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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Saturday, 2 May 2015

2nd May, St Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

The Church, still covered with the blood of her martyrs, had, in the fifth century, to sustain the dreadful assaults of heretics. Arius dared to despoil the divine Redeemer of all His glory as Son of God: to make of Him a simple creature only higher in grace than others.

God then raised up St. Athanasius, "He fills him with the spirit of wisdom" (Introit), and anoints him as bishop of Alexandria, "with his holy oil" (Offertory), for, as an athlete of Christ, he had to preach the Master's truth, at the price of innumerable sacrifices (Epistle, Gospel).

In 325, Athanasius was the herald of the illustrious assembly of the 318 bishops who condemned Arius at the Council of Nicea, proclaiming that Jesus was the Son consubstantial with the Father. That is why he is often represented with a symbol of the Trinity as an emblem. He died in 373 and was proclaimed Doctor of the Church.

Let us, like St. Athanasius, affirm the divinity of Jesus risen again.

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)

Exaudi, quaesumus, Domine, preces nostras, quas in beati Athanasii Confessoris tui atque Pontificis solemnitate deferimus: et qui tibi digne meruit famulari, ejus intercedentibus meritis, ab omnibus nos absolve peccatis.
Graciously hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, which we offer in solemn commemoration of blessed Athanasius, Thy confessor and bishop; and by the merits of him who worthily served Thee, absolve us from all our sins.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

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