Monday, 28 September 2015
Today is the Feast of Good "King" Wenceslaus, in fact a Duke, and now Patron Saint of Bohemia, the City of Prague, and, by extension, the whole Czech Republic. The following biography is taken from Catholic Online:
Patron saint of Bohemia, parts of Czech Republic, and duke of Bohemia frorn 924-929. Also called Wenceslas, he was born near Prague and raised by his grandmother, St. Ludmilla, until her murder by his mother, the pagan Drahomira. Wenceslaus's mother assumed the regency over Bohemia about 920 after her husband's death, but her rule was so arbitrary and cruel in Wenceslaus' name that he was compelled on behalf of his subjects to overthrow her and assume power for himself in 924 or 925. A devout Christian, he proved a gifted ruler and a genuine friend of the Church. German missionaries were encouraged, churches were built, and Wenceslaus perhaps took a personal vow of poverty Unfortunately, domestic events proved fatal, for in 929 the German king Heinrich I the Fowler (r. 919-936) invaded Bohemia and forced Wenceslaus to make an act of submission. This defeat, combined with his pro-Christian policies, led a group of non-Christian nobles to conspire against him. On September 28, 919, a group of knights under the leadership of Wenceslaus' brother Boreslav assassinated the saint on the doorstep of a church. Virtually from the moment of his death, Wenceslaus was considered a martyr and venerated as a saint. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and his remains were translated to the church of St. Vitus in Prague which became a major pilgrimage site. The feast has been celebrated at least since 985 in Bohemia, and he is best known from the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslaus."
.. So an excuse for an unseasonal carol (and a rather interesting version):
Ora pro nobis
A happy Feast, especially to any Czech readers that I may have.
Friday, 25 September 2015
Recently, I posted about the tragic deaths of a number of our Muslim brethren in the accident involving a collapsing crane in Mecca at the height of their Hajj pilgrimage, and so it is with even greater sadness that I read yesterday evening of an even greater number of deaths in a mass stampede during another part of the same pilgrimage.
While I cannot agree with many of the tenets of Islam - to do so would be to deny my own Christian Faith - I do believe that the majority of Muslims are decent people, striving to follow many of the ideals that Christ Himself taught (after all, they regard Him as great prophet), and to find their way to God, or Allah as they would call Him, in the ways that they understand. I therefore pray that Our Lord, in His mercy will grant a way to Heaven to the many innocent souls who lost their bodily lives in Mecca, in the very act of aiming to give Him worship.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon them:
May they rest in peace.
Monday, 21 September 2015
Thursday, 17 September 2015
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Today's Feast follows that of the Exaltation of the Cross, and recalls how Our Blessed Lady shared in the sufferings of her Divine Son, as was prophesied by the old man, Simeon, when Our Infant Lord was presented in the Temple:
"Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and a sign that is spoken against (and sword of sorrow will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:34-35)
The Seven Sorrows (or Dolours) of Our Blessed Mother are:
- Simeon's prophecy itself;
- The flight into Egypt (very pertinent at the moment, given the refugee crisis in the Middle East)
- The loss of the child Jesus in the Temple for 3 days (a portent of His burial)
- The meeting of Jesus and His Mother on the way to Calvary
- The Crucifixion
- The piercing of Christ's side and the placing of His dead body into Our Lady's arms
- The burial of Jesus
|The Dolour Rosary|
Finally, the hymn 'Stabat Mater', best known from the Stations of the Cross devotion, is also associated with this Feast, forming the Sequence at Mass.