Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Eve - Te Deum Laudamus

To give thanks for the blessings, gifts and graces received in the outgoing year.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Adeste Fideles

I found this version by Enya which I rather like.

This was certainly the first Latin hymn I learnt: I recall my mother teaching it to me when I was very small...perhaps the reason why hearing it sun by a solo female voice appeals to me.

Have a happy and blessed Christmas.

Happy Christmas

In splendidoribus sanctorm, ex utero ante luciferum genui Te.

 In the brightness of the saints from the womb before the day I begot Thee.
(Ps 109.3 - Commnion for Midnight Mass (EF))

May the peace and blessings of Christmas, and the joy of the Incarnation be with you.

Monday, 23 December 2013

O Emmanuel



O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, expectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine, Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Saviour, come to save us, O Lord our God.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

O Rex Gentium



O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui factus utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.

O King of the Geniles, and the desired of them,Thou cornerstone that makest both one, come and deliver man, whom Thou didst form out of the dust of the earth.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

O Oriens


O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Dawn of the East, brightness of the Light eternal, the Sun of justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Friday, 20 December 2013

O Clavis David



O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit; veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O key of David, and sceptre of the house of Israel; who opens and none shuts, shuts and none opens: come, and bring forth from the house of bondage the one who is in chains, who sits in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

O Radix Jesse


O radix Iesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

O root of Jesse, who stands a sign amidst the peoples, before whom will be shut the mouths of kings, to whom the gentiles make their earnest prayer: come and liberate us, and no longer tarry.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

O Adonai


O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento.

O Adonai, and Great General of the House of Israel, who to Moses in the burning flame of the thorn-bush appeared, and on Sinai did give the Law: come and redeem us with arm outstretched.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Greater Antihons - O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth wonderfully from the mouth of the Infinitely High, reaching from end to end, mightily and sweetly disposing all: come and show us the way of prudence.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembrance Sunday

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Today we remember and pray for all those who gave there lives in the cause of right and freedom  in the two World Wars, and all the subsequent conflicts. We also remember their families and friends, and recall that each of these lives lost represents a tragedy for those left behind. Let us pray for the souls of these servicemen and women, that their time in Purgatory be short, and that they reach the reward of Heaven.

Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine,
Et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace.
...and, to give an idea of how each of these lost lives touches others...



Saturday, 2 November 2013

Feast of All Souls

Requiem aeterum dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
 Requiescant in pace. Amen 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Feast of Christ the King

In the Extraordinary Form, today is the Feast of Christ the King.

This feast was initiated by Pope Pius XI in 1925, in his Encyclical Quas Primas, as D.N. Jesu Christi Regis (Of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King), its date being set as the last Sunday in October.

During the post Vatican II liturgical reforms, the feast was re-titled D.N. Jesu Christi Universorum Regis (Of Jesus Christ King of the Universe) by Pope Paul VI in his moto proprio, Mysterii Paschalis of 1969, designated a Solemnity, and its date moved to the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, which in 2013 will be November 24, so there are a few weeks yet to wait for the celebration in the Ordinary Form.

Responsory Christus Vincit for the feast of Christ the King
Vernacular Hymn 'Crown Him with Many Crowns' - done rather well in Westinster Abbey

Saturday, 26 October 2013

New Blog Well Worth Visiting

Thanks to Mulier Fortis for drawing my attention to a new addition to the Catholic blogosphere. It is called 'Yes I'm Catholic', and written by a young female student who uses the nom de blog  'The Skinny Walrus'.

I have just had a look at her blog, and find her posts thoughtful and well-written, many dealing candidly with issues of student life and how to address them with Catholic faith and morality

It is good just to see a young woman writing about her obviously-strong faith, and her thoughts and advice are sure to be of help to other young Catholics currently in the student phase of their life.

A visit to this blog is thoroughly recommended.

St. Evaristus, Pope and Martyr

Today's feast in the EF is that of St. Evaristus, Pope from A.D. 97 to about 107. The following is taken from the Catholic Online website.

"St. Evaristus succeeded St. Clement in the See of Rome in the reign of Trajan and governed the Church about eight years, being the fourth successor of St. Peter. The Liber Pontificalis says that he was the son of a Hellenic Jew of Bethlehem, and, certainly incorrectly, that he divided Rome into several "titles" or Parishes, assigning a priest to each, and appointed seven deacons for the city. He is usually accorded the title of martyr, but his martyrdom is not proved; it is probable that St. Evaristus was buried near ST. Peter's tomb in the Vatican. His feast day is October 26th."
Ora pro nobis.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Monday, 21 October 2013

Commemoration of SS. Ursula and Companions, Virgins and Martyrs


In the EF today, the feast of St. Ursula and her companions is also commemorated. The following notes are taken from the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition).
"To-day's feast celebrates a group of virgins martyred at Cologne at the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth century. - The legend of St. Ursula's 11.000 companions, killed at Cologne by the Huns, was very popular in the Middle Ages. Probably an inscription: "undecim M. Virg."  meaning: "undecim Martyres Virgines", was interpreted as "undecim Milia Virgines".

Orate pro nobis.

St. Hilarion

Today (in the EF) is the feast of St. Hilarion, a saint perhaps better known in the Eastern Church than then West, but pehaps quite a relevant figure to pray to for some of today's needs, given his associations with the currently-troubled areas of the Middle-East.

The St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition) says that:
"Like St Anthony [the Abbot] in Egypt, St. Hilarion was the founder and organiser of monastic life in Palestine and the spiritual father of many monks. St. Jerome, who encountered Hilarion during his sojourn in Palestine wrote his life. He was born in the south of Gaza in Palestine and studied in Alexandria; in Egypt he came to know St. Anthony, desired to share his solitary life with him, and introduced this form of life to his own country where it spread rapidly. Driven from Palestine by the persecutions of Julian the Apostate, Hilarion went to Sicily and Dalmatia, finally finding refuge in Cyprus wher he died in 371 at the age of eighty."
So perhaps it might be appropriate to invoke his aid for those who are refugees in the Middle-East, especially those driven from Syria, and also entrust to his care the souls of those who died recently, attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa.

St. Jerome also relates that Hilarion had much spiritual warfare against temptation:
"So many were his temptations and so various the snares of demons night and day, that if I wished to relate them, a volume would not suffice. How often when he lay down did naked women appear to him, how often sumptuous feasts when he was hungry!" (Jerome, Life of St Hilarion, 7)
The Temptation of Saint Hilarion, by Dominique-Louis-Féréa Papety, 1843-44 (Wallace Collection)

It is comforting to know that when we experience temptaions, there are saints who have been through it before us and 'made good', and who will be with us and support us when we call on them.

Sancte Hilarion, ora pro nobis.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

St. John Cantius



Today, in the EF,  is the commemoration on the feast of St. John Cantius, being superseded by the 22nd. Sunday after Pentecost. In my home dioces of Southwark, it is also the commemoration of the Dedication of the Cathedral [of St. George].

From the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition):
"St. John Cantius was a Canon and professor of theology at Cracow and later Parish Priest of Ilkusi. He led a life of great humility and wonderful charity. He died on December 24, 1473. In today's Mass the Church extols his love of his neighbour, which has rarely been practised to such a degree. He even gave away his clothes and shoes, letting his cloak trail on the ground as he returned home in order to hide his bare feet. He is honoured as one of the Patrons of Poland."

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy feast, especially any readers in Poland, or of Polish descent, and also to the Parish of St. John Cantius, Chicago, USA, who have done so much to support  the Usus Antiquior liturgy, on the occasion of their patronal feast.


St. John Cantius Church, Chicago

St. John Cantius, pray for us.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

O Queen of the Holy Rosary

...Because it is October...

...Because Our Lady deserves honour...

...Because she has received in its fullness the reward for which we all hope..

...Because this world is in desperate need of her help and prayers...

St. Peter of Alcantara

From the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition):-
"Peter, who was a native of Alcantara in Spain, was sixteen when he became a Franciscan at Valencia. He was a faithful follower of the primitive Rule and led a very austere life. He was one of St. Teresa [of Avila]'s spiritual directors, and encouraged her in her reformation of the Carmelite Order. His great devotion to the Passion of Our Lord found expression in his extraordinary love of penance. He died on October 1, 1592, at the age of sixty-three."

Ora pro nobis.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all of my trust in Thee.
St. Margaret Mary, pray for us.

Monday, 14 October 2013

St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr

Happy Feast!

From the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition):-

St. Callistus I (217-222*) was one of the great popes of the Third Century. As a deacon, he was charged with the administration of the Church's property and with gathering together the bodies of the martyrs; he organised the famous cemetery on the Appian Way, called after him San Callisto, which has made his name familiar. As pope, he regulated the discipline of the Sacrament of Penance, and had to face the schism of Hippolytus. He was probably killed in a populr insurrection and has been honoured as martyr since the Seventh Century."
*Presumably the dates of his pontificate. 
Sancte Calliste, ora pro nobis.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

St. Edward the Confessor

Today, in the EF,  the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor is commemorated, being superseded by the 21st Sunday after Pentecost.

The following is taken from the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition):-

"St. Edward, King of England from 142 to 1066, was known as the Confessor to distinguish him from his uncle Edward the Martyr. He restored Westminster Abbey, was devout, much addicted to giving alms, was affable and peace-loving. His popularity spread throughout the kingdom soon after the Norman Conquest, and it as the Norman dynasty which secured his canonisation by Alexander III in 1161. Innocent XI inserted his name in the Roman calendar. October 13 is the anniversary of the translation of his relics which are still preserved in Westminster Abbey."

St. Edward's tomb in Westminster Abbey

I can't help feeling that there are some politicians and heads of state around the world today, who could learn a lot from taking St. Edward as a role model. 
Ora pro nobis.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis

The Stigma of St Francis by Giotto

I recently posted concerning Saturday's feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and mentioned that it was on that day in 1224 that St. Francis received the stigmata or imprint of the wounds of Christ. The Franciscan Order soon initiated a distinct feast in honour of the event, which was celebrated on the first available day after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which was the 17th. of September. The feast was eventually made universal and added to the Roman Calendar by Pope Clement IX in 1669.

Please pray again for the suffering Church and for our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Happy Feast.

Sancte Francisce, ora pro nobis


Hymn to St. Francis - note especially verse 2

Feast of St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian

Today is the feast of two of the martyrs of the early Church: St. Cornelius, the legitiamate successor of Peter, who faced the schism of the first antipope, Novantian; and St. Cyprian, a former lawyer and later Bishop of Carthage, a great leader of the African Church in the Third Century. The two are linked both in a shared feast-day and by being mentioned jointly in the Roman Canon, as Cyprian was martyred on the day in 258 when Cornelius' relics were transferred to Rome.

Orate pro nobis.

Happy Feast.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Lady

This Sunday the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady is commemorated.
Our Lady of Sorrows

For those not familiar with this devotion, the Seven Sorrows (or Seven Dolours) are as follows:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon (at the Presentation, when the old man, Simeon, told Our Lady that her heart would be pierced with a sword of sorrow)
  2. The Flight into Egypt (particularly pertinent at the present time with the large number of refugees leaving Syria, and the troubles in Egypt itself)
  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (culminating in the Finding in the Temple. A child going missing must be every mother's worst nightmare)
  4. The Meeting of Jesus and His Blessed Mother on the way to Calvary
  5. The Death of Jesus on the Cross
  6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and the Placing of His body in His Mother's arms
  7. The Burial of Jesus

The Seven Sorrows

Devotion to these Mysteries is particularly associated with the Servite Order, notably through two objects, the Black Scapular of the Seven Sorrows (not to be confused with the Passionist Black Scapular. The Servite Black Scapular forms part of the Fivefold Scapular - I'll try and write posts about these sometime), and the Dolour Rosary - this consists of seven sets of seven beads, separated by medals depicting the Seven Sorrows, and a 'tail' of three beads and a medal of Our Lady of Sorrows, which commemorates the tears of Our Lady. The 'Our Father' is said on each medal (including the large one on the 'tail') and the 'Hail Mary' on each bead. Meditate upon each Dolour, as you would on each of the Mysteries of the Rosary. An Act of Contrition should be made before saying the Dolour Rosary, and there is a concluding prayer as follows:
V. Pray for us, O Most Sorrowful Virgin
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and at the hour of our death, the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose holy soul was pierced at the time of Thy Passion with a sword of grief. Grant us this favour, O Saviour of the world, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. 

Dolour Rosary

Sequence 'Stabat Mater' for the feast of the Seven Sorrows

Exultation of the Holy Cross

From the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition):-
"This Feast on September 14 was celebrated originally soley to honour the anniversary of the discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helena and the dedication of the basilicas consecrated at Jerusalem  on September 14, 335, on the very site of the Holy Sepulchre and of Calvary. But today'sfeast is also the commemoration of another event - the return of the the Holy Cross by the Persians in 629. It had been carried off years ealier on the occasion of a Persian victor and was brought back in triumph by the Emperor Heaclius who ad defeated the Persia armies.

The Liturgy of the Cross is a triumphant liturgy; in it the Church celebrates the emblem of our Redemption. The bronze serpent lifted up by Moses over the people was a foreshadowng of he salvation thatwas to come when Jesus was lifted up on the Cross.
 Alleluia verse from the Mass of the Exultation of the Holy Cross (E.F.)
We should unite ourselves in spirit with the faithful who, in the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem at Rome, today venerate th relics of the sacred wood on which wrought the triumphant work of the redemption of humanity."

Today, I would extend this to suggest we unite ourselves also with the Christians of the Middle East and other parts of the world who are still sharing, in a very real and tragic way, the sufferngs of Christ - may thay also have a share in His Resurrection.

As well as the celebrations of the western Latin Church, this is also one of the great feast of the Eastern Rites, so again an for us to be close in spirit with our brethren in the Middle East, and perhaps also an occasion to pray for a healing of the schism between Catholic and Orthodox.


St Francis receiving the stigmata
Finally, it was also on this feast day in 1224 that St. Francis received the stigmata - again occasioning us to pray for the suffering Church, and for our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

More Public Witness to the Faith

Further to my recent post on Religious Habits, either I am becoming more observant, or there is definitely a resurgence in Catholics willing to show their Faith in public.

Sunday: another habited Capuchin Friar, this time waiting at a bus stop.

Today: I wasn't the only person to cross myself and say grace before eating my lunch in the canteen (I have been making an effort to do this for a while, ever since Annie Elizabeth put me to shame by doing so before eating a take away burger on Charing Cross Station when a group of us were coming home following a talk by Michael Voris). Today, it was particularly busy and an elderly gentleman asked if I minded him sharing my table; once he had joined me, his first action was to make the Sign of the Cross and say grace - will remember him in my prayers.


Support for Fr. Ray Blake

Messages of support for Fr. Blake seem to be growing across the blogosphere.

I am happy to repost the image below and ensure Father that he has my support and my prayers.

Thanks to the Bones for posting this.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Fr. Ray Blake

Fr. Ray Blake

Fr. Ray Blake has become the target of a less than pleasant article from a Brighton journalist by the name of Bill Gardner. Mr. Gardner has chosen to object to a recent blogpost by Fr. Blake concerning the poor, particularly the homeless, and how it is sometimes difficult and challenging to find ways to help and care for them. In an article in the Brigton Argus, Mr. Gardner has represented Father's comments as an attack on the poor, and implied arrogance and lack of charity on Father's part.


Mr. Gardner

There has already been considerable comment on this from other bloggers, notably Fr. Tim, Mac, Laurence (Bones) and Leutgeb, so I am just going to reproduce Fr. Blake's response here, as he requested on his blog.

"I was saying that the poor, the really poor, turn our lives upside down. I know the local paper pays peanuts and expects its journalists to create stories in order to get onto the news networks but this is just a malicious and deliberate misrepresentation.
"It is very interesting to see what a disreputable journalist can do with a few carefully chosen adjectives. I didn't 'condemn', 'complain', 'blast' etc, and I am pretty certain that some of his other quotes are not my words, especially not, 'test my holiness', I don't speak like that, 'only God is Holy'. Though I admit in an informal moment I might question the marriage of the parents of someone who disrupts the worship of an entire congregation, especially if they consistently steal from the church or other poor people.
"It is interesting to see how an unscrupulous journalist can so easily put an entirely different slant on a simple theological reflection, presumably even basic Christian concepts are beyond the comprehension of some.
"Well, journalists are obviously as messy as the poor; except unscrupulous journalists can do more damage. Perhaps Mr Gardner might like to help on our soup run, it doesn't have to be 365 day a year, once a week would be fine, providing he treats our clients with respect, or maybe he could take Jason or Daryl or Pawel or Dawn out for a cup of coffee or a meal, or just come a clear up the next time someone comes in and vomits or bleeds all over my kitchen because he is drug or has been beaten up.
"Maybe next time I run out of money I could tap him for a few quid when some vulnerable 17 year old girl needs to top up her phone to speak to her mum because her boyfriend has beaten her up or she needs a roof over head because she is sleeping in a tent and it is just few degrees above zero and she is vulnerable, or maybe the next time I am arranging a child's funeral and someone comes to the door in need of someone to talk because they are suicidal I can send them round to Bill's place so he can spend a couple of hours listening to them.Here, to, I am neither complaining, blasting, lambasting or anything else, just asking.
"I understand Mr Gardner's little piece has been syndicated internationally, perhaps kind readers might, if possible post my response."

I know that Fr. Blake is caring and hardworking priest, in charge of quite a tough parish - Brighton has quite a big share of people with problems of one kind or another, and this can be very demanding on a PP (or, for that matter, any minister of religion). From many candid posts that he has put on his blog, it is obvious that Fr. Blake sometimes finds this hard and stressful. What is also obvious is the way in which he continues in his vocation and doesn't give up.

Religious Habits

I don't know whether I have just been in the right places at the right times over the last few days, but I seem to be seeing more Religious wearing their habits in public recently. Could this be the beginnings of a revival? If so, it would be wonderful.

Notably, a few days ago, two sisters of the Missionaries of Charity (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's order) in full habit, got on a bus on which I was travelling and then spent much of their journey quietly praying the Rosary: a splendid example of quiet and dignified witness to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, and quite humbling to be in the presence of.


Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

The following evening, I came face-to-face with a Capuchin Friar, again fully habitted, as I was leaving a railway station, and who wished me a polite 'Good Evening' (immediately putting me in mind of the Holy Father's first greeting from the balcony).


Capuchin Franciscan habits, in readiness for a ceremony of Clothing (source http://www.capuchin.org/)

It's lovely to see Religious dressed as such, and very comforting - just nice to be aware that these people are around and praying for us (I always try to say a short prayer for them, and recall any intentions of my own, when I see someone in habit). It is also important and powerful witness, especially these days when it seems every religion apart from Christianity is making a big thing of distinctive dress (you can't go very far in London without seeing someone in a hijab, turban, burka, orthodox Jewish garb, etc.).

Please pray that more Religious will have the courage to return to the use of their habit.

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