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/





Sunday, 24 August 2014

11th Sunday after Pentecost

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

In to-day's liturgy the Church teaches us that almighty God gives divine aid to those who ask for it with confidence.

It was owing to his prayer that Ezechias recovered from a mortal disease and that his people were delivered from their enemies, and it was through His prayer on the cross that Jesus rose from the dead (Epistle), and that He raises His people to a new life by baptism of which the cure of the deaf-mute, due also to our Lord's prayer (Gospel) was a type.

Since it was by the power of the Holy Ghost that our Lord drove out the evil spirit from the deaf-mute and that priests in Christ's name expel the devil from the soul of the baptized, we can understand how the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost is connected with the Paschal Mystery, in which we celebrate, after the resurrection of Christ, the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Church, and when catechumens are baptized with water and the Holy Ghost, so that as St Paul teaches, being buried with Christ they may also rise with Him.

The kingdom of the ten tribes (Israel) lasted about two hundred years (938-726) and had nineteen kings, almost all of whom did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Then God, to punish them, delivered their country into the hands of their enemies. In 722, B.C., Salmanasar besieged Samaria and led Israel captive into Assyria, their place being taken by heathen who themselves became half converted to Israel's God. These were called Samaritans, from Samaria itself.

The kingdom of Juda lasted about three hundred and fifty years (938-586), and had twenty kings. Once only was the royal house on the point of extinction, when it was saved by the priests who hid Joas in the temple in the time of Athalia. Many of these kings were wicked, others, like Solomon ended badly, but four of them, namely, Josaphat, Joathan, Ezechias and Josias, were, up to the very end, great servants of God.

In the divine office for this week we read of Ezechias, the thirteenth king of Juda. " He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign : and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem." It was in the sixteenth year of his reign that faithless Israel was led into captivity. "King Ezechias," says Holy Scripture, " trusted in the Lord God of Israel: so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Juda, nor any of them that were before him ... wherefore the Lord also was with him: and in all things to which he went forth he behaved himself wisely "

When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, wished to take Jerusalem, Ezechias went up to the temple, and there addressed a prayer to God as pure as any prayer of David or Solomon. Thereupon the prophet Isaias told Ezechias to fear nothing for God would protect his kingdom; and the angel of the Lord struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp, so that Sennacherib, terrified, returned by forced marches to Niniveh, where he perished by the sword. When He had annihilated the kingdom of impenitent Israel, God granted more than a hundred years more of national survival to repentant Juda.

However, Ezechias fell seriously ill and Isaias told him that he was going to die; whereupon, addressing almighty God, the King said: " I beseech thee, O Lord, remember how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is pleasing before thee " (Magnificat antiphon). Then Isaias was sent by almighty God to Ezechias with this message : " I have heard thy prayer and I have seen thy tears: and behold I have healed thee. On the third day thou shalt go up to the temple of the Lord."

As a matter of fact Ezechias was cured and reigned for another fifteen years. This cure of the king, who escaped from the kingdom of death on the third day, is a type of the resurrection of our Lord. For the Epistle to-day the Church has chosen a passage where St Paul reminds us that " Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day," and that it is by our faith in this doctrine that we shall be saved, like the apostle himself.

For the same reason the Introit is from Psalm LXVII, in which the same apostle sees a prophecy of the ascension (Ephesians 4:8), which is the complement of our Lord's resurrection, as we say in the Credo : " He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead : He ascended into heaven." The Offertory is from Psalm XXIX which is also applied by the Church to our Lord's ascension, and in which the psalmist actually says : " Thou hast healed me." In its turn the Gradual, speaks of Him whose flesh has " flourished again ".

It was owing to the prayers which Ezechias poured forth to God, and to the tears which he shed on his death-bed, that he was restored to life, " Ezechias was visited by sickness," says St. Jerome, " and was told that he was going to die, so that, turning to the Lord, he might ward off His decree. Therefore the king shed many tears " (2nd Nocturn).

In the same way it was by His prayer " offered with a strong cry and tears " on the cross (Gradual), that Christ obtained His resurrection. Further, as it was due to the prayers of Ezechias that the people of Juda were delivered from the attacks of Sennacherib, so it was through our Lord's prayers that the true people of God were delivered, for, in the words of the Easter Preface, He " by dying hath taken away the sins of the world, and by rising again hath restored our life ". Since it is by baptism that we are buried with Christ and that we rise again with Him to a new life, to-day's Gospel is that of the cure of the deaf-mute, which, while reminding us of the cure of Ezechias, puts before our eyes a rite used by the Church herself in Holy Baptism. Jesus puts his fingers into the ears of the deaf-mute to show that it is by the Holy Ghost " the finger of God " that He drives out the evil spirit; He touches the tongue of the man with saliva to show that He is going to loose his tongue that it may utter words of wisdom; and He raises His eyes to heaven and groans to make it clear that it is from God that He expects the cure of the afflicted man, as the answer to His prayer.

"He raised His eyes to heaven," says St Gregory in effect, "and groaned, not because He thought it necessary to groan, He who Himself gave what He asked, but to teach us to groan to heaven to Him who reigns in heaven, that He may open our ears by the gift of the Holy Ghost, and by saliva from His mouth, that is, by the knowledge of His divine word, may loose our tongue that it may be able to preach the truth " (3rd Nocturn).

Therefore, speaking by the power of God, our Lord says: "Ephpheta, which is, be thou opened: and immediately the ears of the deaf-mute were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed." So, in baptism, the priest, having put a little salt, representing wisdom, into the child's mouth, in Christ's name and by the power of the Holy Ghost, commands the unclean spirit to withdraw from the baptized person. Then he takes a little saliva and touches the ears and the nostrils of the child with it, saying, like our Lord : "Ephpheta," open your heart to the things of faith. And the soul passes shortly after from the death of sin in which it lay buried, and which made it deaf and dumb in the supernatural world, and rises to a new life.

By restoring to us the divine life, baptism unites us with our Lord's resurrection of which the cure of Ezechias was a type. Therefore " all rejoice in God their helper, and sing aloud to the God of Jacob " (Alleluia) who, " out of the abundance of " His " loving kindness ", is wont to go beyond the hopes and desires of the suppliant, and to pour forth His mercy upon them (Collect), by distributing to us in abundance the fruits of the Holy Ghost (Communion).

Deus in loco sancto suo: Deus qui inhabitare facit unanimes in domo: ipse dabit virtutem, et fortitudinem plebi suae. * Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant, qui oderunt eum a facie ejus.
God in His holy place; God who maketh men of one mind to dwell in a house; He shall give power and strength to His people. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
(Psalm 67:67,2 from the introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui abundantia pietatis tuae et merita supplicum excedis et vota: effunde super nos misericordiam tuam; ut dimittas quae conscientia metuit, et adjicias quod oratio non praesumit. 
O almighty and eternal God, who in the abundance of Thy loving kindness art wont to give beyond the deserts and desires of those who humbly pray; pour down upon us Thy mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and granting us those blessings which we dare not presume to ask.
(Collect)

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum.
In illo tempore: Exiens Jesus de finibus Tyri, venit per Sidonem ad mare Galilaeae, inter medios fines Decapoleos. Et adducunt ei surdum et mutum, et deprecabantur eum, ut imponat illi manum. Et apprehendens eum de turba seorsum, misit digitos suos in auriculas ejus: et exspuens, tetigit linguam ejus: et suspiciens in caelum, ingemuit, et ait illi: Ephphetha, quod est adaperire. Et statim apertae sunt aures ejus, et solutum est vinculum linguae ejus, et loquebatur recte. Et praecepit illis, ne cui dicerent. Quanto autem eis praecipiebat, tanto magis plus praedicabant: et eo amplius admirabantur, dicentes: Bene omnia fecit: et surdos fecit audire, et mutos loqui.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Mark.
At that time, Jesus going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb, and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He groaned and said to him : Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened : and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. And He charged them that they should tell no man : but the more He charged them so much the more a great deal did they publish it; and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. 
(St Mark 7:31-37)


Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

The liturgy for this Sunday seeks to impress upon us the true notion of Christian humility, which consists in attributing to the grace of the Holy Ghost whatever sanctity we may have attained; for our acts can only be of a supernatural character, if they are inspired by the Holy Ghost whom our Lord sent down upon His apostles on the day of Pentecost and whom He never ceases to give to those who ask.

Our salvation is an impossible task if we try to accomplish it alone, for left to ourselves, we are but weak and sinful. It is almighty God to whom we are indebted when we avoid sin, gain pardon, forsake wrongdoing and do good, for none can even utter our Lord's name by an act of supernatural faith, affirming His divinity and kingship, except by the Holy Ghost (Epistle).

Therefore pride is God's enemy, since it claims for itself the gifts which the Holy Ghost alone distributes to such as He will, and so by making us think that we are sufficient in ourselves, it hinders the manifestation of the divine power in our souls. How can God forgive us (Collect), if we will not confess our guilt? How can He have compassion on us, and show us His mercy (Collect) if we have within us no acknowledged wretchedness upon which His divine heart can have pity?

On the contrary, the humble man is glad to acknowledge his nothingness, knowing that on this condition alone will the power of Christ come into his heart.

The Church develops these thoughts to-day because the Breviary lessons for this week supply two examples, one of pride, the other of great humility. After the figure of Elias, contrasting so strongly with Achab and Jezebel, of whose terrible punishment we read in the divine office, that of the young Joas stands out in powerful opposition to Athalia. The daughter of Achab and Jezebel, quite as wicked as her mother, Athalia had married Joram the king of Juda, and as he died shortly after, the queen found herself mistress of the kingdom of Juda, and to secure her position had almost the whole family of David massacred. However Josaba, the wife of the high priest Joiada, took Joas, the youngest of the royal family, from his cradle, and hid him in the temple.

For six years Athalia ruled the country and set up altars of Baal right in the very temple courts. In the seventh year the high priest, surrounded by determined men, showed them Joas, then seven years old, and told them to form a bodyguard round the royal child, and to kill anyone who attempted to break through their ranks. Then when the people crowded into the temple court at the hour of the prayer, Joiada brought forward Joas and anointed and crowned him in sight of the whole multitude, amidst applause and cries of "Long live the King."

Athalia, hearing all this outcry, left her palace and went into the court. Seeing the young king seated on the tribunal surrounded by the chief men of the nation, amidst the shouts of the people, accompanied by the sound of trumpets, she rent her clothes and cried: "Treason and plot!" At the high priest's command she was put out of the sacred precincts, and brought to the threshold of her palace, where she was killed. Then the crowd rushed into the temple of Baal where they did not leave one stone upon another.

Meanwhile the king, Joas, sat on the throne of David, his grandfather, and reigned forty years in Jerusalem, where he worked at repairing and beautifying the temple (Alleluia, Communion). Holy Scripture gives him this excellent praise: "Joas did that which was right before the Lord." These words form the Magnificat Antiphon for the first Vespers of this Sunday, echoed by that of the second Vespers, taken from to-day's Gospel: "This man went down into his house justified rather than the other, because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Those who exalt themselves," says St. Augustine, "are known by God from afar. From far off He looks upon the proud but forgives them not." On the other hand, the humble, like the publican, confess themselves guilty. " He struck his breast, he chastised himself, therefore God forgave the man who acknowledged his wretchedness. For why is it surprising that God no longer sees him as a sinner, when he himself acknowledges that he is one? He stands afar off, this publican, but God sees him from close at hand" (Matins)

In the same way the lowly-minded boy, Joas, was accepted of God, because his attitude before Him was what it should be. "He did that which was right before the Lord." On the contrary, Athalia was proud and wicked. She did not do what was right before the Lord, and she despised and insulted those who did their duty, for pride towards God always shows itself by contempt towards our neighbour. Pascal says that there are two kinds of men, saints who think themselves guilty of every fault and sinners who believe themselves guilty of none. The first are humble and God will exalt them with glory; the second are full of pride, and He will humble them by chastisement.

"God," says St. Chrysostom, "drowned the world, caused Sodom to be burned by fire, and the sea to swallow up the army of the Egyptians for it is He who has stricken the guilty with all the blows which have fallen upon them, and will do so still more. But, you say, God is merciful. Then are all these things merely words? Does the rich man who despised Lazarus receive no punishment? Are the foolish virgins in no way rejected by the bridegroom? Will not he who was at the wedding feast with soiled garments in no wise perish, bound hand and foot? Will not he who exacted the last farthing from his companion be delivered to the tormentors? Do you think that God will confine Himself to threats? To me it seems easy to prove the contrary and we may judge beforehand what God will do in the future, from what He has said and done in the past. Let us then have constantly in mind the dread tribunal, chains fastened for fall eternity, outer darkness, gnashing of teeth and the gnawing and poisonous worm" (2nd Nocturn).

This will be the best way to foster in ourselves that humility which makes say with the Church: "When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, who is before all ages and remains forever" (Introit). "Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thy eye: let Thy eyes behold the things which are equitable" (Gradual.) "To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded" (Offertory).

Cum clamarem ad Dominum, exaudivit vocem meam, ab his, qui appropinquant mihi: et humiliavit eos qui est ante saecula, et manet in aeternum: jacta cogitatum tuum in Domino, et ipse te enutriet. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam, et ne despexeris deprecationem meam: intende mihi, et exaudi me.
When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, who is before all ages, and remains for ever: cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. * Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me and hear me.
(Psalm 54:17,18,20,23,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam; ut ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.
O God, who dost manifest Thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity; increase Thy mercy towards us, that we, seeking the way of Thy promises, may be made partakers of Thy heavenly treasures. 
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers; as also is this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican standing afar off would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, but struck his breast saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 
(St Luke 18:9-14)

Saturday, 23 August 2014

23rd August, The Vigil of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

The Vigil of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

The feasts of the Apostles are spread throughout the liturgical Cycle as if to show that the Apostles are the foundation on which the whole Church rests. St. Bartholomew is the sixth in the list of twelve, as given by the Evangelists. Like the other Apostles he learned the secrets of the divine law and made them known to the world, confirming them by his martyrdom (Gospel). On this day the liturgy prepares us for his feast of to-morrow (Collect).

Ego autem sicut oliva fructifera in domo Domini, speravi in misericordia Dei mei: et exspectabo nomen tuum, quoniam bonum est ante conspectum sanctorum tuorum. * Quid gloriaris in malitia: qui potens es in iniquitate?
But I, as a fruitful olive-tree in the house of the Lord, have hoped in the mercy of my God: and I will wait on Thy name, for it is good in the sight of Thy saints. * Why dost thou glory in malice, thou that art mighty in iniquity?
(Psalm 51:10-11,3 from the Introit of Mass)

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the solemn feast of Thine apostle Bartholemew, which we anticipate, may both increase our devotion and advance our salvation.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02313c.htm

23rd August, St. Philip Benizi, Confessor

St. Philip Benizi, Confessor

We honour on this day a Saint to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared to announce to him that he was to enter the Order of Servites, whose object is to honour the sorrows through which she attained the glory we have rejoiced in during eight days.

Born at Florence of the illustrious family of Benizi, St. Philip gave signs from the cradle, of his future holiness. The order of the Servants of the Virgin Mary, called Servites, had been instituted fifteen years before. The little convent was not far from the town. There, while hearing mass on the Thursday in Easter Week, St. Philip was struck by the words ut the Epistle addressed by the Holy Ghost to Philip, the deacon. As he bore that name, he applied to himself the scriptural text and feeling himself invited by the Holy Ghost to enter that Order, he left everything to purchase the imperishable treasure of heaven (Gospel). Entering as a lay brother, he was later on ordained a priest, and became general of the Servites.

The Cardinals, assembled at Viterbo, wished to elect him Pope but out of humility (Collect) he refused the honour and hid himself in the mountains. There he flourished like the palm-tree and grew like the cedar of Libanus (Introit). God then called him to evangelize Italy, France and Germany. On his return he was confirmed in his office for life. He tried to calm the animosity which existed between the Guelfs, partisans of the Pope, and the Ghibellines, partisans of the Emperor, and ran serious danger to which the Epistle alludes.

He was seized by a burning fever on Assumption Day, and died at Todi in 1285, on the day of the Octave, contemplating the crucifix.

Let us ask God to grant us the humility of St. Philip so that, despising as he did the riches of the world, we may always seek the riches of heaven (Collect).


Justus ut palma florebit: sicut cedrus Libani multiplicabitur: plantatus in domo Domini: in atriis domus Dei nostri. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
(Psalm 91:13-14,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui per beatum Philippum Confessorem tuum, eximium nobis humilitatis exemplum tribuisti: da famulis tuis prospera mundi ex ejus imitatione despicere, et caelestia semper inquirere.
O God, who in blessed Philip, Thy confessor, hast set before us a marvellous example of humility: do Thou bestow upon us Thy servants, the grace to despise, as he did, all earthly prosperity, and ever to strive after heavenly things.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13736a.htm

Friday, 22 August 2014

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

By His Holiness Pope Pius XII

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Help of Christians, Refuge of the human race, Conqueror in all God's battles, we humbly prostrate ourselves before thy throne. We are confident of obtaining mercy, grace, and help in the present calamities, not for our own merits, to which we make no claim, but only because of the great goodness of thy Maternal Heart.

In this tragic hour of human history we confide, entrust, and consecrate to thy Immaculate Heart the Holy Church, Mystical Body of thy Son, Jesus, which bleeds now from so many wounds and is so sorely tried. We consecrate likewise to thy Immaculate Heart the whole world torn as it is by deadly strife, afire with hatred and paying the penalty of its own wickedness. Be moved to pity by the sight of so much destruction and ruin of souls, by the grief and agony of fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers, sisters, and innocent children. Look with compassion on the lives cut off in the flower of youth, on the bodies mangled in horrible slaughter, on the many souls torn with anguish, and on all those in danger of being lost forever. Mother of Mercy, obtain for us peace from God and the grace that is able in an instant to change the heart of man, the grace that brings and fosters peace, and makes it lasting. Queen of Peace, pray for us and give to the warring world that peace for which the nations long, a peace in the truth, in the righteousness, and in the love of Jesus Christ.

Turn their weapons aside and let peace possess their souls so that God's kingdom may be set up in quiet order. Stretch out a helping hand to the unbeliever and to all who live in the shadow of death. Give them peace and grant that enlightened by the truth they may repeat with us before the one Saviour of the world "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will."

Give peace also to the peoples separated from us by error or strife and in particular to those who have professed a special devotion to thee and in whose homes thine ikon was always an object of veneration. It is hidden away now maybe to await the dawn of better days. Bring them back to the one fold of Christ under the one true shepherd. Grant perfect peace and freedom to the holy Church of God. Stem the flood of modern paganism. Let the love of purity increase among the children of God. Make us live as true followers of Christ, as zealous apostles, so that God's servants may grow in merit and increase in number. And as the whole human race was consecrated to the heart of thy Jesus that through hope in Him He might become for all the sign and pledge of victory and salvation, so we in like manner consecrate ourselves forever to thee and to thy Immaculate Heart, 0 Mother and Queen of the world. This we do so that thy love and protection may hasten the triumph of God's kingdom. Thus may all nations at peace with one another and with God proclaim thee blessed, and sing with thee from pole to pole the unending Magnificat of glory, love, and thanksgiving to the Heart of Jesus in which alone they can find truth, life, and peace. Amen.

22nd August, SS. Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, Martyrs

SS. Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, Martyrs

Timothy of Antioch came to Rome in 310 and was martyred in 311. He was cruelly beaten and quicklime was sprinkled over his torn flesh. At last he was beheaded.

On the same day at Ostia, Hippolytus, bishop of Porto, was thrown into a hole filled with water and received the crown of martyrdom about A.D. 225.

Again on the same day, about A.D. 180, under the reign of Aurelian, Symphorian, who was still a young man, was beheaded at Autun. While he went to execution his mother said to him: "My son, my son, remember eternal life; look up to heaven and see the One who reigns there; life is not taken from thee, it is exchanged for a better one."


Salus autem justorum a Domino: et protector eorum est in tempore tribulationis. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
But the salvation of the just if from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. * Be not emulous of evildoers; nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:39,1 from the Introit of Mass)


Auxilium tuum nobis, Domine, quaesumus, placatus impende: et, intercedentibus beatis Martyribus tuis Timotheo, Hippolyto et Symphoriano, dexteram super nos tuae propitiationis extende.
Deny us not, O merciful Lord, Thy help: but listening to the prayers of Thy blessed martyrs Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, stretch forth over us the right hand of Thy merciful forgiveness.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14727a.htm

22nd August, The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

According to a tradition sanctioned by authority, it was at Jerusalem, near the room of the Last Supper, at the spot where now stands a church committed to the care of the Benedictines, that Mary breathed her last (Secret). And it is at the foot of the Mount of Olives, in a place where about 1130 a monastery of the Benedictine monks of Cluny was built, that her mortal remains were laid and "she was carried up to heaven" (Alleluia).

The pilgrimages made to this tomb originated the feast of the Assumption which was already solemnized in the East at the end of the sixth century. At the beginning of the seventh, the feast was also solemnized at Rome, and it spread with the Roman liturgy over the whole West.

Pope Leo IV instituted the Octave in 847.

"We have accompanied thee with all our prayers when thou didst ascend towards thy Son," says St. Bernard, "and we have at least followed thee at a distance, O blessed Virgin! May thy goodness make known to the world the grace bestowed on thee by God : obtain by thy holy prayers the forgiveness of the guilty, health for the sick, strength for weak souls, consolation for the afflicted, help and deliverance for those in peril. O Mary, queen of clemency, on this joyful solemnity may thy humble servants, who praise and invoke thy sweet name, be overwhelmed with graces by Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who is the sovereign God, blessed throughout the ages. Amen."

Let us honour Mary with special confidence during these feasts which celebrate her triumph.