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 May 2015

24th May, Our Lady Help of Christians

Our Lady Help of Christians.
(Local celebration).

This feast was instituted by Pope Pius VII in 1815, when the exile of the Supreme Pontiff, due to the French Revolution, was brought to an end.

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui ad defensionem populi Christiani in beatissima Virgine Maria perpetuum auxilium mirabiliter constituisti: concede propitius; ut tali praesidio muniti, certantes in vita, victoriam de hoste maligno consequi valeamus in morte.
Almighty and merciful God, who in the most blessed Virgin Mary hast marvellously given us ever present help for the defence of the Christian people; grant, in thy mercyl, that in life's battle we may be shielded by her powerful protection and at death may be able to vanquish the wicked enemy.
(Collect at Mass)

See the Catholic Encyclopaedia for more information on this Feast: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11360c.htm

Thursday, 21 May 2015

21st May, Blessed John Hale, Martyr

A secular priest, Vicar of Ilseworth, who suffered martyrdom, at the same time as the Holy Carthusians. Died at Tyburn, 4th May 1535. Beatified 1888 by Pope Leo XIII.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: "With them died a secular priest, Blessed John Hale, LL.B., Fellow of King's Hall, Cambridge, and Vicar of Isleworth, Middlesex, since 13 August, 1521. He took this living in exchange for the Rectory of Cranford, Middlesex, which he had held since 11 September, 1505. There is nothing to identify him with the Rector of Chelmsford of 1492. He may possibly be the person of this name who became scholar of Eton in 1485. He was indicted 20 April, 1535, with the perpetual curate of Teddington, Middlesex, named Robert Feron, for offences against 25 Henry VIII, c. 22. Both pleaded guilty and were condemned; but Feron was pardoned. Hale was the fourth to suffer."


Sancti tui, Domine, benedicent te: gloriam regni tui dicent, alleluia, alleluia. * Exaltabo te, Deus meus Rex: et benedicam nomini tuo in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Let the saints bless Thee, O Lord; they shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, alleluia, alleluia. * I will extol Thee, O God my King: and I will bless Thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever.
(Psalm 144:10-11,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Source of Picture: http://www.saintdunstan.org.uk/section/9

Novena of Preparation for the Feast of St Philip Neri. Day 5.

May 21 - Philip's Tenderness of Heart

Philip could not endure the very sight of suffering; and though he abhorred riches, he always wished to have money to give in alms.

He could not bear to see children scantily clothed, and did all he could to get new clothes for them.

Oppressed and suffering innocence troubled him especially; when a Roman gentleman was falsely accused of having been the death of a man, and was imprisoned, he went so far as to put his cause before the Pope, and obtained his liberation.

A priest was accused by some powerful persons, and was likely to suffer in consequence. Philip took up his cause with such warmth that he established his innocence before the public.

Another time, hearing of some gipsies who had been unjustly condemned to hard labour, he went to the Pope, and procured their freedom. His love of justice was as great as his tenderness and compassion.

Soon after he became a Priest there was a severe famine in Rome, and six loaves were sent to him as a present. Knowing that there was in the same house a poor foreigner suffering from want of food, he gave them all to him, and had for the first day nothing but olives to eat.

Philip had a special tenderness towards artisans, and those who had a difficulty of selling their goods. There were two watchmakers, skilful artists, but old and burdened with large families. He gave them a large order for watches, and contrived to sell them among his friends.

His zeal and liberality specially shone forth towards poor girls. He provided for them when they had no other means of provision. He found marriage dowries for some of them; to others he gave what was sufficient to gain their admittance into convents.

He was particularly good to prisoners, to whom he sent money several times in the week.

He set no limits to his affection for the shrinking and bashful poor, and was more liberal in his alms towards them.

Poor students were another object of his special compassion; he provided them not only with food and clothing, but also with books for their studies. To aid one of them he sold all his own books.

He felt most keenly any kindness done to him, so that one of his friends said: "You could not make Philip a present without receiving another from him of double value."

He was very tender towards brute animals. Seeing someone put his foot on a lizard, he cried out, "Cruel fellow! what has that poor animal done to you?"

Seeing a butcher wound a dog with one of his knives, he could not contain himself, and had great difficulty in keeping himself cool.

He could not bear the slightest cruelty to be shown to brute animals under any pretext whatever. If a bird came into the room, he would have the window opened that it might not be caught.

Prayer

Philip, my glorious Advocate, teach me to look at all I see around me after thy pattern as the creatures of God. Let me never forget that the same God who made me made the whole world, and all men and all animals that are in it. Gain me the grace to love all God's works for God's sake, and all men for the sake of my Lord and Saviour who has redeemed them by the Cross. And especially let me be tender and compassionate and loving towards all Christians, as my brethren in grace. And do thou, who on earth was so tender to all, be especially tender to us, and feel for us, bear with us in all our troubles, and gain for us from God, with whom thou dwellest in beatific light, all the aids necessary for bringing us safely to Him and to thee.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Novena of Preparation for the Feast of St Philip Neri. Day 4.

May 20 - Philip's Purity

Philip well knowing the pleasure which God takes in cleanness of heart, had no sooner come to years of discretion, and to the power of distinguishing between good and evil, than he set himself to wage war against the evils and suggestions of his enemy, and never rested till he had gained the victory. Thus, notwithstanding he lived in the world when young, and met with all kinds of persons, he preserved his virginity spotless in those dangerous years of his life.

No word was ever heard from his lips which would offend the most severe modesty, and in his dress, his carriage, and countenance, he manifested the same beautiful virtue.

One day, while he was yet a layman, some profligate persons impudently tempted him to commit sin. When he saw that flight was impossible, he began to speak to them of the hideousness of sin and the awful presence of God. This he did with such manifest distress, such earnestness, and such fervour, that his words pierced their abandoned hearts as a sword, and not only persuaded them to give up their horrible thought, but even reclaimed them from their evil ways.

At another time some bad men, who are accustomed to think no one better than themselves, invited him on some pretext into their house, under the belief that he was not what the world took him to be; and then, having got possession of him, thrust him into a great temptation. Philip, in this strait, finding the doors locked, knelt down and began to pray to God with such astonishing fervour and heartfelt heavenly eloquence, that the two poor wretches who were in the room did not dare to speak to him, and at last themselves left him and gave him a way to escape.

His virginal purity shone out of his countenance. His eyes were so clear and bright, even to the last years of his life, that no painter ever succeeded in giving the expression of them, and it was not easy for anyone to keep looking on him for any length of time, for he dazzled them like an Angel of Paradise.

Moreover, his body, even in his old age, emitted a fragrance which, even in his decrepit old age, refreshed those who came near him; and many said that they felt devotion infused into them by the mere smell of his hands.

As to the opposite vice. The ill odour of it was not to the Saint a mere figure of speech, but a reality, so that he could detect those whose souls were blackened by it; and he used to say that it was so horrible that nothing in the world could equal it, nothing, in short, but the Evil Spirit himself. Before his penitents began their confession he sometimes said, "O my son, I know your sins already."

Many confessed that they were at once delivered from temptations by his merely laying his hands on their heads. The very mention of his name had a power of shielding from Satan those who were assailed by his fiery darts.

He exhorted men never to trust themselves, whatever experience they might have of themselves, or however long their habits of virtue.

He used to say that humility was the true guard of chastity; and that not to have pity for another in such cases was a forerunner of a speedy fall in ourselves; and that when he found a man censorious, and secure of himself, and without fear, he gave him up for lost.

Prayer

Philip, my glorious Patron, who didst ever keep unsullied the white lily of thy purity, with such jealous care that the majesty of this fair virtue beamed from thine eyes, shone in thy hands, and was fragrant in thy breath, obtain for me that gift from the Holy Ghost, that neither the words nor the example of sinners may ever make any impression on my soul. And, since it is by avoiding occasions of sin, by prayer, by keeping myself employed, and by the frequent use of the Sacraments that my dread enemy must be subdued, gain for me the grace to persevere in these necessary observances.

20th May, St. Bernardine of Siena, Confessor

St. Bernardine of Siena, Confessor

At this season of the year, when Jesus by His triumph has realized His name of Saviour, the Cycle celebrates the Feast of St. Bernardine who was consumed "by the very ardent love of this divine name" (Collect).

Born of a noble family of Siena, St. Bernardine renounced all his possessions. He kept his chastity intact, in spite of the dangers to which his handsome features exposed him. The Church applies to him the words of Holy Scripture: "He had it in his power to violate the commandment of God, and he did not violate it" (Epistle). "Not placing his hope in money and treasures" (Ibid.) he left all, to follow Christ (Gospel), and entered the Order of St. Francis, one of whose glories he is. Travelling through towns and villages, everywhere he preached the name of Jesus (Collect) and thereby wrought many miracles.

St. Peter Celestine appeared to him to warn him of his approaching end which came on Ascension Eve, in 1444.

Let us ask God to grant us, through the intercession and merits of St. Bernardine, a great love for the name of Jesus and thereby to kindle in us the flame of divine charity (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)

Domine Jesu, qui beato Bernardino, Confessori tuo, eximium sancti nominis tui amorem tribuisti: ejus, quaesumus, meritis et intercessione, spiritum nobis tuae dilectionis benignus infunde.
O Lord Jesus, who didst imbue blessed Bernardine, Thy confessor, with wondrous love of Thy name, we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, graciously to pour into our souls the spirit of Thy love.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02505b.htm

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

19th May, St Pudentiana, Virgin

 St. Pudentiana, Virgin

St. Pudentiana, in this part of the Cycle, participates in the triumph of Christ over the devil, the flesh and the world. The daughters of Pudens, a Roman senator, she and her sister, Praxedes, consecrated their virginity to Jesus. At the death of her father she distributed all her riches to the poor, in agreement with her sister, and she was barely sixteen years old when she died, in the reign of Emperor Antoninus. Her remains rest in her house which she had converted into a church. Her father had received St. Peter there and she had placed it at the disposal of Pope Pius I, who celebrated the Holy Mysteries there during the persecution. This is the "title-church" of Pudentiana, where the Station is held on the Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent.

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

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

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12344b.htm

Novena of Preparation for the Feast of St Philip Neri. Day 3

May 19 - Philip's Exercise of Prayer

From very boyhood the servant of God gave himself up to prayer, until he acquired such a habit of it, that, wherever he was, his mind was always lifted up to heavenly things.

Sometimes he forgot to eat; sometimes, when he was dressing, he left off, being carried away in his thought to heaven, with his eyes open, yet abstracted from all things around him.

It was easier for Philip to think upon God, than for men of the world to think of the world.

If anyone entered his room suddenly, he would most probably find him so rapt in prayer, that, when spoken to, he did not give the right answer, and had to take a turn or two up and down the room before he fully came to himself.

If he gave way to his habit of prayer in the most trifling degree, he immediately became lost in contemplation.

It was necessary to distract him lest this continual stretch of mind should be prejudicial to his health.

Before transacting business, however trivial, he always prayed; when asked a question, he never answered till he had recollected himself.

He began praying when he went to bed, and as soon as he awoke, and he did not usually sleep more than four, or at the most five hours.

Sometimes, if anyone showed that he had observed that Philip went to bed late or rose early in order to pray, he would answer, "Paradise is not made for sluggards."

He was more than ordinarily intent on prayer at the more solemn feasts, or at a time of urgent spiritual necessities; above all, in Holy Week.

Those who could not make long meditations he advised to lift up their minds repeatedly to God in ejaculatory prayers, as "Jesus, increase my faith," "Jesus, grant that I may never offend Thee."

Philip introduced family prayer into many of the principal houses of Rome.

When one of his penitents asked him to teach him how to pray, he answered, "Be humble and obedient, and the Holy Ghost will teach you."

He had a special devotion for the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, and daily poured out before Him most fervent prayers for gifts and graces.

Once, when he was passing the night in prayer in the Catacombs, that great miracle took place of the Divine presence of the Holy Ghost descending upon him under the appearance of a ball of fire, entering into his mouth and lodging in his breast, from which time he had a supernatural palpitation of the heart.

He used to say that when our prayers are in the way of being granted, we must not leave off, but pray as fervently as before.

He especially recommended beginners to meditate on the four last things, and used to say that he who does not in his thoughts and fears go down to hell in his lifetime, runs a great risk of going there when he dies.

When he wished to show the necessity of prayer, he said that a man without prayer was an animal without reason.

Many of his disciples improved greatly in this exercise - not religious only, but secular persons, artisans, merchants, physicians, lawyers, and courtiers - and became such men of prayer as to receive extraordinary favours from God.

Prayer

Philip, my holy Patron, teach me by thy example, and gain for me by thy intercessions, to seek my Lord and God at all times and in all places, and to live in His presence and in sacred intercourse with Him. As the children of this world look up to rich men or men in station for the favour which they desire, so may I ever lift up my eyes and hands and heart towards heaven, and betake myself to the Source of all good for those goods which I need. As the children of this world converse with their friends and find their pleasure in them, so may I ever hold communion with Saints and Angels, and with the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of my Lord. Pray with me, O Philip, as thou didst pray with thy penitents here below, and then prayer will become sweet to me, as it did to them.