at the marriage feast at Cana, where He commences to "manifest His glory" (Gospel of second Sunday), or in the midst of the multitude, when He spreads the light of His doctrine (Gospel of the fifth and sixth Sundays).

We may read the fourth prayer of the blessing of candles in order to understand the symbolism of the lamp of the sanctuary and the candles blessed on this day, and to know the right use to be made of them by the bed of the dying, during storms and in the perils to which may be exposed "our bodies and souls on land and on the waters" (First prayer of the blessing of candles).

Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio temple tui: secundum nomen tuum, Deus, ita et laus tua in fines terrae, justitiam plena est dextera tua * Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis: in civitate Dei nostri; in monte sancto ejus.
We have received Thy Mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy Name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of justice. * Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of God, in His Holy Mountain.
(Psalm 47:10-11,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterna Deus, majestatem, tuam supplices exoramus  ut, sicut unigenitus Filius tuus hodierna die cum nostrae carnis substantia in templo est praesentatur: ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus praesentari.
O almighty and everlasting God, we humbly beseech Thy majesty; that as Thine only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so too Thou wouldst grant us to be presented unto Thee with purified souls.

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
At that time, after the days of Mary's purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord; as it is written in the law of the Lord : Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord ; and to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost was in him : and he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: 'Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel.'
(St Luke 2:22- 32)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on Candlemas:

Sunday, 1 February 2015

1st February, St Brigid, Virgin

St Brigid, Virgin, Secondary Patron of All Ireland

The greatest of all Irish saints, after St Patrick. She wa the daughter of Dubtach, a nobleman of Leinster. The fame of her holiness, her hospitality and her charity, especially towards poor slaves and captives, her miracles and prophetic powers extended to Scotland. She died about the year 525, at the age of seventy, was buried at Kildare, but was afterwards translated to Downpatrick, where her body lies, beside those of SS Patrick and Columba.

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)

Deus, qui nos hodierna die beatae Brigidae Virginis tuae annua solmnitate laetificas: concede propitius; ut ejus adjuvemur meritis, cujus castitatis irradiamur exemplis.
O God, who on this day dost gladden us by the yearly festival of they holy virgin Brigid: grant in thy bounty that we who are enlightened by the example of her chastity, may be helped by her merits.
(Collect of Mass)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: