Saturday, September 30, 2017
The Golden Legend
The Catholic Encylopedia
A familiar image to old readers, once a banner image here at Recta Ratio
Saint Jerome, please pray for us!
Friday, September 29, 2017
Today is Michaelmas, the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels.
Saint Michael, perhaps the greatest of the Archangels, is the protector of the Church.
Michaelmas was a quarterly rent day in England and Ireland. It is the start of the university term at both Oxford and Cambridge. Presents and feasts featuring geese were very much the custom at this time of year.
Check here and here for Michaelmas customs.
Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the
Wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him,
We humbly pray.
And do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the Divine Power,
Thrust into Hell
Satan and all the other evil spirits
Which prowl about the world,
Seeking the ruin of souls.
St. Michael protecting a newly deceased soul from the clutches of demons lurking by the deathbed.
Saint Michael also has another important duty. He is the principal usher of newly deceased souls to heaven. Medieval Books of Hours, as part of the Office of the Dead, often included a deathbed scene, where the soul of the just-departed leaves the body, and St. Michael has to fight off various demons who try to snatch the soul and carry it off to Hell. St. Michael is, therefore, one of the saints whose intercession is customarily invoked for a happy death, along with Our Blessed Lady, St. Joseph, and St. Peter.
And of course, St. Michael is believed to be the one who will measure the worthiness of souls at the Last Judgment, as seen in this detail from Memling's Last Judgment triptych.
Here is a site with prayers to Saint Michael, including the variations of the basic prayer above.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Actually, the Universal Church embraces many dates in the Ordo that are dual feasts of Blessed Lady. The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham is particular to England. Walsingham was the primary Marian Shrine in England prior to the protestant rebellion. It is a Catholic shrine still, but jointly controlled with the Church of England, and the faintest shadow of what it once was. Once England was so faithful as to be considered "Our Blessed Lady's Dowry." Not only did the protestants wreck the place, they actively tried to exterminate Our Blessed Lady's most ardent clients there. And the name of Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster and primary persecutor of the Church, was named Francis Walsingham.
In the wracks of Walsingam
Whom should I chuse
But the Queene of Walsingam
To be guide to my muse?
Then, thou Prince of Walsingam
Graunt me to frame
Bitter plaintes to rewe thy wronge
Bitter wo for thy name.
Bitter was it, oh to see
The sely sheepe
Murdered by the raveninge wolves
While the sheepharde did sleep.
Bitter was it, oh, to viewe
The sacred vyne
Whiles the gardiners plaied all close
Rooted up by the swine.
Such were the worth of Walsingam
While she did stand
Such are the wrackes as now do shewe
Of that (so) holy lande.
Levell, levell with the ground
The Towres doe lye
Which with their golden, glit-t'ring tops
Pearsed oute to the skye.
Where weare gates noe gates are nowe,
The waies unknowen,
Where the presse of freares did passe
While her fame far was blowen.
Oules do scrike where the sweetest himnes
Lately wear songe,
Toades and serpents hold their dennes
Where the palmers did throng.
Weep, weep O Walsingam,
Whose dayes are nightes,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deedes to dispites.
Sinne is where our Ladye sate,
Heaven turned is to helle;
Sathan sitte where our Lord did swaye,
Walsingam, oh, farewell!
From Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars
This feast was instituted because of Our blessed Lady's private revelations that led to the founding of the Mercedarians, an order devoted to the ransom of Christians held captive by Moslems.