Saturday, December 01, 2007
December is dedicated by Holy Mother the Church to the Immaculate Conception, so through Advent, Our Blessed Lady's Saturday will also be so dedicated.
We begin here (one day late) a novena to the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady:
Invocation to be Said Every Day of the Novena:
Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
O Virgin Immaculate, who wast pleasing in the Lord's sight and didst become His
Mother, look graciously upon the wretched who implore thy mighty patronage. The wicked serpent, against whom the primal curse was hurled, continues none the less to wage war and to lay snares for the unhappy children of Eve. Ah, do thou, our blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate, who from the first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of our enemy, receive the prayers that we unite single-heartedly to thine and conjure thee to offer at the throne of God, that we may never fall into the snares that are laid for us, in such wise that we may all come to the haven of salvation; and in the midst of so many dangers may holy Church and the fellowship of Christians everywhere sing once more the hymn of deliverance, victory and peace. Amen.
To thee, O Virgin Mother, who wast never touched by any spot of Original or actual
sin, I commend and entrust the purity of my heart.
The Catholic Encylopedia on this heroic martyred priest.
Here is the text of Campion's Brag, his defense of the Faith against the English protestant establishment.
To the Right Honourable, the Lords of Her Majesty's Privy Council:
Whereas I have come out of Germany and Bohemia, being sent by my superiors, and adventured myself into this noble realm, my dear country, for the glory of God and benefit of souls, I thought it like enough that, in this busy, watchful, and suspicious world, I should either sooner or later be intercepted and stopped of my course.
Wherefore, providing for all events, and uncertain what may become of me, when God shall haply deliver my body into durance, I supposed it needful to put this in writing in a readiness, desiring your good lordships to give it your reading, for to know my cause. This doing, I trust I shall ease you of some labour. For that which otherwise you must have sought for by practice of wit, I do now lay into your hands by plain confession. And to the intent that the whole matter may be conceived in order, and so the better both understood and remembered, I make thereof these nine points or articles, directly, truly and resolutely opening my full enterprise and purpose.
i. I confess that I am (albeit unworthy) a priest of the Catholic Church, and through the great mercy of God vowed now these eight years into the religion [religious order] of the Society of Jesus. Hereby I have taken upon me a special kind of warfare under the banner of obedience, and also resigned all my interest or possibility of wealth, honour, pleasure, and other worldly felicity.
ii. At the voice of our General, which is to me a warrant from heaven and oracle of Christ, I took my voyage from Prague to Rome (where our General Father is always resident) and from Rome to England, as I might and would have done joyously into any part of Christendom or Heatheness, had I been thereto assigned.
iii. My charge is, of free cost to preach the Gospel, to minister the Sacraments, to instruct the simple, to reform sinners, to confute errors—in brief, to cry alarm spiritual against foul vice and proud ignorance, wherewith many of my dear countrymen are abused.
iv. I never had mind, and am strictly forbidden by our Father that sent me, to deal in any respect with matter of state or policy of this realm, as things which appertain not to my vocation, and from which I gladly restrain and sequester my thoughts.
v. I do ask, to the glory of God, with all humility, and under your correction, three sorts of indifferent and quiet audiences: the first, before your Honours, wherein I will discourse of religion, so far as it toucheth the common weal and your nobilities: the second, whereof I make more account, before the Doctors and Masters and chosen men of both universities, wherein I undertake to avow the faith of our Catholic Church by proofs innumerable—Scriptures, councils, Fathers, history, natural and moral reasons: the third, before the lawyers, spiritual and temporal, wherein I will justify the said faith by the common wisdom of the laws standing yet in force and practice.
vi. I would be loath to speak anything that might sound of any insolent brag or challenge, especially being now as a dead man to this world and willing to put my head under every man's foot, and to kiss the ground they tread upon. Yet I have such courage in avouching the majesty of Jesus my King, and such affiance in his gracious favour, and such assurance in my quarrel, and my evidence so impregnable, and because I know perfectly that no one Protestant, nor all the Protestants living, nor any sect of our adversaries (howsoever they face men down in pulpits, and overrule us in their kingdom of grammarians and unlearned ears) can maintain their doctrine in disputation. I am to sue most humbly and instantly for combat with all and every of them, and the most principal that may be found: protesting that in this trial the better furnished they come, the better welcome they shall be.
vii. And because it hath pleased God to enrich the Queen my Sovereign Lady with notable gifts of nature, learning, and princely education, I do verily trust that if her Highness would vouchsafe her royal person and good attention to such a conference as, in the second part of my fifth article I have motioned, or to a few sermons, which in her or your hearing I am to utter such manifest and fair light by good method and plain dealing may be cast upon these controversies, that possibly her zeal of truth and love of her people shall incline her noble Grace to disfavour some proceedings hurtful to the realm, and procure towards us oppressed more equity.
viii. Moreover I doubt not but you, her Highness' Council, being of such wisdom and discreet in cases most important, when you shall have heard these questions of religion opened faithfully, which many times by our adversaries are huddled up and confounded, will see upon what substantial grounds our Catholic Faith is builded, how feeble that side is which by sway of the time prevaileth against us, and so at last for your own souls, and for many thousand souls that depend upon your government, will discountenance error when it is bewrayed [revealed], and hearken to those who would spend the best blood in their bodies for your salvation. Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven for you daily by those English students, whose posterity shall never die, which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes. And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league—all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practice of England—cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.
ix. If these my offers be refused, and my endeavours can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to do you good, shall be rewarded with rigour. I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God, the Searcher of Hearts, who send us his grace, and see us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten.
Important feasts celebrated during December include:
1st St. Edmund Campion
3rd St. Francis Xavier
4th St. Barbara
6th St. Nicholas
7th St. Ambrose
8th The Immaculate Conception
9th Ven Fulton Sheen
12th Our Lady of Guadalupe
13th St. Lucy
16th St. Adelaide
21st St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Peter Canisius
22nd St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
23rd St. John Cantius
24th Christmas Eve and Adam & Eve
26th St. Stephen
27th St. John the Apostle
28th Holy Innocents
29th St. Thomas a Becket
December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Lady.
The Immaculate Conception on December 8th (falls on a Saturday this year) and Christmas on December 25th are Holy Days of Obligation.
Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for December, 2007 are:
That human society may be solicitous in the care of all those stricken with AIDS, especially children and women, and that the Church may make them feel the Lord's love.
That the incarnation of the Son of God, which the Church celebrates solemnly at Christmas, may help the peoples of the Asiatic Continent to recognize God's Envoy, the only Savior of the world, in Jesus.
The First Friday of the month is December 7th.
The First Saturday of the month is December 1st, today.
Important novenas commonly said during the month include the Advent Novena I (Nov. 30th-Dec. 24th), Advent Novena II (Dec. 16th-Dec. 24th), and the Epiphany Novena (Dec 28-January 5th).
The O Antiphons of Advent are integrated into evening prayer beginning December 17th.
The Season of Advent begins on Sunday December 2nd, and continues until the 24th, when it is succeeded by the Season of Christmas.
The Advent Embertide is the week of Gaudete Sunday. Ember Wednesday is December 19th, Ember Friday is December 21st, and Ember Saturday is December 22nd.
December 31st is New Year's Eve in the secular calendar.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Artillerists, who have always been a breed apart, no matter what the nationality (and in the 18th century, American, British, French, and German gunners all wore blue coats faced red, as a symbol of their guild-like international commonality) celebrate their own patron, St. Barbara, on December 4th.
Because of my re-enacting experience, I am either a member of, or have been a guest of, the messes of regiments of all four major ethnic groups of the British Isles. I have dined with the Royal Welch Fusiliers (23rd Regiment of Foot) officers' mess on March 1st, with the Friendly Brothers of Saint Patrick on March 17th, with the officers' mess of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment, or 42nd Regiment of Foot) on November 30th, and with the Loyal and Friendly Society of the Blue and Orange on April 23rd (St. George's Day).
These evenings are convivial occasions, with a formal dinner, many, many toasts, and seemingly eccentric regimental customs. You would not want to drive yourself home after one of these dinners. Re-enactor officers are just being true to the characters they portray in these celebrations. But 18th century officers could not be pulled over for DUI.
John Peebles, an officer of the grenadier company of the 42nd Regiment celebrated St. Andrew's Night thus in his New York-area garrison in 1779:
Went to town to celebrate the day with his Ex (he mounted a round blue device with a white Saint Andrew's cross in his regulation highland bonnet-GTF): where the field offs. & Capts. of the 42nd. were invited, the Adml. there the offrs. of the Royal Highland emigrants & some others, about 24 in all. Major Small personated the Saint who gave very good toasts & apropos for the occasion. The Adml. very chatty & entertaining. Major Hay sang some good songs & spouted a prologue very well. A good dinner & drink till 10 o'clock. A numerous party of the Sons of St. Andw. din'd at Hick's above 60, among whom were the subs. (subalterns: lieutenants and ensigns- GTF) of the 42d. Exchanged a complit. & some of our Compy. join'd them after we broke up, & made a night of it.
John Peebles'American War 1776-1782, edited by Ira Gruber, 1997.
I wish my Scottish friends of the 42nd, 71st, 74th, and 84th Regiments of Foot a happy Saint Andrew's Day, with much enjoyment of haggis and that amber-coloured beverage distilled in the Highlands.
Labels: Annual Cycles
From The Golden Legend
Today, the Church celebrates Saint Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, disciple of John the Baptist, and Apostle of the Lord.
Andrew was a fisherman from Capharnaum. He was with John the Baptist at the time of the baptism of the Lord, and followed Him from that time, later bringing Peter into the fold of the apostolic college. It was Andrew who reported the state of the food supply to the Lord before the feeding of the five thousand. But ortherwise, he appears to have faded into the apostolic group.
Andrew exercised his ministry in the region of the Black Sea, and was crucified on an "X" form crucifix at Patras in Achaia. He is the patron of fishermen and fishmongers, as well as patron of Scotland.
The St. Andrew's Novena (also called the Christmas Anticipation Novena) begins today, and runs through Christmas Eve.
“Hail and blessed
be the hour and the moment
when the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
in a stable,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
O my God,
to hear my prayer
and grant my desires,
through the merits
of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.
From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori:
We read in history of a proof of love so prodigious that it will be the admiration of all ages.
There was once a king, lord of many kingdoms, who had one only son, so beautiful, so holy, so amiable, that he was the delight of his father, who loved him as much as himself. This young prince had a great affection for one of his slaves; so much so that, the slave having committed a crime for which he had been condemned to death, the prince offered himself to die for the slave; the father, being jealous of justice, was satisfied to condemn his beloved son to death, in order that the slave might remain free from the punishment that he deserved: and thus the son died a malefactor's death, and the slave was freed from punishment.
This fact, the like of which has never happened in this world, and never will happen, is related in the Gospels, where we read that the Son of God, the Lord of the universe, seeing that man was condemned to eternal death in punishment of his sins, chose to take upon Himself human flesh, and thus to pay by His death the penalty due to man: He was offered because it was His own will (Is. 53:7). And his Eternal Father caused him to die upon the cross to save us miserable sinners: He spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all (Rom. 8:32). What dost thou think, O devout soul, of this love of the Son and of the Father?
Thou didst, then, O my beloved Redeemer, choose by Thy death to sacrifice Thyself in order to obtain the pardon of my sins. And what return of gratitude shall I then make to Thee? Thou hast done too much to oblige me to love Thee; I should indeed be most ungrateful to Thee if I did not love Thee with my whole heart. Thou hast given for me Thy divine life; I, miserable sinner that I am, give Thee my own life. Yes, I will at least spend that period of my life that remains to me only in loving Thee, obeying Thee, and pleasing Thee.
O men, men! let us love this our Redeemer, who, being God, has not disdained to take upon Himself our sins, in order to satisfy by His sufferings for the chastisement which we have deserved: Surely He hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows (Is. 53:4)
St. Augustine says that our Lord in creating us formed us by virtue of His power, but in redeeming us He has saved us from death by means of His sufferings: "He created us in his strength; he sought us back in his weakness."
How much do I not owe Thee, O Jesus my Saviour! Oh, if I were to give my blood a thousand times over,--if I were to spend a thousand lives for Thee,--it would yet be nothing. Oh, how could anyone that meditated much on the love which Thou hast shown him in Thy Passion, love anything else but Thee? Through the love with which Thou didst love us on the cross, grant me the grace to love Thee with my whole heart. I love Thee, infinite Goodness; I love Thee above every other good; and I ask nothing more of Thee but Thy holy love.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tip of the silver-laced cocked hat to Jay at Pro Ecclesia.
Doffing the silver-laced cocked hat to Argent By the Tiber.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Only Saint Andrew on the 30th is an important saint's day. Remember, there is a long novena beginning on Saint Andrew's Day.
The Advent wreath is ready, and many have made use of "Stir Up Sunday" to get the Christmas or Twelfth Night Cake ready.
Over four weeks until Christmas, and six days until Advent.
What to do?
Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Labels: Annual Cycles
On Thanksgiving Day, my Saint John's Prep Eagles bested Xaverian, ending the season, which had started so well, at a disappointing 6-5.
Saturday, my Boston College Eagles defeated Miami 28-14, which gives them a 10-2 record, and sets them up for a game this Saturday against Virginia Tech, for the ACC title.
And the Patriots had a much rougher-than-expected time with the Philadelphia Eagles, but prevailed 31-28, making them 11-0 on the season. They clinched the AFC East yesterday, though the rest of the AFC East is dreadful, and there was little doubt of a division title anyway.
Labels: Football Weekend Report