Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Feast of All Saints 2011: The Prophets and Patriarchs

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the continuation of the sermon for the second day in the Octave of All Saints.
And because this venerable day is dedicated to all the Saints that have been born since the beginning of the world, we must not think it unknown to the ancient fathers, who shone forth with many signs and wonders, curing men of their infirmities, delivering them from every evil, and raising their bodies from the dead. They closed heaven, holding back the rains, and in mercy opened it again. They wept for the sins of the people, setting themselves against the avenging thereof, placating and appeasing the Lord’s wrath. Taught by the Lord, they foretold the Birth of Christ from the Virgin, His Passion and Resurrection, His Ascension unto Heaven, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the judgement that shall come to pass at the end of the world. And most assuredly do we believe them to also partake in this venerable festivity, and have a share therein.
The Prophet Isaiah, from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1509-12. Each of the seven Biblical prophets and five pagan sibyls on the ceiling has on either side a pair of white nude figures. Each pair has one male and one female, with the sole exception of Isaiah; all four of the figures to either side of his head are female, to signify that he prophesied the role of a woman in the redemption of the human race, “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7, 14)

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