Saturday, August 23, 2008

Feast of Saint Sidonius Apollinaris

Today is the feast day of a saint I am very familiar with from my first medieval history class in college. Under the tutelage of the late Professor William Daly, who was preparing a scholarly biography of St. Sidonius, we spent more than 2 weeks studying this saint as a case study in the "fall" of the Roman Empire and the transition to early medieval Europe.

The following brief biography is from Catholic Exchange's Saint of the Day feature:

Caius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius was born on November 5, 430, in Lyons, Gaul to a noble family. He was educated at Arles and was a student of Claudianus Mamertus of Vienne. Later, he married a woman named Papianilla, a daughter of Avitus, who became Emperor in the year 455.

St. Sidonius lived at the imperial court at Rome, served under many emperors and later became prefect of Rome in 468. The following year, however, after retiring to the life of a country gentleman, he was named bishop of Avernum (Clermont) against his will, because the people felt he was the only one able to defend the Roman prestige against the Goths.

A prolific writer, he was quickly recognized as a leading ecclesiastical authority. He became a benefactor of monks, gave much of his wealth to charities, and provided food to thousands during a great famine. He led the populace against King Euric of the Goths, but was defeated. Cleremont was overtaken and Sidonius exiled. He returned in 476 and spent the remainder of his days in Cleremont speaking and writing. Many of his masterful poems exist to this day.

I find helpful this more detailed essay by re-enacting collegue Eric Goldberg on how Sidonius was typical of Gallo-Romans who, once the structure of Empire collapsed, came to identify with the Romanitas of the orthodox Catholic Church against the ascendant Arian barbarians taking power around them.

I've often liked to compare Saint Sidonius with the slightly earlier Gallo-Roman nobleman Ausonius of Bordeaux, who is highlighted in both Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization, and Judge Robert Bork's Slouching Towards Gomorrah.

Ausonius was, like Sidonius, a poet. His work is correct in form, but often base in subject. He went through the hoops held out for a nobleman from the provinces on the make. But he achieved nothing of value. He could see the end coming for his way of life, and lamented it. But was too busy with his Germanic slave/mistress to rouse himself or his contemporaries to defend his way of life. Sidonius, on the other hand, after becoming Bishop of Clermont, organized resistance to the Arian Goths, at first in the name of holding the Empire together, and later in the cause of the trinitarian Catholic Faith.

He was just too late to stop the process, and too early to see his cause triumph, in a way, via the conquest by the orthodox Clovis and his Franks. Judge Robert Bork, in Slouching Towards Gomorrah, discussed the negative example of Ausonius. The more pro-active response of Sidonius is not mentioned. Those of us who see civilization being rent to tatters around us by modern barbarians engendered from within our own society have much to contemplate from the Fall of Rome, Sidonius, and Ausonius.

Cathlic Exchange offers a prayer to Saint Sidonius Apollinaris. I think Professor Daly would be pleased to see one of his former students invoking St. Sidonius' aid:

St. Sidonius, you were a gentleman of great wealth and prestige who could easily have fallen prey to pride and selfishness as so many do. Instead, you remained compassionate and generous to those in need. We thank you, St. Sidonius, for your contribution to the world. We ask for your prayers that we may be ever mindful of others in need as well as careful not to fall victim to selfishness, greed and power.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

O Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray to thy Divine Son for me, a poor sinner; beg Him to make me humble. Oh, how humble art thou, the purest of Virgins; thou, my powerful mediatrix; thou, O most holy among the children of Adam, who art the exalted Mother of God! Thou didst declare thyself the handmaid of Him Whose Mother thou art.

Behold, my dear heavenly Mother, how gladly I would dedicate myself to thy Divine Son, that His Will may also be mine. But my pride, my self-esteem, my vanity, are always against me. I struggle against them, and yet I allow them to surprise and deceive me so often. Oh, how this afflicts me! Mary, Refuge of Sinners, if I were only sincere when I beg of thee to obtain humiliation for me. But alas, whilst praying for such helps to humility, I fear the granting of my prayer. I clearly see better things; I even desire their possession and yet I shrink from what alone can give me true humility.

Behold my trials, my combats in this valley of tears! O my dearest Mother, if to be freed from this body would give glory to God, how gladly would I not lay down my life.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross


ACCEPT, O Lord, this appeal for the pardon wrung from our afflicted and repentant souls, and in true sorrow for our sins and the sins of our relatives and friends.

We ask Pardon, O Divine Heart! for public scandals and evil living, for all who try to stir up disorder, for all who corrupt Thy little ones, for those who spend their youth and fortune in sensuous living, for crimes in families, the sins of parents and children.

We ask Pardon, O Divine Heart! for those who traffic in public crime, for those who lead and lure souls to eternal damnation by riches and corrupt literature, for those who excite evil passions by immodest fashions, corrupt plays and degenerate art.

We ask Pardon, O Divine Heart! for all attacks against our Holy Father the Pope, for all organized disobedience against Holy Mother the Church, for all weak and straying souls, for sinners who resist grace, for all abuse of the Sacraments or any outrage against the Holy Eucharist. Amen.


Our Blessed Lady's Immaculate Heart: Traditional Date

August 22nd is the Feast of Our Blessed Lady's Immaculate Heart for those following the traditional calendar of the Latin Rite. In the Ordinary Form, this feast is the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, which always falls on a Friday. I have a special devotion to the Immaculate Heart, and, since I attend both Ordinary Form (1970 Ordo) and Extraordinary Form (1962 and previous Ordo) Masses as convenience requires, I get to celebrate her loving heart twice this summer!

The Five First Saturdays

THE observance of the First Saturday in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is intended to console her Immaculate Heart, and to make, reparation to it for all the blasphemies and ingratitude of men. This devotion and the wonderful promises connected with it were revealed by the Blessed Virgin with these words recorded by Lucy, one of the three children to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared at Fatima, Potugal, in 1917:

I promise to help at the hour of death, with the graces needed for salvation, whoever on the First Saturday of five consecutive months shall:
1. Confess and receive Holy Commtmion.
2. Recite five decades of the Rosary.
3. And keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on one or more of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.


O MOST holy Virgin and our Mother, we listen with grief to the complaints of thine Immaculate Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Moved by the ardent desire of loving thee as our Mother and of promoting a true devotion to thy Immaculate Heart, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet to prove the sorrow we feel for the grievances that men cause thee, and to atone, by means of our prayers and sacrifices, for the offenses with which men return thy tender love.
Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins. A word from thee will obtain grace and amendment for us all.

Hasten, O Lady, the conversion of sinners that they may love Jesus and cease to offend the Lord, already so much offended and will not fall into Hell.

Turn thy eyes of mercy toward us that henceforth we may love God with all our heart while on earth and enjoy Him forever in Heaven. Amen.

NOTE: Confession during the week, preceding the first Friday, will suffice for the first Saturday, or conversely when Saturday is the first day of the month. The Rosary may be recited at any convenient time of the day, and the fifteen-minute meditation may be made at any time during the day on one or more of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. A sermon for the occasion may be substituted for the meditation. Meditation consists in thinking over the events as if one were present at the happenings mentioned in the mystery, or in considering what one would have done had he been present during the event considered in a particular mystery, all in the spirit of reparation to the Immaculate Heart.


QUEEN of the Most Holy Rosary, Refuge of the Human Race, Victress in all God's battles, we humbly prostrate ourselves before thy throne, confident that we shall receive mercy, grace and bountiful assistance and protection in the present calamity, not through our own inadequate merits, but solely through the great goodness of thy Maternal Heart.

To thee, to thy Immaculate Heart in this, humanity's tragic hour, we consign and consecrate
ourselves in union not only with the Mystical Body of thy Son, Holy Mother Church, now in such suffering and agony in so many places and sorely tried in so many ways, but also with the entire world, torn by fierce strife, consumed in a fire of hate, victim of its own wickedness.

May the sight of the widespread material and moral destruction of the sorrows and anguish of countless fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and innocent children of the great number of lives cut off in the flower of youth, of the bodies mangled in horrible slaughter, and of the tortured and agonized souls in danger of being lost eternally move thee to compassion. O Mother of Mercy obtain peace for us from God, and, above all, procure for us those graces which prepare, establish and assure the peace.

Queen of Peace, pray for us and give to the world now at war, the peace for which all peoples are longing, peace in the truth, justice and charity of Christ. Give peace to the warring nations and to the souls of men, that in the tranquillity of order the Kingdom of God may prevail.

Extend thy protection to the infidels and to all those still in the shadow of death give them peace and grant that on them, too, may shine the sun of truth that they may unite with us in proclaiming before the one and only Savior of the World: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will."

Give peace to the peoples separated by error or by discord and especially to those who profess such singular devotion to thee, and in whose homes an honored place was ever accorded thy venerated image today, perhaps often kept hidden to await better days bring them back to the one fold of Christ, under the one true Shepherd.

Obtain peace and complete freedom for the Holy Church of God, stay the spreading flood of modern paganism; enkindle in the faithful the love of purity, the practice of the Christian life and an apostolic zeal so that the servants of God may increase in merit and in number.

Lastly, as the Church and the entire human race were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so that in reposing all hope in Him, He might become for them the sign and pledge of Victory and salvation; so we, in like manner, consecrate ourselves forever also to thee and to thine Immaculate Heart, our Mother and Queen, that thy love and patronage may hasten the triumph of the Kingdom of God and that all nations, at peace with one another and with God may proclaim thee blessed and with thee may raise their voices to resound from pole to pole the chant of the everlasting Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude to the Heart of Jesus, where alone they can find truth and peace.

Litany Of the Immaculate Heart
(For Private Use Only)

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

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

Immaculate Heart of Mary, favorite Daughter of God the Father,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of God the Son,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, redeemed in a sublime
manner by the merits of thy Son, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother and
Model of the Church, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, excellent exemplar
in faith and charity, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, who conceived the Word
of God in Thy heart before thy did in thy womb,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, who gave precious Blood
to the Son of God in His human nature, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, conceived free of Original Sin,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, who embraced God's saving will
with a full heart, impeded by no sin, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose sweet soul a
sword pierced beneath the Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, given to us as Mother
by Jesus as He hung dying on the Cross,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, who accepted us
as sons as thou stood beneath the Cross,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, all pure and holy,
pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, exalted by Divine grace
above all Angels and men, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mediatrix of grace,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the
promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, bearing with love for all thy children upon earth, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Show to Our Heavenly Father the Wound in the Heart of Thy Son
and at the same time offer again the sword that pierced thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as thou suffered by compassion with Thy Divine Son for the redemption of the world. By thy intercession, through the merits of Jesus Christ, bring us to salvation.

Act Of Consecration To the Immaculate Heart From The Raccolta

O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, I consecrate myself to thine Immaculate Heart.

I consecrate to thee my very being and my whole life; all that I have, all that I love, all that I am. To thee I give my body, my heart and my soul; to thee I give my home, my family, my country. We desire that all that is in me and around me may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction. And that this act of consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, I renew this day at thy feet the promises of my Baptism and my first Holy Communion. I pledge myself to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits a Catholic who is duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. I pledge myself to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord's Day. I likewise pledge myself to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of my life, in so far as I may be able so to do. Finally, I promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote myself whole-heartedly to the service of thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure, through the sovereignty of thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thine adorable Son, in my own heart and in those of all men, in our country and in all the world, as in Heaven, so on earth.

Consecration to the Immaculata by Saint Maximilian Kolbe

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners
and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire
order of mercy to thee. I, N. . . , a repentant sinner, cast myself at
thy feet humbly imploring thee to take me with all that I am and have,
wholly to thyself as thy possession and property. Please make of me,
of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity,
whatever most pleases thee.

If it pleases thee, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly
to accomplish what was said of thee: "She will crush your head,"
and, "Thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world."

Let me be a fit instrument in thine Immaculate and merciful hands for
introducing and increasing the maximum in all the many strayed and
indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed
Kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever thou enters,
one obtains the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is
through thy hands that all graces come to us from the most
Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise thee O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thine enemies.

Invocations To the Immaculate Heart

Heart of Mary,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of Jesus,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Instrument of the Holy Spirit,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Sanctuary of the Divinity,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Tabernacle of God Incarnate,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, always exempt from sin,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, always full of grace,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Illustrious Throne of Glory,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Abyss and Prodigy of humility,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Glorious Holocaust of Divine Love,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, nailed to the Cross of Jesus,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Comfort of the Afflicted,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Hope of the Agonizing,
pray for us.
Heart of Mary, Seat of Mercy
pray for us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.
Almighty and eternal God, Who prepared a worthy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, to grant unto us who devoutly keep this commemoration in honor of the same most pure Heart, the grace to order our lives according to Thine own Heart. Through Christ Our Lord.

Act Of Charity for the Holy Souls

Eternal Heavenly Father,
Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer Thee the most precious Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity of Thine Only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ,
With the merits and prayers of all Thy Saints,
And my whole self as victim-soul and holocaust,
In union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
Offered throughout the world,
For all the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
And for the souls of all poor sinners on earth,
Especially bishops, priests, and religious,
And those within my home and family,
According to Thy most holy Will,
In Jesus’ Name and in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever.

Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, pray for us.
Holy Angels and Saints of the Living God, pray for us.

The Chaplet Of the Two Hearts

There are 20 beads in 5 sets [One can use the regular Rosary, just going around twice on the decades, saying three Hail Marys on each bead], each consisting of 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Marys.

These are the meditations for the five sets:

1. In honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
2. In honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
3. The Passion of Our Lord.
4. The Sorrows of Mary.
5. In atonement to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

At the end on the medal say the prayer to the United Hearts of Jesus and Mary:

O United Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Thou art all grace, all mercy, all love. Let my heart be joined to Thine, so that my every need is present in Thine United Hearts. Most especially, shed Thy grace upon this particular need [mention it]. Help me to recognize and accept Thy loving will in my life.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our Prayers Are With Yaz

Red Sox legend Carl Yastrezemski underwent a triple bypass yesterday. So far, so good.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saint John Eudes

August 19th is the feast of this great Apostle of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Our Lord and Our Blessed Lady.

I had begun a serialization of his The Admirable Heart Of Mary, but the work came to a halt when I discovered that not all of this significantly large volume was already available on line, even in part, and that I would have to re-type virtually the whole book. Plus I had availability problems with the library copy I was using. Sloth on my part. Now I have no excuse, since I own the book itself. I hope to resume the serialization in the near future, and move on to his companion volume, The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Here is one of his prayers to the Sacred Heart:

Oh, how good and delightful it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!
Thy Heart, O good Jesus, is a precious treasure, a precious pearl
which we have found by digging the field of Thy Body.
Who will cast aside this pearl? Nay, rather I will give all I have,
I will exchange all my thoughts and desires and purchase it.
I will cast all my care on the Heart of the Lord Jesus and He will
provide for me without fail. I will adore in this temple,
this Holy of Holies, this Ark of the Testament, and I will praise the name
of the Lord, saying with David, "I have found my heart that I may pray
to my God. And I have found the heart of my King, my Brother, my Friend,
the benign Jesus, and why shall I not adore?" Assuredly I shall pray.
For His Heart is mine. I will say it boldly, for Christ is my Head,
is not what belongs to my Head mine? Therefore as the eyes of my corporal
head are truly my eyes, so is my spiritual heart my heart.
Therefore, it is well with me: truly I have but one Heart with Jesus
and what wonder that there should be but one heart with the multitude of believers.

And another:

O most benevolent
and most merciful
Heart of Jesus,
imprint in our hearts
a perfect image
of your great mercy,
so that we may fulfil
the commandment
You gave us:
"Be merciful
as your Father
is merciful".

Mother of mercy,
look upon
so much misery,
so many poor people,
so many captives,
so many prisoners,
so many men and women
who suffer persecution
at the hands of their brothers and sisters,
so many defenseless people
so many afflicted souls, so many troubled hearts.

Mother of mercy, open the eyes
of your clemency and see our desolation.
Open the ears of your goodness
and hear our supplication.

Most loving and most powerful advocate,
show that You are truly the Mother of Mercy. Amen.

And another:

Hail Mary! Daughter of God the Father,
Hail Mary! Mother of God the Son,
Hail Mary! Spouse of God the Holy Ghost,
Hail Mary! Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity,
Hail Mary! Celestial Rose of the ineffable love of God.
Hail Mary! Virgin pure and humble, of whom the King of Heaven willed to be born and with thy milk to be nourished.
Hail Mary! Virgin of virgins,
Hail Mary! Queen of Martyrs, whose soul a sword transfixed,
Hail Mary! Lady most Blessed! unto whom all power in Heaven and earth is given,
Hail Mary! my Queen and my Mother! my Life, my Sweetness, and my Hope,
Hail Mary! Mother most Amiable,
Hail Mary! Mother most Admirable,
Hail Mary! Mother of Divine Love,
Hail Mary! IMMACULATE; Conceived without sin!
Hail Mary! Full of Grace! the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women! And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, JESUS!

Blessed by thy Spouse, St. Joseph,
Blessed by thy Father, St. Joachim,
Blessed by thy Mother, St. Anne,
Blessed by thy Guardian, St. John,
Blessed by thy Holy Angel, St. Gabriel,

Glory be to God the Father, who chose thee,
Glory be to God the Son, who loved thee,
Glory be to God the Holy Ghost, who espoused thee,

Glorious Virgin Mary, may all men love and praise thee,
Holy Mary, Mother of God! pray for us and bless us, now and at death in the Name of JESUS, thy Divine Son!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Requiescat In Pace

Several sources told me this morning of the death yesterday of Vincent JR Kehoe, founder of His Majesty's 10th Regiment of Foot. Before Colonel Kehoe, the British side of AWI reenactment in the late 1960s was a pretty unprofessional thing, inaccurate and unsafe. His background in the military (WWII), in Hollywood, and in photography convinced him that things could be done better, and should be. He did the research. He put up the money. He did the organizing. And he created authentic-looking and safe British-side reenactment. Everyone who has donned a red coat since 1972 owes Colonel Kehoe his profound thanks. And if you never had the chance to thank him in person, pray for his soul.

V. Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine,
R. Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
V. Requiescat in pace.
R. Amen.

De profundis clamavi, ad te Domine;
Domine, exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes
in vocem deprecationis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine,
Domine, quis sustinebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est;
et propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbo eius;
speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem:
speret Israel in Domino;
Quia apud Dominum misericordia,
et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israel
ex omnibus iniquitatibus eius.


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