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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Wednesday 9 August 2017

9th August, St John Mary Vianney, Confessor

St. John Mary Vianney, Confessor

John-Baptist-Mary Vianney was born at Dardilly near Lyons (France) on May 8th, 1786. After many difficulties, he received holy priesthood in August 1815. He was parish priest of Ars for nearly forty-two years: he became a model for all his brethren in the sacerdotal ministry by his pastoral zeal, and by the unflagging ardour of his prayer and penance. Sitting up to sixteen hours a day in the confessional, he healed souls and sometimes bodies as well. His simple catechism preaching touched the hearts of grown ups as well as those of children. Meanwhile, he chastized his body as an act of reparation and impetration for sinners. He died on August 4th, 1859; he was beatified in 1905 by Pope Pius X, who had been a parish priest, and canonized by Pius XI in 1925.

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)

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui beatum Joannem Mariam, pastorali studio et jugi orationis ac poenitentiae ardore mirabilem effecisti: da, quaesumus, ut ejus exemplo et intercessione, animas fratrum lucrari Christo, et cum eis aeternam gloriam consequi valeamus.
Almighty and merciful God, who didst bestow upon blessed John Mary wonderful pastoral zeal and a great fervour for prayer and penance ; grant, we beseech Thee, that by his example and intercession we may be able to gain the souls of our brethren for Christ, and with them attain to everlasting glory.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Tuesday 8 August 2017

8th August, SS. Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus, Martyrs

SS. Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus, Martyrs

St. Cyriacus, a deacon of the Roman Church under Popes Marcellinus and Marcellus, was put to death in 303, during the persecution of Diocletian. He had twenty-two Christian companions, among whom were Largus and Smaragdus. St. Cyriacus is one of the "14 Auxiliary Saints."

Timete Dominum, omnes sancti ejus, quoriiam nihil deest timentibus eum: divites eguerunt, et esurierunt: inquirentes autem Dominum non deficient omni bono. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
Fear the Lord, all ye His saints ; for there is no want to them that fear Him: the rich have wanted and have suffered hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good. * I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:10-11,2 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos annua sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Cyriaci, Largi et Smaragdi solemnitate laetificas: concede propitius: ut, quorum natalitia colimus, virtutem quoque passionis imitemur.
O God, who dost gladden us by the yearly festival of Thy holy martyrs Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus; in Thy loving kindness, make us, we beseech Thee, to imitate the fortitude with which suffered the holy men whose feast-day we are celebrating.

Monday 7 August 2017

7th August, St Cajetan, Confessor

St. Cajetan, Confessor

St. Cajetan founded the first Congregation of Clerks Regular who endeavour to imitate the manner of life of the apostles (Collect). Trust in God, which the Gospel recalls, was their great law; they therefore refrained from begging alms and waited until the faithful brought them help of their own accord. They are also called Theatines.

This saint's zeal for others' salvation caused him to be called the Hunter of Souls. It was said that he was an angel at the altar and an apostle in the pulpit. He died at Naples on August 7, 1547.

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

Deus, qui beato Cajetano Confessori tuo apostolicam vivendi formam imitari tribuisti: da nobis, ejus intercessione et exemplo, in te semper confidere, et sola caelestia desiderare.
O God, who didst bestow upon blessed Cajetan, Thy confessor, to live a life of an apostle; grant, we beseech Thee, that by his intercession and example, we may always trust in Thee and desire only heavenly things.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

7th August, St Donatus, Bishop and Martyr

St. Donatus of Arezzo, Bishop and Martyr

Donatus, bishop of Arezzo in Tuscany, was arrested under Julian the Apostate. He was beheaded in A.D 361.

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 3:84,87,57 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, tuorum gloria sacerdotum: praesta, quaesumus; ut sancti Martyris tui et Episcopi Donati, cujus festa gerimus, sentiamus auxilium.
O God, the glory of Thy priests, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may experience the help of Thy holy martyr and bishop Donatus, whose festival we celebrate.

From Wikipedia:

High altar of Arezzo Cathedral, called the Arch of St Donatus.

Sunday 6 August 2017

6th August, SS. Sixtus II, Felicissimus and Agapitus, Martyrs

SS. Sixtus II, Felicissimus and Agapitus, Martyrs

Pope St. Sixtus II was martyred in the third century, during the cruel persecution of Valerian, with his two deacons, Felicissimus and Agapitus. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass among the popes (first list).

Laurence, his first deacon, seeing him led to death, exclaimed: "Why do you abandon me, Father, you who never offer the holy sacrifice without your deacon? " "You will follow me in three days," replied Sixtus. The anniversary of the martyrdom of St Laurence will be solemnized in three days.

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 concedis sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Xysti, Felicissimi et Agapiti natalitia colere: da nobis in aeterna beatitudine de eorum societate gaudere.
O God, who grantest us to celebrate the heavenly birthdays of Thy holy martyrs N. and N., vouchsafe that we may enjoy their fellowship in everlasting bliss.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

6th August, The Transfiguration of Our Lord

The Transfiguration of Our Lord 

The feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus had long been solemnized on August 6, in different churches of the East and West. To commemorate the victory which arrested, near Belgrade in 1456, the invading tide of Islam, and which was announced at Rome on August 6, Callistus III extended the feast to the whole Church.

It is the feast of many churches under the title of St. Saviour. This is why Pope St Pius X raised it to the rank of double of the second class, for it is the old title of the Cathedral of Rome, St. John Lateran, formerly called the Basilica of St. Saviour (see November 9th).

Illuxerunt coruscationes tuae orbi terrae: commota est, et contremuit terra. * Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum! concupiscit et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.
Thy lightnings enlightened the world : the earth shook and trembled. * How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.
(Psalm 76:19 and 83:2-3 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui fidei sacramenta, in Unigeniti tui gloriosa Transfiguratione, patrum testimonio roborasti, et adoptionem filiorum perfectam, voce delapsa in nube lucida, mirabiliter praesignasti: concede propitius; ut ipsius Regis gloriae nos coheredes efficias, et ejusdem gloriae tribuas esse consortes.
O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten Son didst confirm the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of the fathers, and who by Thy voice from the shining cloud, didst in wondrous manner foreshow the perfect adoption of sons : make us, in Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, as co-heirs with Him who is the King of glory, and in that very glory call us in the end to share.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
At that time: Jesus taketh Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here; if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them; and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid: and Jesus came and touched them, and said to them: Arise, and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.
(St Matthew 17:1-9)

The Hymn 'Quicumque Christum Quaeritis' from Vespers.

All ye who seek, in hope and love,
For Christ our Lord, look up above!
Where, traced upon the azure sky,
Faith may a glorious form descry.

Lo! on the trembling verge of light
A something all divinely bright!
Immortal, infinite, sublime!
Older than chaos, space, or time!

Hail, thou, the Gentiles' mighty Lord!
All hail, O Israel's King adored!
To Abraham sworn in ages past,
And to his seed while earth shall last.

To thee the prophets witness bear;
Of thee the Father doth declare,
That all who would his glory see,
Must hear and must believe in thee.

To Jesus, from the proud conceal'd,
But evermore to babes reveal'd,
All glory with the Father be,
And Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Saturday 5 August 2017

5th August, Our Lady of the Snows

The Dedication of the Church of our Lady of the Snow

This church was built at Rome, on Mount Esquiline, in the fourth century during the pontificate of pope Liberius. In the middle ages a graceful and popular tradition ascribed its foundation to a noble patrician who, having been favoured with a vision of Mary, caused it to be erected on a spot covered by a miraculous fall of snow.

This sanctuary was rebuilt in the following century and dedicated by Sixtus III in 432, to Mary, whom the Council of Ephesus (431) had just proclaimed the Mother of God. The mosaics of the triumphal arch glorify this divine maternity, and the representations of the two cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, recall the birth of Christ in the city of David, and that of the Church in the Cenacle of the Last Supper. These mosaics were restored in 1931-1934. The Basilica is also called St. Mary of the Crib, because portions of the crib are preserved there.

St. Mary's, called Major, because it is the largest and most important of the churches dedicated to the blessed Virgin, is a patriarchal basilica. The great nave is formed by two rows of forty-four columns of white marble and the ceiling is covered with the first gold brought from America.

In this church, whose dedication is solemnized on this day, takes place the inauguration of the liturgical year on the first Sunday in Advent, there are held the Stations at Christmas, on the feast of St. John, at Easter, on Rogation Monday, and on all Wednesdays in Ember Weeks.

Salve, sancta parens, enixa puerpera regem: qui coelum, 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 words to the King.
(Sedulius, and Psalm 44:2 from the Introit of Mass)

Concede nos famulos tuos, quaesumus, Domine Deus, perpetua mentis et corporis sanitate gaudere: et, gloriosa beatae Mariae semper VĂ­rginis intercessione, a praesenti liberari tristitia et aeterna perfrui laetitia.
Grant us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, to be delivered from present sorrows and to enjoy everlasting gladness.

From the Roman Breviary:
When Liberius was supreme Pontiff, a certain John, a Roman Patrician, and his wife, of equally noble race, since they had had no children whom they might leave as heirs to their estates, devoted their inheritance to the most holy Virgin Mother of God, continually begging of her, with the most earnest prayers, that she would make known to them, by some means, in what pious work in particular she wished them to expend the money. The Blessed Virgin Mary graciously heard their heartfelt prayers and vows, and acknowledged them by a miracle.
Therefore, on the Nones of August (August 5), at which date the most intense heats usually occur in the City, a part of the Esquiline hill was covered with snow during the night. That same night, the Mother of God urged John and his wife separately, in their dreams, to build, upon that spot which they should see was sprinkled with snow, a church which should be dedicated to the name of the Virgin Mary; for it was in this manner that she wished to become their heiress. John related this to Pope Liberus, who declared that the same thing had happened to himself in a dream.
He went, therefore, with a solemn procession of priests and people to the snow-clad hill, and marked out the plan of a church on that site, which was built with the money of John and his wife ; it was afterwards restored by Sixtus III. At first it was called by various names: the Liberian basilica, S Mary at the Crib. But, since there were already many churches in the City with the name of the holy Virgin Mary, and, as this basilica surpasses all the other basilicas named after her, both by the strangeness of that miracle, and by its own grandeur; that its supereminence may likewise be indicated in its title, it is called the church of St Mary Major. A commemoration of this dedication is celebrated by a yearly feast that is named after the snow, which on this day so miraculously fell.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Friday 4 August 2017

4th August, St Dominic, Confessor

St. Dominic, Confessor

The Church of France was ravaged by the heresy of the Albigenses who, not satisfied with teaching false doctrine, pillaged the churches and massacred the priests. In 1215, Innocent III saw in a dream the tottering walls of St. John Lateran, held up by the powerful shoulders of a friar. This friar was St. Dominic whose preaching defended Catholic doctrine against the new heresies (Epistle). Before his birth, his mother had in a vision her child in the shape of a little dog holding in its mouth a torch which was to set the world on fire.

Called Dominic, because his parents attributed his birth to the prayers of the holy Benedictine abbot Dominic of Silos, he truly belonged to the Lord, as his name suggests. Born in Spain, of the noble family Gusman, he distinguished himself by his purity as is signified by the lily he holds (Alleluia) and his white habit.

Having witnessed the many evils caused by the heretics in the south of France, he founded to oppose them the Order of the Friars Preachers (Communion), whom he armed with the shield of truth to teach doctrine and the sword of the word to preach it.

The Dominicans number many saints of both sexes who, like their founder, ardently studied the Word of God in the Gospel, which as St. Dominic says is the book of truth and "the book of charity".

[The Order of the Friars Preachers has given to the Church 4 popes: Blessed Innocent V St. Pius V, Benedict XI, Benedict XIII; numerous cardinals, bishops, doctors, preachers and illustrious writers. It numbers 11 saints and 4 women saints, 268 beatified men and 24 beatifled women, of whom 300 martyrs. The census of the Order in 1935 showed that there were 6000 Friars. The Dominican nuns in the Second Order and in the Third Order amount to 40,000.]

This saint loved our Lady in a special manner and preached the devotion to the Rosary. He died on August 6, 1221.

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

Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam beati Dominici Confessoris tui illuminare dignatus es meritis et doctrinis: concede; ut ejus intercessione temporalibus non destituatur auxiliis, et spiritualibus semper proficiat incrementis.
O God who, by the merit and teaching of blessed Dominic, Thy confessor, hast been pleased to enlighten Thy Church: grant that through his prayers, she may not be deprived of temporal help, and may continually advance in spiritual growth.

From the Roman Breviary:
Dominic was born at Calaruega, in Spain, of the noble family of Guzman, and attended to his liberal and theological training at Palencia; and since he made very great progress in his studies, he became first a regular canon of the church of Osma, and thereafter the founder of the order of Friars Preachers. While his mother was with child, she dreamt she was carrying in her womb a little dog, holding a torch in his mouth, with which, as soon as he should come forth into the light, he would set fire to the world. This dream signified that he would enkindle Christian piety among the nations by the splendour of his holiness and his teaching. The event confirmed the truth of this; for he both fulfilled the prophecy in his own person, and it was thereafter implemented by the members of his order.
But his capacity and courage were in the highest degree conspicuous in overthrowing the heretics who were attempting to corrupt the people of Toulouse with their baneful errors; in which transaction he spent seven years. Thereafter he came to Rome for the Lateran Council, together with the bishop of Toulouse, that the order which he had founded might be confirmed by Innocent III. While this matter was receiving thorough consideration, Dominic, on the advice of the Pope, returned to his disciples, that he might select a rule for his order. On his return to Rome, he obtained the confirmation of the order of Preachers from Honorius III, the immediate successor of Innocent. And in Rome itself he founded two monasteries, one for men, the other for women. He likewise raised three dead persons to life, and performed many other miracles, in consequence of which the order of Preachers began to spread abroad in a wonderful manner.
But, when by his efforts monasteries were now being built in every part of the world, and countless men began to lead a holy and religious life, in the year of Christ 1221, he fell sick of a fever at Bologna. When he realized that he was about to die of this disease, he summoned the brethren and the disciples of his rule, and exhorted them to innocence and purity of life. Finally, he left unto them by will, as if in a definite inheritance, the virtues of charity, humility, and poverty; and while the brethren were praying round him, at the words: Come to his aid, ye Saints of God, come to meet him, ye Angels, he fell asleep in the Lord on the eighth of the Ides of August (August 6). Thereafter, Pope Gregory IX reckoned him among the number of the Saints.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Thursday 3 August 2017

3rd August, The Invention of St Stephen

The Finding of the body of St Stephen, the First Martyr

The Church solemnizes on December 26 the feast of St. Stephen, and on January 2 the octave of this saint. She holds the Station on Passion Friday in the Church dedicated to St. Stephen, on Mount Coelius, at Rome. On August 10 she will celebrate the feast of St. Laurence whose "remains more precious," say the writers of the first centuries, "than gold and precious stones "are with those of the deacon Stephen, which had been translated from Palestine to the capital of the Christian world.

To-day's Mass commemorates the miraculous finding by a priest of these relics at Kapher-Gamala on December 5, A.D. 415 (Collect). Except the Collect it is the same as that on December 26, the date of the translation of these remains from Kapher-Gamala to Jerusalem. For Gamaliel, the teacher of St. Paul, so much esteemed among the doctors of Israel that at his death it was declared that "the glory of Israel had disappeared", had buried twenty miles from that town, at his country house, the holy Martyr Stephen, Nicodemus and his own son Abibas. He himself was buried there. These precious relics, long ignored, were miraculously discovered and wrought numerous cures.

The Introit and the Epistle recall how Stephen, filled with the Holy Ghost, convicted the Jews of error, and how they, hating Christ as their fathers hated him (Gospel), seized Stephen and stoned him to death.

Let us honour St. Stephen, and imitating his prayers for his persecutors (Epistle, Communion), let us learn by his example to love our enemies (Collect).

Sederunt principes, et adversum me loquebantur: et iniqui persecuti sunt me: adjuva me, Domine Deus meus, quia servus tuus exercebatur in tuis justificationibus. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Princes sat, and spoke against me : and the wicked persecuted me: help me, O Lord my God, for Thy servant was employed in Thy justifications.* Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.  (Psalm 118:23,86, 23, 1 from the Introit of Mass)

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, imitari quod colimus: ut discamus et inimicos diligere; quia ejus inventionem celebramus, qui novit etiam pro persecutoribus exorare Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to imitate what we revere, that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate the day of the finding of his body, who could even plead on behalf of his persecutors with Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Stephen:

Wednesday 2 August 2017

2nd August, St. Stephen, Pope and Martyr

St. Stephen, Pope and Martyr

Of Roman birth, St. Stephen I governed the Church under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus. In spite of the most violent persecutions he regularly celebrated the holy Mysteries and held councils in the crypts of the martyrs. He forbade the re-christening of Christians baptized by heretics. In 257 towards the end of the Mass he was saying, he was surprised by the persecutors and beheaded while he sat on his pontifical chair.

Sacerdotes ejus induam salutari, et sancti ejus exsultatione exsultabunt. * Memento, Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall rejoice with exceeding great joy. * O Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
(Psalm 131:16, 1 from the introit of Mass)

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

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

2nd August, St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor

In 1696, God raised up St. Alphonsus. This Neapolitan nobleman, well known as a barrister, soon renounced his prospects of a brillant career, to devote himself exclusively to the service of God, with the sole desire of pleasing Him (Epistle, Offertory).

The Spirit of the Lord is upon him consecrating him and sending him to preach the Gospel to the poor" (Introit). "He has been sent from above, to bring the people to penance" (Alleluia). With that object in view he founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Collect) whose members he sent, following the Saviour's example, into the country, to the towns and villages to announce the kingdom of God (Gospel).

He vowed never to lose a moment of his time and never in the whole of his life did he commit a mortal sin.

He wrote religious works filled with profound learning and piety and is therefore honoured by the Church as a Doctor. Emphasizing the importance of prayer in the divine plan, he condenses all his treatise on grace in one sentence: "He who prays is saved, he who does not pray is damned."

St. Alphonsus was forced to accept the bishopric of "St. Agatha of the Goths", near Naples. He died at the age of 91 in 1787 - The Benedictine Pope Pius VII commanded three fingers of his right hand to be sent to Rome. "Let them come to Rome," he said, "those holy fingers which have written so well for the glory of God, of the Virgin Mary and of religion."

[The Redemptorists, founded in 1732 and approved in 1749, numbered in 1933, 6318 religlous. They have three canonized saints: St. Alphonsus, their founder, St. Clement-Mary Hofbauer, and St. Gerard Majella. The latter, justly called the wonderworker for his miracles were innumerable. They number 8 venerables and 12 servants of God whose cause has been introduced at Rome. They have given to the Church several cardinals and bishops and a host of men illustrious by their preaching and writing.]

Spiritus Domini super me: propter quod unxit me: evangelizare pauperibus misit me, sanare contritos corde. * Attendite, popule meus, legem meam: inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, wherefore He hath anointed me, to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me, to heal the contrite of heart. * Attend, O My people, to My law: incline your ear to the words of My mouth.
(St Luke 4:18 and Psalm 77:1 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui per beatum Alphonsum Mariam, Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem, animarum zelo succensum, Ecclesiam tuam nova prole fecundasti: quaesumus; ut ejus salutaribus monitis edocti, et exemplis roborati, ad te pervenire feliciter valeamus.
O God who, through the burning zeal for the salvation of souls of blessed Alphonsus Mary, Thy confessor and bishop, didst enrich Thy church with fresh offspring: grant, we beseech Thee, that imbued with his wholesome doctrine, and strengthened by his examples, we may, by Thy grace, come happily unto Thee.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Tuesday 1 August 2017

August - Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(Pope Pius XII)

Queen of the Holy Rosary,
Help of the Christians,
Refuge of the human race,
Conqueress in God’s battlefields,
To You and to Your Immaculate Heart
In this tragic hour of human history
We entrust and consecrate ourselves,
And the Holy Church.
She is the Mystical Body of Your Jesus,
Suffering and bleeding in so many parts
And tormented in so many ways,
We consecrate to You the whole world torn by bitter strife
And consumed by the fire of hatred
The victim of its own wickedness.
Look with compassion to all material and moral destruction
To the suffering and fears of fathers and mothers
Of husbands and wives, of brother and sisters and innocent children.
Look at the many lives cut down in the flower of youth
So many bodies torn to pieces in brutal slaughter
So many souls tortured and troubled
And in danger of being lost eternally.
Oh, Mother of Mercy, obtain peace for us from God!
Obtain especially those graces, which can convert human hearts quickly.
Those graces, which can prepare, establish and insure peace.
Queen of Peace, pray for us;
Give the world at war the peace for which all are longing,
Peace in Truth, Justice and the Charity of Christ.
Give them peace of the arms and peace of mind,
That in tranquillity and order
The Kingdom of God may expand.
Grant Your protection to infidels
And to those still walking in the shadow of death;
Give them peace and permit that the sun of truth may raise upon them;
And that together with us
They may repeat before the Only Saviour of the World:
Glory to God in the highest
And peace on earth among men of good will.
Give peace to the people separated by error and schism,
Particularly those, who have special devotion to You
And among whom there was no home
Where Your venerable Icon was not honoured,
Though at present it may be hidden
In the hope for better days.
Bring them back to the One Fold of Christ,
Under the One True Shepherd.
Obtain peace and complete liberty for the Holy Church of God,
Check the spreading flood of neo-paganism,
Arouse within the faithful love of purity
The practice of Christian life and apostolic zeal,
So that the people who serve God,
May increase in merit and number.
All of humanity were once consecrated to the Heart of Your Son.
All our hopes rest in Him, Who is in all times
Sign and pledge of victory and salvation.
Forever we consecrate ourselves to You
And to Your Immaculate Heart,
Oh, Mother and Queen of the World!
May Your love and patronage hasten the victory of the Kingdom of God,
May all nations, at peace with each other and with God, proclaim You Blessed
And sing with You from one end of the earth to the other,
The eternal Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude
To the Heart of Jesus, in which alone,
They can find Truth, Life and Peace.

1st August, St Peter ad Vincula

St. Peter's Chains

The Church venerates on this day in the basilica of St. Peter "ad vincula " on Mount Esquiline at Rome, the chains with which the prince of the apostles was fettered (Collect, Epistle). This church where the Station is held on the Monday of the first week in Lent and on the Monday in the octave of Pentecost, was built over the baths of Trajan and restored towards the middle of the fifth century by the princess Eudoxia, whence the name of Eudoxian basilica sometimes given to it. It was dedicated on this day.

The date of August 1 was chosen so as to substitute a solemnity in honour of the apostle, Bishop of Rome and head of the Church (Alleluia, Gospel, Communion) for the pagan festival which used to be kept at Rome in honour of the Emperor Augustus.

[As a compliment to the Emperor Augustus they gave his name to the sixth month of the year formerly called Sextilis, for in old Rome the year began in March. The word August comes from Augustus as July from Julius Caesar. The following months kept their denominations of seventh (September), eighth (October), ninth (November) and tenth (December).]

The chains of St. Peter are in two portions, one having eleven links of lengthened shape to bind the hands, and the other twenty-three links, to the last of which are fixed two half circles to hold the neck. The popes used to send, as a rich present, a few particles of the filings of these chains enclosed in a golden key. They symbolize the power of the keys by which Peter unbinds from sin.

They were also put into rings or crosses to preserve from dangers (Collect). On the same day the Church honours St. Paul. There are preserved with St. Peter's chains four links of the chains which bound his arms during his captivity at Rome.

Nunc scio vere, quia misit Dominus Angelum suum: et eripuit me de manu Herodis, et de omni exspectatione plebis Judaeorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me : tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.
Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up.
(Acts 12:9 and Psalm 138:1-2 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Petrum Apostolum, a vinculis absolutum, illaesum abire fecisti: nostrorum quaesumus, absolve vincula peccatorum; et omnia mala a nobis propitiatus exclude.
O God, who didst loose the blessed apostle Peter from his bonds and didst send him forth unharmed; loose, we pray Thee, the chains of our sins, and in Thy great mercy keep us from all evil.

Commemoration is made of St. Paul, by the Collects of the Mass of June 30th.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Peter:

1st August, The Holy Machabees, Martyrs

The Holy Machabees, Martyrs

The seven Machabees, who were brothers, were martyred with their mother under Antiochus Epiphanes. Their relics are kept at Rome in the church of St. Peter's Chains.

Clamaverunt justi, et Dominus exaudivit eos: et ex omnibus tribulationibus eorum liberavit eos. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
The just cried, and the Lord heard them: and delivered them out of all their troubles.* I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:18,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Fraterna nos, Domine, Martyrum tuorum corona laetificet: quae et fidei nostrae praebeat incrementa virtutum; et multiplici nos suffragio consoletur.
Be it ours, O Lord, to rejoice in the triumph of the holy brethren, Thy martyrs: on our faith may it bestow a crown of virtues, and may it be our comfort, that it has added many saints to the number of our advocates.

Here is the Breviary reading for the Holy Machabees. It is taken from Discourse 20 on the Machabees from St Gregory Nazianzen.

Sermon of St Gregory Nazianzen.
What of the Machabees? For this festal day is celebrated in their name by this present assembly. Although by many they are not held in honour, because they did not enter on the conflict after Christ, yet they are worthy to be honoured by all, because they showed courage and constancy in defence of the the laws and institutions of their fathers. For if they suffered martyrdom before the Passion of Christ, what would they have done, if they had suffered persecution after Christ, and if they had had, as a model to be imitated, His death, which He accepted for our salvation? For if they showed such and so great a courage, when they had no example before them, would they not have been even more courageous in the battle, if they had had that example before their eyes? There is even a certain mystical and hidden reason, which seems highly probable to me, and to all who love God, that none of them who suffered martydom before the coming of Christ could have attained to it without faith in Christ.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: