Sunday, June 30, 2013
The Latin Mass: Latin is a Sacred Language

Homily on the beauty of the Traditional Mass in the use of the Latin language. Why Latin? Did you know that the Latin the Church uses is not the classical version? Why does the priest face the tabernacle? Why so much silence?
Traditional Mass Propers: 6th Sunday after Pentecost

Ps. 27:8-9 The Lord is the strength of His people, and the assurance of the salvation of His anointed. Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance, and guide them forever. Ps. 27:1. I cry to You, O Lord my God; do not be deaf to me, lest if You heed me not, I become like those who go down into the pit. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Mighty God, author of every good thing, implant in our hearts a deep love of Your name. Increase in us the true spirit of devotion and sincere virtue so that we may be supported by You and protected by Your loving care. Through our Lord . . .

Rom. 6:3-11
Brethren: Know you not that all we who are baptized in Christ Jesus are baptized in his death? For we are buried together with him by baptism into death: that, as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now, if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ. Knowing that Christ, rising again from the dead, dieth now no more. Death shall no more have dominion over him. For in that he died to sin, he died once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Turn a little, O Lord, and be moved by the entreaties for Your servants. V. O Lord, You have been our refuge through all generations.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 30:2-3 I have hoped in You, let me never be put to shame. In Your justice rescue me and set me free. Incline Your ear to me; make haste to deliver me. Alleluia!

Mark 8:1-9
In those days again, when there was great multitude and they had nothing to eat; calling his disciples together, he saith to them: "I have compassion on the multitude, for behold they have now been with me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off." And his disciples answered him: "From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness?" And he asked them: "How many loaves have ye?" Who said: "Seven." And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, he broke and gave to his disciples for to set before them. And they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes: and he blessed them and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat and were filled: and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand. And he sent them away.

Ps. 16:5, 6-7
Keep my steps steadfast in Your paths, that my feet may not falter. Incline Your ear and hear my words. Show Your wondrous kindness, O Saviour of those who trust in You, O Lord.

SECRET Let our prayers win peace for Your people, O Lord, so that their offerings may be pleasing in Your sight. Grant us the requests we confidently make of You, so that it cannot be said that anyone hopes or calls upon You in vain. Through our Lord . . .

Ps. 26:6
I will draw near and joyfully offer a sacrifice in His tabernacle; I will sing and chant a psalm to the Lord.

POST COMMUNION - O Lord, may we be cleansed and strengthened by the power and assistance of Your gifts, with which we have been filled. Through our Lord . . .
Friday, June 28, 2013
SSPX Declaration on the 25th Anniversary of the 1988 Consecrations

Declaration on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations (30th June 1988 – 27th June 2013)
  1. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the episcopal consecrations, the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X would like to express solemnly their gratitude to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and  Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer for the heroic step they courageously took on June 30, 1988. Most especially they would like to express their filial gratitude towards their venerable founder who, after so many years spent serving the Church and the Sovereign Pontiff, so as to safeguard the Faith and the Catholic priesthood, did not hesitate to suffer the unjust accusation of disobedience.
  2. In his letter addressed to us before the consecrations, he wrote, “I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all churches, in the integral Catholic Faith, as expressed in the Professions of Faith, in the catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with that which you have been taught in the seminary. Remain faithful to the transmission of this Faith so that the reign of Our Lord may come.” It is indeed this phrase which expresses the profound reason for the act which he was going to undertake “so that the reign of Our Lord might come,” adveniat regnum tuum!
  3. Following Archbishop Lefebvre, we affirm that the cause of the grave errors which are in the process of demolishing the Church does not reside in a bad interpretation  of the conciliar texts – a “hermeneutic of rupture” which would be opposed to a “hermeneutic of  reform in continuity” – but truly in the texts themselves, by virtue of the unheard of choice made by Vatican II. This choice is manifest in its documents and in its spirit; faced with  “secular and profane humanism,” faced with the “religion (as indeed it is) of man who makes himself God,” the Church as unique custodian of Revelation “of God who became man” has wanted to make known its “new humanism” by saying to the modern world, “we too, we more than any other, have the cult of man.” (Paul VI, closing speech, 7th December 1965). But this coexistence of the cult of God and the cult of man is radically opposed to the Catholic Faith which teaches us to render the supreme cult and to give the primacy exclusively to the one true God and to only His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom “dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity corporeally” (Col. 2:9).
  4. We are truly obliged to observe that this Council without comparison, which wanted to be merely pastoral and not dogmatic, inaugurated a new type of magisterium, hitherto unheard of in the Church, without roots in Tradition; a magisterium resolved to reconcile Catholic doctrine with liberal ideas; a magisterium imbued with the modernist ideas of subjectivism, of immanentism and of perpetual evolution according to the false concept of a living tradition, vitiating  the nature, the content, the role and the exercise of ecclesiastical magisterium.
  5. Henceforth the reign of Christ is no longer the preoccupation of the ecclesiastical authorities, despite the fact that Christ’s words, “all power is given to me on earth and in heaven,” (Mt 28:18) remain an absolute truth and an absolute reality. To deny them in action is tantamount to no longer recognising in practice the divinity of Our Lord. Hence because of the Council, the sovereignty of Christ over human societies is simply ignored, and even combatted, and the Church is imbued with this liberal spirit which manifests itself especially in religious liberty, ecumenism, collegiality and the New Mass.
  6. Religious Liberty, as exposed by Dignitatis humanae and its practical application these last fifty years, logically leads to demanding God-made-Man to renounce His reign over man-who-makes-himself-God, which is equivalent to dissolving Christ. In the place of a conduct which is inspired by a solid faith in the real power of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we see the Church being shamefully guided by human prudence and with such self-doubt that she asks nothing other from the State than that which the Masonic Lodges wish to concede to her: the common law in the midst of, and on the same level as, other religions which she no longer dares call false.
  7. In the name of a ubiquitous ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and of a vain inter-religious dialogue (Nostra Aetate), the truth about the one true Church is silenced; also, as a large part of the clergy and the faithful no longer see in Our Lord and the Catholic Church the unique way of salvation, they have renounced to convert the adepts of false religions, leaving them rather in ignorance of the unique Truth. This ecumenism has thus literally killed the missionary spirit through seeking a false unity, too often reducing the mission of the Church to that of delivering a message of a purely terrestrial peace and of a humanitarian role of lessening want in the world, placing it thereby in the wake of international organisations.
  8. The weakening of faith in Our Lord’s divinity favours a dissolution of the unity of authority in the Church, by introducing a collegial, egalitarian and democratic spirit, (see Lumen Gentium). Christ is no longer the head from which everything flows, in particular the exercise of authority. The Sovereign Pontiff who no longer exercises effectively the fullness of his authority, and the bishops who – contrary to the teaching of Vatican I – esteem that they can collegially and habitually share the fullness of the supreme power, commit themselves thereby, with the priests, to listen to and to follow ‘the people of God,’ the new sovereign. This represents the destruction of authority and in consequence the ruin of Christian institutions: families, seminaries, religious institutes.
  9. The New Mass, promulgated in 1969, diminishes the affirmation of the reign of Christ by the Cross (“regnavit a ligno Deus”). Indeed, the rite itself curtails and obscures the sacrificial and propitiatory nature of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Underpinning this new rite is the new and false theology of the paschal mystery. Both one and the other destroy Catholic spirituality as founded upon the sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary. This Mass is penetrated with an ecumenical and Protestant spirit, democratic and humanist, which empties out the sacrifice of the Cross. It illustrates the new concept of ‘the common priesthood of the baptised’ which undermines the sacramental priesthood of the priest.
  10. Fifty years on, the causes persist and still engender the same effects. Hence today the consecrations retain their full justification. It was love of the Church which guided Archbishop Lefebvre and which guides his sons. It is the same desire to “pass on the Catholic priesthood in all its doctrinal purity and its missionary charity” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey) which animates the Society of Saint Pius X at the service of the Church, when it asks with insistence for the Roman authorities to regain the treasure of doctrinal, moral and liturgical Tradition.
  11. This love of the Church explains the rule that Archbishop Lefebvre always observed: to follow Providence in all circumstances, without ever allowing oneself to anticipate it. We mean to do the same: either when Rome returns to Tradition and to the Faith of all time – which would re-establish order in the Church; or when she explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the Faith and to reject the errors which oppose it, with the right and the duty for us to oppose publicly the errors and the proponents of these errors, whoever they may be – which would allow the beginning of a re-establishing of order. Meanwhile, faced with this crisis which continues its ravages in the Church, we persevere in the defence of Catholic Tradition and our hope remains entire, as we know by the certitude of Faith that “the gates of hell will not prevail against her.” (Mt 16:18)
  12. We mean to follow well the injunction of our dear and venerable Father in the episcopacy: “Dear friends, be my consolation in Christ, remain strong in the Faith, faithful to the true sacrifice of the Mass, to the true and holy Priesthood of Our Lord, for the triumph and the glory of Jesus in heaven and on earth” (Letter to the bishops). May the Holy Trinity, by the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, grant us the grace of fidelity to the episcopacy which we have received and which we want to exercise for the honour of God, the triumph of the Church and the salvation of souls.
Ecône, 27th June 2013, on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Bishop Bernard Fellay
Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais
Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta

Thursday, June 27, 2013
How Could the Angels Fall?

 Illustration for John Milton’s “Paradise Lost“ by Gustave Doré, 1866

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".271

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272
394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275

414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.  

269 Cf. 2 Pet 2:4.
270 Gen 3:5.
271 1 Jn 3:8; Jn 8:44.
272 St. John Damascene, De Fide orth. 2,4: PG 94,877.
273 Jn 8:44; cf. Mt 4:1-11.
274 1 Jn 3:8.
275 Rom 8:28.

Catechism of the Council of Trent:

Satan presiding at the Infernal Council - 1824.  Painting by John Martin

Moreover, He created out of nothing the spiritual world and Angels innumerable to serve and minister to Him; and these He enriched and adorned with the admirable gifts of His grace and power.

That the devil and the other rebel angels were gifted from the beginning of their creation with grace, clearly follows from these words of the Sacred Scriptures: He (the devil) stood not in the truth. On this subject St. 42 Augustine says: In creating the Angels He endowed them with good will, that is, with pure love that they might adhere to Him, giving them existence and adorning them with grace at one and the same time. Hence we are to believe that the holy Angels were never without good will, that is, the love of God.

As to their knowledge we have this testimony of Holy Scripture: Thou, my Lord, O king, art wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to understand all things upon earth.' Finally, the inspired David ascribes power to them, saying that they are mighty in strength, and execute his word; and on this account they are often called in Scripture the powers and the armies of the Lord.

But although they were all endowed with celestial gifts, very many, having rebelled against God, their Father and Creator, were hurled from those high mansions of bliss, and shut up in the darkest dungeon of earth, there to suffer for eternity the punishment of their pride. Speaking of them the Prince of the Apostles says: God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Traditional Mass Propers: 5th Sunday after Pentecost

Ps. 26:7-9
Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to Thee, be Thou my helper, forsake me not, do not Thou despise me, O God, my Savior. Ps. 26:1. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O God, who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as pass understanding, pour into our hearts such love towards Thee, that we, loving Thee in all things and above all things, may obtain Thy promises which exceed all that we can desire. Through our Lord . . .

I Peter 3:8-15
Dearly beloved: Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble: Not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this are you called, that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil and do good: Let him seek after peace and pursue it: Because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil things. And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer any thing for justice' sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear: and be not troubled. But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you.

Behold, O God our protector, and look on Thy servants. V. O Lord God of hosts, give ear to the prayers of Thy servants.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 20:1 In Thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy, and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Alleluia!

Matt. 5:20-24
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "Unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: 'Thou shalt not kill.' And whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee; Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift."

Ps. 15:7, 8
I will bless the Lord, who hath given me understanding. I set God always in my sight; for He is at my right hand, that I be not moved.

SECRET Be merciful, O Lord, to our humble pleading, and favorably receive these offerings of Thy servants and handmaidens, that what each of us has offered to the honor of Thy Name, may profit us all unto salvation. Through our Lord . . .

Ps. 26:4
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

POST COMMUNION - Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that we whom Thou hast fed with the heavenly Gift, may be cleansed from our hidden sins and delivered from the snares of our enemies. Through our Lord . . .
Friday, June 21, 2013
Fortnight for Christ the King

Fortnight for Christ the King (as opposed to the Fortnight for Freedom): Remember to offer up your Rosaries for the following intention:

That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be recognized by all peoples and nations as the Sovereign King of all creation, including governments, and that all forms of liberalism will be vanquished by the one, true and holy Catholic faith.

H/T Ars Orandi
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Pope St. Silverius

Simple (1954 Calendar): June 20

Traditional Matins Reading:

Silverius was a native of Campania, and succeeded Agapitus in the papacy. His doctrine and holiness shone forth in his pursuit of heretics; and his strength of soul, in his firmness in upholding the sentence passed by Agapitus. Agapitus had deposed Anthimus from the patriarchate of Constantinople for defending the heresy of Eutyches; and Silverius would never allow of his restoration, although the empress Theodora repeatedly asked him to do so. The woman was enraged at him, on this account, and ordered Belisarius to send Silverius into exile. He was accordingly banished to the island of Ponza, whence, it is said, he wrote these words to bishop Amator: 'I am fed upon the bread of tribulation and the water of affliction, but nevertheless, I have not given up, and I will not give up, doing my duty.' Soon, indeed, worn out by grief and suffering, he slept in the Lord, on the twelfth of the Kalends of July. His body, being taken to Rome, was laid in the Vatican basilica and was made illustrious by numerous miracles. He ruled the Church for more than three years, and ordained in the month of December thirteen priests, five deacons, and nineteen bishops for divers sees.


O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Silverius shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . . 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
St. Juliana Falconieri

Double (1954 Calendar): June 19

Today Holy Mother Church remembers St. Juliana Falconieri.  St. Juliana was the foundress of the Religious Sisters of the Third Order of Servites (or the Servite Tertiaries).

She was born the only child of a wealthy Florentine noble family of Chiarissimo and Riguirdata Falconieri.  She is the niece of Saint Alexis Falconieri. Her father died while Juliana was very young, and her saintly uncle Alexis had a great influence on her. Her life was plagued with chronic gastric problems.

Legend says she never gazed into a mirror, never looked at a man’s face, trembled at the mention of sin, and fainted upon hearing scandalous gossip. Juliana refused an arranged marriage at age 14. She became a Servite tertiary in 1285, taking the habit from her spiritual director, Saint Philip Benizi.  She helped form and served as the first superior of the Servite Order of Mary (Servite Nuns, the Mantellate Servites), which was formally established in 1304, and their first convent founded in 1305.

At her death, unable to receive Holy Communion because of constant vomiting, she requested the priest to spread a corporal upon her breast and lay the Host on it. Soon after, the Host disappeared, Juliana died, and the image of the cross that had been on the Host was found on her breast.

The Servite Order was approved by Pope Martin V in the year 1420. Pope Benedict XIII recognized the devotion long paid to her and granted the Servites permission to celebrate the feast of the Blessed Juliana. Pope Clement XII canonized her in the year 1737 and extended the celebration of her feast day (June 19) to the entire Church.


God, You miraculously nourished the blessed virgin Juliana by the Precious Body of Your Son, when she was on the point of death. May we likewise be comforted and strengthened at our last hour and brought safely to our heavenly home through the merits of this saint.
8th Blog Anniversary

Today is the proud 8th anniversary of A Catholic Life.  It's hard to imagine that this blog has been around for 8 years now.  As I look back, it's been with me through so much in life: from my years in high school through all of college and seminary and now several years while I work to promote catechesis.  Plenty has changed in me through these 8 years as I have growth in knowledge and grace (indeed all by the grace of God). I've published an ebook and a paperback (715 pages) in this time and have helped lead the charge to restore Traditional Catholic Culture.  I've grown from a Novus Ordo seminarian-to-be into a committed Traditional Catholic and defender of the Mass of All Times.   As I look back I see the importance this blog has had in spreading the annual Saint for the Year Devotion and the mission it has taken to help restore all things in Christ.

I am thankful for very much over these years including your readership.  I pray that some of you have been readers for many, many years.  Some of you are likely newer readers and I pray that you will follow this blog far into the future.

The mission of A Catholic Life was never founded for monetary purposes or for individualistic pursuits or vain hobbies.  It was founded to serve as a conduit to help spread the Catholic Faith to as many souls as possible.  Today, it's mission is still the same.  Thank you for supporting this blog.

Ad multos annos!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Feast of St. Ephrem the Syrian

Double (1955 Calendar): June 18

Today Holy Mother Church calls to mind St. Ephrem of Syria.

According to legend, St. Ephrem may have been the son of a pagan priest. He was brought to the faith by Saint James of Nisibis and baptized at age 18.  St. Ephrem helped to evangelize Nisibis, Mesopotamia.  He may have attended the Council of Nicaea in 325.

He was a renowned Deacon and Preacher, who had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 363 Nisibis was ceded to Persia and a great persecution of Christians began, and Eprem led an exodus of the faithful to Edessa, where he founded a theological school. He wrote homilies, hymns and poetry (see his Lenten Prayer). It was he who helped introduce the use of hymns in public worship.

St. Ephrem helped fight Gnosticism and Arianism by his writings, including poems and hymns. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1920.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Ephraem was of Syrian descent and son of a citizen of Nisibis. While yet a young man he took himself to the holy bishop James, by whom he was baptized, and he soon made such progress in holiness and learning as to be appointed master in the school of Nisibis in Mesopotamia. After the death of the bishop James, Nisibis was captured by the Persians, and Ephraem went to Edessa, where he settled first among the monks in the mountains. Later, to avoid the company of those who flocked to him, he adopted the eremitical life. He was made deacon of the church of Edessa, but refused the priesthood out of humility. He was rich in all virtues and strove to acquire piety and religion by the following of true wisdom. He placed all his hope in God, despised all human and transitory things, and was ever filled with the earnest desire of those which are divine and eternal.

He was led by the Spirit of God to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he saw Basil, the mouthpiece of the Church, and they obtained benefit from their mutual intercourse. In order to refute the many errors which troubled the Church at that time, and to expound the mysteries of Jesus Christ, he wrote many books in the Syrian tongue, almost all of which have been translated into Greek. St Jerome bears witness that he attained such fame that his writings were read publicly in the churches after the reading from the Holy Scriptures.

On account of his works, so full of the light of heavenly doctrine, he was greatly honored even during his lifetime as a Doctor of the Church. He composed a poem in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints for which he was called by the Syrians the Harp of the Holy Ghost. He was noted for his great and tender devotion towards the immaculate Virgin. He died, rich in merits, at Edessa in Mesopotamia, on the fourteenth of the Kalends of July, in the reign of Valens. Pope Benedict XV, at the instance of many Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbots, and religious communities, declared him by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites to be a Doctor of the Universal Church.  


O God, You added glory to the Church by the brilliant learning and outstanding merits of Your blessed confessor and doctor Ephrem. Defend Your Church against the dangers of sin and error, through the intercession of this saint. Through our Lord . . .
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Traditional Mass Propers: 4th Sunday after Pentecost

Dom Gueranger writes of this Sunday: "The fourth Sunday after Pentecost was called, for a long period, in the west, the Sunday of mercy, because, formerly, there was read upon it the passage from St. Luke beginning with the words: ‘Be merciful, as your Father is merciful.’ But, this Gospel having been since assigned to the Mass of the first Sunday after Pentecost, the Gospel of the fifth Sunday was made that of the fourth; the Gospel of the sixth became that of the fifth; and so on, up to the twenty-third. The change we speak of was, however, not introduced into many Churches till a very late period; and it was not universally received till the sixteenth century."

Ps. 26:1, 2
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Mine enemies that have troubled me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. Ps. 26:3. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the world may be regulated in its course by Thy governance for our peace, and that Thy Church may with tranquil devotion rejoice. Through our Lord . . .

Rom. 8:18-23
Brethren: I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity: not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope. Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit: even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.

Forgive us our sins, O Lord. lest the Gentiles should at any time say, "Where is their God?" V. Help us, O God, our Savior; and for the honor of Thy Name, O Lord, deliver us.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 9:5 O God, who sittest upon the throne, and judgest justice, be Thou the refuge of the poor in tribulation. Alleluia!

Luke 5:1-11
At that time, when the multitudes pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught." And Simon answering said to him: "Master, we have laboured all the night and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: "Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men." And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed him.

Ps. 12:4-5
Enlighten mine eyes, that I never sleep in death, lest at any time mine enemy say, "I have prevailed against him."

SECRET Accept our oblations, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and be appeased by them, and mercifully compel even our rebel wills to turn to Thee. Through our Lord . . .

Ps. 17:3
The Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer, my God is my helper.

POST COMMUNION - May the Mysteries which we have received, we beseech Thee, O Lord, purify us, and fulfill their purpose by defending us. Through our Lord . . .R. Amen.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Leona Karlheim

Leona Karlheim, longtime member of Queen of Peace Parish and a devoted member of their Latin Mass community, passed away this week. A traditional Latin requiem Mass will be offered this Saturday (Jun 15) at 11 am at Queen of Peace. You are kindly requested to keep Leona and her family in your prayers.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli …May the angels lead thee into paradise …

ATTON — KARLHEIM – Leona M., 87, Patton, passed away June 11, 2013, at Altoona Hospital. Born Nov. 21, 1925, in Patton, daughter of Amandus J. and Mary (Dunagan) Karlheim. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by sisters, Regina Strittmatter and Marguerite Kuntzman; and brothers, William in infancy, Ralph and Leo. Survived by daughter, Mary Wilson, Patton; grandchildren, James, Stephanie and Erin; great-grandchildren, Ryan, Justin and Christopher; brother, James Karlheim; sister, Bertha Karlheim; and numerous nieces and nephews. From her teen years into her adult years, she was the organist, pianist and choir director at St. George’s church, Patton. The priest, Father Basil, amplified her organ playing, which was a worship gift from God, and was heard as far as Carrolltown and St. Boniface. She worked in the offices of the coal mines and also continued helping with the family’s Clover Hill Dairy. In the 1950s, she went to National Chiropractic College in Chicago, Ill. Upon graduation, she chose to remain in Illinois until she returned to Patton in her later years and joyfully volunteered at her parish, Queen of Peace, Patton. At Leona’s request, there will be no visitation. There will be a Solemn High Requiem Mass at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Patton, by Benedictine Fathers. Committal, St. Mary’s Cemetery, Patton. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the family

Image Source
Friday Penance Reminder

O Lord, Our God, have mercy on us sinners!

Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's passion and death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.

Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

Thursday, June 13, 2013
The Long Forgotten Prayer to the Emperor in the Exultet of Easter

Image: Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor

Until 1955, the Exsultet ended with a long prayer for the Holy Roman Emperor:
Respice etiam ad devotissimum imperatorem nostrum [Nomen] cujus tu, Deus, desiderii vota praenoscens, ineffabili pietatis et misericordiae tuae munere, tranquillum perpetuae pacis accommoda, et coelestem victoriam cum omni populo suo.
Look also upon our most devout Emperor [Name], the desires of whose longing you, O God, know beforehand, and by the inexpressible grace of your kindness and mercy grant him the tranquility of lasting peace and heavenly victory with all his people.
The head of the Holy Roman Empire alone could be prayed for with this formula, and the resignation in 1806 of the prerogatives of that position by Emperor Francis II of Austria, left that position unfilled thereafter, so that the prayer was in practice not used.  And so, after 1804, the prayer actually ended with the immediately preceding petition for the members of the Church:
Precamur ergo te, Domine: ut nos famulos tuos, omnemque clerum, et devotissimum populum: una cum beatissimo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N. quiete temporum assidua protectione regere, gubernare, et conservare digneris.
However, by the decree Imperii Galliarum of 10 September 1857, Pope Pius IX allowed Emperor Napoleon III of France to be prayed for in the Exsultet from 1858 to 1870, not with the formula reserved for the Holy Roman Emperor, but only by adding "necnon gloriosissimo Imperatore nostro N." to the preceding petition, which became:
Precamur ergo te, Domine: ut nos famulos tuos, omnemque clerum, et devotissimum populum: una cum beatissimo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N. necnon gloriosissimo Imperatore nostro N. quiete temporum assidua protectione regere, gubernare, et conservare digneris.
In 1955 Pope Pius XII added a phrase to the prayer for the members of the Church and definitively removed the prayer for the Holy Roman Emperor, replacing it with a generic prayer for the civil authorities inspired by the prayer for the Emperor:
Precamur ergo te, Domine: ut nos famulos tuos, omnemque clerum, et devotissimum populum: una cum beatissimo Papa nostro N. et Antistite nostro N. quiete temporum concessa, in his paschalibus gaudiis, assidua protectione regere, gubernare, et conservare digneris. Respice etiam ad eos, qui nos in potestate regunt, et, ineffabili pietatis et misericordiae tuae munere, dirige cogitationes eorum ad iustitiam et pacem, ut de terrena operositate ad caelestem patriam perveniant cum omni populo tuo.

We beseech Thee therefore, O Lord, that Thou wouldst grant peaceful times during this Paschal Festival, and vouchsafe to rule, govern, and keep with Thy constant protection us Thy servants, and all the clergy, and the devout people, together with our most holy Father, Pope N...., and our Bishop N.... Have regard, also, for those who reign over us, and, grant them Thine ineffable kindness and mercy, direct their thoughts in justice and peace, that from their earthy toil, they may come to their heavenly reward with all Thy people.
Pope Leo III restored the Western Roman Empire, when he crowned Charlemagne Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, in 800 A.D. In 962 A.D, Pope John XII restored the Roman Empire again, when he crowned Otto Ist Emperor. The actual term “Holy Roman Empire” dates from 1254 A.D.

The Encyclical Quas Primas states that “not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honour and obedience to Christ”, and adds: “nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ”. As a consequence, the Catholic Faith must be the “State Religion”. The State professes it, and encourages its development, while it restrains as much as possible the circulation of errors by virtue of a “tolerance” adapted to the necessities of social peace and public order (restrictions on public worship for false religions and on errors of all kinds, and hence restriction imposed upon the use of mass media): this issue pertains to the virtue of prudence.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Holy Hour Novena of Reparation for Vocations

Holy Hour Novena of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Neglect of and Negligence in Priestly and Religious Vocations

The holy hour is divided into three parts:

1. The first 30 minutes: Prayer of Intention and Prayers of Gratitude to God
2. Next 30 minutes: Prayers of Reparation to the Sacred Heart
3. An additional 3-5 minutes: Prayers of Petition
The holy hour can be done during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, in front of the tabernacle, or at home for the home bound (If possible, the preferred time is between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am because this is when our Lord is most offended.)

This holy hour should be prayed once a week for nine consecutive weeks. Click here for a printable version of this novena.
St. John of San Facundo

Today the Holy Church celebrates the Feast of St. John of San Facundo (1419 - 1479).

Born the oldest son of John Gonzalez de Castrillo and Sancia Martinez, John was raised in a pious and well-to-do family. He was educated by Benedictines at Fagondez abbey at Sahagun. John was ordained in 1445 and held several benefices in the diocese of Burgos, Spain.

Unlike many of his class who took their vocation as a profession, John felt a true call to service and a holy life, and he gave most of the proceeds from his benefices to the poor. Following a grave illness and major surgery, he became an Augustinian canon at Salamanca, joining on June 18, 1463, and making his final profession on August 28, 1464. He became the Novice-master in the order.  St. John would later become the prior of the order in Salamanca in 1471.

He is noted for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament; during Mass, he often saw the Host surrounded by light and sometimes had visions of the bodily form of Christ at the moment of consecration. His devotion, and his visions, often led to some very lengthy Masses. He was reported to levitate during his prayers. St. John could read hearts in confession, and became a sought-after spiritual director. He was a great preacher whose sermons helped change social conditions in Salamanca. His sermons against sinful living conditions, and in support of the rights and dignity of workers brought him the opposition of some local leaders. A duke at Alba de Tormes hired assassins to stop him, but they recognized John’s holiness, and would not touch him, confessed to him, and asked forgiveness. The duke later fell ill and was healed by John’s prayers. Some local women, however, were not so concerned; when he preached against wasting resources on extravagant fashions, some of them threw stones at him in the street.

Miracles were attributed to Father John’s intervention, before and after his death. One occurred in Salamanca when a small child fell into a well. The locals made every effort but could not orchestra a rescue. They sent for Father John who went to the scene, laid his waistband on stone wall of the well, and prayed that the waters return the child. The well water rose to ground level, floating the child to safety.

He died on June 11, 1479, possibly from poisoning.  He was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII on October 16, 1690.  Let us seek out his intercession this day and always.


O God, you are the author of peace and the source of love who conferred on Your blessed confessor John the wondrous gift of being able to reconcile enemies. May his merits and prayers root us in Your love so that we may never be tempted to separate ourselves from You. Through our Lord . . .
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Do SSPX Catholics Lose the Faith? A Rebuttal of Jeffrey Mirus

I would like to suggest the article written by Mr. Riddle for Angelus Press. It is quite good and serves as a worthy rebuttal for an article highly (and unjustly) critical of the Society of St. Pius X. I quote:
In an article that no objective reader would call fair or just, Jeff Mirus posts the apparent reflections of a young lady who grew up as a Catholic whose family received the sacraments from the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X. In addition, it seems the young lady went to a school administered by the same Society, it appears, for all of her education (at least her pre-collegiate education). Mirus begins with a note that while negative anecdotal evidence can be found about any person or group, this “seems fairly typical and dovetails with a very real canonical, theological, and pastoral situation.” With no separate explanations, the reader may ask exactly on what basis this seems “fairly typical” to Dr. Mirus, or what the exact nature of the “very real canonical” situation is – a precision he refused to offer in his response to Mr. Chris Jackson of The Remnant. 

As someone raising six children in St. Mary’s, Kansas – the largest Society community in the United States – and who grew up in a conservative Catholic family, later attending Christendom College – an institution Mr. Mirus helped found – I think I can bring a unique perspective to bear in examining the possible veracity of the young lady’s assertions. Her words will be italicized; my response will be in normal font.

Continue Reading...
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Catholicism in Birmingham

While down in Birmingham, Alabama two weeks ago, I stopped by the headquarters of EWTN and the Cathedral of St. Paul.  I wanted to share a few of the images from the trip in this brief post.

Cathedral of St. Paul (Birmingham)


Sunday within the Octave of the Most Sacred Heart

The Institution for the Feast of the Sacred Heart was a result of the appearances of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675. St. Margaret Mary suffered contempt from many people who refused to believe the authenticity of the visions. In these appearances, Our Lord told her twelve graces that He would give to anyone devoted to His Sacred Heart. Yet, it was not until 1856 that the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was placed officially on the Church calendar. However, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus dates back even to the Middle Ages.

In 1856, Pope Pius IX established the Feast of the Sacred Heart as obligatory for the whole Church, to be celebrated on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi. Pope Pius XII raised the feast to the highest rank, Double of the First Class, and added an octave - that octave was later suppressed in the 1955 reforms, which removed all but three octaves.

Up until 1955 but after the time of Pope St. Pius X, Octaves were arranged in the following hierarchical order:
  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart  <----(Notice its rank)
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents

Psalm 17: 19-20
Look Thou upon me , O Lord, and have mercy on me: for I am alone and poor.See my abjection and my labor and forgive me all my sins, O my God. (Ps. 24: 1,2) To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, my God, I put my trust: let me not be ashamed. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

COLLECT - Let us pray. Make us, O Lord, to have both a perpetual fear and a love of Thy holy Name: for Thou dost never deprive of Thy guidance those whom Thou dost establish steadfastly in Thy love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

COMMEMORATION OF THE OCTAVE OF THE SACRED HEART - Let us pray. O God, Who in the Heart of Thy Son, wounded by our sins, dost mercifully vouchsafe to bestow upon us the boundless treasures of Thy love: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who now render Him the service of our devotion and piety, may also fulfill our duty of worthy satisfaction. Through the same our , Lord Jesus Christ who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.

I Peter 5: 6-11
Lesson from the first Epistle of Blessed Peter the Apostle. Dearly Beloved, Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you. Be sober and, watch, because, your adversary the, devil, as, a roaring lion, goeth about seekinq whom he may devour, Whom resist ye, strong in faith knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto the eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever, Amen. Thanks be to God.

Cast thy care upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee. V. When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 7: 12) God is a just judge, strong and patient: is He angry every day? Alleluia.

Luke 15: 1-10
At that time, the publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear Him: and the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them. And He spoke to them this parable, saying: " What man is there of you that hath a hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing and coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them; Rejoice with me because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you that even so there shall be joy in Heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need no penance. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat doth not light a candle and sweep the house,and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me because I have found the groat which I had lost? So I say to you, there shall be joy before the Angels of God upon one sinner doing penance."

Psalm 9: 11, 12, 13
Let them trust in Thee who know Thy name, O Lord: for Thou hast not forsaken them that seek Thee; sing ye to the Lord, Who dwelleth in Sion: for He hath not forgotten the cry of the poor.

SECRET May the offering, to be dedicated to thy Name, O Lord, purify us, and day by day, carry us on the observances of a heavenly life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

COMMEMORATION OF THE OCTAVE OF THE SACRED HEART Have regard, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to the inexpressible love of the Heart of Thy beloved Son: so that what we offer may be a gift acceptable to Thee, and an expiation for our offenses.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.

PREFACE (Preface of the Sacred Heart) - It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God Who didst will that Thine only-begotten Son, while hanging on the Cross, should be pierced by a soldier's spear, that the heart thus opened, a shrine of divine bounty, should pour out on us streams of mercy and grace, and that what never ceased to burn with love for us, should be a resting-place to the devout, and open as a refuge of salvation to the penitent. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

Luke 15: 10
I say to you: there is joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.

POST COMMUNION -May Thy holy Gifts, O Lord, which we have received, give us life: and having purified us, prepare us for thine everlasting mercy. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. R. Amen.

COMMEMORATION OF THE OCTAVE OF THE SACRED HEART -Let us pray. May Thy holy mysteries, O Lord Jesus, impart to us divine fervor: whereby having tasted the sweetness of Thy most loving heart, we may learn to despise earthly things, and to love what is heavenly: Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart (Indulgenced Prayer)

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart / Actus reparationis

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.


A partial indulgence is granted to those who recite this prayer. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is publicly recited on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This prayer was prescribed to be recited on the Feast of the Kingship of Christ by Pope Pius XI. 
Thursday, June 6, 2013
First Thursdays

Image Source: His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke receiving first priestly blessings from the new priests whom he had ordained for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. (Florence, 2011)

The Votive Mass of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest, is often celebrated on First Thursdays.  For those of you using the Angelus Press Daily Missal, please turn to page 1552 to see the Mass propers.  By decree of December 24, 1935, all priests may offer this votive Mass on the First Thursday of each month.  Those of us familiar with Catholic tradition will realize that this is to commemorate the Institution of the Sacred Priesthood at the Last Supper.

Pope Pius XI ordered the preparation of this Votive Mass in 1935, intending that its celebration should become customary on the First Thursday of the month, in a manner analogous to the widespread Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday.  Vultus Christi Blog elaborates on why the 1962 Version of the Missal and not subsequent versions must be used.

His Holiness writes in Encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Fastigium (20 December 1935):
Before concluding Our letter, to you, Venerable Brethren in the Episcopate, and through you to all Our beloved sons of both clergy, We are happy to add a solemn proof of Our gratitude for the holy cooperation by which, under your guidance and example, this Holy Year of Redemption has been made so fruitful to souls. We wish to perpetuate the memory and the glory of that Priesthood, of which Ours and yours, Venerable Brethren, and that of all priests of Christ, is but a participation and continuation. We have thought it opportune, after consulting the Sacred Congregation of Rites, to prepare a special votive Mass, for Thursdays, according to liturgical rules: De summo et aeterno Iesu Christi Sacerdotio, to honor "Jesus Christ, Supreme and Eternal Priest." It is Our pleasure and consolation to publish this Mass together with this, Our Encyclical Letter.


INTROIT (Ps. 109. 4)

Juravit Dóminus, et non pœnitébit eum: Tu es sacérdos in ætérnum secúndum órdinem Melchísedech. -- Psalm. Dixit Dóminus Dómino meo: Sede a dextris meis. Glória Patri ...-- Juravit Dóminus...

The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Ps. ibid. 1. The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand. Glory be to the Father ... -- The Lord ...



Deus, qui ad majestátis tuæ glóriam et géneris humáni salútem, Unigénitum tuum summum atque ætérnum constituísti Sacerdótem: præsta; ut quos minístros et mysteriórum suórum dispensatóres elégit, in accépto ministério adimpléndo fídéles inveniántur. Per eúmdem Dóminum ... Glória in excélsis...

O God, who for the glory of Thy Majesty and the salvation of the human race, didst establish Thine only begotten Son as the supreme and eternal Priest: grant that those He has chosen to dispense His mysteries may prove loyal in carrying out the ministry they have received. Through the same ...


From Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews, 5. 1-11.
[The Epistle of the Mass reminds us that Christ is a Priest and the example of all Priests and Bishops.]

Fratres: Omnis Póntifex ex homínibus assúmptus, pro homínibus constituítur in iis, quæ sunt ad Deum, ut ófferat dona, et sacrifícia pro peccátis: qui condolére possit iis, qui ignórant, et errant: quóniam et ipse circúmdatus est infirmitáte: et proptérea debet, quemádmodum pro pópulo ita étiam et prosemetípso offére pro peccátis. Nec quisquam sumit sibi honórem. sed qui vocátur a Deo, tamquam Aaron. Sic et Christus non semetípsum clarificávit ut póntifex fierret, sed qui locútus est ad eum: Fílius meus es tu: ego hódie génui te. Quemádmodum et in álio loco dicit: Tu es Sacérdos in ætérnum secundum órdinem Melchísedech. Qui in diébus carnis suæ preces supplicationésque ad eum, qui possit illum salvum fácere a morte, cum clamóre válido et lácrymis ófferens, exaudítus est pro sua reveréntia. Et quidem cum esset Fílius Dei didicit ex iis, quæ passus est obediéntiam: et consummátus, factus est ómnibus obtemperántibus sibi, causa salútis ætérnæ, appellátus a Deo póntifex juxta órdinem Melchísedech. De quo nobis grandis sermo, et ininterpretábilis ad dicéndum.

Bretheren: Every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that He might be made a high priest: but He that said unto Him: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee. As He saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever, accordingto the order of Melchisedech. Who in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to Him that was able to save Him from death, was heard for His reverence. And whereas indeed He was the Son of God, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered: and being consummated, He became, to all that obey Him, the cause of eternal salvation. Called by God a high priest according to the order of Melchisedech. Of whom we have to say, and hard to be intelligibly uttered.


GRADUAL (Luke 4. 18)

Spiritus Dómini super me, propter quod unxit me: Evangelizáre paupéribus misit me, sanáre contrítos corde.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, wherefore He hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the contrite of heart.


TRACT (Ps. 9. 34-36)

Exsurge, Dómine Deus, exaltétur manus tua: ne obliviscáris páuperum. Vide quóniam tu labórem et dolórem consíderas: Tibi derelíctus est pauper: órphano tu eris adjutor.

Arise, O Lord God, let Thy hand be exalted: forget not the poor. See, for Thou considerest labour and sorrow: To Thee is the poor man left: Thou wilt be a helper to the orphan.


Continuation of holy Gospel according to St. Luke, 22. 14-20.

In illo témpore: Discúbuit Jesus, et duódecim Apóstoli cum eo. Et ait illis: Desidério desiderávi hoc Pascha manducáre vobíscum, ántequam pátiar. Dico enim vobis, quia ex hoc non manducábo illud, donec impleátur in regno Dei. Et accépto cálice, grátias egit, et dixit: Accípite, et divídite inter vos. Dico enim vobis, quod non bibam de generatióne vitis, donec regnum Dei véniat. Et accépto pane, grátias egit, et fregit,et dedit eis, dicens: Hoc est Corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur, hoc fácite in meam commemmoratiónem. Simíliter et cálicem, postquam cœnávit, dicens: Hic est calix novum testaméntum in sánguine meo, qui pro vobis fundétur.

At that time: Jesus sat down, and the twelve Apostles with Him. And He said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you, before I suffer. For I say to you, that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And having taken the chalice, He gave thanks, and said: Take, and divide it among you: for I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, He gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for commemmoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my Blood, which shall be shed for you.


OFFERTORY (Hebr. 10. 12-14)

Christus unam pro peccátis ófferens hóstiam, in sempitérnum sedet in déxtera Dei: una enim oblatióne consummávit in ætérnum sanctificátos.

Christ offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right hand of God: For by one oblation He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.



Hæc múnera, Dómine, mediátor noster Jesus Christus Tibi reddat accépta: et nos, una secum, hóstias tibi gratas exhíbeat: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti...

O Lord, may our Mediator Jesus Christ make these offerings agreeable to Thee: and along with Himself may He offer us to Thee as a thank-offering: Who liveth and reigneth...


Common Preface

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutáre, nos tibi semper et ubíque grátias agere: Dómine sancte, Pater omnípotens, ætérne Deus: per Christum, Dóminum nostrum. Per quem majestátem tuam laudant Angeli, adórant Dominatiónes, tremunt Potestátes. Coeli coelorúmque Virtútes ac beáta Séraphim sócia exsultatióne concélebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti jubeas, deprecámur, súpplici confessione dicéntes:

It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them, we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:


COMMUNION (1 Cor. 11. 24-25)

Hoc Corpus, quod pro vobis tradétur: hic calix novi testaménti est in meo sánguine, dicit Dóminus: hoc fácite, quotiescúmque súmitis, in meam commemoratiónem.

This Body which shall be delivered for you; this chalice is the new testament in my blood saith the Lord: this do for the commemoration of me.



Vivificet nos, quæsumus Dómine, divína quam obtúlimus et súmpsimus hóstia: ut perpétua Tibi caritáte conjúncti, fructum, qui semper máneat, afferámus. Pér Dóminum nostrum...

We beseech Thee, O Lord, may the divine host which we have offered up and received, quicken us; that, bound to Thee by an eternal love, we may bear fruit that will abide forever. Through our Lord...
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
St. Francis Caracciolo

Double (1955 Calendar): June 4

Three things made Francis of Caracciolo stand out from his wealthy Neapolitan friends: he was powerfully drawn to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, he fasted every Saturday in honor of the Virgin Mary, and he had a generous love for the poor. When he was seriously ill at the age of twenty-two with leprosy, he vowed that if he were cured he would devote himself to the service of God and his fellow men. In 1587 he was ordained priest and joined the confraternity of the Bianchi della Giustizia (The White Robes of Justice), whose object was to assist condemned criminals to die holy deaths.

He was one of the founders of the order of Minor Clerks Regular. Francis instituted perpetual adoration as one of the works of his order. To the three usual vows a fourth is added, namely, that its members must not aspire to ecclesiastical dignities outside the order nor seek them within it. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is kept up by rotation, and self-mortification is practiced. The motto of the order "Ad majorem Resurgentis gloriam" ("to the greater glory of the Risen One") was chosen because Francis and Augustine Adorno made their profession at Naples on Low Sunday, April 9, 1589. Upon making his profession, Caracciolo took the name Francis in honor of the saint of Assisi.

Like Saint Thomas Aquinas, a relative on his mother's side, his purity was angelic, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.  His frequent motto was "Zelus domus tuae comedit me" (Zeal for thy House has consumed me).  He died in A.D. 1608. When his body was opened after death, his heart was found as it were burnt up, and those words imprinted around it: ‘Zelus domus Tuae comedit me’ (Zeal for thy House has consumed me).


O God, who didst adorn blessed Francis, the founder of a new Order, with zeal for prayer and love of penance, grant that Thy servants may make such progress by imitating him, that through constancy in prayer and bodily mortification they may deserve to attain heavenly glory. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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