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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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints

The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints

The name of "Auxiliary Saints" is given to a group of fourteen saints particularly noted for the efficacy of their intercession. They were often represented together. They are to be recognized:

1. St. George (April 23), by the dragon he strikes down. He is invoked against herpetic diseases. He is, with St. Sebastian and St. Maurice, the patron of soldiers.

2. St. Blaise (February 3), by his two candles crossed. He is invoked against diseases of the throat.

3. St. Erasmus (June 2), by entrails wound round a windlass. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach. He is the patron of mariners and seamen.

4. St. Pantaleon (July 27), by his nailed hands. Invoked against consumption. He is, with St. Luke and SS. Cosmas and Damian, patron of medical men.

5. St. Vitus (or Guy) (June 15), by his cross. Invoked against chorea (St. Vitus's dance), lethargy, the bite cf venomous or mad beasts.

6. St. Christopher (July 25), by the Infant Jesus he bears. He is invoked in storms, tempests, plagues, and for the avoidance of accidents in travelling. (Blessing of motorcars.)

7. St. Denis (October 9), by his head which he holds in his hands. Invoked for people possessed of devils.

8. St. Cyriacus (August 8), by his deacon's vestments. Invoked against diseases of the eye and diabolical possession.

9. St. Acathius (May 8), by his crown of thorns. Invoked against headaches.

10. St. Eustace (September 20), by his stag and hunting equipement. Invoked for preservation from fire, eternal or temporal.

11. St. Giles (September 1), by his Benedictine cowl and his hind. Invoked against panic, epilepsy, madness, nocturnal terrors.

12. St. Margaret (July 20), by the dragon she keeps in chains. Invoked against pains in the loins and by women about to become mothers.

13. St. Barbara (December 4), by her tower and the ciborium surmounted by a sacred host. Invoked against lightnings and sudden death. Patron of miners and artillery men.

14. St. Catharine (November 25), by her broken wheel. "The wise counsellor" is invoked by students, Christian philosophers, orators, barristers, etc.

1st September, The Twelve Holy Brothers, Martyrs

The Twelve Holy Brothers, Martyrs

Africans by birth, these saints were martyred in various places in the third century under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian.

Four were beheaded in Potenza, Italy on August 27. Three were beheaded at Vanossa on August 28. The others were beheaded at Sentiana on September 1.

They were brought together and enshrined at Benevento in 760.

"Donatus, Felix, Arontius, Honoratus, Fortunatus, Sabinian, Septimius, Januarius, another Felix, Vitalis, Sator, and Repositus."

Clamaverunt justi, et Dominus exaudivit eos: et ex omnibus tribulationibus eorum liberavit eos. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
The just cried, and the Lord heard them: and delivered them out of all their troubles. * I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:18,2 from the introit of Mass)

Fraterna nos, Domine, Martyrum tuorum corona laetificet: quae et fidei nostrae praebeat incrementa virtutum, et multiplici nos suffragio consoletur.
May the crown of martyrdom of the holy Brothers gladden us, O Lord; may it add strength to our faith and encourage us by the intercession of so many saints. Through our Lord.

1st September, St. Giles, Abbot

St. Giles, Abbot

St. Giles, born at Athens, distributed all his patrimony to the poor and followed Jesus (Gospel). Several miracles having made him celebrated he fled to Provence to escape away from honours. He lived in prayer and meditation (Introit) in the depths of a vast forest, with no other food but roots and the milk of a tame hind. One day, when pursued by the hounds of the Visigothic king Wamba, the hind fled to the grotto of the saint who, while trying to protect her, had his hand pierced by an arrow. The king on his arrival urgently begged the saint to consent to the building of a monastery on the spot. The holy hermit undertook its government and like Moses among the people of God (Epistle) he became the chief and law-giver of a numerous monastic family which followed his leadership, his doctrine and his counsels (Communion). This happened in 673.

The Abbey of St. Giles, a marvel of architecture, became one of the most frequented resorts of pilgrims in the Middle Ages, and a town arose there. The counts of Toulouse regarded it as an honour to bear this saint's name. The ancient Missals place him among the "fourteen Auxiliary Saints." He was invoked in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and England, where 146 churches were built in his honour. St. Giles died about 721. His tomb was discovered in 1865.

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)

O God who dost gladden us by the annual solemnity of blessed Giles, Thy confessor, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his heavenly birthday may also imitate his example.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday, 31 August 2015

31st August, St. Raymund Nonnatus, Confessor

St. Raymund Nonnatus, Confessor

The Church solemnized on January 23 and 31, the feasts of St. Raymund of Pennafort and St. Peter Nolasco, who founded the Order of our Lady of Ransom. She honours to-day St. Raymund Nonnatus, who was one of its glories. On September 24, she will celebrate the apparition of Mary herself, who was the foundress of this religious family.

St. Raymund had never known his mother of whom he was prematurely deprived by death. He implored the Virgin to adopt him as her son. Mary herself one day revealed to him that to please her he was to devote himself to the ransoming of captives (Collect). He immediately renounced worldly riches, and determined only to use them to help his neighbour (Epistle), he enrolled himself in the Order of our Lady of Ransom and was sent to Africa with the mission to ransom Christians who had fallen into the hands of the Mohammedans. He delivered a great many and gave himself up as a hostage so as not to expose to apostacy those who remained behind unransomed. His mouth was closed with a padlock which cruelly pierced his lips, and he was thrown into a narrow cell. He died in 1240.

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, qui in liberandis fidelibus tuis ab impiorum captivitate, beatum Raymundum Confessorem tuum mirabilem effecisti: ejus nobis intercessione concede: ut, a peccatorum vinculis absoluti, quae tibi sunt placita, liberis mentibus exsequamur.
O God, who didst bless holy Raymund, Thy confessor, with wondrous success in delivering Thy faithful held in bondage by the infidels: give ear to his prayers, and vouchsafe to us, together with freedom from the slavery of sin, the grace, readily to perform whatsoever we know to be pleasing to Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday, 29 August 2015

29th August, St Sabina, Martyr

St Sabina, Martyr

"At Rome," says the Roman Martyrology, "the birth in heaven of St Sabina, martyr, who was struck by the sword under the Emperor Hadrian and won the palm of martyrdom (127)."

Me exspectaverunt peccatores, ut perderent me: testimonia tua, 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: The 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 Sabinae  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 Sabina Thy martyr may, through her example, advance nearer to Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Friday, 28 August 2015

28th August, St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

Augustine was born in 354 at Tagasta near Algiers. His mother, St. Monica taught him early to pray. Although he had received with delight her holy teaching, he went headlong into the gravest disorders. Carthage not offering him a theatre worthy of his genius, he went to Rome and obtained the post of master of rhetoric at Milan. "My iniquities," he confesses, "were like a snowball growing in size as it rolls." His desolate mother prayed to God incessantly with tears, still following the steps of her son. St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, received him kindly and enlightened him in divine knowledge. One day, inspired by heaven, he opened the Epistles of St. Paul and read: "Wallow not in debauchery and impurity; but clothe yourselves in our Lord Jesus Christ." His irresolution immediately ceased and at 33 years of age, on Easter eve, 387, he was baptized.

Seven months after this great happiness, St. Monica died asking her son to "remember her at the altar of God". Augustine, becoming a priest, offered the Holy Sacrifice for her. "Lord," he often said, "have mercy on my mother; she was good, she pardoned easily, pardon her also her sins."

Made bishop of Hippo, at the age of 41 (Alleluia, Communion), he began from that moment to live canonically, that is to say, in common with his clerks. [The word canon, canonicus, derived from Kanon, in the sense of clerks attached to a church with a stipend for their subsistence. To live canonically was to live in common. Later on it meant to lead a regular life, under a rule.] This community gave bishops and priests to many churches, and thus the institute of St. Augustine spread little by little in Africa and more specially in Gaul. The rule of St. Augustine, which makes him one of the four great founders of religious orders, is drawn from the 211th epistle which he wrote for nuns and which later on was adapted for men.

[The best known Augustinian Orders are: the Canons Regular of St. Augustine and the Hermits of St. Augustine. The Canons founded many Congregations: that of Windeshem, with the mystic writers John Ruysbroeck and Thomas a Kempis; the Lateran Congregation which has monasteries in England, France, BelgIum and America. The Hermits have now in Europe, Mexico and the Philippine Islands, more than 60 monasteries, 280 mission stations, with more than 2000 members. - date c. 1950]

Owing to the sublimity of his knowledge and the ardour of his love this saint was also one of the four great doctors of the West.

He died in A.D 430, after an episcopate of 36 years, reciting the Penitential Psalms.

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)

Adesto supplicationibus nostris, omnipotens Deus: et quibus fiduciam sperandae pietatis indulges, intercedente beato Augustino, Confessore tuo atque Pontifice, consuetae misericordiae tribue benignus effectum.
O almighty God, attend to our supplications, and by the intercession of blessed Augustine, Thy confessor and bishop, graciously grant the effect of Thy wonted mercy to those, to whom Thou givest firm trust in Thy loving kindness for which we hope.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday, 23 August 2015

13th Sunday after Pentecost

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Continuing with the reading of the sapiential books which began last Sunday (first Sunday of August) the Church orders the Book of Ecclesiastes to be commenced in the breviary lessons on the second Sunday of August.

"Vanity of vanities," says the sacred author, " and all is vanity. There is no remembrance of former things : nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance within them that be in the latter end. I have seen all things that are done under the sun: and behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit. The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite " (1st Nocturn)

"As soon," says St. John Chrysostom, "as Solomon was enabled to perceive the divine Wisdom, he uttered this sublime exclamation, worthy of heaven itself: 4 Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' You, in your turn can bear a like witness, if you will. It is true that Solomon in past ages was not bound, to seek wisdom so diligently as we, since the Old Law did not regard the enjoyment of superfluities as vanity, though none the less, men could see that they were worthless and deserving of contempt. But we are called to more perfect virtues, scale loftier heights, and give ourselves to nobler practices. In a word, what can we say, but that we are commanded to regulate our conduct after the pattern of heavenly virtues which have nothing fleshly about them and are entirely spiritual" (2nd Nocturn).

These heavenly virtues are principally the theological ones, " faith, hope and charity", for which we ask God in the Collect, so that we may love what He commands (Collect). Moreover, for this reason, the Church takes for to-day's Epistle a passage from St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, the subject of which is faith in Jesus Christ, a faith which works by charity and which makes us, like Abraham of old, put our hope in this divine Redeemer. For it is by this faith, manifested in good works and trust in God, that souls, covered with the leprosy of sin, are cured, as we are reminded in to-day's Gospel. The ten lepers, who in some sense stand for the transgressions of men against the ten commandments, see from afar their divine Healer, and put their trust in Him. " Master, have mercy on us." Their faith issues in works, for when our Lord puts them to the test, telling them : "Go show yourselves to the priest," they obey without hesitation and are cured on the way. But the cure is only confirmed in the case of one of them who returns to Jesus to express his thanks. " And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God ; and he fell on his face before His feet, giving thanks." And Jesus said to him: "Arise, go thy way, for thy faith hath made thee whole."

Hence we learn that it is faith in Christ that saves souls. For here is St Augustine's interpretation of this gospel in the homily for to-day : " Our Lord does not say of those men who were freed from leprosy that they were cured, but purified ; for leprosy alters the colour of the skin without, generally, taking away the integrity of the senses and members of the body.

It is not, therefore, absurd to see in the lepers, a type of those who, being without the science of the true faith, profess the changing doctrines of error. For they do not conceal their ignorance, but bring it out into the light, making it pass for superior knowledge and showing it off in boastful talk. Now there is no false doctrine which does not contain a mixture of truth. These truths and errors, mingled haphazard, in a single discussion or narrative, are like differences of colour appearing in the same body, and represent leprosy which covers human bodies with spots, forming with the sound parts, diversity of colour.

This sort of leper the Church is bound to exclude, so that, if possible, seeing themselves thrust far from her, they may set themselves to call, with loud cries upon Christ, like the ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off, and lifted up their voices saying: c Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.'

Now if our Lord worked cures in person He leaves to the Church the task of spreading His doctrine and instructing, both by word and pen. Thus St. Paul was sent to Ananias to receive, from the duly constituted priesthood of the Church, the sacrament of faith. And later, the Apostle will go uj) to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus so that by jointly professing the doctrine of the faith before the congregation by this very reunion they might show that they had one single doctrine, excluding every kind of variation. It is about this that St Paul wisely warns the Corinthians : " I beseech you brethren, that you all speak the same thing " (Matins).

The Gospel narrative also foretells the rejection of the Jews who were ungrateful toward Him who came to cure them, while the Gentiles have been faithful. For among the ten lepers, nine were Jews and only one was not, and it was to this single Samaritan who came to thank our Lord that He said : " Thy faith hath made thee whole," showing that it is not only to the children of Abraham by blood that this promise has been made, but also to those who are his children because they share his faith in Jesus Christ, for it is by this faith that the promise of eternal life which was made to Abraham is extended to all nations. So the prayer after the third prophecy on Holy Saturday reminds us that God " by the paschal sacrament (Baptism)" made His servant Abraham, according to His oath, " the father of all nations", while the fourth prayer adds : " Grant that all the nations of the world may become the children of Abraham, and partake of the (lost) dignity of the people of Israel."

The Gentiles occupy the place of the Jews. " The nine," says St. Augustine, " swollen with pride, thought they would humiliate themselves by giving thanks, whereas by not doing so they are reproved and rejected from the unity which exists in the number ten (there were ten lepers), while the only one who thanks is praised by the only Church In the same way the Jews by their pride lost the kingdom of heaven in which dwells the greatest unity; while the Samaritan by submitting to the King, by his act of thanksgiving has preserved the unity of the kingdom by his devotion full of humility" (Matins)

The Jews will enter the kingdom of heaven all together at the end of time, believing in our Lord at last, after finding that they have been deceived in following Antichrist, a fact which is alluded to in the Introit, which contains a prayer that their exclusion from the Church may not be irrevocable: " Have regard, O Lord, to Thy covenant and forsake not to the end the souls of Thy poor: ... O God, why hast Thou cast us off unto the end : why is Thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of Thy pasture ? " And again, the Church beseeches almighty God "to look with favour upon His people, and appeased by their oblation, forgive them their sins " (Secret).

As for the Gentiles, they say to the Lord that all their hope is fixed on Him (Offertory), for He is to become their refuge from generation to generation (Alleluia), feeding them with food from heaven as He did the Hebrews in the wilderness, and giving them the manna which contains in itself all sweetness (Communion).

Respice, Domine, in testamentum tuum et animas pauperum tuorum ne derelinquas in finem: exsurge, Domine, et judica causam tuam, et ne obliviscaris voces quaerentium te. * Ut quid, Deus, repulisti in finem: iratus est furor tuus super oves pascuae tuae?
Have regard, O Lord, to Thy covenant, and forsake not to the end the souls of Thy poor: arise, O Lord, and judge Thy cause, and forget not the voices of them that seek Thee. * O God, why hast Thou cast us off unto the end: why is Thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of Thy pasture?
(Psalm 73:20,19,23,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei, spei, et caritatis augmentum: et, ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod praecipis.
Almighty and everlasting God, grant unto us an increase of faith, hope and charity : and that we may obtain what Thou dost promise, make us love that which Thou dost command.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
In illo tempore: Dum iret Jesus in Jerusalem, transibat per mediam Samariam et Galilaeam. Et cum ingrederetur quoddam castellum, occurrerunt ei decern viri leprosi qui steterunt a longe: et levaverunt vocem, dicentes: Jesu praeceptor, miserere nostri. Quos ut vidit, dixit: Ite, ostendite vos sacerdotibus. Et factum est, dum irent, mundati sunt. Unus autem ex illis, ut vidit quia mundatus est, regressus est, cum magna voce magnificans Deum, et cecidit in faciem ante pedes ejus, gratias agens: et hic erat Samaritanus. Respondens autem Jesus, dixit: Nonne decem mundati sunt? et novem ubi sunt? Non est inventus qui rediret, et daret gloriam Deo, nisi hic alienigena. Et ait illi: Surge, vade; quia fides tua te salvum fecit.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee: and as He entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off, and lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, master, have mercy on us. Whom when He saw, He said: Go, show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God: and he fell on his face before His feet, giving thanks: and this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said: Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return, and give glory to God, but this stranger. And He said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.
(Gospel: St Luke 17:11-19)

Unus autem ex illis, ut vidit quod mundatus est, regressus est, cum magna voce magmficans Deum, alleluia.
And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God, alleluia.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat: Luke 17:15)