logo with text

Keyword

Category

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

2028

2029

f1

f2

f3

October

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

The approach of the great solemnity, which will soon be shedding upon us all the splendours of heaven, seems to inspire the Church with a profound recollection. Except for the homage she must needs pay, on their own date, to the glorious apostles Simon and Jude, only a few feasts of simple rite break the silence of these last days of October. Our souls must be in conformity with the dispositions of our common mother. It will not, however, be out of keeping to give a thought to the great Archangel, honoured to-day by many particular churches.

The ministry fulfilled in our regard by the heavenly spirits is admirably set forth in the graceful scenes depicted in the history of Tobias. Rehearsing the good services of the guide and friend, whom he still called his brother Azarias, the younger Tobias said to his father: ‘Father, what wages shall we give him? or what can be worthy of his benefits? He conducted me and brought me safe again, he received the money of Gabelus, he caused me to have my wife, and he chased from her the evil spirit, he gave joy to her parents, myself he delivered from being devoured by the fish, thee also he hath made to see the light of heaven, and we are filled with all good things through him.[1]

And when father and son endeavoured, after the fashion of men, to return thanks to him who had rendered them such good service, the angel discovered himself to them, in order to refer their gratitude to their supreme Benefactor. ‘Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to Him in the sight of all that live, because He hath shewn His mercy to you. . . When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead ... I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son’s wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. . . Peace be to you, fear not; . . . bless ye Him and sing praises to Him.’[2]

We too will celebrate the blessings of heaven. For as surely as Tobias beheld with his bodily eyes the Archangel Raphael, we know by faith that the angel of the Lord accompanies us from the cradle to the tomb. Let us have the same trustful confidence in him. Then, along the path of life, more beset with perils than the road to the country of the Medes, we shall be in perfect safety; all that happens to us will be for the best, because prepared by our Lord; and, as though we were already in heaven, our angel will cause us to shed blessings upon all around us.

We will borrow from the Ambrosian breviary a hymn in honour of the bright Archangel.

Hymn

Divine ductor, Raphæl,
Hymnum benignus suscipe,
Quem nos canendo supplices,
Lætis sacramus vocibus.

Cursum salutis dirige,
Gressusque nostros promove:
Ne quando aberrent devii,
Cœli relicto tramite.

Tu nos ab alto respice:
Lucem micantem desuper,
A Patre sancto luminum,
Nostris refundas mentibus.

Ægris medelam perfice,
Cæcisque noctem discute:
Morbos fugando corporum,
Dona vigorem cordibus.

Astans superno Judici,
Causam perora criminum:
Iramque mulce vindicem,
Fidus rogator Numinis.

Magni resumptor prælii,
Hostem superbum deprime:
Contra rebelles spiritus
Da robur, auge gratiam.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Ejusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Et nunc, et in perpetuum.

Amen.
O Raphael, divinely sent guide,
graciously receive the hymn
we suppliants address
to thee with joyful voice.

Make straight for us the way of salvation,
and forward our steps:
lest at any time we wander astray,
and turn from the path to heaven.

Look down upon us from on high;
reflect into our souls
the splendour shining from above,
from the holy Father of lights.

Give perfect health to the sick,
dispel the darkness of the blind:
and while driving away diseases of the body,
give spiritual strength to our souls.

Thou who standest before the sovereign Judge,
plead for the pardon of our crimes:
and as a trusty advocate appease
the avenging wrath of the Most High.

Renewer of the great battle,
crush our proud enemy:
against the rebel spirits give us strength,
and increase our grace.

To God the Father be glory,
and to his only Son,
together with the Paraclete Spirit,
now and for evermore.

Amen.

[1] Tob. xii. 2,3.
[2] Tob. xii. 6-18.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Chrysanthus was united, in his confession of our Lord, with her whom he had won to Christianity and to the love of the angelic virtue. Our forefathers had a great veneration for these two martyrs, who having lived together in holy virginity, were together buried alive in a sand-pit at Rome for refusing to honour the false gods.

Dying like the seed in the earth, they yielded the fruit of martyrdom. On the anniversary day of their triumph, numbers of the faithful had gathered in the catacomb on the Salarian Way for the liturgical Synaxis, when the pagans surprised them and walled up the entrance of the vault. Many years passed away. When the hour of victory had sounded for the Church, and the Christians discovered again the way to the sacred crypt, a wonderful spectacle was presented to their gaze: before the tomb where reposed Chrysanthus and Daria, was grouped the family they had begotten to martyrdom. Each person was still in the attitude in which he had been overtaken by death. Beside the ministers of the altar, which was surrounded by men, women, and children, assistants at that most solemn of Masses, were to be seen the silver vessels of the Sacrifice: that Sacrifice in which the conquering Lamb had so closely united to Himself so many noble victims. Pope Damasus adorned the venerable spot with monumental inscriptions. But no one dared to touch the holy bodies, or to alter any arrangement in that incomparable scene. The crypt was walled up again; but a narrow opening was left, so that the pilgrim could look into the august sanctuary, and animate his courage for the struggles of life by the contemplation of what had been required of his ancestors in the faith during the ages of martyrdom.[1]

The following is the liturgical legend of the feast.

Chrysanthus et Daria conjuges, nobili genere nati, fide etiam clariores, quam Daria, mariti opera, cum baptismo susceperat; Romæ innumerabilem hominum multitudinem, hoc mulierum, ille virorum, ad Christum converterunt. Quare Celerinus præfectus comprehensos tradidit Claudio tribuno: qui jussit a militibus Chrysanthum vinctum cruciatibus torqueri; sed vincula omnia resoluta sunt: mox compedes, in quos conjectus fuerat, confracti.

Deinde bovis corio inclusum, in ardentissimo sole constituunt; tum pedibus ac manibus catena constrictis, in obscurum carcerem detrudunt: ubi solutis catenis, clarissima lux locum illustravit. Daria vero in lupanar compulsa, leonis tutela, dum in oratione defixa est, a contumelia divinitus defensa est. Denique in arenariam, quæ est via Salaria, uterque ductus, effossa terra, lapidibus obruti, parem martyrii coronam adepti sunt.
Chrysanthus and Daria were husband and wife, noble by birth, and still more by their faith, which Daria had received together with Baptism through her husband’s persuasion. At Rome they converted an immense multitude to Christ, Daria instructing the women and Chrysanthus the men. On this account the prefect Celerinus arrested them, and handed them over to the tribune Claudius, who ordered his soldiers to bind Chrysanthus and put him to the torture. But all his borfds were loosed, and the fetters which were put upon him were broken.

They then wrapped him in the skin of an ox and exposed him to a burning sun; and next cast him, chained hand and foot, into a very dark dungeon; but his chains were broken, and the prison filled with a brilliant light. Daria was dragged to a place of infamy; but at her prayer God defended her from insult by sending a lion to protect her. Finally, they were both led to the sandpits on the Salarian Way, where they were thrown into a pit and covered with a heap of stones; and thus they together won the crown of martyrdom.

I will give to My saints a place of honour in the kingdom of My Father, saith the Lord.[2] Thus sings the Church in your praise, O martyrs. And herself following up that word of her divine Spouse, she made the Lateran basilica your earthly home, and assigned for your resting-place the most hallowed spot, the very Confession, upon which rests the high altar of that first of all ohurches.[3] It was a fitting recompense for your labours and sufferings in that city of Rome, where you had shared in the preaching of the apostles, and like them had sealed the word with your blood. Cease not to justify the confidence of the eternal city; render her faith, which is ever pure, more and more fruitful; and as long as she is ruled by a stranger, maintain unaltered her devotedness to the Pontiff-king, whose presence makes her the capital of the world and the vestibule of heaven. But your holy relics have also, through Rome’s generosity, carried your protection abroad. Deign to second by your intercession the prayer we borrow from your devout clients of Munstereifel:[4] ‘O God, who in Thy Saints Chrysanthus and Daria didst enhance the honour of virginity by the consecration of martyrdom, grant that, assisted by their intercession, we may extinguish in ourselves the flame of vice, and may merit to become Thy temple, in the company of the pure in heart.’


[1] Greg. Turon. De gloria martyrum, i. 38.
[2] 1st antiphon of the 2nd nocturn for martyrs.
[3] S. Kit. Congr. 7 Aug. 1857, ad archiep. Colon.
[4] A monastery and town in the archdiocese of Cologne, which honour Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria as patrons.

 

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

The beloved disciple had just received the longpromised visit of our Lord inviting him to heaven, when the Church, under Evaristus, completed the drawing up of the itinerary for her long pilgrimage to the end of time. The blessed period of the apostolic times was definitively closed; but the eternal city continued to augment her treasure of glory. Under this pontificate the virgin Domitilla, by her martyrdom, cemented the foundations of the new Jerusalem with the blood of the Flavii, who had destroyed the old. Then Ignatius of Antioch brought to the ‘Church that presides in charity,' the testimony of his death; he was the wheat of Christ, and the teeth of the wild beasts in the coliseum satisfied his desire of becoming a most pure bread.[1]

Evaristus Græcus ex Judæo patre, Trajano imperatore, pontificatum gessit. Qui ecclesiarum titulos urbis Romæ presbyteris divisit, et ordinavit, ut septem diaconi episcopum custodirent, dum evangelicæprædicationis officio fungeretur. Idem conatituit ex traditione apostolica, ut matrimonium publice celebretur, et sacerdotis benedicsio adhibeatur. Præfuit Ecclesiæ annos novem, menses tres, presbyteris decem et septem, diaconis duobus, episcopis quindecim, quater mense Decembri ordinatis. Martyrio coronatus, prope sepulchrum principis apostolorum in Vaticano sepultua eat, septimo calendas Novembris.
Evaristus was born in Greece, of a Jewish father, and was sovereign Pontiff during the reign of Trajan. He divided the titles of the churches of Rome among the priests, and ordained that seven deacons should attend the bishop when preaching. He also decreed that, according to the tradition of the apostles, matrimony should be celebrated publicly and blessed by a priest. He governed the Church nine years and three months. He held ordinations four times in the month of December, and ordained seventeen priests, two deacons, and fifteen bishops. He was crowned with martyrdom, and buried near the tomb of the prince of the apostles on the seventh of the Kalends of November.

Thou art the first Pontiff to whom the Church was entrusted after the departure of all those who had seen the Lord. The world could then say in all strictness: ‘If we have known Christ according to the flesh, now we know Him so no longer.’[2]The Church was now more truly an exile; at that period, which was not without perils and anxieties, her Spouse gave to thee the charge of teaching her to pursue alone her path of faith and hope and love. And thou didst not betray the confidence of our Lord. Earth owes thee, on this account, a special gratitude, O Evaristus; and a special reward is doubtless thine. Watch still over Rome and the Church. Teach us that we must be ready not only to fast here on earth, but to be resigned to the absence of the Bridegroom when He hides Himself; and not the less to serve Him and love Him with our whole heart and mind and soul and strength, as long as the world endures, and He is pleased to leave us therein.


[1] Ignat. Epist. ad Romanos.
[2] 2 Cor. v. 16.

 

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Instead of thy fathers, sons are born to thee.[1] Thus does the Church, disowned by Israel, extol in her chants the apostolic fruitfulness which resides in her till the end of time. Yesterday she was already filled with that loving hope, which is never deceived, that the holy apostles Simon and Jude would anticipate their solemnity by shedding blessings upon her.[2] Such is the condition of her existence on earth, that she can remain here only as long as she continues to give children to our Lord; and therefore, in the Mass of October 27 she makes us read the passage of the Gospel where it is said: ‘I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me, that beareth not fruit, He will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, He will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit.’[3]

The pruning is painful, as the Epistle of the vigil points out. In the name of the other branches, honoured like himself with the divine election, the apostle there recounts the labours, sufferings of every description, persecutions, revilings, denials,[4] at the cost of which the preacher of the Gospel purchases the right to call sons those whom he has begotten in Christ Jesus.[5] Now, as St. Paul more than once repeats, especially in the Epistle of the feast, this supernatural generation of the saints is nothing else but the mystical reproduction of the Son of God, who grows up in each of the elect from infancy to the measure of the perfect man.[6]

However meagre in details be the history of these glorious apostles, we learn from their brief legend how amply they contributed to this great work of generating sons of God. Without any repose, and even to the shedding of their blood, they ‘edified the body of Christ’; and the grateful Church thus prays to our Lord to-day: 'O God, who by means of Thy blessed apostles Simon and Jude hast granted us to come to the knowledge of Thy name; grant that we may celebrate their eternal glory by making progress in virtues, and improve by this celebration.'[7]

St. Simon is represented in art with a saw, the instrument of his martyrdom. St. Jude’s square points him out as an architect of the house of God. St. Paul called himself by this name;[8] and St. Jude, by his Catholic Epistle, has also a special right to be reckoned among our Lord’s principal workmen. But our apostle had another nobility, far surpassing all earthly titles: being nephew, by his father Cleophas or Alpheus, to St. Joseph,[9] and legal cousin to the Man-God, Jude was one of those called by their compatriots the brethren of the carpenter’s Son.[10] We may gather from St. John’s Gospel another precious detail concerning him. In the admirable discourse at the close of the last Supper, our Lord said: ‘He that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.' Then Jude asked Him: ‘Lord, how is it, that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us, and not to the world?' And he received from Jesus this reply: ‘If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My word. And the word which you have heard is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.'[11]

Ecclesiastical history informs us that, towards the end of his reign, and when the persecution he had raised was at its height, Domitian caused to be brought to him from the east two grandsons of the apostle St. Jude. He had some misgivings with regard to these descendants of David’s royal line; for they represented the family of Christ Himself, whom His disciples declared to be king of the whole world. Domitian was able to assure himself that these two humble Jews could in no way endanger the empire; and that if they attributed to Christ sovereign power, it was a power not to be visibly exercised till the end of the world. The simple and courageous language of these two men made such an impression on the emperor, that according to the historian Hegesippus from whom Eusebius borrowed the narrative, he gave orders for the persecution to be suspended.[12]

We have only to add to the following brief notice of our apostles, that the churches of St. Peter in Rome and Saint-Sernin at Toulouse dispute the honour of possessing the greater part of their holy remains.

Simon Chananæus qui et Zelotes, et Thaddeus qui et Judas Jacobi appellatur in Evangelio, unius ex catholicis Epistolis scriptor, hic Mesopotamiam, ille Ægyptum evangelica prædicatione peragravit. Postea in Persidem convenientes, cum innumerabiles filios Jesu Christo peperissent, fidemque in vastissimis illis regionibus et efferatis gentibus disseminassent, doctrina et miraculis, ac denique glorioso martyrio, simul sanctissimum Jesu Christi nomen illustrarunt.
Simon sumamed the Chanaanite and Zelotes, and Thaddeus the writer of one of the Catholic Epistles, who is called also in the Gospel Jude the brother of James, preached the Gospel, the former in Egypt, the latter in Mesopotamia. They rejoined each other in Persia, where they begot numerous children to Jesus Christ, and spread the faith among the barbarous inhabitants of that vast region. By their teaching and miracles, and finally by a glorious martyrdom, they both rendered great honour to the most holy name of Jesus Christ.

‘I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit, and your fruit should remain.'[13] These words were addressed by the Man-God to you, as to all the twelve, as the Church reminded us in her night Office.[14] And yet, what remains now of the fruit of your labours in Egypt, in Mesopotamia, in Persia? Can our Lord and His Church be mistaken in their words, or in their appreciations? Certainly not; and proof sufficient is, that, above the region of the senses, and beyond the domain of history, the power infused into the twelve subsists through all ages, and is active in every supernatural birth that develops the mystical body of our Lord and increases the

Church. We, more truly than Tobias, are the children of saints;[15] we are no longer strangers, but the family of God, His house built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, united by Jesus, the chief corner-stone.[16] All thanks be to you, O holy apostles, who in labour and sufferings procured us this blessing; maintain in us the title and the rights of this precious adoption.

Great evils surround us; is there any hope left to the world? The confidence of thy devout clients proclaims thee, O Jude, the patron of desperate cases; and for thee, O Simon, this is surely the time to prove thyself Zelotes, full of zeal. Deign, both of you, to hear the Church’s prayers; and aid her, with all your apostolic might, to reanimate faith, to rekindle charity, and to save the world.


[1] Gradual of the feast, from Ps. xliv. 17.
[2] Collect of the vigil.
[3] Gospel of the vigil, St. John xv. 1-7.
[4] Epistle of the vigil, l Cor, iv. 9-14.
[5] Ibid. 15.
[6] Gal. iy. 19; epistle of the feast, Eph. iv.
[7] Collect of the feast.
[8] 1 Cor. iii. 10.
[9] Hegesipp. ex Euseb. Mist. eccl. iv. 22.
[10] Together with James the Less, apostle, and first bishop of Jerusalem, a certain Joseph less known, and Simeon, second bishop of Jerusalem, all sons of Cleophas, and of our Lady’s sister-in-law called in St. John’s gospel Mary of Cleophas. St. Matt. xiii. 55.
[11] St. John xiv. 21-24.
[12] Dom Guéranger, Sainte Cécile et la societc romaine aux deux premiers siècles, ex Euseb. Hist. eccl. iii. 20.
[13] St. John xv. 16.
[14] Homily of the 3rd nocturn ex Aug. in Joan. lxxxvii.
[15] Tob. ii. 18.
[16] Eph. ii. 19, 20.

 

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Let us prepare our souls for the graces heaven is about to shower upon the earth in return for its homage. To-morrow the Church will be so overflowing with joy, that she will seem to be already in possession of eternal happiness; but to-day she appears in the garb of penance, confessing that she is still an exile. Let us fast and pray with her; for are not we too pilgrims and strangers in this world, where all things are fleeting and hurry on to death? Year by year, as the great solemnity comes round, it has gathered from among our former companions new saints, who bless our tears and smile upon our songs of hope. Year by year the appointed time draws nearer, when we ourselves, seated at the heavenly banquet, shall receive the homage of those who succeed us, and hold out a helping hand to draw them after us to the home of everlasting happiness. Let us learn, from this very hour, to emancipate our souls; let us keep our hearts free, in the midst of the vain solicitudes and false pleasures of a strange land: the exile has no care but his banishment, no joy but that which gives him a foretaste of his fatherland.

With these thoughts in mind, let us say with the Church the Collect of the vigil.

Prayer

Domine Deus noster, multiplica super nos gratiam tuam: et, quorum prævenimus gloriosa solemnia, tribue subsequi in sancta professione lætitiam. Per Dominum.
O Lord our God, multiply thy grace upon us; and grant us in our holy profession to follow the joy of those, whose glorious solemnity we anticipate. Through our Lord.

Let us close this morth, as we opened it, by homage to Mary, Queen of the holy rosary, and Queen of all the saints. The ancient Dominican missals furnish us with a formula.

Sequence

Virginalis hortuli
Verni pubent surculi
Et efflorent pulluli
Fecunda propagine.

Gelu et hiems transeunt,
Nix et imber abeunt,
Rosæ in terra prodeunt
E cœlesti germine.

Rosa, radix lilii,
Hæc ex horto filii
Toto cursu exsilii
Collegit plantaria.

Justis ad lætitiam,
Reis ad justitiam,
Electis ad gloriam
Cunctis salutaria.

Quæ de cœlis attulit
Et de terris sustulit,
Christus mundo contulit
Contra mundum prælians.

Nos hic tectus frondibus,
Vulneratis sentibus,
Redimitis floribus,
Vocans, purgans, præmians.

A stirpis rosariæ
Gemmis, spinis, foliis,
Affluentis patriæ
Fruemur deliciis,
Ubi satrix residet.

Atque hujus militiæ
Læta sodalitiis
Triplicis hierarchiæ
Ter trinis consortiis
Imperatrix residet.

Salve nova triumphatrix
Et triumphi reparatrix
Antiqui certaminis.

Rursus minax sævit ultor,
Ni resistas, perit cultor
Christiani nominis.

Ave Verbi domicilium,
Sancti Spiritus sacrarium,
Summi Patris filia.

Affer nobis juge auxilium,
Sub discrimen vitæ varium
Contra tela hostilia.

Ut coronent nos post prælium,
Quæ fert cœli viridarium
Mixta rosis lilia.

Amen.
In the virginal garden,
the young shoots of spring bud forth,
and burst into blossom
with fruitful abundance.

The frost and the winter have passed away,
the snow and the rain are over;
and roses spring up on earth
from a heavenly seed.

The rose has produced a lily;
during the whole time of her exile
she gathered the produce
of her Son’s garden:

Joy for the just,
and justification for sinners,
glory for the elect,
salvation for all.

The gifts Christ brought from heaven,
and the sufferings he endured on earth,
he bestowed upon the world
when he overcame the world.

He sheltered under the rosetree’s foliage,
he was wounded by the thorns,
he was crowned with its flowers;
thus does he call us, purify us, reward us.

Because of the leaves
and thorns and flowers of the rose,
we shall enjoy the delights
of that rich land, where she,
the fair cultivator resides,

The empress,
who joyfully presides
over our militant companies,
and over the nine choirs
of the triple hierarchy.

Hail! thou, who by a new triumph
dost repair the loss we sustained
when the enemy triumphed in the first combat.

See how again he threatens fierce revenge;
unless thou oppose him,
every Christian must perish.

Hail, home of the Word,
sanctuary of the Holy Ghost,
daughter of the most high Father!

In the various perils of this life,
bring us unfailing assistance
against the darts of the enemy.

May lilies intertwined with roses
from the garden of heaven,
be our crown of victory after the combat.

Amen.

 

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

The Kingdom of Heaven—Holy Church—is seen bringing forth out of her treasure “things new and old.” Although she can never add new dogmas to the deposit of Faith entrusted to her, as the ages go by she is seen understanding more perfectly and explaining more fully those treasures in her keeping. She is a living body, not a statue, and she can develop, though she can never change her nature. Hence, guided by the Holy Spirit of him who has promised to be with her not merely for a few centuries but unto the end of the world, she defines or emphasizes certain points of doctrine as she sees fit, considering the needs of the times. We have an example in the institution of the feast of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius XI, in the jubilee year 1925, and explained to the faithful in the Encyclical Quas Primas.

Christians have ever hailed our divine Lord as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It was as a King that the representatives of the Eastern world came to adore him in the manger; it was as a King, albeit not knowing what he did, that the official representative of the Western world lifted him up upon the Cross. The patriarchs and prophets of the old dispensation foretold his royalty; he spoke constantly of his kingdom: when asked plainly whether he were in truth a king by the representative of Cæsar, he acknowledged that such indeed he was, though of a kingdom not of this world.

His Kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. It is spiritual, and concerned with spiritual things. It is opposed to none other than to that of Satan, and to the powers of darkness. Christ is King over angels and men; King over men’s hearts and wills; his Kingship demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice and, more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross.[1]

Yet though his is a spiritual kingdom, opposed to no just earthly polity, “it would be a grave error 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. All men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society."[2]

To-day we sadly behold “a world undone,” largely paganized in principles and outlook, and, in recent years, in one country even glorying in the name “pagan.” At the best, governments mostly ignore God; and at the worst, openly fight against him, as we of to-day are witnessing in the Old World and in the New. Even the statesmen’s well-meant efforts to find a remedy for present ills and, above all, to secure world peace, prove futile because, whereas peace is from Christ, and possible only in the Kingdom of Christ, his name is never mentioned throughout their deliberations or their documents. Christ is kept out of the State schools and seats of higher education; and the rising generations seem to be taught anything and everything save to know, love and serve him. Art and literature all too frequently reflect the same tendencies.

And since the spirit of evil reigns inevitably wherever the spirit of Christ has ceased to reign, in public and in private men are flouting the moral laws of God, and some of the worst abominations of ancient paganism are becoming matters of every-day life. Moreover, be it remembered, modern paganism is worse than that of the ancient world, in that the former knows what it does as the latter did not. There is now an intense, positive hatred of Jesus Christ in the militant atheist, which differs in kind from the attitude of the fiercest Roman or Eastern persecutor: “If I had not come and spoken to them ... if I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.”[3]

Ever as practical as she is supernatural, the Church is not content with merely deploring the evil, nor even with counteracting it by sound teaching. She would also make definite reparation to the divine majesty thus denied and defied; to him whose royalty is slighted and insulted. Something must be done by those who, in a measure, understand and love, in order to atone for those who do not. “To repair the crime of lèse-divinity, which denies God’s rights over the human society whose author he is, we must exalt Jesus Christ as King over all individuals, families, and peoples. If his universal royalty be proclaimed and his reign in society recognized, one of the principal evils of the modern world—the secularizing of public and private life—will be attacked at its roots.”[4] Hence we have the special exhortation of the Vicar of Christ, and the institution of the feast of this divine Kingship.

To this end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honour of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion, far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any pronouncement, however weighty, of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few, and those the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year—in fact for ever. The Church’s teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man’s nature. . . . We have commanded its observance on a Sunday, in order that not only the clergy may perform their duty by saying Mass and reciting the Office, but that the laity too, free from their daily tasks, may in a spirit of holy joy give ample testimony of their obedience and subjection to Christ . . . that they may so order their lives as to be worthy, faithful, and obedient subjects of the Divine King.[5]

 

MASS

 

Introit

Dignus est Agnus qui occisus est, accipere virtutem, et divinitatem, et sapientiam, et fortitudinem, et honorem. Ipsi gloria et imperium in sæcula sæculorum. Deus, judicium tuum Regi da, et justitiam tuam Filio Regis. Gloria Patri. Dignus.

The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honour: to him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Give to the King, O God, thy judgement, and to the King’s Son thy justice. Glory be to the Father. The Lamb.


Collect

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in dilecto Filio tuo, universorum Rege, omnia instaurare voluisti: concede propitius; ut cunctæ familiæ Gentium, peccati vulnere disgregatæ, ejus suavissimo subdantur imperio: Qui tecum.

Almighty everlasting God, who in thy beloved Son, King of the whole world, didst will to restore all things: grant in thy mercy, that all kindreds of the nations, torn asunder by the wound of sin, may be subjected to the sweet yoke of his rule: Who liveth.


Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday.


Epistle

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses.
Cap. i.

Fratres: Gratias agimus Deo Patri, qui dignos nos fecit in partem sortis sanctorum in lumine, qui eripuit nos de potestate tenebrarum, et transtulit in regnum Filii dilectionis sue, in quo habemus redemptionem per sanguinem ejus, remissionem peccatorum. Qui est imago Dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creature; quoniam in ipso condita sunt universa in cœlis et in terra, visibilia et invisibilia, sive throni, sive dominationes, sive principatus, sive potestates: omnia per ipsum et in ipso creata sunt: et ipse est ante omnes, et omnia in ipso constant. Et ipse est caput corporis Ecclesie, qui est principium, primogenitus ex mortuis: ut sit in omnibus ipse primatum tenens; quia in ipso complacuit omnem plenitudinem habitare; et per eum reconciliare omnia, in ipsum, pacificans per sanguinem crucis ejus, sive que in terris, sive que in cœlis sunt, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro.

The reading of the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.
Ch. i.

Brethren: Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love: in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible; whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities or powers. All things were created by him and in him. And he is before all: and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy: because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell: and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things on earth and the things that are in heaven, in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Gradual

Dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos orbis terrarum.
℣. Et adorabunt eum omnes reges terræ; omnes gentes servient ei.
Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Potestas ejus, potestas æterna, quæ non auferetur: et regnum ejus quod non corrumpetur. Alleluia.

He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
℣. And all kings of the earth shall adore him: all nations shall serve him.
Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. His power is an everlasting power, that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed. Alleluia.


In votive Masses after Septuagesima, instead of the Alleluia and its ℣., there is said:

Tract

Ipse invocabit me, Pater meus es tu: Deus meus, et susceptor salutis meæ. ℣. Et ego primogenitum ponam ilium: excelsum præ regibus terræ. ℣. Et ponam in sæculum sæculi semen ejus: et thronum ejus sicut dies cœli.

He shall cry out to me: Thou art my Father, my God, and the support of my salvation. ℣. And I will make him my firstborn, high above the kings of the earth. ℣. And I will make his seed to endure for evermore, and his throne as the days of heaven.


In Paschal time, omitting the Gradual, there is said: Alleluia, alleluia. Potestas ejus, etc., as above; then:

Alleluia. ℣. Habet in vestimento et in femore suo scriptum: Rex regum, et Dominus dominantium. Alleluia.

Alleluia, ℣. He hath on his garment and on his thigh written: King of kings and Lord of lords. Alleluia.


Gospel

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
Cap. xviii.

In illo tempore: Dixit Pilatus ad Jesum: Tu es Rex Judæorum? Respondit Jesus: A temetipso hoc dicis, an alii dixerunt tibi de me? Respond it Pilatus: Numquid ego Judæus sum? Gens tua, et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi: quid fecisti? Respondit Jesus: Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo. Siex hoc mundo esset regnum meum, ministri mei utique decertarent ut non traderer Judæis: nunc autem regnum meum non est hinc. Dixit itaque ei Pilatus: Ergo Rex es tu? Respondit Jesus: Tu dicis quia Rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam ventati: omnis qui est ex ventate, audit vocem meam.
Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John.
Ch. xviii.

At that time: Pilate said to Jesus: Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me. What hast thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king, then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I bom, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Offertory

Postula a me, et dabo tibi Gentes hereditatem tuam, et possessionem tuam terminos terræ.

Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.


Secret

Hostiam tibi, Domine, humanæ reconciliationis offerimus: præsta quæsumus; ut quem sacrificiis præsentibus immolamus, ipse cunctis gentibus unitatis et pacis dona eoncedat, Jesus Christus, Filius tuus, Dominus noster: Qui tecum.

We offer thee, O Lord, the victim of man's reconciliation; grant, we beseech thee, that he whom we immolate in these present sacrifices may himself bestow on all nations the gifts of unity and peace, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord: Who liveth.


Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday.


Preface

Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æeterne Deus: Qui unigenitum Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum Jeeum Christum, Saoerdotem æternum et universorum Regem, oleo exsultationis unxisti: ut, seipsum in ara crucis hostiam immaculatam et pacificam offerens, redemptionis humanæ sacramenta perageret: et suo subjectis imperio omnibus creaturis, æternum et universale regnum, immensæ tuæ traderet Majestati. Regnum veritatis et vitæ: regnum sanctitatis et gratiæ: regnum justitiæ, amoris et pacis. Et ideo ...

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, everlasting God: Who didst anoint with the oil of gladness thine onlybegotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, eternal priest and universal King: that, offering himself a spotless victim and peaceoffering upon the altar of the Cross, he should complete the mysteries of man’s redemption; and all creatures having been subjected to his sway, should deliver to thy infinite majesty an eternal and universal kingdom; a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace. And therefore. . .


Communion

Sedebit Dominus Rex in seternum: Dominus benedicei populo suo in pace.

The Lord shall sit King for ever: the Lord will bless his people with peace.


Postcommunion

Immortalitatis alimoniam consecuti, quæsumus Domine: ut, qui sub Christi Regis vexillis militare gloriamur, cum ipso, in cœlesti sede, jugiter regnare possimus: Qui tecum.

Having received the food of immortality, we beseech thee, O Lord: that as we glory in fighting under the standard of Christ the King, so we may be able to reign with him in his heavenly abode: Who liveth.


Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday, the Gospel of which is read at the end of Mass.


SECOND VESPERS


Ps. 109, Dixit Dominus

Ant. 1. Pacificus vocabitur, et thronus ejus erit firmissimus in perpetuum.

Ant. 1. He shall be called the Peaceful One, and his throne shall be firmly established for ever.

 


Ps. 110, Confitebor tibi

Ant. 2. Regnum ejus regnum sempiternum est, et omnes reges servient ei et obedient.

Ant. 2. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all kings shall serve him and obey him.


Ps. 111, Beatus vir

Ant. 3. Ecce Vir Oriens nomen ejus: sedebit et dominabitur, et loquetur pacem Gentibus.

Ant. 3. Behold a Man, the Orient is his name; he shall sit and rule, and shall speak peace unto the Gentiles.


Ps. 112, Laudate pueri

Ant. 4. Dominus judex noster, Dominus legifer noster: Dominus Rex noster, ipse salvabit nos.

Ant. 4. The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver: the Lord is our King, he will save us.


Ps. 116, Laudate Dominum

Ant. 5. Ecce dedi te in lucem Gentium, ut sis salus mea usque ad extremum terræ.

Ant. 5. Behold, I have given thee for a light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.


Little Chapter
Col. i.

Fratres: Gratias agimus Deo Patri, qui dignos nos fecit in partem sortis sanctorum in lumine, qui eripuit nos de potestate tenebrarum, et transtulit in regnum Filii delectionis suæ.

Brethren: We give thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.


Hymn

Te sæculorum Principem,
Te, Christe, Regem Gentium,
Te mentium, Te cordium
Unum fatemur arbitrum.

Scelesta turba clamitat
Regnare Christum nolumus:
Te nos ovantes omnium
Regem supremum dicimus.

O Christe, Princeps Pacifer
Mentes rebelles subjice,
Tuoque amore devios
Ovile in unum congrega.

Ad hoc cruenta ab arbore
Pendes apertis brachiis,
Diraque fossum cuspide
Cor igne flagrans exhibes.

Ad hoc in aris abderis
Vini dapisque imagine,
Fundens salutem filiis
Transverberato pectore.

Te nationum Præsides
Honore tollant publico,
Colant magistri, judices,
Leges et artes exprimant.

Submissa regum fulgeant
Tibi dicata insignia:
Mitique sceptro patriam
Domosque subde civium.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui sceptra mundi temperas,
Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula.

Amen.
Ruler of all from heaven’s high throne,
O Christ, our King ere time began,
We kneel before thee, Lord, to own
Thy empire o’er the heart of man.

While bands of shameless men refuse
The homage due to Christ their Lord,
We own thee sovereign Lord of all.
The King by heaven and earth adored.

O Prince of peace, O Christ, subdue
Those rebel hearts, thy peace restore;
Into thy sheep-fold lead anew
Thy scattered sheep, to stray no more.

For this upon the tree of shame,
Thy body hung, with arms spread wide,
The spear revealed the heart of flame
That burned within thy sacred side.

For this our altars here are spread
With mystic feast of bread and wine,
Still thy redeeming blood is shed
From that sore-stricken heart of thine.

May heads of nations fear thy name
And spread thy honour through their lands,
Our nation’s laws, our arts proclaim
The beauty of thy just commands.

Let kings the crown and sceptre hold
As pledge of thy supremacy;
And thou all lands, all tribes enfold
In one fair realm of charity.

Jesu, to thee be honour done,
Who rulest all in equity
With Father, Spirit, ever One,
From age to age eternally.

Amen.

℣. Multiplicabitur ejus imperium.
℟. Et pacis non erit finis.

℣. His empire shall be multiplied.
℟. And there shall be no end of peace.


Antiphon of the Magnificat

Habet in vestimento et in femore suo scriptum: Rex regum, et Dominus dominantium. Ipsi gloria et imperium, in sæcula sæculorum.

He hath on his garment and on his thigh written: King of kings and Lord of lords. To him be glory and empire, for ever and ever.


Commemoration is made of the occurring Sunday.


[1] Quas Primas, 13, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Dec. 11, 1925. 
[2] Quas Primas, 17.
[3] John xv. 22, 24.
[4] L'Amour de Dieu et de la Croix de Jesus, P. Garrigou-Lagrange, O. P.
[5] Quas Primas, 21.

 

Articles...