This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Monday 11 July 2016

11th July, The Solemnity of St Benedict, Abbot, Patriarch of Monks

The Translation of the Relics of St Benedict.

The Feast of St Benedict, on 21st March, being in Lent has no octave and is thus shorn of a certain amount of solemnity. The feast on 11th July is of the same rank but also possesses an octave compensating for this lack, as its title indicates. In England, it has taken the place of the very ancient feast of the Translation of the relics of the Saint (from Monte Cassino to the Abbey of Fleury, in France), which is still observed in some Benedictine Congregations.

St. Benedict is called the Doctor of humility. He was a prophet and wrought miracles and "was filled with the spirit of all the just" says St. Gregory. (His empire over devils is still exercised nowadays by the medal of St. Benedict which works wonders especially in missionary countries where Satan is most powerful.)

Among his sons are counted more than twenty popes, and an immense number of bishops, doctors, apostles, learned men and educators who have deserved well of humanity and of the Church. (Five sons of St. Benedict are numbered among the Doctors of the Church. St Augustine of Canterbury converted England; St. Boniface, Germany; St. Amandus, St. Willibrord, St. Anscharius and others brought to the faith more than twenty pagan nations.)

By his life he powerfully co-operated in the work of redemption and his glorious death has made him the patron of holy dying.

Benedictine Propers from the Missale Monasticum.

Faciam te in gentem magnam, et benedicam tibi, et magnificabo nomen tuum, erisque benedictus. * Benedic, anima mea, Domino: et omnia quae intra me sunt nomini sancto ejus.
I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name: and thou shalt be blessed. * Bless the Lord. O my soul, and let all that is within me bless his holy name.
(Genesis 2:2 and Psalm 102:1, from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatissimum Confessorem tuum Benedictum, omnium justorum spiritu replere dignatus es: concede nobis famulis tuis ejus Solemnitatem celebrantibus; ut ejusdem spiritu repleti, quod, te donante, promisimus, fideliter adimpleamus.
O God, who wouldst fill thy most blessed Confessor Benedict with the spirit of all the righteous: grant unto us thy servants who celebrate his solemnity, that filled with his spirit, we may faithfully accomplish by thy assistance, that which we have promised.

Domine, praevenisti eum in benedictionibus dulcedinis : posuisti in capite ejus coronam de lapide pretioso. * Vitam petiit a te, et tribuisti ei longitudinem dierum in saeculum saeculi.
O Lord, thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness : thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. * He asked life of thee, and thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.
(Gradual: Psalm 20:4-5)

Alleluia, alleluia. Vir Dei Benedictus omnium justorum spiritu plenus fuit: ipse intercedat pro cunctis monasticae professionis.
Alleluia, alleluia. The man of God, Benedict was filled with the spirit of all the just: may he intercede for all of the monastic profession.

Sequence for the Mass of St Benedict

Laeta quies magni ducis,
Dona ferens novae lucis,
Hodie recolitur.

Caris datur piae menti,
Corde sonet in ardenti,
Quidquid foris promitur.

Hunc per callem orientis 
Admiremur ascendentis
Patriarchae speciem.

Amplum semen magnae prolis
Illum fecit instar solis
Abrahae persimilem.

Corvum cernis ministrantem,
Hinc Eliam latitantem
Specu nosce parvulo.

Elisaeus dignoscatur,
Cum securis revocatur
De torrentis alveo.

Illum Joseph candor morum, 
Illum Jacob futurorum
Mens effecit conscia.

Ipse memor suae gentis,
Nos perducat in manentis.
Semper Christi gaudia.

Joyful rest of our leader, that brings the gift of a new light, we commemorate you today.

Grace is given the loving soul, may our ardent heart be united to the songs of our lips.

By the radiant way going up to the east, let us admire our Father rising to heaven, equal to the patriarchs.

His innumerable posterity, figure of the sun, made him like to Abraham.

See the crow serving him and recognize hence Elias hiding in a little cave.

Recognize Eliseus, when he bids return the axe from beneath the current.

It is Joseph through his life without stain; it is Jacob bringing future things to mind.

May he be mindful of his people, and may he lead us till we behold with him the eternal joys of Christ.

Tamquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum, quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo: et folium ejus non defluet, et omnia quaecumque faciet prosperabuntur.
He is like unto a tree that is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in due season: and his leaf shall not fall off, and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper.
(Offertory: Psalm 1:3)

Suscipe, omnipotens Deus, haec sacra munera, quae in beati Patris nostri Benedicti Abbatis festivitate tibi offerimus; ut sicut illi amorem tuum eximium tribuisti, ita et in nobis ejus patrocinio divinae caritatis flammas accendas.
Receive, O almighty God, this sacred oblation, which we offer unto Thee on the festival of our holy Father Benedict the Abbot: so that even as thou didst grant him thy ardent love, so also thou wouldst, through his protection, inflame in us the fire of divine love.

Benedictionem omnium gentium dedit illi Dominus, et testamentum confirmavit super caput ejus: agnovit eum in benedictionibus suis, et conservavit illi misericordiam suam.
The Lord gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed his covenant on his head : he acknowledged him in his blessings, and preserved for him his mercy.
(Communion: Ecclus. 44:25-26)

Divini Sacramenti pasti deliciis, te, Domine, benedictionum fons et origo, supplices exoramus; ut per intercessionem beatissimi Patris nostri Benedicti, benedictionis tuae gratiam consequamur.
Fed with the delights of the divine sacrament, we address our supplications to Thee, O Lord, the source and origin of all blessings, that by the intercession of our most holy Father Benedict, we may receive the grace of thy blessing.

The sequence sung by the monks of Norcia:

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Benedict:

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