Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Video of the Blessed Ildefonso Schuster’s Episcopal Enthonement

Today is the anniversary of the death of the Blessed Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, who passed to his reward in heaven in 1954, after serving the church of Milan as her shepherd for just over 25 years, and was beatified in 1996.

We have written about him several times on NLM, partly in connection with our interest in the Ambrosian liturgy, but also as one of the most notable scholars of the original Liturgical Movement. His famous work Liber Sacramentorum, known in its English translation as The Sacramentary, was written while he was still a Benedictine monk of the Roman Rite, and although dated in some respects, remains an invaluable reference point for liturgical scholarship. When he was appointed Archbishop of Milan by Pope Pius XI, (who was himself Milanese, and had held that office for six months before his Papal election), he embraced the Ambrosian liturgy wholeheartedly, and as the ex-officio head of the Congregation for the Ambrosian Rite, strongly defended and promoted the authentic uses of that tradition. He also oversaw important new editions of the Ambrosian musical books, which are still used in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Rite to this day.

The Youtube archives of the Italian film company Istituto Luce has this video of unedited footage of his installation as archbishop in Milan cathedral, unfortunately without soundtrack. Particularly noteworthy is the Latin plaque shown at the beginning, which set over the door of the cathedral, and starts with the words “Enter (‘Ingredere’, in the imperative,) Alfred Ildephonse Schuster.” Starting at 1:20, one sees the extraordinarily large crowd in the famous Piazza del Duomo, far too large for them all to enter the cathedral for the ceremony itself, many of whom have climbed up onto the large equestrian statue of King Victor Emmanuel II.

Beate Ildephonse, ora pro nobis!

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