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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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

18th January, St Peter's Chair at Rome

St Peter's Chair at Rome

The manifestation of the divinity of Jesus, which characterizes the Season after Epiphany, demands of us the recognition of His Kingship over our souls.

Christ is the Head of the Church. But as He is to reascend some day to heaven, He communicates His divine power to a man, for after the Incarnation, it is by human intermediaries that God wills normally to establish His dealings with us. The man whom Jesus constitutes "Prince" of souls (Introit), and "on whom He builds His Church" (Gospel), is St. Peter. As Vicar of Christ he will sit in the chair once occupied by Jesus and will hold in his hands the keys as symbol of supreme authority (Collect, Gospel).

We read in the Epistle, the beginning of the first letter of St. Peter. All the letters of the apostle bear the mark of his primacy. Rome is to be the capital of the kingdom of heaven upon earth. It is to Rome that Peter will come, it is on Rome's blessed soil that he will shed his blood, he will be Bishop of Rome. Wherefore we must see in this feast a liturgical testimony to the primacy of honour and jurisdiction attached to the chair of Rome. This material chair is still preserved in the apse of the basilica of St. Peter.

St. Paul, during his sojourn at Corinth, in the year 58, wrote an Epistle to tbe Romans. Towards the year 62, he was led to Rome a captive and remained there two years. Imprisoned again in the year 67 he was put to death, like St. Peter, in the henceforth eternal city. Wherefore the liturgy associates, in a second Collect, the glorious name of the Apostle with that of the first Bishop of Rome.

Let us to-day pray for the Pope, successor of St. Peter, that he may freely exercise the divine powers communicated to him by Jesus, Son of God.

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 beato Petro Apóstolo tuo, collátis clavibus regni coeléstis, ligandi atque solvéndi pontifícium tradidísti: concéde; ut, intercessiónis ejus auxilio, a peccatorum nostrórum néxibus liberémur.
O God, Who, committing to blessed Peter, Thine apostle, the keys of the heavenly kingdom, didst bestow on him the pontifical function of binding and loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins.

Deus, qui multitúdinem géntium beati Pauli Apóstoli praedicatióne docuisti: da nobis, quaesumus: ut cujus commemoratiónem colimus, ejus apud te patrocínia sentiámus.
O God, Who by the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul didst teach the multitude of the gentiles, grant us, we pray Thee, that, honoring his commemoration, we may experience the benefit of his patronal influence with Thee.
(Commemoration of St Paul)

The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, Saying, "Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them,"But whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him,"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven."
(St Matthew 16:13-19)

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclésiam Meam: et portae ínferi non praevalébunt advérsus eam: et tibi dabo claves regni coelórum.
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.
(St Matthew 16:18-19)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Chair of St Peter:

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