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/





Thursday, 30 April 2015

April 30, St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin (and Doctor)

St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin (and Doctor)

"The Holy Order of Preachers which yesterday offered a red rose to Jesus risen again, offers Him to-day a lily of dazzling whiteness."

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) was the last but one of twenty-four children. In her childhood she chose Jesus for her Spouse (Epistle), subjecting her delicate body to frightful mortifications, her only support during her prolonged fasts was Holy Communion (Postcommunion).

She received from the crucified Lord the stigmata and inspired knowledge concerning the most profound mysteries of religion. It was by her persuasion that Gregory XI left Avignon to return to Rome.

When, like Christ, she had reached her 33rd year, she entered heaven with her divine Spouse to take part in the nuptial banquet (Gospel) in the holy joys of the eternal Passover (Introit, Alleluia).

"Let us offer to God on this day the sacred Host embalmed with the virginal perfume of blessed Catherine" (Secret), so that He may grant us in return life eternal (Postcommunion).

[St. Catherine of Siena was named Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Paul VI, along with St Teresa of Avila. They are both referred to in hagiography and prayer as "seraphic virgin."]



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)
Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui beatae Catharinae Virginis tuae natalitia colimus; et annua solemnitate laetemur, et tantae virtutis proficiamus exemplo.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that commemorating the heavenly birthday of blessed Catherine, Thy virgin, we may both rejoice on her yearly festival and benefit by the example of so great a virtue.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03447a.htm

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Feast of the Patronage of St Joseph

The Solemnity of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Vigin Mary, Confessor, and Patron of the Universal Church.
(Wednesday after the Second Sunday after Easter.)










Today's feast commemorates St Joseph particularly under his title of Patron of the Universal Church. Under the name of the Patronage of St Joseph the feast was formerly kept by certain religous Orders and in some dioceses; in 1847 it was extended to the whole Church by Pope Pius IX and appointed to be kept on the Third Sunday after Easter; in 1870 the same Pontiff declared St Joseph Patron on the Universal Church. A later change fixed the feast on the preceding Wednesday under the title of the Solemnity of St Joseph.

Adjútor et protéctor noster est Dominus: in eo lætábitur cor nostrum, et in nómine sancto ejus sperávimus, allelúja, allelúja. * Qui regis Israel, inténde: qui dedúcis, velut ovem, Joseph.
The Lord is our helper and protector: in him our heart shall rejoice, and in his holy name we have trusted. Alleluia, alleluia. * Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.
(Psalm 32:20-21 and 79:2 from the Introit of Mass).

Deus, qui ineffabili providéntia beátum Joseph sanctíssimæ Genetrícis tuae sponsum elígere dignátus es: præsta, quaesumus; ut, quem protectórem venerámur in terris, intercessórem habére mereámur in coelis.
O God, who in thine unspeakable providence wast pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. (Collect of Mass)

Efficacious Prayer for Chastity to St Joseph

Virginum custos, et pater Sancte Joseph, cujus fideli custodiae ipsa innocentia Christus Jesus, et Virgo virginum Maria commissa fuit; te per hoc utrumque carissimum pignus Jesum et Mariam, obsecro, et obtestor, ut me ab omni immunditia preservatum, mente incontaminata, puro corde et casto corpore Jesu et Marae semper facias castissime famulari. R Amen.

Guardian of virgins, and holy father Joseph, to whose faithful custody Christ Jesus, Innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, were committed; I pray much beseech thee by these dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that being preserved from all uncleanness, I may with spotless mind, pure heart, and chaste body, ever most chastely serve Jesus and Mary all the days of my life. Amen.

Hymn to St Joseph from Vespers of the Feast.

Te, Joseph, celebrent agmina caelitum
Te cuncti resonent christiadum chori
Qui clarus meritis, junctus es inclytae
Casto foedere Virgini.

Almo cum tumidam germine conjugem
Admirans, dubio tangeris anxius,
Afflatu superi flaminis angelus
Conceptum puerum docet.

Tu natum Dominum stringis ad exteras,
Aegypti profugum tu sequeris plagas:
Amissum Solymis quaeris et invenis,
Miscens gaudia fletibus.

Post mortem reliquos sors pia consecrat,
Palmamque emeritos gloria suscipit:
Tu vivens, superis par, frueris Deo,
Mira sorte beatior.

Nobis summa Trias parce precantibus:
Da Joseph meritis sidera scandere,
Ut tandem liceat nos tibi perpetim,
Gratum promere canticum. Amen.



Joseph! to thee by hosts on high
and choirs of Christians, laud be paid!
saintly of life, -by purest tie
joined unto her, the glorious Maid.

When thou didst doubt thy wife's repute,
and mark her great with motherhood,
the angel taught thee that her fruit
came from the Holy Ghost of God. 

To clasp the Son, the Lord, was thine,
to share His flight to Egypt's shore,
with tears, to seek in Salem's shrine
Him lost, - with joy, to find once more.

Death brings to other Saints their rest;
through toil they win the victor's place;
thou happier, like the Angels blest,
alive, hast seen God face to face.

Spare us, O Trinity most High!
grant that, with Joseph, we may gain
Thy starry realm, and ceaselessly
there raise to Thee our thankful strain.
Amen.

April 29, St. Peter of Verona, Martyr

St. Peter of Verona, Martyr

Born at Verona towards 1205 from Manichean parents, St. Peter as a child opposed the heretics. He entered the Order of St. Dominic. He preserved such purity of body and soul that he never committed a mortal sin.

We read in the Bull of his canonization: "A chosen cluster from the vine of the Church has filled with its generous juice the royal chalice: the branch from which it has been cut by the sword, was of those which most strongly adhered to the divine stem" (Gospel).

The ardour of his faith so enflamed him that he wished to die for it and his prayer was heard. "As he lived piously in Christ it was necessary that he should be persecuted" (Epistle) and an impious assassin sent by the Manichees murdered him on the road from Como to Milan in 1252.

Let us ask God to grant us, through the merits of St. Peter, a faith so strong (Collect) that it may obtain for us, after all the adversities of this life' Postcommunion) the joys of the resurrection (Epistle, Communion).

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut beati Petri Martyris tui fidem congrua devotione sectemur; qui, pro ejusdem fidei dilatatione, martyrii palmam meruit obtinere.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that with fitting devotion we may follow the faith of blessed Peter, Thy martyr, who in the spreading of that same faith, was found worthy to win the palm of martyrdom.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11773d.htm

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

28th April, St Vitalis, Martyr

St. Vitalis, Martyr

St. Vitalis, father of SS. Gervase and Protase, was put to death at Ravenna under Nero about 62 A. D. Having been tortured on the rack he was thrown into a deep hole and stoned to death. A church was consecrated to him in Rome: the Station is held there on the Friday in the Second Week in Lent

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15486a.htm

April 28, St. Paul of the Cross, Confessor

St. Paul of the Cross, Confessor

St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the State of Genoa in 1694. As his name indicates, he had during all his life a burning love for Jesus crucified. "Nailed to the Cross with Christ" (Gospel), he devoted himself to preaching everywhere with singular charity, the mystery of the cross (Collect, Epistle). To carry out this great work in the Church (Gospel), he instituted the Passionists who make a vow to propagate the blessed memory of the Saviour's Passion.

Consumed by the love which he drew from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, "which is the perpetual memorial of the boundless charity of Christ" (Postcommunion) he offered himself to God with Jesus "as an oblation of agreeable odour" (Offertory) and died in 1775.

Let us, like St. Paul of the Cross, suffer with the crucified Saviour, "that we may rejoice with Jesus risen again" (Alleluia, Communion).

Christo confixus sum cruci: vivo autem, jam non ego: vivit vero in me Christus: in fide vivo Filii Dei, qui dilexit me, et tradidit semetipsum pro me, alleluia, alleluia. Beatus qui intelligit super egenum et pauperem: in die mala liberabit eum Dominus.
With Christ I am nailed to the cross: but I live, now not I: but Christ liveth in me: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself for me, alleluia, alleluia. * Blessed is he that understandeth concerning the needy and the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the evil day.
(Galatians 2:19-20 and Psalm 40:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Domine Jesu Christe, qui ad mysterium crucis praedicandum, sanctum Paulum singulari caritate donasti, et per eum novam in Ecclesia familiam florescere voluisti: ipsius nobis intercessione concede: ut passionem tuam jugiter recolentes in terris, ejusdem fructum consequi mereamur in caelis.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst endow holy Paul with singular charity to preach the mystery of the Cross, and willed that through him a new family should flourish in the Church : grant us, through his intercession, that ever recalling the memory of Thy passion upon earth, we may deserve to obtain the fruit of it in heaven.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11590a.htm

Monday, 27 April 2015

27th April, St Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

St. Peter Canisius, Confessor and Doctor of the Church


He was born at Nimegen, Holland, on May 8th, 1521; he died at Fribourg, Switzerland, on December 21th, 1597; was beatified by Pius IX; canonized and proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI. His feast was extended to the universal Church on November 24th, 1926. It it fitting that this Dutch saint should be called the Apostle of Germany, the hammer of heretics, the Jerome and Augustine of his century, the defender of the Church against the gates of hell. By his eloquent preaching, controversy and books of piety, by the foundation of several colleges, by the missions entrusted to him by four Sovereign Pontiffs, he stopped the progress of Protestantism and caused Catholic life to flourish. He assisted as a theologian at the Council of Trent, and maintained the interests of the Church at the Diet of Augsburg and at the Conference of Worms. Profoundly humble, he refused the bishoprics of Vienna and Cologne. We owe to him the first catechism of Christian doctrine which suffices to entitle him to the gratitude of Catholics. He ended his days at the college of St. Michael, Fribourg, where pilgrims visit his room and pray at his tomb.


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)
Deus, qui ad tuendam catho1icam fidem beatum Petrum Confessorem tuum virtute et doctrlna roborasti: concede propitius: ut ejus exemplis et monitis errantes ad salutem resipiscant, et fideles in veritatis confessione perseverent.
O God, who didst strengthen blessed Peter thy confessor in virtue and doctrine for the defence of the Catholic faith: grant in thy mercy, that by his example and teaching the erring may be brought to repentance, and the faithful persevere in confession of the truth. Through our Lord.Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11756c.htm

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Third Sunday after Easter

Third Sunday after Easter

The Church rejoices because Christ is risen and has delivered us (Alleluia); so she sends up cries of joy (Introit), and sings the praises of God (Offertory).

"A little while and now you shall not see Me", said our Lord in the Cenacle... and you shall lament and weep" and "again a little while and you shall see Me... and your heart shall rejoice" (Gospel). When the apostles beheld our Lord again they experienced this joy which still overflows into the Easter liturgy. And just as Easter is a type of the external Pasch, so this is the same joy which will be felt by the Church when, having with sorrow begotten souls to God, she sees her Lord once more, triumphant in Heaven, at the end of time; but a short season compared with eternity. He will change our sorrow into joy which no man shall take from us (Gospel).

This holy joy begins here below, for our Lord has not left us orphans, but comes to us by the Holy Ghost, whose grace fills us with the hope of future bliss. As strangers and pilgrims journeying to heaven in the train of our risen Lord, we should not cling to the vain pleasures of the world but rather as St. Peter tells us, we should follow the precepts, positive and negative of the Gospel (Epistle), that professing ourselves Christians, we may "reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same" (Collect). So may we come to the heavenly kingdom whose joy and glory are described for us by St. John. "One of the seven angels said to me: Come and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And I saw the new Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Alleluia. How beautiful is she become, this bride from Lebanon" (Response).

Let us eat the Lord's Passover, that this nourishment of our souls may protect also our bodies (Postcommunion), and that subduing our worldly desires, it may make us love the things of heaven (Secret).

Jubilate Deo, omnis terra, alleluia: psalmum dicite nomini ejus, alleluia: date gloriam laudi ejus, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Dicite Deo, quam terribilia sunt opera tua, Domine. In multitudine virtutis tuae mentientur tibi inimici tui.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth, alleluia: sing ye a psalm to His name, alleluia: give glory to His praise, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Say unto God: How terrible are Thy works, O Lord! In the multitude of Thy strength Thy enemies shall lie to Thee.
(Psalm 65:1-3 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire justitiae, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis: da cunctis qui Christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini; et ea quae sunt apta, sectari.
O God, who dost show to them that are in error the light of Thy truth, that they may return into the way of righteousness; grant to all those who profess themselves Christians to reject those things which are contrary to that name, and follow such things as are agreeable to the same.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see Me: and again a little while, and you shall see Me: because I go to the Father. Then some of His disciples said one to another: What is this that He saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me, and because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that He saith, A little while? We know not what He speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask Him. And He said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me? Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.
(St. John 16:16-22)

26th April, SS. Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs

SS. Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs

St. Cletus is the third Pope. Born at Rome, he was converted by St. Peter and succeeded St. Linus on the pontifical throne. He received the crown of martyrdom in 91, under the Emperor Domitian and was buried near the Prince of the Apostles.

St. Marcellinus was also a Roman. He governed the Church from 293 to 304, during the terrible persecution of Diocletian who caused him to be beheaded. The name of St. Cletus is in the Canon (first list).

Their Mass is that of Martyrs in Paschaltide. It shows how faith in the virtue of the resurrection of Christ sustains souls in the midst of the sufferings they have to undergo on earth after Christ (Epistle) before sharing in His triumph in heaven (Intrcit, Epistle, Gospel, Offertory, Communion).

Let us glorify Jesus, whose members we are, by producing many fruits of patience, as did these holy martyrs (Gospel).


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)

Beatorum Martyrum, pariterque Pontificum Cleti et Marcellini nos, Domine, foveat pretiosa confessio: et pia jugiter intercessio tueatur.
May the precious confession of the blessed martyrs and bishops, Cletus and Marcellinus, be our solace, O Lord, and may their loving intercession ever be our sure defence. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

April 25 The Greater Litanies

The Greater Litanies 

Station at St Peter's

The Church celebrates to-day two solemnities which have nothing in common: The Greater Litanies, so called on account of their Roman origin, and the feast of St. Mark which is of later date.

In ancient Rome, on April 25th, used to be celebrated the pagan feast of Robigalia. It consisted principally of a procession which, leaving the town by the Flaminian gate, went to the Milvian bridge and ended in a suburban sanctuary situated on the Claudian Way. There a ewe was sacrificed in honour of a god or goddess of the name of Robigo [god or goddess of frost.] The Greater Litany was the substitution of a Christian for a pagan ceremony - its itinerary is known to us by a convocation of St. Gregory the Great. It is approximately the same as that of the pagan procession. All the faithful in Rome betook themselves to the church of St. Laurence in Lucina, the nearest to the Flaminian Gate. Leaving by this gate, the procession made a station at St. Valentine's, crossed the Milvian bridge and branched off to the left towards the Vatican. After halting at a cross, it entered the basilica of St. Peter for the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.

This litany is recited throughout the Church to keep away calamities, and to draw down the blessing ol God on the harvest. "Vouchsafe to grant us to preserve the fruits of the earth, we pray Thee, hear us," is sung by the procession through the countryside.

The whole Mass shows what assiduous prayer may obtain, when in the midst of our adversities (Collects, Offertory) we have recourse with confidence to our Father in heaven (Epistle, Gospel, Communion).

If the feast of St. Mark is transferred, the Litanies are not transferred, unless they fall on Easter Sunday. In which case they are transferred to the following Tuesday.


The Mass throughout points to the efficacy of the prayer of the just man when humble, sure and persistent. Elias by prayer closed and opened the heavens (Epistle), and our Lord shows us by two parables that God Kives His Holy Spirit to whosoever asks Him, because He is good (Gospel, Alleluia). In our afflictions let us place our trust in God and He will hear our prayers (Introit, Collect).

Exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam, alleluia: et clamor meus in conspectu ejus, introivit in aures ejus, alleluia, alleluia. * Diligam te, Domine, virtus mea: Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.
He heard my voice from His holy temple, alleluia; and my cry before Him came into His ears, alleluia, alleluia. * I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, my refuge and my deliverer.
(Psalm 17:7,2-3 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui in afflictione nostra de tua pietate confidimus; contra adversa omnia, tua semper protectione muniamur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who in our affliction confide in Thy mercy, may be ever defended by Thy protection against all adversity.
(Collect)

25th April, St Mark, Evangelist

St Mark, Evangelist


St. Mark, the disciple of St. Peter, is one of the four Evangelists (Collect) who wrote, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, an abridgement of the life of Jesus. His narration begins by the mission of St. John the Baptist whose "voice was heard in the desert"; he is represented with a lion lying at his feet, because the lion, one of the four symbolical animals in the vision of Ezechiel (Epistle), makes the desert re-echo with its roaring.

He was one of the seventy-two disciples (Gospel). He went to Egypt where he was the first to announce Christ at Alexandria. The preaching of the Gospel, which his martyrdom confirmed, made him to enter into glory (Secret) where St. John shows him to us as one of the four symbolical animals who attend the triumph of the immolated Lamb.

His body was taken to Venice, whose patron he is since the ninth century. Rome possesses a church dedicated to St. Mark, where a Station is held on the Monday of the third week in Lent.

Let us profit by the teaching of St. Mark who wrote the Gospel of Christ and preached it, and let us have recourse to his prayers (Collect).


Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluia: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluia, alleluia. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer when I make supplication to Thee: deliver my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Marcum Evangelistam tuum evangelicae praedicationis gratia sublimasti: tribue, quaesumus; ejus nos semper et eruditione proficere, et oratione defendi.
O God, who by Thy grace didst raise up blessed Mark, Thy evangelist to be a preacher of the gospel; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may ever profit by his teaching and be defended by his prayers.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09672c.htm

Friday, 24 April 2015

24th April, St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr

St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Martyr

St Fidelis was born at Sigmaringen (Suabia) in 1577. He was at first a magistrate and took so much interest in the poor that he was called "the Advocate of the poor". He entered the seraphic Order of St. Francis, intimately united to God in continual prayer and work, he asked and obtained from Him to shed his blood for the Catholic faith. He was sent to the country of the Grisons where Protestant soldiers, fearing his influence, stabbed him to death at Sevis in 1622 (Collect).

This holy martyr who, in the Paschal Cycle, takes his place among the attendants of the risen Lord, shares with Him the felicity of the sons of God (Epistle).

The Gospel of the Martyr's Mass in Paschaltide is, like the Gospels after Easter, a passage from the last discourse pronounced by the Master on the eve of His death. On the symbolical vine, which is Jesus, there ure two sorts of branches which receive different treatment. Those without fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire. Those that bear fruit are on the contrary "carefully pruned in order that they may produce still more." That is why St. Fidelis was persecuted and put to death.

Let us obtain by the merits of this saint to be, like him, "so confirmed in faith and charity that we may be faithful in God's service unto death" (Collect).

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Fidelem, seraphico spiritus ardore succensum, in verae fidei propagation martyrii palma et gloriosis miraculis decorare dignatus es: ejus, quaesumus, meritis et intercessione, ita nos per gratiam tuam in fide et caritate confirma; ut in servitio tuo fideles usque ad mortem inveniri mereamur.
O God, who didst enkindle in the heart of blessed Fidelis a seraphic love, bestowing upon him the palm of martyrdom and the grace of working miracles in spreading the true faith; we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, to strengthen us by Thy grace, in faith and charity, that we may deserve to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. 
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06069a.htm

Thursday, 23 April 2015

23rd April, St George, Martyr

St George, Martyr


St. George, born of an illustrious family in Cappadocia, was promoted by Diocletian to the first ranks in the army.

When the Emperor had published at Nicomedia his first edict against the Christians, St. George reproached him for his cruelty. Immediately cast into prison, he was subjected to such atrocious torments that the Eastern Church calls him the Great Martyr. He was beheaded in 303.

This patron of armies is venerated by Greeks and Latins. Rome possesses a sanctuary erected in his honour where the Station is held on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. England chose him for her patron in the XIIIth century. Therefore in this country his feast is a double of first class with an octave. He is one of the 14 Auxiliary Saints.


Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)


Deus, qui nos beati Georgii Martyris tui meritis et intercessione laetificas: concede propitius: ut, qui tua per eum beneficia poscimus dono tuae gratiae consequamur.
O God who dost gladden us by the merits and intercession of blessed George, Thy martyr; mercifully grant that we who beseech Thy blessings through him, may obtain them by the gift of Thy grace.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06453a.htm

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

22nd April, SS Soter and Caius, Popes and Martyrs

SS. Soter and Caius, Popes and Martyrs

Soter succeeded Pope Anicetus in 161 and was martyred ten years later under Marcus Aurelius. Caius, whose relics are kept in the sanctuary of St. Sylvester at Rome, governed the Church a century later and was put to death in 296.

Like all the Sovereign Pontiffs of the first centuries they united their sacrifice to that of Christ and "in Him bore much fruit " (Epistle). "God then avenged the blood of His servants and invited them to the marriage feast of the Lamb" (Epistle), to associate them in His triumph and happiness (Gospel, Offertory, Communion).

Let us honour the blessed martyrs Soter and Caius in order that in heaven their powerful intercession may obtain for us divine protection (Collect).

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)

Beatorum Martyrum pariterque Pontificum Soteris et Caii nos, quaesumus, Domine, festa tueantur: et eorum commendet oratio veneranda.
May the festival of the blessed martyrs and bishops Soter and Caius, be a safeguard unto us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and may their venerable prayer commend us to Thee.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03144c.htm

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

21st April, St Anselm, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor

St Anselm, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor

A native of Aosta (Italy) and a monk of the abbey of Bec in Normandy, St. Anselm became its abbot and later archbishop of Canterbury (Communion). "Filled with divine wisdom " (Introit) and endowed with superior talents, he endeavoured to develop the science of God by a rational method which cleared the way for scholastic theologians. "I do not try to understand in order to believe, he declared, but I believe in order to understand." Thereby he realized the saying of the Gospel "You are the light of the world" and the Church has awarded him the title of Doctor.

"A hero for doctrine and virtue," declares Urban II, "he was equally intrepid in fighting for the faith." Like a courageous pastor, he defended "in season and out of season," (Epistle) against the ambitious tyranny of William Rufus, the sacred liberty which Jesus had bought for His flock with His blood. "Christ, he affirms, loves nothing so much in this world as the liberty of His Church."

He died at the age of 73 on April 21st, 1109.

Let us honour St. Anselm "so that he who was a Doctor of truth on earth may intercede for us in heaven" (Collect).

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)

O God, who didst give unto Thy people blessed Anselm to be a minister of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have as an intercessor in heaven him, whom we have had as teacher of life on earth.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01546a.htm

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Second Sunday after Easter

Second Sunday after Easter

To-day is called "Good Shepherd Sunday". For, in the epistle, St. Peter himself, made by the risen Lord head and chief Pastor of His Church, tells us that Christ is the shepherd of our souls, which were like wandering sheep They are gathered round Him who came to give His life for them. The gospel relates the touching parable of the good shepherd who defends his sheep against the wolf, and protects them from death (Collect); and foretells that the heathen will come to join the Jews of the Old Law and to form with them one only Church and flock, under one shepherd.

These our Lord recognizes as His sheep and like the disciples at Emmaus, whose eyes were opened at the breaking of the bread, at the altar when the priest consecrates the Host which is the memorial of our Lord's passion, they acknowledge that Christ is "the Good Shepherd who gives His life that He may feed His sheep with His Body and Blood" (St. Gregory). Raising their eyes to Him (Offertory), they pour forth to Him their gratitude for His great mercy (Introit).

"It was in those days," says St. Leo, "that the Holy Ghost was bestowed upon all the apostles by our Lord's breathing upon them, and that the blessed apostle Peter, raised above the rest, having already received the keys of the kingdom, saw the care of the Lord's flock committed to his charge" (Second nocturn). This was the first step in the founding of the Church.

Let us press round the divine Shepherd of our souls, hidden in the Eucharist and whose visible representative is the Pope, Pastor of the Universal Church.

Misericordia Domini plena est terra, alleluia: verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt, alleluia, alleluia. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio. 
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, alleluia: by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, alleluia, alleluia. * Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: praise is comely for the upright.
(Psalm 32:5-6,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui in Fllii tui humilitate jacentem mundum erexisti, fidelibus tuis perpetuam concede laetitiam; ut, quos perpetuae mortis eripuisti casibus, gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis.
O God, who by the humility of Thy Son hast raised up a fallen world, grant to Thy faithful people abiding joy; that those whom Thou hast delivered from the perils of eternal death, Thou mayest cause to enjoy endless happiness.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father : and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
(St. John 10:11-16)

Friday, 17 April 2015

17th April, St Anicetus, Pope and Martyr

St Anicetus, Pope and Martyr

The Paschal Cycle surrounds the King of Martyrs, whose triumph it celebrates, with a bevy of saints who "followed Him bearing their crosses and who, having lost their lives for His sake," found the life of which Jesus risen again is the model (Gospel).

St Anicetus invested with full sacerdotal power (Introit) succeeded St. Pius as Pope. He governed the Church from 150 to 161 and took such a part in the sufferings of Christ (Epistle) that although he did not shed his blood for the faith he was given the title of martyr.

He preserved his flock from the heresies of Valentinus and Marcion and "filled with the consolations of Jesus, he was enabled in turn to console those who suffered" (Epistle). The great St. Polycarp came to him at Rome to confer especially about the date of the celebration of Easter, for by the coincidence of this feast with that of the Jews it was right to claim that the mysteries of the death and resurrection of Jesus had realized and taken the place of the immolation of the paschal Lamb.

"Let us rejoice for the annual solemnity of blessed Anicetus" (Collect). This feast reminds us of the date when, after having died with Christ on earth, this holy martyr went to share the glory of His resurrection in heaven.

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos beati Aniceti Martyris tui atque Pontificis annua solemnitate laetificas: concede propitius ; ut, cujus natalitia colimus, de ejusdem etiam protectione gaudeamus.
O God, who dost gladden us by the annual solemnity of blessed Anicetus, Thy martyr and bishop, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his heavenly birthday may ever rejoice in his protection.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01514a.htm

Monday, 13 April 2015

Commemoration of the Cross at Lauds and Vespers

The following commemoration is made at Lauds and Vespers throughout Eastertide - from the Monday after Low Sunday, until 1st Vespers of the Ascension - unless there occur the Office or the Commemoration of a Double or of an Octave.

"Cross and Resurrection complement each other, the one cannot exist without the other. During His lifetime our Lord always referred to the Resurrection when prophesying about His Passion and death. The Church follows His example in Lent and Holy Week. Easter joy may be detected in many passion chants. And, inversely, during Easter time the Cross is never wholly absent. This is brought out quite strikingly in the Office: morning and evening on ferials and feasts of lower rank there is recited the Commemoratio in Cruce."
(Pius Parsch, Year of Grace)

Antiphon. Crucifíxus surrexit a mortuis, et redemit nos, alleluja, alleluja.


V. Dicite in nationibus, alleluja.
R. Quia Dominus regnavit a ligno, alleluja.
Oremus.
Deus, qui pro nobis Filium tuum Crucis patíbulum subire voluisti, ut inimici a nobis expelleres potestatem: concede nobis, famulis tuis; ut resurrectionis gratiam consequamur. Per eumdem Dominum. R. Amen.


Antiphon. The Crucified hath risen from the sepulchre, and redeemed us, alleluia, alleluia.

V. Tell it out among the heathen, alleluia.
R. That the Lord hath reigned from the Tree, alleluia.

Let us pray.
O God, who for our sakes didst send thy Son to suffer death upon the Cross, that thou mightest deliver us from the power of the enemy: mercifully grant to us thy servants; that we may attain unto the grace of his resurrection. Through the same. R. Amen.

14th April, St Justin, Martyr

St Justin, Martyr

The Church in the second century had to oppose the errors of pagan philosophers and suffer cruel persecution. But God raised up courageous men, known as the Apologist Fathers, who defended Christian dogma at the price of their lives.

The most illustrious at that time was St. Justin who was born at Nablus (Samaria) about the year 100. As a pagan philosopher, he examined the teaching of the pagan philosophical systems and only found error and false wisdom; for human intelligence rejecting supernatural light soon goes astray (Epistle, Gradual). St. Justin then studied the word of the crucified God and became a Christian. Seeing in reason a precious auxiliary of faith, he opened at Rome the first school of Christian philosophy and there taught "the eminent science of Jesus Christ" (Collect).

He became celebrated especially by the two Apologies which he had the courage (Gospel) to address successively to the persecuting emperors Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius (Introit).

An edict of Antoninus mitigated the persecution. Marcus Aurelius on the contrary caused St. Justin to be scourged and condemned him to death. He died a martyr on April 13th, about 162-165.

"Let us conform to the teaching of the blessed martyr Justin" (Postcommunion) "so that we may remain firm in the faith" (Collect).

Narraverunt mihi iniqui fabulationes, sed non ut lex  tua: ego autem loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum et non confundebar. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
 The wicked have told me  fables, but not as Thy law;  but I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not  ashamed. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:85,46,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui per stultitiam crucis eminentem Jesu Christi scientiam beatum Justinum Martyrem mirabiliter docuisti; ejus nobis intercessione concede; ut, errorum circumventione depulsa, fidei firmitatem consequamur.
O God, who by the foolishness of the cross, didst wonderfully teach blessed Justin, Thy martyr, the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ; grant us, through his intercession, that driving away all wiles of error, we may become steadfast in faith.
(Collect)

13th April, St Hermenegild, Martyr

St. Hermenegild, Martyr

Hermenegild, son of the King of the Visigoths in Spain, married the daughter of the Frankish King of Austrasia, and was converted to Catholicism, his family being Arian. His father in his anger threw him into a dungeon and in the night of Easter caused an Arian bishop to take Communion to him. "But God did not abandon him in his prison" (Epistle). Hermenegild sacrified to the love of God the love of his father, and of his own life (Gospel), and indignantly repelled the heretical bishop.

Put to death on April 13th, 586, he shared the triumph of Christ who "in the kingdom of God gave him the royal sceptre" (Epistle). His futher died recommending the martyr's brother, Recarede, to bring back the nation to the true faith. Thus Spain became Catholic.

"Following the example of St. Hermenegild, who preferred heavenly toearthly royalty, let us despise perishable possessions and only seek the eternal ones " (Collect).

Outside Paschaltide:
In virtute tua, Domine laetabitur justus: et super salutare tuum exsultabit vehementer: desiderium animae ejus tribuisti ei. * Quoniam praevenisti eum in bendictionibus dulcedinis: posuisti in capite ejus coronam de lapide pretioso.
In Thy strength, O Lord, the just man shall joy and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly: Thou hast given him his heart's desire. For Thou hast prevented him with blessing of sweetness: Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.
(Psalm 20:2-3,4 from the Introit of Mass)

Or in Paschaltide:

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)


Deus, qui beatum Hermenegildum Martyrem tuum caelesti regno terrenum postponere docuisti: da, quaesumus, nobis; ejus exemplo caduca despicere, atque aeterna sectari.
O God, who didst teach blessed Hermenegild, Thy martyr, to value the kingdom of heaven more than an earthly throne; grant, we beseech Thee, that following his example, we may despise all transitory things, and seek after those which are eternal.
(Collect)

Hymn for St Hermenegild

Pope Urban VIII composed two hymns for the Feast of St Hermenegild. This is the one from Vespers.


Regali solio fortis Iberiae,
Hermenegilde jubar, gloria Martyrum,
Christi quos amor almis
Caeli coetibus inserit.

Ut perstas patiens, pollicitum Deo
Servans obsequium! quo potius tibi
Nil proponis, et arces
Cautus noxia, quae placent.

Ut motus cohibes, pabula qui parant
Surgentis vitii, non dubios agens
Per vestigia gressus,
Quo veri via dirigit!

Sit rerum Domino jugis honor Patri,
Et natum celebrent ora precantium,
Divinumque supremis
Flamen laudibus efferant.
Amen.


Glory of Iberia's throne!
Joy of martyred saints above!
Who the crown of life have won
Dying for their Saviour's love.

What intrepid faith was thine!
What unswerving constancy!
Bent to do the will divine
With exact fidelity.

Every rising motion checked
Which might lead thy heart astray,
How thou didst thy course direct
Whither virtue showed the way.

Honour, glory, majesty,
To the Father and the Son,
With the Holy Spirit be,
While eternal ages run.
Amen.



Sunday, 12 April 2015

Low Sunday (Quasimodo)

Low Sunday or Octave of Easter

Station at St. Pancras's

This Sunday is called Quasimodo, from the first words of the Introit, or Dominica in Albis (post albas depositas) from the fact that on this day the newly baptized had laid aside their white vestments, or Pascha Clausum because it finishes the Easter Octave, or again, Low Sunday, perhaps in contrast to the great feast of the week before.

To teach those who, in baptism, have just been born to the life of God, the generosity with which they ought to bear testimony to Christ, the Church leads them to the basilica of the martyr Saint Pancras, who when only twelve years old offered to Christ the testimony of his blood. Christians must stand firm, resting on their faith in Christ,the risen Son of God. St. John tells us that this is the faith that overcomes the world, for it enables us to resist all efforts to make us fall (Epistle). Thus it is important that it should have a firm foundation, which the Church gives us in to-day's Mass. St. John says in the Epistle that this faith is founded upon the witness of the Father, who at our Lord's baptism (with water) proclaimed Him His Son; of the Son who on the cross (by His blood) showed Himself as the Son of God; and of the Holy Ghost, descending on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, according to our Lord's promise, confirmed what Christ had said about His resurrection and His divinity, dogmas which the Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, never ceases to proclaim.

Our faith rests also on the testimony of angels who announced our Lord's rising from the dead (Offertory), but it is based chiefly on His appearances to His apostles. Further, the Gospel shows us how Christ, appearing twice in the Cenacle, overcame the unbelief of St. Thomas, praising those who, not having seen, should yet believe.

Let us believe in Jesus risen from the dead, and in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, let us repeat St. Thomas' cry of faith and humility: "My Lord and my God." By our steadfast faith and our blameless conduct let us bear witness to our Lord Jesus Christ, before an indifferent world.

Quasi modo geniti infantes, alleluia: rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupiscite, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Exsultate Deo adjutori nostro: jubilate Deo Jacob.
As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Rejoice to God our helper: sing aloud to the God of Jacob.
(1 Peter 2:2 and Psalm 80:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui paschalia festa peregimus; haec, te largiente, moribus et vita teneamus.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who have celebrated the Paschal solemnity, may by Thy bounty show forth its effects in our life and conversation.
(Collect)


The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John.
At that time, when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, and stood in the midst and said to them: "Peace be to you." And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: "Peace be to you: as the Father hath sent Me, I also send you." When He had said this, He breathed on them, and He said to them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days, again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: "Peace be to you." Then He saith to Thomas: "Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing." Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: "Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed." Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of His disciples which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that, believing, you may have life in His name.
(St John 20:19-31)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday

Station at St. John Lateran


On coming out of the baptismal font the neophytes were given a white garment as a symbol of the effects of baptism on their souls: "All you who have been baptized have put on Christ" (Communion). They continued to wear it until the day known as "sabbatum in albis depositis," the Saturday on which white vestments are laid aside", because on that day, at St. John Lateran, their baptismal robes were taken from them.

The Church, seeing "those new-born babes" (Epistle) gathered around her, asks them by the mouth of St. Peter, her head, ever to drink the spiritual and pure milk of the true doctrine. And in that basilica, dedicated to the holy Redeemer, she reminds them that their souls are the living stones of a spiritual house of which Christ is the corner-stone. The Gospel also shows us the Prince of the Apostles, who even before St. John, realized the Resurrection of Christ, of which he is to be "witness to the whole Church".

Eduxit Dominus populum suum in exsultatione, alleluia: et electos suos in laetitia, alleluia, alleluia. * Confitemini Domino, et invocate nomen ejus: annuntiate inter gentes opera ejus.
The Lord brought forth His people with joy, alleluia: and His chosen ones with gladness, alleluia, alleluia. * Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His name: declare His deeds among the Gentiles.
(Psalm 104:43 and 1 from the Introit of Mass)

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui festa paschalia venerando egimus: per haec contingere ad gaudia aeterna mereamur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who have kept with veneration the Easter solemnities may deserve through them to attain eternal joys.
(Collect)

http://frcoulter.com/pics/station-churches/lent0/lent0.html#Sunday

11th April, St. Leo I, Pope, Confessor and Doctor

St. Leo I, Pope, Confessor and Doctor

St. Leo, surnamed the Great, was called to govern the Church (Communion). In him are verified the words of the Introit, taken from the Book of Wisdom: "The Lord has opened his mouth in the midst of the Church and has filled him with the Spirit of wisdom and intelligence " and also the words of the Offertory: " I have anointed My servant with holy oil and I lent him the strength of My arm."

As Doctor of the Church and defender of civilisation, he gained signal victories over heretics and barbarians.

He opposed Eutyches who denied the two natures of Christ, and Nestorius who affirmed that there were two persons in Jesus; which fatal doctrines ended towards the destruction of the great work of Redemption celebrated by the Paschal Cycle. The Council of Chalcedon exclaimed: "Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo." Wherefore the Gospel reminds us of the prerogatives of the chief Pastor of the Church.

St. Leo stopped the advance of Attila, "the scourge of God", at the gates of Rome and decided him to retire to Pannonia. He died on April 11th, 461.

Let us ask God, through his intercession, to apply to us the merits of the risen Christ, that we may be freed from our sins (Collect).

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 Leonis Confessoris tui atque Pontificis solemnitate deferimus: et, qui tibi digne meruit famulari, ejus intercedentibus meritis ab omnibus nos absolve peccatis.
Graciously hear our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee, which we offer in the solemn commemoration of blessed Leo, Thy confessor and bishop; and absolve us from all sins by the interceding merits of him, who served Thee worthily.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09154b.htm

Friday, 10 April 2015

Easter Friday

Easter Friday

Station at St. Mary of the Martyrs

After bringing her neophytes together on successive days at St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Peter's, St. Paul's, St. Laurence's, and the Twelve Apostles, the Church to-day made a Station at the basilica dedicated to all the Martyrs and to their Queen, where was made most manifest the triumph of Christ over paganism. For the Pantheon, the temple consecrated to the worship of all the gods, was in the seventh century dedicated to Mary and to the martyrs of the Catacombs, a large number of whose bones Boniface IV caused to be transferred to this basilica. The feast of the dedication of this church soon afterwards became known as the Feast of All Saints.

The Introit, the Collect and the Epistle remind us that the covenant established by God with Noe and his seed after their escape from the Wood, and later renewed with Moses and his people after their passage through the Red Sea, is a figure of the new covenant under which the neophytes were brought from the baptismal font unto the adoption of children of God. Jesus on the cross virtually killed sin (Alleluia, Epistle), and by His resurrection, of which the apostles were witnesses (Gospel), He gave us the life of grace. Baptism brought home to our souls this twofold effect of life and death. Let us ever remain faithful to it.

Eduxit eos Dominus in spe, alleluia: et inimicos eorum operuit mare, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. *Attende, popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei.
The Lord brought them out in safety, alleluia, whilst the sea overwhelmed their enemies, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Attend, O My people, to My law: incline your ears to the words of My mouth.
(Psalm 77:53,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Paschale sacramentum in reconciliationis humanae foedere contulisti: da mentibus nostris; ut, quod professione celebramus, imitemur effectu.
O almighty and everlasting God, who didst bestow the Paschal sacrament in the covenant of man's reconciliation, grant that we may show forth in our lives what we profess outwardly in our faith.
(Collect)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Easter Thursday

Easter Thursday

Station at the Twelve Apostles

On this day the Church used to gather together in the Church of the Twelve Apostles, witnesses of the risen Christ, her new-born children, in order that they might sing the praises of the Lord, Who had associated them with His triumph (Introit, Communion). In this Stational basilica are the bodies of St. Philip and St. James.

The Gospel tells of the appearance of Jesus to Magdalen, who was the first to inform the Apostles of the disappearance of our Lord's body, and who, after seeing the risen Christ, was deputed by Him to proclaim to them the double mystery of the Resurrection and the Ascension.

The Epistle tells of one of the first seven deacons, called Philip. He baptizes a heathen eunuch, who in a transport of joy preaches everywhere the Gospel of Jesus.

This is what the Church has done for the catechumens "who have just been born again in the font of baptism" (Collect). "God hath made the tongues of those infants eloquent" (Introit), and by their faith and their good actions (Collect) they sing the triumph of Jesus over death (Alleluia) and over their own souls (Communion).

Let us remember that by baptism we have become united in one and the same faith to the risen Christ (Collect), whose Father is now our Father.

Victricem manum tuam, Domine, laudaverunt pariter, alleluia: quia sapientia aperuit os mutum, et linguas infantum fecit disertas, alleluia, alleluia. * Cantate Domino canticum novum: quia mirabilia fecit.
They praised with one accord Thy victorious hand, O Lord, alleluia; for wisdom opened the mouth of the dumb, and made the tongues of infants eloquent, alleluia, alleluia * Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle, for He hath done wonderful things.
(Wisdom 10:20-21 and Psalm 92:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui diversitatem gentium in confessione tui nominis adunasti: da, ut renatis fonte baptismatis una sit fides mentium, et pietas actionum.
O God, who hast united the various nations in the confession of Thy name, grant that those who have been born again of water in baptism may be one in faith and one in deed in holiness of life.
(Collect)

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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter Wednesday

Easter Wednesday

Station at St. Laurence-without-the-Walls

The Station was at St. Laurence outside the walls. The Church put before her new-born children as a model the illustrious Roman deacon to whom this basilica is dedicated.

Like St. Paul, yesterday, St. Peter tells us that the Prophets foretold the death of Jesus and that the Apostles were witnesses of His Resurrection (Epistle). The Alleluia further reminds us that "the Lord hath appeared to Peter" while the Gospel shows us St. Peter directing the fishing operations of his companions, in expectation of the hour now fast approaching when he will direct their labours as fishers of men. More devoted to Jesus than the others, he cast himself into the sea to rejoin Him, and it was he who drew to land the net full of one hundred and fifty three big fishes.

According to the Fathers, these fishes brought by Peter to the feet of the risen Christ represented the neophytes, for the catechumens were born to supernatural life in the font of Baptism. Called by God to receive His kingdom (Introit), they eat the bread of angels, the bread of heaven (Offertory, Secret), which transforms them into new creatures (Postcommunion), the "Agni novelli" or new-born lambs.

Let us celebrate these festivities of the Resurrection of our Lord in a spirit of holy rejoicing, a foretaste of the joy we shall experience at the eternal Pasch (Collect).

Venite, benedicti Patris mei, percipite regnum, alleluia; quod vobis paratum est ab origine mundi, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Cantate Domino canticum novum: cantate Domino omnis terra.
Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive the Kingdom alleluia, which was prepared for you from the foundation of the world, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord through the whole earth.
(Matthew 25:34 and Psalm 95:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos resurrectionis Dominicae annua solemnitate laetificas: concede propitius; ut per temporalia festa quae agimus, pervenire ad gaudia aeterna mereamur.
O God, who dost give us joy by the yearly solemnity of our Lord's resurrection, mercifully grant that we who celebrate this temporal feast may deserve to attain everlasting happiness. Through the same our Lord.
(Collect)

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Easter Tuesday

Easter Tuesday

Station at St. Paul-without-the-Walls

After the testimony to our Lord's resurrection given by the angels (Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday), and by the prince of the Apostles (Easter Monday), to-day's liturgy brings before us that of the Apostle of the Gentiles. So it is in the Basilica of St. Paul on the Via Ostia that the Church used to gather her new-born children round the tomb of this same apostle (Collect), there to teach them out of his mouth the words of Divine Wisdom. (Introit.)

The Epistle consists of a portion of the address in which St. Paul announced to the Jews of the Synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia the Resurrection of Christ, foretold by the Prophets and witnessed of by the Apostles.

The Gospel gives us a new proof of our Lord's resurrection, telling us of an appearance of Jesus in the Cenacle on the very day that He rose from the dead. Jesus makes His disciples touch Him, He eats in their presence und demonstrates from the Scriptures that it was necessary that Christ should die to save the world. The neophytes, "redeemed out of the hand of the enemy and united to God's own people " (Gradual), and all Christians with them, must, continues St. Paul, henceforth live, like 1 lie risen Christ, none but a heavenly life (Communion), and by their manner of living proclaim their faith in Christ (Collect).

Let us renew our faith in the risen Christ and show it by living, like Jesus, an entirely new life.

Aqua sapientiae potavit eos, alleluia: firmabitur in illis, et non flectetur, alleluia, et exaltabit eos in aeternum, alleluia, alleluia. * Confitemini Domino, et invocate nomen ejus: annuntiate inter gentes opera ejus.
He gave them the water of wisdom to drink, alleluia: it shall be made strong in them, and shall not be moved, alleluia, and it shall exalt them forever, alleluia, alleluia. * Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His name : declare His deeds among the nations.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:3-4 and Psalm 104:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam novo semper foetu multiplicas: concede famulis tuis; ut sacramentum vivendo tueant, quod fide perceperunt.
O God, who dost increase Thy Church with an offspring ever renewed, grant to Thy servants, that they may retain in their lives the effect of the sacrament which they have received by faith.
(Collect)


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Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter Monday

Easter Monday

Station at St. Peter's

The Octave of Easter, during which formerly no servile work was done, was one continual feast. Each day the neophytes attended Mass at a Station, at which they received Holy Communion. In the evening they went to St. John Lateran for the office of Vespers.

On the first day of the week the Station was at St. Peter's, which contains the tomb of the head of the Church. We hear his voice in the Epistle, He proclaims to the world the Resurrection of Christ, of which he was witness. Likewise the Gospel, after describing the appearance of the risen Christ to the disciples of Emmaus, mentions His apparition to Peter on the very day of His Resurrection.

Receiving as we do, during these Easter festivities, one and the same sacrament, the milk of our souls which were born to the life of God and brought into the promised land by baptism (Introit), let us all be one in heart and soul (Postcommunion) in proclaiming together our faith in the risen Christ.

Introduxit vos Dominus in terram fluentem lac et mel, alleluia: et ut lex Domini semper sit in ore vestro, alleluia, alleluia. * Confitemini Domino, et invocate nomen ejus: annuntiate inter pontes opera ejus.
The Lord hath brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey, alleluia: that the law of the Lord may be ever in your mouth, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His name: make known His deeds among the nations.
(Exodus 13:5,9 and Psalm 104:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui solemnitate paschali, mundo remedia contulisti: populum tuum, quaesumus, caelesti dono prosequere; ut et perfectam libertatem consequi mereatur, et ad vitam proficiat sempiteram.
O God, who in the Paschal solemnity hast bestowed Thy healing grace on the world; continue, we beseech Thee, to pour forth Thy heavenly gifts on Thy people ; that thereby we may deserve to obtain perfect freedom and advance toward life eternal.
(Collect)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

PASCHALTIDE - Historical Note for Easter

From the St Andrew Daily Missal

In the liturgy for Paschaltide, we follow our Lord in His different appearances: near the Holy Sepulchre, at Emmaus, at the Cenacle and in Galilee. We see Him laying the foundation of His Church and preparing His disciples for the mystery of His Ascension. On the day after the Sabbath, while it was still night, Mary Magdalen and two others of the holy women went to the sepulchre, reaching it at sunrise. This was on the first day of the Jewish week, or Easter Sunday.

An angel had come and rolled away the great stone which closed the tomb, and the terrified guards had fled. Mary Magdalen, seeing that the tomb lay open, hastened to Jerusalem to tell Peter and John, while the angel was informing two more of the holy women of our Lord's rising from the dead. The two disciples came running to the sepulchre (see Plan), and satisfied themselves that our Lord was not there. Mary Magdalen, having returned to the tomb, was the first to see our Lord after His resurrection. Towards evening the two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus also saw the risen Christ, and returning at once to inform the apostles were told that the Lord had appeared to Peter.

In the evening of the same day Christ showed Himself to His disciples, who were gathered together at the Cenacle, eight days later He appeared again, convincing Thomas who had doubted until then.
A few days after Easter the disciples returned to Galilee. One day, when seven of them were fishing in the Lake of Genesareth, our Lord appeared to them again. Moreover, He showed Himself to five hundred disciples on a mountain which He had named to them. Perhaps this was Mount Thabor, or more probably, a hill by the lake side, such as the Mount of the Beatitudes. In the Gospel for the Second Sunday after Easter is read the parable of the Good Shepherd, spoken by our Lord in the third year of His ministry, during the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem. The Gospels for the three following Sundays are drawn from our Lord's discourse at the Last Supper, as given by St. John.

The ideas which the Evangelist develops in the whole passage are as follows: I went forth from the Father and am come into the world: again I leave the world and go to the Father Rejoice, for I go to prepare a place for you in heaven, so that there where I am, you may be also. Yet a little while and you shall see me no more, and then you shall be plunged into sadness. But I will not leave you fatherless, I will come to you again through my Holy Spirit, for if anyone love Me in this Holy Spirit, my Father will love him and We will come to him and make our abode with him.

I will, therefore, ask My Father to send you the Holy Ghost, and you will then rejoice always. And when this Holy Spirit is come, He will give testimony of Me and you will then ask the Father in My name (that is, resting on my merits all the efficacy of which you will then understand), for I have strengthened you that you may go forth and bear fruit.

I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abideth in Me and I in him, he bringeth forth much fruit. And you shall be purged that you may bring forth still more, for as the world has persecuted me, so it will persecute you also. But fear not, for the Holy Ghost will speak by you and by your moutn He will convict the world of sin, showing by you that with Satan it is already judged, because it has rejected Him whom the Father sent and glorified (Resurrection and Ascension), and that in rejecting the Son it has rejected the Father, for he sees also the Father who sees the Son.

PASCHALTIDE - Liturgical Note for Easter

From the St Andrew Daily Missal

Paschaltide, beginning on Holy Saturday and ending on the Saturday after Pentecost, forms one single feast day in which are celebrated the mysteries of our Lord's Resurrection and Ascension and the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Church.

The date of Easter, by which all the movable feasts are regulated, has been the subject of more than one solemn conciliar decree. Since our Lord died and rose again at the time of the Jewish Passover, and since the Mosaic rites were to give place to these mysteries of which they were no more than the type, the Church has kept the Jewish method of reckoning, so far as Easter is concerned. Between the lunar year, which the Jews followed, and the solar year, there is a discrepancy of eleven days which results in a variation in the date of Easter between the limits of March 22nd and April 25th. The Council of Nicea decreed that the feast, should always be kept on the Sunday following the full moon after the 21st of March.

During Paschaltide the Church decorates her sanctuaries and joyous harmonies of the organ are poured forth. For the chant Asperges me at Mass is substituted the Vidi Aquam in which allusion is made to the waters of Baptism. Certain prayers like the antiphon Regina Caeli, are said standing as befits those who triumph, and during these forty days, fasting is forbidden by the Church who forgetting earth, raises the official chant of gladness which St. John tells us he heard in heaven. Introit, antiphon, verse, response, everything is followed by that enthusiastic refrain of which we are told in the Mass for Holy Saturday, "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia."

At pontifical services, the subdeacon, after having chanted the Epistle on Holy Saturday, goes to the Prelate, and says to him this sentence, which recalls the joyful message of the angels to the shepherds of Bethlehem: "Reverendissime Pater, annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, quod est alleluia: Right Reverend Father, I bring you tidings of a great joy, which is alleluia." And then, the three alleluias are sung and repeated by all.

Until Ascension Day the Paschal candle, the symbol of our Lord's visible presence upon earth, shines on the congregation with its bright flame; and white vestments, the sign of joy and purity, are used. "Show in your conduct the innocence which is symbolized by the whiteness of your vestments," said Saint Augustine to the neophytes who were clothed in albs during the whole of the Easter octave. Formerly, during Paschaltide, the Church did not allow the celebration of the feasts of any saint of secondary rank, so as not to distract the attention of the faithful from the contemplation of our Lord in triumph The Collect A cunctis and the commemoration of all the saints are suppressed, and apostles and martyrs have a special Mass, being more intimately associated with the struggle and the victory of Christ. Especially the martyrs, in this part of the cycle, are the company of the Risen Lord.