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:

Wednesday 13 July 2016

13th July, St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr

St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr

"At Rome," says the Roman Martyrology, "feast of St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr, who governed the Church of God and honoured it by his illustrious martyrdom."

Participating in the fulness of the priesthood of Christ (Introit, Alleluia, Offertory) this holy Pontiff also shared in His sufferings (Epistle). Head of the Church, he trembled not before the prince of this world, and became one of the foundation stones of the Church in the first centuries (Gospel).

He decreed that all bishops should be consecrated by three bishops at least; that clerics should be publicly ordained by their own bishop, and at their Mass of Ordination, they should all receive Holy Communion. He received the crown of martyrdom (Communion), after having occupied the Holy See about ten years, and was buried on the Vatican in 112.

Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite Dominum: sancti et humiles corde, laudate Deum. * Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino: laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: O ye holy and humble of heart, praise God. * All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
(Daniel 3:84,87,85)

O God, who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of blessed Anacletus, Thy martyr and bishop, mercifully grant that we may rejoice in his protection whose birthday we celebrate.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Tuesday 12 July 2016

12th July, SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

These two saints, who had St. Ambrose for their panegyrist, received the palm of martyrdom at Milan under Diocletian, in 303.

Salus autem justorum a Domino: et protector eorum est in tempore tribulationis. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
But the salvation of the just if from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. * Be not emulous of evildoers; nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:39,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine: ut, sicut nos sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Naboris et Felicis natalitia celebranda non deserunt; ita jugiter suffragiis comitentur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that even as we never fail to keep the birthday of Thy holy martyrs Nabor and Felix, so we may enjoy their continual intercession.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

12th July, St. John Gualbert, Abbot

St. John Gualbert, Abbot

John Gualbert was born at Florence, towards 999. One Good Friday, escorted by his armed attendants, he met alone and unattended, the murderer of his brother. He was about to pierce him with his lance when the murderer threw himself at his feet and craved pardon for the sake of Jesus crucified. John remembered the loving words of the Gospel and embraced him as a brother.

Still more touched by grace he became a monk and soon a lawgiver like Moses (Epistle), he founded at Vallombrosa in Tuscany a new Order to which he gave the rule of St. Benedict (Communion) and which is still flourishing after more than eight centuries of existence.

Simony reigned everywhere in Italy. His firmness and eloquence banished this disorder from Tuscany and brought back his country to integrity of faith and manners. So, when he died in 1073, they inscribed on his tomb: To John Gualbert, citizen of Florence, liberator of Italy.

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 and 1 from the Introit of Mass)

May the intercession of the blessed Abbot John, we beseech Thee, O Lord, commend us unto Thee, that what we cannot have through our own merits, we may obtain through his patronage.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 11 July 2016

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

The Translation of the Relics of St Benedict.

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

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

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

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

Benedictine Propers from the Missale Monasticum.

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

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

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

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

Sequence for the Mass of St Benedict

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

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

Hunc per callem orientis 
Admiremur ascendentis
Patriarchae speciem.

Amplum semen magnae prolis
Illum fecit instar solis
Abrahae persimilem.

Corvum cernis ministrantem,
Hinc Eliam latitantem
Specu nosce parvulo.

Elisaeus dignoscatur,
Cum securis revocatur
De torrentis alveo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sequence sung by the monks of Norcia:

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Benedict:

11th July, St Pius I, Pope and Martyr

St. Pius I, Pope and Martyr

The Cycle makes us honour to-day a saint whom "God anointed with His holy oil " (Gradual) and whom He invested with the fulness of His priesthood (Introit, Alleluia) by raising him to the pontifical throne after St. Hyginus in 142, others say in 167.

He prescribed that the feast of the Resurrection should only be kept on a Sunday, which thenceforth became the chief of all Sundays.

He established a baptistry in the house which St. Pudentiana and St. Praxedes had placed at his disposal, and where their father, the Senator Pudens, had already received St. Peter. He transformed into a title-church the adjoining baths of Novatus, where is held the Station on the Tuesday in the third week of Lent. On account of the stay of the first Sovereign Pontiff, he dedicated it under the title of Pastor.

To fulfil his office of good shepherd, he feared not to renounce his own life (Gospel), and endured many hardships, which hastened his end, for his sheep and for Christ the supreme Pastor. He received at the same time as the crown of martyrdom the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him (Epistle), and was buried in 150 on the Vatican.

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento, Domine, David, et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclesiasticus 45:30 and Psalm 131:1 from the Introit of Mass)

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

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Sunday 10 July 2016

10th July, The Seven Brothers, Martyrs: and SS Rufina and Secunda, Virgins and Martyrs

The Seven Brothers Martyrs; and SS. Rufina and Secunda, Virgins, Martyrs

The Church, celebrating to-day the triumph of the seven sons of saint Felicitas, who were martyred under their mother's eyes, praises this courageous woman (Epistle), who, by exhorting them to die, "was herself victorious in all of them".

She extended her maternity to the souls of her children by making them accomplish the will of God (Gospel, Communion, see November 23). They died in A.D. 150 under the Emperor Antoninus.

A century later Rufina and Secunda, sisters by birth, became doubly so by mixing their blood at the same execution, rather than lose the virginity they had consecrated to Jesus, their Spouse. They were martyred at Rome under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, in 257.

Laudate, pueri, Dominum, laudate nomen Domini: qui habitare facit sterilem in domo, matrem filiorum laetantem.  * Sit nomen Domini benedictum: ex hoc nunc, et usque in saeculum.
Praise the Lord, ye children, praise ye the name of the Lord; who maketh the barren woman to dwell in a house, the joyful mother of children.* Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth now and forever.
(Psalm 112:1,9,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui gloriosos Martyres fortes in sua confessione cognovimus, pios apud te in nostra intercessione sentiamus.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who acknowledge the boldness of  thy glorious martyrs in confessing Thy name, may experience likewise their loving  intercession for us. (Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Felicitas and her sons:

Saturday 9 July 2016

9th July, SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs

SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs

Among the Christian heroes who fought resolutely against heresy and laid down their lives rather than adhere to the schism in England, a place of honour is due to cardinal John Fisher and to the chancellor Thomas More.

John Fisher, born at Beverley in 1469, chancellor of the academy of Cambridge, later for 33 years bishop of Rochester, refuted in many books the protestant errors (Breviary.)

Thomas More, born in London in 1478, a layman, married and the father of a family, learned jurist and scholar, was made High Chancellor of England by Henry VIII.

Both were imprisoned in the Tower of London by order of the king because they were opposed to his illegitimate union with Anna Boleyn and because they refused him the usurpated title of supreme head of the Church of England in matters spiritual as well as temporal.

John Fisher, created cardinal by Pope Paul III, ascended the scaffold on the 22th of June 1535 and was beheaded after reading this sentence of the Gospel: "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (Alleluia)

Thomas More was beheaded in his turn on the 6th July 1535 for having resisted, after the example of the great doctor of the law Eleazar (Epistle), all solicitations on the part of his own family and which he deemed contrary to his conscience and to the rights of God, of Christ and the Church (Gospel).

Pius XI solemnly canonized these two saints on the 19th of March 1935.

May the merits and the prayers of these martyrs of the true faith and of the primacy of the Church of Rome obtain that we may be united in Christ by the same profession of faith (Collect).

Astiterunt justi ante Dominurn, et ab invicem non sunt separati: calicem Domini biberunt, et amici Dei sunt.
The just stood before the Lord and were not separated from each other: they drank the chalice of the Lord, and have been called friends of God.
(Antiphon of the Magnificat)

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 are the afflictions of the just; but out of them all will the Lord deliver 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)

Deus, qui beatos Martyres tuos Joannem et Thomam, verae fidei et Romanae Ecclesiae principatus propugnatores, inter Anglos suscitasti: eorum meritis ac precibus concede; ut ejusdem fidei professione, unum omnes in Christo efficiamur et simus.
O God, who didst raise up Thy blessed martyrs, John and Thomas, from among the English to be the defenders of the true faith and of the primacy of the holy Roman Church, grant that through their merits and prayers, we may all become and remain one by the profession of the same faith.

Alleluia, alleluia. Haec est vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum Deum verum, et, quem misisti, Jesum Christum. Alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia. This is eternal life : That they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. Alleluia.
(Alleluia verse)

Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Thomas More:
On St John Fisher:

Friday 8 July 2016

8th July, St. Elizabeth Queen of Portugal and Widow

St. Elizabeth Queen of Portugal and Widow

The Church exhorts us to-day to praise God for the holy works of blessed Elizabeth. A daughter of Peter II, king of Aragon, she inherited the name and virtues of her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Her father, seeing her holiness, used to say that she would surpass all other women of royal race (Epistle, Communion). She married Denis I, king of Portugal.

She had received the prerogative of re-establishing peace where there had been divisions and of mitigating the fury of war (Collect). When she became a widow she took the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis, distributed her riches and acquired at this price the precious pearl and the hidden treasure of life everlasting (Gospel). She died at Estremos in 1336 and her body has remained incorrupt.

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).

Clementissime Deus, qui beatam Elisabeth reginam, inter ceteras egregias dotes, bellici furoris sedandi praerogativa decorasti: da nobis, ejus intercessione, post mortalis vitae, quam suppliciter petimus, pacem, ad aeterna gaudia pervenire.
O most merciful God, who didst endow the blessed queen Elizabeth among other excellent gifts, with the privilege of appeasing the fury of war; grant us by her intercession, that after peace in this mortal life, which we humbly implore, we may attain eternal joys.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 7 July 2016

7th July, SS Cyril and Methodius, Bishops and Confessors

SS Cyril and Methodius, Bishops and Confessors

Still filled with a holy love for her apostles, whose octave she has concluded, the Church celebrates to-day the feast of St. Cyril and of St. Methodius "who both promised under oath to persevere in the faith of blessed Peter and of the Roman Pontiffs," and brought innumerable recruits to Peter from among the Bulgarians, Moravians and Bohemians. Brothers by blood, they were born in the ninth century at Salonica and distinguished themselves by their progress in the sciences at Constantinople.

Anointed bishops by Pope Adrian II (Introit, Epistle, Alleluia), they converted the Slavonic nations (Collect). To them is attributed the Slav alphabet: into which tongue they translated the Scriptures and celebrated the sacred rites. St. Cyril died in 869 and was buried at Rome near the relics of St. Clement, which he had brought from Chersonesus. St. Methodius died in 885.

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

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Slavoniae gentes per beatos Confessores tuos atque Pontifices Cyrillum et Methodium ad agnitionem tui nominis venire tribuisti: praesta: ut, quorum festivitate gloriamur, eorum consortio copulemur.
Almighty and everlasting God, who, by the ministry of Thy blessed confessors and bishops Cyril and Methodius, wast pleased to bring the nations of Slavonia to the knowledge of Thy name: grant that we who glory in keeping their festival may have fellowship with them for evermore. 

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

7th July. In Memoriam.

7th July 2005.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

6th July, The Octave-Day of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles

The Octave-Day of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles

To-day concludes, by a special Mas, the concert of praise offered during eight days by the Church to the Apostles Peter and Paul, whose names are eternal (Introit, Epistle).

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

Deus, cujus dextera beatum Petrum ambulantem in fluctibus, ne mergeretur, erexit, et coapostolum ejus Paulum, tertio naufragantem, de profundo pelagi liberavit: exaudi nos propitius, et concede; ut amborum meritis, aeternitatis gloriam consequamur. 
O God, whose right hand upheld blessed Peter walking upon the waves, lest he should sink, and delivered his fellow-apostle Paul when shipwrecked for the third time from the depth of the sea; hear us in Thy mercy, and grant that through their merits we may obtain the glory of everlasting life.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

5th July, St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Confessor

St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Confessor

Anthony Mary was born of a noble family at Cremona. Penetration of mind, added to integrity of life, raised him above his school fellows. Having won his degree of Doctor of Medicine at Padua, he understood by a warning from God, that he was called to heal spiritual rather than bodily diseases. Like the young man in the Gospel, he had from childhood observed the commandments; more faithful than he, he left everything to follow Jesus (Gospel). He founded the Order of Clerks Regular whose members are called Barnabites, because they took up their abode near the Church of St. Barnabas. St. Anthony Mary gave them St. Paul as, model and protector. He was, like the great apostle, filled with super-eminent knowledge of Christ (Collect). Wherefore the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia and Communion apply to him the very words of the apostle, and the Epistle is that in which the Doctor of the Gentiles gives to his disciple Timothy the counsels that guided him in his teaching.

Consoled by a heavenly vision of the apostles, he died a holy death at the age of thirty-six in 1539.

Sermo meus, et praedicatio mea non in persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae verbis, sed in ostensione spiritus, et virtutis. * Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo, in consilio justorum et congregatione.
My speech and my preaching was not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but in the showing of spirit and power. * I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; in the council of the just, and in the congregation.
(1 Corinthians 2:4 and Psalm 110:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Fac nos, Domine Deus, supereminentem Jesu Christi scientiam, spiritu Pauli Apostoli ediscere: qua beatus Antonius Maria mirabiliter eruditus, novas in Ecclesia tua clericorum et virginum familias congregavit.
Make us, O Lord God, in the spirit of Paul the apostle, thoroughly to learn the science of Jesus Christ, which surpasseth all understanding, by which blessed Anthony Mary enriched Thy Church with new families of clerics and virgins.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Monday 4 July 2016

4th July, Prayer for the United States of America

Prayer for the Government

Abridged from a Prayer composed by Archbishop Carroll A. D. 1800 for the United States of America

We pray Thee, O Almighty and Eternal God, who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue, with unchanging faith, in the confession of Thy name.

We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom, and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist, with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude, the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people, over whom he presides, by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of the Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government; so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty.

We pray for his Excellency the Governor of this State, for the members of the Assembly, for all Judges, Magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare; that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy all our brethren and fellow-citizens, throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge, and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union and in that peace which the world cannot give; and, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Sunday 3 July 2016

3rd July, St. Leo II, Pope and Confessor

St. Leo II, Pope and Confessor

Leo II, a Sicilian by birth, participated in the full priesthood of Christ (Introit, Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia) on becoming Pope. Guided by the Holy Ghost he gave their full value to the spiritual riches of the Church committed to his care by Jesus (Gospel, Communion).

He approved the acts of the sixth Council which condemned those who taught that Christ has only one will. Well versed in sacred singing, he perfected the melodies of the psalms and of the hymns of the Church. He was truly the father of the poor and by his example and preaching led every one to virtue. He died in 683 and was buried in the basilica of St. Peter.

Let us imitate the example of this saint (Collect) who was one of the successors of St. Peter on the pontifical throne.

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 beatum Leonem Pontificem Sanctorum tuorum meritis coaequasti: concede propitius; ut, qui commemorationis ejus festa percolimus, vitae quoque imitemur exempla.
O God, who didst raise up blessed Pope Leo to rank with Thy saints in merit; grant, in Thy mercy, that we, who keep his festival, may also follow the example of his life.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 2 July 2016

2nd July, SS. Processus and Martinian, Martyrs

SS. Processus and Martinian, Martyrs

Peter and Paul, cast into the Mamertine prison, converted their two warders Processus and Martinian, and baptized them. Brought before the statue of Jupiter, these new Christians refused to adore it and were put to death.

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

Deus, qui nos sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Processi et Martiniani gloriosis confessionibus circumdas et protegis: da nobis et eorum imitatione proficere, et intercessione gaudere.
O God, who didst surround us and protect us by the glorious confession of Thy holy martyrs Processus and Martinian; grant us both to profit by their example and to rejoice in their intercession. Through our Lord.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

2nd July. The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that God would soon give a son to Elizabeth. The Virgin at once betook herself to Hebron, where her cousin resided : that is the mystery of the Visitation which is solemnized on the day following the octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

On this day, as in the season of Advent, the Church recalls together the memories of the Precursor and of Jesus and Mary. For we then remarked, that the Friday in the Winter Ember week recalled to us the same mystery of the Visitation.

This feast was instituted for the whole world, in 1389, by Urban VI, in order to obtain the end of the great western schism. It was later on raised to the rite of double of the second class by Pius IX, for on this feast was completed at Rome in 1849 the victory of the Church over the revolution. Mary visits Elizabeth and Jesus visits and sanctifies John. Wherefore St. John leaps with joy and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, exclaims: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Gospel).

The Virgin, Mother of God, who bears and gives birth to Him who bears and produces all things (Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion) then pronounces a "sublime canticle" (Introit), the Magnificat.

Salve, sancta parens, enixa puerpera Regem: qui caelum, terramque regit in saecula saeculorum. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
Hail, holy Mother, thou who didst bring forth the King who ruleth heaven and earth for ever and ever. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Sedulius and Psalm 44:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Famulis tuis, quaesumus, Domine, caelestis gratiae munus impertire: ut, quibus beatae Virginis partus exstitit salutis exordium: Visitationis ejus votiva solemnitas, pacis tribuat incrementum.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, bestow on Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace; that as the childbearing of the blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, so the solemn festival of her Visitation may bring us an increase of peace.

Friday 1 July 2016

1st July. The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord.

Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Liturgy, that admirable summary of the history of the Church, reminds us every year that at this date in 1849, thanks to the French army, the revolution which had driven the Pope from Rome was vanquished. To perpetuate the memory of this triumph and to show that it was due to the Saviour's merits, Pius IX, at the time a refugee at Gaeta, instituted the Feast of the Precious Blood. Pius XI in 1934 raised it to the First Class.

The Heart of Jesus has made this adorable Blood circulate in His limbs; wherefore, as on the feast of the Sacred Heart, the Gospel presents to our view the thrust of the lance which pierced the side of the Divine Crucified, blood and water gushing forth. [The Office of Matins speaks of the blood which Jesus shed at the Circumcision, in the Garden of Olives, the flagellation, the crowning of thorns and on the cross.] Thus become united the two testimonies which the Holy Ghost bore to the Messias, when He was baptized in the water of the Jordan and when He was baptized in blood on the cross (Gradual). [The Docetes taught that Jesus was the Christ at His baptism, and had thus come by water, but being no longer Christ on the cross He had not come by blood.]

Let us do homage to the precious Blood of our Redeemer which the priest offers to God on the altar.

Redemisti nos, Domine, in sanguine tuo, ex omni tribu, et lingua, et populo, et natione: et fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum. * Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo: in generationem et generationem annuntiabo veritatem tuam in ore meo.
Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy blood, out of every tribe and tongue, and people and nation, and hast made us to our God a kingdom. * The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever: I will show forth Thy truth with my mouth to generation and generation.
(Apoc. 5:9-10 and Psalm 88:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum mundi Redemptorem constituisti, ac ejus Sanguine placari voluisti: concede, quaesumus, salutis nostrae pretium solemni cultu ita venerari, atque a praesentis vitae malus ejus virtute defendi in terris; ut fructu perpetuo laetemur in caelis.
O almighty and everlasting God, who didst appoint Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and hast willed to be appeased by His blood; grant unto us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our redemption, and by its power be so defended against the evils of this life, that we may enjoy the fruit thereof for evermore in heaven. Through the same our Lord.

Hic est qui venit per aquam et sanguinem, Jesus Christus: non in aqua solum, sed in aqua et sanguine. * Tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in caelo: Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt. Et tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in terra: Spiritus, aqua, et sanguis: et hi tres unum sunt.
Alleluia, alleluia. Si testimonium hominum accipimus, testimonium Dei majus est. Alleluia.
This is He that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. * There are three who give testimony in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three are one.
Alleluia, alleluia. * If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. Alleluia.
(Gradual 1 John 5:6-8 and Alleluia ibid. 9)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time, Jesus, when He had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost. Then 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.
(St  John 19:30-35)

Accessistis ad Sion montem, et civitatem Dei viventis, Jerusalem caelestem et testamenti novi mediatorem Jesum, et sanguinis aspersionem melius loquentem quam Abel.
Ye are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Testament, and to the sprinkling of blood, which speaketh better than that of Abel.
(Antiphon at the Magnificat at First Vespers: Hebrews 12:22)