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/





Friday, 30 September 2016

30th September, St Jerome, Priest and Doctor

St Jerome, Priest and Doctor

Jerome was born at Stridon, in Dalmatia, and was baptized in Rome. He was educated at a school held by very distinguished professors. Ordained priest, he retired into a monastery founded by two great Roman ladies, St. Paula and St. Eustochium, at Bethlehem, near the crib in which our Lord was born. Mortifying himself by perpetual abstinence, and devoting himself to meditation of the Scriptures (Gradual), he spent days and nights in study and writing. It is he who fixed the Latin text in the translation known as the Vulgate which the Church adopted as the official translation of the Bible. He died in A.D. 420 and his body rests in Rome in the church of St. Mary Major.



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 Ecclesiae tuae in exponendis sacris Scripturis beatum Hieronymum Confessorem tuum, Doctorem maximum providere dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut, ejus suffragantibus meritis, quod ore simul et opere docuit, te adjuvante exercere valeamus.
O God, who for the expounding of Holy Scripture, didst raise up in Thy Church the great and holy doctor Jerome; grant, we beseech Thee, that, through his intercession and merits, we may put in practice what both by word and by work he has taught us.
(Collect)



From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08341a.htm

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel


The history of this Chaplet goes back to a devout Servant of God Antonia d'Astonac, a holy Carmelite nun, of the convent of Vetralla in the diocese of Viterbo, who had a vision of St. Michael. The Archangel Michael revealed to her that he would be well pleased by his bringing into use the following prayers in his honour and in honour of all the angelic host; and that he would repay those who practised this devotion with signal favours, particularly in such times as the Catholic Church should experience some special trial.

He told Antonia to honour him by nine salutations to the nine Choirs of Angels. St. Michael promised that whoever would practise this devotion in his honour would have, when approaching Holy Commmunion, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for those who would recite the Chaplet daily, he promised his continual assistance and that of all the holy angels during life.


This private revelation and prayers were approved by Pope Pius IX by a decree of the S. Congr. of Rites, dated August 8, 1851.


METHOD OF PRACTISING THIS DEVOTION.


Let every one, according to his ability, begin with an act of sincere contrition, kneeling before a representation of the holy Archangel; then let him say with devotion the following salutations:


V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, etc.



FIRST SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Seraphim, may it please God to make us worthy to receive into our hearts the fire of His perfect charity. Amen.

One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the First Angelic Choir.


SECOND SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Cherubim, may God grant us grace to abandon the ways of sin, and run the race of Christian perfection. Amen.
One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Second Angelic Choir.


THIRD SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the sacred choir of the Thrones, may it please God to infuse into our hearts a true and earnest spirit of humility. Amen.

One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Third Angelic Choir.


FOURTH SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Dominations, may it please God to grant us grace to have dominion over our senses, and to correct our depraved passions. Amen.

One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Fourth Angelic Choir.


FIFTH SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Powers, may God vouchsafe to keep our souls from the wiles and temptations of the devil. Amen.

One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Fifth Angelic Choir.


SIXTH SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the choir of the admirable celestial Virtues, may our Lord keep us from falling into temptation, and deliver us from evil. Amen.
One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Sixth Angelic Choir.


SEVENTH SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of the Principalities, may it please God to fill our souls with the spirit of true and hearty obedience. Amen.

One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Seventh Angelic Choir.


EIGHTH SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the heavenly choir of Archangels, may it please God to grant its the gift of perseverance in the faith and in all good works, that we may thereby be enabled to attain unto the glory of Paradise. Amen.

One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Eighth Angelic Choir.


NINTH SALUTATION.

At the intercession of St. Michael and the Heavenly choir of Angels, may God vouchsafe to grant us the safe-conduct of the holy Angels through life, and after death a happy entrance into the everlasting glory of heaven. Amen.
One Pater noster and three Ave Maria’s, to the Ninth Angelic Choir.


Then say four Pater noster's in conclusion; the first to St. Michael, the second to St. Gabriel, the third to St. Raphael, the fourth to your Angel Guardian.



This exercise then ends with the following Antiphon.



ANTIPHON.



Michael, glorious Prince, chief and champion of the heavenly host, guardian of the souls of men, conqueror of the rebel angels, minister in the house of God, our worthy captain under Jesus Christ, endowed with superhuman excellence and virtue; vouchsafe to free us all from every evil, who with full confidence have recourse to thee; and by thy powerful protection enable us to make progress every day in the faithful service of our God.



V. Pray for us, most blessed Michael, prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.
R. That we may be made worthy of His promises.



PRAYER.



Almighty and eternal God, who in thine own marvellous goodness and pity didst, for the common salvation of man, choose the glorious Archangel Michael to be the prince of Thy Church; make us worthy, we pray Thee, to be delivered by his beneficent protection from all our enemies, that at the hour of our death no one of them may approach to harm us, and that by the same Archangel Michael we may be introduced into the presence of Thy high and heavenly Majesty. Through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Indulgences granted by Pope Pius IX in 1851
 
i. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines every time the Chaplet is said.
ii. An indulgence of 100 days daily to any one who carries this Chaplet about him, or kisses the medal with the representation of the holy angels appended to the said Chaplet.
iii. A plenary indulgence once a month to every one who says daily this Chaplet, on any one day when, after Confession and Communion, he shall pray for the exaltation of our holy Mother the Church and the safety of the Sovereign Pontiff.
iv. A plenary indulgence, with the conditions above named:
1. The Feast of the Apparition of St. Michael. May 18.
2. The Dedication of St. Michael. September 29.
3. St. Gabriel the Archangel. March 18.
4. St. Raphael the Archangel. October 24.
5. Holy Angel Guardians. October 2.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaplet_of_Saint_Michael
http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/chaplet-of-st-michael.htm#ixzz1ZM8Ja4kP
http://www.premier.net/~avemarie/St_Michael.htm

29th September, St Michael the Archangel

The Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel


September 29 was formerly dedicated to all the angels (Introit, Collect, Gradual, Communion), wherefore Pope Boniface II, about A.D. 530, chose that date to dedicate a church in the great circus, at Rome, to St. Michael. The Mass composed for the occasion has since been appointed for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost; it still relates to the dedication of a church. The present Mass was composed more recently.



The Hebrew meaning of Michael is: Who is like God, and recalls the combat which took place in heaven between "the archangel of God who deserved to be placed at the head of the heavenly host" and the devil. As we have fallen through sin into the power of Satan, it is St. Michael's part to continue the fight for our deliverance (Alleluia, and Prayer after Mass): wherefore our guardian angels are subordinate to him. St. Michael conquers Satan's pride and obtains humility for us. It is also he who presides over the worship of adoration rendered to the most High, for he offers to God the prayers of the saints symbolized by incense whose smoke rises towards heaven (Offertory, Blessing of the incense). When a Christian has left this world, we pray that the standard-bearer St. Michael should introduce him into heaven; he is also often represented with the scales of divine justice wherein souls are weighed. His name is mentioned in the Confiteor, after that of Mary who is the Queen of Angels.



St. Michael was the protecting angel of the synagogue, as he is now of the Church which has succeeded it. To him the liturgy attributes the revelation of the future made to St. John in the Apocalypse (Epistle).



Benedicite Dominum, omnes Angeli ejus: potentes virtute, qui facitis verbum ejus, ad audiendam vocem sermonem ejus. * Benedic, anima mea, Domino: et omnia, quae intra me sunt, nomini sancto ejus.
Bless the Lord all ye His angels: you that are mighty in strength, and execute His word, hearkening to the voice of His orders. * Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy name.
(Psalm 102:20,1 from the introit of Mass)



Deus, qui miro ordine, Angelorum ministeria hominumque dispensas: concede propitius; ut, a quibus tibi ministrantibus in caelo semper assistitur, ab his in terra vita nostra muniatur.
O God, who in a wonderful I order hast established the ministry of angels and of men, mercifully grant that even as Thy holy angels ever do Thee service in heaven, so at all times they may defend us on earth.
(Collect)



Lesson from the Apocalypse of Blessed John the Apostle.
In those days : God signified the things which must shortly come to pass, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy, and keepeth those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was, and that is to come; and from the seven spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
(Apocalypse 1:1-5)



Dum sacrum mysterium cerneret Joannes, Archangelus Michael tuba cecinit: Ignosce, Domine Deus noster, qui operis librum, et solvis signacula ejus, alleluia.
While John was beholding the sacred mystery, the Archangel Michael sounded a trumpet. Forgive us, O Lord our God, Thou who openest the book, and loosest the seals thereof, alleluia.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat)


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10275b.htm

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

28th September, St Wenceslaus, Duke and Martyr

 St. Wenceslaus, Duke and Martyr


Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia, always practised the greatest Christian virtues. Full of charity, he helped with his alms orphans, widows and poor people, he delivered captives, and visited prisoners. He kept all through his, life the treasure of his virginity intact. He had a very great veneration for priests and with his own hands, he sowed the wheat and pressed the grapes which were to be used for the Holy Sacrifice.



However, instigated by his mother, the impious Boleslas, his brother, realizing what Jesus had foretold "that a man will have for his enemies those of his own family" (Gospel), determined to get rid of the Duke. He invited him to a banquet, and afterwards followed him to a church, where he cruelly stabbed him as he was praying for his enemies.



St. Wenceslaus died in A.D. 938. Hungary, Poland and Bohemia chose him for their patron.



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)



Deus, qui beatum Wenceslaum per martyrii palmam a terreno principatu ad caelestem gloriam transtulisti: ejus precibus nos ab omni adversitate custodi, et ejusdem tribue gaudere consortio.
O God who in bestowing upon blessed Wenceslaus the palm of martyrdom, didst translate him from an earthly principality to the glory of heaven: shield us through his prayers from all adversity, and grant us to rejoice in his company.
(Collect)


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15587b.htm

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Ember Saturday in September

Ember Saturday in September

Station at St. Peter's

On the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the year, the Jews used to celebrate at the conclusion of the harvest, the feast of Tabernacles and lived during eight days under tents or huts made of foliage in remembrance of the nomadic life of the Israelites in the desert (Second Lesson). This feast was preceded, on the tenth of the month, by the very solemn Day of Expiation, called Holy (First Lesson). On this day the High Priest purified himself in the basin which stood before the Sanctuary [The holy water stoups in our churches recall the basin known as the brazen sea], then taking the blood of the victims, he entered the Holy of Holies and prayed near the mercy-seat (Epistle).

The Saturday in the September Ember week, formerly the seventh month of the year, recalls this feast both of penance and joy.

The Prophets Micheas, Zacharias and Daniel, whose writings were read through during the night or vigil preceding the Sunday, speak in similar terms of the salvation brought by God to those who atone for their sins and implore His protection amid the dangers that threaten them. The Epistle shows the new alliance which Jesus Christ has established between our repentant souls and God y offering to Him in the real Holy of Holies, which is heaven, the blood which He shed upon the Cross to atone for our sins. [Formerly Mass was not said on Saturday morning; but after a night passed in prayer and reading the Scriptures, the Holy Sacrifice was offered at dawn. Hence the large number of Collects and lessons which characterize the Mass of the Saturday in Ember Week.]

In the same way that Jesus delivered the woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, and like the gardener mentioned in the Gospel, the priests heal our souls and by their prayers and their untiring zeal ward off from souls the rigours of divine justice, making them produce the sweet fruits of penance and good works ; this Mass is therefore eminently suited for an ordination.

After the Kyrie, the Tonsure is conferred; after the First Lesson are ordained the Door-keepers ; after the Second, the Readers ; after the Third, the Exorcists; after the Fourth, the Acolytes; after the Fifth, the Sub-deacons ; after the Epistle, the Deacons, and before the last verse of the Tract, the Priests.

Venite, adoremus Deum, et procidamus ante Dominum, ploremus ante eum, qui fecit nos: quia ipse est Dominus, Deus noster. * Venite, exsultemus Domino: jubilemus Deo salutari nostro.
Come, let us adore God, and fall down before the Lord : let us weep before Him who made us ; for He is the Lord our God. * Come, let us praise the Lord with joy; let us joyfully sing to God our Saviour. f. Glory be to the Father.
(Psalm 94:6-7,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui per continentiam salutarem corporibus mederis et mentibus: majestatem tuam supplices exoramus; ut pia jejunantium deprecatione placatus, et praesentia nobis subsidia tribuas, et futura.
Almighty and everlasting God, who, by salutary abstinence, dost heal us both in soul and body; we humbly beseech Thy Majesty that appeased by the fervent devotion of those who fast, Thou wouldst grant us help now and in the time to come.
(First Collect)

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on Ember Days: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05399b.htm

Thursday, 22 September 2016

22nd September, St Thomas of Villanova, Bishop and Confessor

St Thomas of Villanova, Bishop and Confessor


Thomas was born in Spain in the fifteenth century. From his earliest childhood he had the tenderst compassion for the poor. Having entered the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, he was soon made superior and after having refused the archbishopric of Granada he was forced to accept that of Valencia. He thus shared in the eternal priesthood of Christ (Introit, Epistle, Gradual, Offertory). He spent on the poor the large  revenues of his church, and on the day of his death, in 1555, he gave away his last penny, and died on a bed which did not even belong to him. The Church therefore celebrates especially in this pontiff "his extraordinary charity towards the poor" (Collect, Ant. of the Benedictus).



Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento Domine David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.

The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince; that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclus. 45:30 and Psalm 131:1. From the Introit at Mass).



Deus, qui beatum Thomam Pontificem insignis in pauperes misericordiae virtute decorasti: quaesumus; ut, ejus intercessione, in omnes, qui te deprecantur, divitias misericordiae tuae benignus effundas.
O God, who didst endow the blessed bishop Thomas in an extraordinary degree with the virtue of charity towards the poor ; we beseech Thee by his intercession, do Thou, in Thy loving kindness, pour forth the riches of Thy mercy upon all who humbly pray to Thee.
(Collect)



From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14696a.htm

22nd September, St Maurice and his Companions, Martyrs

St Maurice and his Companions, Martyrs


When the Emperor Maximian led his army into Gaul, the Theban Legion composed of 660 soldiers under the command of St. Maurice, refused to take part in the ceremonies in honour of the gods. They were massacred out of hatred for the name of Christ, about 286, at Agaunum, now called St. Maurice (Valais, Switzerland).



Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine, gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. * Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam.
Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy saints, which hath been shed. * O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.
(Psalm 78:11-12,1 from the Introit of Mass)



Annue, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Mauritii et Sociorum ejus nos laetificet festiva solemnitas; ut, quorum suffragiis nitimur, eorum natalitiis gloriemur.
O almighty God, grant, we beseech Thee, that this solemn festival of Thy holy martyrs Maurice and his companions, may give us joy; that we may glory in the birthday of the saints, in whose prayers we put our trust.
(Collect)



From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10068c.htm
Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Maurice

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

21st September, St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist



We read in the Gospel, St. Matthew's own account of his conversion. The Epistle describes the famous vision where Ezechiel saw four symbolical animals, which, from the earliest centuries, have been recognized as types of the four evangelists. St. Matthew is represented by the animal with a human face, because he commences his Gospel by tracing the human descent of Jesus. His object in writing this book, which is stamped by true wisdom (Introit) was to prove that Jesus realized the prophecies relating to the deliverance of Israel and that He is therefore the Messias.



After Pentecost, the apostle preached the good news in Palestine and in Ethiopia, where he was martyred.



The name of St. Matthew is in the Canon of the Mass in the group of the apostles.



Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquitur 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 judgment: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evil doers; nor envy them that work iniquity,
(Psalm 36:30-31,1 from the Introit of Mass)



Beati Apostoli et Evangelistae Matthaei, Domine, precibus adjuvemur: ut, quod possibilitas nostra non obtinet, ejus nobis intercessione donetur.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, I  the prayers of blessed Matthew, Thine apostle and evangelist, assist us; that those things which by ourselves we cannot obtain, may be granted us by his intercession.
(Collect)



Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
At that time, Jesus saw a man sitting in the customhouse, named Matthew, and He saith to him: Follow Me. And he arose up, and followed Him. And it came to pass, as He was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and His disciples. And the Pharisees seeing it, said to His disciples: Why doth your Master eat with publicans and sinners? But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician; but they that are ill. Go then, and learn what this meaneth: I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but the sinners.
(St Matthew 9:9-13)



Dispersit, dedit pauperibus: justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi.
He scattered abroad, He gave to the poor, His justice remaineth for ever and ever.
(Antiphon at 2nd Vespers)


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10056b.htm

Sunday, 18 September 2016

18th Sunday after Pentecost



18th Sunday after Pentecost

This Sunday was, in former times left vacant, being inserted in the missal after Ember Saturday; for since the liturgy of the previous day continued to Sunday morning, to-day had no mass of its own.

The breviary lessons for the "Sunday after Ember Saturday" (Fourth Sunday of September), are taken from the book of Judith, whose story St. Ambrose, in the second nocturn, connects with this season of penance, since to the fasting and abstinence of this heroic woman he attributes the wonderful victory that she obtained.

To persevere with our plan of working out the connection between the missal and breviary, we too may study the Mass of Ember Saturday, formerly of this Sunday, in the light of Judith's history.

While Manasses, king of Juda, was in captivity in Babylon, the Assyrian monarch, Abuchodonosor, sent his general Holofernes to complete the conquest of Chanaan. This officer besieged Bethulia, whose inhabitants, reduced to the last extremity, decided to surrender the city, unless help came in five days.

But just then Judith, a widow in Israel of great influence, was living in the place. "Let us be penitent," was her advice to the ancients of Israel, "and with many tears let us beg God's pardon ... Let us humble our souls before Him and ask that He would show His mercy to us ... Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord, with which like servants we are chastised, have happened for our amendment and not for our destruction."

Then this holy woman "went into her oratory, and putting on haircloth, laid ashes on her head and falling down prostrate before the Lord, she cried to the Lord."

Having finished her prayer, Judith put on her best apparel and left the town with her servant, reaching at daybreak the advanced Chaldean outposts and announced that she had come to surrender herself and her people to Holofernes. The soldiers took her before the general who was dazzled by her great beauty, which almighty God had been pleased to increase, since she made use of it, not from motives of sensuality but of virtue.

Holofernes believed everything that Judith told him and made a great feast in her honour, at which, carried away by enjoyment, he drank to greater excess than usual and overcome by intoxication, lay down on his bed and sank into a drunken sleep. Upon this everyone withdrew, Judith alone remaining with him. Then, praying that God would strengthen her arm for the deliverance of Israel, she took down the sword which hung over the bed, and with great courage cut off Holofernes' head, which she gave to the maid-servant with instructions to hide it in her wallet. Then they returned the same night to Bethulia.

When the ancients of the city heard of Judith's action they cried: "Blessed be the Lord who hath made heaven and earth." And the next day the blood-stained head of Holofernes was hoisted on the walls of the fortress. The Chaldeans complained loudly of Judith's treachery, but being pursued by the Israelites, all fled or were put to the sword. Meanwhile the High Priest came with the Ancients from Jerusalem, to celebrate the deliverance of their nation and saluted Judith with cries of: "Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people."

In the second nocturn for the fourth Sunday in September, St. Ambrose comments as follows on this portion of the Scriptures: "It was through the strength given by sobriety that Judith cut off Holofernes' head. Fortified by fasting, she went boldly into the enemy's camp. The fasting of a single woman vanquished the countless hordes of Assyrians."

The Mass for Ember Saturday is full of similar expressions. The prayers implore the divine mercy, while relying on fasting and abstinence which make us stronger than our enemies. "Forgive us our sins, O Lord," says the first Gradual. "Help us, O God, our Saviour, and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us." And the second Gradual: "Behold, O Lord, our protector; and look on Thy servants." While the third adds: "Return, O Lord, a little, and be entreated in favour of Thy servants."

The lessons all allude to the mercy of God towards His penitent people. "As I purposed to afflict you, when your fathers had provoked Me to wrath, saith the Lord, and I had no mercy: so turning again I have thought in these days to do good to the house of Juda and Jerusalem."

The story of the deliverance of the Jewish people from Assyrian bondage by Judith (whose name is the feminine of Juda) by fasting, is a type of the freeing of God's people by Jesus, of the race of Juda, at Easter after the penances of Lent.

Since the Book of Esther is read in the breviary on the following Sunday (the fifth in September), we can easily understand that St. Ambrose would also find there an illustration well suited to his subject, and in fact he points out that "it was to the fast of three days, thanks to which almighty God increased the grace which adorned her mortified soul, that Esther owed her victory over the wicked Aman and rescued the Jewish people from a cruel persecution."

We ourselves shall deal with the history of Esther on the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, with which it sometimes coincides.

When later on the custom of waiting until the evening to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice on Ember Saturday had ceased, the Mass composed in the sixth century for the Dedication of the Church of St. Michael at Rome, and said on September 29th, was borrowed for the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Consequently all the "Proper" of this Mass refers to the consecration of a church. "I was rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord" (Verse of the Introit and Gradual). "Moses consecrated an altar to the Lord" (Offertory). "Bring up sacrifices and come into his courts: adore ye the Lord in His holy court" (Communion).

We have here a symbol of heaven whither all nations shall flow at the end of time, referred to on this Sunday and on those which follow at the end of the cycle. The Alleluia is the same as that of the Sundays after Epiphany which foretell the entry of the Gentiles into the kingdom of heaven. The Epistle speaks of those who await the revelation of our Lord at His second coming. They will rejoice forever in the Lord's presence in the peace which, according to the prophets, He will give to those who await Him (Introit, Gradual); a peace assured to us by our Lord through His death on the cross, which is the true evening sacrifice of which that of Moses is only a type.

After he had offered a holocaust, the odour of which was pleasing to the Lord, the holy Lawgiver obtained the pardon of his people's sins, and rejoiced in the vision of God. In the same way men reconciled to God, by Him who has power to remit sins (Gospel), by their faith in Christ, will share in the unique and sovereign divinity, by beholding it face to face, a privilege granted by God Himself, and will thus be made rich in Christ in all utterance and all knowledge (Epistle).

Already in the Church all enjoy this pardon and peace, thanks to the power which our Lord has entrusted to His priests, and indeed in this Mass, coming after Ember Saturday, allusion is made to the Priesthood. Like our divine Redeemer, who went about exercising His ministry, curing the soul of the paralytic at the same time that he healed his body, those who have just been ordained preach the Word of Christ (Epistle), celebrate the Holy Sacrifice (Offertory), and remit sins (Gospel).

Thus they prepare men to receive their divine Judge in a manner beyond reproach.

Da pacem, Domine, sustinentibus te, ut prophetae tui fideles inveniantur: exaudi preces servi tui, et plebis tuae Israel. * Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.
Give peace, O Lord, to them that patiently wait for Thee, that Thy prophets may be found faithful: hear the prayers of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel. * I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.
(Ecclus. 36:18 and Psalm 121:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Dirigat corda nostra, quaesumus, Domine, tuae miserationis operatio: quia tibi sine te placere non possumus.
In Thy tender mercy, direct our hearts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, because without Thee we are not able to please Thee.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into His own city. And behold they brought Him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee. And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus seeing their thoughts said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? whether is it easier to say: Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say: Arise and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then said He to the man sick of the palsy): Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God who had given such power to men.
(St Matthew 9:1-8)

Tulit ergo paralyticus lectum suum, in quo jacebat, magnificans Deum: et omnis plebs, ut vidit, dedit laudem Deo.
The man sick of the palsy therefore took up his bed in which he had been lying, glorifying God: and all the people, seeing it, gave praise to God.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat of Vespers, St Luke 5)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

17th September, The Imprinting of the Holy Stigmata on St Francis, Confessor

The Imprinting of the Holy Stigmata on St Francis, Confessor


Two years before his death, St. Francis retired to mount Alverno where he began a fast of 40 days in honour of St. Michael the archangel. And lo! in the midst of his meditation he saw a figure like a seraphim with six wings dazzling and burning, whose feet and hands were nailed to a cross. Aware that suffering is incompatible with the immortality of a seraphic spirit, he understood this to mean that he would become more like Jesus and bear his cross after Him (Gospel), not by physical martyrdom, but by a mystical kindling of divine love.

And in order that this crucified love might become an example to us all, five wounds resembling those of Jesus on the cross appeared on his feet, hands and side. From the latter blood flowed abundantly. The facts were so fully authenticated later, that Benedict XI ordered them to be commemorated every year, and Paul V to kindle in the faithful the love of Jesus crucified, extended the feast to the whole Church.

Mihi autem absit gloriari, nisi in cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi: per quem mihi mundus crucifixus est, et ego mundo. * Voce mea ad Dóminum clamávi: voce mea ad Dóminum deprecátus sum. 
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. I cried to the Lord with my voice: with my voice I made supplication to the Lord. (Galatians 6:14, and Psalm 141:2)

Domine Jesu Christe, qui frigescente mundo, ad inflammandum corda nostra tui amoris igne, in carne beatissimi Francisci passionis tuae sacra stigmata renovasti: concede propitius: ut ejus meritis et precibus crucem jugiter feramus, et dignos fructus paenitentiae faciamus.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who when the world was growing cold, in order that our hearts might burn anew with the fire of Thy love, didst in the flesh of the most blessed Francis renew the sacred marks of Thy passion; mercifully grant, that by his merits and prayers, we may ever carry our cross, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance. (Collect from Mass)

Deus, qui mira crucis mysteria in beato Francisco Confessore tuo multiformiter demonstrasti: da nobis, quaesumus, devotionis suae semper exempla sectari, et assidua ejusdem crucis meditatione muniri.
O God, who in divers ways, didst show in blessed Francis, Thy confessor, the wonderful mysteries of Thy cross, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may ever follow the example of his devotion, and be strengthened by constant meditation on that same cross. (Postcommunion)

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Mystical Stigmata: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14294b.htm



Saint Francis Of Assisi Embracing The Crucified Christ - Bartolome Esteban Murillo - 
The Museum of Fine Arts of Seville, Spain

Thursday, 15 September 2016

15th September, The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary stood at the foot of the Cross where Jesus was hanging (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Sequence, Gospel) and, as Simeon had prophesied (Collect), a sword of sorrow pierced her soul (Secret). Powerless, " she saw her sweet child desolate in the anguish of death, and she received His last breath" (Sequence). The compassion which her maternal heart felt at the foot of the Cross obtained for her as its reward the palm of martyrdom without death (Communion).

This feast was celebrated with great solemnity by the Servites in the seventeenth century. In 1817 it was extended by Pius VII to the whole Church so as to recall the sufferings she had undergone in the person of her exiled and captive head, delivered by the protection of the Blessed Virgin. Just as the first feast of the Sorrows of Mary, in Passiontide, shows us how she had her share in the sacrifice of Jesus, the second feast, in the Season after Pentecost, tells us of all the compassion which the Mother of the Saviour feels for the Church, the spouse of Jesus who is crucified in her turn and whose devotion to the Sorrows of Mary increases in these calamitous times. His Holiness Pius X in 1908 raised this feast to the rank of a solemnity of the second class.

Nolite me considerare ,quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me sol, filii matris meae pugnaverunt contra me.
Think not against me because I am black, for the sun hath discoloured me. My mother's children have fought against me. (Magnificat antiphon from 1st Vespers).

Stabant juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus Maria Cleophae, et Salome, et Maria Magdalene. * Mulier, ecce filius tuus: dixit Jesus; ad discipulum autem: Ecce mater tua.
There stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother's sister Mary of Cleo-phas, and Salome and Mary Magdalen. * Woman, behold thy son, said Jesus; to the disciple however: Behold thy mother.
(St John 19:25-27 from the Introit of Mass)

*
Deus, in cujus passione, secundum Simeonis prophetiam, dulclssimam animam gloriosae Virginis et Matris Mariae doloris gladius pertransivit: concede propitius; ut qui dolores ejus venerando recolimus, passionis tuae effectum felicem consequamur.
O God, at whose passion, as Simeon foretold, the most sweet soul of Mary, Thy glorious Virgin Mother, was pierced by a sword of sorrow; mercifully grant that we who reverently meditate upon her sorrows may reap the happy fruit of Thy passion.

Dolorosa et lacrimabilis es, Virgo Marias stans juxta crucem Domini Jesu Filii tui Redemptoris. * Virgo Dei Genitrix, quem totus non capit orbis, hoc crucis fert suppllcium, auctor vitae factus homo.
Alleluia, alleluia. * Stabat sancta Maria, caeli Regina, et mundi Domina, juxta crucem Domini nostri Jesu Christi dolorosa.
Thou art sorrowful and tearful, O Virgin Mary, standing by the cross of the Lord Jesus, thy Son, our Redeemer. * O Virgin Mother of God, He whom the whole world doth not contain, beareth this punishment of the cross; He the author of life made man.
Alleluia, alleluia. * Holy Mary, the queen of heaven and mistress of the world, stood by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, full of grief.

1. Stabat Mater dolorosa, Juxta crucem lacrimosa, Dum pendebat Filius.
2. Cujus animam gemen-tem, Contristatam et dolentem, Pertransivit gladius.
3. O quam tristis et afflicta Fuit ilia benedicta Mater Unigeniti!
4. Quae maerebat, et dolebat, Pia Mater dum videbat Nati poenas inclyti.
5. Quis est homo, qui non fleret, Matrem Christi si videret In tanto supplicio?
6. Quis non posset contristari, Christi Matrem contemplari Dolentem cum Fllio?
7. Pro peccatis suae gentis Vidit Jesum in tormentis Et flagellis subditum.
8. Vidit suum dulcem natum Moriendo desolatum, Dum emisit spiritum.
9. Eia Mater, fons amoris, Me sentire vim doloris Fac, ut tecum lugeam.
10. Fac ut ardeat cor meum In amando Christum Deum, Ut sibi complaceam.
11. Sancta Mater, istud agas, Crucifixi fige plagas Cordi meo valide.
12. Tui nati vulnerati, Tam dignati pro me pati, Poenas mecum divide.
13. Fac me tecum pie flere, Crucifixo condolere, Donec ego vixero.
14. Juxta crucem tecum stare, Et me tibi sociare In planctu desidero.
15. Virgo virginum praeclara, Mihi jam non sis amara: Fac me tecum plangere.
16. Fac ut portem Christi mortem, Passionis fac consortem, Et plagas recolere.
17. Fac me plagis vulnerari Fac me cruce inebriari, Et cruore Filii.
18. Flammis ne urar succensus. Per te, Virgo, sim defensus, In die judicii.
19. Christe, cum sit hinc exire, Da per Matrem me venire Ad palmam victoriae.
20. Quando corpus morietur, Fac ut animae donetur Paradisi gloria. Amen. Alleluia.

1. At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping Close to Jesus to the last.
2. Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, All His bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword had pass'd.
3. Oh, how sad and sore distressed Was that Mother, highly blest Of the sole-begotten One!
4. Christ above in torment hangs; she beneath beholds the pangs Of her dying glorious Son.
5. Is there one who would not weep Whelm'd in miseries so deep Christ's dear Mother to behold?
6. Can the human heart refrain From partaking in her pain. In that Mother's pain untold?
7. Bruis'd, derided, curs'd, defil'd, She beheld her tender child: All with bloody scourges rent.
8. For the sins of His own nation, Saw Him hang in desolation, Till His spirit forth He sent.
9. O thou Mother! fount of love! Touch my spirit from above; Make my heart with thine accord.
10. Make me feel as thou hast felt; Make my soul to glow and melt With the love of Christ our Lord.
11. Holy Mother! pierce me through; In my heart each wound renew Of my Saviour crucified.
12. Let me share with thee His pain, Who for all my sins was slain, Who for me in torments died.
13. Let me mingle tears with thee, Mourning Him who mourn'd for me, All the days that I may live.
14. By the cross with thee to stay. There with thee to weep and pray, Is all I ask of thee to give.
15. Virgin of all virgins best! Listen to my fond request: Let me share thy grief divine.
16. Let me, to my latest breath, In my body bear the death Of that dying Son of thine.
17. Wounded with His every wound, Steep my soul till it hath swoon'd In His very blood away.
18. Be to me, O Virgin, nigh, Lest in flames I burn and die, In His awful Judgment day.
19. Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence, Be Thy Mother my defense, Be Thy cross my victory.
20. While my body here decays, May my soul Thy goodness praise, Safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen. Alleluia.

The Catholic Encyclopedia on The feast of the Seven Sorrows: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14151b.htm

* Stabat Mater by Pietro Perugino, 1482, National Gallery Washington.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

14th September, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross


On September 14, in 335, took place the dedication of Constantine's basilica, which enclosed both Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre. "At this date," says Etheria, "the cross was discovered. And the anniversary in celebrated with as much solemnity as Easter or the Epiphany." Such was the origin of the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. "When I shall be raised on high, I shall draw everything unto Me" (Gospel), Jesus had said. It is because the Saviour humbled Himself, being obedient even to the death of the cross, that God exalted Him and gave Him a name above all other names (Epistle). Wherefore we must glory in the cross of Jesus, for He is our life and our salvation (Introit) and He protects His servants against the wiles of their enemies (Offertory, Communion, Postcommunion).

Towards the end of the reign of Phocas, Chosroes, King of Persia, says the reading of the breviary, took Jerusalem, where he put to death several thousand Christians and carried off to Persia the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which St. Helen had placed on mount Calvary.

Heraclius, the successor of Phocas, had recourse to many fasts and prayers, imploring with great fervour the help of God. He assembled an army and defeated Chosroes. He then insisted on the restitution of the cross of the Lord. Thus the precious relic was recovered after an interval of fourteen years. On his return to Jerusalem, Heraclius carried it on his shoulders in great pomp to the mountain where the Saviour Himself had borne it (A.D. 629).

An extraordinary miracle marked the occasion. Heraclius, who was loaded with ornaments of gold and precious stones, was held back by an invincible force at the entrance gate of mount Calvary and vain were his efforts to enter.

As the Emperor and all those who witnessed the scene were astonished, Zacharias, bishop of Jerusalem, said to him: "Consider, O Emperor, that with these triumphal ornaments you are far from imitating the poverty of Jesus Christ and His humility in bearing His cross." Heraclius thereupon doffed his splendid garb and walked barefooted with a common cloak on his shoulders to Calvary, where he again deposited the cross. The feast of the Exaltation of the holy Cross on the original spot, the anniversary of which was celebrated on this day, became of great importance.

Let us join, in spirit, the faithful who in the Church of Holy Cross at Rome venerate on this day the relics of the sacred wood exposed for the occasion, so that, having been privileged to adore it on this feast when we rejoice for its exaltation, we may likewise possess for all eternity the salvation and glory the Cross has won for us (Collect, Secret).

Nos autem gloriari oportet in Cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi : in quo est salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra: per quem salvati, et liberati sumus, alleluia, alleluia. * Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis  illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri.
But it behoves us to glory in the Cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ: in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection; by whom we are saved and delivered. * May God have mercy on us, and bless us; may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us.
(Introit of Mass, Galatians 6 and Psalm 66:2)

Deus, qui nos hodierna die Exaltationis sanctae Crucis annua solemnitate laetificas: praesta, quaesumus; ut, cujus mysterium in terra cognovimus, ejus redemptionis praemia in caelo mereamur.
O God, who year by year, dost gladden us by the feast of the Exaltation of the holy Cross: we beseech Thee, grant unto us, who on earth have known its mystery, to be found worthy to enjoy the rewards of its redemption in heaven.

Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. * Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et dedit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen.
Alleluia, alleluia. * Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulcia ferens pondera: quae sola fuisti digna sustinere Regem caelorum, et Dominum. Alleluia.
Christ became obedient for us unto death: even the death of the cross. * Wherefore God also hath exalted Him, and had given Him a name which is above every name.
Alleluia, alleluia. * Sweet the wood, sweet the nails, sweet the load that hangs thereon: for thou alone, O holy Cross, wast worthy to bear the King and Lord of heaven. Alleluia.
(Phil. 2:8-9 Gradual)

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on The True Cross: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04529a.htm

Monday, 12 September 2016

12th September, The Most Holy Name of Mary

The Most Holy Name of Mary

Just as a few days after Christmas we celebrate the holy Name of Jesus, so, after the Nativity of Mary we glorify her holy name. Eight days after the birth of the Virgin, according to the custom of the Jews, her holy parents inspired by God, say St. Jerome and St. Antoninus, gave her the name of Mary. Wherefore, during the octave of the Nativity, the liturgy gives a feast in honour of this holy name.

Spain, with the approval of Rome, in 1513, was the first to celebrate it, and in 1683 it was extended to the whole Church by Innocent XI to thank Mary for the victory which John Sobieski, King of Poland, had just gained against the Turks who beseiged Vienna and threatened the West.

"The name of the Virgin," says the Gospel, "was Mary." The Hebrew name of Mary, in Latin Domina, means Lady or sovereign; for the authority of her son, Lord of the world, makes her a sovereign from her birth in fact as well as in name. Whence, as we call Jesus our Lord, we say of Mary that she is our Lady. To pronounce her name, is to proclaim her power.

Let us offer the Holy Sacrifice to God to honour the most holy name of Mary and to obtain by her intercession her continual protection (Post-communion).

Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes dlvites 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)

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut fideles tui, qui sub sanctissimae Virginis Mariae nomine et protectione laetantur; ejus pia intercessione, a cunctis malis liberentur in terris et ad gaudia aeterna pervenire mereantur in caelis.
To Thy faithful people, rejoicing in the name and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary, vouchsafe, O almighty God, we beseech Thee, through her loving intercession, to be delivered from all evils here on earth, and to be accounted worthy to enter into everlasting joys in heaven.
(Collect)

Benedicta et venerabilis es, Virgo Maria: quae sine tactu pudoris, inventa es Mater Salvatoris. * Virgo Dei Genitrix, quem totus non capit orbis, in tua se clausit viscera factus homo.
Alleluia, alleluia. Post partum, Virgo, inviolata permansisti: Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis. Alleluia.
O Virgin Mary, blessed and venerable art thou; without blemish to thy maidenhood, thou didst become the Mother of the Saviour. * O Virgin, Mother of God, He whom the whole world availeth not to contain, being made man, shut Himself up within thy womb.
Alleluia, alleluia. After childbirth thou didst remain a pure virgin; intercede for us, O Mother of God. Alleluia.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

11th September, SS. Protus and Hyacinth, Martyrs

SS. Protus and Hyacinth, Martyrs

After having been cruelly scourged, these two brothers were beheaded and took their places in the army of Martyrs (Alleluia). This was at Rome about A.D. 260 under Valerian and Gallian.



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)

Beatorum Martyrum tuorum Proti et Hyacinthi nos, Domine, foveat pretiosa confessio: et pia jugiter intercessio tueatur.
Lord, let the glorious confession of Thy blessed martyrs Protus and Hyacinth strengthen us, and let their loving intercession continually shield us. Through our Lord.
Collect

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12504a.htm

Saturday, 10 September 2016

10th September, St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor

St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor

Nicholas, called of Tolentino, on account of his long sojourn at this place, received the baptismal name of the holy bishop of Myra, because he was born after a pilgrimage made by his parents to the tomb of the great miracle-worker at Bari.

Following the example of his holy patron, although only seven years old, he fasted several times a week. Listening one day to a sermon by a preacher of the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, on contempt of the world, he determined to give up all he possessed (Gospel) and to enter that Order. He is represented holding a lily, because he was always a model of innocence and purity. He died in 1308.

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)

Adesto, Domine, supplicationibus nostris, quas in beati Nicolai Confessoris tui sollemnitate deferimus: ut, qui nostrae justitiae fiduciam non habemus, ejus, qui tibi placuit, precibus adjuvemur. Attend, O Lord, unto our supplications, which we offer to Thee on the solemnity of blessed Nicholas Thy confessor; that we who trust not in our own justice, may be helped by the prayers of him who pleased Thee. (Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11065a.htm

Friday, 9 September 2016

9th September, St Gorgonius, Martyr

St Gorgonius, Martyr

Gorgonius was born at Nicomedia. While an officer of the household of Diocletian, he converted to the faith of Christ, with the help of his colleague Dorothy, all the servants of the imperial palace. "To punish them for such audacity, they were hung up and their bodies lacerated by whips; then vinegar and salt were thrown on their uncovered entrails and they were strangled after having been roasted on a gridiron." They were put to death at Nicomedia in A.D. 303. Later, the body of St. Gorgonius was buried at Rome on the Latin Way, whence it was eventually translated to the basilica of St. Peter.

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)

Sanctus tuus, Domine, Gorgonius sua nos intercessione laetificet: et pia faciat solemnitate gaudere.
O Lord, may Thy holy Gorgonius make us glad by his intercession and cause us to rejoice on his holy festival.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06651b.htm

Thursday, 8 September 2016

8th September, The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary


This very ancient feast was already solemnized in the seventh century, and Pope Innocent IV, to fulfil the vow made by the Cardinals before the election of his predecessor, gave it an Octave at the first Council of Lyons in 1245. This date (September 8) served to fix that of the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.

Mary is inseparable from Jesus in the divine plan, wherefore the Liturgy applies to her what Holy Scripture says of the eternal Wisdom which is the Word "by whom all was made". Like Christ, the Virgin presides over the whole work of creation, for having been chosen of all eternity to give us the Saviour, it is she, with her Son, whom God had chiefly in view when He created the world.



Salve, sancta parens, enixa puerpera regem: qui caelum terramque regit in saecula saeculorum. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum : dico ego opera mea Regi.
Hail, holy Mother! giving birth to thy Child, thou didst bring forth the King, who ruleth the heavens and the earth for ever and ever. Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word : I speak my works to the King.
(Psalm 44:2 from the Introit of mass)

Famulis tuis, quaesumus, Domine, caelestis gratiae munus impertire: ut, quibus beatae Virginis partus exstitit salutis exordium; Nativitatis ejus votiva solemnitas, pacis tribuat incrementum.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, grant to Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace; that as the child-bearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, so the joyful festival of her Nativity may bring us an increase of peace.
(Collect)




Nativitas tua, Dei Genitrix Virgo, gaudium annuntiavit universo mundo: ex te enim ortus est Sol justitiae, Christus Deus noster: qui solvens maledictionem, dedit benedictionem, et confundens mortem, donavit nobis vitam sempiternam.
Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, was the herald of joy to the whole world; since from thee arose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, who, destroying the curse, bestowed the blessing, and confounding death, rewarded us with life everlasting.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat)



From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10712b.htm

8th September, St. Adrian, Martyr

St. Adrian, Martyr

"At Nicomedia ", says the Roman Martyrology, "St. Adrian, martyr, and twenty-three other Saints, who after undergoing many torments, had their legs crushed and thus ended their glorious fight under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, about A.D. 303. The body of St. Adrian was later translated to Rome on the day when his feast is solemnized ".

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)



Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut qui beati Hadriani Martyris tui natalitia colimus, intercessione ejus, in tui nominis amore roboremur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who celebrate the festival of blessed Adrian Thy martyr, may by his intercession be strengthened in the love of Thy name.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07105a.htm


Monday, 5 September 2016

5th September, St. Laurence Justinian, Bishop, Confessor

St. Laurence Justinian, Bishop, Confessor

St. Laurence, born in Venice in the 15th century, of the illustrious family of Giustiniani, preferred the severe austerities of the cloister to a glorious alliance arranged for him by his mother. Looking at a crucifix, he exclaimed: "It is Thou, O Lord, who art my hope and in Thee is consolation and strength." He then entered among the Canons of St. George of Alga.

All his life, he practised the greatest austerity and it was chiefly in assiduous prayer that he was inflamed with ardent love for God and devotion to his neighbour. He was called by Eugenius IV to share in the full power of Christ's priesthood: he was made patriarch of Grado, but transferring the see to Venice in 1451, he became the first patriarch of this city. He died in 1455, saying: "I am going to Thee, O good Jesus."

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento Domine David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince; that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclus. 45:30 and Psalm 131:1. From the Introit at Mass).

Da, quǽsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut beáti Laurentii Confessóris tui atque Pontíficis veneránda sollémnitas, et devotiónem nobis áugeat et salútem.


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09091a.htm

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Prayer to St Pius X


O God Who, for the defense of the Catholic faith and the restoration of all things in Christ, filled St. Pius, the Supreme Pontiff, with heavenly wisdom and apostolic fearlessness, mercifully grant that, by following his teachings and examples, we may receive Your eternal rewards. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

(Collect from the Mass of St. Pius X, September 3)

3rd September, St Pius X, Pope

3rd September, St Pius X, Pope


Joseph Sarto was born at Riese, a small village in Venetia, on June 2, 1835, in humble circumstances. He was successively curate, parish priest, Bishop of Mantua, Patriarch of Venice - offices to which his keen intelligence, hard work and great piety caused him to be quickly promoted. He was elected Pope on August 4, 1903, and took the name of Pius X. As chief pastor of the Church he displayed untiring self-sacrifice and great energy. He was an intrepid defender of the purity of Christian doctrine. He realized to the full the value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church, and the solid basis that it furnishes for the devotion of Christian people. He worked for the restoration of the worship of the Church, especially plainchant, so that Christian people, as he put it, "might find beauty in their public prayer". He spared no effort to propagate the practice, so great an aid to holiness, of early, frequent and daily Communion. He died on August 20, 1914 and was canonized on May 29, 1954. 

Extuli electum de populo, oleo sancto meo unxi eum: ut manus mea sit semper cum eo, et bracchium meum confirm et eum. * Gratias Domini in seternum cantabo: per omnes generationes annuntiabo fidelitatem tuam ore meo.
I have raised up the chosen one from the people; with My holy oil I have anointed him, that My hand may be always with him, and that My arm may make him strong.* The favours of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Thy faithfulness.
(Ps 88:20-22, and 2, from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui ad tuéndam cathólicam fidem, et univérsa in Christo instauránda sanctum Pium, Summum Pontíficem, caelésti sapiéntia et apostólica fortitúdine replevísti: concéde propítius; ut, eius institúta et exémpla sectántes, praemia consequámur aetérna.
O God, for the defence of the Catholic faith and to restore all things in Christ, Thou didst fill Saint Pius, the supreme Pontiff, with heavenly wisdom and apostolic strength; mercifully grant, that following his teaching and example, we may attain to our eternal reward.
(Collect)

Wikipedia on St Pius X: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_X

Friday, 2 September 2016

2nd September, St Stephen of Hungary, King and Confessor

2nd September, St Stephen of Hungary, King and Confessor


A descendant of those proud and terrible invaders, the Huns, Stephen was chosen by God to win over his subjects to Christ and His vicar. He was given the baptismal name of Stephen, in consequence of his mother having a vision of the Martyr St. Stephen, who foretold her that he would convert Hungary, whose first king he became when the Pope had raised the country into a kingdom. Having married the sister of the Emperor St. Henry, he surrounded himself, to govern his kingdom, with men of tried holiness and prudence. He passed entire nights in the contemplation of heavenly things (Introit), practised the greatest austerities, and seconded by the queen, his pious spouse, gave abundant alms (Epistle) to widows, and churches. The greatness of his zeal for the propagation of the faith justly won for him the title of Apostolic King or of Apostle of Hungary, and deservedly obtained for him from the Holy See the privilege, transmitted to his successors, to have the cross borne before him. He built a large basilica in honour of Mary, whom he proclaimed Patroness of Hungary. "His zeal in propagating and strengthening the faith in his kingdom earned for him the glory of a heavenly crown" (Postcommunion). He died in 1038 on the "Day of the great Lady," as the feast of the Assumption was called by the Hungarians, in virtue of an edict of the holy king.

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 and 1 from the Introit of Mass)

Concede, quaesumus, Ecclesiae tuae, omnipotens Deus: ut beatum Stephanum Confessorem tuum, quem regnantem in terris propagatorem habuit, propugnatorem habere mereatur gloriosum in caelis.
O almighty God, whose Church, while he ruled upon earth, possessed in blessed Stephen, Thy confessor, a mighty promoter; grant that she may yet find in him a glorious defender in heaven.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Stephen of Hungary: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14287a.htm

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints

The Fourteen Auxiliary Saints

The name of "Auxiliary Saints" is given to a group of fourteen saints particularly noted for the efficacy of their intercession. They were often represented together. They are to be recognized:

1. St. George (April 23), by the dragon he strikes down. He is invoked against herpetic diseases. He is, with St. Sebastian and St. Maurice, the patron of soldiers.

2. St. Blaise (February 3), by his two candles crossed. He is invoked against diseases of the throat.

3. St. Erasmus (June 2), by entrails wound round a windlass. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach. He is the patron of mariners and seamen.

4. St. Pantaleon (July 27), by his nailed hands. Invoked against consumption. He is, with St. Luke and SS. Cosmas and Damian, patron of medical men.

5. St. Vitus (or Guy) (June 15), by his cross. Invoked against chorea (St. Vitus's dance), lethargy, the bite cf venomous or mad beasts.

6. St. Christopher (July 25), by the Infant Jesus he bears. He is invoked in storms, tempests, plagues, and for the avoidance of accidents in travelling. (Blessing of motorcars.)

7. St. Denis (October 9), by his head which he holds in his hands. Invoked for people possessed of devils.

8. St. Cyriacus (August 8), by his deacon's vestments. Invoked against diseases of the eye and diabolical possession.

9. St. Acathius (May 8), by his crown of thorns. Invoked against headaches.

10. St. Eustace (September 20), by his stag and hunting equipement. Invoked for preservation from fire, eternal or temporal.

11. St. Giles (September 1), by his Benedictine cowl and his hind. Invoked against panic, epilepsy, madness, nocturnal terrors.

12. St. Margaret (July 20), by the dragon she keeps in chains. Invoked against pains in the loins and by women about to become mothers.

13. St. Barbara (December 4), by her tower and the ciborium surmounted by a sacred host. Invoked against lightnings and sudden death. Patron of miners and artillery men.

14. St. Catharine (November 25), by her broken wheel. "The wise counsellor" is invoked by students, Christian philosophers, orators, barristers, etc.

1st September, The Twelve Holy Brothers, Martyrs

The Twelve Holy Brothers, Martyrs


Africans by birth, these saints were martyred in various places in the third century under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian.

Four were beheaded in Potenza, Italy on August 27. Three were beheaded at Vanossa on August 28. The others were beheaded at Sentiana on September 1.

They were brought together and enshrined at Benevento in 760.

"Donatus, Felix, Arontius, Honoratus, Fortunatus, Sabinian, Septimius, Januarius, another Felix, Vitalis, Sator, and Repositus."

Clamaverunt justi, et Dominus exaudivit eos: et ex omnibus tribulationibus eorum liberavit eos. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
The just cried, and the Lord heard them: and delivered them out of all their troubles. * I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:18,2 from the introit of Mass)

Fraterna nos, Domine, Martyrum tuorum corona laetificet: quae et fidei nostrae praebeat incrementa virtutum, et multiplici nos suffragio consoletur.
May the crown of martyrdom of the holy Brothers gladden us, O Lord; may it add strength to our faith and encourage us by the intercession of so many saints. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

1st September, St. Giles, Abbot

St. Giles, Abbot

St. Giles, born at Athens, distributed all his patrimony to the poor and followed Jesus (Gospel). Several miracles having made him celebrated he fled to Provence to escape away from honours. He lived in prayer and meditation (Introit) in the depths of a vast forest, with no other food but roots and the milk of a tame hind. One day, when pursued by the hounds of the Visigothic king Wamba, the hind fled to the grotto of the saint who, while trying to protect her, had his hand pierced by an arrow. The king on his arrival urgently begged the saint to consent to the building of a monastery on the spot. The holy hermit undertook its government and like Moses among the people of God (Epistle) he became the chief and law-giver of a numerous monastic family which followed his leadership, his doctrine and his counsels (Communion). This happened in 673.

The Abbey of St. Giles, a marvel of architecture, became one of the most frequented resorts of pilgrims in the Middle Ages, and a town arose there. The counts of Toulouse regarded it as an honour to bear this saint's name. The ancient Missals place him among the "fourteen Auxiliary Saints." He was invoked in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany and England, where 146 churches were built in his honour. St. Giles died about 721. His tomb was discovered in 1865.

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)

Intercessio nos, quaesumus, Domine, beati Aegidii Abbatis commendet: ut, quod nostris meritis non valemus, eius patrocinio assequamur.
O God who dost gladden us by the annual solemnity of blessed Giles, 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/06559a.htm