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/





Wednesday, 31 August 2016

31st August, St. Raymund Nonnatus, Confessor

St. Raymund Nonnatus, Confessor

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

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


Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium; lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)


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

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12671b.htm

Monday, 29 August 2016

29th August, St Sabina, Martyr

St Sabina, Martyr


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

Me exspectaverunt peccatores, ut perderent me: testimonia tua, Domine, intellexi: omnis consummationis vidi finem: latum mandatum tuum nimis. * Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.
The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I have understood Thy testimonies, O Lord: I have seen an end of all perfection: The commandment is exceeding broad. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:95-96,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui inter cétera poténtiae tuae mirácula etiam in sexu frágili victóriam martýrii contulísti: concéde propítius; ut, qui beátae Sabinae  Martyris tuae natalítia cólimus, per ejus ad te exémpla gradiámur.
O God, who among the wonders of Thy power hast granted even to the weaker sex the triumph of martyrdom: mercifully grant that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed Sabina Thy martyr may, through her example, advance nearer to Thee.
(Collect)


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13290a.htm

Sunday, 28 August 2016

28th August, St Hermes, Martyr


St. Hermes, Martyr

"At Rome," says the Roman Martyrology, "the triumph of St. Hermes, a very eminent personage, who, after having been some time in prison was beheaded with several other saints under the Judge Aurelian, as related in the acts of Pope St. Alexander (of about 133)."

Laetábitur justus in Dómino, et sperábit in eo: et laudabúntur omnes recti corde. * Exáudi, Deus, oratiónem meam, cum déprecor: a timóre inimíci éripe ánimam meam.
The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in Him: and all the upright of heart shall be praised. * Hear, O God, my prayer when I make supplications to Thee: deliver my sould from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:11,2 from the Introit of Mass) 

Deus, qui beatum Hermetem Martyrem tuum virtute constantiae in passione roborasti: ex ejus nobis imitatione tribue; pro amore tuo prospera mundi despicere, et nulla ejus adversa formidare.
O God, who didst endow blessed Hermes, Thy martyr, with the virtue of constancy in suffering, grant us in imitation of him to despise worldly prosperity for the love of Thee, and to fear no temporal adversity.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07268a.htm
See also Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Hermes

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

St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

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

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

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


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


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

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


In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and He filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory. * It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy name, O most High.
(Ecclesiasticus 15:5 and Psalm 91:2 from the Introit of Mass)


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


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02084a.htm

Saturday, 27 August 2016

27th August, St. Joseph Calasanctius, Confessor

St. Joseph Calasanctius, Confessor

The Church, having just celebrated the feast of the Assumption, venerates on this day a saint who had a special devotion to our Lady. St. Joseph Calasanctius was born in Aragon, of a noble family, and from his youth showed his charity towards children. While studying theology at Valencia, he had to defend himself against the enticements of a powerful and noble lady and made a vow to enter into Holy Orders. Having become a priest, he was apprised by divine revelation that he was destined to teach and to train children, especially those of the poor (Offertory). He founded, in consequence, the Order of the Poor Clerks regular of the Pious Schools of the Mother of God (Collect). Like Jesus he let little children come to him (Communion) and taught them to fear God (Introit). Wherefore the Gospel repeats the consoling words of the Master: "Whosoever shall receive one of these little ones in My name, receiveth Me."

"What is there greater," writes St. John Chrysostom, "than to discipline minds, than to form tender youths to good habits? God has shown us that their souls are worthy of such zeal and of such solicitude that for them He did not spare His Son." (Lessons of the third nocturn at Matins.)

St. Joseph Calasanctius died in 1648 at the age of 92.

Venite, filii, audite me: timorem Domini docebo vos. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
Come, children, hearken to me : I will teach you the fear of the Lord. * I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be ever in my mouth
(Psalm 33:12,2  from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui per sanctum Josephum Confessorem tuum, ad erudiendam spiritu intelligentiae ac pietatis juventutem, novum Ecclesiae tuae subsidium provenire dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; nos, ejus exemplo et intercessione, ita facere et docere, ut praemia consequamur aeterna.
O God, who by means of holy Joseph, Thy confessor, hast vouchsafed to provide Thy Church with fresh help, for training the minds of the youth in knowledge and piety; grant, we beseech Thee, that through his example and intercession, we may so live and so teach, as to deserve an eternal reward.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08518d.htm

Friday, 26 August 2016

26th August, St. Zephyrinus, Pope and Martyr

St. Zephyrinus, Pope and Martyr

St. Zephyrinus succeeded St. Victor on the pontifical throne, and like him was martyred (Gospel). He abolished the use of wooden chalices in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, and ordered them to be replaced by glass ones. He prescribed that all the faithful should receive Holy Communion on Easter Day.

He had to defend the dogma of the unity of God and the Trinity of persons against the Sabellians. Besides this intestine strife he had to suffer persecution. God always supported him in his trials, in order to enable him to support the flock of Christ (Epistle). He died in A.D. 218 after a pontificate of seventeen years.

Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite Dominum: sancti et humiles corde, laudate Deum. * Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino: laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: O ye holy and humble of heart, praise God. * All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
(Daniel 3:84,87,85 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut beati Zephyrini Martyris tui atque Pontificis, cujus gaudemus meritis, instruamur exemplis.
O almighty God, grant, we beseech Thee, to us who rejoice in the merits of blessed Zephyrinus, Thy martyr and bishop, that we may profit by the example of his life.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15756c.htm

Thursday, 25 August 2016

25th August, St. Louis, King and Confessor

St. Louis, King and Confessor

Louis IX, born in 1215, became King of France at the age of 12 and was very piously brought up by his mother, queen Blanche, who taught him to wish rather to die than to commit a mortal sin. He liked to be called Louis of Poissy, the place where he had been baptized, to show that his title of Christian was his most glorious title of nobility.

"Despising the pleasures of the world, he only strove to please Jesus Christ, the true King" (Collect), "and was," says Bossuet, "the holiest and most just king who has ever worn the crown."

Assiduous in attending the offices of the Church, he ordered them to be solemnly celebrated in his palace where every day he heard two masses. At midnight he rose for Matins and began his royal day with the office of Prime. He introduced into his chapel the custom of genuflecting at the words in the Creed: Et homo factus est, and of bowing down humbly at the passage in the Passion when Jesus expires. Both these pious practices were adopted by the Church. "They impute to me as a crime my assiduity at prayer," he would say, "but not a word would be said if I gave to play or to the hunt the hours I give to prayer." But never did his piety hinder him from devoting to the affairs of the kingdom the greater part of his time.

Having recovered from a serious illness he made a vow to undertake a crusade to reconquer Jerusalem. At first victorious, he fell at last into the hands of the Saracens. Restored to freedom, he remained five years in the East helping the Christians. On his return to France, he made many pious foundations and built the Sainte Chapelle, as a precious reliquary for the holy crown of thorns and the important particle of the true Cross which Baldwin II, Emperor of Constantinople, had presented to him. Most austere himself, he was most charitable to others, and used to say: "It is more meet for a king to ruin himself in alms for God's sake than in pomp and vain glory."  "Often," says Joinville, "I have seen the good king, after Mass, go to the wood at Vincennes, sit down at the foot of an oak-tree and there listen to all who had to speak to him."

A servant of Christ, he continually wore the cross to show that his vow remained unaccomplished. He undertook in 1270 another crusade, but an epidemic decimated his army near Tunis and struck him down. With his arms crossed and lying on a bed of ashes, he gave up his soul to God in 1270, at the same hour that Christ died on the cross. He was heard to repeat the day before his death: "We shall go to Jerusalem." It was in reality to heavenly Jerusalem, conquered by his patience in the midst of his adversities, where he was to reign with the King of kings (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)

Deus, qui beatum Ludovi cum Confessorem tuum de terreno regno ad caelestis regni gloriam transtulisti: ejus, quaesumus, meritis et intercessione, Regis regum Jesu Christi Filii tui facias nos esse consortes.
O God, who didst remove blessed Louis, Thy confessor, from an earthly throne to the glory of Thy heavenly kingdom; grant, we beseech Thee, through his merits and prayers, that we may be permitted to share in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, the King of kings.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encylopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09368a.htm

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

24th August, St. Bartholomew, Apostle

St. Bartholomew, Apostle

Bartholomew, or the son of Tholomy, is, according to common opinion, the disciple whom St. Philip brought to our Lord, under the name of Nathanael and whom the Master praised on account of his innocence and the simplicity of his heart. For the Gospel of St. John, never mentioning St. Bartholomew among the apostles, says that Philip and

Nathanael came together to Jesus and that he was among the disciples to whom the Saviour appeared after the resurrection on the shore of the nea of Galilee. The other Gospels never use the name of Nathanael, but after Philip they always mention Bartholomew.

Born at Cana, in Galilee, he was placed by Jesus among the twelve (Gospel) and he was a witness of the principal actions of Jesus upon the earth. "The first gift vouchsafed to the Church by the Holy Ghost," says St. Paul, "is the grace of the apostleship" (Epistle).

He preached the faith in Arabia Felix: according to certain traditions he was flayed alive. He is thus represented in the beautiful white marble statue by Cibo, in Milan Cathedral.

His relics are venerated at Rome, in the church of St. Bartholomew on an island formed by the Tiber. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass among the apostles.

Let us joyfully celebrate the feast of St. Bartholomew who, in heaven, praises God among the glorious choir of the apostles (Alleluia), and let us ask of God to grant to His Church to love what he believed and to preach what he himself taught (Collect).


Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus: nimis confortatus est principatus eorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me : tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.
To me, Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.

(Psalm 138:17,1-2 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui hujus diei venerandam sanctamque laetitiam in beati Apostoli tui Bartholomaei festivitate tribuisti: da Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, et amare quod credidit, et praedicare quod docuit.
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given us this day a reverent and holy joy in the feast of Thy blessed apostle Bartholomew; grant, we beseech Thee, unto Thy Church ever to love that which he believed and to preach that which he taught.
(Collect)

"Philip met Nathanael and said to him: The one of whom Moses has written in the law and whom the prophets have announced we have found: it is Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come from Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards Him and said of him: That is a true Israelite in whom there is no guile. Nathanael said to Him: Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered: Before Philip called thee when thou wast under the fig-tree I saw thee. Nathanael replied: Rabbi. Thou art the Son of God. Thou art the King of Israel."
(St. John 1:46-49.)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02313c.htm

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

23rd August, The Vigil of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

The Vigil of St. Bartholomew, Apostle

The feasts of the Apostles are spread throughout the liturgical Cycle as if to show that the Apostles are the foundation on which the whole Church rests. St. Bartholomew is the sixth in the list of twelve, as given by the Evangelists. Like the other Apostles he learned the secrets of the divine law and made them known to the world, confirming them by his martyrdom (Gospel). On this day the liturgy prepares us for his feast of to-morrow (Collect).

Ego autem sicut oliva fructifera in domo Domini, speravi in misericordia Dei mei: et exspectabo nomen tuum, quoniam bonum est ante conspectum sanctorum tuorum. * Quid gloriaris in malitia: qui potens es in iniquitate?
But I, as a fruitful olive-tree in the house of the Lord, have hoped in the mercy of my God: and I will wait on Thy name, for it is good in the sight of Thy saints. * Why dost thou glory in malice, thou that art mighty in iniquity?
(Psalm 51:10-11,3 from the Introit of Mass)

Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus; ut beati Bartholomaei Apostoli tui, quam praevenimus, veneranda solemnitas, et devotionem nobis augeat, et salutem.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the solemn feast of Thine apostle Bartholemew, which we anticipate, may both increase our devotion and advance our salvation.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02313c.htm

23rd August, St. Philip Benizi, Confessor

St. Philip Benizi, Confessor

We honour on this day a Saint to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared to announce to him that he was to enter the Order of Servites, whose object is to honour the sorrows through which she attained the glory we have rejoiced in during eight days.

Born at Florence of the illustrious family of Benizi, St. Philip gave signs from the cradle, of his future holiness. The order of the Servants of the Virgin Mary, called Servites, had been instituted fifteen years before. The little convent was not far from the town. There, while hearing mass on the Thursday in Easter Week, St. Philip was struck by the words ut the Epistle addressed by the Holy Ghost to Philip, the deacon. As he bore that name, he applied to himself the scriptural text and feeling himself invited by the Holy Ghost to enter that Order, he left everything to purchase the imperishable treasure of heaven (Gospel). Entering as a lay brother, he was later on ordained a priest, and became general of the Servites.

The Cardinals, assembled at Viterbo, wished to elect him Pope but out of humility (Collect) he refused the honour and hid himself in the mountains. There he flourished like the palm-tree and grew like the cedar of Libanus (Introit). God then called him to evangelize Italy, France and Germany. On his return he was confirmed in his office for life. He tried to calm the animosity which existed between the Guelfs, partisans of the Pope, and the Ghibellines, partisans of the Emperor, and ran serious danger to which the Epistle alludes.

He was seized by a burning fever on Assumption Day, and died at Todi in 1285, on the day of the Octave, contemplating the crucifix.

Let us ask God to grant us the humility of St. Philip so that, despising as he did the riches of the world, we may always seek the riches of heaven (Collect).


Justus ut palma florebit: sicut cedrus Libani multiplicabitur: plantatus in domo Domini: in atriis domus Dei nostri. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
(Psalm 91:13-14,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui per beatum Philippum Confessorem tuum, eximium nobis humilitatis exemplum tribuisti: da famulis tuis prospera mundi ex ejus imitatione despicere, et caelestia semper inquirere.
O God, who in blessed Philip, Thy confessor, hast set before us a marvellous example of humility: do Thou bestow upon us Thy servants, the grace to despise, as he did, all earthly prosperity, and ever to strive after heavenly things.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13736a.htm

Monday, 22 August 2016

22nd August, SS. Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, Martyrs

SS. Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, Martyrs

Timothy of Antioch came to Rome in 310 and was martyred in 311. He was cruelly beaten and quicklime was sprinkled over his torn flesh. At last he was beheaded.

On the same day at Ostia, Hippolytus, bishop of Porto, was thrown into a hole filled with water and received the crown of martyrdom about A.D. 225.

Again on the same day, about A.D. 180, under the reign of Aurelian, Symphorian, who was still a young man, was beheaded at Autun. While he went to execution his mother said to him: "My son, my son, remember eternal life; look up to heaven and see the One who reigns there; life is not taken from thee, it is exchanged for a better one."


Salus autem justorum a Domino: et protector eorum est in tempore tribulationis. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
But the salvation of the just if from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. * Be not emulous of evildoers; nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:39,1 from the Introit of Mass)


Auxilium tuum nobis, Domine, quaesumus, placatus impende: et, intercedentibus beatis Martyribus tuis Timotheo, Hippolyto et Symphoriano, dexteram super nos tuae propitiationis extende.
Deny us not, O merciful Lord, Thy help: but listening to the prayers of Thy blessed martyrs Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, stretch forth over us the right hand of Thy merciful forgiveness.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14727a.htm

22nd August, The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

According to a tradition sanctioned by authority, it was at Jerusalem, near the room of the Last Supper, at the spot where now stands a church committed to the care of the Benedictines, that Mary breathed her last (Secret). And it is at the foot of the Mount of Olives, in a place where about 1130 a monastery of the Benedictine monks of Cluny was built, that her mortal remains were laid and "she was carried up to heaven" (Alleluia).

The pilgrimages made to this tomb originated the feast of the Assumption which was already solemnized in the East at the end of the sixth century. At the beginning of the seventh, the feast was also solemnized at Rome, and it spread with the Roman liturgy over the whole West.

Pope Leo IV instituted the Octave in 847.

"We have accompanied thee with all our prayers when thou didst ascend towards thy Son," says St. Bernard, "and we have at least followed thee at a distance, O blessed Virgin! May thy goodness make known to the world the grace bestowed on thee by God : obtain by thy holy prayers the forgiveness of the guilty, health for the sick, strength for weak souls, consolation for the afflicted, help and deliverance for those in peril. O Mary, queen of clemency, on this joyful solemnity may thy humble servants, who praise and invoke thy sweet name, be overwhelmed with graces by Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who is the sovereign God, blessed throughout the ages. Amen."

Let us honour Mary with special confidence during these feasts which celebrate her triumph.

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY

By His Holiness Pope Pius XII

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Help of Christians, Refuge of the human race, Conqueror in all God's battles, we humbly prostrate ourselves before thy throne. We are confident of obtaining mercy, grace, and help in the present calamities, not for our own merits, to which we make no claim, but only because of the great goodness of thy Maternal Heart.

In this tragic hour of human history we confide, entrust, and consecrate to thy Immaculate Heart the Holy Church, Mystical Body of thy Son, Jesus, which bleeds now from so many wounds and is so sorely tried. We consecrate likewise to thy Immaculate Heart the whole world torn as it is by deadly strife, afire with hatred and paying the penalty of its own wickedness. Be moved to pity by the sight of so much destruction and ruin of souls, by the grief and agony of fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers, sisters, and innocent children. Look with compassion on the lives cut off in the flower of youth, on the bodies mangled in horrible slaughter, on the many souls torn with anguish, and on all those in danger of being lost forever. Mother of Mercy, obtain for us peace from God and the grace that is able in an instant to change the heart of man, the grace that brings and fosters peace, and makes it lasting. Queen of Peace, pray for us and give to the warring world that peace for which the nations long, a peace in the truth, in the righteousness, and in the love of Jesus Christ.

Turn their weapons aside and let peace possess their souls so that God's kingdom may be set up in quiet order. Stretch out a helping hand to the unbeliever and to all who live in the shadow of death. Give them peace and grant that enlightened by the truth they may repeat with us before the one Saviour of the world "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will."

Give peace also to the peoples separated from us by error or strife and in particular to those who have professed a special devotion to thee and in whose homes thine icon was always an object of veneration. It is hidden away now maybe to await the dawn of better days. Bring them back to the one fold of Christ under the one true shepherd. Grant perfect peace and freedom to the holy Church of God. Stem the flood of modern paganism. Let the love of purity increase among the children of God. Make us live as true followers of Christ, as zealous apostles, so that God's servants may grow in merit and increase in number. And as the whole human race was consecrated to the heart of thy Jesus that through hope in Him He might become for all the sign and pledge of victory and salvation, so we in like manner consecrate ourselves forever to thee and to thy Immaculate Heart, O Mother and Queen of the world. This we do so that thy love and protection may hasten the triumph of God's kingdom. Thus may all nations at peace with one another and with God proclaim thee blessed, and sing with thee from pole to pole the unending Magnificat of glory, love, and thanksgiving to the Heart of Jesus in which alone they can find truth, life, and peace. Amen.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

21st August, St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal, widow

St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal, widow


Like Mary, whose Assumption we have been celebrating for the last seven days, St. Jane Frances de Chantal was a spouse, a mother and a widow. She was born at Dijon, in the same country as St. Bernard, and received the baptismal name of Jane, because that day, January 23, 1572, was the feast of St. John the Almoner.

The name of Frances which she added at her confirmation, reminds us of the gentle saint of Geneva. As in days of yore Benedict and Scholastica, Francis of Assisi and Clare, so Francis of Sales and Jane Frances, corresponding with the designs of divine Providence, united their pious efforts and enriched the Church by the "foundation of a new family" (Collect).

At the death of Baron de Chantal (1601), his young widow consecrated herself to God by a vow of perpetual chastity, and she wrote with a red hot iron the name of Jesus on her breast.

This strong woman, spoken of in the Epistle, left everything to acquire at this price the precious pearl of a religious life (Gospel).

Her father and four of her six children were still living.

"Let us stop shedding tears," this venerable old man said to her, "that we may better honour the holy will of God." Her son, Celse-Benigne, opposed his mother's departure and laid himself across the door: "If," he said, "I cannot keep you back, you will at least have to pass over the body of your son."

Madame de Chantal in spite of her maternal feelings and after shedding a torrent of tears, gathered up her strength and passed over the body of her son.

She became the mother of innumerable nuns of the Order of the Visitation, now dispersed over the whole world. Filled with the spirit of divine charity (Postcommunion), she constantly repeated to them, like St. John, the apostle: "Let us love God with our whole heart and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God." She died at Moulins in 1641.

Like St. Jane Frances, and by her intercession, let us pray God, that, knowing our weakness and relying on His strength, we may by His grace overcome all obstacles (Collect).


Cognovi, Domine, quia aequitas judicia tua, et in veritate tua humiliasti me: confige timore tuo carnes meas, a mandatis tuis timui. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
I know, O Lord, that Thy judgements are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me: pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear, I am afraid of Thy judgements. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:75 and 120:1 from the Introit of Mass).

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui beatam Joannam Franciscam tuo amore succensam, admirabili spiritus fortitudine per omnes vitae semitas in via perfections donasti, quique per illam illustrare Ecclesiam tuam nova prole voluisti: ejus meritis et precibus concede; ut, qui infirmitatis nostrae conscii de tua virtute confidimus, caelestis gratiae auxilio, cuncta nobis adversantia vincamus.
Almighty and merciful God, who didst endow blessed Jane Frances with wonderful strength of soul, and wast pleased to lead her, burning always with love of Thee, through every path of life along the way of perfection; and by means of her didst bless Thy Church with new and illustrious spiritual offspring: graciously regard her merits and prayers, and grant that we who, fully conscious of our own weakness, put all our trust in the strength which comes from Thee, may by the help of Thy grace, overcome all things which withstand us.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08282c.htm

Saturday, 20 August 2016

20th August, St Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot and Doctor

The Church is pleased to honour during the octave of the Assumption St. Bernard, the honey-mouthed Doctor, Doctor Mellifluus, whose principal title of glory is to have celebrated with ineffable tenderness and ardent piety, in his prayers, his books and sermons, the varied greatness of Mary.

Born in 1091, of a noble Burgundian family, he succeeded at the age of 22 in winning over to Christ thirty noblemen who with him embraced monastic life at Citeaux. There the Cistercian Order, a branch of the old Benedictine trunk, acquired a new vigour which enabled it to cover the whole of Europe with its shoots. "The just," says the Offertory, "shall flourish like the palm-tree, he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus." And in the famous monastery which Bernard founded a short time afterwards in the vale of Clairvaux on the left bank of the Aube, and whose first Abbot he became (Communion), he each day lavished on a community of seven hundred monks the treasures of doctrine and wisdom with which God endowed him and which make his name immortal (Introit, Epistle, Gradual).

An austere monk, a great Christian orator and a learned doctor, he was the luminary, mentioned in the Gospel, which enlightened the world in the twelfth century.

Pope Eugenius III, who had been trained by him to the monastic life, solicited and received his counsels; at the Council of Etampes, he put an end to the schism which, opposing Anacletus to Innocent III, troubled the clergy and people of Rome. He was consulted by William of Aquitaine, by the Duchess of Lorraine, by the Countess of Brittany, by Henry son of the King of France, by Peter son of the King of Portugal, by Louis VI, Louis VII, Conrad, Lothaire and by the Abbot of St. Denis. He silenced the famous Doctor Abelard at the Council of Laon, and his powerful logic unmasked the errors of Arnold of Brescia and of Peter de Bruys (Gospel). Lastly he attacked Islam and, by preaching the second crusade at Vezelay, he stirred up the whole of Europe by his overpowering eloquence.

St. Bernard died at Clairvaux on August 20, 1153, and his body was laid at the foot of the altar of the Blessed Virgin. He left 160 monasteries which he had founded in Europe and Asia. His writings, replete with doctrines inspired by divine wisdom, caused him to be placed among the Doctors of the Church by Pius VIII.

Let us have recourse to the intercession in heaven of the one who on earth taught us the way of life (Collect), let us ask him to give us his love for the Mother of God, and let us piously recite the anthem of the Season: Salve Regina, of which the three last invocations, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, are attributed to him.




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 populo tuo aeternae salutis beatum Bernardum ministrum tribuisti: praesta, quaesumus; ut, quem Doctorem vitae habuimus in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in caelis.
O God, who didst give unto Thy people blessed Bernard 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)

"If squalls of temptations arise, or thou fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star, call upon Mary. If thou art tossed by the waves of pride or ambition, detraction or envy, look to the star, call upon Mary. If anger or avarice or the desires of the flesh dash against the ship of thy soul, turn thine eyes towards Mary. If, trouble by the enormity of thy crimes, ashamed of thy guilty conscience, terrified by dread of the judgment, thou beginnest to sink into sink into the gulf of sadness or the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in anguish, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let her be ever on thy lips, ever in thy heart; and the better to obtain the help of her prayers, imitate the example of her life. Following her, thou strayest not; invoking her, thou despairest not; thinking of her, thou wanderest not; upheld by her, thou fallest not; shielded by her, thou fearest not; guided by her, thou growest not weary; favoured by her, thou reachest the goal. And thus dost thou experience in thyself how good is that saying: And the Virgin's name was Mary."
(St Bernard of Clairvaux)

[from a homily of St. Bernard of Clairvaux....]

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02498d.htm

Friday, 19 August 2016

19th August, St John Eudes, Confessor


St. John Eudes, Confessor

Born at Rye in France on the 14th November 1601, John Eudes had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin from his very childhood. At the age of 14, he consecrated himself to her by a vow of perpetual chastity. On Christmas Day 1625, he was ordained priest; in 1643 he founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary usually known as Eudists, and in 1644 the Congregation of the Sisters of our Lady of Charity,known as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

St. John Eudes founded several seminaries and preached many missions in France, but his grandest title is that given him by St Pius X: "Father, Doctor and Apostle of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary." He died on the 19th of August 1680 at Caen.

He was beatified on the 25th of April 1909 by Pius X and on the 31st of May 1925 canonized by Pius XI.

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium; lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Joannem Confessorem tuum, ad cultum sacrorum Cordium Jesu et Mariae rite promovendum, mirabiliter inflammasti, et per eum novas in Ecclesia tua familias congregare voluisti: praesta, quaesumus: ut cujus pia merita veneramur, virtutum quoque instruamur exemplis.
O God, who didst wonderfully inflame blessed John Thy confessor to promote the public worship of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and through him didst will to found new religious families in the Church; grant, we beseech thee, that we who venerate his merits may also be taught by the example of his virtues.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05596a.htm

Thursday, 18 August 2016

18th August, St. Agapitus, Martyr

 St. Agapitus, Martyr

"At Palestrina (the old Praeneste, near Rome), the birth unto heaven of St. Agapitus, who, when only fifteen years old, was put to death after several torments by the stroke of the sword, thus winning the crown of immortality (275)" (Roman Martyrology).

Laetábitur justus in Dómino, et sperábit in eo: et laudabúntur omnes recti corde. * Exáudi, Deus, oratiónem meam, cum déprecor: a timóre inimíci éripe ánimam meam.
The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in Him: and all the upright of heart shall be praised. * Hear, O God, my prayer when I make supplications to Thee: deliver my sould from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:11,2 from the Introit of Mass)


Laetetur Ecclesia tua, Deus, beati Agapiti Martyris tui confisa suffragiis: atque ejus precibus gloriosis, et devota permaneat, et secura consistat.
Let Thy Church rejoice, O God, in the intercession of the holy martyr Agapitus, in whose prayers she trusts; and through them may she ever devoutly serve Thee and abide in peace and safety.
(Collect)

18th August, Within the Octave of the Assumption

Within the Octave of the Assumption

"The immaculate body of Mary remained without corruption and was borne up to heaven, before the general resurrection." (Lesson at Matins).

The Council of the Vatican, which had to be adjourned in 1870, was not able to carry out the desire which had been expressed for the definition of this dogma. The task was completed by Pope Pius XII in 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, in which he exercised the proper infallibility of the Roman Pontiff - "that they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles." (Vatican Council 1870)

Previously it was held as doctrinally certain. As the St Andrew Missal reported, "although not defined as a dogma of our faith, this truth is of those no one is permitted to doubt, as Benedict XIV declares."

In fact the  final triumph of the Assumption corresponds with this initial privilege of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. As the feast of the Conception of the Virgin affirmed in certain liturgies how appropriately God almighty had made Mary a creature apart from her very birth, so the feast of the Assumption each year proclaims the same appropriateness when she leaves this earth. The harmony which reigns in the works of God required an earlier resurrection of the Mother of God, who, holy among all and ever virgin, deserved on the part of her Son an adequate reward worthy of her position as Queen of heaven and mediatrix of all mankind.


O Jesu, vivens in Maria, veni et vive in famulis tuis, in Spiritu sanctitatis tuae, in plenitudine virtutis tuae, in veritate virtutum tuarum, in perfectione viarum tuarum, in communione mysteriorum tuorum, dominar omni adversae potestati in Spiritu tuo ad gloriam Patris. Amen.
O Jesus, who dost live in Mary, come and live in Thy servants, in the spirit of Thine own holiness, in the fullness of Thy power, in the reality of Thy virtues, in the perfection of Thy ways, in the communion of Thy mysteries, - have Thou dominion over every adverse power, in Thine own Spirit, to the glory of Thy Father. Amen.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

17th August, Octave Day of St Lawrence


 The Octave Day of St. Laurence

Probasti, Domine, cor meum et visitasti nocte: igne me examinasti, et non est inventa in me iniquitas. * Exaudi, Domine, justitiam meam: intende deprecationem meam.
Thou hast proved my heart, O Lord, and visited it by night: Thou hast tried me by fire, and iniquity hath not been found in me. * Hear, O Lord, my justice: attend to my supplication.
(Psalm 16:3,1 from the introit of Mass)

Excita, Domine, in Ecclesia tua Spiritum, cui beatus Laurentius Levita servivit: ut, eodem nos repleti, studeamus amare quod amavit, et opere exercere quod docuit. 
Stir up within Thy Church, O Lord, the Spirit which blessed Laurence Thy deacon obeyed: that therewith we too may be filled and may strive to love what he loved and may put in practice what he taught.
(Collect)

17th August, St Hyacinth, Confessor

St. Hyacinth, Confessor

St. Hyacinth, called the apostle of the North, was born in 1185 at the castle of Kamin, near Breslau.

Having gone to Rome, he was received there into the Order of Friar Preachers, by its founder, St. Dominic, in the church of St. Sabina. At the age of 33, he was made superior of the mission which this saint sent to Poland.

St. Hyacinth then went over to Austria, Poland, Denmark, Scotland and Livonia, everywhere preaching the word of God, which his numerous miracles confirmed.

He died on the feast of the Assumption in 1257.


Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium; lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos beáti Hyacinthi Confessóris tui ánnua solemnitáte laetíficas: concéde propítius; ut, cujus natalítia cólimus, étiam actiónes imitémur.
O God who dost gladden us by the annual solemnity of blessed Hyacinth, Thy confessor, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his heavenly birthday may also imitate his example.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07591b.htm

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

16th August, St Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Confessor

St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Confessor

Desiring to associate the name of Joachim with the triumph of his blessed daughter, the Church has transferred his feast from March 20 to the day following the Assumption. Leo XIII whose baptismal name was Joachim, raised his feast and that of St. Anne to the rank of double of the second class (1879).

"Joachim and Anne," says St. Epiphanes, "earned divine favour by an irreproachable life and merited that their union should bear for its beautiful fruit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the temple and Mother of God. Joachim, Anne, and Mary offered manifestly together a sacrifice of praise to the Holy Trinity. The name of Joachim signifies preparation of the Lord. Is it not he, in fact, who prepares the temple of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin?"

Wherefore, the Introit and Gradual enhance the virtues of this great Confessor and recall the frequent almsgiving of the saint, for, according to tradition, he divided what he had into three parts, of which the first was given to the temple and its ministers, the second to the poor, and the third was all he kept for himself.

"Most blessed couple," says in his turn St. John of Damascus, "the whole creation is in your debt. For it is through you that it has been enabled to offer the Creator a present above all presents, the chaste Mother, who alone was worthy of the Creator. Rejoice, Joachim, for unto us a Son is born of thy daughter." And the Gospel selected shows us the royal lineage of this Son, for by his marriage with Mary, daughter of Joachim or Heliachim, Joseph, son of Jacob, made Jesus the legal heir of David. As grace perfects nature without destroying it, it may be affirmed that Joachim, united like St. Joseph and St. Anne by a very intimate tie to the Mother of God and her Son, is called to exercise his perpetual patronage (Collect) with regard to the Church, the body of Christ, or with regard to our souls of which Mary is mother.

Let us, on this day, offer to God the Holy Sacrifice in honour of the Holy Patriarch Joachim, father of the Virgin Mary, in order that his prayer, added to that of his spouse and of their blessed child, may obtain the full remission of our sins and eternal glory (Secret)


Dispersit, dedit pauperibus: justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi: cornu ejus exaltabitur in gloria. * Beatus vir, qui timet Dominum: in mandatis ejus cupit nimis.
He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory. * Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he delighteth exceedingly in His commandments.
(Psalm 101:9,1 from the introit of Mass)




Deus, qui prae omnibus Sanctis tuis beatum Joachim Genitricis Filii tui patrem esse voluisti: concede, quaesumus; ut, cujus festa veneramur, ejus quoque perpetuo patrocinia sentiamus. 
O God, who of all Thy saints didst choose blessed Joachim to be father to the Mother of Thy Son; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who keep his feast-day, may ever experience his patronage.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08406b.htm

Monday, 15 August 2016

15th August, Assumption of Our Blessed Lady

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On this feast, the most ancient and solemn of the Cycle of Mary (sixth century), the Church invites all her children in the catholic world to unite their joy (Introit) and their gratitude (Preface) with those of the angels who praise the Son of God because on that day His Mother, bodily and spiritually, entered heaven (Alleluia).

Admitted to the enjoyment of the delights of eternal contemplation, she chose at the feet of the Master the better part which shall not be taken away from her (Gospel, Communion). The Gospel of the Vigil was indeed formerly read after to-day's Gospel, in order to show that the Mother of Christ is happy among all others, because, better than all others, "she listened to the word of God". This word, the Word, the divine Wisdom which, under the Old Law, dwelt among the people of Israel (Epistle), dwelt in Mary under the New Law. The Word became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin, and now amid the splendour of the heavenly Sion He fills her with the delights of the beatific vision.

The Church on earth, like Martha, has to care for the necessities of this present life, but she also like her, invokes the help of Mary (Collect, Secret, Postcommunion).

A procession has always been a part of the feast of the Assumption. At Jerusalem it was formed by the numerous pilgrims who came to pray at the tomb of the Blessed Virgin and who thus contributed to the institution of this solemnity.

The clergy of Constantinople also held a procession on the feast of the Rest or Assumption of Mary. At Rome from the seventh to the sixteenth century the papal cortege, in which the representatives of the Senate and people took part, went on this day from the church of St. John Lateran to that of St. Mary Major. This ceremony was called the Litany.

On this occasion they used to recite over the people assembled for the procession the Collect for Assumption Day which is first in the Sacramentary and mentions this mystery, whilst our Collect of the Mass on August 15th was only the second Collect and has no direct relation to the feast. This is the first Collect: "It is our duty to honour the solemnity of this day, O Lord; the holy Mother of God did indeed suffer temporal death, although the bonds of this death could not hold back her whose flesh formed the body of Thy Son, our Lord who liveth and reigneth."

It is in the Basilica of St.Mary Major that the Station is held at Christmas to solemnize the mystery from which flowed all the glories of the Virgin, and it is also there that was solemnized the Assumption, in which they culminate. Mary received Jesus when He came to this world and it is Jesus who receives Mary into heaven.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore beatae Mariae Virginis: de cujus Assumptione gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival-day in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, for whose Assumption the angels rejoice and give praise to the Son of God. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Psalm 44:2 from the introit of Mass)

Famulorum tuorum, quaesumus, Domine, delictis ignosce: ut, qui tibi placere de actibus nostris non valemus; Genitricis Filii tui Domini nostri intercessione salvemur.
Forgive, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the sins of Thy servants ; and may we, who are unable to please Thee by our deeds, be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son, our Lord.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke
At that time: Jesus entered into a certain town; and a certain woman, named Martha, received Him into her honse and she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard His word. But Martha was busy about much serving : who stood and said: Lord, hast Thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: but one thing is necessary, Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.
(St Luke 10:38-42)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02006b.htm

Sunday, 14 August 2016

14th August, St Eusebius, Confessor

St. Eusebius of Rome, Confessor

St. Eusebius, a Roman priest, opposed the Arians under the reign of Constantius. Imprisoned in his room by order of the Emperor, he persevered seven months in prayer, and fell asleep in the Lord about the middle of the fourth century. He was buried in the cemetery of Callistus. He has always been very much honoured at Rome. The Station is held in an ancient church bearing his name on the Friday in the fourth week in Lent.

Justus ut palma florebit: sicut cedrus Libani multiplicabitur: plantatus in domo Domini: in atriis domus Dei nostri. * Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.
The just shall flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus: planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
(Psalm 91:13-14,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos beati Eusebii Confessoris tui annua solemnitate laetificas: concede propitius; ut cujus natalitia colimus, per ejus ad te exempla gradiamur.
O God, who dost gladden us by the yearly solemnity of blessed Eusebius, Thy confessor, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his birthday, may by following his example draw near unto Thee.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05615a.htm

14th August, Vigil of the Assumption of Our Lady

The Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Christ after having lain for only three days in the tomb, rose again and ascended to heaven. Likewise, the death of the Virgin resembled rather a short sleep, hence it was called "Dormitio" and before corruption could defile her body, God restored her to life and glorified her in heaven. These three privileges are celebrated by the feast of the Assumption which follows logically from the privilege of the Immaculate Conception and the Mystery of the Incarnation. For sin never having defiled the soul of Mary, it was right that her body, in which the Word had become Incarnate, should not be tainted by the corruption of the tomb.

Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis: adducentur regi virgines post eam: proximae ejus adducentur tibi in laetitia et exsultatione. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea regi.
All the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbours shall be brought to Thee in gladness and rejoicing. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Psalm 44:13,15-16,2 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui virginalem aulam beatae Mariae, in qua habitares, eligere dignatus es: da, quaesumus; ut, sua nos defensione munitos, jucundos facias suae interesse festivitati.
O God, who didst vouchsafe to choose for Thy dwelling the virginal womb of blessed Mary; grant, we beseech Thee, that we who enjoy her intercession, may assist with joy at her festival.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02006b.htm

13th Sunday after Pentecost

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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



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



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

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



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



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

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



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

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



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

Saturday, 13 August 2016

13th August, SS. Hippolytus and Cassian, Martyrs

SS. Hippolytus and Cassian, Martyrs

The account in the breviary tells us that Hippolytus, who was to guard St. Laurence in his prison, was converted by the saint.

He was martyred about A.D. 258 and was buried not far from the tomb of St. Laurence, where a church was built in his honour.

On the same day, Cassian of Imola, a schoolmaster, was delivered, with his hands tied behind his back, to his young pagan pupils who pierced him to death with their stilettos.

Salus autem justorum a Domino: et protector eorum est in tempore tribulationis. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
But the salvation of the just if from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. * Be not emulous of evildoers; nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:39,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut beatorum Martyrum tuorum Hippolyti et Cassiani veneranda solemnitas, et devotionem nobis augeat, et salutem.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that this venerable solemnity of Thy holy martyrs Hippolytus and Cassian, may increase our devotion and promote our salvation.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07362a.htm

Friday, 12 August 2016

12th August, St. Clare, Virgin

St. Clare, Virgin

As God had raised at the side of St. Benedict his sister St. Scholastica, so He placed by St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, whom he made superioress of the second Order founded by him.

The Saint was born at Assisi, at the end of the twelfth century. On a visit to the Patriarch St. Francis, she expressed to him her desire of becoming the spouse of Christ (Epistle). As he had not yet instituted nuns of his Order, he sent the young virgin to the Benedictine nuns of St. Paul, and later on to the Benedictine monastery of St. Angelo de Panso, in the neighbourhood of Assisi.

Her sister, Agnes, having joined her, St. Francis placed them in a small house adjacent to the church of St. Damian. Very soon their mother and many other persons joined them. Their rule entailed austerities unknown until then in monasteries for women. They walked bare-footed, slept on the ground, observed perpetual abstinence, and made poverty the basis of their lives, so that by detachment they might give themselves more to God.

The extraordinary devotion of St. Clare to the Blessed Sacrament was rewarded by a miracle. On the day when the Saracens, who were besieging Assisi tried to enter the Convent of St. Damian, she held up the ciborium and put them to flight.

On August 11, 1253, she was visited by a choir of virgins, in white robes, among whom was one who surpassed in beauty all the others (Offertory), and she went to meet her spouse (Communion). Two years after she was canonized by Pope Alexander IV.

St. Francis founded three Orders: The Franciscans or First Order, the Poor Clares or Second Order and lastly, for the laity, his Third Order. The Second Order, numbered In 1935 13600 members. It gave to the Church 5 saints and 17 beatified.

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 blessed Clare Thy Virgin, so we may be instructed in the affection of pious devotion.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04004a.htm

11th August, St Philomena, Virgin and Martyr

St Philomena, Virgin and Martyr

On 25 May, 1802, during the quest for the graves of Roman martyrs in the Catacomb of Priscilla, a tomb was discovered and opened. The remains found in the above-mentioned tomb were shown to be those of a young maiden, and, as the name Filumena was discovered on the earthenware slabs closing the grave, it was assumed that they were those of a virgin martyr named Philumena. On 8 June, 1805, the relics were translated to the church of Mugnano, Diocese of Nola (near Naples), and enshrined under one of its altars. In 1827 Leo XII presented the church with the three earthenware tiles, with the inscription, which may be seen in the church even today.

On the basis of private revelations to a nun in Naples, in consequence of the wonderful favours received in answer to prayer before the relics of the saint at Mugnano, devotion to them spread rapidly, and, after instituting investigations into the question, Gregory XVI appointed a special feast to be held on 9 September, "in honorem s. Philumenae virginis et martyris."

Loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum, et non confundebar: et meditabar in mandatis tuis, quae dilexi nimis. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed: I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:46-47,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui inter cétera poténtiae tuae mirácula etiam in sexu frágili victóriam martýrii contulísti: concéde propítius; ut, qui beátae Philomenae Vírginis et Martyris tuae natalítia cólimus, per ejus ad te exémpla gradiámur.
O God, who among the wonders of Thy power hast granted even to the weaker sex the triumph of martyrdom: mercifully grant that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed Philomena Thy virgin and martyr may, through her example, advance nearer to Thee.
(Collect)


Thursday, 11 August 2016

11th August, SS. Tiburtius and Susanna, Martyrs

SS. Tiburtius and Susanna, Martyrs

Like St. Laurence, Tiburtius, son of the prefect of Rome, was thrown into the flames. Armed with the sign of the cross, the martyr walked full of confidence on the burning coal. He was then led out of the town and beheaded on the Lavicanian Way in 286.

On the same day Susanna, a maiden of high birth who, on account of her vow of virginity had refused to marry Galerius Maximus, son of the Emperor Diocletian, was beheaded in her house about 295.

Her body is preserved with that of her father, St. Gabinus and that of St. Felicitas, mother of the seven martyrs honoured July 10, in the church of St. Susanna, where the Station is held on the Saturday of the third week in Lent.

Salus autem justorum a Domino: et protector eorum est in tempore tribulationis. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
But the salvation of the just if from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. * Be not emulous of evildoers; nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:39,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Tiburtii et Susannae nos, Domine, foveant continuata praesidia; quia non desinis propitius intueri, quos talibus auxiliis concesseris adjuvari.
May the unfailing protection of Thy holy martyrs Tiburtius and Susanna comfort us, O Lord; for never dost Thou turn away Thine eyes of mercy from those to whom such help is given. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14720a.htm

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

10th August, St Lawrence, Martyr

St. Laurence, Martyr

The Basilica of St. Laurence-without-the-Walls, where the remains of the glorious deacon are preserved, is the fifth patriarchal church in Rome. With St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul-without-the-Walls, it is one of the five major basilicas where the Pope alone says Mass at the high altar in order to show that his jurisdiction extends over all the churches in the world which are under the patriarchates of Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople.

Here is held the Station on Septuagesima Sunday, on the third Sunday in Lent, on the Wednesday after Easter, and on the Thursday after Pentecost. The Church invites us to-day to celebrate in this sanctuary the praises of God (Introit, Offertory) to whom this saint bore glorious witness by his martyrdom.

 Rome possesses seven other churches dedicated to St. Laurence among which St. Laurence in Paneperna, where the saint was martyred and where they hold the Station on the Thursday of the first week in Lent, St. Laurence in Lucina, where part of his gridiron is kept and where is held the Station on the Friday of the third week in Lent, and St. Laurence in Damaso where is held the Station on the Tuesday of the fourth week in Lent.

St. Laurence was the first of the seven deacons attached to the service of the Roman Church. His duty was to assist the Roman Pontiff when celebrating the Holy Mysteries, to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful and to administer the revenues of the Church, which he distributed among the poor (Introit, Gradual).

Arrested by the prefect of Rome in 258, and called upon to deliver his riches to him, he showed him a crowd of poor people saying: "These are the real treasures of the Church, by the inestimable gift of their faith, and because they convert our alms into imperishable treasures for us."

He was laid on a gridiron under which were placed half-lighted coals, so as to prolong his tortures and make his death more painful.

"Flames were not able to conquer the charity of Christ: and the fire that burned without was weaker than that which within kindled in the heart of the martyr." Indeed he said to his tormentors: "You may now turn my body over; it is roasted enough on that side." And later on: "My flesh is now roasted, you can eat of it." He died in 258. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass among the Roman martyrs (first list).

Let us always recite, as a thanksgiving, the collect of this day placed by the Church after the Canticle of the three youths in the furnace. She makes us beseech God to extinguish in us the ardour of our passions, as He granted to St. Laurence, who was tested by fire and found pure (Gradual), to triumph over the flames of his cruel martyrdom (Collect).



Confessio et pulchritudo in conspectu ejus: sanctitas, et magnificentia in sanctificatione ejus. * Cantate Domino canticum novum: cantate Domino, omnis terra.
Praise and beauty are before Him: holiness and majesty in His sanctuary. * Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle; sing to the Lord all the earth.
(Psalm 95:6,1 from the introit of Mass)

Da nobis, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, vitiorum nostrorum flammas exstinguere; qui beato Laurentio tribuisti tormentorum suorum incendia superare.
Grant us, we pray Thee, almighty God, to quench the flames of our vices; even as Thou gavest blessed Laurence grace to overcome his fiery torments.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09089a.htm