Friday, November 05, 2010

The Feast of All Saints : The Apostles

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the continuation of a Carolingian homily commonly read on the feast of All Saints in the Middle Ages.

From among all those whom the world contains, divine providence chose the twelve Apostles… to lay down the foundation of the new faith, and to raise up the state of the Church while it was still young, so that the sound of their preaching might go out unto all the world, and their words go forth unto the ends of the earth. They clung to the true vine, that is to Christ, like branches, whose fruit, abiding forever, corrupts not; to whom the Lord Himself spoke, saying, “You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” And again: “I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.” And whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” And again He foretold that when He should come to judge the world, that they would sit on twelve thrones, and with Him judge the world. To such patrons, as we believe, this day is declared to be exalted.


From the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, ca. 1440. The border shows the legend of the composition of the Apostles' Creed, according to which the Twelve, before dispersing thoughout the world to preach the Gospel, composed the Creed as a sure rule of the Faith, each of them contributing one of the twelve articles. In the center is depicted the legend of the Ten Thousand Martyrs, represented here symbolically by only ten figures.

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