Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Top Five (5) Traditional Catholic Churches of Chicago

January 2022 Update: Due to the rotten fruits of Cupich, options 4 and 5 here have been forced to permanently discontinue the Tridentine Mass.

Compared to all other cities in the United States, Chicago has more Tridentine Latin Masses each Sunday than anywhere else.  In fact, Chicago serves as an important base for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a traditional religious order that only offers the Traditional Mass, with most of their US apostolates in driving distance from Chicago.

In no particular order, here are the 5 Most Traditional Catholic Church of Chicago:

1. St. John Cantius (Diocesan)

St. John Cantius is known as one of the gems of Catholic Tradition in the Conciliar Church.  The building itself has a rich history - it was saved from near closing and has blossomed into a community of vibrant Faith, Tradition, and Devotion.  The building is known for its beauty, the Liturgies are among some of the most ornate in the City, and the use of Sacred Polyphony and Orchestral High Masses make this a truly unique parish of Chicago.

2. Shrine of Christ the King (ICKSP)

The Shrine, like St. John Cantius, was near closing - in fact, the Shrine of Christ the King was slated for demolition after a fire ravished the building.  As the neighbor decayed, the former St. Gelatius Church, which was home to the National Novena to St. Therese on each Tuesday of the week, was all but certainly lost.  In 2006, the building was entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King by then-Cardinal of Chicago, Cardinal George.  As a result of the order's dedication, the building is being restored and the Faithful who attend the Shrine assist at one of the few locations to only offer Tridentine Masses - even during the Triduum.  The Order's use of traditions ranging from Candlemas Processions, Blessings of Wine on the Feast of St. John, Blessings of Epiphany Water, and the like make this one of the few places to regularly and publicly use the Rituale Romanum.  The vibrant parish life offers several weekly evening Masses as well as Masses in the evening usually on all 1st Class Feasts, which is a true rarity!  With powerful preaching and doctrinally sound catechesis, the Shrine of Christ the King has earned a place in our Top 5 List.

 Older Image: Source Unknown
Older Image: Source Unknown

 Older Image: Source Unknown
Solemn High Mass on Christmas Day

Blessing of Wine for Feast of St. John
 Blessing of the Wine on the Feast of St. John

3. St. Mary of Perpetual Help (Diocesan)

St. Mary of Perpetual Help is a remarkable structure visible from Interstate 55.  Its huge dome pierces the skyline of the south side of Chicago in the Bridgeport neighborhood and calls all to honor Almighty God.  The Church offers a weekly Tridentine High Mass on Sundays at 8:30 AM, the earliest Tridentine High Mass offered on a Sunday in the city.  The inside of the Church is vibrantly beautiful with many statues, icons, and images.  The high altar of the Church is one of the grandest high altars in Chicago and is made of some of the highest quality marble - only St. Adalberts Church might claim to have higher quality marble (though no Tridentine Mass is offered there).  St. Mary's offers Confession before each Mass that is infrequently attended making it quick and easy to obtain Confession - not a commonality in the more traditional Churches. With beautiful music and clear sermons, this parish could be much busier than it typically is.  It's a treasure and all Catholics of Chicago should make their way here for an 8:30 Sunday High Mass.

 Note: Low altar is removed for all Latin Masses.

4. St. Odilo/National Shrine of the Poor Souls (Diocesan)

As the National Shrine of the Poor Souls, the Faithful who attend Mass here receives a particular indulgence.  The Church, while featuring some model art and a "low altar", has some truly unique features - a life-sized and bloody depiction of our Lord after he was taken down from the Cross in a separate chapel.  The Church also has several side altars and candles throughout in honor of the Poor Souls - you'll see Traditional Altar missals on them as well.  The Church offers a Sunday Tridentine Mass at 9:30 AM and has a very beautiful schola.  Only downsize - Confessions are not offered immediately before each Mass, like the other places on this list.  But don't let that stop you from making a visit to St. Odilo's and praying for the poor souls at the Sunday Latin High Mass.  And be ready for Fr. Brankin's inspiring, clear, and unabashedly Catholic sermons.  Of all of the sermons offered on a given Sunday at a Tridentine Mass, Fr. Brankin's are among the very best each and every week.

5. Our Lady Immaculate (SSPX)

The Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was the catalyst for Traditional Catholicism in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council.  Without the Society, it is likely that the Tridentine Mass would have vanished from the earth.  This particular chapel of the Society is located near one of the Society's few priories - this prior is unique as it is the home of one of the four bishops of the Society - Bishop Tissier de Mallerais.  The Chapel itself is a former protestant building that has been turned into a Catholic Church.  It features an impressive high altar.  Unique among the churches of Chicago, it is the only one to regularly feature a blessing of religious articles after both Masses on the Second Sunday of the month.  So bring your candles, rosaries, images, and anything else that needs to be blessed.  The chapel also has monthly devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows and the pastor is not afraid to speak candidly on the crisis in the world and the need for Catholics to stand up for the Truth.  You won't hear any psedu-protestantism here.  This chapel is a home for unabasedly Catholic teaching and is home to a truly multicultural congregation of Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and others - showing that the Church truly transcends cultures.  And yet, all come together and worship in a common tongue of Latin. 

 Image Source: FRANK PINC/Staff Photographer via

Image Source: SSPX Website
Sunday, January 25, 2015
The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society

The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society

I was recently contacted by the author of a new book entitled The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society. It's an interpretation of her vision of the last days. There are few books about St. Hildegard that are written from a Catholic perspective. Also the author admits, "Credible books on Catholic prophecy are few as they tend to collect and collate various prophecies, some anonymous, and over-speculate on their meaning. This book takes a single prophecy from an original manuscript and compares it to modern history. I uncover a remarkable resemblance between them."

Mr. Turner's work is insightful and compelling.  It is an easy read, taking only a few hours to get through.  The author approaches his work by presenting the facts, which do show a correlation between the visions of St. Hiledgard and the time leading up to the end of the world.  Most importantly, the author does not force these conclusions; rather, he presents objective facts and thereby after establishing facts does he then even attempt to draw a conclusion.

All in all, its a good book, presenting the facts which indicate that our world is in the midst of the prophecies of St. Hildegard on the last ages of the world.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Traditional Catholic Prayers for the Week (Octave) of Prayer for Christian Unity


January 18 through 25 Official Octave Prayer (to be recited daily)

ANTIPHON: That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may
be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. (John 17:21)

V. I say unto thee that thou art Peter,
R. And upon this Rock I will build My Church.

Let us pray: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who saidst unto Thine Apostles peace I leave with you, My
peace I give unto you, regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and vouchsafe to grant
unto Her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will Who livest and reignest, God,
forever and ever Amen

First Day of the Octave (January 18th) The Feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome.

Intention of the Day: the return of the "other sheep" to the One Fold of Christ.

Prayer for the Return of the Other Sheep

Priest: Let us pray: O God, in Thy mercy thou dost set aright those who have gone astray and
Thou dost save those whom Thou hast gathered together. We beseech Thee to pour down upon
all Christian people the grace of union with Thee, so that putting aside disunion and attaching
themselves to the true shepherd of Thy Church, they may be able to serve Thee humbly and
lovingly. Through Christ Our Lord. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Immaculate Virgin, who wast preserved by a singular privilege of grace
from original sin, look down with pity upon our separated brethren, who are still thy children,
and call them back to the Center of Unity. Many have, even from afar, preserved a most tender
devotion towards thee, O Mother; reward them for their devotion by obtaining for them the grace
of conversion. Victorious over the powers of hell from the very first moment of thine existence,
renew, now that the necessity is more urgent, thy triumphant progress, as in ages past. Glorify
thy Son, O Mother, by bringing back to the One Fold His straying sheep. And may it be thy
glory, O Virgin Mary, to banish error from the earth, to put an end to disunity and to restore
peace to the world. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles

Priest: O glorious St. Peter, as a reward for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and
sincere humility, and thy ardent love, thou wast singled out by Our Lord and endowed with most
special privileges. Thou wast also constituted Prince of the Apostles with primacy over the
whole Church, of which thou wert made the Rock and Foundation. Obtain for us, we pray, a
lively faith and an ardent zeal so that all of us will labor for the return of our separated brethren.
May the desire of Our Divine Redeemer, that there might be but "one Fold and one Shepherd,"
be for us, as it wast for thee, the inspiration to work and pray for the return of all those who are
still outside the Fold. Strengthened by Divine Grace, may they be led back speedily to the bosom
of our common Mother, the Catholic Church. People: Amen.

Second Day of the Octave (January 19th)

Intention of the day: The return of Oriental Separatists to Communion with the Apostolic See

Prayer for the Reunion of the East and West

Priest: Let us Pray. O Lord, Who hast united all nations in the confession of Thy name, we pray
Thee for the Christian peoples of the East. Mindful of the eminent place they have held in Thy
Church, we beg of Thee to inspire them to occupy it again, so as to form with us one single fold.
Grant that they, together with ourselves, may be penetrated with the teaching of those holy
doctors of theirs, who are also our Fathers in the Faith. Grant us that the spirit of peace and
charity, which is the mark of Thy presence among the faithful, may hasten the day in which their
prayers may be united with ours, so that every people and every tongue may acknowledge and
glorify Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Immaculate Virgin Mary, we thy servants and children, full of confidence in
thy powerful protection, humbly beseech thee to implore of the Holy Ghost the abundance of His
gifts for our brethren, the separated Christians of the East. Enlightened by His vivifying grace,
may they return to the bosom of the Catholic Church. We pray also that our Oriental brethren,
once more united to us by the indissoluble bonds of the same faith and the same charity, may,
with us, glorify by the practice of good works the most august Trinity, and at the same time pay
homage to thee, O Virgin Mother of God, full of grace, now and forever. Amen.
Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to the Fathers of the Eastern Church

Priest: O glorious martyrs, Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, and thou,
illustrious Doctors of the Church, Saint Athanasius, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil, who
worked and suffered so much for the purity of faith and the salvation of the souls entrusted to thy
paternal care, look down from heaven upon thy beloved Eastern countries, which, forgetful of
thy teaching and example, live now separated from the body of the true Church. By thy powerful
intercession, O holy Eastern Fathers, obtain for all separated Oriental Christians the grace to
return to the Center of Unity, and to form with us one and the same family, in Christ Jesus, Our
Lord. People: Amen.

Third Day of the Octave (January 20th)

Intention of the day: The conversion of the Anglicans.

Prayer for the Conversion of England

Priest: Let us pray. O Jesus, Good Shepherd, look down benignly upon the great and noble
English nation. Converted to Thee through the labors of St. Augustine and his companions, it
was for many centuries rich in fruits of faith and sanctity. So devoted was this nation to Thy holy
and Immaculate Mother that it was known throughout Christendom as the "Dowry of Mary."
When it was separated from Thee in cruel fashion, many hundreds of its people willingly shed
their blood in testimony of their loyalty to Thee and Thy Church. O Loving Shepherd of souls,
recall this great nation once more to the unity of Thy Church, and grant peace of soul to all those
now separated from Thy flock. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our own most gentle Queen and
Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and
trust in thee. Through thee it was that Jesus our Savior and our Hope was given unto the world;
and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou
didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated
English brethren, that they may be united with us in the One True Fold. Pray for us all, dear
Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together
with Thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to the English Martyrs

Priest: O Glorious Martyrs of England, Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher and thy
companions, who, to sustain the voice of the Supreme Head of the True Church against the
decrees of your rulers, didst willingly and courageously suffer death, pray now that the great
nation to which thou didst belong may once more return to the bosom of the Church from which
it was so cruelly wrested. People: Amen.

Fourth Day of the Octave (January 21st)

Intention of the day: That the Lutherans and other Protestants of continental Europe may find their way back to Holy Church.

Prayer for the Conversion of Protestants

Priest: Let us pray. O most beloved Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast redeemed the world at the price
of Thy Most Precious Blood, look down in Thy mercy upon the Christian peoples of Europe,
who are still outside Thy Fold, and let the full blaze of the light of Thy truth shine upon them.
Multiply, O God, the true messengers of Thy Gospel, inspire them with fervor, make them
fruitful in good works, and bless with Thy grace their zeal and their labors, so that the separated
Christians of Europe may be fully converted to Thee, their Creator and Redeemer. Recall the
stray sheep to Thy Fold, and the wanderers to the bosom of Thy one true Church. Hasten, O
dearest Savior, the happy advent of Thy Kingdom on earth, draw all men to the treasures of Thy
Sacred Heart, so that all may share in the priceless benefits of Thy Redemption in the eternal
happiness of Heaven. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Mary, Mother of Mercy and Refuge of Sinners, we beseech thee to look
with pitying eyes upon the Protestant peoples of Europe. O Seat of Wisdom, enlighten their
minds, so that they may come to know that the Catholic Church is the one, True Church of
Christ. Complete their conversion by obtaining for them the grace to believe every truth of our
Holy Faith. Once more united to us by the bonds of divine charity, they will sing with us forever
thy glorious praises. "Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou alone hast destroyed all error in the whole
world." Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to St. Agnes on her feast

Priest: O singular example of virtue, glorious Saint Agnes, the lively faith that animated thee
from thy childhood rendered thee so acceptable to God that thou didst merit the crown of
martyrdom. Obtain for us, we pray, the grace to preserve entire in our hearts the Catholic Faith,
and to seek the conversion to the faith of our Christian brethren now separated from us, so that
all may become Christians not only in word but also in deed. Pray for us today that, as we
confess Jesus openly in the face of men, Jesus may give favorable testimony of us before His
Father in heaven. People: Amen.

Fifth Day of the Octave (January 22nd)

Intention of the Day: That Protestants in America may become one in union with the Chair of Saint Peter.

Prayer for the Conversion of America

Priest: Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, grant unto all Thy servants, but especially to the people
of our own nation, the grace of being fully united to Thee in Thy Church. O Divine Redeemer, of
Whom the prophet sang "all the kings of the earth shall adore Him and all the nations shall serve
Him," extend Thy Kingdom over the entire human race, but especially over our own beloved
country. Grant in Thy mercy that the people of our land may be converted to Thee, and humbly
and lovingly serve Thee. This we ask, O Savior, through the intercession of Thy Immaculate
Mother, the benevolent patroness and protectress of our country. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: Most Holy Virgin, who wast pleasing to the Lord and became His Mother,
Immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look down kindly upon us poor sinners. We
now implore thy powerful patronage for all the people of our beloved land. The wicked serpent,
against whom the first curse was hurled, continues fiercely to attack and ensnare the unhappy
children of Eve. O Blessed Mother, our Queen and our advocate, who crushed the head of the
enemy from the very first moment of thine existence, receive from us the prayers which we
implore thee to present at the throne of God. Pray that we may never fall into the snares laid out
for us, and that we may all arrive at the port of salvation. May the Church and Christian society,
now in so many dangers, sing once again the hymn of deliverance, of victory, and of peace.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to Saint John the Baptist

Priest: O most zealous messenger of God, Saint John the Baptist, while thou didst work no
miracles on others, thou didst draw after thee crowds, to prepare them to receive Our Savior
worthily and to listen to His heavenly teaching. This thou didst do sole!y by the example of thy
holy life and the practice of every good work. Pray that we also may receive the grace to lead
many souls to God, but, above all, the souls of those who are still outside the One Fold in our
own beloved country. People: Amen.

Sixth Day of the Octave (January 23rd)

Intention of the Day: The return to the Sacraments of lapsed Catholics.

Prayer for Lapsed Catholics:

Priest: Let us pray. O Almighty Father, Who desirest not the death of the sinner,but rather that he
be converted and live pour out upon us thy mercy and listen to the prayers of Thy servants.
Soften the hearts of those children of Thine who have strayed from the true paths, which Thou
didst establish for their salvation. They are now forgetful of their duties as Catholics and pursue
only the transitory pleasures of the world. Grant that they may speedily return to the practice of
every Christian virtue, so that their fives may shine with the integrity of faith, the fervor of piety,
and the ardor of charity. Restore all of them to Thy Sacraments and to the life of Thy grace,
through the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Thy Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ. People:

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Mother of Jesus Christ and our Mother, we pray thee to obtain for us the
grace of serving God faithfully in this world that we may have the happiness of loving Him
eternally in heaven. Hear the prayers that we address to thee, O Mother; defend us against the
enemies of our salvation, and against our own infirmities. Obtain for us pardon for our sins and
perseverance in the determination never to fall away again. We implore thee to take under thy
protection those who have abandoned the practice of their Catholic duties. May they be
converted again and become faithful servants of thy Son. O Mother of Mercy, be for us all "the
cause of our joy" and show unto us Jesus Christ, thy Son, as thy gift to us both for time and for
eternity. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."

Prayer to Saint Peter

Priest: O glorious Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles and firm foundation of the Church, obtain
for us a lively faith, which we may openly and fearlessly profess in its integrity and purity, even,
if need be, to the shedding of our blood. Obtain for us also a true love of our Holy Mother the
Church, and make us zealous in the fulfillment of our religious duties. We pray to you today to
intercede for those who have wandered from the Church which Christ established for their
salvation. May they receive from Almighty God, through your intercession, the grace to return
speedily to their Father's love, so that they may enjoy here on earth peace and tranquillity, and
one day attain everlasting happiness in heaven. People: Amen.

Seventh Day of the Octave (January 24th)

Intention of the day: Conversion of the Jews.

Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews:

Priest: Let us pray. O God, Who dost manifest Thy mercy and compassion towards all peoples,
have mercy upon the Jewish race, once Thy Chosen People. Thou didst select them alone out of
all the nations of the world to be the custodians of Thy sacred teachings. From them Thou didst
raise up Prophets and Patriarchs to announce the coming of the Redeemer. Thou didst will that
Thine only Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior, should be a Jew according to the flesh, born
of a Jewish maiden in the Land of Promise. Listen to the prayers we offer Thee today for the
conversion of the Jewish people. Grant that they may come safely to a knowledge and love of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah foretold by their Prophets, and that they may walk with us in
the way of salvation. People: Amen.

Prayer of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion

Priest and People: God of all goodness and Father of mercies, we beseech Thee, through the
Immaculate Heart of Mary, and by the intercession of the Patriarchs and holy Apostles, to cast a
look of compassion upon the children of Israel, that they may be brought to the knowledge of our
only Savior, Jesus Christ, and may partake of the precious fruits of the Redemption. "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do." Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."
Prayer to Saint Paul

Priest: O holy Apostle Paul of Tarsus, from thy glorious place in heaven, look down upon the
race thou didst love so well. True it is that many of them remained deaf to thy ringing words of
truth, and that some of them even stirred up persecution against thee and thy fellow believers, but
thou wert so devoted to thy people that thou didst will to become a castaway for the sake of their
conversion. Now that thou art glorious in heaven, obtain for thy brethren the grace of repentance
and conversion, so that they may finally take their rightful place in the great family of the
Catholic Church. People: Amen. Eighth Day of the Octave (January 25th)

Eighth Day of the Octave (January 25th) Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Intention of the day: The Missionary Conquest of the World for Christ.

Prayer for the Conversion of Our Brethren

Priest: Let us pray. Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers
have been created by Thee, and formed to Thine own image and likeness. Behold, O Lord, how
to Thy dishonor hell is being filled with these same souls. Remember, O God, that for their
salvation Thy Son Jesus Christ underwent a most cruel death. Do not permit, O Lord, that Thy
Divine Son be any longer despised by unbelievers; but be appeased by the prayers of the Saints
and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, and forgetting their idolatry and unbelief,
grant that they may at last come to acknowledge Thy Son Jesus Christ, Who is our Salvation,
Life and Resurrection, through Whom we have been saved and redeemed; to Whom be glory
forever and ever. People: Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Priest and People: O Blessed Mother of God, whose stainless heart is full of mercy and
compassion, look down in pity upon those who have not yet heard the tidings of the Gospel.
Remember that they are the work of the hands of thy Son that they have been created in His
image and redeemed by His Most Precious Blood. Obtain for these poor brethren of ours the
knowledge of our Holy Faith, and the grace to love, embrace, and to practice it faithfully.
Intercede at the throne of the Most High, O Mother, that many more missionaries may be sent to
pagan lands, there to win souls for thy Divine Son. O Virgin Mother of God, pray that all of us
may soon be united in one and the same hope, and in one and the same love. Attentive to the
words of thy Divine Son, may we dwell in peace and happiness in the Church He instituted for
our salvation. Amen.

Priest: Our Lady of the Atonement intercede for us.

People:That there may be fulfilled the prayer of thy Divine Son, "That all may be one."
Prayer to Saint Paul

Priest: O glorious Saint Paul, from a persecutor of the Christian name thou didst become an
Apostle of burning zeal, and in order that Jesus Christ might become known to the furthermost
bounds of the earth, thou didst joyfully suffer imprisonment, scourging, stoning, shipwreck, and
every kind of persecution. Obtain for us now the grace to pray at all times for those who have not
as yet been blessed with the gift of faith. Help us to use all our strength for the conversion of
those who have not as yet heard the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. People: Amen.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Feast of Ss. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum

Let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. (Psalm 67:4,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Simple (1954 Calendar): January 19

Even though these holy saints lived and suffered marytrdom nearly 2,000 years ago, we would do well by recalling their holiness each year on their feastday of January 19th.  It is a modern error to regard only the most recent saints or most recent events as applicable to us - we can learn from the lives of all of the saints from all times. Today is also the Commemoration of St. Canute, king and martyr.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Marius, a Persian of noble birth, came to Rome, under the emperor Claudius, to venerate the sepulchres of the martyrs in the company of his wife Martha, a noble lady, and their two sons Audifax and Abachum. There they ministered to the Christians in prison, maintaining them both by their wealth and their own personal service, and buried the bodies of the saints. They were all accordingly arrested, and since they could not be induced by fear or threats to sacrifice to the gods, they were first beaten with clubs, then dragged about with ropes, burnt with hot iron plates and torn with hooks. Lastly their hands were cut off and tied about their necks, and they were led through the city and by the Via Cornelia to the place called Nymphe, thirteen miles from Rome, where they were put to death. The first to die was Martha, who had earnestly exhorted her husband and sons to bear their sufferings with constancy for the faith of Jesus Christ. Then the others were beheaded in the same sandpit, and their bodies were thrown into the fire. Felicitas, a noble Roman matron, took them when they were half burned and buried them in her own estate.


Hear, O Lord, the prayers of Your people and Your saints who intercede for them. Grant us peace in this life and Your assistance to attain eternal life. Through Our Lord . .
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Traditional Mass Propers for the Feast of the Epiphany

For information on today's feast, besides these Proper Prayers, please click here.

Behold, the Lord, the Ruler, is come. He has dominion over all, and in His hand is power and might. Ps. 71:2. O God, with Your judgment endow the king, and with Your justice, the kings son. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O God, who by the star this day revealed Your only-begotten Son to all nations, grant that we, who know You now by faith, may be brought one day before the vision of Your majesty. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

Isa. 60:1-6
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.

All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord. V. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Matt. 2:2 We have seen His star in the East and have come with gifts to worship the Lord. Alleluia.

Matthew 2:1-12
Now when Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him." And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: "In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: 'And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.' " Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him.

Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, (here genuflect) and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.

Ps. 71:10-11
The kings of Tharsis and the isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Saba shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him.

SECRET O Lord, look with favor upon the gifts offered by Your Church. It is not gold, frankincense, and myrrh that is offered now, but the King, God and Saviour, who was signified by these gifts, is Himself our Sacrifice and our Food, Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord; who lives and rules with You . . .

Matthew 2:2
We have seen His star in the East and have come with gifts to worship the Lord.

POST COMMUNION - O Almighty God, grant that we may understand with pure minds the revelation of Christ which we here solemnly commemorate. Through Our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Catholic Resolutions 2015

Each year I have made what I call "Catholic Resolutions."  These New Years Resolutions are not centered on losing weight, eating more healthy, or the like.  Rather, these resolutions each year are centered around my spiritual life.  I encourage all of you to make resolutions specifically geared on improving your own Faith life and your own knowledge of the Faith.  Ask yourself:

1. Do I know the Faith that I profess to believe in?  If not, how can I learn more?  For example, has an ideal Adult Course just for this purpose.
2. Am I truly living a Catholic life?  Am I learning more prayers?  Am I helping others to learn the Faith and live it out?  Do I regularly receive the Sacraments?
3. Do you struggle with certain sins or addictions?
4. Do you need to make more donations to Catholic organizations or pro-life charities?

This is the time of year to truly set Catholic Resolutions which will have eternal repercussions.

I will begin with reviewing my 2014 Resolutions:

2014 Catholic Resolutions

1.   Continue to pray the Rosary Daily
2.   Pray the Divine Office at least 1X Daily
3.   Network with 10 more Traditional Catholics
4.   Receive the rank of Squire in the Order of Knight of our Lady and make progress in my study towards the rank of Donate
5.   Bi-Weekly Confession to help conquer old habits

2014 Catholic Resolutions

1. Overall, I did well on the first goal.  I did not pray the Rosary daily but I did go through periods of time where I did and other weeks I managed to pray it 4-5 times.
2. I made strong progress in this from August to present.  (see point #4)
3. I made limited progress with this.  It is difficult to meet people in person due to timing and a host of other issues.  Last year when I was going to, I had situations where I got lost and another one where I got in an accident on the way.  But I did made at least electronic contact with more than 10 Traditional Catholics.
4. This goal was met in early August.
5. I did not always make bi-weekly Confession but I did not go more than one month without its reception.

So, now, here are my 2015 Catholic Resolutions

1.   Bi-Weekly Confession to help conquer old habits
2.   Progress in the the rank of Squire in the Order of Knight of our Lady and make progress in my study towards the rank of Donate.  This will include three parts:  a. Daily Divine Office recitation  b. Weekly Rosary for the order  c. Saturday Mass attendance
3.  Read 3 Books to help improve my own prayer life, with one of them being during Lent (as per the Rule of St. Benedict for his monks).

I encourage you to make Catholic Resolutions as well!
Octave Day of St. John the Evangelist

Coronation of the Virgin with St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist

Simple (1954 Calendar): January 3rd

Just as I mentioned yesterday on the Octave Day of St. Stephen, very little information is readily available on the Internet for the celebrations that were part of the Catholic Calendar before the 1950s, when changes to the Missal became more profound. 

This Octave is a Simple Octave, meaning with the reforms of 1911, that only the Feastday and the Octave Day itself was kept. The intra Octave days are not commemorated in the Mass or in the Breviary, which is a departure from the pre-1911 practice where they would have been commemorated in the intervening days. Those interested in the Breviary for the Octave Day of St. John as in place before the pre-1911 changes should click here.

"The Octave of the Beloved Disciple closes to-day: let us devoutly offer him our parting homage. We shall meet him again, during the year; for, on May 6, when the Resurrection of his Divine Master is gladdening the Church with the Easter joys, we shall have the Feast of our Apostle's Confession made before the Latin Gate: but his grand Feast ends to-day, and he has done too much on our behalf this Christmas for us to allow this Octave Day to pass without returning him our warmest thanks. Let us begin by exciting ourselves to a great reverence for our Saint; and to this end, let us continue the considerations we were making this day week on the favours conferred upon him by Jesus."


Shine upon thy Church, O Lord, in thy goodness, that, enlightened by the teachings of Blessed John, thy Apostle and Evangelist, she may attain to everlasting gifts. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen
Friday, January 2, 2015
Propers for the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

For information on today's feast, besides these Proper Prayers, please click here.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of the Father. Ps. 8:2. O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth! V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O God, it was You who conferred the name of Jesus upon Your only-begotten Son, the Savior of the world. Grant that by venerating His holy name on earth we may enjoy His presence in heaven. Through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Acts 4:8-12
In those days, Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: "Ye princes of the people and ancients, hear. If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole: Be it known to you all and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him, this man standeth here before you, whole. " This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved."

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations that we may give thanks to Your holy name and glory in praising You. V. You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer. From eternity is Your name.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Ps. 144:21 My lips shall speak the praise of the Lord; let all men bless His holy name. Alleluia!

Luke 2:21
At that time, after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Adoration of the Holy Name of Jesus - by El Greco

Ps. 85:12, 5
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. For You, O Lord, are sweet and mild, abounding in kindness to all who call upon You, alleluia!

SECRET May Your blessing, O most merciful God, which makes all creation flourish, sanctify this our sacrifice, which we offer You to the glory of the Name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and may it be pleasing to Your majesty as an act of praise and be profitable to us for our salvation. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

Ps. 85:9-10
All the nations You have made shall come and worship You, O Lord, and glorify Your name. For great You are and do wondrous deeds. You alone are God. Alleluia!

POST COMMUNION - O Almighty and eternal God, who created and redeemed us, graciously hear our petitions. Receive kindly and favorably this saving Sacrificial Victim, which we have offered to Your majesty in honor of the name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Pour out Your grace upon us, that we may rejoice to see our names written in heaven under the glorious name of Jesus, who is the pledge of our eternal predestination. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
Octave Day of St. Stephen

Simple (1954 Calendar): January 2nd

Very little information is readily available on the Internet for the celebrations that were part of the Catholic Calendar before 1955 when changes to the Missal became more profound.  The 1962 Roman Catholic Missal does not include some of these older celebrations and is missing over a dozen octaves.
Like St. John the Evangelist and the Holy Innocents, the Octave of St. Stephen was a simple octave. The collect prayer for this Octave was as a result only said on the Octave Day and not on the intervening days within the Octave.  

When today is celebrated as the Holy Name of Jesus (on years when neither January 2nd, 3rd, 4th, nor 5th falls on a Sunday), the Mass is said for the Holy Name and not said for the Octave of St. Stephen. Rather, a second oration would be added for this Octave Day and a commemoration would be made during the praying of Lauds. Before the 1911 changes under Pope St. Pius X, the Holy Name of Jesus was always kept on the Second Sunday after Epiphany as one of the three Octave Days of the Comites, all previously ranked as Doubles, would have occupied this Sunday.

Yesterday we finished the Octave of the Birth of Jesus; to-day we shall finish the Octave of St Stephen; but this without losing sight one moment of the Divine Babe, whose Court is formed by Stephen, John the Beloved Disciple, the Holy Innocents, and St Thomas of Canterbury. In five days we shall see the Magi prostrate before the Crib of the new-born King; they are already on the way, and the Star is advancing towards Bethlehem. Let us spend the interval in reconsidering how great is the glory of our Emmanuel in his having lavished such extraordinary favours on these Saints whom he has chosen to be near him at his first coming into the world.

Let us begin with Stephen, for this is the last day of the Octave dedicated to him by the Church. We must take leave of him now till the month of August, when we shall again meet him on the Feast of the Finding of his Relics.

In a sermon which was for a long time thought to have been written by St Augustine, we find it mentioned that St Stephen was in the flower of his youth when he was called by the Apostles to receive the sacred character of deaconship. Six others were ordained deacons with him; and these seven, whose office was to minister at the Altar here below, represented the seven Angels, whom St John saw standing near the Altar in heaven. Stephen was appointed as the head of the Seven, and St Irenæus, who lived in the second century, calls him the Arch-Deacon.

The characteristic virtue of a Deacon is fidelity. Hence, he is intrusted with the care of the treasures of the Church, treasures which consist not merely in the alms destined for the poor, but in that which is the most precious thing in heaven and earth—the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, of which the Deacon is the minister, in virtue of his Order. For this reason, the Apostle St Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, bids the Deacons hold the Mystery of Faith in a pure conscience.[1]

It was, therefore, more than an appropriate coincidence, that the first of all the Martyrs was a Deacon, for Martyrdom is the great proof of fidelity, and fidelity is the official virtue of the Diaconate. This same truth is still more strongly impressed upon us by the fact that the three who stand pre-eminent amongst the Martyrs of Christ are vested in the holy Dalmatic—the three glorious Deacons: Stephen, the glory of Jerusalem; Laurence, the pride of Rome; and Vincent, of whom Spain so justly boasts. The present holy season gives us Stephen, who has been gladdening us with his festal presence ever since Christmas Day, and Vincent, whose feast falls on January 22. Laurence will come to us, with his rich waving Palm, in the sunny month of August; and Stephen, in the same month, will visit us, a second time, in the Feast of the Finding of his Relics.

With the intention of paying respect to the Holy Order of Deaconship in the person of its first representative, it is a custom in a great many Churches, on the Feast of St Stephen, that Deacons should fulfil every office which is not beyond their Order. For example, the Chanter yields his staff of office to a Deacon; the Choristers, who assist the Chanter, are also Deacons, vested in Dalmatics; and the Epistle of the Mass is sung by a Deacon, because it is the passage from the Acts of the Apostles which relates the history of the holy Martyr’s death.

The institution of St Stephen’s Feast, and its being fixed on the day immediately following that of our Lord’s Birth, are so ancient that it is impossible to assign their date. The Apostolic Constitutions, which were compiled at the latest towards the close of the third century, mention this Feast as already established, and that, too, on the morrow of Christmas Day. St Gregory of Nyssa and St Asterius of Amasea, both of them earlier than the miraculous discovery of the Holy Deacon’s Relics, have left us Homilies for the Feast of St Stephen, in which they lay stress on the circumstance of its having the honour to be kept the very day after the solemnity of Christmas. With regard to its Octave, the institution is less ancient, though the date cannot be defined. Amalarius, who wrote in the ninth century, speaks of this Octave as already established; and Notker's Martyrology, compiled in the tenth century, makes express mention of it.

But how comes it that the Feast of a mere Deacon has been thus honoured, whilst almost all those of the Apostles have no Octave? The rule followed by the Church in her Liturgy is to give more or less solemnity to the Feasts of the Saints, according to the importance of the services they rendered to mankind. Thus it is that the honour she pays to St Jerome, for example, who was only a Priest, is more marked than that she gives to a great number of holy Popes. It is her gratitude which guides her in assigning to the Saints their respective rank in her Calendar, and the devotion of the Faithful to the saintly benefactors whom she now venerates as members of the Church Triumphant is thus regulated by a safe standard. St Stephen led the way to Martyrdom; his example inaugurated that sublime witnessing by shedding one’s own blood, which is the very strength of the Church, ratifies the truths she teaches to the world, and confirms the hopes of eternal reward promised by those truths. Glory, then, and honour to the Prince of Martyrs! As long as time shall last, so long shall the Church on earth celebrate the name of Stephen, who was the first to shed his blood for the God who died on Calvary!


O God, the teacher and ruler of them that are thy ministers, who didst adorn the early days of thy Church by the ministry and precious blood of blessed Stephen the Levite; grant, we beseech thee, that meeting with pardon at the hour of our death, we may deserve to follow his example, and be aided by his intercession. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Traditional Mass Propers: Octave Day of the Nativity

Circumcision of our Lord by Guercino, 1646

For information on the spirituality and devotions for today's feast, not just the Mass Prayers, please click here.

Traditional Propers:

Isaiah 9:6
A Child is born to us, and a son is given to us; upon his shoulder is supreme sovereignty, and his name shall be called the Angel of great counsel.
Ps. 97:1. Sing a new canticle to the Lord, for He has done wondrous things.
V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT -  O God, it was through the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary that You bestowed the gift of eternal life upon mankind. Grant that we may feel the powerful intercession of Mary, through whom we were privileged to receive the giver of life, Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord; who lives and rules with You . . .

Titus 2:11-15
Beloved: The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men: Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Ps. 97:3-4, 2
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Sing joyfully to God, all the earth.
V. The Lord has made His salvation known; in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice.

Alleluia, alleluia! V. Heb. 1:1-2
God, who in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days has spoken to us by His Son. Alleluia!


Luke 2:21

At that time, when eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given to Him by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Ps. 88:12, 15
Yours are the heavens and Yours are the earth; the world and its fullness You have founded. Justice and judgment are the foundation of Your throne.

SECRET -  Accept our offerings and prayers, O Lord. Cleanse us by this heavenly rite and in Your mercy hear our petitions. Through Our Lord . . .

PREFACE (Preface of the Nativity) - 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, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

Ps. 97:3
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

POST COMMUNION - O Lord, may this Communion cleanse us from sin, and bestow on us spiritual health from heaven through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

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