Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saint Martin I. Pope and Martyr

Saints Martin, Clement, Sixtus II, Lawrence.
Church of San Apollinare Revenna.

Feast: 12 November

Pope Martin I was born in the Tuscan town of Todi on the Tiber, and elected Pope--the seventy-fourth Pope--on the 21 of July, 649. without imperial approval. Saint Martin Convened the Lateran Council which condemned and deposed the patriarch of Constantinople for the crime of the heresy of Monothelitism, a heresy which taught that our Lord lacked a human will. This act placed the holy Pontiff in direct opposition to the Emperor Constans II himself a Monothelialite heretic. The Emperor had the Pope arrested brought before the Senate at Constantinople where after declaring him deposed from the throne of Saint Peter and charged with rebellion against God and the state, he was tortured, striped before the public and loaded down with a great number of heavy chains. The Pope was after placed in prison. Patriarch Paul of Constantinople, after witnessing the cruel manner in which Saint Martin had been treated, and moved by the Holy Spirit, repented of his heresy, a move which saved Saint Martin from execution, but was exiled instead to Cherson in the Crimean peninsula(modern day Chersonesus Taurica). The pope arrived at Cherson on the 15th of May 655 died soon after on the 16th of September from starvation and the rough treatment he suffered during his imprisonment and transportation to the Crimean. Saint Martin is listed among the holy martyr because of the manner in which he died, he is the last Pope martyrs.

His relics are venerated in the city of Rome in the church of San Martino ai Monti.

Traditional Dominican All Saints Nov. 12

The Saints of the Dominican Order

The Martyrology for the Twelfth Day of November

The Feast of All the Saints of our Order. A totum duplex feast of the second class.

St. Martin I, pope and martyr, whose birthday is commemorated on September 16.

At Vitebsk in Poland, the suffering of St. Josaphat, of the Order of St. Basil a Polish archbishop and martyr. He was cruelly slain by the schismatics in their hatred of Catholic unity and truth. He was numbered among the martyrs by Pope Pius IX. His feast, however, is kept on November 14.

At Alcalá in Spain, the birthday of St. Didacus, confessor, of the Order of Friars Minor, who was noted for his humility. He was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Sixtus V; his feast is celebrated on November 13.

In Asia, the suffering of the holy Bishops Aurelius and Publius.

At Eachen in Belgium, St. Livinus, bishop and martyr. He had convcrted many persons to the Christian faith when he was slain by the heathens. His body was later transferred to Ghent.

At Gnesen in Poland, the holy hermits and martyrs Benedict, John, Matthew, Isaac, and Christian. They were engaged in prayer when they were savagely attacked by robbers and put to the sword.

At Sergines near Sens, St. Paternus, monk and martyr. He met some robbers in the nearby forest and when he tried to persuade them to correct their lives, they put him to death.

At Avignon, St. Rufus, who was the first bishop of that city.

At Cologne, the death of St. Cunibert, bishop.

At Tarazona in Aragon, Blessed Emilian, priest. He was remarkable for his many miracles. St. Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, wrote his admirable life.

At Constantinople, St. Nilus, abbot. In the reign of Theodosius the Younger, he had been prefect of that city and then became a monk. He was distinguished for his learning and holiness.

V. And elsewhere, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reflection on the Sacred Liturgy.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

It is essential for all Catholics, but most especially for those Catholics who desire a restoration of the Sacred Liturgy in the Western church, to reflect from time to time on the nature--the doctrinal nature--of the Church's worship.

The following comes to us by way of an Anglo-Catholic who in turn comments on a post from a Russian-Orthodox blog. The insight is profound, moving, and very much on target.

A friend recently referred me to an excellent blog with which I had not been previously familiar. It is written by an Orthodox priest, and his insights are astounding. However, unlike most Roman Catholic blogs, the comments sections of his posts are also valuable and full of insight. One such insight sent me reeling a few days ago when I read it:
One of the first times I saw a liturgy was in a Russian church. I didn't understand anything, of course, and at first I was a bit distressed that people came and went, children wandered around, etc. But then I noticed that no matter what anyone was or wasn't doing, the liturgy continued. It was obvious that the audience was God, not the restless congregation. When I returned to my evangelical church, I asked the pastor if he would do the same things he had planned to do this Sunday if no one showed up. He was very struck by that and couldn't answer.
I know what the answer would have been in the pentecostal church of my youth, and I daresay that nearly every Protestant church would have the same answer to that question: dumbstruck silence. Odds are that this question would never have occurred to them. Which is understandable, but regrettable.

In most Protestant worship services, the "worship plan" simply would not work if the congregation did not show up for services. Nearly every element of it is dependent upon the participation, whether active or passive, of those gathered. Worship leaders would have no one to lead. Large, white screens projecting song lyrics that adorn either side of the platform would have no readers. Hymn boards would go unnoticed. No one would "amen," and no one would "testify." No one would listen or scribble notes in the margins of their Bibles during a 50 minute sermon. When the invitation was given, no one would respond.

Liturgical Catholic worship, the greatest expression of which is the Mass (or the Divine Liturgy, Holy Eucharist, whatever you wish to call it based on your tradition), is different, or at least it should be different. No one could show up but the priest, and yet the worship could, and should, happen anyway. And not only should it happen, but anyone who could not make it for some unforeseeable reason could, in faith, unite themselves spiritually with that worship no matter where they happened to be, because they knew the "game plan" well in advance.

However, we as Catholic worshippers must be careful not to fall into the same trap. Innovations which seek to elevate the worshipper over the Worshipped must not be permitted to enter the liturgy. Our focus should never be on ourselves. We enter our holy houses to be in the presence of One who far surpasses our ability to understand. We gather to worship and sacrifice; as a community, to be sure, but community is not the end. (This is why I emphatically advocate worship ad dominum at the Altar, instead of the precarious orientation that many churches have adopted during the last century.) It takes a little more doing, but it is possible for Catholic worship leaders to come up with the same response as their Protestant counterparts when asked the question of the day: dumbstruck silence.

Smug smiles and pats on the back should be shelved for a moment by "traditionalists," many of whom might think that this question doesn't apply to them. It does. The circumstances can become a bit trickier, but it is still a danger that even traditional Catholic worship can be turned from its purpose: worship. I dare not attempt a list of possibilities lest I begin a comments war that rivals those of a Minnesotan birdwatcher. Use your thinkers.
Would your corporate worship work if no one showed up? I pray yes.

Pax et bonum.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saint Martin de Porres

Saint Martin

Martin de Porres (1579 –1639)
Dominican lay brother.
Beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI
Canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

Feast Day: November 5th.

He is the patron saint of innkeepers, and barbers.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dominican Commemoration of the Holy Relics

The 31st of October is celebrated among Dominicans
as the commemoration of the saints whose relics
rest within the churches of the Order of Preachers.

Let us Pray: O God, who has been pleased to adorn this holy church with the relics of so many Saints, grant that we Thy servants may enjoy in heaven the fellowship of those whose memory we venerate on earth. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Consecration of the Human Race

Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Feast of Christ the King

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:

"Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor forever." Amen.

On the last Sunday of October, feast of Christ the King, there follows after the Mass a Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. the faithful who devotedly participate in this consecration receive a plenary indulgence.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Ecce Homo
It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power.”

__H.H. Pius XI.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saint Wilfred

Saint Wilfred Bishop of York

Feast: October 12th.

Born to a wealthy family in Northumberland, Wilfred (also spelled Wilfrid) was a second generation Christian.

Although the native Britons were mainly Christians when Roman influence waned in the 5th Century, waves of Anglo-Saxons had invaded and brought their Pagan gods. This was also a time of struggle for dominance within the Church between the Irish/Scottish Celtic Christianity and the Roman tradition.

Wilfred had an interest in the things of God from a young age and went to study in Lindisfarne, a centre of Celtic Christianity, under St Aidan.

To continue his education Wilfred set out to travel to Rome, but stayed for quite a while in Lyon living the high-life. Eventually he arrived in Rome about 654, when he was about 20. He stayed for a short while, but returned to Lyon where he continued his education under the patronage of the Archbishop. However, the Archbishop's wealth and ways caused jealousy among the secular powers and he was put to death along with many of his entourage. Wilfred’s status as a foreign nobleman saved him from an early death.

At the age of about 27 Wilfred set up a magnificent new abbey at Ripon in Yorkshire with fine stonework using skilled men he had brought from France. St Cuthbert and his followers returned to Lindisfarne with their Celtic traditions.

The division between the Celtic and the Roman Church threatened to break into violence so in 664 the newly ordained Wilfred took his seat as an 'expert' at the Council of Whitby and championed the cause of Rome. Rome won.

A year later, Wilfred was appointed Bishop of York by the Pope and he went to France for his ordination. However, he stayed so long in France that Saint Chad was put in as bishop of York. Wilfred returned to his abbey in Ripon fuming.

Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, came to Wilfred’s aid three years later. He said that Chad had been irregularly ordained. Chad went away meekly to be an abbot and Wilfred took up York.

Immediately he set about restoring the Cathedral and other churches in the diocese. He provide funds for their upkeep and soon had amassed a great fortune for the Church . His fortune and growing power earned the jealously and fear of the secular powers.
Egfrid, the King of Northumberland, had taken a dislike to Wilfred and his chance for revenge came in 678, Egfrid called up the Archbishop of Canterbury when Wilfred was away doing a spot of missionary work. The King suggested that York was too large a diocese and should be split up. The Archbishop agreed as the proposal had much to commend it pastorally. But upon his return Wilfred, finding his diocese now shrunk was livid and went off to Rome to complain.

It was two years before Wilfred was back in England, vindicated by Rome. He was accepted back into his somewhat smaller diocese, but only for a while. Egfrid soon banished him, so Wilfred went off to do missionary work with the Saxons in Sussex and the Isle of Wight.

A year after the death of Egfrid in 685, Wilfred returned to take up York. He remained in power for five years, after which he was banished by the new king who felt Wilfred was getting to uppity.

In 703 Wilfred, now aged 69, returned to Rome to complain. Again he was vindicated and three years later took up the Archbishopric of York for the last three years of his life.

In 706 he died in Oundle and was buried in the church of St.Peter at Rippon. That monastery having been destroyed by the wars, the greatest part of his remains was translated to Canterbury in the time of St. Odo, and deposited under the high altar, in 959. They were enshrined by Lanfranc, and deposited on the north side of the altar by St. Anselm, on the 12th of October: the day of which translation became his principal festival. These relics are said now to repose near the monument of that truly great man, Cardinal Pole.