Thanksgiving after Mass
I give thee thanks, O Lord Holy, Father Almighty, Everlasting God: for that thou hast vouchsafed to feed me a sinner, through no merits of mine own, but only by the infinite goodness of thy mercy, with the precious Body and Blood of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And I pray thee that this Holy Communion may not bring upon me guilt unto an increase in my condemnation; but may be an effectual intercession for my pardon and salvation. Let it be unto me the armour of faith and the shield of godly resolution. Let it be profitable unto me for deliverance from all manner of vices; for the destruction of all concupiscence and wantonness; for the increase of charity and patience, of holiness and obedience; and for advancement in all manner of virtues. Let it be my sure defence against all the assaults of mine enemies seen and unseen; let it be effectual for the subduing of all sinful motions both of my flesh and of my spirit; that cleaving steadfastly unto thee, the one true God, I may attain in the end unto perfect felicity. And I pray thee that thou wouldest vouchsafe to bring me a sinner, unto the unspeakable joys of that heavenly banquet; where thou, with thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to thy Saints true light and full contentment, everlasting joy, delight unfailing, and perfect happiness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of St Bonaventure
Pierce, I beseech thee, O most dear Lord Jesus Christ, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of thy love, and with true, calm, and most holy apostolic charity, in such wise that my soul may ever languish and grow weak, consumed with the fever of divine love in yearning after thee alone; that I may have a desire to enter into thy courts, and thus to be dissolved and to be with thee. Grant that my soul may hunger after thee, who art the Bread of Angels and the comforting refreshment of the souls of the Saints. Be thou each day our daily Bread, containing in itself all sweetness and savour, and able to content every man's delight. Be thou each day that for which my heart doth hunger, that it may always feed upon thee, on whom the Angels ever desire to set their gaze. May my soul ever thirst for thee, who art the source of life, the fount of wisdom and knowledge, the brightness of everlasting light, the flood of all true happiness, the fullness of the house of God. May I at all times think of thee; may I ever seek thee and ever find thee; may I always follow thee and reach thee; may thy holy Name be in my heart and on my lips; and to thy praise and glory may every work of mine be done. Humble and discreet, loving and happy, ever ready, and cheerful in thy service, may I persevere, by thy grace, even unto the end. Be thou alone and evermore my hope; be thou all my trust; be thou my wealth, my delight, my joy, my consolation, my rest and endless peace. Be thou to me as a goodly taste, as a pleasant perfume, as a soothing sweetness. Be thou my food and my refreshment; my refuge and my help; my wisdom; my portion, mine own possession, and my treasure. In thee, O Lord, may my mind and my heart remain ever fixed and firm, and rooted immovably for evermore. Amen.
Prayer before a Crucifix
Look down upon me, O good and most dear Jesus, while before thy sight I humbly kneel, and with the greatest desire of my soul, do pray and beseech thee to fix deep within my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment: and while I contemplate with great love and sorrow thy five wounds, contemplating them within me, and having before mine eyes that which David the prophet spoke concerning thee, O good Jesus: They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
O Mary most holy, Virgin and Mother, behold I have received thy most beloved Son whom thou hast conceived in thine immaculate womb, brought forth, nourished, and embraced with caresses most gentle. Behold, I present and offer unto thee, with all reverence and humility, him at whose very sight thou shalt rejoice, and be filled with all delights, that he may be loved by thy heart, and be embraced in thine arms; that he may be offered unto the Most Holy Trinity in the supreme act of worship, for thine honour and glory and for mine own needs and of the whole earth. I ask thee, therefore, O most holy Mother, to beg for me the forgiveness of all my sins, the abundant grace of henceforth serving him more faithfully, and the final grace, that I may be able to praise him with thee forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer to St Joseph
O guardian and Father of Virgins, Holy Joseph, to whose faithful care was committed Christ Jesus, very innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, I beg and beseech thee through this double dear pledge of Jesus and Mary, that, preserved from all uncleanness, thou mayest make me with an undefiled mind, a pure heart, and a chaste body, to serve Jesus and Mary ever most chastely. Amen.
The Offertory embraces from the Dominus vobiscum everything till the Preface.
In offering the bread and wine the calls priest them the immaculate Host, the Chalice of salvation. We should not be astonished at this; for all the prayers and all the ceremonies before and after the consecration have reference to the divine Victim. It is at the moment of consecration that the Victim presents himself to God, that he offers himself to him, and that the sacrifice is offered; but as these different acts cannot be explained at the same time, they are explained one after the other. The priest then offers by anticipation the bread prepared for the sacrifice, and while saying, Suscipe, sancte Pater, hanc immaculatam Hostiam, etc. (Accept, O holy Father, this immaculate Host, etc.); and he offers the wine as if it had already been consecrated, by saying, Offerimus tibi, Domine, Calicem salutaris, etc. (We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of salvation,etc.) because this wine, being afterwards changed into the blood of Jesus Christ, becomes our salvation. St. Augustine says that as at the Eucharistic Table our Saviour offers us to eat and to drink his body and his blood, we should also offer to him our body and our blood by giving ourselves entirely to him, being ready to sacrifice our life for his glory, should it be necessary. These are the beautiful words of the holy Doctor: “You know what this banquet is, and what nourishment is offered you at this table. Since Jesus Christ gives entirely his body and his blood, let no one approach without giving himself entirely to the Lord.”
A little water is mixed with the wine to represent the mixture or the union that takes place in the Incarnation of the Word between the divinity and the humanity, and also to represent the intimate union that is effected in the sacramental Communion between Jesus Christ and the person who communicates a union which St. Augustine calls Mixtura Dei et hominis (A mixture of God and of man). Hence the priest, in the prayer which he recites while mixing the water with the wine, beseeches God to grant that, as his divine Son became partaker of our humanity, we may be made partakers of his divinity. The Council of Trent declares that this mingling of water and of wine in the chalice is prescribed: “The holy Synod admonishes that it is enjoined on the priests by the Church that they should mix water with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, as it is believed that the Lord has done the same thing”; however, this is only an ecclesiastical, not a divine precept.
Offerimus tibi, Domine, Calicem salutaris, etc.(We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of salvation, etc.). The chalice of salvation is offered to the Lord, so that it may arise in his divine presence as an agreeable odor, for our salvation and for the salvation of the whole world. Cardinal Bona, in his Liturgy, assures us that neither in the Sacramentarium of St. Gregory, nor in other authors, is found any prayer for the offering of the bread and of the wine; however, the same Cardinal says that in the ancient Liturgy which he caused to be published we find the prayers that were recited by the clergy as well as by the faithful when the latter presented to the priest their offerings. Moreover, our French author says that the prayers recited at present by the priest at the oblation of the bread and of the wine have reference to the offerings which the faithful formerly made, not at the altar, but at the balustrade of the choir.
In spiritu humilitatis et in animo contrito suscipiamur a te, Domine, etc. (In the spirit of humility, and with a contrite heart, let us be received by Thee, O Lord, etc.). The priest presents himself before our Lord with a humble and a contrite heart, and begs him to bless the great sacrifice that is about to be offered: Veni, Sanctificator, etc. (Come, O Sanctifier, etc.). Then he goes to wash his hands, out of respect for this divine sacrifice, while reciting the psalm Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas, etc. (I will wash my hands among the innocent, etc.). Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas, etc. (Receive, O Holy Trinity,) By this prayer the priest offers to God Jesus Christ as a victim immolated already by his death on the Cross. Heretics calumniate us when they affirm that we offer to God two different sacrifices, namely, the sacrifice of the Cross and that of the altar. We reply to them that there are not two sacrifices, since, as we have already explained elsewhere, the sacrifice of the altar is a memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross; it is really the same sacrifice as that of the Cross, Christ Jesus being there the principal offerer and the victim that is offered.
Orate, fratres, etc. (Brethren, pray, etc.). By these words the priest exhorts the people to supplicate the Lord to receive this sacrifice for the glory of his name and the good of the faithful. The server then answers in the name of the people by praying to God to accept this sacrifice: Suscipiat Dominus Sacrificium de manibus tuis, etc. (May the Lord receive this sacrifice from thy hands,etc.). Then follows the Secret, a prayer that refers to the offerings made by the people, namely, of the bread and wine that are to be changed into the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. The Church asks the Lord to bless them and to render them profitable, not only to those who present them,but to all the faithful, just as be may seen in the Secret of the fifth Sunday after Pentecost: “Mercifully receive, O Lord, these offerings of thy servants; that what each hath offered to the honor of thy name, may avail to the salvation of all.” Thus the Offertory is concluded.
Before passing to the Canon, the priest reads the Preface, in which he exhorts the faithful to raise their hearts to God: Sursum corda (Lift up your hearts). The people answer they that have already done so: Habemus ad Doininum (We have lifted them to the Lord) And the priest continues by inviting them to unite with him in thanking the Lord: Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro (Let us give thanks to our Lord God) He afterwards says that it is just and salutary to render thanks through Jesus Christ, who alone can worthily give thanks for the eternal salvation and for so many benefits granted to men and also to angels, who also give thanks to God through Jesus Christ for all the gifts that they have received. The priest entreats the Lord to accept our prayers united with those of the angels, who celebrate his glory by repeating without ceasing the canticle, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Dens Sabaoth! (Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!); and he concludes repeating the words used by the by Jewish people in their acclamations at the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem: Benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini! Hosanna in exccelsis (Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!)
Part 4 Part 2
by St Alphonsus
The Second Part - From the Introit to the Credo.
It is usually in the Introit that the Church proposes the subject of the feast that is celebrated. Mention is therein made of some divine mystery, of the Blessed Virgin, or of some other saint whom the Church honors on that day, so that we simply render this honor to the saint, since the sacrifice, as we have said, is offered only to God. It is asserted that the author of the Introit is St. Gregory the Great, as may be seen in the works of Benedict XIV.
Kyrie, eleison; Christe, eleison. These are Greek words that mean “Lord, or Christ, have mercy.” This prayer is addressed three times to the Father, three times to the Son, and three times to the Holy Ghost. Durand says that Mass was begun to be said in Greek in the Oriental Church at the time of the Emperor Adrian I, about the year 140. Pope St. Sylvester ordered that,after the example of the Greeks, the Kyrie eleison should be said in the Latin Church. According to Cardinal Bellarmine this custom was introduced into Italy about a hundred and fifty years before St. Gregory. Thereby is shown the union that exists between the Greek and the Latin Church.
Gloria in excelsis Deo, etc. (“Glory be to God on high, etc.”). This prayer canticle or is formed of the words that the celestial choirs used when the Angel came to announce to the shepherds the birth of the Saviour; “Glory to God in the highest : and on earth peace to men of good will.” The remaining words were added by the Church. In it God is thanked for his glory, because God has used our salvation for his glory by saving us through Jesus Christ, who, in offering himself as a sacrifice to his Father, has procured salvation for men, and has given, at the same time, infinite Glory to God. Then the Church, addressing herself to Jesus Christ, asks him by the merits of his sacrifice to have pity on us; and she concludes by proclaiming him: Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen (“For Thou only art holy; Thou only art Lord;Thou only, O Jesus Christ, art Most High in the glory of God the Father. Amen”). For our Saviour, who sacrifices himself as a victim, is at the same time God,equal to Him to whom the sacrifice is offered.
Then follows the prayer or Collect, thus called because the priest, performing the office of mediator between God and men, collects all the prayers of the people, and presents them to God. The Collect is said in a suppliant manner, with outstretched and raised hands. In these prayers are asked of God the graces that have reference to the mystery of the day: for example, at Easter, the grace to rise with Jesus Christ, and at the Ascension to dwell with him in spirit in heaven; or we ask for those graces that we wish to obtain through the intercession of the saint whose feast we are celebrating. But all these prayers are concluded with the name of Jesus Christ: Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum (“Through our Lord Jesus Christ"). Because all the graces that we obtain are given to us chiefly in view of the merits of Jesus Christ. It is not true, as the innovators say, that we offer the Sacrifice of the Altar to the saints. It is altogether false; for we know very well that the sacrifice, being a cult or worship that is due to the sovereign Lord of the universe, can be offered only to God; and if at the Mass we make mention of the saints, we do so only because of the favors that they have received from God, to whom they acknowledge they are indebted for all the happiness that they possess.
Here follow the Epistle and the Gospel. While listening to the reading of the Epistle, we must hear it as if it is God himself who speaks by the mouth of his prophets and apostles.
The Epistle is followed by the Gradual, which, according to Bellarmin, was sung in former times while the deacon ascended the steps of the ambo an elevated pulpit to read the Gospel. The Gradual was followed by the Alleluia, a Hebrew word that signifies Praise the Lord. But in Lent the Alleluia, which expresses joy, is replaced by the Tract, which Abbot Rupert calls the lamentation of penitents (Poenitentium lamentum).
The priest then leaving the left side of the altar, which represents the Jewish people, passes to the right side, which represents the Gentiles, who accepted the Gospel that was rejected by the Jews. We should listen to the Gospel as if we heard the words of our divine Saviour instructing us and we should at the same time himself, ask him for the necessary help to put in practice what he teaches. It is an ancient custom to stand during the reading of the Gospel, to show that we are ready to follow the precepts and counsels that our Lord points out to us.
Credo (“I believe”). While the priest is reciting the symbol we should renew our faith in all the mysteries and all the dogmas that the Church teaches. By the symbol was formerly understood a military sign, a mark by which many recognize one another, and are distinguished from one another: this at present distinguishes believers from unbelievers. Benedict XIV. tells us that at Rome the recitation of the symbol during Mass was begun only in the eleventh century.
Part 3 Part 1
By St Alphonsus
Mass is rightly divided into six parts.
The First Part
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
(“In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen).
In order to sacrifice a victim one must have the power over its life and death; but as God only has the power over the life of his incarnate Son, who is the victim of the Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest needs divine authority in order to be able to offer Jesus Christ to his heavenly Father. Yet as he is invested with the authority that belongs to the priesthood, he says, in union with Jesus Christ, who is the principal one that offers that sacrifice, In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; thus declaring that he offers the sacrifice by the authority of the three Persons.
The priest afterwards recites the antiphon Introibo ad altare Dei (“I will go the the altar of God”), and the psalm Judica me Deus (“Judge me O God”). He implores help against the enemies of God they who are laying snares for him. Then expressing the pain that he feels of seeing himself, as it were, rejected by the Lord, he begs him to assist him with his light, and to console him with the graces that he promised by leading him into his tabernacle. Finally, he reproaches himself for indulging in fear, for why should he be troubled when he has with him his God in whom he should confide?
Innocent III. attests that the recitation before Mass of the psalm Judica me was the custom of his time, that is, in the twelfth century; and Cardinal Lambertini, afterwards Benedict XIV.,assures us that it was recited before the eighth century. The psalm is concluded with the Gloria Patri. It was Pope St. Damasus who ordained that each psalm should be concluded in this manner. It is, however, believed that the Gloria Patri was introduced by the Council of Nice or, as we are told by Baronius and St. Basil, even by the Apostles, the Council of Nice having added only these words, Sicut erat, etc.
Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini ('Our help is in the name of the the Lord'). Frightened by grandeur of the act he is about to perform, and by the thought of his unworthiness, the priest asks God's help in the name of Jesus Christ; and acknowledging himself guilty, he accuses himself of his sins, not only before God, but before the Blessed Virgin and all the saints, who on the last day, with Jesus Christ, will pronounce judgment upon sinners.
Deus, tu conversus, vivificabis nos ('Thou, O Lord,' says the priest, 'wilt turn and bring us to life'). The sinner remains in death so long as God in his goodness does not come to restore to him the life of grace. Then he implores anew the divine mercy: Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam ('Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy') ; and supplicates the Lord to hear him: Domine, exaudi orationem meam ('O Lord, hear my prayer').
Before leaving the people to go up to the altar, the priest says to them, Dominus vobiscum ('The Lord be with you'). By these words he wishes and asks that Jesus Christ may grant to the people as well as to himself the effects of the prayers that he has said; and the server expresses to him the same wish when answering for all the people: Et cum spiritu tuo ('And with Thy spirit'). These reciprocal wishes indicate the union of faith in Jesus Christ that exists between the priest and the people.
Aufer a nobis, etc. ('Take away from us our iniquities, etc.'). In going up the steps of the altar, the priest begs the Lord to deliver him from all iniquities, in order that he may approach the Holy of Holies with a pure heart; that is to say, in order that he may worthily offer up the great sacrifice.
Oramus te, Domine, per merita Sanctorum tuorum, etc. ('We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy saints, etc.'). Having reached the altar, he kisses it, to unite himself to Jesus Christ, represented by the altar; and, through the merits of the holy martyrs whose relics are therein enclosed, he conjures Our Lord to deign to pardon him all his sins.
From the first ages the Church was accustomed to offer up the Eucharistic sacrifice on the tombs of the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for God, and who for this reason have always been particularly honored in the Church. During the first period of the Church there were no other festivals than those of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, those of the Blessed Virgin, and the anniversaries of the martyrs. However, it is not to the saints, but only to God that altars are erected, “and,” as St. Augustine says, “we have not erected an altar to the martyr, Stephen, but with the relics of the martyr Stephen we have erected an altar to God.”1
1 “Nos, in isto loco, non aram fecimus Stephano, sed de reliquiis Stephani aram Deo” Serm. 318, E. B.
Sanctity required to enter Holy Orders.
It must be observed that as we are very much exposed to be lost when to please our relatives we do not follow the divine vocation, so we also endanger our salvation when not to displease them we embrace the ecclesiastical state without being called to it by God. Now, a true vocation to this sublime dignity is distinguished by three signs, namely the requisite knowledge, the intention of applying ones self only to God s service, and positive goodness of life. We shall here speak only of this last condition.
The Council of Trent has prescribed to bishops to raise to Holy Orders only those whose irreproachable conduct has been proved. This is a rule that Canon Law had already established. Although this is directly understood of the external that the should proof bishop have in regard to the irreproachable conduct of the aspirants to the priesthood, yet one cannot doubt that the Council requires not only external irreproachableness, but even with greater reason, interior irreproachableness, without which the former would be illusory. The Council also adds that those only are to be admitted to Holy Orders who show themselves worthy by a wise maturity. We, moreover, know that the Council prescribes for this end the keeping of the interstices, that is, of an interval of time between the different degrees of Holy Orders
St. Thomas gives a reason for such a regulation: it is this, that in receiving Holy Orders one is destined to the most sublime ministry, that of serving Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar. Hence the angelic Doctor adds that the sanctity of ecclesiastics ought to surpass that of the religious. He elsewhere explains that sanctity is required not only in those who are ordained, but also in the subject who presents himself to be admitted to Holy Orders, and he shows the difference that exists in this respect between the religious and the ecclesiastical state. For in religion one purifies one self of one's vices, whilst to receive Holy Orders it is necessary that one has already led a pure and holy life.1 The holy Doctor also says in another place that the candidates for Holy Orders to be raised above the faithful ought simple by their virtue as well as by the dignity of their functions.2 And this merit he requires before ordination, for he calls it necessary not only in order to exercise well the ecclesiastical functions, but also to be worthily admitted among the number of the ministers of Jesus Christ. He finally concludes with these words: “In the reception of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the candidates receive a more abundant outpouring of grace in order thus to be in a position to advance to a higher perfection.” By these last words, “to advance to a higher perfection,”3 the saint declares that the grace of the sacrament, far from being useless, will dispose the subject by an increase of strength to obtain still greater merits; but he expresses, at the same time, how it is for the candidate necessary to prepare himself in a state of grace that is sufficient in order that he may be judged worthy of entering the sanctuary.
In my Moral Theology I have given on this point a long dissertation to establish that those cannot be excused from mortal sin who without having been sufficiently tried by a holy life receive a Holy Order; since they raise themselves to this sublime state without a divine vocation; for one cannot regard those as having been called by God who have not yet succeeded in over coming a bad habit, especially the habit of offending against chastity. And whenever among those one might be found who is disposed by repentance to receive the Sacrament of Penance, he would nevertheless not be in a condition to receive Holy Orders, for in his case there must be more holiness of life manifested during a long trial. Otherwise the candidate would not be exempt from mortal sin on account of the grave presumption that he wished to intrude into the holy ministry without a vocation. Hence St. Anselm says: “Those who thus thrust themselves into Holy Orders and have in view only their own interests are robbers who arrogate to themselves the grace of God; instead of benediction they would receive God's malediction.” As Bishop Abelly remarks they would expose themselves to the great danger of being lost forever:“Whoever deliberately and without troubling himself whether or not he had a vocation would thrust himself into the priesthood, would without doubt plainly expose himself to eternal perdition.” So to holds the same opinion when he asserts, in speaking of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that positive sanctity in the candidate is of divine precept: “Assuredly,”he says, “this sanctity is not essential to the sacrament, though it is altogether necessary by a divine precept. . . . Now, the sanctity that should characterize the candidates to Holy Orders does not consist in the general disposition required for the reception of the other sacraments, and sufficient in order that the sacrament may not be impeded. For, in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, one receives not only grace, but one is raised to a much more sublime state. Hence in the candidates there must be great purity of life and perfect virtue.”4 Thomas Sanchez, Holzmann, the school of Salamanca, are also of the same opinion. Thus, what I have advanced is not only the opinion of one theologian, but it is the common teaching based upon what is taught by St. Thomas.
If any one receive Holy Orders without having led the requisite good life, not only would he himself commit a mortal sin, but also the bishop who confers them upon him without having been morally certain, by sufficient proofs of the good conduct of the candidate. The confessor also would be guilty of mortal sin because he gives absolution to one who, addicted to a bad habit, wishes to be ordained without having given evidence during a considerable time of a positively good life. Finally, parents also sin grievously because,though knowing the wicked conduct of their son, they yet try to induce him to take Holy Orders in order that afterwards he may become the support of the family.
1 Summa 2. 2, q. 189, a. I.
2 Ut, sicut illi, qui Ordinem suscipiunt, super plebem constituuntur gradu Ordinis, ita et superiores sint merito sanctitatis.
3 Suppl. q. 35, a. i.
4 In Sent. d. 25, q. i, a. 4.
Taken from St. Alphonsus: The Holy Eucharist, 'Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ' Ch VII P.382
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He has touched upon the sore spot of the Mass in the ancient rite. Ratzinger permitted its celebration for all. Bergoglio has prohibited it for one religious order that favored it
by Sandro Magister
ROME, July 29, 2013 – One point on which Jorge Mario Bergoglio was eagerly expected to weigh in, after his election as pope, was that of the Mass in the ancient rite.
There were those who predicted that Pope Francis would not distance himself from the stance of his predecessor. Who had liberalized the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite as an “extraordinary” form of the modern rite, with the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum" of July 7, 2007:
> Benedict XVI Liberalizes the Ancient Rite of the Mass – And Explains Why
and with the subsequent instruction "Universæ Ecclesiæ" of May 13, 2011:
> Two Masses for a Single Church
And there were instead those who prognosticated on the part of Francis a restriction - or even a cancellation - of the possibility of celebrating the Mass with the rite prior to Vatican Council II, even at the cost of contradicting the decisions of Benedict XVI with him still alive.
To read the decree issued by the Vatican congregation for religious shortly before the voyage of Francis in Brazil, with the explicit approval of the pope himself, one must agree more with the latter than with the former.
The decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, the protocol number 52741/2012, and the signatures of the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a focolarino, and of the secretary of the same congregation, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, a Franciscan.
Braz de Aviz is the only high-ranking official in the curia of Brazilian nationality, and because of this he has accompanied Francis on his voyage to Rio de Janeiro. He has a reputation as a progressive, although that of a scatterbrain fits him better. And he will probably be one of the first to go when the reform of the curia announced by Francis takes shape.
Rodríguez Carballo instead enjoys the pope's complete trust. His promotion as second-in-command of the congregation was backed by Francis himself at the beginning of his pontificate.
It is difficult, therefore, to think that pope Bergoglio was unaware of what he was approving when he was presented with the decree before its publication.
The decree installs an apostolic commissioner - in the person of the Capuchin Fidenzio Volpi - at the head of all the communities of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.
And this in itself is cause for astonishment. Because the Franciscans of the Immaculate are one of the most flourishing religious communities born in the Catholic Church in recent decades, with male and female branches, with many young vocations, spread over several continents and with a mission in Argentina as well.
They want to be faithful to tradition, in full respect for the magisterium of the Church. So much so that in their communities they celebrate Masses both in the ancient rite and in the modern rite, as moreover do hundreds of religious communities around the world - the Benedictines of Norcia, to give just one example - applying the spirit and the letter of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum" of Benedict XVI.
But precisely this was contested by a core group of internal dissidents, who appealed to the Vatican authorities complaining of the excessive propensity of their congregation to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite, with the effect of creating exclusion and opposition within the communities, of undermining internal unity and, worse, of weakening the more general "sentire cum Ecclesia."
The Vatican authorities responded by sending an apostolic visitor one year ago. And now comes the appointment of the commissioner.
But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11:
"In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”
The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite “sine populo" demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever:
"Ad talem celebrationem secundum unum alterumve Missale, sacerdos nulla eget licentia, nec Sedis Apostolicae nec Ordinarii sui" (1).
While for Masses "cum populo" they set out a few conditions, but always guaranteeing the freedom to celebrate.
In general, against a decree of a Vatican congregation it is possible to have recourse to the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, today headed by a cardinal, the American Raymond Leo Burke, considered a friend by the traditionalists.
But if the decree is the object of approval in a specific form on the part of the pope, as it seems to be in this case, recourse is not admitted.
The Franciscans of the Immaculate will have to comply with the prohibition on celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite beginning Sunday, August 11.
And now what will happen, not only among them but in the whole Church?
It was the conviction of Benedict XVI that "the two forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching." He had explained this in the heartfelt letter to the bishops of the whole world with which he had accompanied the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum":
> "With great trust and hope…"
But from now on this is no longer the case, at least not for all. For the Franciscans of the Immaculate, forced to celebrate the Mass only in the modern form, there remains just one way to take to heart what Benedict XVI also hoped: to "demonstrate" in this form as well, "more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage."
The fact is that one pillar of the pontificate of Joseph Ratzinger has been cracked. By an exception that many fear - or hope - will soon become the rule.
(1) Curiously, even six years after its publication, the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum” of Benedict XVI continues to be present on the website of the Holy See only in two languages, and these among the least-known: Latin and Hungarian.
The website of the Franciscans of the Immaculate:
> Francescani dell'Immacolata
Saints of the Canon III
THE FIVE SUCCESSORS TO ST. PETER
Following the Apostles are the five successors to St. Peter. Then comes Cyprian, the martyr-bishop of Carthage in Africa, the only foreigner in this List of Romans, but a name venerated in Rome. Rome's holy deacon, Lawrence, marks the transition to the five laymen.
Let us take them in these groups:
1. St. Linus: September 24th.
St. Linus, the immediate successor of St. Peter, was Pope for twelve years. He was an Italian convert of St. Peter, born in Volterra, an ancient city of Tuscany, and was consecrated an auxiliary bishop to St. Peter. Under the Emperor Claudius all Jews were banished from Rome in 49 A.D. St. Linus, who was an Italian and therefore not included in the banishment, ruled the See of Rome until St. Peter returned. St. Paul mentions him in 2 Timothy 4; 21.
After St. Peter's martyrdom in 67, St. Linus was beheaded by Saturninus the Consul about the year 78. He was buried on the Vatican hill close to the grave of St. Peter. [September 23rd is now the Feast day of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.]
2. St. Cletus: April 26th.
St. Cletus, (sometimes called Anacletus) succeeded St. Linus and became the third Pope. He was martyred about 90 A.D.
If the interesting tradition that Cletus was a slave is true, it indicates that the Church's teaching on the spiritual equality of all men, be they bond or free, was put into practice within the first century of her history.
3. St. Clement: November 23rd.
St. Clement was the fourth Pope, reigning from 90 to 100 A.D. He is the Clement mentioned by St. Paul:
"And I entreat you also, my sincere companion, (Syzygus) help those women who have laboured with me in the Gospel, with Clement, and the rest of my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life." (Philippians 4; 3).
St. Clement's Epistle to the Church of Corinth is an important historical document. St. Irenaeus writes of St. Clement: "This man, as he had seen the Apostles and conferred with them, might be said to have the preaching of the Apostles still in his ears and their traditions before his eyes."
He was banished by the Emperor Trajan to the Crimea, where his apostolate among the Christian slaves working in the marble quarries merited for him a martyr's crown. An anchor was fastened to his neck and he was cast into the sea. His bones were brought to Rome where they lie today in the basilica of San Clemente, one of Rome's most interesting churches. There are three distinct buildings one over the other, of which the lowest is believed to be the house in which St. Clement lived. San Clemente is in charge of the Irish Dominicans.
The first five successors to St. Peter were:
1. St. Linus (67-78)
2. St. Cletus (78-90)
3. St. Clement (90-100)
4. St Evaristus (100-109) and
5. St. Alexander (109-119) whose name will be mentioned in the Canon after the Consecration.
The sixth successor to St. Peter is St. Sixtus the First (119-125), who is to be distinguished from the famous martyr whose name follows -
4. St. Xystus: August 7th.
St. Xystus (the Greek form of Sixtus and hence he is known as St. Sixtus II) was a Greek, who became Pope in 257, during the severe persecution of Valerian. St. Xystus was arrested while preaching in the catacombs and was dragged through the streets of Rome. On the way he met Lawrence, one of his deacons, who claimed the right to join his master, but the Pope refused, promising him something much nobler but also much worse, and that promise was fulfilled three days later, when Lawrence suffered atrocious torture before death brought relief. St. Xystus was beheaded in the catacomb of Praetextatus near the Appian Way, where there stands today a very ancient church in his honour. [He was martyred on 6th August, which is, of course, the Feast of Our Lord's Transfiguration, so the Church has transferred his liturgical memory to the 7th.]
His reign as Pope was a brief one, just a year, for his death occurred in 258 A.D.
5. St. Cornelius: September 16th.
St. Cornelius was a Roman, who became Pope for one year. He was banished from Rome by the Emperor Gallus, and suffered martyrdom under the Emperor Volusian.
His pontificate was remarkable for the Roman Council of sixty bishops, which he assembled to examine and condemn the notorious rigorous anti-pope, Novatian. According to Novatian, those who were weak enough to sacrifice to idols, or to purchase certificates which stated they had done so, during the terror of the persecution, could never be absolved by the Church.
Pope St. Cornelius condemned this harsh doctrine. He was martyred in 252. [Interestingly, the very first anti-pope (about 220) was later recognized as a martyr and saint, St. Hippolytus.]
AN AFRICAN BISHOP
St. Cyprian: September 16th.
After the five martyred Popes comes an African Bishop, St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage. He was of distinguished rank, rich and talented, a man of letters, winning fame in Carthage as a barrister. Converted to Christianity about the year 246, Cyprian distributed his great wealth among the poor, made a vow of perpetual chastity, and devoted his life to prayer and study. Ordained a priest, he was promoted to the See of Carthage, over which he ruled for ten years, from 248 to 258, a period of terrible persecutions. In the public square of Carthage he was put to death by the sword on the same day as his friend, Pope St. Cornelius, had been six years before. Their joint feast is on September 16th.
St. Cyprian is one of the noblest characters of Christian antiquity. He was one of the earliest of the great Christian writers to use Latin in his many epistles and treatises. He had a long controversy with Pope St. Stephen on the question of heretical baptism, whose validity he attacked with arguments which built too confidently on the images he employed. Pope Stephen held by the traditional practice of the Church at Rome. The dispute threatened to lead to a schism when the death of Pope Stephen ended it. It is pleasant to see that St. Cyprian, in spite of his mistake about heretical baptism, and his long controversy with the Pope, has always been so honoured by the Apostolic See, that he is the one foreigner here among her local saints.
His friendship with Pope St. Cornelius is apparent in a letter congratulating the Pope on his banishment and foretelling the approaching martyrdom of both of them.
"Let us agree," he writes, "in remembering each other at this time of peril, and whichever of its shall first be favoured by Our Lord with a removal hence, let our affection still persevere before the Lord for our brethren in never-ceasing prayers for them."
At his execution the valiant Bishop begged twenty-five gold pieces from his friends for his executioner. Walking to the place of execution in Carthage wearing a linen tunic, he bandaged his own eyes, and thanked God for his approaching death.
St. Lawrence: August 10th.
St. Lawrence, believed to be a Spaniard, was ordained deacon by Pope Xystus and made the first of the seven deacons, and therefore the Archdeacon of Rome. His office was the important one of administration of the moneys of the Church.
As Pope Xystus was being dragged through the streets of Rome, Lawrence meeting him, said reproachfully:
"Whither go you, O Father, without your son?
Whither, O priest of God, without your deacon?"
And the saintly Pope replied:
"I am not forsaking you, my son, a nobler conflict awaits you. In three days you shall follow me."
During those three days the Archdeacon hastened through the poorest parts of Rome distributing the goods of the Church to the needy. Arrested by the prefect of the city he was commanded to deliver up the treasures of the Church. Lawrence assembled the poor of Rome, and presented them to the prefect as the treasures of the Church. The prefect was enraged at this and determined to pay him back. All through the night Lawrence was tormented. He was scourged, struck with leaden balls, stretched on the rack, burned with hot metal plates. But nothing could break his indomitable spirit. To his tormentors he exclaimed:
"For me this night has no darkness, but breaks forth into the bright of day."
Exasperated, his executioners placed him on a gridiron to roast him slowly over a fire. The saint bore this terrible torture, even jested, telling his tormentors that one side was sufficiently roasted, and that they should turn him over.
As his flesh sizzled over the fire the martyr prayed:
"On the gridiron I have not denied You, my God.
Over the fire I have confessed You, my Saviour.
You have tried and examined my heart in the night.
You have proved me by fire and found no falsehood in me.
My soul adhered to You, whilst my flesh burned for You."
St. Lawrence is Rome's proud boast; there his feast-day, on August 10th, has been celebrated since the 4th century. The Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls was built by Constantine over his grave. It ranks fifth of the churches of Rome- one of the five basilicas where the Pope alone says Mass on the high-altar, to show his jurisdiction over all.
This ends the list of ecclesiastical martyrs, and now come five laymen......... Part IV
Changes to Prayers for Palm Sunday
Saints of the Cannon II
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
The Blessed Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, heads the list with the title "Mother of God" which was formally bestowed upon her at the general council convoked by Pope St. Celestine at Ephesus, the city of the Blessed Virgin, in 431, and held in the Cathedral dedicated to her honour. The heresy of Nestorius, who said there were two persons in Christ, divine and human, and that Mary was the mother only of the human, was condemned and the title "Mother of God" was approved. This Pope Celestine sent St. Patrick to Ireland in 432, the year following Ephesus.
Mary's name is not mentioned simply as the other names are, but with great dignity: she is the "glorious," the "ever virgin." Mary's name is inseparable from the Sacrifice of Christ. He came first in emptying Himself. Mary comes next for she gave more than Apostles and martyrs, and thus understands the sacrifice of giving. She "stood by the Cross of Jesus," and great as the sea was then her sorrow. She is justly called the Queen of Martyrs.
Whenever a soul comes to God in Holy Mass he does so in communion with Mary. Let us bring Mary with us whenever we come to Mass. She knows that the more a soul gives itself into His hands, the more perfectly does He work for its sanctity. No one has abandoned herself to Him as Mary has. No one has placed fewer obstacles in the way of His Will than Mary. She knows me far better than I know myself. She knows why I am unwilling to be subject to Him, why I hesitate to surrender myself to Him, and she will help me to beat down the resistance I put in His way. When He sends suffering and crosses to open our hearts to the height and depth and width and length of His Love for us, and we are reluctant to receive them as gifts from Him, Mary will strengthen us with a Mother's love to accept them.
Never come to Mass without calling upon her in words such as the priest says in the prayers preparing for Mass:
"O Mother of piety! O Mother of Mercy, most blessed Virgin Mary, I, a wretched and unworthy sinner, cling to you with all the affection of my heart, and I appeal to your piety, that as you stood by the Cross of your Son, so you will assist me, poor sinner that I am, and all the priests who here, and throughout the world, offer the holy sacrifice today so that it may be a worthy and acceptable offering in the sight of the Blessed Trinity,"
THE TWELVE APOSTLES
St. Peter: June 29th.
First on the list of the twelve apostles is the name of St. Peter, the first Pope. His name was originally Simon, but was changed to "Peter" when Christ designated him as the "Rock" on which the Church was to be built:
"And I say to you: That you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (St. Matt. 16; 18).
St. Peter was a fisherman, born at Bethsaida, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. From there, while he was casting a net into the water, Our Lord called him to become a fisher of men. St. Peter is mentioned frequently in the Gospels, and much of his subsequent history is found in the Acts of the Apostles.
We admire his rugged faith when he spoke for his brethren on the occasion of the promise of the Blessed Eucharist:
"Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will all you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known that you are the Christ the Son of God." (St. John 6; 68-70).
A delightful picture of his impetuous love for Christ is painted by St. John. They were fishing on the Sea of Galilee, when St. John joyfully exclaimed: "It is the Lord!" Peter hesitated not a moment, but jumped from the boat and swam to the shore, to be the first to greet his Master. There, that day on the sands, St. Peter made his threefold profession of love: "You know all things; You know that I love You." (St. John 21; 4-17). Yes, even though he had denied Him, he does not fear to make that open declaration of love for his Master.
For twenty-five years St. Peter lived in Rome as the first Pope. Under the persecution of Nero he was cast into the Mamertine Prison, whence after eight months he was led out to be martyred. On hearing that he was to be crucified, he asked that he might be crucified with his head downwards, for he was not worthy to suffer in the same way as his Divine Master.
His martyrdom is believed to have taken place on the 29th June, in the year 67.
St. Paul: June 29th.
St. Matthias is omitted because this list was made at Rome, and the preference for St. Paul is easily understood. St. Paul, formerly called Saul, was born in the commercial city of Tarsus, and enjoyed the rights of a Roman citizen. He first appears in the Scriptures as the young man who held the garments of those stoning St. Stephen to death (Acts 8; 1-9). In the Acts St. Luke tells us of St. Paul's missionary journeys, his sufferings and imprisonments, shipwreck and dangers, of his tireless zeal and ceaseless efforts to prove himself an Apostle. It is in his own fourteen Epistles that we glimpse the soul of this ardent lover of Christ.
It is believed that St. Paul was martyred in Rome on the same day as St. Peter, and so these two are inseparably united in the liturgy, sharing the same feastday. St. Paul, being a Roman citizen, did not suffer the ignominious death of the cross. He was beheaded.
"The Tiber on entering Rome," writes an ancient poet, "salutes the basilica of St. Peter and, on leaving it, that of St. Paul. Rome is between the two." The Liturgy recalls the Dedication of these two Basilicas on 18th November.
The liturgy links St. Peter, the new Moses, the leader of the new Israel, with St. Paul, the new Aaron, more eloquent than the first, a vessel of election to bring the grace of Christ to the Gentiles. Their joint feast is on 29th June.
St. Andrew: November 30th.
St. John tells us that Andrew was the first of the disciples to meet Our Lord. Having spent the day with Him Andrew sought his brother, Peter, and brought him to Jesus:
"He finds first his brother Simon, and says to him: We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ, and he brought him to Jesus." (St. John 1; 41-42.)
Both Peter and Andrew received the call to the Apostolate on the same occasion:
"And Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers).
And he says to them: Come you both after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men.
And they, immediately leaving their nets, followed him:" (St. Matt. 4; 18-20).
St. Andrew is mentioned several times in the Gospels. We find his name among the wedding guests at Cana.
On the day when Christ multiplied the loaves and fishes, it is Andrew who pointed out the boy:
"One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, says to him: There is a boy here that has five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many?" (St. John 6; 8-9).
For this act of consideration he shares with St. Peter and St. Paul the honour of being mentioned twice within the Canon. In the prayer "Deliver us" ("Libera nos") which follows immediately after the Pater Noster we say: [in the 1962 Missal,]"together with Your blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew,"
St. Andrew preached the Gospel in Asia Minor, and in Greece, where he suffered martyrdom, being cruelly tortured, and then crucified on a cross of distinctive shape, resembling the letter "X", which is called St. Andrew's cross.
St. Andrew is patron saint of Scotland, Constantinople and Greece. About the year 369 important relics of the saint were brought from Constantinople to Scotland, and there enshrined in a church built on a site where stands the present city of St. Andrews.
His head was placed by Pope Pius II in the 15th century in the basilica of St. Peter, his brother.
St. James the Greater: July 25th.
St. James was the elder brother of St. John. The two brothers are referred to by St. Luke as "the sons of Zebedee." (St. Luke 5; 10).
Their mother, Salome, who was present at the Crucifixion (St. Mark 15; 40), was a near relative of the Blessed Virgin, possibly a sister. Consequently, these two Apostles were cousins of Our Lord, and together with St. Peter were privileged to witness the raising of the daughter of Jairus to life, also the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and the three were with Our Lord in the garden at His agony.
Soon after the Ascension, according to ancient tradition, St. James preached the Gospel in Spain. St. James was the first to fulfil his pledge to Our Lord: "Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?" (St. Matt. 20; 22). He was put to death by the sword in Jerusalem by Herod Agrippa some ten years after the death of Christ.
His bones, at an early date, were carried to Spain where they rest today at Santiago de Compostella. To his shrine Spain goes annually in great national pilgrimages.
St. John the Evangelist: December 27th.
St. John is the disciple "whom Jesus loved." (St. John 13; 23). He it was who leant on the bosom of Our Lord at the Last Supper, who stood, next day, beside the Cross on Calvary, and to whose care the dying Saviour confided His Mother: "After that, he says to the disciple: 'Behold your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own." (St. John 19; 27). We see him out-distancing Peter in a race to the tomb: "And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre." (St. John 20; 4).
But St. Peter had his victory later: "And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in. Then comes Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre." (St. John 20; 5 & 6).
No knocking at the door, no sensitiveness or shyness about that grand old man of the sea, wherever his Master was concerned!
In the year 95 A.D., during the reign of the Emperor Domitian, St. John was thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but emerged from it unhurt, and lived to an advanced old age at Ephesus. This is celebrated by the Church on May 6th by a special feast: "St. John before the Latin Gate." On that holy spot there is a church in his honour in Rome today. The Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John's on the Lateran Hill is on 9th November.
Besides his fourth Gospel and three Epistles he wrote the Apocalypse.
St. John was unmarried and remained so till his death. To him, a virgin, Christ entrusted His Virgin Mother. As he stood beneath the Cross on Calvary, his sufferings were equal to martyrdom. There also he drank as from a fountain a heavenly knowledge of the Holy Mass. Let us go in imagination to the Mass said by St. John in the presence of the Blessed Virgin. What an acceptable offering that must have been! What better companions can we have to walk to Mass with us than Mary and St. John who walked the way to Calvary! What better guides can we have to kneel beside us during Mass than Mary and St. John who stood by the Cross!
St. Thomas: December 21st
We hear much about "doubting Thomas" but look at the valiant and loyal follower of Christ in the following incident as narrated by St. John. On hearing of the death of His friend Lazarus, Jesus made known His wish to go to Jerusalem. The disciples remonstrated with Him on the risk he was taking, reminding Him of the recent threats of the Jews. But when Christ said: "Let us go to him." It was Thomas who then spoke up bravely to the others: "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." (St. John 11; 16).
Fitting words for a future martyr!
Research during the past 100 years shows that St. Thomas preached to the Parthians in the East, where tradition says he baptized the three Magi. Today in Malabar, India, there exist some 400,000 Christians who claim to be descended from converts made by St. Thomas. They call themselves "Thomas Christians," and are organized into a province with four dioceses.
It is now accepted that St. Thomas suffered martyrdom on a hill known today as St. Thomas' Mount. some miles south of the city of Madras. A suburb of Madras is called San Thome and a fine Cathedral dedicated to St. Thomas stands there.
St. Thomas faced the dangers and uncertainties of exile, far from his homeland; so that his doubting words will be forgiven.
It is wonderful to think of Mass being said in India by one of the Apostles.
In the Mass of St. Thomas on July 3rd, the Gospel narrates the famous scene which occurred in the upper room after the Lord's Resurrection. St. Thomas doubted, and it is only when Jesus made him put his finger into the wounds, that passing suddenly from incredulity to ardent faith, he exclaimed: "My Lord and my God." (St. John 20; 24-29).
The elevation of the Sacred Host began as an answer to the heresy of Berengarius, who denied the Real Presence. Look up at the Host and say those words of St. Thomas: "My Lord and my God," for that practice is enriched by Pope St. Pius X with an indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines and a plenary indulgence once a week on the usual conditions.
St. James the Less: May 11th.
St. James the Less, also called the "Just" by the Jews and Christians alike in Jerusalem, was a cousin of Our Lord, for his mother, Mary of Cleophas, was a sister of the Blessed Virgin, and stood with Our Lady beneath the Cross:
"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his Mother, and his Mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen:" (St. John 19; 25.)
St. James was appointed by St. Peter as the first bishop of Jerusalem, where be lived for thirty years a life of extraordinary piety and mortification. His energy in preaching Christ crucified awoke the anger of the chief priests, who stood him on the battlements of the Temple and commanded him to denounce Christ. St. James proclaimed his belief in Christ, and was immediately hurled from the walls of the Temple. As he was still able to rise to his knees, the rabble fell upon him with stones and sticks and a fuller gave him the death blow by hitting him on the head with his mallet (such as was used in dressing cloth.) The fuller's mallet is his distinctive sign.
St. James wrote one epistle. Chapter 3 speaks to us all on the evils of the tongue, a chapter we should read and think about often, for as St. James says: "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man."
In this epistle also is found the Scriptural authority for Extreme Unction, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick: "Is there any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." (Ch. 4; 14). [His former feast day is now that of St. Joseph the Worker, May 1st.]
St. Philip: May 11th.
St. Philip was the fourth of the fishermen of Bethsaida, in Galilee, to follow Our Lord:
"On the following day he would go forth into Galilee, and he finds Philip. And Jesus said to him: Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter." (St. John 1; 33-34). He and St. Andrew were special friends.
It was to him that Christ spoke about feeding the multitude: "When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude is coming to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?" (St. John 6; 5).
And it was his friend, Andrew, who saw the boy with the loaves and fishes and brought him forward.
He was at Cana, a wedding guest.
During the Last Supper we hear Philip's supplication: "Lord show us the Father and it is enough for us." To which Jesus, answering him by name, replied: "So long a time I have been with you all, and have you all not known me? Philip, he that sees me, sees the Father also:" (St. John 14; 9).
He preached in Phrygia, and died in Hierapolis, on a cross, stoned to death.
Tradition has it that the daughters of St. Philip were the first of the holy women to dedicate their lives to God. They were probably joined by the daughters of St. Philip the Deacon. (Acts 21;8 & 9)
St. Bartholomew: August 24th.
St. Bartholomew is probably the Nathaniel mentioned in the Gospel, who was led to the Lord by Philip:
"Philip finds Nathaniel, and says to him: 'We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus, the Son of Joseph of Nazareth.'
And Nathaniel said to him: 'Can anything of good come from Nazareth?' Philip says to him: 'Come and see.'
Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and he said of him: 'Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.'
Nathaniel said to him: 'Whence know you me?' and Jesus answered and said to him: 'Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.'
Nathaniel answered him, and said: 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.' " (St. John 1; 45-49).
A direct, blunt personality, with no folds or pretences. He asks his questions frankly and then satisfied, he accepts.
Tradition tells us that he evangelized parts of the Indies, afterwards going to Armenia, where he was martyred, being first thrown into a fire and then crucified, like St. Peter, with his head downwards.
St. Matthew: September 21st.
St. Matthew, both Apostle and Evangelist, was a publican or tax-gatherer, whose calling was despised by the Jews, for the publicans were unjust, and worse still, unpatriotic. Matthew must have been an honest man. His immediate response to Our Lord's call shows him as a generous and determined character:
"He saw a publican named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom, and he said to him: 'Follow me.' And leaving all, things, he rose up and followed him." (St. Luke 5; 27-28).
After his conversion he was called Matthew, meaning "the gift of God."
Tradition holds that he preached in Arabia and Ethiopia.
It is believed that he was attacked and killed while saying Mass. We cherish that belief and like to picture St. Matthew going on calmly with his Mass as the rabble, with much shouting, storm the altar.
Today his relics are honoured in the metropolitan church at Salerno, whose patron saint he is.
St. Matthew is represented by an animal with a human face because he commences his Gospel by tracing the human descent of Christ. His object in writing his Gospel is to prove that the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, Who is therefore the Messiah.
St. Simon, the Zealot: October 28th.
St. Luke writes of "Simon who is called Zelotes." (the Zealot). (St. Luke 6; 15).
He is said to have preached in Egypt, and also in Persia, where he was cut in two with a sword.
St. Jude, or Thaddeus: October 28th.
He wrote an epistle, which is addressed to Jewish converts, among whom he had been an Apostle.
He followed the Jews in Syria and Mesopotamia. Later he preached in Armenia where he suffered death by being shot with arrows while tied to a cross. The bones of these two apostles, St. Simon and St. Jude, linked together in the liturgy, are honoured in St. Peter's, Rome.
This is the record of the Apostles, who not only scattered the seed of the divine word, but laboured to bring it to maturity, and fructified it with their blood.
The above Table is a summary of the Changes to the Traditional Mass from 1959 to 1969.
A TICK indicates that this prayer or action still remains. If there is a X this indicates that either the rubrics do not allow it or the rubrics no longer require this as either omitted in the Missal or changed in the instructions.
Where there is a TICK/X, this indicates it was optional, so the priest could do either.
So, e.g. The Canon is said silently, being the sole prayer of the priest as intercessory for the faithful, thus said in silent reverence. This is up until 1964, when it could be said in a loud voice. Then in 1967 was said aloud.
As another example Solemn Mass with deacon only was NOT permitted up till 1964 then was permitted from 1964 onwards
This list is not complete. There are more like for example where it require the server to ring a bell if there are communicants instead of the long standing Confiteor.
Communion of the faithful during Mass is a separate action and rite, not essential to the Mass in itself. Please note that the Confiteor (I confess) was omitted from the 1960 changes, even though the Ritual Romanum of 1960 still has the Confiteor as part of the rite of Communion outside of Mass, and for Communion of the Sick and Viaticum.
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