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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Friday 17 June 2016

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

FRIDAY AFTER THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Protestantism in the sixteenth century and Jansenism in the seventeenth had attempted to spoil one of the essential dogmas of Christianity, namely the love of God for all men.

It became necessary that the Spirit of love, which directs the Church, should by some new means counteract the spreading heresy, in order that the Spouse of Christ, far from seeing her love for Jesus diminish, should feel it always increasing.

This was made manifest in Catholic worship, which is the sure rule of our faith, by the institution of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Yet in early Middle-Ages, the Doctors and Saints used to see in the wound of Jesus' side the source of all graces. St. Bonaventure invites us "to enter this wound and to dwell in the quiet of this Heart" (Third Nocturn).

The two Benedictine virgins, St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde, in the thirteenth century, had a clear vision of the grandeur of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. St. John the evangelist, appearing to the former, announced to her that "the meaning of the blessed beating of the heart of Jesus which he had heard while his head rested on His breast, was reserved for the latter times when the world grown old and cold in divine love, would require to have its fervour renewed by means of this mystery of burning love".

This Heart, say these two Saints, is an altar on which Christ offers Himself to the Father as a perfect and most acceptable victim. It is a golden censer from which rise towards the Father as many clouds of incense as there are kinds of men for whom Christ suffered. In this Heart the praise and thanks we give to God and all our good works are ennobled and become acceptable to the Father.

But in order to make this worship public and recognized, Providence first raised up St. John Eudes, who in 1670 composed an Office and a Mass of the Sacred Heart for the so-called Congregation of the Eudists. Providence then chose one of the spiritual daughters of St. Francis of Sales, St. Margaret-Mary Alacoque, to whom Jesus showed His Heart at Paray-le-Monial, on June 16th, 1675, Sunday after Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi.

Lastly, God employed for the propagation of this devotion, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere. He belonged to the Company of Jesus " the whole of which inherited his zeal in the propagation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart ".

In 1765, Clement XIII gave his approbation to the feast and the Office of the Sacred Heart, and in 1856 Pius IX, extended it to the universal Church. In 1929 Pius XI composed a new Mass and Office for this feast and gave it a privileged Octave of the third Order.

The solemnity of the Sacred Heart sums up all the phases of the life of Jesus recalled in the liturgy from Advent to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

It constitutes an admirable triptych giving us in abridgment all the mysteries, joyous, sorrowful and glorious, of the Saviour's life devoted to the love of God and men. This feast is indeed placed on a height fr m which may be contemplated the redeeming labours of the Saviour on earth and the glorious victories He will, by the working of the Holy Ghost, achieve in souls until the end of the world.

Coming after the feasts of Christ, this feast completes them, concentrating them in one object which is materially Jesus' Heart of flesh, and formally the unbounded charity symbolised by this Heart. This solemnity therefore does not relate to a particular mystery of the Saviour's life, but embraces them all; indeed the devotion to the Sacred Heart celebrates all the favours we have received from divine charity during the year (Collect), and all the marvellous things that Jesus has done for us (Introit, Tract, Alleluia). It is the feast of the love of God for men, a love which has made Jesus come down on earth for all by His Incarnation (Epistle), which has raised Him on the Cross for the Redemption of all and which brings Him down every day on our altars by transubstantiation, in order to make us benefit by the merits of His death on Calvary.

These three mysteries, which manifest to us the divine charity in a more special way, sum up the spirit of the feast of the Sacred Heart. It is " His love which forced Him to put on a mortal body" (Hymn at Matins). It is His love which willed that the Sacred Heart should be pierced on the cross (Gospel and Communion), in order that from the wound should flow a spring (Preface) we might draw from joyfully (f at 2nd Vespers), whose water cleanses us from our sins in baptism and whose blood nourishes bur souls in the Eucharist. And as the Eucharist is the continuation of the Incarnation and the sacrifice of Calvary, Jesus asked that the feast should be placed immediately after the Octave of Corpus Christi.

As these manifestations of Christ's love only show the more the ingratitude of men who only answer by coldness and indifference (Offertory) this solemnity has a character of reparation (Collect) demanded of us by the wounded Heart of Jesus and by His immolation in the Crib, on the Cross and on the Altar.

Let us learn from the Heart of Jesus, whose gentle and humble love turns no one away, and in it we shall find rest for our souls (Alleluia).

Cogitationes Cordis ejus in generatione et generationem: ut eruat a morte animas eorum et alat eos in fame. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino, rectos decet collaudatio.
The thoughts of His Heart are to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine. * Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright.
(Introit from Psalm 32:11,19,1)

Deus qui nobis in Corde Fllii tui, nostris vulnerato peccatis, infinitos dilectionis thesauros misericorditer largiri dignaris; concede, quaesumus, ut illi devotum pietatis nostrae praestantes obsequium, dignae quoque satisifactions exhibeamus officium.
O God, who in the Heart of Thy Son, wounded by our transgressions, dost mercifully vouchsafe to bestow upon us the infinite wealth of Thy love; grant, we beseech Thee, that revering it with meet devotion, we may make a worthy reparation for our sins.

Dulcis et rectus Dominus, propter hoc legem dabit delinquentibus in via. * Diriget mansuetos in judicio, docebit mites vias suas.
Alleluia, alleluia. * Tollite jugum meum super vos et discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis Corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris. Alleluia.
The Lord is sweet and righteous: therefore He will give a law to sinners in the way. f. He will guide the mild in judgment: He will teach the meek his ways. (Gradual Psalm 24:8-9)
Alleluia, alleluia. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. Alleluia. (St Matthew 11:29)

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
In illo tempore: Judaei, quoniam Parasceve erat, ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato, erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati, rogaverunt Pilatum ut frangerentur eorum crura et tollerentur. Venerunt ergo milites, et primi quidem fregerunt crura et alterius qui crucifixus est cum eo. Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura: sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. Et qui vidit testimonium perhibuit: et verum est testimonium ejus. Et ille scit quia vera dicit, ut et vos credatis. Facta sunt enim haec ut Scriptura impleretur : Os non comminuetis ex eo. Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit: Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.

Continuation of the holy Gospel, according to St. John.
At that time, the Jews, (because it was the Parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day (for that was a great Sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of Him. And again another Scripture saith: They shall look on Him whom they pierced.
(St John 19:31-37)

Improperium exspectavit Cor meum et miseriam, et sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur et non fuit; consolantem me quaesivi et non inveni.
My heart hath expected reproach and misery: and I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none; and for one that would comfort me, and I found none.
(Offertory: Psalm 68:21)

Ad Jesum autem * cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura, sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua.
But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side, and immediately there came out blood and water.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat: St John 19:33)

Thursday 16 June 2016

Thursday, the Octave Day of Corpus Christi

Thursday, the Octave Day of Corpus Christi

To resist the attacks of renewed heresies against the Holy Eucharist and to revive in the Church a zeal which had somewhat grown cold, the Holy Ghost inspired, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the solemnity of Corpus Christi.

In 1208 the blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon, near Liege, saw in a vision the full moon with an indentation indicating that a feast was missing in the liturgical cycle. The Eucharist, instituted on Maundy-Thursday, had not in effect been celebrated with all the desired pomp, the Church's thoughts being absorbed by the passion of the Saviour. It was thought that immediately after Paschaltide a feast with an octave should be established. As the Last Supper took place on Thursday, the Bishop of Liege instituted in 1246 this solemnity in his diocese on the Thursday which follows the octave of Pentecost. In 1264, Pope Urban IV extended this feast to the whole world. Let us venerate the Eucharist, the greatest of the miracles performed by the Holy Ghost.

Mass as on the day of the feast.

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

Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti: tribue, quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari; ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis jugiter sentiamus.
O God, who in this wonderful sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy passion, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy redemption.

Wednesday 15 June 2016

15th June, SS. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, Martyrs

SS. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, Martyrs

Vitus, also called Guy, belonged to an illustrious Sicilian family. His father, learning that he had been baptized, delivered him to the judge Valerian to be scourged, but he was struck blind. The prayers of the saint obtained his recovery but did not convert him. Vitus was then saved from his father's cruelty by Modestus his tutor and by Crescentia his nurse who took him to another part of the country. There his holiness became so famous that Diocletian had recourse to him to deliver his son who was tormented by the devil. Guy healed him (Gospel). But the ungrateful prince having failed to induce the saint to worship the false gods, caused him to be arrested with Modestus and Crescentia. They were plunged into a cauldron of molten lead and flaming resin and were then quartered. After having tested them like gold in the furnace (Epistle), God delivered them from all these sufferings (Introit) and rejoiced them by giving them a place of honour at the heavenly banquet (Gradual). They died in 303. St. Vitus is one of the fourteen auxiliary saints.

Let us have recourse to St. Guy, to be preserved from the bite of mad dogs and from the sad disease which bears his name. He will obtain for us great docility towards the Holy Ghost, in order that we do good in all liberty, humility and charity (Collect).

Multae tribulationes justorum, et de his omnibus liberavit eos Dominus: Dominus custodit omnia ossa eorum: unum ex his non conteretur. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
Many were the afflictions of the just, and out of all these the Lord hath delivered them: the Lord keepeth all their bones; not one of them shall be broken. * I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:20-21,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Da Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, sanctis Martyribus tuis Vito, Modesto atque Crescentia intercedentibus, superbe non sapere, sed tibi placita humilitate proficere: ut, prava despiciens, quaecumque recta sunt, libera exerceat caritate.
Grant to Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Thy holy martyrs, Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, not to be proud-minded, but to make progress by humility pleasing unto Thee; that despising what is evil, she may exercise with an eager love the things which are right.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Tuesday 14 June 2016

14th June, St Basil the Great, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Basil the Great, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Basil was born at Caesarea in Cappadocia. After having completed his studies at Constantinople and Athens with his intimate friend Gregory of Nazianzen, he renounced the world, left his family (Gospel), and embraced monastic life in the province of Pontus. Like fully seasoned salt (Gospel), he gave to his teaching the full flavour of the Gospel and nourished with holy truth the people of Caesarea committed to his care (Communion).

He was the author of the famous rule which bears his name; it was praised by St. Benedict and is still observed by the monks of the East. The Holy Ghost filled him with His divine wisdom and with intelligence (Introit): when, therefore, he wrote against those who rebelled against the sound doctrine (Epistle), he attacked the Arians, who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and prepared the triumph of orthodoxy over the error of the Macedonians by firmly establishing the Catholic dogma regarding the Holy Ghost.

He is one of the four great Doctors of the East. He died in 379.

Let us ask St. Basil to fill us with his faith in the divinity of the third Person of the Holy Trinity, and to deliver us from sin (Offertory) which hinders the working of the Holy Ghost in our souls.

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)

Exaudi, quaesumus, Domine, preces nostras, quas in beati Basilii Confessoris tui atque Pontificis solemnitate deferimus: et, qui tibi digne meruit famulari, ejus intercedentibus meritis, ab omnibus nos absolve peccatis.
Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers we offer to Thee on this festival day of blessed Basil, Thy confessor and bishop : he deserved to render Thee a worthy service ; may his merits appeal to Thee to absolve us from all our sins. Through our Lord.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 13 June 2016

The Most Pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart: The Most Pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The liturgical worship of "the most pure Heart of Mary" was suggested by the Fathers who commented the Canticle of Canticle; it was first joined to that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the XVIIth century, by St John Eudes; however, it was only at the beginning of the XIXth century that Pope Pius VII allowed some places to keep a feast in its honour, on the Sunday after the octave of her Assumption. Pius IX granted it a proper Mass and Office (Mass Omnis gloria). In other places it was kept on the Sunday or rather (since the present edition of the Roman Missal, made in 1920 in the spirit of Pius X) on the Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

See also 22nd August.

These are the characteristics of the heart of our blessed Lady which we set forth from the texts of the Mass:

1. All her holiness proceeds from her heart (Introit).
2. Her grief when she lost the child Jesus in the Temple (Gospel).
3. Her heart is filled with the love of God (Epistle, Secret, Communion).
4. Mary's heart is pure, therefore is it pleasing to God (Collect, Gradual).
5. Her heart is courageous (Offertory).
6. Mary's intercession (Postcommunion).


Omnis gloria ejus filiae Regis ab intus; in fimbriis aureis circumamicta varietatibus: adducentur Regi virgines post eam, proximae ejus afferentur tibi. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
All the glory of the King's daughter is from within with borders of gold; and clothed about with varieties: after her shall virgins be brought to the King; her neighbours shall be brought to thee. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Introit, Psalm 44:1)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in Corde beatae Mariae Virginis dignum Spiritus sancti habitaculum praeparasti: concede propitius; ut ejusdem Purissimi Cordis festivitatem devota mente recolentes, secundum Cor tuum vivere valeamus. 
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the heart of the blessed Virgin Mary didst prepare a dwelling worthy of the Holy Ghost; grant in Thy mercy, that we who with devout minds celebrate the festival of that most pure heart, may be able to live according to Thine own heart.

Lectio libri Sapientiae. Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super brachiurn tuum: quia fortis est ut mors dilectio, dura sicut infernus aemulatio: lampades ejus, lampades ignis atque flammarum. Aquae multae non potuerunt exstinguere caritatem, nec flumina obruent illam: si dederit homo omnem substantiam domus suae pro dilectione, quasi nihil despiciet eam.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm: for love is strong as death: jealousy is hard as hell; the lamps thereof are fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity; neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.
(Epistle: Canticles 8:6-7)

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam. In illo tempore: Dixit Mater Jesu ad illum: Fili, quid fecisti nobis sic? Ecce pater tuus et ego dolentes quaerebamus te. Et ait ad illos: Quid est quod me quaerebatis? Nesciebatis quia in his, quae Patris mei sunt, oportet me esse? Et ipsi non intellexerunt verbum, quod locutus est ad eos. Et descendit cum eis, et venit Nazareth: et erat subditus illis. Et mater ejus conservabat omnia verba haec in corde suo.
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke. At that time: The mother of Jesus said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart.
(Gospel: Luke 2:48-51)

13th June, St Antony of Padua, Confessor

St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor

"Always present and living in the Church, the Holy Ghost raised up, in the thirteenth century, the sons of Dominic and of Francis" writes Dom Gueranger. "These new hosts, organized for new needs, threw themselves into the arena, pursuing heretics, thundering against vice, mixing with the people whom they enrolled in crowds in their third orders, the assured refuge of Christian life. Of all the sons of the patriarch of Assisi, the best known, the most powerful before God and men, is Anthony, whose feast we are celebrating."

Born at Lisbon, of noble parents, he despised all riches (Gospel). Full of the Holy Ghost, who transformed the apostles, he entered the religious host so as to be able to fight for the faith and to be ready when the Master came (Gospel).

Living a retired life in Tuscany, he gave himself up to divine contemplation (Introit); he then received the mission to preach the Gospel. The wisdom of his doctrine and his eloquence caused him to be called the Ark of the Testament and the Hammer of Heretics. A year before his death he came to Padua where, loaded with merits, he died at the age of thirty five in 1231, and was established by Jesus over all His riches (Communion).

Remembering how Anthony recovered, by divine intervention, a sacred book that had been stolen from him, let us ask this saint not only to make us recover earthly and perishable things, but also to obtain for us the spiritual help by which we may deserve to enjoy eternal riches (Collect).

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)

Ecclesiam tuam, Deus, beati Antonii Confessoris tui solemnitas votiva laetificet: ut spiritualibus semper muniatur auxiliis, et gaudiis perfrui mereatur aeternis. 
May the votive solemnity of blessed Anthony, Thy confessor, give joy to Thy Church, O God; that it may be ever defended by spiritual assistance and deserve to possess eternal joys.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday 12 June 2016

12th June, SS. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, Martyrs

SS. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, Martyrs

These saints, Roman soldiers, noble by birth and illustrious by their virtues, became Christians under Diocletian. Arrested and cast into prison, they were condemned to death and beheaded. Their bodies were thrown to the wild beasts who respected them; they were buried with honour by the Christians.

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 Martyrum tuorum Basilidis, Cyrini, Naboris atque Nazarii, quaesumus, Domine, natalitia nobis votiva resplendeant: et, quod illis contulit excellentia sempiterna, fructibus nostrae devotionis accrescat.
O Lord, may the keeping of this festival of the heavenly birthday of Thy holy martyrs, Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius, shed brightness on our lives; and may the eternal glory granted them, be increased by the devout service we pay Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

12th June, St. John of San Facondo, Confessor

St. John of San Facondo, Confessor

St. John was born at San Facondo in Spain and his youth was spent in a Benedictine monastery. Favoured by the Holy Ghost with a marvellous gift for peace-making (Collect), from childhood he exhorted other children to concord. During the civil war he preached peace in Salamanca and succeeded in putting an end to factions there.

He distributed his rich revenues among the poor (Epistle) and devoted his time to works of charity, to prayer and to the contemplation of divine wisdom (Introit).

In order to be ready when the Master came to fetch him (Gospel) he entered the Order of St. Augustine, where he was distinguished for his extraordinary devotion during Holy Mass. He died in 1470, crying out: "Lord, I place all my confidence in Thee at this last hour, and into Thy hands I commit my soul."

Let us ask the Holy Ghost, author of peace and source of divine charity, to fill us with the love and spirit of reconciliation of which St. John gave us the example, so that we may never be separated from Jesus (Collect).

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, auctor pacis et amator caritatis, qui beatum Joannem Confessorem tuum mirifica dissidentes componendi gratia decorasti: ejus meritis et intercession concede; ut, in tua caritate firmati, nullis a te tentationibus separemur.
O God, the author of peace, and lover of charity, who didst adorn blessed John, Thy confessor, with a wonderful grace for reconciling those at variance; grant by his merits and intercession, that, being established in Thy charity, we may not by any temptations be separated from Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 11 June 2016

11th June, St Barnabas, Apostle

St. Barnabas, Apostle

The Church, founded by Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, was to spread throughout the world. When St. Paul, after his long retreat in Arabia, came to Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion, and wished to submit to the approval of Peter the mission to the Gentiles committed to him by the Master Himself, it was St. Barnabas who presented him to the apostles.

"A good man and full of the Holy Ghost" (Epistle), St. Barnabas evangelized, during twelve years, with St. Paul, the pagans in the island of Cyprus and in a great number of towns and countries (Gradual). Wherefore the Church honours him as an apostle and the liturgy applies to him the words of Jesus announcing to the twelve that having been established as princes over the whole earth (Offertory), they would be seated on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Communion). Having separated from St. Paul, he returned to Cyprus where the Jews of Salamis plotted against him. Remembering then the words of the Master who sent His apostles like sheep in the midst of wolves (Gospel), he said to the faithful: "The wolf only attacks the shepherd first to throw himself next upon the flock. Be firm in the faith." The Holy Ghost dictated to him the words he had to say to the Jews (Gospel): but they stoned him as a blasphemer. He was buried with the Gospel of St. Matthew which he had copied with his own hand. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass immediately after that of St. Matthias (second list).

Let us imitate the apostolic spirit of St. Barnabas whose soul was all inflamed with the Holy Ghost.

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).

Deus, qui nos beati Barnabae Apostoli tui meritis et intercessione laetificas: concede propitius; ut, qui tua per eum beneficia poscimus, dono tuae gratiae consequamur. 
O God, who givest us joy by the merits and intercession of blessed Barnabas, Thy apostle, mercifully grant that we, who beg blessings of Thee through him, may obtain them by the gift of Thy grace.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Friday 10 June 2016

10th June, St Margaret of Scotland

St Margaret, Queen of Scots

Margaret, queen of Scotland, was descended from the English kings by her father and from the Caesars by her mother. Like the prudent woman, mentioned in the Epistle, she was made still more illustrious by the practice of Christian virtues.

Filled with the fear of God (Introit), she subjected herself to fearful mortifications and by her example she brought the King, her husband, to a better life and her subjects to more Christian morals. She brought up her eight children with such piety that several of them led a life of high perfection. Nothing, however, was more admirable in her than her ardent charity towards her neighbour (Collect). She was called the mother of orphans and the treasurer of the poor of Jesus Christ. Such was the price at which she bought the precious pearl of the Kingdom of Heaven (Gospel).

Purified by six months of bodily suffering, she gave up her soul to God in 1093 at Edinburgh. The holiness of her life and numerous miracles wrought after her death have made her worship celebrated in the whole world. She was chosen by Clement X as patron of the Scottish nation over which she had reigned for thirty years.

Let us admire the work of the Holy Ghost in the soul of the holy queen whom He chose for the furtherance of Christ's Kingdom in Scotland and let us invoke her for the return of Scotland to Roman unity.

Cognovi, Domine, quia aequitas judicia tua, et in veritate tua humiliasti me: confige timore tuo carnes meas, a mandatis tuis timui. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
I know, O Lord, that Thy judgements are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me: pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear, I am afraid of Thy judgements. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:75 and 120:1 from the Introit of Mass).

Deus, qui beatam Margaritam reginam eximia in pauperes caritate mirabilem effecisti: da; ut ejus intercessione et exemplo, tua in cordibus nostris caritas jugiter augeatur.
O God, who didst imbue the blessed queen Margaret with  a spirit of singular charity towards the poor: grant that, through her prayers and example, Thy love may ever grow in our hearts.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 9 June 2016

Corpus Christi

Feast of Corpus Christi

After the dogma of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the dogma of the Incarnation of our Lord, in celebrating with the Church the greatest of all sacraments, summing up the whole life of the Redeemer, giving infinite glory to God and applying the fruits of the Redemption at all times to ourselves (Collect).

It was on the cross that our Lord redeemed us and the Holy Eucharist, instituted on the night before our Lord's Passion, remains its memorial (Collect). The altar is the extension of Calvary; the Mass "shows the death of the Lord " (Epistle). (The celebration of the Mass has the same value as the death of Jesus Christ on the cross," St. John Chrysostom.)

Jesus is there in the state of a victim, for the words of the double consecration mean only that the bread is changed into the Body of Christ and the wine into His Blood. On account of this double action with different effects, which constitutes the sacrifice of the Mass, we are entitled to speak of our Lord's Presence under the appearance of bread as that of the Body of Christ, although, since He can die no more, the whole Christ is there contained; similarly we may speak of the Presence under the appearance of wine as that of His Blood, although He is contained there whole and entire.

Through His priests, our Lord Himself, the principal Priest of the Mass, offers in an unbloody manner His Body and Blood which were really separated on the Cross, but on the altar only in a representative or sacramental sense, the matter and words used and the effect produced being different in the two consecrations. Besides, the Eucharist was instituted under the form of food (Alleluia), that we may be united with the Victim of Calvary, so that the Sacred Host becomes the "wheat " which feeds our souls (Introit).

Moreover, Christ, as the Son of God, receives the eternal life of the Father; in the same way Christians share in that eternal life by uniting themselves to Christ through the Sacrament which is the symbol of unity (Secret), and this possession of the divine life, already realized on earth through the Eucharist, is the pledge and the beginning of that in which we shall fully rejoice in heaven (Postcommunion). As the Council of Trent puts it: "That same Heavenly Bread that we eat now under the sacred veils, we shall feed upon in heaven without veil."

We should regard the Mass as the centre of all Eucharistic worship, seeing in Holy Communion the means instituted by our Lord to enable us to share more fully in this divine Sacrifice. In this way our devotion to our Lord's Body and Blood will effectively obtain for us the fruits of His Redemption (Collect).

Concerning the procession which regularly should follow the Mass, we remember how the Israelites revered the Ark of the Covenant which was the Presence of God among them. When they carried on their victorious marches, the Ark went before, born by the Levites in the midst of a cloud of incense, accompanied by the sound of musical instruments and of the songs and shouts of the multitude

We Christians have a treasure far more precious, for in the Eucharist we possess God Himself. Let us feel a holy pride in forming His escort and extolling His triumphs, while He is in our midst.

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

Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti: tribue, quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari; ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis jugiter sentiamus.
O God, who in this wonderful sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy passion, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy redemption.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from Heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this Bread shall live for ever.
(St. John 6:56-59)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

9th June, SS. Primus and Felician, Martyrs

SS. Primus and Felician, Martyrs

Primus and Felician were Romans. Brothers by blood, they became brothers still more when, having been called to bear much fruit (Offert ofory), they confessed their faith in Jesus Christ. Accused and arrested under Diocletian and Maximian, they were, in spite of their great age, cast into prison.

The Holy Ghost filled them "with His virtue and His strength " (Offertory). Giving them the breast-plate of justice and the impenetrable shield of equity (Epistle), He made them experience how sweet is the yoke of the Lord, which they had taken upon themselves, and how light is His burden (Gospel).

The constancy of Felician was first put to the test. Nailed by his hands and feet to the trunk of a tree, he remained hanging there for three days, without eating or drinking. They then tried to make his brother believe that he had sacrificed to the idols, but Primus declared that he knew Felician was happy in the midst of his sufferings and that he would remain united to him in martyrdom. "This is," as the Alleluia sings, "the true brotherhood which has triumphed over the criminal world." The praetor then ordered that molten lead should be poured into his mouth, in the presence of his brother.

They were led to the amphitheatre, but the lions who were to devour them crouched at their feet. Finally they were beheaded (286).

Their names live as centuries roll on (Introit), for they have received in heaven, from the hand of the Lord, a kingdom of glory and a crown of sparkling beauty (Epistle).

Let us join in heart, the faithful of Rome who, on this day, honour the precious remains of these two martyrs at the Church of St. Stephen on Mount Coelius.

In Paschal Time:

Sancti tui, Domine, benedicent te: gloriam regni tui dicent, alleluia, alleluia. * Exaltabo te, Deus meus Rex: et benedicam nomini tuo in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Let the saints bless Thee, O Lord; they shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, alleluia, alleluia. * I will extol Thee, O God my King: and I will bless Thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever.
(Psalm 144:10-11,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Fac nos, quaesumus, Domine, sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Primi et Feliciani semper festa sectari: quorum suffragiis protectionis tuae dona sentiamus.
Make us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, ever to celebrate worthily the feast of Thy holy martyrs Primus and Felician: and by their loving intercession ever to feel Thy protection.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

9th June, Translation of St Edmund, Bishop and Confessor

Translation of St Edmund, Bishop and Confessor
(Portsmouth and Brentwood)

The body of St Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury - also known as St Edmund Rich or St Edmund of Abingdon - was buried at Pontigny in France, 1240. It was taken up on 9th June 1247, seven years after his death, found entire and incorrupt, and solemnly translated to a more honourable sepulchre, in the presence of St Louis, King of France, and a great number of prelates and noblemen.

Gaudeamus omnes in Domine Diem festum celebrantes sub honore beati Edmundi: de cujus solemnitate gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. * Exsultate justi in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord, whilst celebrating this festival in honour of blessed Edmund, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and praise the Son of God. * Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright.
(Introit of Mass, Psalm 32)

Deus, qui nos concedis beati Edmundi, Confessoris tui atque Pontificis translationem colere: da nobis ejus meritis et precibus; ut a peccati servitute soluti, ad regni coelestis gaudia transire valeamus.
O God, by whose grace we celebrate the translation of blessed Edmund, they confessor and bishop, grant us by his merits and prayers that we may be freed from the slavery of sin, and be able to pass to thejoys of the heavenly kingdom.

Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Edmund:

Wikipedia on St Edmund of Canterbury:

Wednesday 8 June 2016

8th June, St William of York, Bishop and Confessor

St William of York, Bishop and Confessor

A nephew of King Stephen of England, and Archbishop of York. He died in 1134.

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)

O God, who dost gladden us by the merits and intercession of blessed William, Thy confessor and bishop; mercifully grant that we who ask his favours may gain them by the gift of thy grace.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 6 June 2016

6th June, St. Norbert, Bishop and Confessor

St. Norbert, Bishop and Confessor

Norbert, born in 1080 at Xanten near Cologne, was educated at the Emperor's Court. One day when he was riding accompanied by a servant he was surprised by a hurricane. Like St. Paul, on the way to Damascus, he heard a voice calling him to the service of the Church. At this moment a crash of thunder threw him to the ground. He got up again, determined to consecrate himself to God. Having been admitted to holy orders, he devoted himself entirely to preaching the word of God (Collect).

Later on, guided by the Holy Ghost, who continually sanctifies the Church through the centuries, he chose a retreat in a deserted spot, called Premontre, not far from Soissons, and founded there the Order of Premonstratensians (Collect). At the death of this holy Founder, this new family numbered at this place alone over one thousand Canons Regular. St. Norbert shared the full priesthood of Christ, being anointed archbishop of Magdeburg (Introit, Epistle, Gradual, Offertory). He helped Pope Innocent II to triumph over the anti-pope Anacletus and was the friend of St. Bernard. In the Netherlands, he defended Eucharistic worship against the heresy of Tanchelmus (see engraving).

After having put to full profit the talents with which God had entrusted him for the government of his religious family and diocese (Gospel, Communion), "This man of God," says the breviary, "full of the Holy Ghost and laden with merits, fell asleep in the Lord, A.D. 1134."

Let us ask of God "to practise what St. Norbert taught by word and by example" (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, qui beatum Norbertum, Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem, verbi tui praeconem eximium effecisti, et per eum Ecclesiam tuam nova prole fecundasti: praesta, quaesumus; ut, ejusdem suffragantibus meritis, quod ore simul et opere docuit, te adjuvante, exercere valeamus.
O God, who didst raise up blessed Norbert, Thy confessor and bishop, to be an illustrious preacher of Thy word, and through him didst beget another Order in Thy church; grant, we beseech Thee, that through the pleading of his merits, we may practise by Thy grace that which he taught both by word and deed.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday 5 June 2016

5th June, St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

St. Boniface was born in England at the end of the seventh century. He is one of the great glories of the Order of St. Benedict. Gregory II sent him to Germany where, with a chosen band of monks, he announced the Good News, as Jesus risen had commanded His apostles to do, to the people of Hesse, Saxony and Thuringia (Collect).

Made a legate of the Apostolic See by Gregory II, he called together several synods, among which was the famous Council of Leptines in the diocese of Cambrai. Appointed archbishop of Mainz by Pope Zachary, he, by his order, anointed Pepin king of the Franks.

After the death of St. Willibrord, the Church of Utrecht in Frisia was committed to his care. The Frisians massacred him at Dokkum with thirty of his monks, in June 755. His body was buried in the celebrated abbey of Fulda which he had founded.

Exsultabo in Jerusalem, et gaudebo in populo meo: et non audietur in eo ultra vox fletus et vox clamoris. Electi mei non laborabunt frustra, neque generabunt in conturbatione: quia semen benedictorum Domini est, et nepotes eorum cum eis. Alleluia, alleluia. * Deus, auribus nostris audivimus: patres nostri narraverunt opus, quod operatus es in diebus eorum.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people, and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. My elect shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth in trouble: for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their posterity with them. Alleluia, alleluia. * We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared the work Thou hast wrought in their days.
(Isaias 65:19,23 and Psalm 43:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui multitudinem populorum, beati Bonifatii Martyris tui atque Pontificis zelo, ad agnitionem tui nominis vocare dignatus es: concede propitius; ut, cujus solemnia colimus, etiam patrocinia sentiamus.
O God, who didst vouchsafe by the zeal of blessed Boniface, Thy martyr and bishop, to call a great multitude of peoples to the knowledge of Thy name; grant in Thy mercy, that we who keep this festival day, may also enjoy his protection.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 4 June 2016

4th June, St. Francis Caracciolo, Confessor

St. Francis Caracciolo, Confessor

Francis, of the noble family of Caracciolo, in the Abruzzi, determined during a severe illness, to devote himself entirely to the service of God so as to be ready when the Master should come to take him away (Gospel).

A letter delivered to him by mistake apprised him of a project of two pious men to found a new religious institute. In this he saw a providential sign and he became one of the founders of the Order of Minor Clerks Regular.

At his profession he took the name of Francis on account of his devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. To the love of penance he added a great zeal for prayer (Collect). Burning with love for the Blessed Sacrament, his heart melted like wax when he was in the presence of the Tabernacle (Introit); for there he felt the overflowing sweetness prepared by God for those who fear Him (Communion). He died at the age of forty, in 1608, on the Vigil of Corpus Christi, and "although his life was short, he completed a long course, for a spotless life is equivalent to protracted years" (Epistle).

Following St. Francis' example, let us pray and reduce our bodies to subjection (Collect) so that, burning like him with the fire of charity, we may worthily kneel at the Communion table (Secret).

Factum est cor meum tamquam cera liquescens in medio ventris mei: quoniam zelus domus tuae comedit me. Alleluia, alleluia. *  Quam bonus Israel Deus  his, qui recto sunt corde.
My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels: for the zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up. Alleluia, alleluia. * How good is God to Israel : to them that are of a right heart.
(Psalm 21:15 and Psalm 68:10 and Psalm 72:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Franciscum, novi ordinis institutorem, orandi studio et poenitentiae amore decorasti: da famulis tuis in ejus imitatione ita proficere; ut, semper orantes et corpus in servitutem redigentes, ad caelestem gloriam pervenire mereantur.
O God, who didst adorn blessed Francis, the founder of a new order, with a zeal for prayer and a love of penance; grant that Thy servants may make such progress in the imitation of his virtues, that by constant prayer, and bringing their bodies into subjection, they may deserve to attain heavenly glory.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 2 June 2016

2nd June, SS Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, Bishop, Martyrs

SS. Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, Bishop, Martyrs

The exorcist Peter, sent to prison, under the Emperor Diocletian, converted his gaoler and all his family, and brought them to the priest Marcellinus who baptized them. The judge Serenus ordered them both to appear before him and they bore witness to Jesus Christ (Gospel). They were condemned to death and after atrocious torments, were beheaded, towards 303.

Possessing the first fruits of the Holy Ghost, they awaited with sighs the adoption of the children of God and their sufferings were in nowise compared with the glory which now shines forth in them (Epistle). Both saints are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (second list. The Station of the Saturday on the Second Week of Lent is held in the church dedicated to them.

St. Erasmus, bishop in Syria, afterwards hermit in Lebanon, was cruelly tortured several times in Antioch and in Illyria under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. His legend tells that his entrails were wound round a windlass : he is therefore invoked for internal diseases, as one of the "fourteen auxiliary Saints". He died in peace at Formiae in Campania.

Let us follow the examples of courage and fortitude of these holy martyrs, whose merits are our joy (Collect).

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 ever in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:18,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos annua beatorum Martyrum tuorum Marcellini, Petri atque Erasmi solemnitate laetificas: praesta, quaesumus; ut, quorum gaudemus meritis, accendamur exemplis.
O God, who dost give us joy by the annual solemnity of Thy blessed martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be inspired by the examples of those in whose merits we rejoice.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

June, Month of the Sacred Heart

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
(Pope Leo XIII)

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honour forever. Amen.

(Indulgence of 300 days)