Sunday, November 29, 2020
Comm. of St. Saturninus
edit_button


Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 29

Today is the Vigil of St. Andrew the Apostle, traditionally a day of fasting on years when November 29th does not fall on a Sunday. In centuries past when today was a fasting day, the fast would have been anticipated on Saturday.

Today is also the Commemoration of St. Saturninus who is said to have been a priest who came to Rome from Carthage. At an advanced age, he was arrested for the Catholic Faith. After suffering long imprisonment and barbarous tortures, he was beheaded in the year 309 AD. Along with him, his deacon Saint Sisinius suffered martyrdom.

Writing on the two martyrs, the Monks of Ramsgate write in their Book of Saints the following brief account:

Roman Martyrs in the persecution under Diocletian and Maximian (about A.D. 303). They are associated with Pope Saint Marcellus and with Saints Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus. They were both very aged; but were not on that account spared the torture before execution. Saint Sisinnius was a deacon.

Father Francis Xavier Weninger in his Lives of the Saints includes the following reflections for St. Saturnine, as he spells his name:

Saint Saturnine accepted the hard work allotted to him with cheerfulness, and performed it as well as he could, without manifesting sadness or impatience; he even praised the Almighty while he labored. God, who has created man for work, has also ordained that each station should have its own task. He graciously promises to recompense this work in the other world, if it is done rightly. Those do very wrong, who neglect what their station requires of them, and who are slaves to idleness. Those also do wrong, who become impatient with their work or even curse it. They lose their merit and the reward which they would have earned, had they performed their work with due patience. Should your task be burdensome, cheer yourself, after the example of Saint Saturnine, and call on God for aid.

St. Saturinus's feastday has the distinction of being the first saint entry in the Proper of the Saints in the Missal, since November 29th is often around the beginning of Advent, when the Church's new liturgical year begins.

Collect:

O God, who fills us with joy at the celebration of Your martyr Saturninus' heavenly birthday, grant that the merits of this saint may help us. Through Our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Thursday, November 26, 2020
St. Peter of Alexandria
edit_button

Pope St. Clement I and St. Peter of Alexandria. Photo from SalveRegina.info

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 26

Along with St. Sylvester the Abbot and St. Leonard of Port Maurice, today we commemorate St. Peter of Alexandria. St. Peter, the Patriarch of Alexandria, was martyred because of his adherence to the orthodox and unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Faith in 310 AD. Eusebius wrote that St. Peter of Alexandria was "a divine model of the Christian teacher."

The Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894] provides the following brief account:

St. Peter governed the Church of Alexandria during the persecution of Diocletian. The sentence of excommunication that he was the first to pronounce against the schismatics, Melitius and Arius, and which, despite the united efforts of powerful partisans, he strenuously upheld, proves that he possessed as much sagacity as zeal and firmness. But his most constant care was employed in guarding his flocks from the dangers arising out of persecution. He never ceased repeating to them that, in order not to fear death, it was needful to begin by dying to self, renouncing our will, and detaching ourselves from all things. St. Peter gave an example of such detachment by undergoing martyrdom in the year 311.

Reflection.—"How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" says Our Saviour; because they are bound to earth by the strong ties of their riches.

 The Monks of Ramsgate in the Book of Saints, 1921 similarly write:

A learned and holy Prelate who governed the great Church of Alexandria in Egypt for twelve years in very troubled times. He had to face the dangerous schism of Meletius among his own clergy at the very time when the comforting and guiding of Christians in peril of death at the hands of heathen persecutors called for the exercise of all his energies. He seems to have been the first to detect the incipient heresy of Arius. Saint Peter was put to death by order of the Caesar Maximin Daza, together with other Christians (A.D. 311), and was succeeded by Saint Alexander, the predecessor of the great Saint Athanasius.

The Genuine Acts Of Peter, Bishop Of Alexandria, And Martyr, From The Latin Version By Anastasius Bibliothecarius may be read on EWTN.

Collect:

Almighty God, look upon our weakness and the heavy burden we carry because of our own deeds. Let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Peter, in heaven, be our protection. Through our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Does the Turkey Indult Exist?
edit_button

Turkey Indult for Catholics

No "turkey indult" exists in the form many believe, even though many Catholics attached to the 1962 Missal claim a dispensation from meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving, citing Pope Pius XII as the source of the dispensation. The dispensation from meat on the day after Thanksgiving was granted in 1957 in the form of quinquennial faculties given to local ordinaries to dispense from abstinence on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, as stated by Bouscaren in the Canon Law Digest. The quinquennial faculties last 5 years and must be renewed. In 1962 they were renewed but not afterward because there was no need to because of Paenitemini and more importantly because of the November 1966 decree by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), which made abstinence on all Fridays throughout the year "especially recommended" but not obligatory.

Before 1962, the Bishops in the United States did not generally dispense from Friday abstinence on the Friday after Thanksgiving. After the renewal in 1962, more Bishops began to exercise this. In 1963 the Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas made use of these privileges and dispensed the faithful from meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving:
"By reason of special faculties, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bishop, grants herewith the following dispensations: from the Law of Fast on the Feast of St. Joseph, Tuesday, March 19; from the Law of Abstinence on Friday, November 29, (day after Thanksgiving) and from the Laws of Fast and Abstinence on Saturday, December 7, Vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception."
Such a dispensation from the law of abstinence was not permanently part of Church law by virtue of it being the Friday after Thanksgiving. While bishops or priests will today dispense from meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Pope Pius XII did not permanently dispense meat on that day as many allege. The research of Romanitas Press confirms this. 


Conclusion: Should Catholics eat meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving without the dispensation of a bishop or a priest? No.

Read more on The History of Traditional Catholic Fasting
Read more >>
St. Chrysogonus
edit_button

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 24

St. Chrysogonus, a Greek Christian, was martyred under Emperor Diocletian at Aquileia at the beginning of the fourth century. He is one of the saints mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass: "...Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian..."

Who was St. Chrysogonus? The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes:

"According to this legend, Chrysogonus, at first a functionary of the vicarius Urbis, was the Christian teacher of Anastasia, the daughter of the noble Roman Praetextatus. Being thrown into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he comforted by his letters the severely afflicted Anastasia. By order of Diocletian, Chrysogonus was brought before the emperor at Aquileia, condemned to death, and beheaded. His corpse, thrown into the sea, was washed ashore and buried by the aged priest, Zoilus. In the legend the death of the saint is placed on the 23rd of November. In the actual Roman martyrology his feast is celebrated on 24 November; by the Greeks on 16 April."

Collect:

O Lord, hear our humble prayers. May the intercession of Your blessed martyr Chrysogonus free us from the guilt of sin which troubles us. Through Our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Monday, November 23, 2020
Com. of St. Felicitas
edit_button

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 23

On July 10th, we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Holy Brothers and remember the children of St. Felicitas who were all martyred. Today on November 23rd, we commemorate their saintly mother, St. Felicitas who was also martyred for the Catholic Faith.

Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger in 1876 wrote the following practical considerations for the Seven Holy Brothers. They are worth repeating:

I. How happy a Mother was St. Felicitas who gave to heaven as many martyrs as she had sons! Her careful instructions in the true faith, her exhortations highly to venerate it, her encouragement to endure suffering and torments, her pious discourses of the great reward which the martyrs receive in heaven, made her children holy, and opened the gates of heaven to them. If she had lived and spoken as many mothers do at the present time, she would surely have brought up more than one to eternal misery.

Christian Parents! on your conduct, on your instructions, on your discourses, depends mostly the salvation or the damnation of your children. If they see that your conduct is not according to the laws of God and the Church, if they hear from your mouth nothing but lies, slander, unchaste or blasphemous words, if you speak to them more of dresses, dancing, gambling, theatres and other worldly pleasures, than of God and of virtue; how shall they become acquainted with the true spirit of Christianity, how shall they learn how to save their souls? Oh! be watchful of your conduct and your discourse, if you wish to bring up your children as servants of the Most High, as future inhabitants of heaven.

II. How happy were the sons who possessed so holy a mother! But what would have availed their mother's sanctity to them, if they had not followed her admonitions and commands?

Christian children! if God has blessed you with parents who are solicitous for your salvation, give thanks to Him. Pray for them, and receive their instructions and reproofs willingly and obediently, that one day, you may rejoice with them for all eternity in heaven. The seven holy martyrs rejoice now with their mother in heaven, and doubtless give her ceaseless thanks for the careful instruction she imparted to them; while she is not less happy that they followed her advice How many children may there be in hell who ceaselessly curse their parents for having allowed them too much liberty, for not having punished their faults, for not having kept them in the right path, or who even misled them to do evil by their discourse and example, and thus became the cause of their eternal ruin. Likewise there are parents who curse the disobedience, wickedness, and obstinacy of their children. If you, father or mother, desire not to be counted among these unhappy ones, follow the example of St. Felicitas and remember the admonition of the Holy Ghost : "Instruct thy son, by word and example and he shall refresh thee, and shall give delight to thy soul."(Prov. xxix.) And again: "Hast thou children? Instruct them, and bow down their neck from their youth." (Eccl, vii.) And you, my child, if you will not suffer during all eternity in hell, be obedient to the command of God, which is as follows: "My son "--my daughter--hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." (Prov. i.)

Collect:

O Almighty God, may the merits and prayers of Your blessed Martyr Felicitas, whose feast we celebrate today, be our protection. Through Our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Thursday, November 19, 2020
All Saints of the Order of Malta
edit_button

Today the Order of Malta keeps their Feast of All Saints of their Order, a feastday known as "All Saints of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta." This feast, like the various feasts of All Saints for other religious orders, commemorates both the known and the unknown saints of their Order who now possess the beatific vision in Heaven. 

Let us pray to some of these holy intercessors today ranging from Blessed Gerard, Founder and First Grand Master of the Order, St. Toscana, St. Nicasius, St. Nuno Alvarez Pereira, Blessed Charles of Austria, Blessed Alfredo Schuster of Milan, and all others with connections to this venerable order.

We pray especially for an end to the controversies that engulf the Order now, including the illegal prohibition of the Tridentine Mass a few years ago by the Master of the Order at that time. May they also be unwavering in fidelity to the Teachings of the Church on the impossibility of artificial contraception, especially in light of the scandal from a few years ago.

All You Holy Saints of the Order of Malta, pray for us!

Collect:

God, the source of all holiness and of varying forms of it that endow your Church and build up the Body of Christ, give us the grace to follow the saints of our Order in living for you alone by meditating on your law and by perfect self-denial so that we may come with them to the bliss of eternal life. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Read more >>
Monday, November 16, 2020
All Saints of the Servite Order
edit_button

November 16th is the Feast of All Saints of the Servite Order. While not as well known as the Dominicans, Jesuits, or Carmelites, the Servite Order is illustrious in its own right. The Order of Servites is the fifth mendicant order, founded in 1223, and its primary ends are "sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows."

St. Juliana Falconieri, St. Philip Benizi, St. Anthony Pucci, and others are canonized members of the Servite Order. The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order are remembered together with their Feast on the Universal Calendar on February 17th.

Today, besides calling to mind all of all Servites saints, we pray for their intercession for all of us on this earth but especially for the members of their Order. Today is also a good day to learn more about the Black Scapular, which comes from the Servite Order which began in 1255 and was sanctioned by Pope Alexander IV. This scapular honors the Seven Sorrows of Mary. It is one of 17 approved Scapulars in the Church.

All You Holy Servite Saints, pray for us!

Read more >>
Saturday, November 14, 2020
All Saints of the Carmelite Order
edit_button

Continuing the trend of various All Saint Days for religious orders, November 14th is the Feast of All Saints of the Carmelite Order. Like other major religious orders, the Carmelite Order is blessed with many saints and blessed. It is thanks to the Carmelite Order that we have the Brown Scapular.

Who are the Carmelite Saints? The Order of Carmelites answers:

They are hermits of Mount Carmel who “lived in small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive, they lived as God’s bees, gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.” They are mendicants of the first medieval communities, who discovered the presence of God in the events of ordinary daily life and especially seeing God in his brothers and sisters. They are teachers and preachers, missionaries and martyrs who searched for the face of God among the people. They are nuns who have contributed to the growth of God's people by their mystical experience and especially through their fervent prayer and contemplative life. They are religious, who showed us the face of Christ through their apostolate in hospitals or schools, especially in the mission lands. They are laity, who were able to embody the spirit of Carmel and lived that spirit in the midst of the people. Simon Stock, Andrew Corsini, Albert of Trapani, John of Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Edith Stein, Titus Brandsma, Angelo Paoli and countless saints and blesseds of Carmel together with Mary, the Mother of Carmel, are now singing a song of praise to the Father in Heaven.

St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Jesus, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, and many others have reached Heaven through the Carmelite Order. 

Today, besides calling to mind all of these saints, we pray for the intercession of all Carmelites - known and unknown - that they especially intercede for all Carmelites on this earth. May everyone in the Carmelite Order - including the many Carmelite Third Order members - grow in sanctity, stay true to the authentic Catholic Faith, and persevere to the end.

Litany of Carmelite Saints:

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us,

Holy Mary, Pray for us. (* denotes to repeat Pray for us)

Queen of All Saints, *

Mother, Ornament of Carmel, *

Saint Joseph, Protector of Our Order, *

Our Holy Father, the Prophet Elias, who by thy prayer and contemplation laid the foundation of our Order on Carmel,*

Saint Eliseus, who through thy disciples didst preserve the spirit of Elias on Carmel, *

St. Telesphorus, watchful guardian of the Church, *

St. Anastasius, invincible amid the most fearful torments, *

St. Gerard, who didst die a glorious martyr’s death for the spread of the Faith, *

St. Angelus, glorified with the triple crown of Confessor, Virgin and Martyr, *

St. Peter Thomas, great servant and imitator of Mary, who adorned thee with all virtue, and strengthened thee in martyrdom, *

Blessed Dionysius of the Nativity, invincible soldier of Christ and His holy martyr, *

Bl. Redemptus of the Cross, who through thy holy zeal hast earned the martyr’s crown, *

St. Dionysius, zealous believer in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity and the defender thereof, *

St. Serapion, renowned for thy virtue and sanctity, and for thy wisdom and knowledge, *

St. Spiridion, great lover of evangelical simplicity, *

St. Cyril of Alexandria, vigilant defender of Mary, Mother of God, *

St. Albert, our most wise lawgiver and director, *

St. Andrew Corsini, wonderful peacemaker and despiser of worldly honors, *

St. Hilarion, admirable for thy life of prayer and mortification in solitude, and for thy power over evil spirits, *

St. Berthold, who didst unite the dwellers on Carmel into one ecclesiastical Order of Mary, *

St. Brocard, great zealot for the observance of religious discipline, *

St. Cyril of Constantinople, eminent for virtue, wisdom and learning, *

St. Simon Stock, privileged servant of Mary, *

St. Albert of Sicily, exalted model of unspotted purity, *

St. Avertanus, example of perfect obedience, *

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church, and sure guide in the mystical life, *

Bl. Franco Lippi, outstanding for severe mortification and holy silence, *

Bl. Romaeus, model of humble monastic virtue, *

Bl. Angelus Augustine, marvel of eloquence in preaching the Word of God, *

Bl. John Soreth, burning with love of the primitive observance, *

Bl. Aloysius Rabatha, model of holy and severe penance, *

Bl. Jacobinus, renowned for thy profound meekness and great humility, *

Bl. Bartholomew Fanti, burning with love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, *

Bl. Nonius Pereira, loyal servant and devotee of Mary, *

St. Euphrasia, perfect example of obedience, *

St. Euphrosina, wonderful lover of purity, *

St. Teresa, illustrious reformer of Carmel, full of heavenly wisdom, *

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, victim of crucified love, *

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, teacher of the “Little Way” and Patroness of the Missions, *

Bl. Frances of Amboise, noble by birth, but nobler in virtue and steadfast confidence in God, *

Bl. Jane Scopelli, perfect model of prayer and mortification, *

Bl. Archangela, most tender in thy love for Jesus and Mary, *

Bl. Mary of the Incarnation, lover of real meekness, *

Bl. Anne of Saint Bartholomew, one with Teresa in the reform of Carmel, *

Bl. Mary of the Angels, like to the angels in innocence and purity, *

Bl. Jane of Toulouse, admirable for love of solitude and prayer, *

Bl. Therese and Companions, martyrs for Christ in the French Revolution, *

St. Teresa Margaret, great venerator and humble disciple of the Sacred Heart,*

All ye holy Virgins and Matrons of Carmel,*

All ye holy men and women who by thy virtues have given glory to Carmel, *

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, all ye Saints of Carmel: R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Almighty and merciful God, Who dost rejoice us by the memory of all the Saints of the Carmelite Order: grant that, inspired by their example and merits, we may live for Thee alone in the continual observance of Thy law and in the perfect abnegation of self, and that we may attain to perfect happiness with them in heaven. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen

Read more >>
Friday, November 13, 2020
The Spirit of St. Dominic by Fr. Humbert Clerissac Notes
edit_button

This past week I finished reading through The Spirit of St. Dominic. This book is a collection of retreat conferences preached by Fr. Clerissac to his Dominican brethren in England in 1908. While Father Clerissac passed from this life to the next in 1914, his deep theological insights are still relevant to today's Dominicans and any theologian. As Father Thomas Joseph White, O.P. writes in his Introduction to the book, “a great work of theology has a perennial relevance.” And while this is a more theological work that would be over the head of some, there are still nuggets of wisdom that anyone could appreciate and learn from.

Here are some of my takeaways from this work:

The Dominican Apostolate

The Dominican Order was founded for the salvation of souls.

Dominicans are champions and not mere foot soldiers for the Faith.

While some great apostles converted whole peoples and nations, the mission of St. Dominic was universal and as all-encompassing as that of St. Paul.

Thus, the Dominican Apostolate is distinguished by both its quality and extension from other orders.

Applying even to the tertiaries, the predominance in us of an apostolic intention is our first conformity to the mind and soul of our Lord.

We must remember that the primitive constitution laid down by God stated of Dominicans to “speak only of or to God.” This was St. Dominic’s way of life.

Veritas

We are bound, in virtue of our doctrinal mission, to present every object of our teaching as true. Our own lives out to be governed by the influence of the true.

The idea of the Dominican Order can be summed up as fidelity to the absolute.

The faith of which we are champions is the faith that sees all things as if through the eyes of God. As St. Thomas said, we see everything as if through God’s eyes, if through faith we adhere to the supreme truth for its own sake.

The end of our study and contemplation is to enable us to get a glimpse of absolute truth.

Doctrinal Apostolate

The Apostolate of the Order is necessarily a doctrinal apostolate.

For the Dominican, preaching has always referred to teaching the Faith and all things connected to the Faith.

There can be no exception to study in the life of a Dominican of at least 4 hours a day.

Study in its most comprehensive sense is an essential preparation for our doctrinal mission.

In our study and teaching, we must let our hearts and our wills follow the impulse of our mind for God.

All truth comes from God and returns to Him; our study must always bring us back to Him.

There is nothing wrong with studying the pagan philosophers. Whatsoever is true comes from the One True God. These pagan studies were allowed in Blessed Jordan’s Primitive Constitutions.

Study

There are 2 tendencies with study: study only for a purpose of spiritual utility or study in the Dominican and Aristotelian sense. This latter sense bases study on the right of revealed truth and considers all provinces of science as “tributaries of truth.”

Liturgical Prayer

The official prayers of the Church should lead to divine contemplation.

Canonical life helps the two great Dominican duties: study and teaching.

For those who throw themselves wholeheartedly into liturgical prayer, it cannot fail to take possession of you in both body and soul.

Liturgical prayer transcends all personal considerations. The prayer of the Church is bigger than anyone engaged in it. No greater sign of devotion to Our Lord and His Church can be given than the surrender of our personal interests and their absorption in the universal interests of God.

The spirit of prayer in the Church is the very breadth of Christ’s soul. The daily practice of liturgical prayer is the ideal way to preserve in us the precious power of the divine influence, even after the Eucharistic elements which we have received in Holy Communion cease to be present in us. 

Through liturgical prayer we truly fulfill the words of Scripture: “I pray, now not I, but Christ prayeth in me.”

Other Notes

The two distinguishing qualities of the Order are nobility and keenness. 

The “two dangers that threaten our moral character are cynicism and vanity.” 

“We should try not only to elicit acts of virtue but also to reach before we die the firmness, joy, and constancy of their habitus. Our vows themselves are only means to this end: the vow is practically for nothing but that.”

Penance is one of the distinctive marks of the Order of St. Dominic. And contrition is the first source of penance – it is nowhere deeper and more efficacious than in the Sacrament of Penance. The purgative, illuminative, and unitive life all derive their force from this Sacrament.

Spiritual pride is extremely subtle; the most terrifying form of form is the refusal to aspire after progress in the supernatural life. There is no better place to crush our pride than in the Sacrament of Confession.

“The revelation of our vocation to participate in Eternal Life constitutes the most striking characteristic of the Gospel and its unparalleled greatness.”

Some of the greatest of saints (e.g. St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas) felt that never “were they so much masters of themselves, and never did they use their energy so generously, as when they gave to God the homage of all their human activity.”

“Our devotion, then, to Our Lord is devotion to the God-Christ, devotion to the Eternal Truth, to the Divine Word, living and personally united in the Sacred Humanity of Jesus.”

The Sacred Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ is “the instrumental cause of grace for the justification, sanctification, and salvation of all souls.” The Sacred Humanity is the channel of Divine Grace. We “turn frequently to His adorable Humanity to derive force and strength from that mysterious and continuous intercession exercised by Him in heaven.”

There are three chief benefits of the Eucharist: the application of the Redemption to each of us in particular (i.e. the renewal of pardon and its extension to all our daily sins), the pledge of life eternal, and the increase of the supernatural life in us, by the growth of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

The austerities of the Dominican Order are inspired chiefly by the motive of protecting its purity.

Purity is an indispensable condition for carrying out the purpose of the Dominican Order.

Read more >>
All Saints of the Augustinian Order
edit_button

November 13th is a day of multiple feasts. The Benedictines keep today as the Feast of All Benedictine Saints. The Dominicans keep today as All Dominican Souls since yesterday was All Dominican Saints. In the Universal Church following the traditional calendar, today is the Feast of Saint Didacus, the namesake for San Diego. And in some places today is also the Feast of St. Frances Cabrini, the American saint.

Today is also for the Augustinian Order their Feast of All Augustinian Saints. There are dozens of saints and blesseds of the Order.

St. Fulgentius, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Clare of Montefalco, St. Nicholas of Tolentine, St. Thomas of Villanova, and others now see God face-to-face in Heaven along with St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica. 

May Our Mother of Good Counsel pray for all of us, especially for all who are members of the Augustinian Order on earth. And may we pray to all of these Augustinian saints to keep the Order of St. Augustine faithful to Christ and Tradition.

Collect:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui no omnium Sanctorum Ordinis nostri merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari: quaesumus; ut desideratam nobis tuae propitiationis abundantiam, multiplicatis intercessoribus, largiaris. Per Dominum.

Read more >>
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
A Monthly Catholic Planner For Traditional (1962 Missal) Catholics
edit_button

This week I had a chance to review The Ultimate Catholic Bundle, a one of a kind Traditional Catholic monthly planner.

The Ultimate Catholic Bundle is a monthly subscription to a PDF file. A new bundle is released each month around the 20th and subscribers have a dedicated place to access the files online. The November bundle for instance was a beautiful designed 31-page file containing a monthly calendar, weekly planner pages, prayer journal pages, a nice novena checklist, a lectio divina guide, a Scripture reading checklist, a Poor Souls Prayer Journal, and quite a few pieces of holy art including 3 coloring pages. 

It's very nice to see a Traditional Catholic Planner, as most Catholic planners will only follow the Novus Ordo's 1969 calendar. While I would prefer to see the pre-1955 calendar kept, the 1962 calendar is very close (aside from a few feast deletions, removed octaves, and suppressed vigils). I certainly do think that anyone who prefers the pre-1955 calendar could still use this monthly bundle with only a handful of changes likely required each month.

The ability to write prayer intentions in various categories (e.g. thanksgiving, repentance, protection, etc) in addition to tracking novenas is something that I have not seen in any other Catholic planner that I have tried.


There is a lot of value in using a planner. I have used one for many years. This one features nice notes and to-do list sections that incorporate our Catholic faith. For instance, in the first picture above, you can see a reminder to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. That is something you will never find in a standard planner sold by a secular office supply store.

And besides all of these benefits, it is a beautifully designed work. The font, the spacing, the artwork, and the illustrations all exude true beauty. The only way to really develop the habit of using and benefiting from a planner is to use one that you enjoy using. And something this beautiful is inspiring and motivating to use. 

I am happy to recommend this planner after having tried out the November edition. If you are in the market for a planner and are looking to support a Catholic business, please give The Ultimate Catholic Bundle a close look. By supporting fellow small businesses owned by Catholics, we help support one another and do good (cf. Galatians 6:10). 

Lastly, anyone who is interested in signing up may take 50% off of their first-month bundle by using discount code BLOG50.

Read more >>
St. Mennas the Wonder Worker
edit_button

Our Lord Jesus Christ and St. Mennas, 6th-century icon from Bawit in Middle Egypt, currently at Louvre; One of the oldest known icons in existence.

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 11

Happy Martinmas! In addition to the festive celebration of St. Martin of Tours before the start of the Advent fast, we also call to mind today the life of St. Mennas. St. Mennas was an Egyptian, who was martyred c. 295 AD under Emperor Diocletian. He was one of the most popular saints in the early Eastern Church.

The Catholic Encyclopedia lists the following account of his life and legacy:

Menas, a Christian and an Egyptian by birth, served in the Roman army under the tribune Firmilian. When the army came to Cotyaeus in Phrygia, Menas hearing of the impious edicts issued against the Christians by the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian left the army, retired to a solitude in the mountains and served God by fasting vigils and prayer. During the celebration of a great festival Menas appeared in the midst of the populace in the circus, and fearlessly professed his faith. He was led before the prefect Pyrrhus, cruelly scourged, put to torture and finally beheaded. His body was brought to Egypt and the martyr was soon invoked in many needs and afflictions. The fame of the miracles wrought, spread far and wide and thousands of pilgrims came to the grave in the desert of Mareotis between Alexandria and the valley of Natron. For centuries Bumma (Karm-Abum-Abu Mina) was a national sanctuary and grew into a large city with costly temples a holy well, and baths. A beautiful basilica was erected by the Emperor Arcadius. The cult was spread into other countries, perhaps by travelling merchants who honoured him as their patron. As a result of various vicissitudes the doctrinal disputes and the conquest of Egypt by the Arabians under Omar in 641 the sanctuary was neglected and ultimately forgotten. During 1905 Mgr C.M. Kaufmann of Frankfort led an expedition into Egypt which made excavations at Bumma. He found in a vast field of ruins, the grave, the well and thermae, the basilica, the monastery, numerous inscriptions on the walls imploring aid through the intercession of the saint, and thousands of little water pitchers and oil lamps. The rich finds are partly in the Museum of Alexandria and Cairo, and partly in Frankfort and Berlin. The monsignor published an official report of his expedition in 1908, "La découverte des Sanctuaires de Menas dans le désert de Mareotis". His feast is celebrated on 11 November.

Collect:

O Almighty God, grant that we who celebrate the birthday of Your blessed Martyr Mennas, may be made stronger in our love of You through his intercession. Through Our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Com. of Sts. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha
edit_button

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 10

Along with St. Andrew Avellino, we commemorate today Sts. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha. These courageous martyrs of the early centuries of Christianity are commemorated together because their relics are preserved in the same church in Rome.

The Catholic Encyclopedia lists the following account of their lives:

"Tryphon is said to have been born at Kampsade in Phrygia and as a boy took care of geese. During the Decian persecution he was taken to Nicfa about the year 250 and put to death in a horrible manner after he had converted the heathen prefect Licius. Fabulous stories are interwoven with his legend. He is greatly venerated in the Greek Church which observes his feast on 1 February. In this Church he is also the patron saint of gardeners. Many churches were dedicated to him, and the Eastern Emperor, Leo VI, the Philosopher (d. 912), delivered a eulogy upon Tryphon. About the year 1005 the monk Theodoric of Fleury wrote an account of him based upon earlier written legends; in Theodoric's story Respicius appears as Tryphon's companion. The relics of both were preserved together with those of a holy virgin named Nympha, at the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Sassia. Nympha was a virgin from Palermo who was put to death for the Faith at the beginning of the fourth century. According to other versions of the legend, when the Goths invaded Sicily she fled from Palermo to the Italian mainland and died in the sixth century at Savona. The feast of her translation is observed at Palermo on 19 August. Some believe that there were two saints of this name. The church of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost at Rome was a cardinal's title which, together with the relics of these saints, was transferred in 1566 by Pope Pius V to the Church of St. Augustine."

May we endeavor to keep the memory of these martyrs alive when so many no longer hear of their heroic witness to the Faith.

Collect:

May we always be worthy to celebrate the feast of Your holy Martyrs, Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, O Lord, so that through their intercession we may be sheltered under Your gracious protection. Through Our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Sunday, November 8, 2020
All Saints of England
edit_button

Continuing on with the many "All Saints" days for various regions and orders, November 8th is the Feast of All English Saints. 

While many know that King Henry VIII broke away from the Church and that he is known for murdering and replacing a series of wives, few know the full history of Catholicism in England. After King Henry VIII’s death, after a brief experiment with Protestantism under his son Edward VI who ruled at a young age mainly through regents, Catholicism returned to England under his elder daughter Mary I (1555-58). But after her reign ended, England officially adopted Anglicanism in 1559 under his younger daughter Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Except during the reign of the Catholic James II (1685-88), Catholicism remained illegal for the next 232 years until the Catholic Mass could be legally celebrated again in 1791. Yet most Catholics could not hold any public office and had few civil rights. It took the Emancipation Act of 1829 to restore most civil rights to Catholics in England. 

We can and should fervently pray for a restoration of the True Faith - that is the Catholic Faith - in England and Wales. England is blessed with thousands of canonized and beatified Saints and Martyrs - many known and many more unknown. For this reason, it used to be known as "Mary's Dowry." How sadly times have changed. 

St Arsenios of Paros prophesized: “The Church in the British Isles will only begin to grow when she begins again to venerate her own saints.”

For this intention - the return of England and Wales back to the unity of the Catholic Faith - let us pray the Litany of the Saints and Martyrs of England.

Prayer for England written by Cardinal Merry Del Val:

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down with mercy upon England thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother! Intercede for our separated brethren that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.

Read more >>
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Feast of All Irish Saints
edit_button


November 6th is kept in Ireland as the Feast of All Irish Saints. The blog Pilgrim Progress explains:
Pope Benedict XV beatified Oliver Plunkett in 1920 and during his papacy also (1914-22) the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland was instituted. The same Pope also granted Ireland the honour of having a litany of its native saints approved for public recitation. Only four saints, St Malachy (1094-1148), St Lawrence O'Toole (1128-80) and St Oliver Plunkett (1625-81) and St Charles of Mount Argus (1821-93), have been officially canonised. All the other Irish saints, such as Saints Patrick, Brigid, and Colmcille, are saints, as it were, by acclamation of the local Church.
One of the best ways we can honor this day is by praying for the intercession of the Irish saints using the Litany of Irish Saints. The website, Daily Prayers explains:
When Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922) canonised St Oliver Plunkett, the last Irish Catholic to be executed in England, he also instituted the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland. The official Litany of Irish Saints commemorates sixty-five of the best known, among them St Patrick and St Bridget. Perhaps the less well known include greats like St Darerca and St Crea. However, there are many hundreds of other Irish Saints, most having lived during the 4th – 6th Centuries which led to Ireland being named, “The Land of Saints and Scholars”.
The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Volume 18 (1921) provided the official litany in Latin. And the blog Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae provided both that and the official English translation. That transaction is as follows. Let us pray along:

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Killian, pray for us
St. Rumold,
St. Livinus,
Blessed Oliver,
All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us.

St. Celestine, pray for us.
St. Patrick,
St. Malachy,
St. Macnise,
St. Finnian,
St. Mel
St. Macartan,
St. Eugene,
St. Colman,
St. Felim,
St. Eunan,
St. Laurence,
St. Conleth,
St. Laserian,
St. Aidan,
St. Kieran,
St. Albert,
St. Ailbe,
St. Colman,
St. Finnbarr,
St. Flannan,
St. Munchin,
St. Fachtna,
St. Otteran,
St. Carthage,
St. Jarlath,
St. Nathy,
St. Asicus,
St. Nicholas,
St. Colman,
St. Muredach,
St. Declan,
St. Virgilius,
St. Senan,
St. Frigidian,
St. Cuthbert,
St. Rupert,
St. Celsus,
St. Cataldus,
St. Donatus,
Blessed Thaddaeus,
All ye Holy Pontiffs and Confessors, pray for us.

St. Columba, pray for us.
St. Kevin,
St. Brendan,
St. Canice,
St. Kieran,
St. Columbanus,
St. Gall,
St. Fursey,
St. Fintan,
St. Comgall,
St. Fiacre,
All ye Holy Monks and Hermits, pray for us.

St. Brigid, pray for us.
St. Ita,
St. Attracta,
St. Dympna,
St. Lelia,
All ye Holy Virgins, pray for us.

All ye Holy Saints of God, Intercede for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, all you Saints of Ireland.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Grant, O Lord, an increase of Thy Grace to us who celebrate the memory of all the Saints of our Island; that as, on earth, we rejoice to be one with them in race, so, in Heaven, we may deserve to share with them an inheritance of bliss. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Feast of All Irish Saints Mass:

Read more >>
Thursday, November 5, 2020
All Saints of the Society of Jesus
edit_button

Modena - The painting of Madonna with the child among the Jesuit Saints in church Chiesa di San Bartolomeo from the 19th Century

November features, in addition to the universal All Saints Day kept on November 1st, various days dedicated to all saints of certain religious orders or countries. See the Feastdays Page under November for a listing of many of these.

November 5th is the Feast of All Saints and Blesseds of the Society of Jesus. This "All Saints Day" for the Jesuit Saints is kept to honor the many remarkable saints which grace their order. While the modern-day Jesuits have lamentably fallen far from their founder and often advance heresy and sin, we should still invoke the holy Jesuits that preceded them. May these holy and saintly Jesuits pray for restoration and cleansing of their Order.

Since the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius of Loyola, was canonized in 1622, there have been 52 other Jesuits canonized. Some of these holy Jesuits include:

  • St. José de Anchieta
  • St. Robert Bellarmine
  • St. Francis Borgia
  • St. John de Brébeuf
  • St. Edmund Campion
  • St. Peter Canisius
  • St. Peter Claver
  • St. Claude de la Colombiere
  • St. Peter Faber
  • St. Aloysius Gonzaga
  • St. Roque González
  • St. Alberto Hurtado
  • St. Isaac Jogues
  • St. Stanislaus Kostka
  • St. Ignatius Loyola
  • St. Paul Miki
  • St. Joseph Pignatelli
  • Blessed Miguel Pro
  • St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
  • St. Francis Xavier

Collect:

Grant us, we ask, o Lord, by the intercession of the blessed Father Ignatius and of all the Saints who have served under the banner of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, with him as their leader, so to serve Thee with a perfect heart; that after the course of this life, we may merit to share in their glorious end. Amen.

Read more >>
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Commemoration of Ss. Vitalis and Agricola
edit_button


Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 4

Along with St. Charles Borromeo, the Church today celebrates Vitalis and Agricola by commemorating them at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. St. Agricola converted his slave St. Vitalis and went with him to martyrdom at Bologna C. 304 AD under the persecutions inflicted by the order of Emperor Diocletian.

The Catholic Encyclopedia writes:

Martyred at Bologna about 304 during Diocletian's persecution. Agricola, who was beloved for his gentleness, converted his slave, Vitalis, to Christianity; they became deeply attached to each other. Vitalis was first to suffer martyrdom, being executed in the ampitheatre. By his tortures and by flattery the persecutors sought in vain to win over Agricola, whom they finally crucified. Both martyrs were buried in the Jewish graveyard. In 393 St. Ambrose and Bishop Eusebius of Bologna transferred the remains of the martyrs to a church. Ambrose took some of the blood, of the cross, and the nails to Florence, placing these relics in the church erected by the saintly widow Juliana. On this occasion he delivered an oration in praise of virginity, with special reference to the three virgin daughters of Juliana. His mention of the martyrs Agricola and Vitalis in the first part of the oration is the only authority for their lives ("De exhortatione virginitatis", cc. i-u, in P.L., XVI, 335). The feast of the two martyrs is observed on 4 November. In 396 other relics were sent to St. Victricus, Bishop of Rouen, and, about the same date, to St. Paulinus of Nola and others.

Collect:

O Almighty God, may the intercessory power of Your blessed martyrs Vitalis and Agricola aid us who celebrate their feast today. Through our Lord . . .

Read more >>
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Within the Octave of All Saints
edit_button

We are currently in the Octave of All Saints, another casualty in 1955 that few people know of or spiritually celebrate anymore. This is a Common Octave meaning that the days within (i.e. Days 2-7 which are Semidouble) yield to all Double and Semidouble feasts but have precedence over Simple feasts. The Octave is commemorated daily at Lauds, Mass, and Vespers when a higher feast occurs except if the feast is a Double of the First or Second class in which case the Octave is not commemorated.

Brief History of Octaves:

By the 8th century, Rome had developed liturgical octaves not only for Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas but also for the Epiphany and the feast of the dedication of a church.

After 1568, when Pope Pius V reduced the number of octaves (since by then they had grown considerably), the number of Octaves was still plentiful.  Octaves were classified into several types. Easter and Pentecost had "specially privileged" octaves, during which no other feast whatsoever could be celebrated. Christmas, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi had "privileged" octaves, during which certain highly ranked feasts might be celebrated. The octaves of other feasts allowed even more feasts to be celebrated.

To reduce the repetition of the same liturgy for several days, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X made further distinctions, classifying octaves into three primary types: privileged octaves, common octaves, and simple octaves. Privileged octaves were arranged in a hierarchy of first, second, and third orders. For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their timeframes:
  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents 
Traditional Catholics still attached to the pre-1955 Missal will be familiar with the above list of Octaves. We can live out this forgotten Octave by adding to our daily prayers the Collect from All Saints Day:

Collect:

Almighty and eternal God, through Your grace we honor the merits of all Your saints in the one solemn feast of today. Grant us the abundant mercy we ask of You through this army of heavenly intercessors. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ . . .
Read more >>

Subscribe to Future Posts on A Catholic Life

Enter email address:



Copyright / Disclaimer

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, for instance, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made by those who click on the Amazon affiliate links included on this website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”