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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Tuesday 29 July 2014

29th July, St Martha, Virgin

St. Martha, Virgin

After having celebrated on the 22nd of this month the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, we honour to-day Martha, her sister.

The daughter of noble and rich parents, she lived at Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem. "Jesus," says St. John, "loved Martha and her sister Mary and Lazarus," wherefore He preferred to dwell at their house when He was in Judea. There He spent the days which preceded His death. Martha, who was the elder, therefore often had the honour of being the hostess of Jesus (Gospel, Communion), the divine Spouse to whom she had consecrated her virginity (Epistle). While busy with serving Jesus, she requested Him to bid Mary help her. And Jesus, without blaming her for ministering to His wants, made her understand that certain souls, called by God, choose a still better part, since they commence on earth what all shall do in heaven. Active life, with all its labours and fatigues endured for the sake of Christ whom we serve in our neighbour, is very meritorious; "happy however is the home where Mary causes the complaint of Martha" and refuses to take away from prayer a life which ordinary occupations might appear to claim.

God is indeed the author of all grace and wishes to be recognized as such; and contemplative life, which puts souls in direct contact with Him, assures their personal sanctification more fully and obtains more efficaciously the graces by which a Christian apostleship becomes fruitful. Let us esteem at its just value the position that Jesus reserves to Mary, and if He calls us to share in Martha's solicitude, let us endeavour, like the saints, to make up by the spirit of prayer for what is wanting in active life.

Dilexisti justitiam, et odisti iniquitatem: properea unxit te Deus, Deus tuus, oleo laetitiae prae consortibus tuis. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Psalm 44:8,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Hear us, O God our Saviour; that as we rejoice in the festivity of blessed Martha, Thy Virgin, so we may be instructed in the affection of pious devotion.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 28 July 2014

28th July, SS. Nazarius and Celsus Martyrs; Victor I, Pope and Martyr; Innocent I, Pope and Confessor

SS. Nazarius and Celsus Martyrs; Victor I, Pope and Martyr; Innocent I, Pope and Confessor 

The Church honours to-day several Saints who lived at different times and in different countries.

Nazarius, baptized by Pope St. Linus at Rome, in his turn baptized young Celsus who was born at Cimiez near Nice. They betook themselves to Milan, where they were arrested by the pagans and beheaded about the year 68. In 395 their bodies were discovered and in the tomb of St. Nazarius was found a phial of his blood as red as if it had been shed that very day.

Victor I, born in Africa, succeeded St. Eleutherius, on the pontifical throne. He fixed the date of Easter for the whole Church according to the rules observed still now. He decided that any one might baptize in cases of necessity with unblessed water. He was martyred under Septimus Severus, A.D. 202.

Innocent I was born at Albano and was a contemporary of St. Augustine and of St. Jerome. The latter wrote of him: "Keep the faith of St. Innocent who fills the Apostolic Chair and who is the successor and spiritual son of Anastasius, of happy memory; receive no other doctrine, however wise and attractive it may appear." He died A.D. 417.

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)

Sanctorum tuorum nos, Domine, Nazarii, Celsi, Victoris et Innocentii confessio beata communiat: et fragilitati nostrae subsidium dignanter exoret.
May we draw strength, O Lord, from the blessed confession of Thy saints, Nazarius, Celsus, Victor and Innocent and do Thou vouchsafe that it be ever a help to us in our weakness.

St Nazarius and Celsus:
Pope St Victor I:
Pope St Innocent I:

Sunday 27 July 2014

27th July, St Pantaleon, Martyr

St Pantaleon, Martyr

At Nicomedia, says the Roman Martyrology, was martyred St. Pantaleon, a doctor, who having been arrested on account of his faith by order of the Emperor Maximian, was tortured on the rack and burned with flaming torches; he was consoled in his torments by an apparition of our Lord; the sword put an end to his glorious combat. This was under Dioclctlim about A.D. 303. St. Pantaleon is numbered by the Greeks among the great martyrs. Medical men honour him, after St. Luke, as their principal patron. He is one of the "fourteen auxiliary saints".

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)

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that by the intercession of blessed Pantaleon, Thy martyr, we may both be delivered from all adversities in body, and be purified from all evil thoughts in mind.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 26 July 2014

26th July, St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church honours with the angels in holy joy (Introit), the mother of the blessed Virgin Mary.

As her name signifies, grace was poured on her and she was blessed by God for ever (Communion). "By His grace He made her deserve to be the mother of the Mother of God" (Collect).

Filled with the virtues which the Holy Ghost grants to good women, the spouse of St. Joachim surpassed all women by her privileges and graces (Epistle). Her holiness made her leave everything for God, and she thereby acquired this pearl and this treasure (Gospel).

The devotion to St. Anne is founded on the bond which unites her to Mary and to the Incarnate Word. Its ancient liturgy dates from the sixth century for the East and the eighth century for the West. It was authorized by Urban IV in 1378. In 1584 Gregory XIII fixed July 26 as date of the feast and Leo XIII in 1879 extended it to the whole Church.

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

Deus, qui beatae Annae gratiam conferre dignatus est ut Genitricis unigeniti Filii tui mater effici mereretur: concede propitius: ut, cujus solemnia celebramus, ejus apus te patrociniis adjuvemur.
O God, who didst vouchsafe to blessed Anne the grace to be mother of her who was to bring forth Thine only-begotten Son; grant, in Thy mercy, that we who keep her festival may be aided by her intercession.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Friday 25 July 2014

25th July, St Christopher, Martyr

St. Christopher

St. Christopher was a native of Chanaan. His name (who bears Christ) expresses his love of Jesus. A generous soul, he walked like a giant in the way of virtue. The piety of our fathers inspired by this grand allegory caused them to place a colossal statue of St. Christopher at the entrance to cathedrals. He was martyred towards A.D. 250. He is one of the " fourteen Auxiliary Saints".

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)

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who celebrate the festival of blessed Christopher, Thy martyr, may by his intercession be strengthened in the love of Thy name.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

25th July, St. James, Apostle

 St. James, Apostle

St. James, brother of St. John, and son of Zebedee, was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. He is surnamed the Greater, i.e. the elder.

One day his mother, approaching the Saviour, asked of Him "the favour for her two sons to be seated, one at His right hand and the other at His left, in His kingdom" (Gospel). Christ then foretold their martyrdom. St. James "shall sit on a throne to judge the twelve tribes of Israel" (Communion), but he will first have to mix his blood with that of Jesus (Gospel) and undergo, like all the apostles, a life of suffering and persecution, such as the Epistle describes. After the Ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, says the office of to-day, James preached His divinity in Judea and Samaria. He soon betook himself to Spain. When he returned to Jerusalem, Herod Agrippa, desiring to please the Jews, condemned him to death and he was beheaded towards the year 42, a short time before the feast of Easter.

It would seem, that for fear of the Arabs who were masters of Jerusalem, the body of the Saint was later carried to Compostella, in Spain, where he is greatly honoured. July 25 recalls the date of this translation. His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass with that of St. John, his brother (first list).

Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus: nimis confortatus est principatus eorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.
To me, Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up.
(Psalm 138:17,1-2 from the introit of Mass)

Esto, Domine, plebi tuae sanctificator et custos: ut, Apostoli tui Jacobi munita praesidiis, et conversatione tibi placeat, et secura mente deserviat.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, keep and sanctify Thy people; that strengthened by the help of Thine apostle James, they may please Thee by their conduct and serve Thee with a quiet mind.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 24 July 2014

24th July, St. Christina, Virgin and Martyr

St. Christina, Virgin and Martyr

St. Christina, born in Tuscany, at the age of ten took away the silver idols in her father's house and broke them up. On this account she was delivered to the persecutors, tied to a post and pierced with arrows. She thus added to the merit of her virginity that of Christian fortitude (Collect).

This was under Diocletian towards A.D. 300.

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

May blessed Christina Thy virgin and martyr, we beseech Thee, O Lord, implore for us Thy forgiveness; for she was ever pleasing unto Thee, both by the merit of her chastity, and by her confession of Thy power.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

23rd July, St. Liborius, Bishop and Confessor

St. Liborius, Bishop and Confessor

St. Liborius was born in the fourth century of a Gaulish family and left everything to consecrate himself to the service of the altar. He became bishop of Le Mans and after a life devoted to preaching, prayer and austerities he died in AD 397.

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.
(Ecclesiasticus 45:30 and Psalm 131:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Be mindful of our weakness, O almighty God, and since the burden of our deeds is grievous to us, grant that the glorious intercession of blessed Liborius Thy martyr and bishop may protect us.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

23rd July, St. Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr

St. Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr

Apollinaris is said to have come from Antioch to Rome with St. Peter who anointed him bishop (Introit, Gradual, Alleluia) and sent him to Ravenna to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore the Epistle chosen is that in which St. Peter describes the duties of those who are to guide the Church, not domineering, but as models of the flock. The Gospel also says "that the one who is greatest shall be like the least, and the one who governs like the one who serves."

Arrested by the pagan priests, he was cruelly beaten and cast into prison, then exiled to the banks of the Danube and to Thrace. Having returned to Ravenna he was again persecuted, and died in 79 from the effects of torture and fatigue. Thus did he put to profit the talents entrusted to him by God (Communion).

In the midst of our trials, let us remain united to Jesus and He will prepare for us, as for this saint, a place in His kingdom (Gospel).

Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite Dominum: sancti, et humiles corde, laudate Deum. * Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino: laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
Ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: O ye holy and humble of heart, praise God. * All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
(Daniel 3:84,87,57 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, fidelium remunerator animarum, qui hunc diem beati Apollinaris Sacerdotis tui martyrio consecrasti: tribue nobis, quaesumus, famulis tuis: ut, cujus venerandam celebramus festivitatem, precibus ejus indulgentiam consequamur. 
O God, the rewarder of faithful souls, who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of blessed Apollinaris, Thy priest: we, Thy servants, beseech Thee to grant that the prayer of him whose feastday we keep, may obtain for us forgiveness.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Tuesday 22 July 2014

August 1, Day of Prayer for Christians persecuted in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East

"The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter asks all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate Friday, August 1 to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering terrible persecution in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. 

August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates.  It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers  to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution.  May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes."

22nd July, St Mary Magdalen, Penitent

St Mary Magdalen, Penitent

When He gave the Holy Ghost to the apostles, Jesus had told them to remit sins, as He had done, and to-day the liturgy recalls the ever memorable example of the Saviour's mercy towards repentant sinners.

Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, was of Magdala in Galilee, whence her name of Magdalen. She was a sinner.

Touched by grace, she threw herself at the feet of the Saviour. Simon the Pharisee, scandalized, would have repelled her like the haughty men mentioned by the prophet Isaias who says:  Away from me, approach me not for I am pure." Jesus, on the contrary "defends her against the calumnies of the proud" (Communion). Admiring the work of divine grace in this soul "henceforth attentive to His commandments, whilst sinful men would still have her fall into sin" (Introit), He mercifully "accepts the offer of her service" (Secret), and secures to her for ever a place of honour in His royal court (Offertory). Repentance has transformed her love. "Because she had loved much, many sins are forgiven her" (Gospel). Indeed, it was at her prayer that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (Collect). And when after the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present in greatest sorrow and weariness, she seeks, like the spouse in the Canticle (Epistle) where they have laid her divine Lord ; Christ calls her by her name and commands her to announce His resurrection to the disciples. Wherefore the Creed is recited on this day as in the Masses of the apostles.

Following the example of Magdalen, which according to the Fathers represents the service of the Church towards Jesus, let us in a spirit of love and repentance pour out the treasure of our praises to Jesus present in the holy Eucharist (Secret); let us surround Him on the altar, in a spirit of faith which does not fear the pharisaic scandal, with all the splendour which becomes the house of God.

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

Beatae Mariae Magdalenae, quaesumus, Domine, suffragiis adjuvemur: cujus precibus exoratus, quatriduanum fratrem Lazarum vivum ab Inferis resuscitasti.
May the prayers of blessed Mary Magdalen help us, O Lord: for it was in answer to them that Thou didst call her brother Lazarus, four days after death, back from the grave to life.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time : one of the pharisees desired Jesus to eat with him ; and He went into the house of the pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold, a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the pharisee who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if He were a prophet would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him, that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee: but he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors, the one owed five hundred pence and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most? Simon answering said : I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house; thou gavest Me no water for My feet; but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss ; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much : but to whom less is forgiven he loveth less. And He said to her : Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves : Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe; go in peace.
(St Luke 7:36-50)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 21 July 2014

21st July, St Praxedes, Virgin

St. Praxedes, Virgin

The feast of St. Pius I, on July 11, recalled to our mind St. Pudentiana and her sister St. Praxedes, who placed their house at the disposal of this holy pontiff. The first appears in the Cycle on May 19, under the reign of the risen Lord, and the second on this day, under the reign of the Holy Ghost. On the Tuesday of the third week in Lent, the Station is held at Rome in the titular church of St. Pudentiana and on the Monday in Holy Week at the titular church of St. Praxedes.

This saint, a daughter of the Roman Senator Pudens, consecrated her virginity to God (Epistle), and renounced her great wealth in favour of the poor and of the Church. She thereby acquired the treasure and precious pearl of the heavenly kingdom (Gospel, Communion).

The religious ceremonies, which took place in her mansion, attracted the attention of the pagans. Many Christians were arrested there and led away to death.

She died under Antoninus in the second century, after having besought God to deliver her from the sight of such woeful scenes. Her body was laid by that of her father and sister in the cemetery of her grand-mother Priscilla.

Let us celebrate joyfully the feast of the blessed virgin Praxedes, in order to obtain thereby feelings of loving devotion (Collect).

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

Exaudi nos, Deus salutaris noster: ut, sicut de beatae Praxedis Virginis tuae festivitate gaudemus; ita piae devotionis erudiamur affectu.
Graciously hear us, O God of our salvation, and grant that we who keep with joy the festival of blessed Praxedes, Thy virgin, may, by our feeling of loving devotion, advance in our know ledge of Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday 20 July 2014

20th July, St. Margaret, Virgin and Martyr

St. Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr

Margaret, who had been taught the Christian religion by her nurse, perished by the sword in the cruel general persecution, at Antioch in Pisidia towards 255-275. From the East her worship was carried to the West, during the Crusades. She is especially invoked by those about to become mothers. Her name is in the list of the fourteen auxiliary saints.

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

May blessed Margaret Thy virgin and martyr, we beseech Thee, O Lord, implore for us Thy forgiveness; for she was ever pleasing unto Thee, both by the merit of her chastity, and by her confession of Thy power.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

20th July, St Jerome Emilian, Confessor

St. Jerome Emilian, Confessor

Born at Venice, of the patrician family of Emiliani, Jerome unreservedly gave himself up to the influence of divine grace "which on the ruins of the corrupt man, raised him as a new man made in the image of God" (Secret). Filled with the Spirit of adoption, which makes us children of the Father, he was chosen by heaven to be the Father of orphans and of the poor (Collect). As Jesus had asked the young man in the Gospel to do, he left everything and, like his Master, made little children come unto him (Gospel). He founded at Somascha, between Milan and Bergamo, a Congregation whose object was to educate youth in orphanages and colleges. Wherefore the Introit, applying to him the words of Jeremias, shows him full of compassion for children who, thanks to him, learned to praise the Lord. Dividing his bread with those who were hungry, and covering the naked, he opened asylums for the poor and gave them abundant alms with the help of the nobility of Pavia and Milan (Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia).

He died of the plague in 1537, having borne on his shoulders the plague-stricken to their burial place (Offertory).

Let us have recourse to the Father of mercies so that we may be filled like St. Jerome, with holy charity for the poor and for children.

Effusum est in terra jecur meum super contritione filiae populi mei, cum deficeret parvulus et lactens in plateis oppidi. * Laudate, pueri, Dominum: laudate nomen Domini.
My liver is poured out upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the child and the suckling fainted away in the streets of the city. * Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord.
(Lamentations 2:11 and Psalm 112:1 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, misericordiarum pater: per merita et intercessionem beati Hieronymi, quern orphanis adjutorem et patrem esse voluisti: concede; ut spiritum adoptionis, quo filii tui nominamur et sumus, fideliter custodiamus
O God, the Father of mercies, grant, by the merits and prayers of blessed Jerome, whom Thou didst raise up to be the father and helper of orphans, that we may faithfully keep the spirit of adoption, whereby we are both in name and in deed Thy children.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 19 July 2014

19th July, St Vincent de Paul, Confessor

St Vincent de Paul, Confessor

Providence, ever watching over men with maternal solicitude, in the seventeenth century raised up St. Vincent de Paul. He was filled with the Holy Spirit which had strengthened the apostles, and he contributed abundantly to the evangelization of the poor and to the development of the priestly virtues which are the glory of the clergy (Collect).

He was born near Dax (France). When still a young priest he fell into the hands of Turkish pirates who carried him to Africa. Having returned to France, he became successively a parish priest and grand almoner of the galley-slaves. St. Francis of Sales entrusted to him later the spiritual direction of the nuns of the Visitation.

Preaching especially to country people he bound the members of the Congregation he had founded, under the title of Priests of the Mission or Lazarists, to undertake this apostolic work by a special vow. Teaching them to leave everything to follow Christ (Communion), he sent them to work in the vineyard of God (Gospel) and to establish everywhere seminaries in order to give good priests to the people.

In order to help poor people, foundlings, young girls whose virtue was exposed to danger, and others insane, invalided or sick, he founded, in conjunction with St. Louise de Marillac, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, which is now the most numerous and the most diffused throughout the world.

After a life which recalls the apostolate of St. Paul (Epistle), and which caused Leo XIII to proclaim him the special patron of all charitable associations, St. Vincent died in 1660 in Paris, at St. Lazarus's which was the mother-house of his congregation.

Let us beseech God that, following the example of St. Vincent, whose pious merits we venerate on this day (Collect), our hearts like his may be filled with divine charity.

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

Deus, qui ad evangelizandum pauperibus et ecclesiastici ordinis decorem promovendum, beatum Vincentium apostolica virtute roborasti: praesta, quaesumus; ut, cujus pia merita veneramur, virtutum quoque instruamur exemplis. 
O God who, for the preaching of the Gospel to the poor and for promoting the honour of the priesthood, didst strengthen blessed Vincent with the zeal of an apostle: grant, we humbly pray Thee, that we who venerate his holy life, may profit by the examples of virtue he has left us.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Friday 18 July 2014

18th July, St. Symphorosa and her seven Sons, Martyrs

St. Symphorosa and her seven Sons, Martyrs

St. Symphorosa of Tivoli, wife of the martyr St. Getulus, was the mother of seven sons to whom she taught the faith. Arrested at Tivoli by order of the Emperor Adrian, she was hung up by the hair and then thrown into the River Teverone with a stone tied to her neck. All her children, stretched on stakes by means of pulleys, imitated her constancy and were martyred about A.D. 125.

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)

Deus, qui nos concedis sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Symphorosae et filiorum ejus natalitia colere: da nobis in aeterna beatitudine de eorum societate gaudere.
O God, by whose grace we keep the festival of Thy holy martyrs Symphorosa and her sons ; grant that we may enjoy their fellowship in everlasting bliss. Through our Lord.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

18th July, St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor

St. Camillus de Lellis, Confessor

The Holy Ghost, who has manifested Himself in all manner of ways in the souls of the saints whose names have appeared in the Cycle since the Feast of Pentecost, proposes to our admiration on this day St. Camillus, whose charity towards his neighbour had specially Jesus in view (Communion).

Born in 1550 in the kingdom of Naples, of the noble family of Lellis, St. Camillus entered the Capuchin Order, but twice he had to leave it on account of a sore on his leg. For God intended him to be the founder of a congregation of Regular Clerks, consecrating themselves to the service of the sick. He obtained from the Apostolic See approbation for his Order. Inspired by the example of Jesus who died for us (Epistle) and who has declared that there is no greater proof of love than to give one's life for others (Introit, Gospel), these religious promise to tend the sick, even those stricken with the plague. St. Camillus, as well as his Institute received from God a special grace to help souls to emerge victoriously from the death-struggle (Collect, Secret), wherefore the name of this saint has been included in the Litany for the Agonizing. St. Camillus died at Rome on July 14, 1614. Leo XIII proclaimed him the patron of hospitals and patients, and Pius XI of all those who nurse them.

Majorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam ponat quis pro amicis suis. * Beatus qui intelligit super egenum, et pauperem: in die mala liberabit eum Dominus.
Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. * Blessed is he that understandeth concerning the needy and the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the evil day.
(St John 15:13 and Psalm 40:2 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui sanctum Camillum, ad animarum in extremo agone luctantium subsidium, singulari caritatis praerogativa decorasti: ejus, quaesumus, meritis spiritum nobis tuae dilectionis infunde; ut in hora exitus nostri hostem vincere, et ad caelestem mereamur coronam pervenire.
O God, who didst endow saint Camillus with a special grace of charity for the relief of souls in their last agony; we beseech Thee, by his merits to pour into our hearts the spirit of Thy love, that in the hour of our death we may overcome the enemy, and deserve to win a heavenly crown.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 17 July 2014

17th July, St. Alexius, Confessor

St. Alexius, Confessor

St. Alexius was born at Rome, towards 350, of a wealthy family; his father being the Senator Euphemian. Guided by the Holy Ghost, he renounced his patrimony and piously visited as a pilgrim the sanctuaries of the East. He died in the fifth century under the Pontificate of Innocent I.

His body was buried in the church which bears his name on Mount Aventine. He is honoured there with St. Boniface, to whom the Church had originally been dedicated.

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)

O God who dost gladden us by the annual solemnity of blessed Alexius, Thy confessor, mercifully grant that we who celebrate his heavenly birthday may also imitate his example.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Wednesday 16 July 2014

16th July, Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

According to tradition, on the day of Pentecost a number of men who walked in the footsteps of the holy Prophets Elias and Eliseus, and whom John the BaptIst had prepared for the advent of Jesus, embraced the Christian faith, and erected the first church to the Blessed Virgin on Mount Carmel, at the very spot where Elias had seen a cloud arise, a figure of the fecundity of the Mother of God. They were called: Brethren of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel (Collect). These religious came to Europe in the thirteenth century and in 1245 Innocent IV gave his approbation to their rule under the generalship of Simon Stock, an English saint.

On July 16, 1251, Mary appeared to this fervent servant and placed in his hands the habit which was to be their distinctive sign. Innocent IV blessed this habit and attached to it many privileges, not only for the members of the Order, but also for those who entered the Confraternity of our Lady of Mount Carmel. By wearing the scapular, which is in smaller form than that of the Carmelite Fathers, they participate in all their merits and may hope to obtain through the Virgin a prompt delivery from purgatory, if they have faithfully observed abstinence, chastity according to their state, and said the prayers prescribed by John XXII, in the Sabbatine bull, published on March 3, 1322. The feast of our Lady of Mount Garmel, at first celebrated only in the churches of the Order, was extended to all Christendom by Benedict XIII, in 1726.

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

Deus, qui beatissimae semper Virginis et Genitrlcis tuae Mariae singulari titulo Carmeli ordinem decorasti: concede propitius; ut, cujus hodie Commemorationem solemni celebramus officio, ejus muniti praesidiis, ad gaudia sempiterna pervemre mereamur.
O God, who hast been pleased to honour the Order of Carmel with the particular title of Mary ever Virgin and Thy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that we, who celebrate this day her commemoration by a solemn office, may be shielded by her protection, and attain eternal joys.

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel:

Tuesday 15 July 2014

15th July, St Swithun, Bishop and Confessor

St Swithun, Bishop and Confessor
(Dioceses of Portsmouth and Southwark)

Bishop of Winchester; died 2 July, 862.

Swithun (or Swithin) was one of the two trusted counsellors of Egbert, King of the West Saxons (d. 839), helping him in ecclesiastical matters, while Ealstan of Sherborne was his chief advisor. He probably entrusted Swithun with the education of his son Ethelwulf and caused the saint to be elected to the Bishopric of Winchester in succession to Helmstan. His consecration by Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, seems to have taken place on 30 October, 852.

On his deathbed Swithun begged that he should be buried outside the north wall of his cathedral where passers-by should pass over his grave and raindrops from the eaves drop upon it.

 More than a century later (971) his body was translated with great pomp to a shrine within the new church erected by Bishop Ethelwulf (d. 984). A number of miraculous cures took place and Swithun was canonized by popular acclamation. In 1093 his remains were again translated to the new church built by Bishop Walkelin. The shrine was destroyed and the relics scattered in 1538.

Reputedly St Swithun did not approve of the translation of his relics, and caused it to rain continuously for 40 days. Hence the folklore that if it rains on St. Swithun's day it will continue to rain for 40 days. Appropriately, he is the patron saint of drought relief.

St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.

St. Swithun's feast is kept on 15 July, the date of his first translation.

Sacerdotes tui, Domine, induant justitiam, et sancti tui exsultent: propter David servum tuum, non avertas faciem Christi tui. * Memento, Domine, David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. * O Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
(Psalm 131:9-10,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui hodiernam diem honorabilem nobis in beati Swithuni, Confessoris tui atque Pontificis, festivitate fecisti: da Ecclesiae tuae in hac celebritate laetitiam; ut, cujus solemniter veneramur in terris, ejus intercessione sublevemur in caelis.
Almighty, everlasting God, who hast causes us to hold festival this day in honour of Thy blessed confessor bishop Swithun, make it a joyful occasion for Thy Church; and may we who pay devout homage to him on earth be supported by his advocacy in heaven.
(Collect of Mass)

In Winchester Cathedral, a shrine was created in 1962 over the point where the Saint was buried.

See the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Swithin:

15th July, St. Henry, Emperor and Confessor

St. Henry, Emperor and Confessor

Henry II, surnamed the Pious, was king of Bavaria in 972, king of Germany in 1002, and head of the Holy Roman Empire from 1014 to 1024. He promised on oath to Benedict VIII, who had crowned him, "to be faithful in all things to him and his successors". He did his best to spread religion, restoring destroyed churches, and founding monasteries which he liberally endowed (Epistle). Detained at Monte Cassino by severe illness, he was miraculously cured through the intercession of St. Benedict.

In order to be ready for the coming of the Divine Master (Gospel, Communion), he returned from Italy through France, was admitted as a secular oblate at Cluny and asked to be received into the Benedictine abbey of St. Vanne at Verdun. The abbot welcomed him, but immediately commanded him, in the name of religious obedience, to re-ascend the imperial throne.

He so loved the law of God (Introit), that he preserved absolute virginity in marriage (Introit). Indeed, by agreement with his holy spouse Cunegund, he determined to make Jesus Christ their heir, and with this view he founded the bishopric of Bamberg, to which he left all his possessions. He was buried in its cathedral in 1024.

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

Deus, qui hodierna die beatum Henricum Confessorem tuum e terreni culmine imperii ad regnum aeternum transtulisti: te supplices exoramus; ut, sicut illum, gratiae tuae ubertate praeventum, illecebras saeculi superare fecisti, ita nos facias, ejus imitatione, mundi hujus blandimenta vitare, et ad te puris mentibus pervenire.
O God, who on this day didst remove blessed Henry, Thy  confessor, from the government of an earthly empire and raise him to the eternal kingdom; we humbly beseech Thee that, even as Thou didst prevent him with the fulness of grace and didst give him  strength to overcome the enticements of this life, so Thou wouldst enable us through his example, to shun the allurements of this world and come to Thee with pure hearts.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 14 July 2014

14th July, St Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Bonaventure was born in Tuscany in 1221. He entered the Franciscan Order, in consequence of a miraculous cure due to the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi. His master was Alexander of Hales, who used to say of his virginal disciple that one would have thought him preserved from original sin.

He was a Doctor at thirty (Collect) and taught at the University of Paris at the same time as St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom he was closely united.

He was awarded the title of Seraphic Doctor.

Appointed General of his Order, and later a Cardinal of the Church (Communion, Alleluia), he died in 1274 during the general Council of Lyons where Greeks and Latins vied in admiring his zeal and clear-mindedness which made him the light of faith.

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

Deus, qui populo tuo aeternae salutis beátum Bonaventurum minístrum tribuísti: praesta, quaesumus; ut, quem Doctorem vitae habuimus in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in coelis.
O God, who didst give unto Thy people blessed Bonaventure to be a minister of eternal salvation: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have as an intercessor in heaven him, whom we have had as teacher of life on earth.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: