Monday, May 30, 2011

The lead up to Ascension: Minor Rogation Days


Rogation days are traditionally days of prayer (with the litany of the saints being sung) and fasting.

The custom of Rogation Day processions, including the singing of the litany of the saints, in the lead up to the Feast of the Ascension ('the lesser litanies') has largely been lost these days.  The picture above is of the traditional blessing of the fields on these days (appropriate at this time of the year if you are in the Northern Hemisphere at least!), taken in Kent in 1967.  The other common practice was the "beating the bounds", in which a procession would proceed around the boundary of the parish and pray for its protection in the forthcoming year.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 29: Fifth Sunday after Easter (Rogation Sunday)



This Sunday's Gospel is John 16:23-30.  It was traditionally known as Rogation Sunday, because of the 'ask and you shall receive...and I will ask the Father' text of the Gospel, thus leading in to the three Rogation Days that follow it in the lead up to the Ascension.

Friday, May 27, 2011

May 27: St Bede the Venerable OSB, Doctor of the Church, Class III

The reading from Matins:

"Bede the priest was born at Jarrow, on the borders of England and Scotland. When a monk, he so arranged his life as to devote himself completely to the study of the liberal arts and sacred doctrine, without in any way relaxing the discipline of the Rule. There was no kind of learning in which he was not thoroughly versed ; but his special interest was the study of the Scriptures ; and when he was made a priest, he undertook the task of explaining the holy books. In doing so, he adhered to the teaching of the holy Fathers so closely that he would say nothing not already approved by their judgment, and he even made use of their very words. Abhorring laziness, he would go straight from reading to prayer and from prayer to reading. To raise the level of morality among Christians and to defend and spread the faith, he wrote many books, which gained him such a reputation with everyone that his writings were publicly read in churches during his own lifetime. At length, worn out with age and labours, he fell asleep peacefully in the Lord. Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the universal Church."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ordo for December 2011


Herewith the Benedictine Ordo according to the general calendar for the Order, and rubrics approved in 1961/2, with page references to the Monastic Diurnal (MD) published by Farnborough Abbey, 2004.

Please let me know if you find any errors, or have any questions on the Ordo.

You will of course need to add in any local feasts celebrated in your monastery, parish, diocese and country. In particular, this should include (where they have been appointed):

• the principal patron of your country, region or province as a Class I;
• the principal patron of your diocese or territory;
• the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of your diocese;
• the patron of your town or city;
• the anniversary of the dedication of your church;
• the titular feast of your church;
• the patron saint of your congregation or monastery (if you are an oblate);
• the feast of the monasteries founder (if canonised or beatified); and
• any saints specified in the calendar of your monastery's congregation.

Note that REF=Roman Extraordinary Form calendar.

December includes the liturgical periods of Advent and Nativitytide.

THE ORDO

Thursday 1 December – Thursday in the first week of Advent, Class III [**in some places Blessed Richard, Hugo, John, abbots and companions, martyrs, memorial]

Collect (Sunday I), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 18*

Blessed Richard et al: MD 1**

Friday 2 December - Class III; St Peter Chrysologus, bishop, confessor and doctor, memorial [REF: St Bibiana, Cl III]

Collect MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 19*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [2-3]

Saturday 3 December - Class III; St Francis Xavier, Confessor, Memorial [REF: Cl III; in some places, Class I]

Collect MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 19*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [9]

For St Francis Xavier as a Class I feast, see MD 1**

First Vespers of the Second Sunday in Advent – antiphons etc from MD19*ff

Sunday 4 December - Second Sunday of Advent, Class I

MD 22* ff

Monday 5 December – Class III [REF: St Sabbas, Commem]

Collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 26-7*

Tuesday 6 December – Class III; St Nicholas, Memorial

Collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 27*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [9-10]

Wednesday 7 December – St Ambrose, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor, Class III

MD [10]; Lauds: Antiphons and psalms of Wednesday in Advent; chapter etc from Common of a Confessor Bishop, MD (64); collect, MD [10]; commemoration of the feria, (versicle/canticle antiphon/ collect), MD 11*/27*


Prime to None: Antiphons and proper texts from Common of a Confessor Bishop with psalms of Wednesday, collect MD [10]

Vespers: I Vespers of the Immaculate Conception, MD [11] with a commemoration of the feria, MD 11*/27*

Thursday 8 December – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class I

All as set out at MD [13] ff; at Lauds and Vespers make a commemoration of the feria MD 27-8*

Friday 9 December – Class III

Collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 28*

Saturday 10 December – Class III [REF: Commem. of St Melchiades;**in some places, Blessed Mark Barkworth, John Roberts and companions, martyrs, memorial]

Collect (Sunday II), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 28*

**MD 2**

First Vespers of the Third Sunday of Advent, MD 28* ff

Sunday 11 December – Third Sunday of Advent, Class I (Gaudete Sunday); St Damasus I, Pope and Confessor, Memorial [in some places: Our Lady of Guadeloupe]

MD 31* ff

Monday 12 December – Class III [**In some places, Our Lady of Guadeloupe]

Collect (Sunday III), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 41-2*

[For Our Lady of Guadeloupe, use Common of the BVM, MD (119)]

Tuesday 13 December – St Lucy, Class III

MD [18] ff; at Lauds and Vespers, a commemoration of the feria (versicle/canticle antiphon/collect), MD 42*

Wednesday 14 December – Ember Wednesday, Class II

Collect and canticle antiphons MD 42-43*

Thursday 15 December - Class III

Collect (Sunday III), MD 11*; canticle antiphons MD 43*

Friday 16 December – Ember Friday, Class II [REF: St Eusebius, memorial]

Canticles antiphons and collect MD 44*

Saturday 17 December – Ember Saturday, Class II

Note: Between December 17 &23: All hours have proper antiphons of the day of the week, MD 37* ff; At Vespers, O Antiphons for each date are used as the Magnificat antiphons, MD 35-36*

Antiphons for Lauds to None: MD 40-41*
Lauds: Benedictus antiphon and Collect, MD 44-45*
I Vespers for the fourth Sunday of Advent, MD 45*, O Antiphon for the Magnificat – O Sapientia MD 35*

Sunday 18 December – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Class I

MD 48* ff ; at Vespers, Antiphon for Magnificat, O Adonai, MD 35*

Monday 19 December – Class II

Antiphons for Lauds to Vespers: MD 37*
Collect (Sunday IV), MD 12*
Lauds: Benedictus antiphon, MD 52*
Vespers: O Antiphon O Radix Iesse MD 36*

Tuesday 20 December – Class II

Antiphons for Lauds to Vespers: MD 37-38*
Collect (Sunday IV), MD 12*
Lauds: Benedictus antiphon, MD 52*
Vespers: O Antiphon, O clavis David MD 36*

Wednesday 21 December – St Thomas, Apostle, Class II

MD [22] ff : At Lauds, commemoration of the feria (versicle/canticle antiphon/collect): canticle antiphon is Nolite timere, MD 41*; At Vespers, commemoration of the feria (versicle/canticle antiphon/collect), canticle antiphon is O Oriens, MD 36*

Thursday 22 December – Class II

Antiphons for Lauds to Vespers: MD 39*
Collect (Sunday IV), MD 12*
Lauds: Benedictus antiphon, MD 53*
Vespers: O Antiphon O Rex gentium, MD 36*

Friday 23 December – Class II

Antiphons for Lauds to Vespers: MD 39-40*
Collect (Sunday IV), MD 12*
Lauds: Benedictus antiphon Ecce completa sunt omnia, MD 45*
Vespers: O Antiphon, O Emmanuel MD 36*

Saturday 24 December - Vigil of the Nativity, Class I

See MD 54* ff:

SEASON OF THE NATIVITY
I Vespers of the Nativity of Our Lord, MD 58* ff

Sunday 25 December – The Nativity of Our Lord, Class I with a II Class Octave

MD 61*ff

Monday 26 December – St Stephen, Protomartyr, Class II

MD 83* ff

Tuesday 27 December – St John the Evangelist, Class II

MD 90* ff

Wednesday 28 December - Holy Innocents, Martyrs, Class II

See MD 97*ff:

Thursday 29 December – Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity, Class II

MD 103*

Friday 30 December – Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity, Class II

MD 103*

Saturday 31 December – Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity, Class II; commemoration of St Sylvester I

MD 103*

I Vespers of the Octave of the Nativity of Our Lord, MD 104*ff: Antiphons and proper texts with psalm from Common of feasts of the BVM, MD (119).

May 26: St Augustine of Canterbury OSB, Apostle of England, Class III


St Augustine (d 604) and forty monk companions were famously dispatched to convert England by Pope St Gregory the Great, who had become aware of the decline of Britain into paganism (it had after all been christianized in the Roman era) after seeing some Angles in the slavemarket.

St Augustine only got part way on his journey before getting cold feet, persuaded of the difficulties of operating in a land whose language he did not speak. St Gregory urged him onwards though, and the monks proved effective re-evangelizers, assisted by the fact that that the King of Kent had married a Christian princess and had allowed her freedom of worship.

The monks converted the locals by their preaching and example according to St Bede:

"…they began to emulate the life of the apostles and the primitive Church. They were constantly at prayer; they fasted and kept vigils; they preached the word of life to whomsoever they could….Before long a number of heathen, admiring the simplicity of their holy lives and the comfort of their heavenly message, believed and were baptized..."

St Augustine established schools and monasteries, and set about organising the missionary effort more broadly in England. His life was marked by miracles, and he was quickly acclaimed as a saint on his death.

St Augustine pray for us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25: Feast of St Gregory VII OSB


The reading from Matins:
"Pope Gregory VII, the former Hildebrand, was born near Soana in Tuscany. As noble as any of the nobility in learning, in holiness and in every kind of virtue, he was a shining light to the whole Church of God. As a young man, he donned the religious habit at the monastery of Cluny, and served God with such zeal and devotion that he was chosen Prior by the holy religious of that monastery. Later, he was made Abbot of the monastery of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls, and then Cardinal of the Roman Church, performing noteworthy services and missions under Popes Leo IX, Victor II, Stephen IX, Nicholas II and Alexander II. At the death of Alexander, he was unanimously elected Pope, and stood out as a most zealous promoter and defender of the freedom of the Church, for which he suffered many things, even having to leave Rome. His last words, as he lay dying, were : I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and therefore I am dying in exile. He went to heaven in year of salvation 1085, and his body was buried with honour in the Cathedral of Salerno."

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 24: Our Lady Help of Christians: world day of prayer for China


Today is the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, patroness of Australia and New Zealand and other places, so do spare a prayer for the conversion of those countries if you would. 

But Pope Benedict XVI has particularly asked that this be a day of prayer for the persecuted faithful in China, and has composed a prayer to be said for this purpose:

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother,

venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title "Help of Christians",
the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.

We come before you today to implore your protection.

Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said "yes" in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.

You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross.

Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.

Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.

May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.

In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.

Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.

Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!

And for a little Australiana, a hymn composed for the feast:

Ordo for November 2011


Herewith the Benedictine Ordo according to the general calendar for the Order, and rubrics approved in 1961/2, with page references to the Monastic Diurnal (MD) published by Farnborough Abbey, 2004.

Please let me know if you find any errors, or have any questions on the Ordo.

You will of course need to add in any local feasts celebrated in your monastery, parish, diocese and country. In particular, this should include (where they have been appointed):

• the principal patron of your country, region or province as a Class I;
• the principal patron of your diocese or territory;
• the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of your diocese;
• the patron of your town or city;
• the anniversary of the dedication of your church;
• the titular feast of your church;
• the patron saint of your congregation or monastery (if you are an oblate);
• the feast of the monasteries founder (if canonised or beatified); and
• any saints specified in the calendar of your monastery's congregation.

Note that REF=Roman Extraordinary Form calendar.

November in liturgical time

November is 'time throughout the year' until Advent commences with First Vespers on 26 November.

At Matins each day there are three readings.  This means that on third class feasts, the hours from Prime to None will have antiphons of the feast, taken if necessary from the relevant Common.

THE ORDO

Tuesday 1 November – All Saints, Class I

MD [331] ff

Wednesday 2 November – All Souls, Class I

MD [337] ff

Thursday 3 November – Class IV [REF – St Martin of Pores, Memorial]

All as in the psalter for Thursday with collect, MD 479* (of 20th Sunday after Pentecost)

Friday 4 November – St Charles Borromeo, Bishop and Confessor, Memorial [REF: Class III]

All as in the psalter for Thursday with collect MD 479*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [344-5]

Saturday 5 November – Our Lady on Saturday

Lauds to None: MD (129) ff

I Vespers of third Sunday in November, MD 460*/Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, collect MD 480*

Sunday 6 November – Twenty first Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

MD 480*

Monday 7 November – Class IV

All as for Monday in the psalter, collect MD 480*

Tuesday 8 – The Four Crowned, Martyrs, Memorial

All as for Tuesday in the psalter with collect MD 480*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [345]

Wednesday 9 November – Dedication of the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour (St John Lateran), Class II

MD [345]: all from the Common for the dedication of a Church, MD (114) ff

Thursday 10 November – St Theodore, Martyr, Memorial [REF: St Andrew Avellino, Confessor, Class III]

All as in the psalter for Thursday, with collect MD 480*; at Lauds, make a commemoration, MD [346]

Friday 11 November – St Martin of Tours, Bishop and Confessor, Class II

MD [346] ff

Saturday 12 November – Our Lady on Saturday; St Mennas, Martyr, Memorial [REF: St Martin, Pope, Martyr, Class III]

Lauds to None: MD (129) ff; at Lauds for the commemoration, MD [352]

I Vespers of Fourth Sunday in November, MD 460*/Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, collect MD 481*

Sunday 13 November – Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost; Commemoration of All Saints of the Benedictine Order (at Lauds and Vespers)

MD 481*; for the commemoration at Lauds, versicle, antiphon and collect MD [356]; for the commemoration at Vespers, versicle, antiphon and collect MD [359]

Monday 14 November – All Souls of the Benedictine Order, Class II [REF: St Josaphat, Class III]

MD [360] ff

Tuesday 15 November - St Albert the Great, Confessor, Bishop, Doctor, Memorial [REF: Class III]

All as for Tuesday in the psalter with collect MD 481*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [362-3]

Wednesday 16 November – Class IV [REF: St Gertrude, Virgin, Class III]

All as for Wednesday in the psalter with collect MD 481*

Thursday 17 November – St Gertrude the Great OSB, Class III (Class II for nuns) [REF: St Gregory Thaumaturgus, Bishop, Confessor, Class III]

MD [363]ff

Friday 18 November – Dedication of the Basilicas of SS Peter and Paul, Class III

MD [371]

Saturday 19 November – Saturday of Our Lady [REF: St Elizabeth, Widow]

Lauds to None: MD (129) ff

I Vespers of Fifth Sunday in November, MD 461*/Last Sunday after Pentecost, collect MD 487*

Sunday 20 November – ‘Twenty-third’ and last Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

Office and Mass is of the Twenty-fourth and last Sunday after Pentecost, MD 487*

Monday 21 November – Presentation of the BVM, Class III; Commemoration of St Columba, Abbot

MD [371] ff

Tuesday 22 November – St Caecilia, Virgin and Martyr, Class III

MD [373] ff

Wednesday 23 November – St Clement I, Pope and Martyr, Class III; St Felicitas, memorial

MD [377] ff

Thursday 24 November – St John of the Cross, Confessor and Doctor; St Chrysogonus, Martyr; Memorials [REF: Class III]

All as in the psalter for Thursday, with collect MD 487*; for the commemorations see MD [382-3]

Friday 25 November – St Catherine, Virgin and Martyr, memorial [REF: Class III]

All as in the psalter for Thursday, with collect MD 487*; for the commemoration see MD [383-4]

Saturday 26 November – Saturday of Our Lady; St Sylvester OSB, Abbot, Memorial [REF: Class III]

MD (129) ff; for the commemoration, MD [384-5]

First Vespers for Sunday I in Advent – MD 1*ff: Proper antiphons and texts with Saturday psalms.

Compline: Marian antiphon is Alma Redemptoris Mater

Sunday 27 November – First Sunday of Advent, Class I

MD4*ff

Monday 28 November – Monday in week I of Advent, Class III

See notes on the Ordinary of the Ferial Office in Advent, MD 9*ff.

Collect, MD 11* (Sunday I Advent); canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 17*

Tuesday 29 November – Tuesday in the first week of Advent, Class III; St Saturinus, Memorial

Collect, MD 11* (Sunday I Advent); canticle antiphons for Lauds and Vespers, MD 18*

For the commemoration, MD [2]

Wednesday 30 November - St Andrew, Apostle, Class II

MD [2] ff. At Lauds and Vespers, commemoration of the feria, Common Advent & MD 1*

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 22: Fourth Sunday after Easter, Class II


This Sunday's Gospel is John 16: 5-14, the promise of the Paraclete, the spirit of truth.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ordo for September 2011


Herewith the Benedictine Ordo according to the general calendar for the Order, and rubrics approved in 1961/2, with page references to the Monastic Diurnal (MD) published by Farnborough Abbey, 2004.

Please let me know if you find any errors, or have any questions on the Ordo.

You will of course need to add in any local feasts celebrated in your monastery, parish, diocese and country. In particular, this should include (where they have been appointed):

• the principal patron of your country, region or province as a Class I;
• the principal patron of your diocese or territory;
• the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of your diocese;
• the patron of your town or city;
• the anniversary of the dedication of your church;
• the titular feast of your church;
• the patron saint of your congregation or monastery (if you are an oblate);
• the feast of the monasteries founder (if canonised or beatified); and
• any saints specified in the calendar of your monastery's congregation.

Note that REF=Roman Extraordinary Form calendar.

September is 'time throughout the year'.

THE ORDO

Thursday 1 September - Class IV [***In some places, St Vibiana; REF: Commemoration of St Giles, Abbot, and of 12 Holy Brothers, Martyrs]

All as in the psalter for Thursday, collect MD 471*

**For St Vibiana: MD 43**

Friday 2 September - Class IV [REF: St Stephen, K, Cf, 3rd class]

All as in the psalter for Friday, collect MD 471*

Saturday 3 September - St Pius X, Pope and Confessor, 3rd class [***In some places St Seraphia]

MD [258] **For St Seraphia, MD 43**

I Vespers of First Sunday of September, MD 452-3*; Collect MD 472*

Sunday 4 September – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

MD 471-2*:

Monday 5 September – Class IV

All as for Monday in the psalter with collect, MD 472*.

Tuesday 6 September - Class IV

All as for Tuesday in the psalter with collect, MD 472*.

Wednesday 7 September - Class IV [**In some places, St Cloud, Confessor, Class I]

All as in the psalter for Wednesday with collect, MD 472*; **For St Cloud, MD [258]

Thursday 8 September - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class II [REF: with a commemoration of St Hadrian, Martyr]

MD [259]ff.

Friday 9 September - St Gorgonius, Martyr, Memorial

All as for Friday in the psalter with collect, MD 472*; at Lauds, make a commemoration, MD [264-5].

Saturday 10 September - Saturday of Our Lady; [REF: St Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor, class III]

MD (129)ff

I Vespers of Second Sunday of September, MD 453*; collect MD 473*

Sunday 11 September – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II; SS Protus and Hyacinth, Martyrs, Memorial

MD 472-3*:

Monday 12 September - Class IV

All as in the psalter for Monday, MD 473*

Tuesday 13 September - Class IV

All as in the psalter for Tuesday, MD 473*

Wednesday 14 September – Exaltation of Holy Cross, Class II

MD [266]ff

Thursday 15 September – The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class III (REF: Class II)

MD [273]ff

Friday 16 September – SS Cornelius, Pope and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs, Memorial (REF: Class III with a memorial of SS Euphemia, Lucy and Geminian, Martyrs)

All as in the psalter for Friday, MD 473*; at Lauds for the commemoration, MD [278]

Saturday 17 September – Saturday of Our Lady; St Hildegarde OSB, Virgin, memorial (REF: Commemoration of the Imprinting of the Stigmata of St Francis)

MD (129)ff; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [278-9]

I Vespers of Third Sunday of September, MD 453-4*; collect MD 473-4*

Sunday 18 September – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

MD 473-4*:

Monday 19 September – Class IV [**In some places, St Theodore of Tarsus, Class III]

All as in the psalter for Monday, collect MD 473-4*; **St Theodore, MD 44**

Tuesday 20 September – Class IV

All as in the psalter for Tuesday, collect MD 473-4*

Wednesday 21 September - St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Class II; commemoration of Ember Wednesday

MD [279]

Thursday 22 September – St Maurice and Companions, Martyrs, Memorial (***In some places, Class III)

All as in the psalter for Thursday, collect MD 473-4*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [280]***MD 44**

Friday 23 September – Ember Friday, Class II; St Linus I, Pope and martyr, Memorial

All as in the psalter for Friday except for canticle antiphons and collect, MD 455*; at Lauds for the commemoration, MD [280-1]

Saturday 24 September – Ember Saturday, Class II

All as in the psalter for Saturday except for Benedictus antiphon and collect, MD 456*

I Vespers of the Fourth Sunday of September, MD 456*; Collect MD 474-5*

Sunday 25 September – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

MD 474-5*:

Monday 26 September - Class IV

All as for Monday in the psalter with collect MD 474-5*

Tuesday 27 September - SS Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs, Memorial [REF: Class III]

All as for Tuesday in the psalter with collect MD 474-5*; at Lauds, for the commemoration, MD [281]

Wednesday 28 September - Class IV [REF: S Wenceslaus, Class III]

All as for Wednesday in the psalter with collect MD 474-5*

First Vespers of St Michael, MD [282]: Antiphons and proper texts of the feast with psalms of Sunday.

Thursday 29 September: The Dedication of St Michael the Archangel, Class I

See MD [284]ff

Friday 30 September: St Jerome, Priest, Confessor and Doctor, Class III

MD [290] ff

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 19: St Peter Celestine OSB, Memorial


Curiously, this saint only gets a commemoration in the Benedictine calendar, yet in the Roman he rates third class feast! Particularly curious because his reign as a Pope was basically short but disastrous. As a monk, however, he excelled.

Today alas, the Congregation he founded, the Celestines, is down to only six monasteries.

Early life

Here some extracts from Butler's Life:

"Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns.

He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education.

His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery.

He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined.

Hermit

Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell underground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him.

Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited.

He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it.

For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did.

Founder of the Celestine Congregation of Benedictines

The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults.

Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.

Asceticism

Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support.... St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow.

It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him.

Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.

Election as Pope

Upon the death of Nicholas IV, the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity.

This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation."

Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do.

He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices.

The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law.

He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge.

These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate.

Abdication and imprisonment

When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following....

St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome.

The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery.

But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me."

He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old....

(Taken from Vol. V of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ordo for October 2011


Herewith the Benedictine Ordo according to the general calendar for the Order, and rubrics approved in 1961/2, with page references to the Monastic Diurnal (MD) published by Farnborough Abbey, 2004.

Please let me know if you find any errors, or have any questions on the Ordo.

You will of course need to add in any local feasts celebrated in your monastery, parish, diocese and country. In particular, this should include (where they have been appointed):

• the principal patron of your country, region or province as a Class I;
• the principal patron of your diocese or territory;
• the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of your diocese;
• the patron of your town or city;
• the anniversary of the dedication of your church;
• the titular feast of your church;
• the patron saint of your congregation or monastery (if you are an oblate);
• the feast of the monasteries founder (if canonised or beatified); and
• any saints specified in the calendar of your monastery's congregation.

Note that REF=Roman Extraordinary Form calendar.

October is 'time throughout the year'; note however that the Sunday Lauds hymn changes to Aeterne Rerum Conditor, MD 53.

THE ORDO

Saturday 1 October – Our Lady on Saturday [REF: Commemoration of St Remigius, Bishop and Confessor]

Lauds to None: MD (129) ff

I Vespers of First Sunday in October, MD 457*/Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, collect MD 475*

Sunday 2 October – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

MD 475-6*

Monday 3 October – St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Memorial [**in some places, Class I]


All as for Monday in the psalter, collect MD 475*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [297]

If Class I, MD 45**

Tuesday 4 October – St Francis, Confessor, Class III

MD [298]

Wednesday 5 October – SS Maurus and Placid, confessors, Disciples of St Benedict, Class III

MD [299] ff

Thursday 6 October – St Bruno, Confessor, Memorial

All as for Thursday in the psalter, collect MD 475*; at Lauds for the commemoration, MD [305]

Friday 7 October – Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class III

MD [305] ff:

Saturday 8 October – Saturday of Our Lady [EF: St Bridget, Widow, Class III]

Lauds to None: MD (129) ff

I Vespers of the Second Sunday in October, MD 458*/Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, collect MD 476*

Sunday 9 October – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

MD 476-7*:

Monday 10 October – Class IV [REF: St Francis Borgia, Class III]

All as for Monday in the psalter, collect MD 476*

Tuesday 11 October – Class IV [EF: Maternity of Our Lady, Class II]

All as for Tuesday in the psalter, collect MD 476*

Wednesday 12 October – Class IV [*** in some places, St Wilfrid OSB, Class III]

All as for Wednesday in the psalter, collect MD 476*; For St Wilfrid: MD 45**

Thursday 13 October – Class IV [REF/***in some places, St Edward, King and Confessor, Class II]

All as for Thursday in the psalter, collect MD 476*; For St Edward, see MD 45**

Friday 14 October – St Callistus, Pope and Martyr, memorial [REF: Class III]

All as for Friday in the psalter, collect MD 476*; at Lauds, commemoration, MD [314]

Saturday 15 October – St Teresa, Virgin, Doctor, Class III

MD [314] ff:

Sunday 16 October – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II ***in some places, St Gall, Abbot

MD 477*; for St Gall, see MD 46**ff

Monday 17 October - Class IV [REF: St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Class III]

All as for Monday in the psalter, collect MD 477*

Tuesday 18 October – St Luke, Evangelist, Class II

MD [317] ff

Wednesday 19 October – Class IV [EF: St Peter of Alcantara, Class III]

All as for Wednesday in the psalter, collect MD 477*

Thursday 20 October – Class IV [EF: St John Cantius, Class III]

All as for Thursday in the psalter, collect MD 477*

Friday 21 October – St Hilarion, Abbot, Memorial

All as for Friday in the psalter, collect MD 477*; at Lauds, make a commemoration, MD [318]

Saturday 22 October – Saturday of Our Lady

MD (129) ff:

Vespers – Fourth Sunday of October, MD 459*/Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, collect MD 478*

Sunday 23 October – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Class II

MD 478*

Monday 24 October – Class IV ***in some places, St Raphael, Class I

All as for Monday in the psalter, collect MD 478*

**MD 51 ff**

Tuesday 25 October – SS Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs, Memorial

All as for Tuesday in the psalter, collect MD 478*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [327]

Wednesday 26 October - Class IV [REF: Commemoration of St Evaristus, Pope and Martyr]

All as for Wednesday in the psalter, collect MD 478*

Thursday 27 October – Class IV

All as for Thursday in the psalter, collect MD 478*

Friday 28 October– SS Simon and Jude, Apostles, Class II

MD [327]

Saturday 29 October - Saturday of Our Lady

MD (129) ff:

I Vespers of Christ the King, MD [318] ff

Sunday 30 October – Feast of Christ the King, Class I

MD [322] ff

Monday 31 October – Class IV

All as for Monday in the psalter, collect MD 479*

I Vespers of All Saints, MD [328] ff

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 15: Third Sunday after Easter



Today's Gospel is John 16:16-22 – Our Lord speaks of his entry into heaven.

May 14: St Pachomius, Abbot, Memorial


Saint Pachomius (ca. 292-348) is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism.

A soldier converted by the charitable ministry of Christians, he originally set out to lead an eremitic life.  Instead, he ended up establishing a system of double monasteries in Egypt, and that subsequently spread much more widely.  St Basil the great visited him and borrowed many ideas from him for his own Rule; but he fled from St Athanasius who wished to ordain him as a priest!

Extracts from his Rules can be found here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13: St Robert Bellarmine, Memorial


St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-121) was an important figure of the Counter-Reformation. 

He spent a good part of his career as a theological professor, before being called to Rome and receiving a number of appointments including as an Inquisitor, and  Cardinal.  In 1602 he was appointed Archbishop of Capua.

He combatted heresy and dissent vigorously, and engaged in many controversies (including an interesting case of a priest making the oath of obedience to James I of England, which St Robert took him to task for).

From a modern perspective though, his most enduring works are surely his spiritual ones, particularly his book on the art of dying well, and his excellent commentaries on the psalms.

He was canonised only in 1930, and declared a Doctor of the Church a year later.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 12 - SS Nereus, Archilleus and Pancras, Memorial

Rubens, SS Domitilla, Neus and Archilleus

SS Nereus and Achilles were soldiers in the praetorian guard who were baptized by Saint Peter and decided that they must give up fighting. They escaped from the guard, but were discovered and sent into exile first to the island of Pontia with Saint Flavia Domitilla and then to Terracina. They were beheaded in the reign of Emperor Trajan.

In the traditional Roman rite, the feast of St Domitilla is also celebrated today - she was a niece of the Emperor Domitian and was a victim of a purge that prevented one of those near misses of history for the reasons of providence, when the Empire almost became Christina two centuries earlier than it actually did.  She has since become the victim one again of a purge, namely that of the calendar in 1969!

St Pancras was born in Syria or Phrygia and died in Rome around 304. According to his legend, St Pancras was orphaned and brought to Rome by an uncle, where both were converted to Christianity. As a boy of fourteen, he was beheaded in Rome for his faith during the reign of Diocletian.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11: SS Philip and James, Apostles, Class II

St Philip, Rubens c1611

You can find the Holy Father's General Audience on these two saints here:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10: SS Gordian and Epimarchus, Martyrs, Memorial

Martyrdom of St Gordianus, c14th manuscript

SS Gordianus and Epimarchus were Roman martyrs, who were killed during the reign of Julian the Apostate around 362 AD. St Gordianus was a judge, converted by the faith of St Januarius; his body was interred in a crypt with St Epimarchus who had recently been laid there hence their conjoined veneration.

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9: St Gregory Nazienzen, Class III


St Gregory Nazianus (c325-390) was Archbishop of Constantinople, and is a doctor of the Church.  Known as one of the Cappadochian Fathers, he was a friend of Basil the Great with whom he lived a monastic life for a few years (in defiance of his father who wanted him to assist as a priest in his diocese), and an acquaintance of Emperor Julian the Apostate. 

He wrote vigorous treatises against the Emperor's rejection of Christianity and persecution of the Church, fought Arianism, and made important contributions of Trinitarian theology in particular.

Throughout his life he swung backwards and forwards over competing calls on him to play an active role in the Church politics of the time at the instigation of his father and St Basil amongst others, and the call of the contemplative life.  He played a key role in relation to the Second Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople in 381, at which he dramatically resigned from the see of Constantinople to return to Nazianus.

Pope Benedict XVI gave two General Audiences on the saint back in 2007.  You can find them here:
  • Part I provides an introduction to his life;
  • Part II gives an overview of his teachings.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 8: Second Sunday after Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)

c18th Moldavia

The Gospel today is John 10:11-16, Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd.

May 7: Office of Our Lady on Saturday in Eastertide***

Just a little note to point out that the Monastic Diurnal omits an important rubric in the Office of Our Lady during Eastertide, namely the addition of an alleluia to the end of each of the antiphons and versicles (for Prime to None).

So Lauds is as noted in the Diurnal, with the antiphons and psalms of Saturday, chapter and hymn of the Office of Our Lady on Saturday during the year, but short responsory of Eastertide, versicle and Benedictus antiphon of the season, as set out on MD (135).

At Prime to None, use the antiphons of Our Lady on Saturday with an Alleluia added to the end of each of them; chapter verses as usual; versicles with an alleluia added to the end of each line; together with the collect of Our Lady from Lauds.


NB: The opening section in the video is the Compline antiphon, not the antiphon for the Canticle at Lauds!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5: St Pius V, Memorial

El Greco, c1600-10
Pope St Pius V is of course, renowned as a hero of the Counter-Revolution.

A Dominican, as Cardinal Ghislieri he prosecuted eight French Bishops for heresy. He also stood firm against nepotism, rebuking his predecessor Pope Pius IV to his face when he wanted to make a 13-year old member of his family a cardinal and subsidise a nephew from the Papal treasury.

As Pope he acted quickly to restore discipline and morality, and to implement effectively the decrees of the Council of Trent. 

He is most famous for promulgating the Tridentine Missal in 1570 which reflected the ancient practices of the Church of Rome, but necessarily of many other places, and thus in effect, if not in law, suppressing many legitimate rites such as the Sarum. 

He also took strong measures with rather mixed results, against Protestants.  In France he dismissed a Cardinal and several bishops who had been pursuing a policy of tolerance towards the Huguenots.  And he excommunicated Elizabeth I of England in the bull Regnans in Excelsis, and urged her subjects to rebel against her, a measure that resulted in a much tougher policy of repression and many martyrdoms.

He also formed the Holy League, which enabled the defeat of the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4: St Monica, Memorial


St Monica was the mother of St Augustine, and is famous for her prayers and other efforts towards his conversion. As such, she is patroness, amongst other things of those who have disappointing children...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3: Once was the Feast of the Finding of Holy Cross

Gury Nikitin, 1680

Today is not the feast of the Finding of Holy Cross.

But it should be.

The Finding of Holy Cross is one of those feasts that fell victim to the calendar reforms of the 1950s and early 1960s, when it was combined with the Feast of the Exaltation of Holy Cross (which celebrates the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcre).

It celebrated St Helena's (mother of Constantine the Great) discovery of the Holy Sepulcre in Jerusalem, and subsequent discovery of the Cross at the site.

So a nice feast, one that is still maintained by some monasteries, and can licitly be marked by a votive mass.

May 3: SS Alexander, Eventius And Theodolus, memorial


Alexander, Eventius, and Theodolus were martyrs in Rome under Trajan, being  burned and beheaded c.113 on the Via Nomentana in Rome, Italy.  They were arrested by the tribune Quirinus, who, with his daughter, they converted to Christianity by performing miracles.  Their relics are interred in the Dominican church of Santa Sabina, Rome (pictured above).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ordo for August 2011

Herewith the Benedictine Ordo according to the general calendar for the Order, and rubrics approved in 1961/2.

Page references are to the Monastic Diurnal (MD) published by Farnborough Abbey.
You will of course need to add in any local feasts celebrated in your monastery, parish, diocese and country. In particular, this should include (where they have been appointed):

• the principal patron of your country, region or province as a Class I;
• the principal patron of your diocese or territory;
• the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of your diocese;
• the patron of your town or city;
• the anniversary of the dedication of your church;
• the titular feast of your church;
• the patron saint of your congregation or monastery (if you are an oblate);
• the feast of the monasteries founder (if canonised or beatified); and
• any saints specified in the calendar of your monastery's congregation.

August in liturgical time

August is 'time throughout the year', and the collect each day is that of the previous Sunday, unless it is a third class feast or higher.

At I Vespers on Saturday, the Magnificat antiphon is for the appropriate week of August (as noted in the Ordo below) and the Collect of the following Sunday.

THE ORDO

Monday August 1 – The Holy Maccabees, memorial


All as in the psalter for Monday with collect MD 467-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [209-210]

Tuesday August 2 - St Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, Bp, Cf, Dr, Memorial

All as in the psalter for Tuesday with collect MD 467-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [210].

Wednesday August 3 – Class IV

All as in the psalter for Wednesday, with collect of the Sunday, MD 467-8*

Thursday August 4 – St. Dominic, Confessor, Class III

See MD [211].

Lauds to Vespers: Antiphons and psalms of the day; rest from the Common of a Confessor not a bishop, MD (78), Collect, MD [211]

Terce to None: Chapter and versicle from Common of a Confessor not a bishop, Collect, MD [211]

Friday August 5 – Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Memorial [EF: Class III]

All as in the psalter for Friday; collect MD 467-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds MD [211-2].

Saturday August 6 – Transfiguration of Our Lord, Class II

Lauds to None: See MD [212]ff.

Vespers of the Transfiguration, MD [216]ff with a commemoration of the Sunday, MD 451* and collect MD 467-8*

Sunday August 7 – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost; SS Sixtus II, Pope and Martyr; and Felicissimus and Agapitus, Martyrs, Memorial

See MD 467-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [219]

Monday August 8 – St Cyriacus, Memorial [in Australia, St Mary of the Cross, Class I]

All as in the psalter for Monday, collect MD 467-8*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [219-220]

Tuesday August 9 – Vigil of St Lawrence, martyr, Class III

Lauds to Vespers: All as in the psalter for Tuesday with collect from MD [220]

Wednesday August 10 – St. Lawrence, Martyr, Class II

See MD [221]ff:

Thursday August 11 – St. Tiburtius, Martyr, Memorial [EF: also a memorial of St. Susanna, Virgin, Martyr]

All as in the psalter for Thursday with Collect, MD 467-8*, for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [227-8]

Friday August 12 – St. Clare, Virgin, Memorial [EF: Class III]

All as in the psalter for Friday with Collect, MD 467-8*, for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [228]

Saturday August 13 – Office of Our Lady on Saturday; SS Pontianus, Pope and Hippolytus, Martyrs, Memorial

Lauds to None: MD (129)ff; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [228-9]

I Vespers of Second Sunday of August, MD 451*; collect MD 469*

Sunday August 14 – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

See MD 468-9*

Monday 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Class I

See MD [230]ff.

Tuesday August 16 – Class IV

All as in the psalter for Tuesday, collect MD 469*

Wednesday August 17 – Class IV [REF: St Hyacinth, M, 3cl]

All as in the psalter of Wednesday, collect MD 469*

Thursday August 18 – St. Agapitus, Martyr, Memorial

All as in the psalter for Thursday, collect MD 469*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [245].

Friday August 19 – Class IV [REF: St John Eudes, 3cl]

All as in the psalter for Friday, collect MD 469*

Saturday August 20 - St Bernard Abbot and Doctor, Class III

See MD [245]ff: (note optional proper texts, MD [246]ff)

I Vespers for third Sunday of August, MD 451*; collect of the Sunday, MD 470*

Sunday August 21 – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost; Blessed Bernard Ptolemy OSB, Abbot, memorial

See MD 469-70*; for the commemoration, MD [249]

Monday August 22 – St Timothy, memorial

All as in the psalter for Monday, collect MD 470*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [250]

Tuesday August 23 – Class IV

All as in the psalter for Tuesday, collect MD 470*
Wednesday August 24 - St Bartholomew, Apostle, Class II

Lauds to Vespers: All as in the Common of Apostles, MD (9) ff except for the collect, MD [250]

Thursday August 25 – Class IV [REF/***: St Louis, K, Cf, 3cl]

All as in the psalter for Thursday, collect MD 470*

For St Louis, see MD 42**

Friday August 26 – Class IV

All as in the psalter for Friday, collect MD 470*

Saturday August 27 – Our Lady on Saturday [REF: St Joseph Calasanctius, Cf, 3cl]

Lauds to None: MD (129)ff

I Vespers of fourth Sunday of August, MD 452*; collect, MD 471*

Sunday August 28 – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost; Commemoration of St Hermes, Martyr

MD 470-1*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [251]

Monday August 29 - Beheading of St John the Baptist, Class III

See MD [252]ff

Tuesday August 30 – SS Felix and Adauctus, Martyrs, Memorial; **in some places, St Rose of Lima

All as in the psalter for Tuesday, collect MD 471*; for the commemoration at Lauds, MD [257]

For St Rose, see MD 43**

Wednesday August 31 – Class IV

All as in the psalter for Wednesday, collect MD 471*

May 2: St Athanasius, Class III

St Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church is perhaps most famous as a theologian and for his struggle against the Arian heresy. From the monastic point of view, however, his Life of St Anthony was enormously influential in articulating a theology of monastic life and promoting the monastic life in the West.

Pope Benedict XVI devoted a General Audience to the saint on 20 June 2007, here are some extracts from it:

"...Athanasius was undoubtedly one of the most important and revered early Church Fathers. But this great Saint was above all the impassioned theologian of the Incarnation of the Logos, the Word of God who - as the Prologue of the fourth Gospel says - “became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1: 14).

For this very reason Athanasius was also the most important and tenacious adversary of the Arian heresy, which at that time threatened faith in Christ, reduced to a creature “halfway” between God and man, according to a recurring tendency in history which we also see manifested today in various forms.

In all likelihood Athanasius was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in about the year 300 A.D. He received a good education before becoming a deacon and secretary to the Bishop of Alexandria, the great Egyptian metropolis. As a close collaborator of his Bishop, the young cleric took part with him in the Council of Nicaea, the first Ecumenical Council, convoked by the Emperor Constantine in May 325 A.D. to ensure Church unity. The Nicene Fathers were thus able to address various issues and primarily the serious problem that had arisen a few years earlier from the preaching of the Alexandrian priest, Arius...

In 328 A.D., when Bishop Alexander died, Athanasius succeeded him as Bishop of Alexandria. ...At least five times - during the 30 years between 336 and 366 A.D. - Athanasius was obliged to abandon his city, spending 17 years in exile and suffering for the faith. But during his forced absences from Alexandria, the Bishop was able to sustain and to spread in the West, first at Trier and then in Rome, the Nicene faith as well as the ideals of monasticism, embraced in Egypt by the great hermit, Anthony, with a choice of life to which Athanasius was always close.

St Anthony, with his spiritual strength, was the most important champion of St Athanasius’ faith. Reinstated in his See once and for all, the Bishop of Alexandria was able to devote himself to religious pacification and the reorganization of the Christian communities. He died on 2 May 373, the day when we celebrate his liturgical Memorial. ...

Lastly, Athanasius also wrote meditational texts on the Psalms, subsequently circulated widely, and in particular, a work that constitutes the bestseller of early Christian literature: The Life of Anthony, that is, the biography of St Anthony Abbot. It was written shortly after this Saint’s death precisely while the exiled Bishop of Alexandria was staying with monks in the Egyptian desert. Athanasius was such a close friend of the great hermit that he received one of the two sheepskins which Anthony left as his legacy, together with the mantle that the Bishop of Alexandria himself had given to him.

The exemplary biography of this figure dear to Christian tradition soon became very popular, almost immediately translated into Latin, in two editions, and then into various Oriental languages; it made an important contribution to the spread of monasticism in the East and in the West.

It was not by chance that the interpretation of this text, in Trier, was at the centre of a moving tale of the conversion of two imperial officials which Augustine incorporated into his Confessions (cf. VIII, 6, 15) as the preamble to his own conversion.

Moreover, Athanasius himself showed he was clearly aware of the influence that Anthony’s fine example could have on Christian people. Indeed, he wrote at the end of this work: “The fact that his fame has been blazoned everywhere, that all regard him with wonder, and that those who have never seen him long for him, is clear proof of his virtue and God’s love of his soul. For not from writings, nor from worldly wisdom, nor through any art, was Anthony renowned, but solely from his piety towards God. That this was the gift of God no one will deny.

“For from whence into Spain and into Gaul, how into Rome and Africa, was the man heard of who dwelt hidden in a mountain, unless it was God who makes his own known everywhere, who also promised this to Anthony at the beginning? For even if they work secretly, even if they wish to remain in obscurity, yet the Lord shows them as lamps to lighten all, that those who hear may thus know that the precepts of God are able to make men prosper and thus be zealous in the path of virtue” (Life of Anthony, 93, 5-6).... "

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1: St Joseph the Worker, Class I

Georges de la Tour, 1640s
Feasts of St Joseph have had a rather tumultuous history over the last two centuries. 

Traditionally in the West at least, March 19 was Saint Joseph's Day. 

But in 1870 Pope Pius IX declared St Joseph patron of the universal Church and instituted another feast, with an octave, to be held on Wednesday in the second week after Easter.

This was abolished, however, by Pope Pius XII in 1955, when he established the Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker", to be celebrated on 1 May, in order to displace socialist celebrations on that date, a feast that is perhaps arguably looking somewhat outdated today. 

In the Novus Ordo calendar, it is an optional memorial only, and so not celebrated this year being displaced by Low Sunday; but in the 1962 calendar, it remains a solemnity.  Oh well, great saints deserve lots of festivities!