Thursday, October 28, 2021

New Missals For the Traditional Latin Mass

It’s really encouraging to see how many new resources are being produced these days to help people pray the traditional liturgy, and we are very glad to share this news of another. A company called Via Providence has recently issues two new hand Missals for the faithful, the Marian Missal for the Mass of the Ages, and the fuller Marian Sunday Missal for the Mass of the Ages. (Ordering information at the links.) The former (64 pages) has the Ordo Missae with the propers of the feast of the Immaculate Heart, celebrated on August 22, and used as a votive Mass on First Saturdays. The title font used throughout is Benedict, a new, hand drawn font by artist Daniel Mitsui. The new typesetting and original drawings make it easy to follow the actions on the altar and will aid the faithful as they pray the Mass. The beautiful, traditional artwork throughout echoes the depth and richness of the rite. The inclusion of common devotions before and after Communion by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ambrose, and others, help the faithful prepare to receive our Lord then carry Him into the world. The latter (148 pages) also includes all of the propers in English for Sundays and Holy Days throughout the year. The two-color printing aids the faithful in navigating between the propers and the Mass.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

“The New American Catholic”: A Documentary from 1968

Following up on Peter’s post on Monday, “An American Layman Reminisces about Liturgical Upheaval”, here is a fascinating documentary broadcast on NBC in mid-1968 about “The New American Catholic”, which proves the truth of the adage that nothing goes out of fashion so quickly as modernity.

As someone raised in the Church in the 1970s, I found all the talk here about “renewal” (et similia) simultaneously funny and saddening. Funny, because in 1968, people did evidently still think, quite sincerely, and despite many warning signs to the contrary (signs that Vatican II had told Catholics to look for and read) that conforming the Church to the modern secularized world, embracing its culture and its concerns, was somehow going to be a roaring success; saddening, because the failure of it all could not have been more complete, and all the more so because, even today, so many people in the Church refuse to recognize this singularly unmistakable fact.

There are quite a few things here which I thought were noteworthy, although not, alas, as signs of the once-promised New Pentecost™. The young bishop who appears several times, James Shannon, auxiliary of St Paul-Minneapolis, resigned from that office later that year in protest against Humanae Vitae, which (using some of the cant of his era which has of late become fashionable again) he called a “rigid teaching”, declaring God’s law “impossible to observe.” The following year, he would marry civilly without lawful dispensation, for which he was suspended a divinis. This is particularly ironic because the Second Vatican Council, to which the soon-to-be-Mister Shannon refers several times as the source and cause of all the “renewal” that was going on, had also reiterated the Church’s perennial teaching on the use of artificial contraception. (Gaudium et Spes 51)
From about 16:00 forward, we see several scenes of what was for that era a very modern (i.e. broadly desacralized) Mass: an ugly poncho vestment, guitar players processing in with people waving posters, lots of clapping, people calling out their prayer intentions; but perhaps the most absurd part of all is the setting, as people seem to be sitting around the tables of the school cafeteria. (The scenes of the Mass are interspersed with other signs of “renewal”, including a young woman teaching children from a poor neighborhood how to sing Kumbaya... as if their lives weren’t difficult enough...) The celebrant, Fr William Nerin, a priest of the diocese of Oklahoma, left the priesthood in 1975.
In regard to the Mass, I make bold to repeat here a superb observation made by one of our regular commenters, Mr Glenn Ricketts, on Monday’s post. “... any ‘effectiveness’ in the garish scenes depicted here ... depended on being familiar with the old liturgy that was abruptly discarded. The new rites were ‘effective’ because of the striking, often shocking, contrast they posed against the traditional way of celebrating Mass, an in-your-face gesture apropos of the 1960’s countercultural upheavals. But after the initial shock to those raised in the old rite, the reforms proved to have no lasting symbolic substance or aesthetic power of their own. Now they are simply boring and bland beyond imagination.”
so groovy...
At 30:38, we meet Fr James Groppi of the archdiocese of Milwaukee, a well-known civil rights activist. This is perhaps the saddest case of all, a priest who seems to have completely forgotten the things of heaven for the sake of concerns which, however worthy and laudable in themselves, are concerns of this world which passeth away. “Now you ask me, what do I think about the Catholic Church? To tell you the truth, I don’t even think about it.” In 1976, Fr Groppi left the priesthood.
Of course, no documentary on American Catholicism in the 1960s would be complete without an appearance of the National Catholic Reporter, and at 2:55, we briefly meet the publisher, Donald Thorman. Later that year, Bishop Charles Helmsing of Kansas City forcefully (and altogether rightly) condemned the paper “for its disregard and denial of the most sacred values of our Catholic faith”, asking the editors, as a matter of honesty, to remove the word “Catholic” from its masthead. This request has, of course, gone unheeded, even as the NCRep has effectively repudiated the Catholic Faith more and more thoroughly with each passing year.
At about 35:45, then-still-Bishop Shannon introduces us to Vatican II’s Decree on Religious Life Perfectae Caritatis, and the general review and rethinking of how religious orders lived. This brings us to Sister Anita Caspari, the Mother General of the Immaculate Heart Sisters, who famously steered her order to almost complete dissolution with the “help” of psychologist Carl Rogers. In an interview with Dr William Marra, titled “The Story of a Repentant Psychologist”, one of Rogers’ collaborators, Dr William Coulson, gave an agonizing account of how the IHM community in Los Angeles was destroyed.
The penultimate section (42:24 to 48:20) is dedicated to women religious who had left the traditional forms of community life and broken up into small groups, the better (so they thought) to dedicate themselves to the service of the poor. In the midst of this part, Bishop Victor Reed of Oklahoma addresses this phenomenon, and concludes by saying that “as long as the persons involved are persons of good reputation, and their expressed intentions are good, those in authority should permit them... to experiment, and perhaps find a new and better way in which to serve the Lord than that to which they have been accustomed, and in which they have found some personal difficulties.” Bishop Reed died in September of 1971. By the time his successor, John Quinn, was moved to San Francisco in February of 1977, the number of women religious in the diocese had dropped from 630 to 268, a decrease of well over half. As of two years ago, there were 69, a decrease of almost 90% from their height just after the end of Vatican II. (Statistics from

TLM Requiem in Brooklyn, Nov. 4

On Thursday, November 4th, the church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Brooklyn, New York, will have a Sung Requiem Mass for Xavier High School’s recently deceased Latin teacher, Dr Philip Caliendo, who spent nearly 30 years educating Xavier boys from the neighborhood and all around the Tri-State area. There will be a comprehensive program with translation and cues for those new to the Latin Rite and the music will be very fine. The Mass will begin at 7 pm; the church is located at 245 Prospect Park West.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Beautiful New Liturgical Calendar Posters from Sophia Press

We are very glad to share this press release from Sophia Institute Press about their wonderful new illustrated liturgical calendars in poster form. Those currently available to order are for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and the time after Epiphany; more will be coming out in the future for the rest of the liturgical year. Dr Kwasniewski recently reviewed them for Rorate Caeli.

A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old expression says, and writers and storytellers know that it is better to show than tell. Sophia Institute Press is thus presenting “The Illustrated Liturgical Year Calendar.” These new posters are an important resource for parishes, classes, and families to envision the true meaning of Church seasons and feasts. Michaela Harrison, a mother, artist, and Benedictine oblate, along with her husband and two sisters, designed this set of fully illustrated calendar posters, that follow the traditional liturgical calendar. The calendar posters may be ordered as a seasonal set or one-year subscription.

(The full poster for Advent; click to enlarge. Each day of the week has a Saint or an illustration pertinent to the season; the artists have been clever about making sure all the relevant liturgical information is included in its appropriate place.)
(Detail of the first week of Advent)
(The First Sunday)
Richly colored, ornate illustrations convey stories surrounding Advent, Christ’s birth, and the Epiphany to Candlemas Day. These alluring and authentic renditions exhibit the joy of the liturgical seasons and the rich history of the Church. “The Illustrated Liturgical Year Calendar” is also a conversation piece that serves to attract others to the Faith. Each calendar poster includes charming classical artwork and beautiful detailed images of the Holy Family, saints, families, and children. Scenes and words in the calendar posters reflect how Sacred Scripture is fulfilled in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They also include biblical quotes, themes from the breviary and Dom Gueranger’s “The Liturgical Year,” key inspirational teachings, Latin titles and short prayers.
(Christmas to the vigil of the Epiphany)
(Epiphany part 1, from the feast to the end of the second week)
(The third, fourth and fifth weeks after Epiphany)
Amidst the unfolding of the seasons, these wall hangings help reorient families from a calendar month mindset to that of silent wonder about holy days and heroes of the Church. “The Illustrated Liturgical Year Calendar” also revives mysteries of the ancient Roman liturgy of the Church. The calendar posters feature symbols of the faith, traditional customs for the feasts, and proper colors of priest vestments while helping families rediscover ember, rogation, feria days, and octaves. The Lenten posters feature the cross, and the seven weeks of Easter are presented so that they may be viewed together on one poster. These calendar posters are unique and comprehensive works of art that provide an avenue for learning about the Faith and sharing it with others.

Book Recommendation: Commentaries on Jonah by Joseph Card. Ratzinger and Fr Paul Murray OP (Part 1)

A Journey with Jonah - The Spirituality of Bewilderment by Fr Paul Murray O.P. with God Took Pity a commentary of the Book of Jonah by Joseph Ratzinger. Word on Fire Institute, 2021.

This booklet, just 84 pages long, should be studied deeply by Catholic creative artists, especially those who appreciate poetry and literature, and are motivated to create contemporary and popular works of art that communicate accessibly the noble and beautiful truths of the Faith, so as to bring people into the Church.

Cover art: Carl Mayer, 19th century, fresco, Vienna, Austria
There are two commentaries in this book. One is by Joseph Card. Ratzinger, which was presented in 2003 as the basis for a guided lectio divina at the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina in Rome. It is only 15 pages long, but as with everything that he writes, is extremely rich and rooted in the tradition of the Church Fathers. This is an important addition, for, without a true understanding of the Church’s Holy Tradition, even the Scriptures are robbed of their authority. The other commentary, which takes up the bulk of the book, about 60 pages, is by Father Paul Murray O.P., who brings to light very similar themes but in a different way. We are presented with a range of spiritual and psychological insights throughout the centuries from a wide variety of artists and commentators, Catholic, non-Catholic Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular. Implicit within Fr Murray’s commentary is a template for engagement with non-Catholics through the wider culture, as he shows us how the themes of Jonah have universal meaning, and can be used to speak, potentially, to all of humanity.

He dwells on contemporary themes in this regard, and shows how the themes of Jonah might offer hope to those who are miserable in today’s world: for example, the inclination to identify as spiritual-and-not-religious (which might also be described as a phenomenon of multiple religions with a membership of one). Dissatisfied with pure materialism, and in search of a spiritual life, people look first to their own spirits in an inwardly-directed search. It is from the vantage point of our spirits that we can see, so to speak, the Holy Spirit, but so many people conflate the window with the view, and identify themselves as the god who sets the parameters for their spiritual lives. They thereby close in on themselves and exclude the very thing they yearn for, the living God.

This is the first of three articles in which I lay out a general template for evangelization and cultural renewal inspired by a reading of this short book. Who’d have thought a little book about Jonah could do this?!

I want to explain this in some detail, and so I will present this review in three parts focusing in turn on:

1. The message of Jonah
2. The evidence, through the example of many commentators, of the universal appeal of this message through time and hence its potential to connect to people today
3. How this message of hope and joy can be communicated via contemporary culture, and the importance of the study of great works of art of the past for those who are to create the contemporary culture.

The first part will be my best attempt to represent the tradition of the Church in regard to the book of Jonah, particularly as communicated through this commentary. Parts two and three, which follow in the coming weeks, will be more personal responses to the content, and will contain more of my opinions and reflections about the issues being raised.

1. A summary of the meaning of the book of Jonah
What comes through to me in reading these commentaries is just how important the book of Jonah has been in giving Christians a deeper understanding of the Faith, and, once understood, in inspiring and guiding them to go on in their mission of evangelization so as to bring all people into the Church. The book of Jonah speaks strongly of the great mercy that God has for all people who choose freely to come to Him.

Jonah is a man who is flawed in so many ways, yet he is the one whom God, in his infinite wisdom, charged with the mission of converting the non-Jewish Ninevites. His response is often poor and less than inspiring: he tries to run away in order to escape from the responsibility of his mission; he is angry at God for showing mercy to non-Jews; and bewildered by how God chases him down and the depth of His mercy and compassion. But despite all this, his faith in God prevails, and he ultimately goes on to fulfill that mission (and along the way, he converts also the sailors of the boat in which he takes passage.)

By this, remarkably, he has become in the eyes of the Church a type for Christ. The story of Jonah follows the pattern of salvation history, and therefore directs us to our own participation in the Faith and ultimate end as Christians. As such, it is relevant to every single one of us today. As Card. Ratzinger puts it:
The book of Jonah is not narrating events that took place in the distant past; it is a parable. In the mirror of this parable-story both the future and the present become visible. The present is explained over and over again to different generations, and it is only the light of the future - ultimately in that light that comes from God - that the present can be understood and lived correctly. This parable is consequently a prophecy. It sheds God’s light on time and thereby clarifies for us the direction we must take so that the present may unfold into the future and not go to ruin.
The importance of this Old Testament book to the Christian life through the centuries is made clear when one realizes that in the Byzantine churches, the whole book is proclaimed in full at the Easter vigil; furthermore, the canticle of Jonah is sung weekly during Lent, and hymns that communicate some aspect of traditional Scriptural commentary on the book are sung every single day of the year during Morning Prayer. I am not a Scripture scholar and wary of misrepresenting the message, I thought that the simplest and safest way for me to present a summary of the meaning of the book Jonah would be to use the words of the Church herself, as proclaimed on her liturgy.

First, here are two hymns that are sung on the feast of Jonah:
To the Ninevites, you were a trumpet sounding forth the fearful threats of Heaven’s judgments, at which they repented wholeheartedly. From the belly of the whale, you foreshadowed the divine resurrection of the Lord to the whole world. Therefore, entreat Him to bring up from the pit all of us who honor you, O Jonah, as a prophet beloved of God.
You passed three days and nights within the belly of the whale, showing the descent of the Lord into the belly of Hades. When He had freely suffered his Passion, He rose from the tomb on the third day. Therefore, we honor you, O prophet Jonah, who were counted worthy to be a type of Christ.
A Russian icon of the Prophet Jonah, from the cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
For Christians, the fact that a man so clearly imperfect and flawed can, by God’s grace, be a type of Christ, demonstrates that it is also possible for each of us to participate in that type as members of His mystical body. In this scenario, we are at various times those to whom the Gospel is preached, and those who accept its message - the Ninevites and the sailors on the boat. And we are all Jonah too, flawed people whose lives and words might speak of the Gospel once we are reborn and have put on Christ through the triple sacrament of baptism, confirmation, and communion. Like Jonah we can, despite our ground state as fallen humanity, be elevated in Christ, and becomes icon of Him who draw others into the Church.

Given that Jonah is a type of Christ, his story can legitimately be connected to any liturgical celebration, to any aspect of Salvation History, and to any aspect of the Christian life. For to the degree that any feast relates to Christ, it relates in some respect to Jonah also. For example, here is a hymn about Jonah from September 14th, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:
Jonah stretched out his hands in prayer in the form of a Cross within the belly of the whale, plainly prefiguring the saving Passion. Cast out from there after three days, he foreshadowed the marvelous Resurrection of Christ our God, who was crucified in the flesh and enlightened the world by the His rising on the third day.
And on the Nativity of the Lord, December 25th, two hymns:
The whale ejected Jonah from its belly, as it had received him, like a newborn baby from the womb. So also did the Word dwell within the Virgin’s womb, taking flesh and being born of her, yet leaving her intact. He left her virginity untouched in the woman who gave Him birth.

The fish vomits Jonah

Submerged in the depths of the sea, Jonah begged You to come and still the storm. We who are wounded by the dart of the Devil, O Christ, call upon you as the slayer of evil, asking You to come quickly and deliver us from laziness.
Jonah thrown into the sea
I illustrate the post this week with images from the catacombs of Rome dating from the 3rd or 4th-century. Fr. Murray referred to these in his essay (I was not aware of them before I read this book.) One imagines Christians venerating and regarding these simple wall paintings as they heard the Scriptures read, and the hymns and commentaries of their day being sung throughout the liturgical year.

When sacred art is used for its highest purpose, that is, to engage the eye during prayer and worship, it does not replace or substitute Scripture or the words of liturgical hymns. Rather, it acts in harmony with what is heard or sung, and acts a portal through which the person engages with the truths that Scripture and hymn also point to. Subsequently, each time a familiar painting of Jonah is seen, it brings to mind not simply the scene depicted, but also in some way all that we know of Jonah. It is just as when we see the face of a person we have known for years and love - all that we know and love about that person, their essence, as it were, is made present for us in the single moment that we behold them lovingly. In this way, sacred art has a unique and special power to engage us and direct us to the mysteries of the Faith. So, for example, when we see the image of a figure thrown out of the boat, we recognize that this is Jonah, and in that moment the essence of the person Jonah, not just this particular part of his story, is brought to mind in some way too. And through this, we are led to a deeper relationship with the person that Jonah points us to, Jesus Christ.

Jonah rests in the shade of a gourd
This is an important distinction between the role of image and of the written word in communicating and reinforcing the Faith. Christianity is a religion of the Person, not of the book. Images are a necessary bridge that spans the divide between the book, which tells us about the person, and the person himself, and those images that are frequently venerated in the context of prayer and worship will do this most powerfully. The Church has mandated the veneration of sacred art ever since the 7th Ecumenical Council in 787AD, so as stimulate our capacity for a personal connection with those who are portrayed. Images, therefore, used in conjunction with words reinforce the Faith in our hearts in a unique way, fulfilling a role that the written word alone cannot.

One might say that as a general principle, a culture of beauty does this - it connects the perceptible and engaging with the imperceptible and real, penetrating and revealing in some way, the mystery of faith.

Monday, October 25, 2021

An American Layman Reminisces about Liturgical Upheaval

New Liturgical Movement is grateful to James Ignatius McAuley, Esq., for sending us the following write-up of some of his memories of the period of major liturgical change. Today he is a member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and is preparing to receive the subdiaconate. The photos are classic shots from the period about which he is writing.

As a child growing up, I noted changes in the Mass. When I asked why they were done, if the answer was not (ad nauseam) “Vatican II,” it was that we laity had asked for the changes. Then I read The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform by Cipriano Vagaggini, O.S.B. (Alba House, 1967). In Father Frederic McManus’s introduction, he claims that we laity wanted the reform. I had to ask my mom, dad, grandmother, and every older person I knew who was Catholic whether this was true. The answer was invariably the same: “We never asked for these changes. Once they started, they never stopped.” “I was not consulted.” “I was told that it was part of Kennedy’s 'New Frontier' and the space program and that modern man needed a modern liturgy.” Maybe that last comment from my Uncle Dan was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but I could never figure out what poor Kennedy, God rest his soul, had to do with it.

I talked with a priest, the late Father Allan Webber, O.F.M., about McManus’s introduction to Vagaggini’s book in 2009. My fair recollection of what Fr. Allan told me: “McManus was a liar.  The laity, outside of those few involved in the liturgical conferences, had nothing to do with the liturgical reform. The reform belonged to a certain clique of priests—Reinhold, McManus, Diekmann, and some others.  These were the individuals who set up the agenda of the reform here in the United States. Certain priests and laity from the liturgical conferences were assigned to effectuate the agenda. Some were useful idiots like [Robert] Hovda, who was better for a committee than for a parish. Jim, you should take into account that honesty was not their policy. [J.D.] Crichton told me once at a conference that the liturgical goal justified the liturgical means.”

Father Allan’s story is backed up by Alcuin Reid’s The Organic Development of the Liturgy (Ignatius, 2005), especially in Reid’s interview with Crichton. Father Allen was a progressive priest who was somewhat conservative in his liturgical approach. Father Allen supported the so-called agenda but was very reverential of the Real Presence. When I was a undergraduate student at St. Bonaventure (1987–1991), Father Allen was supportive of my use of the St. John’s Abbey 1940 Short Breviary as opposed to the Liturgy of the Hours.
In 1987, when I was a student a St. Bonaventure, I observed that all of the liturgical banners were gone from the University Chapel that were just there a few years before. I asked about this and was told they were out of style. I thought that was strange as I remember being told that banners were part of the Vatican II renewal. As part of vocation group in late 1990, we were asked by Father O.F.M. #1 [name withheld because he is still alive], as to what we could do to bring diversity to the Mass. I suggested we make arrangements to allow with the local Maronite Catholic priest or Byzantine Catholic priest and we could have such liturgies in the university parish chapel. Father Dan looked at me, and spoke most patronizingly: “Now, Jimmy, that is not what we mean by diversity. We do not want any of that Byzantine stuff here. We want diversity. Diversity means you bring non-Catholic people, especially people of color, to our Masses and have them add their spirituality to the Mass.”  Father went on to speak of the need for enculturation of the mass from minorities. Whatever Father O.F.M. #1’s intentions were, what I took away from the conversation was that certain Latin priests did not believe in true liturgical diversity, but were willing to suborn the Roman liturgy for their private agendas. This was very upsetting to me. And it was the first time I had heard the word “diversity” used in regard to racial matters.
In 1992 I was a parishioner at St. Bonaventure’s Church in Allegany, New York.  Our parish priest, Father O.F.M. #2, said we needed to “bring people back to the Church.” “Why were they leaving?,” one might ask. I noted that the high altar was gone and the tabernacle was no longer at the center of the Church, but now on the side, and that people no longer genuflected. I suggested to Father O.F.M. #2 after Mass one day that the tabernacle should be moved back to the center of the Church. Father’s angry reaction shocked me as he blew up at me and said: “This change was called for by Vatican II!” I found my voice and asked where, in what document. His response: “You wouldn’t understand. The Council called for this and we must listen to the Council.” I did not appreciate being talked down to as if I were still a child; after all I had gone to college.

So I looked carefully in Flannery’s book of Vatican II documents and found nothing of the sort. No wonder people left—they were being treated as children, berated for asking obvious questions. If we were now supposed to be (as many were saying) “adults” after Vatican II, we were not treated like adults, but rather as children, and as bad children at that.

In the early years of my life I was disturbed by what seemed to be perpetual changes in the Mass. As a young child, I remember the introduction of lay lectors. Then, I remember the change in language and my parents being irritated over it. Then there was the advent of the folk band with songs like “Day by Day,” Sister Margaret Meade’s rock-and-roll Our Father, and “Let It Be.” Simultaneous with this development was the departure of the Church organist and the end of any Latin in the Mass. Statues disappeared and were replaced by liturgical banners. Confessions were replaced with reconciliation rooms, which involved scary face-to-face confession. We were told to think of the priest as our friend and counselor and discouraged from thinking of the priest as in persona Christi. I remember as a child being told that the youth folk band was for the youth and that the youth wanted it. It was patently obvious to me, even as a child, that this was something a certain clique of adults, not youth, wanted. Funny thing: the hymns changed, “Day by Day” went away and was replaced by garbage like “On Eagles Wings.” When I was a student at Bonaventure, we used to make mocking parodies of these songs.  “The King of Glory” was modified by my girlfriend (now wife) to “The King of Glory comes delivering pizzas, open the doors before Him, give Him a good tip.”

We had the introduction of albs as altar boys and the discouragement of the use of the cassock and surplice beginning in the mid 1970s. Then the introduction of communion with the cup and then “Eucharistic ministers.” Then altar girls began to show up and, as a consequence of that, boys disappeared from the altar. As a young boy, I did not want to be around girls, and when I was older, the altar girl movement seemed to attract “weird chicks” that creeped you right off the altar.

You went from having two Eucharistic ministers, usually a husband and wife team, to a plethora (the “sacristy rats” as a friend called them), all women, who seem to evolve from sacristans to liturgical planners. First standing for Communion came, then Communion in the hand, then Eucharistic ministers. The altar rail went and the tabernacle was moved from the center of the church, behind the altar, off to the side. Then the kneelers were pulled out. In that order. By the time it was all said and done, reverence for the Real Presence had disappeared. And things such as genuflecting vanished and immodest dress appeared in Church.

Holy water fonts begin to be filled with sand to remind us of the spiritual desert. I thought: “I am trying to get out of the desert into the garden of life!” Incense went out and so did the censers, but then it reappeared in the form of big bowls in which the incense was burned, the bowls looking like something out of Conan the Barbarian. Amices were dropped and no one had to wear them in the 1970s (“Jim, the amices are no longer necessary, like the maniple,” to quote Father Allan Webber). Then suddenly, built-in amices as part of the chasuble began to appear everywhere in the 1990s and I was told that this was a (another) change required by Vatican II.  I remember thinking in 1995, “the Council ended 30 years ago, why is this being implemented now?”  As a child, many of the older priests had beautiful Gothic chasubles from the pre-Vatican II liturgical movement, but if you went to mass in a different parish, you might see a priest in a burlap chasuble with strange designs on it. Pope Benedict once wore a tie-dyed chasuble. I could not but help think that this the sort of vestment you wear when you do Mass at a Grateful Dead show.

Speaking of the Grateful Dead, I remember when a well-intentioned priest, trying to encourage reverence, handed out incense sticks to be used when one said the rosary.  Now, anyone who works with the pleasant uplifting Byzantine style incense knows that incense sticks give off an atrocious sickly sweet smell and that these incense sticks are what is used by potheads to cover up their pot smoking. Poor Father!  He meant well, but handing out what some guys used to call “pot sticks” did not create an atmosphere of reverence.

The entrance antiphon, if said, was forever banished for the new “Good morning” ritual. When are they going to do a “Good-bye ritual”? What I found funny is that they justified many of the changes in the mass as a way of eliminating “useless repetitions” such as the second Confiteor, but now we have a double handshake ceremony – one at the “Good morning” greeting and another at the Sign of Peace!

Funerals: out with the black, in came the white. Sometimes the white had the sparkly sheen of a Michael Jackson glove! Wakes with Vespers services from the Office of the Dead or Rosary for the dead disappeared. I remember saying: “What will go next, the funeral mass?” A rhetorical question then, but today most people do not have Masses said for their souls or even a Catholic funeral, but the old shake-and-bake cremation and their ashes get dumped in their backyard by their fallen-away adult children.

Anecdotal evidence, but nonetheless, primary source evidence: experience. Nothing stayed the same. It was a perfect fulfillment of the Marxist theory of perpetual revolution as espoused by Leon Trotsky. In effect, the church liturgical planners, lead by that doofus Bugnini, had developed a Trotskyite liturgy—the mass was never the same but in perpetual flux. However, where Trotsky imagined that the proletariat and peasant would work together to seize power, here we have a cabal of liturgists and their priest allies who have seized power and dictate everything. I guess that is called “empowerment.”

From the 1965 Catholic Encyclopedia

Consider what Fr. Lucien Deiss, C.S.S.p., says in his book The Mass (The Liturgical Press, 1992): “We know that no reform is perfect and that the liturgy, like the Church itself, remains subject to the law that the Council with boldness and magnificence called perennis reformatio, permanent reform” (10). And: “It is here that we can ask the question of what is called the ‘Ministerial Function,’ the fundamental question that concerns all the songs and even all the rites of the liturgy…. The question of the Ministerial Function—‘What do we use that for?’—strikes at the root of the rite or the song. It is clear that if something does not serve any purpose, or if it is at cross-purposes, the rite or the song must be cut at its root” (14-15).

Pure utilitarianism. Everything measured by our own mental capacity at this very moment, our own ability to see and to understand “utility.” What if we are not good at doing that? What if there are more subtle uses we have forgotten about and will eventually rediscover, if only we are patient?

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Feast of St Raphael the Archangel

St Michael is mentioned three times in the book of Daniel, once in the Apocalypse, and once in the Epistle of St Jude, but each time, more or less in passing; the Church’s devotion to him, which is universal and very ancient, derives in no small measure from his appearances in some very popular apocryphal works. St Gabriel is mentioned twice in Daniel, and the second time, gives a speech which prophesies the time of the Messiah’s coming; he also appears very prominently in the first chapter of St Luke, but only there. The only other angel who is given a name in the Bible, St Raphael, appears in only one place, the book of Tobias, but he plays a very much more prominent role within it than the other two do in their Biblical appearances.

The Three Archangels and Tobias, by Francesco Botticini, 1470
The largest part of the book’s narration, from the fifth chapter to the twelfth, tells how the Archangel, disguising himself as a man, accompanies the younger Tobias on a journey to recover a debt owed to his father; delivers him from various dangers, including a demon; and arranges for him to marry a kinsman’s daughter, which makes the boy very rich. Upon returning home, the boy heals his father’s blindness, following the instructions of the angel, who then reveals himself to them, saying “I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. … Peace be to you, fear not. For when I was with you, I was there by the will of God: bless ye him, and sing praises to him. I seemed indeed to eat and to drink with you: but I use an invisible meat and drink, which cannot be seen by men.”

The reference to St Michael in the Epistle of St Jude is actually in a quotation from a very well known apocryphal work, the Book of Enoch, in which St Raphael also figures very prominently. As in the book of Tobias, he “binds” a demon and casts it into the desert (10, 6), and he “presides over every suffering and every affliction of the sons of men” (40, 9); this latter also refers to the meaning of his name, “God heals.” His words in the book of Tobias, “I am … one of the seven, who stand before the Lord”, gave rise to a Byzantine custom of depicting seven Archangels standing together around the Lord enthroned. Along with the three Biblical Archangels, many icons of this motif give names to the remaining four, taken from various apocryphal sources; one is called Uriel, who is also mentioned several times in the Book of Enoch. The names of the remaining three vary; in the 19th century Russian icon seen below, they are given as Jegudiel, Selaphiel and Barachiel.

Despite all this, liturgical devotion to St Raphael is a fairly recent phenomenon. The Byzantine Rite keeps a feast of all the Angels on November 8th; its formal title is “The Synaxis of the Great Commanders (ἀρχιστρατήγων) Michael and Gabriel, and the rest of the Bodiless Powers”, but its liturgical texts make no reference to St Raphael, and he has no feast of his own. (As in the Roman Rite, St Michael has a secondary feast, commemorating one of his apparitions, and St Gabriel has two feasts of his own.)

In the West, a votive Mass in his honor seems to have been fairly popular, and is found in many Missals of the later 15th and early 16th centuries, but I have never seen his feast on the calendar of any liturgical book from the same period. In the Missals of Sarum, Utrecht and elsewhere, this Mass is found together with those of several other healer Saints, Sebastian, Genevieve, Erasmus, Christopher, Anthony the Abbot, and Roch. The following rubric is regularly given before the Introit. “The following Mass of the Archangel Raphael can be celebrated for pilgrims and travelers; so that, just as he led and brought Tobias back safe and sound, he may also bring them back. It can also be celebrated for all those who are sick or possessed by a demon, since he is a healing angel; for he restored sight to (the elder) Tobias, and freed Sarah, the wife of his son, from a demon.”

By the middle of the 19th century, his Mass and Office were usually included in Missals and Breviaries in the supplement “for certain places.” His feast is assigned to October 24th, for no readily discernible reason. Pope Benedict XV, who reigned from 1914 to 1922, took a particular interest in devotion to the Angels. At the end of 1917, he raised the feast of St Michael to the highest grade, double of the first class, along with the March 19 feast of St Joseph. In 1921, he added the feasts of Ss Gabriel and Raphael to the general Calendar, the former on the day before the Annunciation.

The first part of the Litany of the Saints, from the Echternach Sacramentary, written at the very end of the 9th century; in the first column on the left, the three Biblical Archangels are named right after the Virgin Mary, with Raphael before Gabriel. They are followed by several Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament, then Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors and Virgins as usual. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 9433; folio 13r, cropped)
The Gospel of his feast day is the beginning of chapter 5 of St John. “At that time, there was a festival day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; * waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.”

In its article on St Raphael, the Catholic Encyclopedia states that “many commentators … identify Raphael with the ‘angel of the Lord’ mentioned in (this passage)”. A modern note to the same effect is the first search result that the Patrologia Latina gives for the word “Raphael”, and the Blessed Schuster states in The Sacramentary that “the angel who stirred the pool is often identified with St Raphael by the Fathers of the Church.” However, none of these three give any specific citations for this assertion, and the Patrologia gives no results if one searches for “Raphael” in conjunction with a citation of John 5, or any of the keywords of that passage, such as the name of the pool. There is no mention of him in the commentaries on this chapter by Ss John Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria or Bede, nor in St Thomas’ Catena Aurea, or the two most important medieval Biblical commentaries, the Glossa Ordinaria and Nicholas of Lyra’s Postilla; John 5 is not cited in the commentaries on the book of Tobias by Ss Ambrose and Bede. Furthermore, the Byzantine Rite has a special Sunday of the Easter season dedicated to the healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethsaida, with a proper liturgical office, which makes no reference to St Raphael.

The Healing of the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethsaida, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-82), 1667-70. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
I suspect that the real reasons for the choice of the Gospel lie elsewhere. One would be that John 5, 4 is the only place in any of the Gospels where an angel is mentioned in connection with a miracle of healing. [See note below] The other is that this same text is read in a very ancient votive Mass of the Angels, composed by Blessed Alcuin of York in the days of the Emperor Charlemagne. Prior to the Tridentine Reform, this votive Mass was not included in the Roman Missal, but was found in the majority of other medieval Uses, and the Gospel seems to have carried over from it into the votive Mass of St Raphael.

[In the fifth chapter of St John’s Gospel, the end of verse 3 and all of verse 4, the part noted with a red star above, are missing from many of the most important ancient manuscripts, and are therefore marked as an interpolation in modern critical editions of the New Testament. They have nevertheless been received by the tradition of the Church, and are used liturgically in both the East and West.]

Friday, October 22, 2021

An Ordinariate Pilgrimage in Scotland

On Saturday, October 16th, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham held a highly successful day pilgrimage to St Ninian’s, Tynet and St Gregory’s, Preshome in Morayshire, northern Scotland. The theme of the day was to look at the ways the Catholic community had survived the penal periods of the 17th and 18th centuries, and to acknowledge that many of the same strictures faced Episcopalians in Scotland at that time. Indeed, many who attended the day had been received into full communion with the Catholic Church from the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The day began at St Ninian’s with a glorious Sung Mass according to the Ordinariate Rite. This church, sometimes referred to as ‘the Bethlehem of Banffshire’, is a place where the Catholic Faith was ‘cradled’ during the harsh and difficult days following the Reformation in Scotland. It was built in 1755, at a time when Catholic worship was still not legally permitted in Scotland, the oldest surviving Catholic church in the country to have been built after the Reformation. On the outside, it looks like a row of cottages…
however when one enters there is a simple but beautiful 18th century church.
The liturgy was enriched by a small schola of talented singers from Aberdeen, brought together for the day by Dr Shelagh Noden. Matthew McVey played the organ superbly, which his grandfather actually built, and which had its first public performance at the Mass. The principal celebrant of the Mass was Fr Len Black, Group Pastor of the Scottish Mission of the Ordinariate with fellow Ordinariate priests, Fr Cameron Macdonald and Fr Stanley Bennie concelebrating. It was a great joy to be able to welcome 3 novices from Pluscarden Abbey, who with Fr Abbot’s permission, joined us for the day pilgrimage and served at the Mass.

Thinking Out Loud? The Collect of the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Michiel Coxie, Render unto Caesar (1583)
Lost in Translation #63

The Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost continues the apocalyptic theme of this final phase of the liturgical year. For the last two Sundays, the Epistle has made reference to a special day, e.g., the days that are evil or the day of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This Sunday’s reading continues along the same lines. Philippians 1, 6-11 mentions “the day of Christ” twice, along with our need to be to be ready for it. The Introit and the Secret, however, mention our iniquities and our guilt before the Lord, and if He observes them, who shall endure it? (Ps. 129, 3)

The Gospel, the famous passage from Matthew 22 that includes the command to render unto God what is God’s, reminds us of the obligation to make a sacrifice of our entire selves to God, for just as Caesar can have his silly lucre because it is made in his image, so too must we make a complete self-donation to God, for we are made in His image. And that’s a tall order. Perhaps it is this undercurrent of heightened alert that explains the Offertory Verse, which prays for the ability to pray:

Remember me, O Lord, Thou who rulest above all power; and give a well-ordered speech (sermonem rectum) in my mouth, that my words may be pleasing in the sight of the prince (Esther 14.12,13).
We are so nervous, the Church seems to be saying, we need your help to avoid getting tongue-tied.
It is in light of these considerations that the Collect of the day is so interesting:
Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus: adesto piis Ecclesiae tuae précibus, auctor ipse pietátis, et praesta: ut, quod fidéliter pétimus, efficáciter consequámur. Per Dóminum nostrum.
Which I translate as:
O God, our refuge and our strength: be present to the pious prayers of Thy Church, O very author of piety! And grant that what we ask in faith we may obtain in effect. Through our Lord.
The Collect is distinctive for having two appositions, one in the prelude (protasis) and one in the petition (apodosis), and the second apposition comes as a surprise, interrupting the petition. It is as if the author were working it out as he was going along, thinking (or rather, praying) out loud. First he addresses God Who, he realizes, is our refuge and strength. And because He is, He can answer our prayers. But of course, God will not answer all prayers but only those that are pious or just. Thus, the author asks God to be present to the pious prayers of the Church. I like the use of the imperative “be present” (adesse) when another expression could have been used like “incline Thine ear to” or “hearken to.” From the verb “to be” (sum) and the preposition “towards” (ad), the verb adsum can almost mean “Be yourself towards us” or perhaps, “bring your Being here.”
Then comes the surprising second apposition, the vocative phrase, “O very author of piety.” In terms of the structure of a Roman Collect, this outburst is unique and disrupts the normal order of the prelude, and yet it follows the logic of the author who, we continue to surmise, is acting as if he is working it out as he goes along. As Sr. Mary Gonzaga Haessley observes:
The Church prays God to be attentive to her piis precibus; the word piis reminds her that prayers cannot be piae unless God Himself, the Author of pietas, inspires them. [Rhetoric in the Sunday Collects of the Roman Rite, (Ursuline College for Women) 117]
And so the Church exclaims as if she just remembered something fundamental or just discovered something new: “O very author of piety”! Our prayers cannot be pious unless God infuses them with piety.
The final petition, “grant that what we ask in faith we may obtain in effect,” works within the same paradigm. Just as the prelude limits the prayers in question to those that are pious, the petition is limited to what is asked for in faith (fideliter). And just as God is the grounding and source of our piety, so too is He the grounding and source of our petitions’ efficacity. Thus, despite the appearance of being extemporaneous and haphazard, the Collect amply qualifies as an example of “well-ordered speech” (sermo rectus). Perhaps there is hope after all that we will be ready, thanks be to God, for the day of Christ.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Legend of Saint Ursula

The annals of Catholic hagiography contain many legends which are recorded in documents written long after the lifetimes of various Saints, but which per se present no particular challenge to the credulity of anyone who believes in a personal God and the reality of miracles. Many Saints have lived in such a way that we would not expect to find material proof of their doings, any more than we would expect to find a first-century shop with a sign over the door reading “Joseph son of Jacob, Carpenter.” For such as these, we must trust to Providence, the good faith of their biographers, and the Church’s tradition.

There are others, however, which even a very basic knowledge of history demonstrates cannot be accepted as reliable; such a one is the legend of St Ursula and Companions, Virgins and Martyrs at Cologne in Germany. The vast collection of hagiographical learning known as the Acta Sanctorum devotes 230 pages of small type to parsing out how their legend developed from a single inscription in a church in that city into a famously extravagant story. Here we can give only a brief summary of the case; a fairly thorough account is given in the relevant article in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The Martyrdom of St Ursula, by Caravaggio, 1610, generally believed to be his last work. The Saint is shown at the very moment she is struck in the breast by an arrow, an example of the vivid realism for which Caravaggio was praised by many as the greatest painter of his times.
The inscription in question, made in the later fourth or early fifth century, states that a man of senatorial rank named Clematius restored a basilica in Cologne “in the place where the holy virgins shed their blood,” with no further details. The fact that it was “restored” should be taken as an indication that a martyrdom of some Christian virgins did take place before that period. Five centuries later, an anonymous sermon says that nothing was known of them for certain, but gives the local tradition that they were a large company, and their leader’s name was “Pinnosa.” They are absent from many early liturgical manuscripts where one would reasonably expect to find record of a martyrdom as spectacular as the later legend tells it, but an early martyrology mentions Saints Martha, Saula and companions at Cologne on October 20th. Other documents give a variety of names and numbers, including “Ursula”; it is not known how she came to be thought of as the foremost among them, nor how the number 11,000 was eventually settled on as the size of the group. It is possible that an abbreviation such as “XI M.V.” for “undecim martyrum virginum – eleven virgin martyrs” was misunderstood as “undecim millia virginum – eleven-thousand virgins.”

The Clematius inscription, now in the Basilica of St Ursula in Cologne, built in the 12th century over the site where the putative relics of the Virgin Martyrs were discovered.
Their passion as told in the later tenth century is summarized as follows in the revised Butler’s Lives of the Saints. “Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king in Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a pagan king. She, desiring to remain unwed, got a delay of three years, which time she spent on shipboard, sailing about the seas; she had ten noble ladies-in-waiting, each of whom, and Ursula, had a thousand companions, and they were accommodated in eleven vessels. At the end of the period of grace, contrary winds drove them into the mouth of the Rhine, they sailed up to Cologne and then on to Bâle (Basle in Switzerland), where they disembarked and then went over the Alps to visit the tombs of the apostles at Rome. They returned by the same way to Cologne, where they were set upon and massacred for their Christianity by the heathen Huns, Ursula having refused to marry their chief. The barbarians were dispersed by angels, the citizens buried the martyrs and a church was built in their honor by Clematius.”

The inherent logistic improbabilities of assembling and moving such a company are obvious, especially given the chaos of the mid-5th century, to which the medieval legend assigns their martyrdom at the hands of the Huns. In the year 1155, a large cemetery was discovered at Cologne, and the remains therein were accepted as the relics of the 11,000, notwithstanding the presence of many men and children among them. A later elaboration identified both the epitaph and relics of “Pope Cyriacus”, who, after receiving the future martyrs in Rome, abdicated the papacy in order to accompany them back north, where he shared in their martyrdom. This version goes on to say that the cardinals, displeased at the abdication, later expunged his name from the catalog of the Popes, bringing the story down to the grotesque level of the Pope Joan legend; but the story is even found in a breviary printed in 1529 for the use of the Franciscans.

Relics of the 11,000 displayed in the crypt of the Basilica of St Ursula at Cologne, known as the Golden Chamber.
Devotion to these Saints was very strong in the Middle Ages, despite the reservations of scholars who identified the incongruities and anachronisms in their legend. Among the Premonstratensians, who took their liturgical use from the area around Cologne, their feast was celebrated with an octave until the early 20th century. St Angela Merici gave the name “Ursulines” to the religious congregation she founded in 1535, the very first women’s teaching order, and before that, Christopher Columbus chose to honor them in the naming of the Virgin Islands. In the Tridentine liturgical books, however, they are treated with great reserve, kept only as a commemoration on October 21, the feast of the abbot St Hilarion; St Ursula is mentioned by name, but no number of her companions is given. It is supremely ironic that they should share their feast day with a Saint whose life is quite well documented, by no less a personage than St Jerome; however, neither feast was retained on the Calendar of the post-Conciliar reform.
St Ursula and Companions, depicted on the rood screen of the church of Ss Peter and Paul in Eye, Suffolk, England. Photo courtesy of Dr Simon Cotton. 
Numbering as they do in the thousands, their putative relics have been given to churches all over the world. In 1489, the Hospital of St John in the city of Bruges received a portion of them, and commissioned the painter Hans Memling to make a shrine in which to house them, one of his masterpieces. The Gothic shrine has six panels on the two sides showing the story of the Saints.

The Arrival of the 11,000 at Cologne (left), Basel (middle), and Rome (right), where they are greeted by Pope Cyriacus. (Click images to enlarge) In the background of the Cologne scene is depicted the cathedral with its unfinished bell-towers; work on the towers was broken off in 1473 and not resumed until 1842, and the bells installed in the 1870s. The crane on one of the towers remained a landmark of the city for hundreds of years.

The company departs from Basel (left); the group is martyred (center); the martyrdom of St Ursula (right).

Home Altars etc. by M.A.M. Woodworking

Pursuant to our recent articles about home altars and oratories, we received the following pictures from Mr Matthew Manoni of M.A.M. Woodworking ( in Stratford, Connecticut, who makes altars, shrines for home enthronement to the Sacred Heart, and other pieces for home chapels. He has recently teamed up with master carpenter Phil DeFelice, who has done work for a good number of churches and homes; the first seven items here are from Mr Manoni’s website, the altars below them are by Mr DeFelice.

Tenebrae hearse
A home shrine for the enthronement of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart. (This was made by Mr Manoni from an idea of Mr DeFelice, to whom he gives all the credit.)
An outdoor Station of the Cross
sacristy cupboard

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Vesper Hymn of St John Cantius

Today is the feast of St John Cantius (1390-1473), a priest of the diocese of Krakow, Poland, who spent most of his life as a professor at the Krakow Academy, which is now known as the Jagiellonian University, and counts the astronomer Copernicus and Pope St John Paul II among its other illustrious alumni. The revised Butler’s Lives of the Saints recounts two beautiful traditions of the university long observed in the Saint’s honor. (vol. 4, p. 154) He was well known for his generous charities to the poor, and the story is told that once, on seeing a famished beggar pass by the dining hall, he brought the man all of his food; on returning to his seat, he found his plate miraculously filled up again. This was long commemorated by the custom of setting aside a meal for a poor man every day; at the beginning of dinner, the vice-president of the university would cry out in Latin, “A poor man is coming!”, to which the president would reply, “Jesus Christ is coming!”, and the man was then served. The other is that in the ceremonies at which degrees were conferred, the candidates were vested with the Saint’s doctoral gown.

The tomb of St John in the right transept of the church of St Anne in Krakow, the collegiate church of the Jagiellonian University. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons by Gryffindor.)
When St John was canonized in 1767, and his feast added to the general calendar, his Office was given three proper hymns: one which is said at both Vespers, another at Matins, and another at Lauds. Butler’s Lives states that he is the only simple Confessor whose Office has its own hymns in the Roman Breviary; this is both inexact and irrelevant. It is certainly true that the Roman Rite as observed in Rome itself was always very conservative in its use of hymns, and very few Saints of any class have their own proper hymns. But the feast of the Seven Founders of the Servite Order, who were all simple Confessors, have proper hymns for their collective feast on February 12th, and plenty of Confessors, both bishops and non-bishops, have proper hymns which are used in specific places or by certain religious orders. (See these articles on the hymns of St Augustine, Anthony the Abbot, and Bernard of Clairvaux.) The author of these hymns is unknown, but they were composed around the time of the canonization.

Here is a beautiful recording of the Vesper hymn by the choir of St John Cantius church in Chicago, made at the church of St Anne in Krakow where St John is buried. The English translation given below is by Mons. Hugh Henry, taken from the book The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal, by Dom Matthew Britt OSB. (Benzinger, 1922)
Gentis Polónae gloria,
Cleríque splendor nóbilis,
Decus Lycáei, et patriae
Pater, Joannes ínclite.
O glory of the Polish race,
O splendour of the priestly band,
Whose lore did thy lyceum grace,
John, father of the fatherland.
Legem superni Núminis
Doces magester, et facis.
Nil scire prodest: sédulo
Legem nitámur éxsequi.
The law of the supernal will
Thou teachest both in word and deed;
Knowledge is naught—we must fulfill
In works, not barren words, our creed!
Apostolórum límina
Pedes viátor vísitas;
Ad patriam, ad quam téndimus,
Gressus viamque dírige.
On foot to apostolic Rome
Thy pilgrim spirit joyful hied;
Oh, to our everlasting home
The path declare, the footstep guide!
Urbem petis Jerúsalem:
Signáta sacra Sánguine
Christi colis vestigia
Rigasque fusis flétibus.
Again, in Sion’s holy street,
Anew thou wet’st with tearful flood
The pathway of the Saviour’s feet
Erst wet with His redeeming blood.
Acerba Christi vúlnera,
Haeréte nostris córdibus,
Ut cogitémus cónsequi
Redemptiónis pretium.
O sweet and bitter wounds of Christ,
Deep in our hearts imprinted stay,
That the blest fruit the sacrificed
Redeemer gained, be ours for aye!
Te prona mundi máchina,
Clemens, adoret, Trínitas,
Et nos novi per gratiam
Novum canámus cánticum.
Then let the world obeisance due
Perform, O God, to Thy high Will;
And let our souls, by grace made new,
Sing to Thee a new canticle!

Events for the Feast of Bl. Charles of Austria

Tomorrow is the feast day of the Blessed Charles, Emperor of Austria, which is kept on the day of his marriage in 1911 to the Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma. He was beatified on Oct. 3, 2004, by Pope St John Paul II; Zita’s cause for canonization is also in process, and she was declared a Servant of God by Pope Benedict XVI. Our good friend Fr Jordan Hainsey, who works with the Emperor Charles League of Prayer for Peace (Gebetsliga), wrote in to remind us that there are several events in honor of the Blessed going on tomorrow. Details are also available from the calendar of the Gebetsliga website.

In Gainesville Virginia, His Excellency Athanasius Schneider will celebrate a Pontifical High Mass at the church of the Most Holy Trinity, starting at 6:30 pm. The Mass will be followed by the veneration of a 1st class relic of Blessed Charles, and a reception in the parish hall. The church is located at 8213 Linton Hall Road; one of the Bl Charles’ grand-daughters, Princess Maria-Anna Galitzine, Archduchess of Austria, will be present as guest of honor.

In Washington, D.C., a solemn Mass will be celebrated at the church of Mary, Mother of God, starting at 7:00 pm. The Mass will be followed by the veneration of a 1st class relic of Blessed Charles, and a reception in the lower level of the parish building (south of the church), with a presentation by the guest of honor, His Excellency Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen, Ambassador of Hungary to the Holy See and to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The church is located at 5th and H Streets NW (727 5th St), metro exit at Gallery Place/Chinatown or Judiciary Square.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, a High Mass of the Blessed Charles will be celebrated at the church of St Thomas Aquinas, starting at 7:00 p.m. The church is located at 1400 Suther Road.
In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a Low Mass of the Blessed Charles will be celebrated at the church of St Michael Archangel, which is in the charge of the Fraternity of St Peter, starting at 7:45 a.m. The church is located at 703 Jackson Street.
In Funchal, Portugal, on the island of Madeira, His Excellency Nuno Brás, Bishop of Funchal, will celebrate and preach at a Mass for the Blessed Charles at the Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Monte, where his body rests, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

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