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/





Monday, 31 July 2017

31st July, St Ignatius Loyola, Confessor

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Confessor

Ignatius was born in Northern Spain, in 1491. He was the eleventh child of the Lord of Loyola, and at the age of fifteen, came as page to the court of king Ferdinand V.

His ardent and martial nature caused him to choose a military career. At the siege of Pamplona, he was severely wounded in the leg. During his long convalescence, in the absence of books of chivalry for which he had a passion, they gave him the lives of Jesus Christ and of the saints to read. This reading was for him a revelation. It dawned on him that the Church also has her army which, under the orders of the representative of Christ, fights to defend here below the sacred interests of the God of hosts.

[To the three religious vows St. Ignatius adds a fourth by which the members of the Society of Jesus bind themselves to go wherever the Pope will send them for the salvation of souls.]

He then laid down his sword at the feet of the Virgin, in the famous Benedictine Abbey at Montserrat, and his generous soul, once enamoured of worldly glory, now only longed for the greater glory of the King whom henceforth he will serve (Collect). Throughout the night of March 25, when the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word is solemnized, after confessing his sins he kept his knightly vigil, and the Mother of God armed him for Christ and the militant Church, His spouse. Soon he became General of the Society of Jesus, raised by Providence to combat Protestantism, Jansenism and returning paganism.

On the mountain the sons of Benedict, as a prelude to the liturgy in heaven, will continue the solemn celebration of the divine offices which Ignatius will recommend to the faithful, and whose sacred melodies he never heard without tears; and he, sacrificing himself to his mission, goes down into the plain to oppose with his valiant troops, the attacks of the hostile army whose violent onslaughts are always directed against his Institute (Epistle). Wherefore, to preserve in his sons the intense interior life required by the militant activity to which he devotes them, St. Ignatius subjects them to a strongly organized hierarchy and teaches them, in a masterly treatise highly approved of by the Church, his spiritual exercises which have sanctified thousands of souls. It has been affirmed that it was the practice of the Exercitatorium of the Benedictine Cisneros, abbot of Montserrat in 1500, which inspired him with the idea. Guided by grace, he realized it however at Manresa in a different and very personal way.


[The third of the eighteen rules made by St. Ignatius, as the crowning of the Spiritual Exercises, "that we may have the true sentiments of the orthodox Church," recommends to the faithful the Canticles of the Church, the psalms and the different canonial hours at their appointed times. And at the head of this book, in order to enable one to draw most profit from these Exercises, he rules in his twentieth note that he who can do so is to choose, for the duration of the Exercises, a dwelling whence he may easily go to the offices of Matins and Vespers, as well as to Mass " (Liturgical Year : July 31th, St. Ignatius of Loyola).]

St. Ignatius arms his sons giving them for their shield the name of Jesus (Introit), for their breastplate the love of God which the Saviour came to enflame on earth (Communion) and whose symbol, the Sacred Heart, they gloriously bear in the folds of their flag; and for their sword, preaching, writing, teaching and all other forms of apostolate.

[When he sent missionaries abroad he used to say to them: " Go, my brothers, Inflame the world and spread everywhere the fire which Jesus Christ came to kindle on the earth" (Communion).]

It was in a Benedictine monastery in Spain that at the feast of the Annunciation, St. Ignatius first used these arms; in a chapel of the Benedictine Abbey of Montmartre that on the Feast of the Assumption in 1534 and later on at the altar of the Virgin of the Basilica of St. Paul-without-the-Walls, served by Benedictines, that was born the Society of Jesus, that noble chivalry of Christ, and lastly it was the Benedictine Pope Pius VII, a native of Cesena and a monk of its abbey, who in 1814 re-established it in all its rights. It is therefore God Himself who unites at the feet of the Blessed Virgin these two Orders which powerfully help the Church, for Martha and Mary, action and contemplation, both contribute, by different means, to the glory of God. The mottoes of these two religious families are alike: " In all things God be glorified! I.O.G.D." and: "To the greater glory of God! A.M.D.G."

Not to do anything except for the glory of God and to do everything for His greater glory is the perfection of holiness. It is the end of the creation, the end of man's elevation to a supernatural life, the end indeed of the evangelical precepts which cause generous souls to renounce, by vow, things that are lawful, in order to devote themselves more freely to the interests of God, and to render to Him in its entirety the accidental glory He had been deprived of by man's use of unlawful things.

Benedict has filled Europe with his missionary monks whose principal work is to praise God, and Ignatius with his priest-apostles (Gospel) who make manifest their interior life by their untiring activity.

From Montserrat, twelve monks with their Superior started with Christopher Columbus for the new Continent. From Lisbon, started Francis Xavier who first evangelized Japan and China. It is the same tree of the love of God which, on different branches, bears the same fruit.

On July 31, 1556, St. Ignatius died pronouncing the name of Jesus, and his society spread throughout the world. It numbers nowadays forty four provinces, and several hundreds of colleges.

[The Society of Jesus numbers 23 canonized saints, 142 beatified, 3 venerables and over 100 whose 29 causes are being discussed. It had in 1934 24,270 members : there were 24,000 at the time of the suppression. It has given to the Church illustrious prelates and a large number of apostles, learned men, educators and influential men, as is proved by the numerous congregations or religious associations which have imbibed the spirit of the Pounder, and by the many pious institutions under the direction of the sons of St. Ignatius. The Apostleship of Prayer for instance, is believed to number some 30 millions associates.]

May we obtain by the intercession of St. Ignatius so to be sanctified in truth (Secret) by the sacred mysteries of Mass and Communion, the source of all holiness, that with the help of this saint, we may after his example, so combat evil on earth, as to be crowned with him in heaven (Collect).



In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, caelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. * Gloriabuntur in te omnes, qui diligunt nomen tuum: quoniam tu benedices justo.
In the name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in heaven, on earth and under the earth: and let every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. * All they that love Thy name shall glory in Thee: for Thou wilt bless the just.
(From the Introit of Mass, Philemon 2:10-11 and Psalm 5:12-13.)

Deus, qui ad majorem tui nominis gloriam propagandam, novo per beatum Ignatium subsidio militantem Ecclesiam roborasti: concede; ut, ejus auxilio et imitatione certantes in terris, coronari cum ipso mereamur in caelis.
O God, who for the spreading of the greater glory of Thy name didst, by means of blessed Ignatius, strengthen Thy church militant with a new army; grant that by his aid and by his example we may so fight on earth as to become worthy to be crowned with him in heaven. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

At Pentecost the Church received the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and to-day's liturgy shows us its happy results. This blessed Spirit makes us children of God since we are led by Him to say in simple truth: Our Father. Therefore we are assured of our heavenly inheritance (Epistle). But to obtain this assurance we must live for God, in living by Him (Collect), letting ourselves be led in all things by the Spirit of God (Epistle), so shall we one day be welcomed by God into everlasting dwellings (Gospel).

In this lies the true wisdom we learn from the story of Solomon, the reading of which is continued in the Breviary during this week, where an account is given of the great work to which this great king devoted his whole life.

Solomon built the temple of the Lord in the city of Jerusalem in obedience to the wish of his father David, who could not build it himself because of the unceasing wars waged against him by his enemies. Solomon took three years to prepare the material, namely, the stones which eighty thousand men dug out of the quarries of Jerusalem and wood from the cedars and cypresses, felled by thirty thousand men on Mount Libanus in the kingdom of Hiram. When all preparations had been made, the actual building was begun in the four hundred and eightieth year after the flight from Egypt, and lasted seven years. Hewn stone, woodwork and panelling had been so exactly measured beforehand that the work took place in the greatest possible silence. In God's house was heard neither axe nor hammer nor any iron tool while the building was going on.

For the plans of his temple, Solomon took Moses' tabernacle; giving it much larger proportions and accumulating it in all the riches that he could. The floors and ceilings made of precious wood were set off with plates of gold and the altars and tables were all gilded, while the candelabra and sacred vessels were of solid gold. Gilt palms and cherubim adorned all the temple walls.

When the work was finished, Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord with great solemnity. In the presence of all the elders of Israel and of an immense crowd of people, representing the twelve tribes, the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant, containing Moses' Tables of the Law, to its place under the spread wings of two gilt cherubim, ten cubits high, which stood in the Holy of Holies. Thousands of sheep and oxen were sacrificed, and as the priests left the Holy of Holies a cloud filled the House of the Lord.

Then Solomon, raising his eyes to heaven, besought almighty God to hear the supplications of all those, Israelite or stranger, who should come in the varying circumstances of their lives, to pray to Him in this place, consecrated to His Name. Moreover, he asked that God would hear those who, with face turned towards Jerusalem and the temple, should address their petitions to Him, to show clearly that He had chosen this house for His abode and that nowhere else was there a God like that of Israel.

The celebration of the Dedication of the temple lasted fourteen days, accompanied by sacrifices and sacred feasts, after which the people returned home, blessing the king and with grateful hearts for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel since the days of the Covenant on Sinai. And the Lord, appearing to Solomon a second time, said in effect: "I have heard thy prayer ... I choose and sanctify this house which thou hast built, my eyes and my heart shall be there always to watch over my faithful people."

In to-day's Mass, the Church sings some verses of six different psalms in which are summed up all the thoughts expressed in Solomon's prayer. "Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of God, in his holy mountain" (Introit and Alleluia). "Who is God, but Thee, O Lord?" (Offertory). It is "in the midst of his" temple, that the outpouring of God's mercy is received (Introit), and that one may "taste and see that the Lord is sweet" (Communion), for He is "a God-protector and a place of refuge", for all who hope in Him (Gradual).

In the same way that Solomon's reign was a rough copy and image of that of Christ (2nd Nocturn), so the temple which he built at Jerusalem was but a figure of heaven, where God dwells and where He hears the prayers of men. It is to the holy mountain and the city of God (Alleluia) that we shall go one day to praise Him forever, for the Epistle tells us that if we live by the Spirit, mortifying the deeds of the flesh within us, we are the children of God, and therefore, as heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ we shall enter heaven, the place of our inheritance.

The Gospel completes this thought when it tells us, in the form of a parable, how we can use the "mammon of iniquity" to make sure of our entry into everlasting dwellings. An unjust steward, charged with having wasted his master's goods, makes friends for himself with the help of the goods the latter had entrusted to his care, that after his disgrace there might be those who would receive him into their houses.

Thus, teaches our Lord, should the children of light rival the energy of the children of the world, and copying the foresight of this functionary, make use of the goods placed at their disposal by almighty God to help the needy, thus making for themselves friends in heaven. For those who have borne their privations on earth in a Christian spirit will pass to the world above and will there bear witness to their benefactors at the time when all will have to give account of their stewardship to the divine Judge.

Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui: secundum nomen tuum, Deus, ita et laus tua in fines terrae: justitia plena est dextera tua. * Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis: in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto ejus.
We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth : Thy right hand is full of justice. * Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of God, in his holy mountain.
(Psalm 47:10-11,2 from the introit of Mass)

Largire nobis, quaesumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quae recta sunt, propitius et agendi: ut, qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus.
Grant to us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we who cannot exist without Thee, may be able to live according to Thy will.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: There was a certain rich man who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods; and he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship, for now thou canst be steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able: to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the lord commended the unjust steward, for as much as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.
(St Luke 16:1-9)

30th July, SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs

SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs

Abdon and Sennen, born in Persia "were arrested and taken to Rome under the Emperor Decius. They were scourged with cords weighted with lead and beheaded" (Roman Martyrology). This was in the middle of the third century (A. D. 254).

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)

Deus, qui sanctis tuis Abdon et Sennen ad hanc gloriam veniendi copiosum munus gratiae contulisti: da famulis tuis suorum veniam peccatorum; ut Sanctorum tuorum intercedentibus mentis, ab omnibus mereantur adversitatibus liberari.
O God, who didst endow Thy holy martyrs Abdon and Sennen with abundant gifts of grace that they might come to their present glory; forgive the sins of Thy servants, that the merits of Thy saints pleading on their behalf, they may deserve to be delivered from all adversity.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01032a.htm

Saturday, 29 July 2017

29th July, SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, martyrs

SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, martyrs

"Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men - when we can do it - is no less a sin than to encourage them." Pope St. Felix III.

The holy Pontiff Felix III is a Pope of the fourth century. He was martyred in Tuscany in the time of the Arians (A.D. 365). He is sometimes referred to as Pope Felix II - there was a Pope Felix II in the earlier part of the fourth century, who is usually regarded as an antipope, and this causes confusion in enumeration.

Simplicius and Faustinus, denounced as Christians to the persecutors, were put to death at Rome under Diocletian A.D. 304. Beatrice, their sister, was arrested and strangled in prison. Leo II placed the relics of these three martyrs in a church at Rome dedicated in their names.

Sapientiam sanctorum narrent populi, et laudes eorum nuntiet Ecclesia: nomina autem eorum vivent in saeculum saeculi. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Let the people show forth the wisdom of the saints, and the Church declare their praise: and their names shall live unto generation and generation. * Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just : praise becometh the upright.
(Ecclesiasticus 44:15,14 and Psalm 32:1 from the introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine: ut, sicut populus christianus Martyrum tuorum Felicis, Simplicii, Faustini et Beatricis temporali solemnitate congaudet, ita perfruatur aeterna: et, quod votis celebrat, comprehendat effectu.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as Christian people rejoice in being able to celebrate the temporal solemnity of Thy martyrs Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, so they may also rejoice thereat in life eternal and receive the fruit of the sacrifice which they offer.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
On St Felix: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06030b.htm
On the Antipope Felix II: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06030a.htm
On SS Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14003a.htm