Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Sophia Press Announces Benedictus, a New Monthly Guide to the Traditional Latin Mass

Sophia Institute Press has announced a major new initiative that should be of exceptional interest to Catholics in the USA: Benedictus: The Traditional Catholic Companion. Think Magnificat, except keyed to the Tridentine Mass, making use of the Roman Breviary, and quoting from classic authors.

The dedicated website ( tells us what subscribers will find in each monthly booklet:
Pray the Traditional Latin Mass, with the 1962 Missale Romanum presented in a clear and simple format. Continuous Latin and English text with reduced rubrics are included for Sundays (no page-jumping required), and complete Mass propers are offered in English for weekdays and feasts of each month.

Enter the broader stream of Catholic liturgy with daily excerpts included from both Lauds and Vespers of the 1960 Breviarum Romanum, the official morning and evening hours of prayer used by traditional clergy and religious throughout the world. Excellent for family devotions, which, as a result, will synchronize better with the prayers and atmosphere of the traditional Latin Mass.

Learn at the feet of Catholic spiritual masters each day, with devout meditations curated exclusively from saints and scholars who prayed and loved the traditional Mass, from the early Church to the early 1900s. Guaranteed to be free of soft modernism or fluffy pablum.

Dive deeper into our heritage of Faith through insightful mini-essays on the feasts and saints of the traditional calendar, as well as brief catecheses and ideas for extending a liturgical life into the home. Unlock the riches of Tradition like never before.
Several pages of superb Catholic prayers and chants, proven over generations of pious use. Some are offered in Latin as well as English, to further enable and enrich personal and communal prayer in the mother tongue of the Church.

Contemplate a masterpiece of religious art in every issue, rendered in stunning color and clarity. Thematic works are selected to suit each month, and print subscribers receive a separable holy card with every issue. No weird or goofy or trendy or faux-primitive modern art.

Foster a vibrantly Catholic culture in your soul and in your family circle with monthly pages of edifying prose, poetry, or music. Enjoyable in themselves, the selections are made to help cultivate a thoroughly Catholic imagination. There should never be any opposition between the true, the good, and the beautiful, and Benedictus will demonstrate their unbreakable bond each month.

A sample issue is available at the Benedictus website.

Some might be wondering: Why have a monthly paperback when you can just buy a missal? And I agree, in the sense that everyone should eventually have his or her own complete 2,000-page daily missal. But there are key advantages to a publication like this, which is not meant to rival a hand missal, but to complement it:

(1) For newbies
: there are NO PAGE TURNS required with Benedictus. The whole Mass — full Ordinary and Propers in parallel Latin and English — is laid out, in order, FOR EACH SUNDAY. No bookmarks or ribbons necessary. For someone who is just getting into the TLM, or someone who might on a certain occasion prefer an easy-to-use book (e.g., a mother with small children to mind), or when you invite a friend or relative and want something to hand to them, this could be a life-saver.

(2) For training kids up
to their big hand missal: no more fussing in the pews as five kids simultaneously try to figure out where the propers are... or give up and start daydreaming...

(3) For introducing the family to the Breviary
(and warming up one's spouse to the prospect of eventually plunking down several hundred for a full Breviary!), or, as mentioned, for enriching home prayer time with chants and prayers, which will vary from month to month, following the traditional calendar.

(4) For liturgically-themed table readings
at, or before, or after dinner, or at the time of the Rosary, etc. The commentary/reflections from classic authors in each issue of Benedictus will be one of its strongest features, because no hand missal will have this variety of sources, keyed to the traditional liturgical calendar as it unfolds year to year.

(5) As a daily devotional: one of the most promising aspects of Benedictus will be its fittingness as a daily devotional, filled with the contemplative insights of authors who drank deeply from the Church's ancient liturgical rites. Even the sample issue includes such standouts as Aquinas and De Montfort, Cyril and Thomas a Kempis, as well as devotional writers that were household names just a few generations ago: Gueranger, Goffine, and Schuster.

To all the above: “Yes, please!”
The first issue is planned for August, shipping out in July. As can be well understood, a project of this ambitious magnitude can succeed only if there is a certain minimum number of subscribers to support its publication going forward. (Any subscription-based magazine or journal or newspaper faces similar constraints and demands.) I believe Sophia is looking to obtain 5,000 subscriptions to make it work.

Moreover, generous bulk discounts are available for parishes, so it would be very worthwhile for groups of laity, families, clergy, religious, to get together and place a larger order. 
Sophia is shipping free bulk boxes of the March sample issue, in any quantity, to any church or chapel that asks, so email them (HERE) to request a crate for your own location. They will ship out at the end of February in order to arrive in time for the March week that the sample contains.

Visit the website for more information, to see a sample issue, to read the endorsements (Bishop Schneider, Bishop Strickland, Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP, Canon Matthew Talarico, ICKSP, and Michael Matt), or, most importantly, to SUBSCRIBE.

Those who subscribe now will receive in addition a free copy of my new book The Holy Bread of Eternal Life: Restoring Eucharistic Reverence in an Age of Impiety(For the sake of full disclosure: I am not an employee of the team that is producing Benedictus, but I enthusiastically support what they are doing! In fact, I didn't know they would be using my book as an incentive until I saw it announced on their website. Not that I'm complaining...)

Note: At this time, Benedictus is being distributed in the United States, but Sophia is looking into the possibility of international subscriptions.

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