Sunday, September 10, 2023

The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Incline Thy ear, o Lord, and hear me; save Thy servant, O my God, who hopeth in Thee; have mercy on me, o Lord, for to Thee have I cried to Thee all the day. Ps. 85 Give joy to the soul of thy servant, for to Thee, o Lord, I have lifted up my soul. Glory be... Incline Thy ear... (The Introit of the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. This very nice recording omits the doxology, following the custom of the post-Conciliar rite, which is more Trinitarian, and therefore refers to the Trinity much less often.)

Introitus Inclína, Dómine, aurem tuam ad me, et exaudi me: salvum fac servum tuum, Deus meus, sperantem in te: miserére mihi, Dómine, quoniam ad te clamávi tota die. Ps 85 Lætífica ánimam servi tui: quia ad te, Dómine, ánimam meam levávi. Glória Patri ... Inclína, Dómine...

Today is also the feast of Nicholas of Tolentino (1245-1305), an Augustinian friar and miracle worker, the first formally canonized Saint of his order. He was particularly known for his devotion to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and officially recognized as their patron Saint by Pope Leo XIII in 1884.
The National Art Museum of Catalonia in Barcelona has this very beautiful altarpiece, which is dedicated to him and St Augustine, the work of a Burgundian painter named Antoine de Lonhy (active ca. 1446-90. Click to see in high resolution; public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
This was made about 15 years after Nicholas was canonized by Pope Eugenius IV (also an Augustinian) in 1446. At the upper left, St Augustine clothes a novice; this may be a symbolic representation of Nicholas entering the order, since the novice’s face is quite similar to that of the Saint as he celebrates Mass for the Holy Souls on the right. (In the background, an angel lifts them out of Purgatory.) In the middle of the upper section is shown the Epiphany. The lower section has St Augustine on the left, and St Nicholas on the right, and between them, the Virgin and Child attended by angels and the donor, a Catalan merchant named Bertran Nicolau.

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