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:

Sunday 31 May 2015

31st May, The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Pope Pius XII established this feast in 1954.  In his Encyclical letter of that year 'Ad Coeli Reginam' he pointed out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection and because of her intercessory power.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae: de cuius solemnitate gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. Alleluia, alleluia. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of the blessed Virgin Mary, our Queen, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and join in praising the Son of God. Alleluia, alleluia. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Introit for Mass, Psalm 44:2, with the Pian Psalter replaced by the usual Vulgate translation)

Concede nobis, quaesumus, Domine: ut, qui solemnitatem beatae Mariae Virginis Reginae nostrae celebramus; ejus muniti praesidio, pacem in praesenti et gloriam in futuro consequi mereamur.
Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to those who are celebrating this solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary our Queen: that safe in her protection we may deserve to enjoy present peace and future glory.
(Collect from Mass)

Link to the Encyclical Letter Ad Coeli Reginam:

31st May, St Petronilla, Virgin

St Petronilla, Virgin

Aurelia Petronilla was the spiritual daughter of the Prince of the Apostles in the first century. God delivered her, by sudden death, from the snares laid to imperil her virginity. Her body rests in the Basilica dedicated to St. Peter who had taught her the faith.

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

Hear us, O God our Saviour; that as we rejoice in the festivity of blessed Petronilla Thy virgin, so we may learn therefrom loving devotion towards Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

31st May, St. Angela Merici, Virgin

St. Angela Merici, Virgin

Born at Desenzano, on the Lake of Garda, of pious parents, Angela, from her childhood, ever tried to please Jesus, the Spouse of her soul (Epistle, Gospel, Communion). She adopted the rule of the Third Order of St. Francis and united evangelical poverty to the merit of virginity. She "loved justice and hated iniquity" (Introit) and subjected her body to the severest austerities to atone for the sins of the world. "The disorders of society," she used to say, "are caused by those in families; there are few Christian mothers, because the education of young girls is neglected." In consequence of a vision she successfully formed, in 1535, in the Church, a new society of holy virgins (Collect). Its object being the Christian education of youth, she placed it under the patronage of St. Ursula, the chief of an army of virgins. She died in 1540 at Brescia with the name of Jesus on her lips.

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)

Deus, qui novum per beatam Angelam sacrarum virginum collegium in Ecclesia tua florescere voluisti; da nobis, ejus intercessione, angelicis moribus vivere; ut, terrenis omnibus abdicatis, gaudiis perfrui mereamur aeternis.
O God, who through blessed Angela didst cause a new society of holy virgins to flourish in Thy Church; grant through her intercession, that living angelic lives, and by detaching our hearts from earthly joys, we may merit to enjoy those that are eternal.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 30 May 2015

Whit Saturday

Ember Saturday after Pentecost

Station at St. Peter's

"The Gift of Holy Fear, or the Fear of God, is actually the foundation of all other gifts. It drives sin from the heart, because it fills us with reverence either for the Justice of God or for the divine Majesty." (Rev. M. Meschler S.J., Ibid., p. 271.)

After swelling the ranks of her children during the night of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost to-day is about to supply the Church with the priests who are to be her ministers of grace all over the world, for He will pour out His Spirit upon her servants as Joel prophesied He would upon the apostles (First Lesson.) Very appropriately, therefore, the church appointed for the Station this day is the basilica of St. Peter, the pastor of the fold, and the Gospel tells of a cure worked by Jesus in the house of Simon.

The priest, as the minister of Christ, devotes himself to the healing of souls consumed by the fever of sinful passions.

As it has already been pointed out, the Mass on the Saturday in Ember Weeks has five Lessons with Collect and Tract between the Introit and the Epistle. The fifth Lesson never varies: it is the record of the miraculous preservation of the three young Hebrew men in the furnace, followed by an extract from their canticle of praise and thanksgiving. The Collect of the Mass is based upon this Lesson, and beseeches the divine goodness that we may not be consumed by the flame of vice.

In the Sacrament of Holy Orders the priest receives a large outpouring of the divine Spirit (Epistle) that will enable him to preach the kingdom of God (Gospel).

The Second, Third and Fourth Lessons refer to the harvest, and to the offerings of the first-fruits of the earth, for Ember Weeks were instituted with the object of obtaining the divine blessing on each of the several seasons as they came in.

Having entered the promised land, the Israelites offered its first-fruits to God.

Let us, having entered the Church by baptism, offer to almighty God the first-fruits of all that we do, through the supernatural influx of the Holy Ghost into our souls. Let us pray to God that He may increase our faith in Christ (Epistle and Gospel), and fill our hearts with His holy love (Epistle).

Caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, alleluia: per inhabitantem Spiritum ejus in nobis, alleluia, alleluia. *  Benedic, anima mea, Domino: et omnia quae intra me sunt, nomini sancto ejus.
The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, alleluia : by His Spirit dwelling in us, alleluia, alleluia. * Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless His holy name.
(Romans 5:5 and Psalm 102:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Mentibus nostris, quaesumus, Domine, Spiritum Sanctum benignus infunde: cujus et sapientia conditi sumus, et providentia gubernamur.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully pour into our souls Thy Holy Spirit, by whose wisdom we were created and by whose providence we are governed.

Friday 29 May 2015

Whit Friday

Ember Friday after Pentecost

Station at the Church of the Twelve Apostles

"The Gift of Piety awakens in our souls an inclination and readiness to glorify God as our Father and to have a filial confidence in Him." (Rev. M. Meschler, S, J. ibid., pp. 275-276.)

The Station takes place in the Church of the Twelve Apostles, who were the embodiment of the early Church, of which the Holy Ghost was the soul.

The bountiful harvest of the fruits of the earth which the Church now asks of God at the beginning of summer is emblematic of the wealth of spiritual blessings which the Holy Ghost lavishes on our souls in these days (Epistle). And it was for this reason that the Liturgy filled the mouths of the children newly born into the Church by Baptism with hymns in praise of God (Introit, Offertory) and of the Spirit of the Lord "so good and sweet within us" (Alleluia).

The Gospel recounts the wonders that Jesus worked by the power of the Holy Ghost in healing the sick, and more particularly the man with the palsy, whose sins He remitted at the same time that He restored him to health.

The Church, built up by the Holy Ghost (Collect), follows in a very special way the example of the divine Master at this season, for at Pentecost she receives in abundance Him, who is the remission of all sins (Post-communion for Tuesday), and she exercises the power given her by our Lord when He said to her in the person of the apostles: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them."

Let us beseech the Holy Ghost to help us in our weakness (Postcommunion) by protecting us against the attacks of our enemies (Collect).

Repleatur os meum laude tua, alleluia: ut possim cantare, alleluia: gaudebunt labia mea, dum cantavero tibi, alleluia, alleluia.  In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum: in justltia tua libera me, et eripe me.

Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise, alleluia; that I may sing, alleluia; my lips shall rejoice when I sing to Thee, alleluia, alleluia. * In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be put to confusion: deliver me in Thy justice, and rescue me.
(Psalm 70:8,23,1-2 from the Introit of Mass)

Da, quaesumus, Ecclesiae tuae, misericors Deus: ut Sancto Spiritu congregata, hostili nullatenus incursione turbetur.
Grant unto Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that being gathered within the fold of the Holy Spirit, she may not be troubled by attack from the foe.

29th May, St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, Virgin

St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, Virgin

Born at Florence (1566) of the illustrious Pazzi family, St. Mary Magdalen, at the age of 10, consecrated her virginity to Christ, whom she chose as her spouse (Epistle, Gospel, Communion). Wherefore God loved her with a love of preference (Introit), and made her one of the virgins who form His court of honour (Offertory).

She took the Carmelite habit (1584) and subjected herself to frightful mortifications. The Holy Ghost, who, from heaven, sent Jesus risen again to her, inflamed her with such love that she had to pour fresh water on her burning breast.

She would bitterly deplore that the infidels and sinners were in the way to perdition and offered to endure any torments for their salvation. Her motto was "Suffer and not die." She died in 1607 and her body which she mortified in every way has remained incorrupt to our day.

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)

Deus, virginitatis amator, qui beatam Mariam Magdalenam Virginem, tuo amore succensam, caelestibus donis decorasti: da; ut, quam festiva celebritate veneramur, puritate et caritate imitemur.
O God, the lover of virginity, who hast enkindled in the heart of blessed Mary Magdalen, thy virgin, a burning love for Thee, and adorned her with heavenly gifts: grant that we who celebrate her festival may imitate her in purity and love.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 28 May 2015

28th May, St Augustine of Canterbury, Archbishop, Confessor

St. Augustine of Canterbury, Archbishop, Confessor

The Cycle celebrates to-day the feast of another son of St. Benedict who, filled with the Holy Ghost, like the apostles, was sent to Great Britain by St. Gregory (596), with forty monks of his community, in order to convert to Christ the people of that country (Collect).

Wherefore the Gospel recalls the seventy-two disciples whom Jesus sent to preach the kingdom of God, and the Epistle alludes to the apostolate of St. Paul who was busy night and day preaching the Gospel of God.

Received by King Ethelbert, at Canterbury, the capital of his kingdom, Augustine built a monastery there and later on established there his episcopal seat (Introit). The example of his life, added to his preaching and miracles, brought the King over to the true faith, and St. Augustine baptized over ten thousand Anglo-Saxons one Christmas Day. This "Apostle of England" died in 604.

Let us ask through the intercession of St. Augustine to bring back erring hearts to the unity of Christian truth (Collect).

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)
Deus, qui Angloram gentes praedicatione et miraculis beati Augustini Confessoris tui atque Pontificis, verae fidei luce illustrare dignatus es: concede; ut, ipso interveniente, errantium corda ad veritatis tuae redeant unitatem, et nos in tua simus voluntate concordes.
O God, who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, Thy confessor and bishop, didst vouchsafe to enlighten the English nation with the light of the true faith; moved by his prayers, vouchsafe that the hearts of those who have gone astray may return to the unity of Thy truth, and that we may ever be of one mind in doing Thy will.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Whit Thursday

Thursday after Pentecost

Station at St. Laurence-without-the-Walls

"The Gift of Knowledge is a supernatural light of the Holy Ghost which shows us the credibility and acceptability of revealed truths, even for reasons which are based only on the order of creation". (Rev. M. Meschler, S.J., Ibid., p. 241.)

The Station on this day takes place in the church dedicated to St. Laurence the deacon, whose soul was so consumed with the fire of the Spirit of love that he scarcely felt the flames torturing his body.

"When you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you," Jesus said to His apostles, "you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts of the Apostles 1:8.)

The Mass of to-day tells us how Philip the deacon, filled with the Holy Ghost, preached the Gospel in Samaria, where he worked many miracles (Epistle). And the Gospel reminds us that Christ, in conferring on His apostles the power of healing the sick, commanded them to preach everywhere the Kingdom of God.

"Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Apostles spoke the wonderful works of God" (Communion) and filled the whole earth with the marvellous operations of the Divine Spirit (Introit, Alleluia).

And what the Church did in her earliest days she continues to do through the centuries during the festivities of Pentecost, when the light of the Holy Ghost illumines in a very special manner the souls of the faithful (Collect).

Let us beseech God to grant us the gift of the Holy Ghost, that we may ielish what is right and ever rejoice in His holy consolations (Collect).

Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia: et hoc quod continet omnia, scientiam habet vocis, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant, qui oderunt eum, a facie ejus.
The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, alleluia: and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
(Wisdom 1:7 and Psalm 67:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui hodierna die corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de ejus semper consolatione gaudere.
O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of Thy Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and ever rejoice in His holy consolation.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Ember Wednesday after Pentecost

Ember Wednesday after Pentecost

Station at St. Mary Major

"The Gift of Fortitude is a permanent power which the Holy Ghost communicates to our will to assist us in overcoming the difficulties which might deter us in the practice of what is right." (Rev. M. Meschler, S.J., Ibid., p. 260.)

The Ember Days always fall during the octave of Pentecost. The Church then offers up to God the first-fruits of the new season, and prays for the priests who, on the coming Saturday, are about to receive the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

The Station on Ember Wednesday was always held at St. Mary Major. It was at the feet of the Blessed Virgin, whom the Holy Ghost filled with His grace in the Cenacle, that the newly baptized gathered together. The Liturgy reminded them of the miracle of Pentecost (Lesson) and the marvels wrought by the Apostles, as a result of which the number of those who believed in the Lord was greatly increased (Epistle).

Moved by the Holy Ghost the Catechumens also believed in Jesus: they turned to Him, and Jesus gave them to eat of the bread that would make them live for ever (Gospel).

Let us implore the divine Consoler to enlighten, us always more and more and to place us in full possession of the truth." (Collect)

May God protect the Church, as of old He protected His chosen people.

Deus, dum egredereris coram populo tuo, iter faciens eis, habitans in illis, alleluia: terra mota est, caeli distillaverunt, alleluia, alleluia.* Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant, qui oderunt eum, a facie ejus.
O God! when Thou didst go forth in the sight of Thy people, making a passage for them, dwelling among them, alleluia, the earth was moved and the heavens dropped, alleluia, alleluia. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
(Psalm 67:8,9,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Mentes nostras, quaesumus, Domine, Paraclitus, qui a te procedit, illuminet: et inducat in omnem, sicut tuus promisit Filius, veritatem.
May the Holy Comforter, who proceedeth from Thee, enlighten our minds, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and lead us into all truth, even as Thy Son hath promised.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Four Prayers to St Philip Neri (by JHN)

For the Octave Day of St Philip Neri

These four Prayers to St. Philip form "Part of a Novena to St. Philip," which ends abruptly at the end of the fourth day's prayer, to which for the sake of uniformity the Invocations at the conclusion have been added. [W.N.]


O my dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love's sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven too.

Thou hast had experience of the trials and troubles of this life ; thou knowest well what it is to bear the assaults of the devil, the mockery of the world, and the temptations of flesh and blood. Thou knowest how weak is human nature, and how treacherous the human heart, and thou art so full of sympathy and compassion, that, amidst all thy present ineffable glory and blessedness, thou canst, I know, give a thought to me.

Think of me then, my dear St. Philip, be sure to think of me, even though I am at times so unmindful of thee. Gain for me all things necessary for my perseverance in the grace of God, and my eternal salvation. Gain for me, by thy powerful intercession, the strength to fight a good fight, to witness boldly for God and religion in the midst of sinners, to be brave when Satan would frighten or force me to what is wrong, to overcome myself, to do my whole duty, and thus to be acquitted in the judgment.

Vessel of the Holy Ghost, Apostle of Rome, Saint of primitive times, pray for me.


O my dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love's sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven so in due time He may take me to heaven also.

And I ask of thee especially to gain for me a true devotion such as thou hadst to the Holy Ghost, the Third Person in the Ever-blessed Trinity; that, as He at Pentecost so miraculously filled thy heart with His grace, I too may in my measure have the gifts necessary for my salvation.

Therefore I ask thee to gain for me those His seven great gifts, to dispose and excite my heart towards faith and virtue.

Beg for me the gift of Wisdom, that I may prefer heaven to earth and know truth from falsehood :

The gift of Understanding, by which I may have imprinted upon my mind the mysteries of His Word:
The gift of Counsel, that I may see my way in all perplexities:

The gift of Fortitude, that with bravery and stubbornness I may battle with my foe:

The gift of Knowledge, to enable me to direct all my doings with a pure intention to the glory of God:

The gift of Religion, to make me devout and conscientious:

And the gift of Holy Fear, to make me feel awe, reverence and sobriety amid all my spiritual blessings.

Sweetest Father, Flower of Purity, Martyr of Charity, pray for me.


O my dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love's sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven also.

And I beg of thee to gain for me a true devotion to the Holy Ghost, by means of that grace which He Himself, the Third Person of the glorious Trinity, bestows. Gain for me a portion of that over-flowing devotion which thou hadst towards Him when thou wast on earth; for that, O my dear father, was one of thy special distinctions from other saints, that, though they all adored supremely and solely the Holy Ghost as their one God, yet thou, like Pope St, Gregory, the Apostle of England, didst adore Him not only in the unity of the Godhead, but also as proceeding from the Father and the Son, the gift of the Most High and the Giver of life.

Gain for me, O holy Philip, such a measure of thy devotion towards Him, that as He did deign to come into thy heart miraculously and set it on fire with love, He may reward us too with some special and corresponding gift of grace. O Philip, let us not be the cold sons of so fervent a Father. It will be a great reproach to thee, if thou dost not make us in some measure like thyself. Gain for us the grace of prayer and meditation, power to command our thoughts and keep from distractions, and the gift of conversing with God without being wearied.

Heart of fire, Light of holy joy, Victim of love, pray for me.


O my dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love's sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven also.

Thou art my glorious protector, and, after Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, canst do most for me in life and death. In thy labours thou didst follow thy Lord and Saviour, and in thy hidden life and hidden virtues, in thy purity, humility, and fervour, art nearest to Mary and Joseph of all saints. I have long dedicated myself to thee, but I have done nothing worthy of thee, and I am ashamed to call myself thine, because thou hadst a right to have followers of great innocence, great honesty of purpose, and great resolution, and these virtues I have not.

Thou, Philip, hast no anxiety about thyself, for thou art already in heaven, therefore thou canst afford to have a care for me. Watch over me, keep me from lagging behind, gain for me the grace necessary to keep me up to my duty, so that I may make progress in all virtues, in the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity; in the four cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance; moreover in humility, in chastity, in liberality, in meekness, and in truthfulness.

Director of souls, Patron of thine own, who didst turn so many hearts to God, pray for me.

Litany of St Philip Neri (by JHN)

Litany of St. Philip

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us
Holy Virgin of Virgins,
St. Philip,
Vessel of the Holy Ghost,
Child of Mary,
Apostle of Rome,
Counsellor of Popes,
Voice of Prophecy,
Man of primitive times,
Winning Saint,
Hidden hero,
Sweetest of Fathers,
Flower of purity,
Martyr of charity,
Heart of fire,
Discerner of spirits,
Choicest of priests,
Mirror of the divine life,
Pattern of humility,
Example of simplicity,
Light of holy joy,
Image of childhood,
Picture of old age,
Director of souls,
Gentle guide of youth,
Patron of thy own,
Who didst observe chastity in thy youth,
Who didst seek Rome by divine guidance,
Who didst hide so long in the Catacombs,
Who didst receive the Holy Ghost into thy heart,
Who didst experience such wonderful ecstasies,
Who didst so lovingly serve the little ones,
Who didst wash the feet of pilgrims,
Who didst ardently thirst after martyrdom,
Who didst distribute the daily word of God,
Who didst turn so many hearts to God,
Who didst converse so sweetly with Mary,
Who didst raise the dead,
Who didst set up thy houses in all lands,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Remember thy Congregation.
R. Which thou hast possessed from the beginning.

Let us pray.
O God, who hast exalted blessed Philip, Thy Confessor, in the glory of Thy saints, grant that, as we rejoice in his commemoration, so we may profit by the example of his virtues, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Whit Tuesday

Tuesday after Pentecost

Station at St. Anastasia's

"The Gift of Counsel is a light given by the Holy Ghost, by means of which our practical intellect sees and judges rightly both what should be done in individual cases and the best means to do it." (Rev. M. Meschler, S.J., Ibid., p. 254.)

The Church continues to address herself to the new-born children she has acquired through Baptism. In former times she brought them together on this day in the Church of St. Anastasia, where also was celebrated the Mass at dawn on Christmas Day.

The Introit reminded them of the great blessing of their Christian calling.

Through the Sacrament of Baptism the power of the Holy Ghost had come down upon them and had purified their hearts (Collect), for "the Holy Ghost is Himself the remission of sins " (Postcommunion).

In the Sacrament of Confirmation they had, like the Disciples of Samaria of old, been filled with the power of the Spirit (Epistle).

In the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist they had eaten the Bread of Angels (Offertory).

So like faithful sheep of the divine Shepherd (Gospel), they entered the fold, that is the Church, by Him who is "the door" of the fold, and hearkened always to the teaching of the Holy Ghost (Alleluia) imparted to them by the ministers of the Church. Let us pray to God that our souls may be renewed in the Holy Ghost (Postcommunion).

Accipite jucunditatem gloriae vestrae, alleluia: gratias agentes Deo, alleluia: qui vos ad caelestia regna vocavit, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Attendite, popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei.

Receive the most sweet gift which shall be your glory, alleluia: giving thanks to God, alleluia, who hath called you to the heavenly kingdom, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. * Attend, O My people, to My law: incline your ears to the words of My mouth.

(4 Esdras 2:36-37 and Psalm 77:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Adsit nobis, quaesumus, Domine, virtus Splritus sancti: quae et corda nostra clementer expurget, et ab omnibus tueatur adversis.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the power of the Holy Ghost may abide in us; may it mercifully cleanse our hearts, and defend us from all danger.

26th May, St Philip Neri, Confessor

St. Philip Neri, Confessor

St. Philip, born at Florence in the sixteenth century, left everything to serve the divine Master (Gospel), and founded the Congregation of the Oratory.

The Holy Ghost had inflamed him with such love for God (Introit, Alleluia, Secret), that the palpitations of his heart bent two of his ribs (Communion).

He would spend whole nights in the contemplation of heavenly things and the Spirit of Truth "taught him true wisdom" (Epistle). His conversations with Jesus filled him with such intense joy that he exclaimed: "Enough, Lord, enough!"

He had an especial ministry to young men: "Amuse yourselves," he said to them, "but do not offend God."

He died in 1595 on the feast of Corpus Christi.

Like St. Philip, with our hearts full of a holy and loving joy, let us run in the way of the commandments of God (Collect).

Caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris, per inhabitantem Spiritum ejus in nobis. Alleluia, alleluia. * Benedic, anima mea, Domino: et omnia quae intra me sunt, nomini sancto ejus.
The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by His Spirit dwelling within us, Alleluia, alleluia. * Bless the Lord, O my soul; and let all that is within me bless His holy name.
(Romans 5:5 and Psalm 102:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Philippum Confessorem tuum, Sanctorum tuorum gloria sublimasti: concede propitius; ut cujus solemnitate laetamur, ejus virtutum proficiamus exemplo.
O God, who hast exalted blessed Philip, Thy confessor, in the glory of Thy saints: grant in Thy mercy, that we who rejoice in his festival, may profit by the example of his virtues.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

26th May, St Eleutherius, Pope and Martyr

St. Eleutherius, Pope and Martyr

St. Eleutherius governed the Church during the period that followed the persecution of the Emperor Commodus. Faith, at the time, made great progress in the whole world. After a pontificate lasting fifteen years, he died in 185 and was buried on the Vatican Hill near the body of St. Peter.

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 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 Eleutherius Thy martyr and bishop may protect us.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 25 May 2015

Whit Monday

Monday after Pentecost

Station at St. Peter's Chains

"The Gift of Understanding enlightens us by shedding a clear, searching and extraordinary light on the meaning of revealed truth, and by giving us a certitude that what God has revealed bears such and such a sense and no other". (Rev. M. Meschler. S.J. Ibid., p. 385.)

The Church extends the Feast of the Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles (Collect) over eight days. In the Epistle we see the Head of the Church (in whose church the station is held) giving testimony to Jesus Christ before the Jews and the Gentiles. Whosoever believeth in Me shall not perish," said our Lord, "for God sent His Son that the world may be saved by Him" (Gospel). And as St. Peter says, "Whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins through His name" (Epistle). All men, without exception are called to believe in Jesus Christ, to be baptized in His Name, to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in which the Holy Ghost is given, and the Eucharist where our Divine Redeemer feeds souls with the finest of heavenly wheat (Introit).

May Jesus and the Holy Ghost, of whom we have received testimony from the lips of Peter, head of the Church, defend us against our enemies and give us peace (Collect, Postcommunion).

Cibavit eos ex adipe frumenti, alleluia: et de petra melle saturavit eos, alleluia, alleluia. * Exsultate Deo adjutori nostro: jubilate Deo Jacob.
He fed them with the finest of wheat, alleluia : and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Rejoice to God our helper : sing aloud to the God of Jacob. f. Glory be to the Father.
(Psalm 80:17,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui Apostolis tuis sanctum dedisti Spiritum: concede plebi tuae piae petitionis effectum: ut, quibus dedisti fidem, largiaris et pacem. 
O God, who didst send the Holy Ghost to Thine apostles, grant to Thy people the fruit of their loving prayers; that Thou mayest bestow peace upon those to whom Thou hast given faith.

Novena in Preparation for the Feast of St Philip Neri. Day 9.

May 25 - Philip's Miraculous Gifts

Philip's great and solid virtues were crowned and adorned by the divine Majesty with various and extraordinary favours, which he in vain used every artifice, if possible, to hide.

It was the good-pleasure of God to enable him to penetrate His ineffable mysteries and to know His marvellous providences by means of ecstasies, raptures, and visions, which were of frequent occurrence during the whole of his life.

A friend going one morning to confession to him, on opening the door of his room softly, saw the Saint in the act of prayer, raised upon his feet, his eyes looking to heaven, his hands extended. He stood for a while watching him, and then going close to him spoke to him - but the saint did not perceive him at all. This state of abstraction continued about eight minutes longer; then he came to himself.

He had the consolation of seeing in vision the souls of many, especially of his friends and penitents, go to heaven. Indeed, those who were intimate with him held it for certain, that none of his spiritual children died without his being certified of the state of their souls.

Philip, both by his sanctity and experience, was able to discriminate between true and false visions. He was earnest in warning men against being deluded, which is very easy and probable.

Philip was especially eminent, even among saints, for his gifts of foretelling the future and reading the heart. The examples of these gifts which might be produced would fill volumes. He foretold the deaths of some; he foretold the recovery of others; he foretold the future course of others; he foretold the births of children to those who were childless; he foretold who would be the Popes before their election; he had the gift of seeing things at a distance; and he knew what was going on in the minds of his penitents and others around him.

He knew whether his penitents had said their prayers, and for how long they were praying. Many of them when talking together, if led into any conversation which was dangerous or wrong, would say: "We must stop, for St. Philip will find it out."

Once a woman came to him to confession, when in reality she wished to get an alms. He said to her: "In God's name, good woman, go away; there is no bread for you" - and nothing could induce him to hear her confession.

A man who went to confess to him did not speak, but began to tremble, and when asked, said, "I am ashamed," for he had committed a most grievous sin. Philip said gently: "Do not be afraid; I will tell you what it was" - and, to the penitent's great astonishment, he told him.

Such instances are innumerable. There was not one person intimate with Philip who did not affirm that he knew the secrets of the heart most marvellously.

He was almost equally marvellous in his power of healing and restoring to health. He relieved pain by the touch of his hand and the sign of the Cross. And in the same way he cured diseases instantaneously - at other times by his prayers - at other times he commanded the diseases to depart.

This gift was so well known that sick persons got possession of his clothes, his shoes, the cuttings of his hair, and God wrought cures by means of them.


Philip, my holy Patron, the wounds and diseases of my soul are greater than bodily ones, and are beyond thy curing, even with thy supernatural power. I know that my Almighty Lord reserves in His own hands the recovery of the soul from death, and the healing of all its maladies. But thou canst do more for our souls by thy prayers now, my dear Saint, than thou didst for the bodies of those who applied to thee when thou wast upon earth. Pray for me, that the Divine Physician of the soul, Who alone reads my heart thoroughly, may cleanse it thoroughly, and that I and all who are dear to me may be cleansed from all our sins; and, since we must die, one and all, that we may die, as thou didst, in the grace and love of God, and with the assurance, like thee, of eternal life.

25th May, St. Gregory VII, Pope and Confessor

St. Gregory VII, Pope and Confessor

Born at Soana in Tuscany, Hildebrand became a monk in the famous Benedictine monastery of Cluny, on which, at the time, depended two thousand monasteries. He soon became prior, and was later elected abbot of the Monastery of St.Paul-without-the-Walls, and made a cardinal of the Roman Church. At the death of Alexander II, he was elected pope and took the name of Gregory VII. Thus entrusted with the government of  the house of God (Gospel, Communion), he participated in the full priesthood of Jesus (Introit, Epistle).

At a time when the bishops, mostly simoniacal, were the dependants of lay princes, he strove with such constancy to defend the liberty of the Church (Collect) that, as we are assured, no pontiff since the time of the apostles undertook more labours for her or fought more courageously lor her independence.

While he was saying Mass, a dove was seen to come down on him: the Holy Ghost thereby bore witness of the supernatural views that guided him in the government of the Church. Forced to leave Rome, he died in Salerno in 1085, saying those words, the first of which are from Ps. xliv: "I have loved Justice and have hated iniquity: that is why I die in exile."

Following the example of St. Gregory, let us overcome with courage all adversities (Collect).

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 in te sperantium fortitudo, qui beatum Gregorium, Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem, pro tuenda Ecclesiae libertate, virtute constantiae roborasti: da nobis, ejus exemplo et intercession, omnia adversantia fortiter superare.
O God, the strength of all that put their trust in Thee, who for the defence of the liberty of Thy Church didst fill blessed Gregory, Thy confessor and bishop, with the virtue of constancy: grant that, helped by his prayers and example, we, too, may bravely overcome all adversity.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

25th May, St. Urban I, Pope and Martyr

St. Urban I, Pope and Martyr

This holy pope is believed to have been the same Urban who baptized Valerian, husband of St. Cecilia, Tiburtius, brother of Valerian, and Maximus, their gaoler, whom we honoured on April 14th. St. Urban was martyred in 230.

Protexisti me, Deus, a conventu malignantium, alleluja: a multitudine operantium iniquitatem, alleluja, alleluja. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam cum deprecor: a timore inimici eripe animam meam.
Thou hast protected me, O God, from the assembly of the malignant, alleluia: from the multitude of the workers of iniquity, alleluia, alleluia. * Hear, O God, my prayer, when I make supplication to Thee: free my soul from the fear of the enemy.
(Psalm 63:3,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui beati Urbani Martyris tui atque Pontificis solemnia colimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus, adjuvemur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we who keep the festival of blessed Urban, Thy martyr and bishop may be helped by his intercession with Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday 24 May 2015


From the St Andrew's Daily Missal.

Doctrinal note for Pentecost

Easter and Pentecost, with the forty-eight days between them, used to be regarded as a single feast of fifty days (the word Pentecost is from the Greek, and means the fiftieth day), on which was kept, first the triumph of Christ, then His entry into His glory, and finally, on the fiftieth day, the anniversary of the Church's birth.  "To-day the Christian Church is born" (St. Augustine, sermon for Pentecost).

The Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost, are all part of the Paschal mystery. As St. Augustine says, Easter was the beginning of grace, and Pentecost is its crown, since the Holy Ghost then completes the work accomplished by Christ. And the Ascension, in its place in the centre of the triptych of Paschaltide, is the meeting place of these two feasts. By His resurrection our Lord has restored to us our rights to the divine life4, and at Pentecost He applies them to our souls by communicating to us His Holy Spirit, the "Giver of Life."

To do this, He must first take possession of the kingdom He has won, for as St. John says, "As yet the Spirit was not given," for Jesus was not yet glorified. For the Ascension of our Redeemer is the official recognition of His rights of conquest; so far as His humanity is concerned it puts the crown on His redemptive work, and it is for the Church the fount of her holiness and her very life.

"The Ascension," writes Dom Gueranger, "is the intermediate mystery between Easter and Pentecost. On the one hand it completes Easter by setting up the God-Man on the right hand of the Father as the conqueror of death and Head of the Church; and on the other, it brought aboui the mission to the earth of the Holy Ghost." "Our glorious mystery of the Ascension," he writes again, forms the boundary line between the two reigns of God in the New Dispensation on earth: the visible reign of the Son of God and the visible reign of the Holy Ghost" " If I go not," said our Lord to His apostles, "the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send Him to you." The Incarnate Word has finished His external mission among men, and now the Holy Ghost is about to begin His; for the Father has not only sent us His Son Incarnate to gather us to Himself, but also the Holy Ghost, " Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son", and who appeared in the world under visible signs: tongues of lire and a mighty wind. "The Father," says St. Athanasius, "does everything by the Word, in the Holy Ghost." Even when the omnipotence of the Father is manifested to us in the creation of the world, we read in Genesis that the Spirit of God moved over the waters to render them fruitful.

Again, when the wisdom of the Word is displayed to us, we are beholden it all to the Holy Ghost. It is He "who spake by the prophets"; it was His power that overshadowed the Virgin Mary and made her the Mother of Christ. Finally, it was He, who in the form of a dove descended upon our Lord at His Baptism, led Him into the desert and guided Him through the whole of His public ministry.

But more especially, when He filled the apostles with light and strength 011 the Day of Pentecost, did the Spirit of holiness inaugurate the dominion which he was going to exercise over souls. It was " with the Holy Ghost 1 hat the Church was baptized in the Cenacle and it was His life-giving hreath that came to give life to the mystical Body of Christ, which He had organized after His resurrection. So it was that our Lord breathed on His apostles, and said to them: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost... Whose •ins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them'." And we know that the Holy Ghost is called "the Remission of Sins," and that baptism, whose purpose is to purify our souls from their sins, is given " with water and the Holy Ghost". " Go out of him, unclean spirit ", says the priest who Imptizes, " and give place unto the Holy Ghost the Paraclete." By His Ktace this divine Spirit heals and raises up our souls ; He rescues man from that death from which man cannot rescue himself. Thanks to Him, ouls are raised to the supernatural state and His supernatural influence can quicken all their thoughts and acts. For " as the life of the body springs from the union of body and soul, in the same way the life of the soul springs from the union of the soul with the Spirit of God by sanctifying grace" (St. Irenaeus and St. Clement of Alexandria) ; and St. Thomas adds : " Man receives grace through the Holy Ghost9."

Grace implies the raising to the supernatural level of our whole being; and to quote the Angelical Doctor again : " A certain participation in the divinity on the part of the reasonable creature." Much more than this, where grace is, there is its divine Artificer, which is why the Church calls the Holy Ghost " the sweet Guest of our souls". He who makes our uetions fruitful by " His intimate working".

It is the purpose of this Holy Spirit to accomplish the work of the formation of the apostles and the Church, in our Lord's words : " He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you10", and this He does, not only by enlightening the mind, but also by purifying and warming the heart. While the Church gives Him the title of " the Light of Hearts", often during this week she alludes to that purifying and enkindling of the will which permits the intelligence to contemplate the truth with vivid clearness.

" Every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved; but he that doth truth cometh to the light that his works may be made manifest11.»

The Holy Ghost comes to give testimony to Christ, as the Master Himself foretold, and He gives this testimony not only interiorly by the action of grace in men's hearts, but exteriorly also, through the medium of the visible hierarchy. And so it is that constantly throughout the week, the liturgy speaks at one and the same time of the infusion of the grace of the Holy Ghost, and of the preaching of faith in Christ The testimony of the Holy Ghost in the soul echoes that which our Lord bears to Himself through the Church, so that to deny the divinity and the resurrection of Christ as taught by the Church, is a sin against the Holy Ghost, and one which carries its sentence of condemnation within itself; such a one, as our Lord said, is already judged1.

From this Holy Spirit, all down the ages, will spring that wonderful doctrinal and mystical force which was personified in the Cenacle by Peter and Mary. The Holy Ghost who once inspired the sacred authors, secures to the Pope and to the Bishops grouped around him, that doctrinal infallibility which enables the teaching Church to continue the mission of our Lord. From the Holy Ghost the sacraments instituted by Christ receive their efficacy.

Further, outside the hierarchy, the Holy Ghost raises up faithful souls, who yield themselves with docility to His sanctifying work. This sanctity, which is the triumph of love in the hearts of men, is justly attributed to the third person of the Holy Trinity, who is the personal love of the Father and the Son. For the will is holy when it wills nothing but good. Hence the Spirit is called holy since He proceeds eternally from the divine Will, with which goodness is one and the same thing. And so it is He who makes us holy by closely uniting our will to God's Thus, after the Holy Ghost, the Credo speaks to us of the holy Church, the communion of saints, the resurrection of the body, which is the fruit of holiness and its manifestation in our bodies, and finally of eternal life, which is the plenitude of holiness in our souls.

This supernatural life especially fills our souls at Pentecost, which reminds us of the taking possession of the Church by the Holy Ghost, and which therefore, year by year, strengthens more and more God's reign within our souls.

Therefore, at Pentecost we celebrate not only the coming of the Holy Ghost, but also the entry of the Church into the heavenly world2, for as St. Paul says, " In Him we have access in one Spirit to the Father8".

Thus, the anniversary of the Mosaic Law on Sinai becomes, for all Christians, that of the institution of the New Law, by which we receive no more " the spirit of bondage ", but " the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry Abba: (Father)4". The Mosaic Law pointed out what had to be done but did not supply help for doing it easily ; the Holy Ghost, on the contrary, while making known the Law of the Gospel, gives also abundant graces to practice it, for love is the secret of obedience.

Pentecost is not merely an anniversary, it is also a life, the descent into our hearts of the Holy Ghost. And devotion to the Holy Ghost is the measure of our sanctity.

Historical note for Pentecost

Before His ascension into heaven, our Lord charges His apostles " that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father6", the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. On their return from the mount of Olives, the disciples, numbering about one hundred and twenty, went back to the Cenacle, where they all " were persevering in one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus'".

After this novena, the most solemn ever made, occurred the miraculous descent of the Holy Spirit, which by divine Providence, coincided with the Jewish feast of Pentecost among the Israelites. This " most solemn and most holy day7 " was the anniversary of the promulgation of the Law on mount Sinai. Consequently a considerable number of foreigners who had flocked to Jerusalem from all parts, were witnesses of the coming of the Holy Ghost.

" It was nine o'clock in the morning, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire; and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled

1. St. Mark m, 28.

2. " Unless a inan be born of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (St. John in, 6.) — 3. Ephesians n, 18. — 4. Romans vin, 15. — 6. Acts I, 4.

6. Acts i, 14. — 7. Leviticus ran, 21.

with the Holy Ghost and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak1."

Thus, " endued with power from on high2," the Church began at Jerur-snlem the work of the Apostolate entrusted to her by her divine Lord. Peter, the chief of the apostles, first addressed the assembly, and become already a " fisher of men8", brought by the first cast of his net, about ihree thousand converts into the infant Church. On the following days the twelve met in the Temple under Solomon's porch, and like their divine Master, preached the Gospel and healed the sick. Thus, " the multitude of men and women who believed in the Lord, was more increased4".

Subsequently, spreading in all directions outside Judea, the apostles went forth to proclaim Christ and to give the Holy Ghost to the Samaritans 1 and then to the Gentiles everywhere4.

Liturgical note for Pentecost

On the fiftieth day after the passing over of the destroying angel and the crossing of the Red Sea, to the Hebrews encamped at the foot of Sinai, almighty God with great solemnity promulgated His Law. The Jewish feasts of the Passover and Pentecost, which recalled these two events, were the most important in the year.

Sixteen centuries later, the feast of the Passover was marked by the death and resurrection of Christ, and that of Pentecost (fifty days after, as the name implies), by the descent of the Holy Ghost on the apostles These two feasts, having become Christian in character,are the most ancient of the liturgical cycle, which owes its origin to them. They bear the names respectively of White and Red Easter. Wherefore, after Easter, Pentecost, is the greatest feast of the whole year, having an equally privileged vigil and oetave. The book of the Acts of the Apostles is read, for this is the season which commemorates the foundation of the Church, of whose beginnings this sacred book gives an account, and this custom is modelled on what takes place in Easter Week.

It is an entirely new life that is beginning, therefore it is suitable that t he new writings should be read. Besides, the New Testament puts the Old in its true light by showing that everything that it contained was only of the nature of a type. So in the Mass for Pentecost and throughout the octave, the Old and the New Law, Holy Scripture and Tradition, the Prophets, the Church Fathers and the Apostles echo the Master's words. Like the different pieces of a mosaic, all these parts group themselves in such a way as to bring before the mind a wonderful picture portraying the action of the Holy Ghost down through the centuries of the world's life. To place this magnificent masterpiece in still clearer relief, the liturgy surrounds it with all the external pomp of its sacred ceremonies and symbolic rites.

The priest is clothed in red vestments which recall the tongues of fire and serve as a symbol of that testimony of blood which men will have to bear to the Gospel by the power of the Holy Ghost. Formerly, in certain churches, while the Veni Sancte Spiritus was being sung, a shower of red roses was let fall from the roof, while a dove flew about over the heads of the faithful. Hence the pleasing name of the Easter of Roses by which Pentecost was known in the thirteenth century. Sometimes, to add another feature to the attempt to give a scenic character to the ceremonial, a trumpet was sounded during the Sequence as a reminder of the trumpet of Sinai or the mighty sound in the midst of which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles.

In this way the Christian was immersed in the distinctive atmosphere which is a characteristic of Pentecost, thus receiving a new outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Lest anyone should allow himself to be distracted from the contemplation of this mystery, it is celebrated throughout the entire octave, to the exclusion of any other feast. Thus is clearly expressed the Church's intention that during these eight days we should choose for our spiritual reading and meditation subjects connected with Pentecost For example what an excellent preparation for Holy Communion and what an appropriate thanksgiving is to be found in the Sequence, whether said or sung, forming as it does, one of the most beautiful pieces of Christian poetry.

With the Mass and the midday Regina Coeli on Ember Saturday ends Paschaltide, which began with Mass on Holy Saturday.

Novena in Preparation for the Feast of St Philip Neri. Day 8.

May 24 - Philip's Care for the Salvation of Souls

When he was a young priest, and had gathered about him a number of spiritual persons, his first wish was to go with them all to preach the gospel to the heathen of India, where St. Francis Xavier was engaged in his wonderful career - and he only gave up the idea in obedience to the holy men whom he consulted.

As to bad Christians at home, such extreme desire had he for their conversion, that even when he was old he took severe disciplines in their behalf, and wept for their sins as if they had been his own.

While a layman, he converted by one sermon thirty dissolute youths.

He was successful, under the grace of God, in bringing back almost an infinite number of sinners to the paths of holiness. Many at the hour of death cried out, "Blessed be the day when first I came to know Father Philip!" Others, "Father Philip draws souls to him as the magnet draws iron."

With a view to the fulfilment of what he considered his special mission, he gave himself up entirely to hearing confessions, exclusive of every other employment. Before sunrise he had generally confessed a good number of penitents in his own room. He went down into the church at daybreak, and never left it till noon, except to say Mass. If no penitents came, he remained near his confessional, reading, saying office, or telling his beads. If he was at prayer, if at his meals, he at once broke off when his penitents came.

He never intermitted his hearing of confessions for any illness, unless the physician forbade it.

For the same reason he kept his room-door open, so that he was exposed to the view of everyone who passed it.

He had a particular anxiety about boys and young men. He was most anxious to have them always occupied, for he knew that idleness was the parent of every evil. Sometimes he made work for them, when he could not find any.

He let them make what noise they pleased about him, if in so doing he was keeping them from temptation. When a friend remonstrated with him for letting them so interfere with him, he made answer: "So long as they do not sin, they may chop wood upon my back."

He was allowed by the Dominican Fathers to take out their novices for recreation. He used to delight to see them at their holiday meal. He used to say, "Eat, my sons, and do not scruple about it, for it makes me fat to watch you;" and then, when dinner was over, he made them sit in a ring around him, and told them the secrets of their hearts, and gave them good advice, and exhorted them to virtue.

He had a remarkable power of consoling the sick, and of delivering them from the temptations with which the devil assails them.

To his zeal for the conversion of souls, Philip always joined the exercise of corporal acts of mercy. He visited the sick in the hospitals, served them in all their necessities, made their beds, swept the floor round them, and gave them their meals.


Philip, my holy Patron, who wast so careful for the souls of thy brethren, and especially of thy own people, when on earth, slack not thy care of them now, when thou art in heaven. Be with us, who are thy children and thy clients; and, with thy greater power with God, and with thy more intimate insight into our needs and our dangers, guide us along the path which leads to God and to thee. Be to us a good father; make our priests blameless and beyond reproach or scandal; make our children obedient, our youth prudent and chaste, our heads of families wise and gentle, our old people cheerful and fervent, and build us up, by thy powerful intercessions, in faith, hope, charity, and all virtues.

24th May, Our Lady Help of Christians

Our Lady Help of Christians.
(Local celebration).

This feast was instituted by Pope Pius VII in 1815, when the exile of the Supreme Pontiff, due to the French Revolution, was brought to an end.

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui ad defensionem populi Christiani in beatissima Virgine Maria perpetuum auxilium mirabiliter constituisti: concede propitius; ut tali praesidio muniti, certantes in vita, victoriam de hoste maligno consequi valeamus in morte.
Almighty and merciful God, who in the most blessed Virgin Mary hast marvellously given us ever present help for the defence of the Christian people; grant, in thy mercyl, that in life's battle we may be shielded by her powerful protection and at death may be able to vanquish the wicked enemy.
(Collect at Mass)

See the Catholic Encyclopaedia for more information on this Feast:

Saturday 23 May 2015

More on the Pentecost Vigil - six prophecies

The Six Prophecies

If you have been unable to attend an extended Pentecost Vigil mass today then a useful private devotion would be to read through the six Old Testament Prophecies, which are chanted in the first part of the vigil.

These six readings are a subset of the twelve from the Easter vigil, and they are all looking forward to the redemption of Israel, and in particular the establishment of the sacrament of baptism, which is our passport into eternal life. The collects are different, however.

First Prophecy
Genesis 22: 1-19

In those days, God tempted Abraham, and said to him, Abraham, Abraham: and he answered, Here I am. He said to him, Take thy only-begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision; and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will show thee. So Abraham rising up in the night, saddled his ass, and took with him two young men, and Isaac his son; and when he had cut wood for the holocaust, he went his way to the place which God had commanded him. And on the third day, lifting up his eyes he saw the place afar off; and he said to his young men, Stay you here with the ass: I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and, after we have worshipped will return to you. And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son: and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together, Isaac said to his father, My father; and he answered, What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood; where is the victim for the holocaust? And Abraham said, God will provide Himself a victim for a holocaust, my son. So they went on together; and they came to the place which God had showed him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it; and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood; and he put forth his hand, and took the sword to sacrifice his son. And behold an angel of the Lord from heaven called to him, saying, Abraham, Abraham;and he answered, Here I am. And he said to him, Lay not thy hand upon the boy, neither do thou anything to him; now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared thy only-begotten son for My sake. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram amongst the briars, sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son. And he called the name of that place, The Lord Seeth. Whereupon even to this day it is said, in the mountain the Lord will see. And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, saying, By My own self have I sworn, saith the Lord; because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only-begotten son for My sake, I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the seashore; thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies, and in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed My voice. Abraham returned to his young men, and they went to Bersabee together, and he dwelt there.

Deus, qui in Abrahae famuli tui opere, humano generi obedientiae exempla praebuisti: concede nobis, et nostrae voluntatis pravitatem frangere, et tuorum praeceptorum rectitudinem in omnibus adimplere.
Let us pray.
O God, who in the action of Thy servant Abraham hast given to mankind an example of obedience, grant us both to conquer the perverseness of our will and to fulfil in all things Thy righteous commands. Through our Lord.

Second Prophecy.
Exodus 14:24-31;15:1

In those days, the morning watch was come, and behold the Lord, looking upon the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, slew their host, and overthrew the wheels of the chariots, and they were carried into the deep. And the Egyptians said, Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord fighteth for them against us. And the Lord said to Moses, Stretch forth thy hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and horsemen. And when Moses had stretched forth his hand toward the sea, it returned, at the first break of day, to the former place; and as the Egyptians were fleeing away, the waters came upon them, and the Lord shut them up in the middle of the waves. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen of all the army of Pharao, who had come into the sea after them, neither did there so much as one of them remain. But the children of Israel marched through the midst of the sea upon dry land, and the waters were to them as a wall on the right hand and on the left: and the Lord delivered Israel in that day out of the hand of the Egyptians. And they saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore, and the mighty hand that the Lord had used against them: and the people feared the Lord, and they believed the Lord, and Moses His servant. Then Moses and the children of Israel sung this canticle to the Lord and said:

Tract. Exodus 15:1-2

Let us sing to the Lord, for He is gloriously magnified: the horse and the rider He hath thrown into the sea: He is become my helper and protector unto salvation.
V. He is my God, and I will glorify Him: the God of my Father, and I will exalt Him.
V. The Lord crushing wars; the Lord is His name.

Deus, qui primis temporibus impleta miracula novi testamenti luce reserasti, ut et Mare Rubrum forma sacri fontis exsisteret, et liberata plebs ab Aegyptiaca servitute, christiani populi sacramenta praeferret: da, ut omnes gentes Israelis privilegium merito fidei consecutae, Spiritus tui participatione regenerentur.
Let us Pray.
O God, who by the light of the New Testament hast made clear to us the miracles wrought in earliest times, prefiguring unto us the Red Sea as an image of the sacred font, and who in the deliverance of Thy people from the bondage of Egypt, hast foreshadowed the sacraments of the Christian dispensation; grant that all nations who have merited by faith the privilege of the children of Israel, may be born again by partaking of Thy holy Spirit.

Third Prophecy.
Deuteronomy 31: 22-30

In those days, Moses wrote the canticle and taught it the children of Israel. And the Lord commanded Josue the son of Nun, and said, Take courage, and be valiant; for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I have promised, and I will be with thee. Therefore after Moses had wrote the words of this law in a volume, and finished it; he commanded the Levites, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a testimony against thee. For I know thy obstinacy, and thy most stiff neck. While I am yet living, and going in with you, you have always been rebellious against the Lord; how much more when I shall be dead? Gather unto me all the ancients of your tribes, and your doctors, and I will speak these words in their hearing, and will call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that, after my death, you will do wickedly, and will quickly turn aside from the way that I have commanded you: and evils shall come upon you in the latter times, when you shall do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him by the works of your hands. Moses therefore spoke, in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel, the words of this canticle, and finished it even to the end.

Tract. Deuteronomy 32:1-4

Hear, O Heaven, and I will speak: and let the earth give ear to the words out of my mouth.
V. Let my speech be expected like rain; and my words descend like dew.
V. As a shower upon the grass, and like snow upon hay: because I will invoke the name of the Lord.
V. Give ye magnificence to our God: God's works are true, and all His ways are judgments. V.God is faithful, in whom there is no iniquity: the Lord is just and holy.
Deus, glorificatio fidelium, et vita justorum, qui per Moysen famulum tuum nos quoque modulatione sacri carminis erudisti : universis gentibus misericordiae tuae munus operare, tribuendo beatitudinem, auferendo terrorem; ut, quod pronuntiatum est ad supplicium in remedium transferatur aeternum.
Let us Pray.
O God, the glory of the faithful and the life of the just, who by Moses Thy servant didst teach us by the singing of sacred canticles; accomplish the work of Thy mercy among all nations by granting them happiness and dispelling their fears, that the punishment with which they are threatened may become a remedy unto eternal life.

Fourth Prophecy.
Isaias 4: 1-6

In that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel only let us be called by thy name; take away our reproach. In that day, the bud of the Lord shall be in magnificence and glory, and the fruit of the earth shall be high, and a great joy to them that shall have escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that every one that shall be left in Sion, and that shall remain in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, every one that is written in life in Jerusalem. If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every place of Mount Sion, and where He is called upon, a cloud by day, and a smoke and the brightness of a flaming fire in the night; for over all the glory shall be a protection. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a security and covert from the whirlwind and from rain.

Tract. Isaias 5:1-2

The beloved had a vineyard on a hill in a fruitful place.
V. And he surrounded it with a wall, and dug round about it, and he planted the vine of Sorec, and built a tower in the midst of it.
V. And he dug a wine-press therein: for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui per unicum Filium tuum, Ecclesiae tuae demonstrasti te esse cultorem, omnem palmitem, fructum in eodem Christo tuo, qui vera vitis est, afferentem, clementer excolens, ut fructus afferat ampliores: fidelibus tuis, quos velut vineam ex Aegypto per fontem baptismi transtulisti, nullae peccatorum spinae praevaleant; ut Spiritus tui sanctificatione muniti, perpetua fruge ditentur.
Let us pray.
O almighty and everlasting God, who through Thine only Son hast shown Thy care for Thy Church, by mercifully cultivating every branch bearing fruit in the same Thy Christ, who is the true vine, that it may bear fruit more abundantly ; grant that no thorns of sin may prevail against Thy faithful, whom like a vine Thou hast brought out of Egypt through the font of baptism ; so that assisted by Thy sanctifying Spirit they may ever be enriched with everlasting fruit.

Fifth Prophecy.
Baruch 3: 9-38

Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life: give ear, that thou mayest learn wisdom. How happeneth it, O Israel, that thou art in thy enemies' land? Thou art grown old in a strange country: thou art defiled with the dead; thou art counted with them that go down into hell. Thou hast forsaken the fountain of wisdom; for if thou hadst walked in the way of God thou hadst surely dwelt in peace forever. Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding, that thou mayest know also where is length of days and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace. Who hath found out her place? and who hath gone into her treasures? Where are the princes of the nations and they that rule over the beasts that are upon the earth? that take their pastime with the birds of the air, that hoard up silver and gold, wherein men trust; and there is no end of their getting? who work in silver and are solicitous, and their works are unsearchable? They are cut off, and are gone down to hell, and others are risen up in their place. Young men have seen the light, and dwelt upon the earth, but the way of knowledge they have not known; nor have they understood the paths thereof, neither have their children received it; it is far from their face. It hath not been heard of in the land of Chanaan, neither hath it been seen in Theman. The children of Agar also, that search after the wisdom that is of the earth, the merchants of Merrha, and of Theman, and the tellers of fables, and searchers of prudence and understanding; but the way of wisdom they have not known, neither have they remembered her paths. O Israel, how great is the house of God, and how vast is the place of His possession! It is great, and hath no end; it is high and immense. There were the giants, those renowned men that were from the beginning, of great stature, expert in war. The Lord chose not them, neither did they find the way of knowledge; therefore did they perish. And because they had not wisdom they perished through their folly. Who hath gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds? Who hath passed over the sea, and found her, and brought her preferably to chosen gold? There is none that is able to know her ways, nor that can search out her paths. But He that knoweth all things knoweth her, and hath found her out with His understanding: He that prepared the earth forevermore, and filled it with cattle and four-footed beasts: He that sendeth forth light, and it goeth, and hath called it, and it obeyeth Him with trembling. And the stars have given light in their watches, and rejoiced. They were called, and they said, Here we are; and with cheerfulness they have shined forth to Him that made them. This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison with Him. He found out all the way of knowledge, and gave it to Israel His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterwards He was seen upon earth and conversed with men.

Deus, qui nobis per prophetarum ora praecepisti temporalis relinquere, atque ad aeterna festinare: da famulis tuis; ut, quae a te jussa cognovimus, implere caelesti inspiratione valeamus.
Let us Pray.
O God, who by the mouth of the prophets hast commanded us to relinquish the things of this world and to hasten after those that are eternal; grant to us Thy servants, that knowing Thy commandments, we may fulfil them by Thy heavenly inspiration.

Sixth Prophecy.
Ezechiel 37: 1-14

In those days, the hand of the Lord was upon me, anti brought me forth in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of a plain that was full of bones; and He led me about through them on every side: now there were very many upon the face of the plain, and they were exceeding dry. And He said to me, Son of man, dost thou think these bones shall live? And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest. And He said to me, Prophesy concerning these bones, and say to them, Ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God to these bones, Behold, I will send spirit into you, and you shall live, and I will lay sinews upon you, arid will cause flesh to grow over you, and will cover you with skin; and I will give you spirit, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord. And I prophesied as He had commanded me; and as I prophesied there was a noise, and behold a commotion; and the bones came together, each one to its joint. And I saw, and behold the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin was stretched out over them, but there was no spirit in them:And He said to me, Prophesy to the spirit; prophesy, O son of man, and say to the spirit, Thus saith the Lord God, Come, spirit from the four winds, and blow upon these slain, and let them live again. And I prophesied as He had commanded me; and the spirit came into them; and they lived; and they stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. And He said to me, Son of man, all these bones are the house of Israel. They say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost, and we are cut off. Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord God, I will open your graves, and will bring you out of your sepulchres, O My people, and will bring you out into the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have opened your sepulchres, and shall have brought you out of your graves, O My people; and shall have put My spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall make you rest upon your own land; saith the Lord almighty.

Domine, Deus virtutum, qui collapsa reparas, et reparata conservas: auge populos in tui nominis sanctificatione renovandos; ut omnes, qui sacro baptismate diluuntur, tua semper inspiratione dirigantur.
Let us Pray.
O Lord, God of hosts, who dost restore what is fallen and preserves! what Thou hast restored, increase the number of those to be renewed in Thy holy name; that all who are washed in holy baptism may ever be guided by Thy holy inspiration.