Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Commemoration of St. Vitalis

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): April 28

The Church on April 28th celebrates the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross and includes a Commemoration of St Vitalis in the Liturgy.

St. Vitalis was a wealthy citizen of Milan who live in the first or second century. He was married to Saint Valeria. They are regarded as the parents of Saints Gervasius and Protasius. According to legend, when he encouraged Saint Ursicinus of Ravenna to be steadfast at his execution, St. Vitalis was discovered to be a Christian. A judge named Paulinus ordered him to be racked and then buried alive. He thus completed his martyrdom and won the prize of Heaven.


O Almighty God, grant that we who celebrate the birthday of Your blessed martyr Vitalis may be made stronger in our love of You through his intercession. Through Our Lord . . .
Monday, April 27, 2020
A Brief History of Catholic Catechisms

The word “catechism” today is often used only in reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, originally published in 1992.  Yet, this catechism often fails in many respects for converts and even for adult Catholics: its verbose language, its frequent references to the novelties of Vatican II as opposed to actual dogmatic works, and the recent errors promulgated by Pope Francis in regard to capital punishment.  In fact, the number of religious education programs that feel they must teach children from this catechism is frightening – no young child could attempt to learn from a text that is best suited for an undergraduate or master’s course.  So why do we either water down the faith or teach children that the only true source of doctrine is the 1992 text?

Unbeknown to many, the new catechism is far from the only catechism.  St. Peter Canisius, who was instrumental in fighting Protestantism in Germany, wrote the first catechism in 1555, known as the "Catechism of St. Peter Canisius."  Shortly afterward, in 1566, the Roman Catechism was commissioned by the Council of Trent, overseen by St. Charles Borromeo, and issued by His Holiness Pope St. Pius V.  It remains the most authoritative catechism in print.  Known as the “Roman Catechism,” the “Catechism of St. Pius V,” or also as the “Catechism of the Council of Trent,” this book has unfortunately fallen into extreme disuse.

The decades after the Council of Trent saw Fr. Laurence Vaux "Catechism of Christian Doctrine" published in 1567 and St. Robert Bellarmine's Catechism published in 1597. 

Fr. Henry Tuberville followed with the Douay Catechism in 1649, which was modeled on the Catechism of the Council of Trent and written to help combat English Protestantism.  It remains one of the clearest English catechisms ever written as it contains a simple-to-understand question and answer format. 

Fast forward to 1781 and Bishop George Hay published the extensive and heavily Scripturally based "Hay's Catechism" with a longer question and answer format.  Fr. Stephen Keenan in 1846 published his catechism with the purpose of countering heresies of the time especially in regard to papal infallibility.  And one year later in 1847, master catechism Fr. Joseph Deharbe wrote the most accomplished German catechism ever written called "A complete catechism of the Catholic religion."

Throughout the mid-1800s additional catechisms by Fr. Francis Jamison, St. John Neumann, Fr. Patrick Power, Fr. Michael Muller, and Cardinal Gibbons were also published.  Then in 1885, the Bishops of the United States enjoined by order of the Third Council of Baltimore the Baltimore Catechism, which was the most widely used catechism in the United States for over a century up until Vatican II. 

The notion that the “Catechism” is the exclusive right to the 1992 text promulgated by Pope John Paul II is absurd.  In fact, as the crisis in the Church deepened, Pope Benedict XVI remarked while still a Cardinal of the failure of modern catechesis in the Church when he said in an interview with Zenit in 2003, “It is evident that today religious ignorance is enormous; suffice it to speak with the new generations. Evidently, in the post-conciliar period, the concrete transmission of the contents of the Christian faith was not achieved.”  This echoed his previous sentiments which he published before the New Catechism was written when the future Pontiff wrote, “The catastrophic failure of modern catechesis is all too obvious.”

Some of these older Catechisms, like the Baltimore Catechism and the Roman Catechism, are still in print. Others that have fallen out of print are being published once again by the work of Tradivox. And organizations like CatechismClass.com are combining passages from various Catechisms along with Scripture and relevant prayers and commentary to teach the Faith in a way that resonates with more people. Whispers of Restoration lists 20 older catechisms and links to them in an online format.

As the many catechisms show us, the Faith is the same yet it can often be explained in slightly different ways. Whereas one definition or example may teach one person, another person may be better able to understand it explained in a different way. The Faith is changeless and timeless but we can use many different catechisms to teach the one, same Faith.

Check out some of these older catechisms and resources. Share them with your family and friends.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Major Rogation Day (April 25th) Prayers of Blessing

In honor of the Major Rogation, I've put together a list of prayers and blessings to be said by a priest or the father of the family. The exact ones to be said vary depending on a person's property and what features it has. Please share it with anyone who needs a copy.

Blessing of a Farm

(This prayer may be said to obtain God's blessing on a farm with its buildings or for the farmhouse alone.)

Bless, O Lord, Almighty God, this house (or this farm).  May health and purity, goodness and meekness, and every virtue reign here.  May all those who dwell here be filled with faithfulness to Thy law and with thanksgiving to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  May this blessing remain on this house (or this farm) and all who dwell here. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Blessing of All Domestic Animals

Lord God, King of heaven and earth, Thou the Word of the Father by whom all creatures were given us for our support; look down, we beseech Thee, on our lowliness. As Thou hast given us these animals to assist us in our labors and needs, so mayest Thou in thy great goodness and mercy bless them from above, guard and preserve them; and, while Thou givest thy servants temporal benefits, mayest Thou grant us Thy continual grace so that we may praise Thy holy  name with thanksgiving.  Amen.

Blessing of a Water Supply

O Lord, Almighty God, who hast given us an ample supply of water, led off by pipes from this source, grant that, by Thy assistance and blessing and our cooperation, every diabolical attack and confusion may be kept off and that this water supply may always be pure and uncontaminated.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of a Spring or Well

We cry without ceasing, O Lord, to Thy Fatherly goodness that Thou wouldst sanctify this fountain of water with Thy heavenly blessing and make it suitable for every use.  Drive from it every influence of the devil so that whoever draws from it or drinks this water may enjoy good health and full vigor, and give praise and thanks to Thee, the Preserver and
Sanctifier of all things.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Blessing of Pasture, Meadows, and Fields

O God, through whom every good thing has its beginning, and through whom it is improved  and increased; grant, we beseech Thee, to us who cry to Thee, that this work, which we are beginning for the praise of Thy name, may be happily brought to completion through the never failing gift of Thy fatherly wisdom.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty, eternal God, Thou hast given to Thy priests a special grace so that we may be sure that whatever is worthily done by them in Thy name is done also by Thee.  We beseech Thy clemency that Thou wouldst visit what we now visit, that Thou wouldst bless what we now bless, and that Thou wouldst stretch forth Thy mighty right arm over that which we now do, and that by the merits and intercession of Thy saints and this entrance of our humble persons, the demons may be put to flight and the angel of peace may enter in.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(This solemn blessing may be said by a priest some time before cattle are put on the pasture for summer. If the father of the family is offering this blessing, the second paragraph can be omitted.)

The Litany of the Saints is inserted here followed by:

Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created; And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.  For the Lord will give goodness; and our earth shall yield her fruit.

We humbly beseech Thy clemency O Lord, that Thou wouldst render these fields (pastures, meadows) fertile with rains in due season, that Thou wousdst fill them with Thy blessing, and so grant that Thy people may be ever thankful for Thy gifts.  Take infertility from the earth and fill the hungry with Thy gifts which the fruitful earth will yield in fullness that the poor and needy may raise the name of Thy glory, forever and ever. Amen.

The Solemn Exorcism of Harmful Animals

I conjure you mice (worms, sails, snakes, spiders, lice, ticks, etc.) in the name of God, the Almighty Father, of Jesus Christ, His only Son, and of the Holy Spirit who proceeds from both, that you go out from these fields and pastures and remain no more in them, but depart for places where you can harm no one.  In the name of God, the Almighty, of the whole heavenly court, and of God's holy Church, I declare you accursed wherever you go so that you will become fewer day by day.  May no part of you be found again, unless it be for man's welfare.  May He graciously grant this, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

Note: Any prayer that is called an "exorcism" must be performed by a specially authorized priest.  You could pray this prayer of course, but not perhaps to the same effect.

Blessing of Orchards and Vineyards

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, in Thy goodness, to pour down Thy blessings on these young shoots and sprouts which Thou wouldst grow into mature fruit.  Grant to Thy people that they may always be permitted to grow, with due sunshine and rain, and make them gifts which the fruitful earth produces in fullness so that the poor and needy may praise Thy glory.  Amen.


1. St. Mark's Day Blessings
2. Catholic Culture
3. Rogation & Ember Day Manual
Third Secret of Fatima Still Not Revealed

Despite what some claim - that the third secret of Fatima referred to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II - the actual details of the third secret have not yet been revealed. This allegation, long triumphed by the late Father Nicholas Gruner, has been affirmed in recent days by Archbishop Vigano, the critic of Pope Francis who has largely gone into hiding for publishing some of his errors.

Chris Ferrara in Archbishop Viganó on the Third Secret of Fatima: Father Gruner Vindicated quotes Vigano from a recent interview where he stated:
“In 2000, during the pontificate of John Paul II, Cardinal Sodano presented as the Third Secret a version of his own that in several elements appeared clearly incomplete. It is not surprising that the new Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, sought to draw attention away to an event in the past [the assassination attempt on John Paul on May 13, 1981] to cause the people of God to believe that the words of the Virgin [in 1917 when She appeared] had nothing to do with the crisis of the Church [in the decades after 1960] and the marriage of modernists and Freemasonry that was contracted behind the scenes at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Antonio Socci, who has carefully investigated the Third Secret, unmasked this harmful behavior on the part of Cardinal Bertone. In addition, it was Bertone himself who heavily discredited and censured the Madonnina delle Lacrime (Madonna of Tears) of Civitavecchia, whose message perfectly agrees with what she said at Fatima.”
Mr. Ferrara continues:
With this pontificate, says the Archbishop, we are witnessing an attack on ecclesiastical celibacy, the “attempt to introduce a form of ordained female ministry” and in general an “approach to the Church’s dogmas [that has] adopted the so-called ‘situation theology,’ whose theological pillars are accidental facts or subjects: the world, nature, the female figure, young people… This theology does not have God’s immutable and eternal truth as its founding center; on the contrary, it starts from the observation of whatever is the current pressing need of these phenomena in order to give answers that are consistent with the expectations of the contemporary world.”
Read the rest of the article on the Fatima Center's website. And support their work, especially the 54 Day Rosary Novena that is to begin on May 1st with the intention of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart to bring an end to the COVID-19 Crisis and future calamities that await us until this is accomplished as requested by Our Lady of Fatima.
Monday, April 20, 2020
Easter Monday & Easter Tuesday as Holy Days of Obligation

When writing about the rank of days in the Catholic Liturgical calendar, there are various ways to label them. In the modern Church, they will use the terms solemnity, feast, memorial, or optional memorial. In the 1962 Missal, we have First, Second, Third, or Fourth Class feastdays. But before the 1962 Missal up until the changes made by Pope Pius XII in 1955, there were from least to most important: Simples, Semidoubles, Lesser Doubles or also known as Doubles, Greater Doubles, Doubles of the second class, and lastly Doubles of the first class.
Using the traditional pre-1955 calendar, we notice something very interesting about Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday. Easter Monday and Tuesday are doubles of the first class whereas the rest of the Easter Octave is a semi-double.  Even with the variation in rank, the Easter Octave is privileged and no other feastday may occur in the Octave. 
But what's unique about Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday is that no other saints are commemorated those days in the Mass or the Divine Office.

Why the special treatment for Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday? It is because they were universal holy days of obligation for a very long time. Easter Tuesday was not dropped from the list until 1771 by Pope Clement XIV; Easter Monday was dropped from the universal list at the beginning of the 20th century but is still a Holy Day of Obligation in many places to this very day. In Catholic European countries, it is still common to have Easter Monday off as a paid holiday.

The unequaled Dom Gueranger, in his seminal work, The Liturgical Year, writes:
So fervently did the faithful of those times appreciate and love the Liturgy, so lively was the interest they took in the newly made children of holy mother Church, that they joyfully went through the whole of the services of this week. Their hearts were filled with the joy of the Resurrection, and they thought it but right to devote their whole time to its celebration. Councils laid down canons, changing the pious custom into a formal law. The Council of Mâcon, in 585, thus words its decree: ‘It behoves us all fervently to celebrate the feast of the Pasch, in which our great High Priest was slain for our sins, and to honour it by carefully observing all it pre-scribes. Let no one, therefore, do any servile work during these six days (which followed the Sunday), but let all come together to sing the Easter hymns, and assist at the daily Sacrifice, and praise our Creator and Redeemer in the evening, morning, and mid-day.’ 
The Councils of Mayence (813) and Meaux (845) lay down similar rules. We find the same prescribed in Spain, in the seventh century, by the edicts of kings Receswind and Wamba. The Greek Church renewed them in her Council in Trullo; Charlemagne, Louis the Good, Charles the Bald, sanctioned them in their Capitularia; and the canonists of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Burchard, St Ivo of Chartres, Gratian, tell us they were in force in their time. Finally, Pope Gregory IX inserted them in one of his decretals in the thirteenth century. But their observance had then fallen into desuetude, at least in many places. The Council held at Constance, in 1094, reduced the solemnity of Easter to the Monday and Tuesday. 
The two great liturgists, John Beleth in the twelfth, and Durandus in the thirteenth century, inform us that, in their times, this was the practice in France. It gradually became the discipline of the whole of the western Church, and continued to be so, until relaxation crept still further on, and a dispensation was obtained by some countries, first for the Tuesday, and finally for the Monday. In order fully to understand the Liturgy of the whole Easter Octave (Low Sunday included), we must remember that the neophytes were formerly present, vested in their white garments, at the Mass and Divine Office of each day. Allusions to their Baptism are continually being made in the chants and Lessons of the entire week.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Saturday in Albis

The account that used to take place on Easter Saturday of the newly baptized laying aside their white garments, which they had worn since their Baptism on Holy Saturday, is very poignantly described by Dom Gueranger in the Liturgical Year:

The Taking Off of the White Garments

The Vespers, on each of the days of this week, were celebrated in the manner we described on the Sunday. There was a numerous attendance, each day, in the basilica; and the faithful thus testified their affectionate interest in the white-robed neophytes, who visited, during the Vespers of each day, the sacred font where they had been born to the new life of grace. This afternoon, the concourse of people is greater than on the preceding days, for an interesting ceremony is to take place. The neophytes are about to lay aside the outward symbol of innocence which they have been wearing; but they are also to give a solemn promise to maintain the inward purity of soul. By this public ceremony the Church restores the newly baptized to the duties of their ordinary station of life: they must now return to the world, and comport themselves as Christians—disciples of Christ—for such they are.

The visit to the baptistery has been made, and the Office of Vespers has terminated with the Station before the crucifix of the chancel: the neophytes are then led to a room adjoining the cathedral, in which is prepared a large vessel of water. The bishop goes to his throne. Seeing the newly baptized standing around him, he addresses them in a discourse, wherein he expresses the joy he feels, as pastor, at the increase wherewith it has pleased God to bless his much-loved flock. He congratulates them upon the grace they have received; and then, alluding to the main object of their coming together this afternoon—that is, the laying aside of the white garments they received after Baptism—he warns them, with paternal affection, to keep a guard over themselves, and see that they never sully the purity of soul, of which their white robes have been but an emblem.

These were lent to the neophytes by the Church, as we said on Holy Saturday; they come now to restore them. The water in which the garments are to be washed is blessed by the pontiff. As soon as he has finished the address to which we have just been alluding, he says a prayer, wherein he speaks of the power given to this element of cleansing the stains of the soul herself. Then turning to the neophytes, he recites the 116th Psalm, in thanksgiving; to which he adds this beautiful prayer:
Visit, O Lord, thy people with thy salvation! Behold it now illumined with the Paschal joy! But do thou vouchsafe to preserve in our neophytes what thou thyself hast wrought in them unto salvation. Grant that whilst laying aside these white robes, the change may be but exterior; that the spotless purity of Christ, which the eye cannot see, may ever be in their souls, so that they may never lose it; and that thy grace may assist them to gain, by good works, that immortal life whereunto the Paschal mystery obliges us to aspire.
After this, aided by their sponsors—the men by their godfathers, the women by their godmothers—the neophytes take off their white garments, which are then consigned to those whose duty it is to wash and keep them. The sponsors having assisted their spiritual children to put on their ordinary dress, lead them to the pontiff, who distributes to each an image of the divine Lamb, stamped on wax: it is the Paschal symbol.

A last vestige of this interesting ceremony is the distribution of the Agnus Dei. This distribution is made by the Pope, on this day, in Rome, the first and every seventh year of his pontificate. We have already described the rite observed in their blessing, and we then drew the attention of our readers to the allusion to the ancient form of Baptism by immersion. The Agnus Dei are blessed on the Wednesday of Easter Week: on the following Saturday, there is what is called Papal Chapel in the palace. After High Mass, the Agnus Dei are brought before the pontiff, who is seated on a throne. The prelate, who presents them, sings the following words, which are taken from one of the beautiful Responsories given above:’Holy Father! These are the new lambs, and they have announced to us the Alleluia: they have come but now to the fount: they are filled with light.' The Pope answers: Deo gratias! They who are happy enough to witness this function are forcibly reminded of the ancient ceremony we have been describing, in which the newly baptized were led before the bishop, as the innocent lambs whom he so gladly welcomed. The Pope then distributes the Agnus Dei to the cardinals, prelates, and others presented by the master of ceremonies: and thus is concluded this function, which is interesting, not only because of its signification, but also because of the sacred object wherewith it consoles us.
Shrine of Christ the King: Easter Sunday 2020

Here are some photos from the live streamed Mass for Easter Sunday celebrated at the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago, Illinois by Canon Talarico. The Shrine is still regularly broadcasting all of their Masses as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Check out their schedule, or the schedule of other ICKSP apostolates, here.

Friday, April 17, 2020
Pre-1955 Holy Week with the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles

As part of the widespread closure of churches due to COVID-19, I like many others had to watch livestream Masses rather than attend them for the Triduum. I chose to watch the pre-1955 Holy Week Liturgies through the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles. Their website is worth visiting, as they keep many praiseworthy monastic practices.

Their community is based in Gower, Missouri and are affiliated with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Here are some of the screenshots of the Sacred Triduum Liturgies.

Holy Thursday

Good Friday

Holy Saturday

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
The "Easter Duty": Receive Holy Communion Once a Year

The fourth precept of the Church requires us to receive our Divine Savior in Holy Communion at least once a year, and unlike the precept on Confession, the reception of Holy Communion must take place during the Easter Season. The precept of confessing your sins at least once a year may take place at any point in the calendar year.

Fr. Jim Achacoso in an online article entitled The Easter Eucharistic Precept and the Law of Annual Confession discusses the importance and history of this precept:
"Due to a widespread neglect of the sacrament of the Eucharist in the Middle Ages, various Church Councils, from the 6th Century onward, enacted laws obliging the faithful to receive the Holy Eucharist, especially on the principal feasts. The IV Lateran Council (1215) established a general law for the Latin Church requiring the reception of Communion at least once a year at Easter by those who had attained the age of discretion. This law, which was confirmed by the Council of Trent, was incorporated in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. The actual Code of 1983 retains the annual precept, with some modifications…"
To further explain the history, the Catholic Encyclopedia of New Advent states:
"Paschaltide is the period during which every member of the faithful who has attained the year of discretion is bound by the positive law of the Church to receive Holy Communion (Easter duty). During the early Middle Ages from the time of the Synod of Agde (508), it was customary to receive Holy Communion at least three times a year — Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. A positive precept was issued by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and confirmed by the Council of Trent (Sess. XIII, can. ix). According to these decrees the faithful of either sex, after coming to the age of discretion, must receive at least at Easter the Sacrament of the Eucharist (unless by the advice of the parish priest they abstain for a while). Otherwise during life they are to be prevented from entering the church and when dead are to be denied Christian burial. The paschal precept is to be fulfilled in one's parish church. Although the precept of the Fourth Lateran to confess to the parish priest fell into disuse and permission was given to confess anywhere, the precept of receiving Easter Communion in the parish church is still in force where there are canonically-erected parishes…"
Code of Canon Law:

1983 Code of Canon Law:

Can. 920 §1. After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year. §2. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year.

1917 Code of Canon Law:

The precept for annual reception of First Holy Communion is contained in Code 859. Every Catholic, of either sex, who has reached the age of discretion, i. e., attained the use of reason, must receive Holy Eucharist once a year, at least during Easter time, unless his own priest should, for a reasonable cause, advise him to abstain from it for a time.

When May the Easter Duty Be Fulfilled?

The 1962 Rituale Romanum states:
"The time within which the Easter communion must be received commences on Palm Sunday and terminates on Low Sunday. But it is the right of the local Ordinary, if circumstances of persons or place demand, to extend this time for all the faithful, however, not earlier than the fourth Sunday in Lent nor later than Trinity Sunday. The faithful should be persuaded to fulfill this obligation, everyone in his own parish church. Whoever fulfills it in another church must see to it that he inform his own pastor of the fact. The precept of Easter communion still continues to be binding if one has neglected it during the time prescribed, no matter for what reason." 
New Advent clarifies though some important exceptions that will impact most people:
"In the United States upon petition of the Fathers of the First Provincial Council of Baltimore Paschal Tide was extended by Pius VIII to the period from the first Sunday in Lent to Trinity Sunday (II Plen. Coun. Balt., n. 257); in England it lasts from Ash Wednesday until Low Sunday; in Ireland from Ash Wednesday until the octave of SS. Peter and Paul, 6 July (O'Kane "Rubrics of the Roman Ritual," n. 737; Slater, "Moral Theology" 578, 599); in Canada the duration of the Paschal Tide is the same as in the United States. 
For instance, Father Patrick Power's Catechism (III) from 1905 published in Dubin mentions this precept as such: "To receive worthily the Blessed Eucharist at Easter, or within the time appointed; that is, from Ash-Wednesday to the octave day of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, inclusive."

These are exceptions from the standard time mentioned in the Rituale Romanum. This is affirmed in the Baltimore Catechism #1354: "The Easter time is, in this country [the United States], the time between the first Sunday in Lent and Trinity Sunday."

Pope St. Pius X said, "Holy Communion is the “shortest and safest way to Heaven." While the Church encourages all to receive the Blessed Sacrament regularly — even daily — it must be stated that at no time and for no reason may the Faithful receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin. You must attend Sacramental Confession prior to receiving Holy Communion. This precept of the Church does not mandate, require, condone, or support the reception of Holy Communion in the state of sin.

It must also be stated that like the precept of assisting at Mass each Sunday, these can be dispensed by one's local ordinary for a serious reason. We are seeing some dispensations occur this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, what most news articles are failing to report is that the Easter Duty does not require receiving Holy Communion on Easter Sunday. As demonstrated, it is fulfilled over a much larger time - including all of Lent in most countries.

To learn more about the precepts of the Church, pick up a copy of "Understanding the Precepts of the Church."
Commemoration of Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): April 14

While we are in the midst of the Easter Octave this particular year, April 14th is the feast of St. Justin, when not impeded by Easter. And in the liturgy for April 14th, the Church further commemorates the martyr saints Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus.

Circa 229 AD, the brothers Tiburtius and Valerian converted their executioner Maximus by the example of their courage. Then all three were martyred in the Roman arena.
Known by their inclusion in the Acts of St. Cecilia. It is generally accepted that the Acts are fiction, but the three perhaps were genuine martyrs, especially as their tombs in the cemetery of Praetextatus were exceedingly popular during the Middle Ages. According to the Acts, Valerian was Cecilia's husband, Tiburtius her brother, and Maximus a Roman soldier or official who died with them.  
(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Almighty God, grant, we beseech Thee, that we who keep the solemn festival of Thy holy Martyrs Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus, may also follow the example of their virtues. Through our Lord . . .
Monday, April 13, 2020
Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise

"To be with Christ is life, and where Christ is, there is His kingdom" (St. Augustine)

The Good Thief

Traditionally known as St. Dismas, the Good Thief, who died on the Cross alongside our Lord is mentioned in only the Gospel according to St. Luke. While all four Gospels reference thieves also crucified along with our Lord (Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27–28,32, Luke 23:33, John 19:18), only the Gospel of St. Luke mentions the Good Thief. 

The Gospel of St. Matthew and St. Mark reference that the thieves reviled our Lord. Only St. Luke mentions the conversion of St. Dismas:
And one of those robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.
Faith Alone? Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

This account is not an endorsement of the false doctrine of salvation by faith alone. Catholics know that we are saved by God's good grace alone. We receive grace in our souls at Baptism when original sin is removed from our souls and we become justified and receive the Holy Ghost. We only lose God's grace by committing a mortal sin. Mortal sin is possible through sins of word, deed, thought, or omission. Failing to help someone in need, admonish a sinner, attend Mass, etc could all be mortal sins. It is not works that save a man. And it is not faith alone either. Grace alone saves a man.

How was St. Dismas justified without the Sacrament of Baptism? First, our Lord had not yet been resurrected. It was not until right before our Lord's Ascension that the law of Baptism became necessary. On this point, the Catechism of the Council of Trent states:
“Holy writers are unanimous in saying that after the Resurrection of our Lord, when He gave to His Apostles the command to go and teach all nations: baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who were to be saved.”
Yet secondly, we are also wise to remember the three forms of Baptism: Water, Blood, and Desire. We ordinarily think of Baptism as the Sacrament of Baptism which consists of the proper words said while a person is submerged or sprinkled three times with water. But, Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire are both equally valid. If someone dies as a martyr for the Faith who had not yet received the Sacrament of Baptism, that person has still received God's grace through their martyrdom, which is a Baptism of Blood. And likewise, a catechumen who desires conversion who dies before receiving the actual Sacrament of Baptism with water still receives justification through Baptism. In such a way, we see in St. Dismas the effect of Baptism of Desire. We see in the record of saints from the early Church many martyrs and catechumens who are listed in the catalog of saints who never received Baptism by water. Yet, they are justified still through these other forms of Baptism.

St. Dismas teaches us the importance of interior conversion and how God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by His sacraments.

Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise

When our Lord told St. Dismas, as they both hung dying on the Cross, "Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise," what did the Lord mean? Did He mean that after they died both would be reunited in Heaven?

No. Heaven at that moment was not opened due to the sin of Adam and Eve which closed Heaven. Christ did not yet pay the price for sin to open Heaven. In fact, the opening of Heaven did not occur until Ascension Day, forty days after our Lord's Resurrection, when Christ the Victor over death led the souls of the just who died beforehand into Heaven after Him. It was fitting that Our Lord, the conqueror of death, would be the first to open the gates of Heaven.

To be with Christ is to be in paradise. Christ and the blessed saints in Limbo including the Good Thief entered Heaven 40 days later when Our Lord ascended and opened the doors of Heaven. Today both would die as their bodies and souls would separate. St. Dismas' soul would go to the Limbo of the Fathers. This place, where the just from the Old Testament waited for Heaven to be opened, welcomed Christ in their midst today. Adam, Eve, Moses, Ezekiel, St. Joseph, and countless others today saw our Lord come to them. The messiah, who some had waited thousands of year for, was at last here. And St. Dismas joined them.
The words of The Lord (This day ... in paradise) must therefore be understood not of an earthly or corporeal paradise, but of that spiritual paradise in which all may be, said to be, who are in the enjoyment of the divine glory. Hence to place, the thief went up with Christ to heaven, that he might be with Christ, as it was said to him: "Thou shalt be with Me in Paradise"; but as to reward, he was in Paradise, for he there tasted and enjoyed the divinity of Christ, together with the other saints. (The Life of The Good Thief, Msgr. Gaume, Loreto Publications, 1868).
On the evening of Good Friday, our Lord descended unto the dead. Christ was in their midst. And to be with Christ is paradise. And that is what we learn from these words of our Lord.
Saturday, April 11, 2020
Traditional Blessing of Homes and Food for Easter

These are taken from the 1962 Rituale Romanum:


on Holy Saturday and during Eastertime

1. The parish priest (or a priest who has his permission), vested in surplice and white stole, visits the homes of his parishioners on Holy Saturday or another day during Eastertime, in order to bless the homes and their occupants with the Easter water. He should be assisted by a server who carries a vessel containing blessed water taken from the baptismal font before the holy oils were added. As he enters the home he says:

P: God's peace be in this home.

All: And in all who live here.

2. Then he sprinkles the dwelling's main room and the occupants, saying the antiphon:

I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom this water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 117.) Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple, alleluia; and all to whom this water came were saved, and they shall say, alleluia, alleluia.

Next he says:

P: Lord, show us your mercy, alleluia.

All: And grant us your salvation, alleluia.

P: Lord, heed my prayer.

All: And let my cry be heard by you.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Hear us, holy Lord and Father, almighty everlasting God; and as you guarded the homes of the Israelites from the avenging angel on their flight from Egypt, if their homes were signed with the blood of a lamb--therein prefiguring our Easter sacrifice in which Christ is the victim--so likewise in your goodness send your holy angel to watch over and protect all who live in this home, to be with them and give them comfort and encouragement; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.


{The Easter blessings of food owe their origin to the fact that these particular foods, namely, fleshmeat and milk products, including eggs, were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast and abstinence. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at table, the people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Moreover, they hoped that the Church's blessing on such edibles would prove a remedy for whatever harmful effects the body might have suffered from the long period of self-denial. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the U. S., especially in those of the Slavic peoples.}

A. Blessing of Lamb

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

God, who by your servant Moses commanded your people in their deliverance from Egypt to kill a lamb as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, and prescribed that its blood be used to sign the two door-posts of their homes; may it please you to bless + and sanctify + this creature-flesh which we, your servants, desire to eat in praise of you. We ask this in virtue of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

B. Blessing of Eggs

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, let the grace of your blessing + come upon these eggs, that they be healthful food for your faithful who eat them in thanksgiving for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water.

C. Blessing of Bread

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, bread of angels, true bread of everlasting life, be pleased to bless + this bread, as you once blessed the five loaves in the wilderness, so that all who eat of it may derive health in body and soul. We ask this of you who live and reign forever and ever.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

E. Blessing of New Produce

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, bless + this new produce, N., and grant that those who eat of it in praise of your holy name may be nourished in body and soul; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Liturgical Prayers Concerning the Jews in Holy Week

As we draw closer to Good Friday, there are often liturgical questions on the prayer of the Church for the conversion of the Jews. But first, please understand what we mean by the involvement in the Jews in Christ's Passion and Death. It's important to first read "Are the Jews Responsible for Christ's Death" before continuing.

The primary question concerning references to Jews during Holy Week is usually around the prayer for the Jews in the Good Friday Liturgy (known traditionally as the Liturgy of the Presanctified). Here is a summary of those changes

Traditional Pre-1955 Prayer for the Jews

As part of the Great Intercessions, the priest prays, "Let us pray also for the perfidious Jews: that our God and Lord would remove the veil from their hearts: that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ." Then after he says "Oremus" this prayer is prayed: "Almighty and everlasting God, who drivest not away from Thy mercy even the perfidious Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people: that, acknowledging the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen."

What differs in pre-1955 is that while in all of the Great Intercessions one kneels after the Oremus, it does not take place during the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews. Why? The Church's Year by Father Leonard Goffine explains:

"After the [chanting of the account of the Passion according to St. John] the priest prays in behalf of the one, only true Church, that she may increase, and that peace and unity may always remain with her; for the pope, that his government may be blessed; for the bishops, priests, the clergy, and the people, that they may serve God in justice; for those converted to the faith, that they may continue to grow a knowledge and a zeal for the holy religion; for rulers as defenders of the Church, that they may govern with wisdom and justice, and that those under them may be loyal to them with fidelity and obedience; for the unfortunate, that God may have mercy on them; for heretics and apostates, that they may be brought back from error to the truth of the Catholic faith; for the Jews, that they may be enlightened; for the heathens, that they may be converted. Before each prayer the priest says Oremus, Let us pray Flectamus genua, (Let us kneel) when kneeling, we say Amen, and at the call Levate (Rise up) we rise: except at the prayer for the Jews, when the genuflection is omitted because the Jews bent the knee in mockery before our Lord."

1955 Prayer for the Jews

As part of the changes to Holy Week, the flectamus genua was added back to the prayer.

1959 Prayer for the Jews

Likely due to failure to understand the meaning of "perfidious", which means "incredulous" but which some people falsely thought to mean “treacherous," Pope John XXIII removed the word from the prayer and interrupts the Good Friday Liturgy when the prayer was read, asking for it to be read again without using the word.

1962 Prayer for the Jews:

The prayer as changed in 1959, omitting perfidious and adding the flectamus genua, is what was included in the 1962 Missal and stayed as such until 2008.

The 1962 Prayer for the Jews (Amended in 2008):

The 1962 Missal which is the most widely used Missal for the Traditional Latin Mass was ordered to change the prayer from its prior version, as mentioned immediately above, to a new prayer composed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. That modified prayer reads:

"Let us pray for the Jews: May our God and Lord enlighten their hearts, so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, Saviour of all men." The priest prays "Oremus" and then adds the flectamus genua to kneel, still in rupture with the past tradition.

Rising, he prays: "Almighty and Everlasting God, who desirest that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth; mercifully grant that, as the fullness of the Gentiles enters into Thy Church, all Israel may be saved. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Novus Ordo Prayer for the Jews

In the Novus Ordo, the changes become even more drastic and straying from our purpose of praying for the conversion of the Jews. The prayer currently prayed in the Novus Ordo as written in 1970 by Pope Paul VI is as follows.

The priest prays as part of the General Intercessions: "Let us pray also for the Jewish people, to whom the Lord our God spoke first, that he may grant them to advance in love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant."

The priest adds: "Almighty ever-living God, who bestowed your promises on Abraham and his descendants, hear graciously the prayers of your Church, that the people you first made your own may attain the fullness of redemption. Through Christ our Lord."

The website of Corpus Christi Watershed has more information on these prayers as they changed over the years.

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Yet, this is not the only matter concerning mention of the Jews in prayers during Holy Week. The following is taken from the Easter Sequence, the Victimae Paschali Laudes.

Pre Tridentine Victimae Paschali Laudes

Before the Tridentine Reforms, the Victimae Paschali Laudes included a line that read, "It is more fitting to believe in truthful Mary alone, rather than in the lying multitude of the Jews." For those looking to chant this version of the prayer, which was changed nearly 500 years ago, a pdf is available for download.

The key takeaway is that while politically incorrect, we can and should still pray for the conversion of the Jews. We desire for them, and for all mankind, to enter the Catholic Church, the ark outside of which no salvation may be found. We pray for the Jews in the traditional Octave of Christian Unity in January of each year as well.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Votive Mass in Times of Pestilence Mass Propers

Last weekend the Dominican Rite was celebrated in Berkeley, California. The Mass was the Votive Mass in Times of Pestilence (Recordare, Domine). This Votive Mass is the same in both the Traditional Roman Rite as in the Dominican Rite, among others.

This votive Mass has increased in popularity as of late due to the COVID-19 crisis and the spread of disease throughout much of the world, which has led to the widespread suspension of public Masses and the Sacraments. As I mentioned previously in my article "An Authentic Catholic Response to A Public Health Crisis" the offering of the Votive Mass in Times of Pestilence is one of the ways our priests can implore the help of God during the crisis.

As Father Augustine noted in his sermon, the Votive Mass in times of Pestilence came about in 1348 at the time of the Black Death when Pope Clement V reigned. The text of that Mass is given below. What is truly interesting though, as Father noted, is that the Mass text, while mentioning the disease, implores most of all help in the spiritual domain from our Lord. We do not ask God to remove the scourge outright. We implore that He be merciful to His people and keep us in grace. Written at a time when the Black Death killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population, the Church implored for spiritual help the most.

The Collect from the Mass reads: “O God, Who willest not the death of the sinner but that he should repent: welcome with pardon Thy people’s return to Thee: and so long as they are faithful in Thy service, do Thou in Thy clemency withdraw the scourge of Thy wrath.”

Are there things we need to be purged of and forgiven? And secondly, what more can I do to be of service to those in sickness or those in need during this economic time? These are key questions that come from this Mass. We do not ask God to remove the plague from us so that the world can return to its former evils. Our goal is to perform penance as the Ninevites of old under Jonah so that the scourge may be removed and we are interiorly more pleasing to the Lord.

Click here to download these prayers in PDF.

Introit (2 Kings 24:16)

Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy covenant and say to the destroying Angel: Now hold thy hand, and let not the land be made desolate, and destroy not every living soul. (P.T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Psalm. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. ℣. 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. — Be mindful, O Lord …


O God, who willest not the death of the sinner but that he should repent: welcome with pardon Thy people’s return to Thee: and so long as they are faithful in Thy service, do Thou in Thy clemency withdraw the scourge of Thy wrath. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son…

Lesson (2 Kings 24:15 – 19; 25)

In those days: The Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel, from the morning unto the time appointed, and there died of the people from Dan to Bersabee seventy thousand men. And when the Angel of the Lord had stretched out his hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord had pity on the affliction, and said to the Angel that slew the people: It is enough: now hold thy hand. And the Angel of the Lord was by the thrashing-floor of Areuna the Jebusite. And David said to the Lord, when he saw the Angel striking the people: It is I, I am he that have sinned, I have done wickedly: these that are the sheep, what have they done? Let Thy hand, I beseech Thee, be turned against me, and against my father’s house. And the Prophet Gad came to David that day, and said: Go up, and build an altar to the Lord in the thrashing-floor of Areuna the Jebusite. And David went up according to the word of Gad which the Lord had commanded him: and he built there an altar to the Lord, and offered holocausts and peace-offerings: and the Lord became merciful to the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

Gradual (Psalm 106:20 – 21) 

The Lord sent his word, and healed them: and delivered them from their death. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to Him: and His wonderful works to the children of men.

Tract (Psalm 102:10) [Prayed between Septuagesima Sunday and the end of Lent]

O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. (Ps. 78:8-9.) O Lord, remember not our former iniquities, let Thy mercies speedily prevent us: for we are become exceeding poor. Help us, O God, our Savior: and for the glory of Thy Name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy Name’s sake

Alleluia (Psalm 68:2) [Prayed during Pascaltide in place of Gradual and Tract]

Alleluia, alleluia. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul. Alleluia. (Zach. 8:7-8.) I will save my people Israel in the evil day: and I will be their God in truth and in justice. Alleluia.

Gospel (Luke 4:38 – 44)

At that time Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought Him for her. And standing over her, He commanded the fever: and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to Him. But He, laying His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God; and rebuking them, He suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ. And when it was day, going out He went into a desert place: and the multitudes sought Him, and came unto Him: and they stayed Him that He should not depart from them. To whom He said: To other cities also I must preach the Kingdom of God: for therefore am I sent. And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

Offertory (Num. 16:48)

The high priest stood between the dead and the living, having a golden censer in his hand: and offering the sacrifice of incense, he appeased the wrath of God, and the affliction from the Lord ceased.


Let the sacrifice which we now offer succour us, O Lord; may it wholly release us from sin and deliver us from all ruin and destruction. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee …


Preface of Lent or Eastertide or Common Preface, as determined by the season

Communion (Luke 6:17, 18, 19)

A multitude of sick and they that were troubled with unclean spirits, came to Him: for virtue went out from Him, and healed all. (P.T. Alleluia.)

Post Communion

Graciously hear us, O God our Savior: deliver Thy people from the terrors of Thy wrath, and assure them of that safety which is the gift of Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Holy Tuesday Traditional Mass Propers

You may download a PDF of the Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Spy Wednesday Mass propers in the pre-1955 rubrics by clicking here. Today's stational church is at St. Prisca.

Vestments: Violet

INTROIT (Gal. 6:14)

But it is fitting that we should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is salvation, life, and resurrection for us, by whom we are saved and delivered. Ps. 66:2. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He let his face shine upon us; and may He have mercy on us. But it is fitting . . .


Almighty and Eternal God, grant that we may celebrate the sacred rites of our Lord's passion in such a manner that we may be worthy of Your pardon. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

LESSON (Jer. 11:18-20)

In those days, Jeremiah said, "But thou, O Lord, hast shewn me, and I have known: then thou shewedst me their doings. And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim: and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: 'Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more.' But thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judgest justly, and triest the reins and the hearts, let me see thy revenge on them: for to thee have I revealed my cause."

GRADUAL (Ps. 34:13, 1-2)

But I, when they were afflicting me, clothed myself in sackcloth, humbled myself with fastings, and prayed with head bent low. V. Fight, O Lord, against those who fight me, war upon me. Tale Your sword and shield, and rise up to help me.

GOSPEL (Mark 14:1-72; 15:1-46)

In the Pre-1955 rubrics, the Passion starts with the 1st verse of the 14th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark. Starting with the Missal in 1955, and preserved in the 1962 Missal, is the omission of the first 31 verses:

Now the feast of the pasch, and of the Azymes was after two days; and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might by some wile lay hold on him, and kill him. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest there should be a tumult among the people. And when he was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, and was at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard: and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head. Now there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said: Why was this waste of the ointment made? For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her

But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memorial of her. And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray him to them.

Who hearing it were glad; and they promised him they would give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. Now on the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the pasch, the disciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go, and prepare for thee to eat the pasch? And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city; and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, follow him; And whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house, The master saith, Where is my refectory, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? And he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and there prepare ye for us.

And his disciples went their way, and came into the city; and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the pasch. And when evening was come, he cometh with the twelve. And when they were at table and eating, Jesus saith: Amen I say to you, one of you that eateth with me shall betray me. But they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one: Is it I? Who saith to them: One of the twelve, who dippeth with me his hand in the dish.

And the Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born. And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it. And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many. Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.

And when they had said an hymn, they went forth to the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith to them: You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter saith to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, yet not I. And Jesus saith to him: Amen I say to thee, today, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shall deny me thrice. But he spoke the more vehemently: Although I should die together with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner also said they all.

Continuing with verse 32:

At that time, they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And Jesus saith to his disciples: "Sit you here, while I pray." And he taketh Peter and James and John with him: and he began to fear and to be heavy. And he saith to them: "My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch." And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground: and he prayed that, if it might be, the hour might pass from him. And he saith: "Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt."

And he cometh and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter:"Simon, sleepest thou? Couldst thou not watch one hour? Watch ye: and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words. And when he returned, he found them again asleep (for their eyes were heavy): and they knew not what to answer him. And he cometh the third time and saith to them: "Sleep ye now and take your rest. It is enough. The hour is come: behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up: let us go. Behold, he that will betray me is at hand."

And while he was yet speaking, cometh Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve: and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the ancients. And he that betrayed him had given them a sign, saying: "Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he. Lay hold on him: and lead him away carefully." And when he was come, immediately going up to him he saith: "Hail, Rabbi!" And he kissed him. But they laid hands on him and held him. And one of them that stood by, drawing a sword, struck a servant of the chief priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus answering, said to them: "Are you come out as to a robber, with swords and staves to apprehend me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching: and you did not lay hands on me. But that the scriptures may be fulfilled."Then his disciples, leaving him, all fled away. And a certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body. And they laid hold on him. But he, casting off the linen cloth, fled from them naked.

And they brought Jesus to the high priest. And all the priests and the scribes and the ancients assembled together. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the court of the high priest. And he sat with the servants at the fire and warmed himself. And the chief priests and all the council sought for evidence against Jesus, that they might put him to death: and found none. For many bore false witness against him: and their evidences were not agreeing. And some rising up, bore false witness against him, saying: "We heard him say, I Will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build another not made with hands." And their witness did not agree. And the high priest rising up in the midst, asked Jesus, saying: "Answerest thou nothing to the things that are laid to thy charge by these men?" But he held his peace and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said to him: "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed God?" And Jesus said to him: "I am.

And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God and coming with the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest rending his garments, saith: "What need we any further witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What think you?" Who all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to buffet him and to say unto him: "Prophesy." And the servants struck him with the palms their hands.

Now when Peter was in the court below, there cometh one of the maidservants of the high priest. And when she had seen Peter warming himself looking on him, she saith: "Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth." But he denied, saying: "I neither know nor understand what thou sayest." And he went forth before the court; and the cock crew. And again a maidservant seeing him, began to say to the standers by: "This is one of them." But he denied again. And after a, while they that stood by said again to Peter: "Surely thou art one of them; for thou art also a Galilean." But he began to curse and to swear, saying: "I know not this man of whom you speak." And immediately the cock crew again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said unto him: "Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt thrice deny me." And he began to weep.

And straightway in the morning, the chief priests holding a consultation with the ancients and the scribes and the whole council, binding Jesus, led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him: "Art thou the king of the Jews?" But he answering, saith to him: "Thou sayest it." And the chief priests accused him in many things. And Pilate again asked him, saying: "Answerest thou nothing? Behold in how many things they accuse thee." But Jesus still answered nothing: so that Pilate wondered.

Now on the festival day he was wont to release unto them one of the prisoners, whomsoever they demanded. And there was one called Barabbas, who was put in prison with some seditious men, who in the sedition had committed murder. And when the multitude was come up, they began to desire that he would do as he had ever done unto them. And Pilate answered them and said: "Will you that I release to you the king of the Jews?" For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up out of envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas to them. And Pilate again answering, saith to them: "What will you then that I do to the king of the Jews?" But they again cried out: "Crucify him." And Pilate saith to them: "Why, what evil hath he done?" But they cried out the more: "Crucify him."

And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas: and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace: and they called together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple: and, platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. And they began to salute him: "Hail, king of the Jews." And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him. And bowing their knees, they adored him. And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him and put his own garments on him: and they led him out to crucify him. And they forced one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross. And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary.

And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh. But he took it not. And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour: and they crucified him. And the inscription of his cause was written over: "THE KING OF THE JEWS." And with him they crucify two thieves: the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: "And with the wicked he was reputed." And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads and saying: "Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God and in three days buildest it up again: Save thyself, coming down from the cross." In like manner also the chief priests, mocking, said with the scribes one to another: "He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." And they that were crucified with him, reviled him.

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: "Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani?" Which is, being interpreted: "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?"And some of the standers by hearing, said: "Behold he calleth Elias." And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: "Stay, let us see if Elias come to take him down." And Jesus, having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. [Here pause and kneel]

And the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom. And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost. said: "Indeed this man was the son of God." And there were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph and Salome,

Who also when he was in Galilee followed him and ministered to him, and many other women that came up with him to Jerusalem.

And when evening was now come (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead.

And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph, buying fine linen and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.


Save me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the unjust.


O Lord, may this Sacrifice revive us more quickly because of our salutary fast which we offer with it. Through Our Lord . . .


They who sit at the gate were working against me, and the wine-bibbers made me the butt of their songs. But I, O Lord, do pray to You; in Your good time, O God, show me Your great mercy.


Almighty God, let Your sanctifying grace cure our inclination to evil and provide us with a never-failing remedy. Through Our Lord . . .


O God, by Your mercy prevent us from falling into the habits of our old selves and make us increase in new holiness. Through Our Lord . . .

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