Thursday, February 27, 2020
Blessed Mary of the Passion: Founder of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary

Blessed Mary of the Passion was born in Nantes, France on May 21, 1839 and lived until November 15, 1904.

At the age of 17, she attended a spiritual retreat after experiencing the death of two of her sisters and her cousin. She resolved at the retreat to enter religious life but shortly after her mother died and Blessed Mary was required to undertake the household responsibilities.

A few years later she entered the local monastery of the Poor Clares. She shortly after feel ill and had to leave the monastery, despite stating she had a profound experience of God inviting her to offer herself as a victim for the Church.

In 1864, after recovering in health, she entered the monastery of the Sistesr of Mary Reparatrix which had opened a house in Toulouse in 1860. On August 15th of that year, on our Lady's Assumption, she took the name Mary of the Passion and received the religious habit.

She was assigned to  accompany a group of the Sisters to the Vicariate Apostolic of Madurai in India. On May 3, 1866, she made her first religious vows while she was in India.

Blessed Mary was quickly thereafter, because of her many talents, named the Superior of the community. In 1876, however, due to several tensions that arose among the communities in Madurai, she and twenty other sisters left the congregation. She traveled to Rome and with the permission of Pope Pius IX set up a new community under the name: Missionaries of Mary.

Mother Mary's vision was to maintain their commitment to a life in which the Sisters combined contemplative prayer with their service. One characteristic which the new congregation adopted, which distinguished it from their previous one, was the provision of medical care to the local people. This was especially true for the women of India, who were strictly segregated from men in the traditional system. Mother Mary had seen the need for this and, as women themselves, the Sisters began to visit homes where they could enter the parts restricted to females.

Mother Mary opened a novitiate for the new congregation in Saint-Brieuc, in her native region of Brittany in France. The response was great and soon many young women entered the congregation for service overseas.

She returned to Rome in 1880 to resolve some legal matters of the congregation and returned again to Rome in 1882. Such travels were long and arduous.

On August 12, 1885, the order received official recognition from the Holy See. At this time they adopted the Rule of the Franciscan Third Order Regular. And their name was changed to the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.

In 1900, Mother Mary had the experience of losing the community of Sisters in Taiyuan, China, who were executed during the Boxer Rebellion. These martyrs, who heroically sung the Te Deum as they were executed, were canonization in 2000.

At the age of 65, worn out from all of her labors, Blessed Mary of the Passion died. At the time of her death, there were 2,000 members of her order in over 86 communities spread across four continents. She is buried in Rome.

Currently there are about 6,700 Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, citizens of 80 nations, serving in 76 countries around the globe.

Application To Us

During the Season of Lent in particular we should call to mind the example of so many martyrs and missionaries who gave up their families, their possessions, their careers and ambitions, and sometimes even their lives to reach people in far away lands. And many of these people sought to kill them for spreading or speaking the Faith. And yet, they still went and still spoke out because they knew that to save one soul from eternal death through Baptism and the Holy Faith was worth the price of torture and earthly death here. We should frequently pray for the Missions.

This Lent, let us invoke Blessed Mary of the Passion to intercede for so many traditional priests who labor in Asia and other far away missions. These missionaries are poor and risk their lives and safety to spread the Faith and serve very few souls in otherwise atheistic, Islamic, or pagan countries.

As part of our Lenten alsmgiving, please consider donating to a Traditional Catholic charity, in particular the SSPX Foreign Missions, the Institute of Christ the King Foreign Missions, the FSSP missions, and the independent priests who labor in the 3rd world need our prayers and our financial support. See: 10 Traditional Catholic Charities: Almsgiving for Traditional Catholics
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Votive Feast of the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ Deformed in the Passion

Today is the final day before the great and holy fast of Lent. Today, known as Marti Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a day that has transformed from one final day of fun and merriment and meat eating to a day of public scandal and sin for many. Unfortunately, with so few actually keeping the forty day fast, it is a mockery that anyone would celebrate Fat Tuesday who does not commit to an authentically austere Lent.

I have written before on the importance of reparation to the Holy Face for Fat Tuesday. In fact, as I mentioned in that prior post, our Lord appeared to Mother Pierina in 1938 and requested a day of reparation today with these words:
“See how I suffer. Nevertheless, I am understood by so few. What gratitude on the part of those who say they love me. I have given My Heart as a sensible object of My great love for man and I give My Face as a sensible object of My Sorrow for the sins of man. I desire that it be honoured by a special feast on Tuesday in Quinquagesima (Shrove Tuesday – the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday). The feast will be preceded by novena in which the faithful make reparation with Me uniting themselves with my sorrow.”
The Facebook Page "Restore the '54" shares the following on the Votive Feast of the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ Deformed in the Passion:
This Feast is not found in the Missae pro Aliquibus Locis of most editions of the Roman Missal. The Devotion to the Holy Face has its origins in the 12th century, with the relic of the Veil of Veronica kept at St. Peter's Basilica. The different Masses of the Holy Face used today and throughout history honor this relic which is guarded in the Vatican Basilica. 
The Mass for this Feast appears in a Missal from St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, dating from the 1500's. There is also a Votive Mass of the Holy Face in the Holy Land, which formed the 6th Mass of the "Via Crucis." 
In 1889 Leo XIII approved the Confraternity of the Holy Face. Then, in 1910 St. Pius X through an S.R.C. decree approved a Mass for the Holy Face using the Mass "Humiliavit" (used as the Votive Mass of the Passion for Fridays and Tuesday within Sexagesima) along with three specially composed prayers for the Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion. 
As Fr. Stefano Pedica, O.S.B. writes, "The Mass of the Holy Face of Jesus was permitted by the Holy Pope Pius X, who desired that it might be the same Mass of the Passion, namely the "Missa Humiliavit" with three "appropriate prayers" shedding light upon and determining the liturgical and theological sense of what is proper and due to the Most Sacred Face of the Redeemer...There appears clearly in the prayers the meaning the Holy See desires, about the devotion to the Holy Face. Veronica is not mentioned in them, as in the ancient prayers, nor is there mention of anything which could in the slightest way give cause to critics to oppose that which Holy Mother Church proposes to the faithful, in "lex orandi" and "lex credendi." The wording taken from the Old and New Testaments, confers a dogmatic rather than historic value to the cult of the Holy Face. The Votive Mass of the Most Holy Face of Jesus has been requested by very many Religious Communities (particularly the Benedictine-Silvestrines) and in various Dioceses throughout the world; showing that the devotion to the Holy Face is always growing and more deeply felt in the souls of the faithful." 
This feast, being one of reparation, also pairs well with the age old custom of having the Forty Hours Devotion in reparation for Carnival, which ends on this day. 
The Mass “Propter te sustínui," which is older than the 1910 prescription for the Missa "Humiliavit," belongs to the Missals of the dioceses of Fréjus and Marseille (France), and is one of the two Masses used today for the Feast of the Holy Face. Although, with the 1910 decree from the S.R.C., it would be prudent to use the Missa "Humiliavit" with the three proper prayers.

Omnipotent and merciful God, deign, we beseech you, grant to all those who honor with us the face of your Christ, disfigured by His Passion for our sins, the grace to see Him for eternity in all the splendor of celestial glory. Through the same Jesus Christ…
Monday, February 24, 2020
Vigil of St. Matthias

Commemoration (1955 Calendar): February 23 or February 24 if leap year

On February 23rd the Church commemorates the Vigil of St. Matthias, whose feastday is kept tomorrow on the 24th day of February. In a leap year, the Vigil of St. Matthias is kept on February 24, and any Feasts usually occurring from February 24 through 28 are kept one day later. Because February 23rd is the Feast of St. Peter Damian, this Vigil is only commemorated in the Church's liturgy when it falls on February 23rd.

While not one of the original twelve apostles, St. Matthias is honored with the same rank of as the other Apostles as he legitimately took the spot which the traitor Judas Iscariot lost. This election is recounted in detail in the Acts 1:12-26. The Holy Ghost would not have inspired so many lines about his election were it not important.

Before the changes to the Roman calendar in 1955, nearly all feasts of the Apostles were preceded by a special Vigil Day. And the Church put those days in place to help us prepare for the importance of a feast of an Apostle. We have lost the importance of the feasts of the Apostles I believe, in part, due to losing the vigils. We can change that for ourselves by observing these vigils in our own prayer lives.


Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the solemn feast of Thine apostle Matthias, which we anticipate, may both increase our devotion and advance our salvation.

Prayer by Dom Gueranger to St. Matthias:

O Apostle Mathias! thou didst complete the sacred college, from which Judas had fallen; and by the power of the Holy Ghost, thou didst put to flight the darkness of idolatry by the admirable lightnings of thy wise words. Do thou now beseech the Lord that he grant peace and much mercy to our souls. Amen.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Make Real Progress & Resolutions This Lent

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Commemoration of the Passion of Christ (Tuesday after Sexagesima)

The Commemoration of the Passion of Christ was a feast listed in the pre-1962 Roman Missal as observed in some places, and kept on the Tuesday after Sexagesima. Its was instituted with the purpose of providing a devout remembrance and honour of Christ's sufferings for the redemption of mankind. It was the patronal feast of the Passionist Order.

The Votive Feast of the Commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is a Duplex Maius, and is always the Tuesday after Sexagesima. 
This feast can be found in the M.P.A.L. of the Roman Missal (and in this case, except for a proper Collect, the M.P.A.L. refers the priest to the Votive Mass of the Passion, "Humiliaverunt," in the Missae Votivae section of the Missal. Pope Leo XIII included these feasts of the Passion and Instruments of the Passion as Votive Offices in the Breviary before the revision of Divinu Afflatu from 1911-1913. However, the designation of it in the M.P.A.L. means unless it has always been celebrated in the Diocese where one resides or it is celebrated out of custom by an Order or country/territory as a whole, then it cannot be used. However, the exception to this rule is by retaining an indult of the local Ordinary or the Holy See. 
For a history of this Feast I refer you to the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia

Almighty and everlasting God, Who as a pattern of lowliness for mankind to follow, didst bring our Saviour to take flesh and undergo the cross: mercifully grant that as we celebrate the solemn commemoration of His Passion, so we may also deserve to have the schooling of His longsuffering and partnership of His resurrection. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Lent Preparation Guide

Use this helpful guide to plan what your sacrifice will be this Lent.

For a helpful list of ideas to consider, read my past post: 20 Pious Practices for Lent: What Should I Give Up for Lent?
Saturday, February 15, 2020
How to Improve Personal Prayer Life?

Go to the Sacraments, Confession and Holy Communion. Prayer is a fruit of grace, so we must go to the sources of grace to help improve our prayer lives. Retreats and spiritual reading are also very useful in feeding our souls to help cultivate a better prayer life. And lastly, we should pray the Rosary daily and meditate on its mysteries.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Sarum Use Vespers Chanted in Philadelphia

This is the official video of the Vespers according to the Use of Sarum, celebrated at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Candlemas Eve: February 1, 2020. Over 700 came to attend this unique celebration of Evening Prayer according to the Use of Salisbury: the local adaptation of the Roman Rite used throughout most of England from the Norman Conquest until the Reformation introduced the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549. Relics of St Thomas Becket and St Edward the Confessor were set upon the high altar for this liturgy, organized by the Durandus Institute for Sacred Liturgy & Music.
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Enroll Your Family This Lent with the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be offering 40 days of Masses, prayers, vigils, fasting, and penances for all those enrolled this Lent. In this time of crisis in the world and the Church, now we must pray and do penance, fast and beg God for...
  • Spiritual renewal in the Church
  • Sanctification of souls
  • Healing of families and individuals
  • Reversion of fallen-away Catholics
  • Conversion of sinners who are far from God
Enroll your loved ones or those in particular need of prayers. You can help save souls and renew the Church! Enroll by clicking here.

Now that Septuagesima has started, let us prepare for the holy season of Lent and decide what we will do for fasting, what we will do for alms, and what we will do for penance. For our almsgiving, the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are certainly worth the support.
Commemoration of St. Apollonia

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): February 9

Today is the feastday of St. Cyril of Alexandria which includes a Commemoration of St. Apollonia. St. Apollonia was a virgin of Alexandria who died for Christ during the bloody persecution of the faithful in 249 AD.

The following is taken from the Roman Martyrology: "At Alexandria, in the reign of Decius, the birthday of St. Apollonia, virgin, who had all her teeth broken out by the persecutors; then, having constructed and lighted a pyre, they threatened to burn her alive unless she uttered with them certain impious words. Deliberating a while within herself, she suddenly slipped from their grasp and prompted by the greater fire of the Holy Ghost with her, she rushed voluntarily into the fire which they had prepared. Those responsible for her death were struck with terror at the sight of a woman who was more willing to die than they to kill her."

This account was preserved in a letter from Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, in what is now Syria. She is the patron saint of dentists.


O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of the blessed virgin martyr Apollonia, whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
St. Julian Peter Eymard on the Eucharist

"He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant” (St. Julian Peter Eymard)
Traditional Dominican Little Office in Latin and English

If anyone is interested in the traditional Dominican Little Office in Latin and English, I ordered a copy for only $18 of it in spiral bound form. The SSPX-SO (Resistance) Traditional Dominican Tertiaries affiliated with the Domincans in Arville France have it for sale. The text for this Office was published in 1940 by the Sisters of St. Dominic in Racine, Wisconsin.

If anyone would like to order it, I'll share with you the email address. I don't know if they want their email posted publicly so please just message me for it by commenting below with your email address.

Commemoration of St. Dorothy

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): February 6

Today is the feastday of St. Titus with a commemoration of St. Dorothy in the Office and at Mass.

St. Dorothy was a virgin of Caesarea in Cappadocia, who was condemned to be beheaded toward the end of the third century. Before her execution, she had the happiness of winning for Christ two apostates who had been ordered to pervert her.

Catholic Tradition writes the following:
Dorothy was a virgin Martyred at Caesarea in Cappadocia in about A.D. 313, during the persecution of the Christians by Roman Emperor Diocletian. She had refused to marry or to worship idols and was, therefore, sentenced to death. As she was on her way to her execution, a young scribe or lawyer named Theophilus jeered at her and taunted her for her piety. According to her legend, he called out, "Send me some of the fruits and flowers from that garden you speak of, where you are going to your bridegroom." She responded, "Thy request is granted." As she knelt at the executioner's block, she prayed for Theophilus's wish to happen, and as she did, an Angel appeared before her with a basket of three apples and three roses. After she died, the basket was delivered to Theophilus, some say by the Angel and some by a child. He was immediately converted and was himself executed. St. Dorothy is always represented with the basket of roses; sometimes there are also apples.

O Lord, pardon our sins through the intercession of the blessed virgin martyr Dorothy, who pleased You by her purity and her faith. Through Our Lord . . .
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
St. Simeon the God-Receiver

After many decades had passed in the life of Simeon, the Divine Infant…just 40 days old…was being brought to the Temple by his Virgin Mother and His foster-father. During their journey from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, the Holy Ghost inspired Simeon to come to the temple for the long desired Messiah was approaching.

Simeon was very old…tradition saying that all his hairs were white as the feathers of a swan. And yet he quickly entered the temple with a spring in his step. It was as if he had shaken off old age and that he was once again in the Springtime of youth. Of all the little ones being brought to the temple by their parents, Simeon’s eyes immediately noted the Child Jesus and he reverently approached the Holy Family.

Simeon then falls on his knees and adores the Divine Child in Mary's arms. There is no doubt that Our Lady had also been moved by the Holy Ghost, for she willingly gave the Divine Infant into the arms of the joyful Simeon. The old man then prayed to God to release him from this life…Nunc Dimittis Servum Tuum, Domine…Now thou dost dismiss O Lord according to thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation.

St. Simeon, pray for us!
Monday, February 3, 2020
Indulged Prayer to St. Blase

O glorious Saint Blasé, who by thy martyrdom has left to the Church a precious witness to the faith, obtain for us the grace to preserve within ourselves this divine gift, and to defend, without human respect, both by word and example, the truth of that same faith, which is so wickedly attacked and slandered in these our times. Thou who didst miraculously cure a little child when it was at the point of death by reason of an affliction of the throat, grant us thy powerful protection in like misfortunes; and, above all, obtain for us the grace of Christian mortification together with a faithful observance of the precepts of the Church, which may keep us from offending Almighty God. Amen.

An indulgence of 300 days. Source: The Raccolta
Review of the Baronius Press 3 Volume Breviary Set

In November 2018 I ordered the rather expensive but only real option for a complete Latin and English Breviary set after Baronius Press restocked their inventory. After using this Breviary on a daily basis for over a year, I feel comfortable writing a review of it.

As I mentioned before in my posts How to Live A Liturgical Life and On The Inseparability of the Mass and the Divine Office, it is necessary for lay Catholics to rediscover the Divine Office. And it's equally, if not even more important, for priests to begin laying aside the modern Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) and replace it with a Breviary that conforms to Catholic Tradition. Though of course the same can be said for them ceasing attending/celebrating the Novus Ordo and returning to the Tridentine Mass.

The Hymn Translations 

I previously used a 1962 Breviary for Lauds, Vespers, and Compline only in English from Collegeville that I picked up second-hand at Loomes Books in Minnesota. It was a nice book but it did not have the other hours and it had no Latin in it. The hymn translation in English in that one volume was, however, much better than the one in Baronius. Those hymns sounded like hymns. The Baronius Breviary offers more of a literal translation of the hymn so it does not sound like a hymn. Sometimes I still pick up the Collegeville English Breviary off the bookshelf to read the hymn translations in there instead.

The translations in the Baronius Breviary are taken from Fr. Joseph Connelly's "Hymns of the Roman Liturgy". They are literal and not intended for recitation. The online site Divinum Officium by contrast borrows from the Marques of Bute's English translation of the Breviary, which incorporated a lot of earlier translations made in the 19th century by some John Mason Neale and Father Edward Caswall.

The Rubrics of 1962 vs. Divino Afflatu

I prefer the 1954 Office with its multiple commemorations, additional readings, and preservation of Octaves. Sadly, Baronius does not make Latin/English breviaries using the Divino Afflatu rubrics. So sometimes I still use Divinum Officium's website when I want to see the full readings for Matins under DA. The 1962 Breviary chopped a lot of those down. And some of the previous feasts ranked as "simple" feasts were downgraded to only commemorations in 1962 so there is no reading at all at Matins. One such instance is St. Blase. We honor him by the Blessing of Throats which is an important custom but there is no reading for him in this Breviary. Or take for instance the obliteration to nearly all of the Octave that used to be in place. These are not found in the rubrics in the Baronius Press Breviary. And as occurred with the calendar, the breviary lost the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception, the Vigil of All Saint (Halloween), and the Vigils of the Apostles which are sorely needed today to help us re-ignite our connection to the Liturgical Year.

Book Binding / Quality

Overall, the quality of the book and binding is great. The Latin and English is side and side making it easy to read in either language. I have found very few typos or issues. There is nothing distracting in the text. While some do not like the short sentences on the theme of each Psalm, I like them as they aid in my prayers. The paper feels good - not too thin or too thick. The ribbons work nicely too.

Conclusion / Recommendation

While not the pre-1955 calendar that I prefer to keep, it is still a good Breviary with excellent production. I don't mind carrying a bigger book rather than having to carry a smaller book during the day for the Little Hours and a separate one for other hours at home at night. I prefer one volume with everything so the only other book I need is the Martyrology, which I read during Prime. As someone without appropriate Latin training, I need the English for the psalms

Is this Breviary perfect? No.  Is the 1962 Calendar perfect? No. But is it a great Breviary that is well worth the $400 investment? Absolutely.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Free Email Subscription to Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year

Sign up to receive a daily reading from the monumental "Liturgical Year" work of Dom Gueranger. Definitely worth a daily read. I've subscribed now for several weeks and find the meditations a wonderful addition to my morning after Matins and Lauds.

I first learned about this initiative through the FSSP's online article that was shared on social media which states in part:
“The prayer of the Church is, therefore, the most pleasing to the ear and heart of God, and therefore the most efficacious of all prayers.” So states the Benedictine abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger in the preface to his monumental work The Liturgical Year, a fifteen volume series that guides the reader through every day of the Church’s calendar by means of readings, meditations, prayers and commentary. Dom Guéranger, originally a diocesan priest, became instrumental in restoring monastic life in France after the French Revolution through his revitalization of the abandoned Solesmes Abbey and founding of the French Benedictine Congregation in the 1830s. His Liturgical Year is a goldmine of insights that assist the faithful soul in better praying and understanding the Mass, and St. Francis de Sales Parish, our apostolate in Atlanta, Georgia, has begun a digital delivery service that brings Dom Guéranger’s readings right to your inbox. We recently talked to Fr. James Smith, FSSP, assistant pastor at St. Francis, to learn more.
To sign up, simply visit the FSSP Atlanta Website, enter your email address, and choose the liturgical year option. The meditations follow the pre-1955 Office so you'll receive great meditations for commemorations and feastdays even neglected by the 1962 Missal.

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