Sunday, November 05, 2017

The Feast of All Saints 2017: The Patriarchs and Prophets

From the Roman Breviary of 1529, the continuation of the sermon for the feast of All Saints.

This is also the feast of all the Saints who have been begotten in honor upon the earth from the beginning of the world; of whom the first were the patriarchs, reverent men, the fathers of the prophets and apostles, whose memory shall not be forsaken, and their name shall abide forever, … The descent of their rule ceased not until from their offspring Christ, through the womb of the untouched Virgin, He that is the hope of all nations, being born in the world appeared in glory, and retained to Himself the dominance and sole rule of the entire world. Upon these follow the chosen prophets, with whom God spoke, and showed them His secrets, so that they, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, might be able to know things which were to come as if they were present, and declare them, having become the princes of the people by foretelling the future. Some were known to God and sanctified in the womb, some in their youth, some as young men, some as old. They were found to be full of faith, greatest in devotion, …constant in holy meditation, fearless in the sight of death.

The mosaic over the altar in the Baptistery of Florence, 13th or 14th century. In the middle, the Lamb of God surrounded by the words “Hic Deus est magnus, mitis, quem denotat Agnus. - Here (or ‘This’) is the great God, but gentle, whom the Lamb signifieth.” Around him, clockwise from upper left, the Prophets Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On the left of the central wheel, St John the Baptist, to whom the Baptistery is dedicated, to the right, the Virgin and Child. (Click to enlarge. Public domain image from Wikipedia.)

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