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From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Including descriptions of:

HAD we Angels' eyes, we should see the earth as a vast field sown with seed for the resurrection. The death of Abel opened the first furrow, and ever since, the sowing has gone on unceasingly the wide world over. This land of labour and of suffering, what treasures it already holds laid up in its bosom ! And what a harvest for heaven, when the Sun of Justice, suddenly darting forth his rays, shall cause to spring up as suddenly from the soil the elect ears ripe for glory! No wonder that the Church herself blesses and superintends the laying of the precious grain in the earth.

But the Church is not content to be always sowing. Sometimes, as though impatient of delay, she raises from the ground the chosen seed she had sown therein. Her infallible discernment preserves her from error; and, disengaging from the soil the immortal germ, she forestalls the glory of the future. She encloses the treasure in gold or precious stuffs, carries it in triumph, invites the multitudes to come and reverence it; or she raises new temples to the name of the blessed one, and assigns him the highest honour of reposing under the Altar, whereon she offers to God the tremendous Sacrifice.

“Let your charity understand," explains St. Augustine:[1] “it is not to Stephen we raise an altar in this place; but of Stephen's relics we make an altar to God. God loves these altars; and if you ask the reason: Precious in the sight of the Lord is “the death of his saints.”[2] In obedience to God the invisible soul has quitted its visible dwelling. But God preserves this dwelling; he is glorified by the honour we pay to this lifeless flesh ; and, clothing it with the might of his divinity, he gives it the power of working miracles.”[3] Hence the origin of pilgrimages to the shrines of the Saints.

“Christian people," says St. Gregory of Nyasa, wherefore are you assembled here? A tomb has no attractions; nay, the sight of its contents inspires horror. Yet, see what eagerness to approach this sepulchre! So great an object of desire is it, that a little of the dust from around it is esteemed a gift of great price. As to beholding the remains it conceals, that is a rare favour, and an enviable one, as those can testify who enjoy the privilege: they embrace the holy body as though it were yet alive, they press their lips and their eyes upon it, shedding tears of love and devotion. What emperor ever received such honour?”[4]

“Emperors!” rejoins St. John Chrysostom; as the porters at their gates, such have they become with regard to poor fishers. The son of the great Constantine deemed he could not pay a higher honour to his father, than to procure him a place of sepulture in the porch of the fisherman of Galilee.”[5] And again, concluding his commentary on St. Paul's admirable Epistle to the Romans, the golden-mouthed Doctor exclaims: “And now, who will grant me to prostrate myself at Paul's sepulchre, to contemplate the ashes of that body which, suffering for us, filled up what was wanting of the sufferings of Christ? The dust of that mouth, which spoke boldly before kings, and, showing what Paul was, revealed the Lord of Paul? The dust of that heart, truly the heart of the world, more lofty than the heavens, more vast than the universe, as much the heart of Christ as of Paul, and wherein might be read the book of grace, graven by the Holy Spirit? Oh! that I might see the remains of the hands, which wrote those Epistles; of the eyes, which were struck with blindness and recovered their sight for our salvation; of the feet which traversed the whole earth! Yes; I would fain contemplate the tomb where repose these instruments of justice and of light, these members of Christ, this temple of the Holy Ghost. O venerable body, which, together with that of Peter, protects Rome more securely than all ramparts!”[6]

In spite of such teachings as these, the heretics of the sixteenth century profaned the tombs of the Saints, under pretext of bringing us back to the doc­trine of our forefathers. In contradiction to these strange reformers, the Council of Trent expressed the unanimous testimony of Tradition in the follow­ing definition, which sets forth the theological reasons of the honour paid by the Church to the relics of Saints:

“Veneration ought to be shown by the faithful to the bodies of the Martyrs and other Saints, who live with Jesus Christ. For they were his living members and the temples of the Holy Ghost; he will raise them up again to eternal life and glory; and through them God grants many blessings to mankind. Therefore, those who say that the relies of the Saints are not worthy of veneration, that it is useless for the faithful to honour them, that it is vain to visit the memorials or monuments of the Saints in order to obtain their aid, are absolutely to be condemned; and, as they have already been long ago condemned,[7] the Church now condemns them once more.”[8]

Considering the unequal distribution of relics throughout the world, Rome has not fixed one universal feast for the essentially local cultus of these precious remains. She leaves the particular churches free to consult their own convenience, reserving it to herself to bless and sanction the choice of each.




As the feast of the holy Relics is in many places celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of All Saints', we here give the Mass and Vespers most commonly used. The liturgical formulae are, however, not less variable than the date of the feast.

The Introit, borrowed from the thirty-third Psalm, tells us of God's solicitude for his own, in death as in life. Whatever may become of the just, under trial and persecution, their bones shall be gathered together again on the last day, at the voice of the Son of Man,


Multae tribulationes justorum, et de his omnibus liberavit eos Dominus: Dominus custodit omnia ossa eorum: unum ex his non conteretur.

Ps. Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo. Gloria Patri. Multae.

Many were the afflictions of the just, and out of all these the Lord delivered them: the Lord keepeth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken.

Ps. I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Glory be to the Father. Many were.

The miracles wrought by these dry bones prove, says St. Augustine, that they are not really dead.[9] Let our faith in the future resurrection be thereby increased; and let us pray with the Church in her Collect, that we too, at the appointed time, may par­take in the glory of which their wonder-working power is the pledge.


Auge in nobis, Domine, resurrectionis fidem, qui in Sanctorum tuorum reliquiis mirabilia operaris: et fac nos immortalis gloriae participes, cujus in eorum cineribus pignora veneramur. Per Dominum.

Increase within us, O Lord, the faith of the resurrection, thou who workest wonders in the relics of thy Saints: and make us partakers of immortal glory, of which we venerate the pledges in their ashes. Through.

Then are commemorated the occurring Sunday and the Octave of All Saints, by their respective Collects.


Lectio libri Sapientiae.
Eccli. xliv.

Hi viri misericordiae sunt, quorum pietates non defuerunt: cum semine eorum permanent bona, haereditas sancta nepotes eorum, et in testamentis stetit semen eorum: et filii eorum propter illos usque in aeternum manent: semen eorum, et gloria eorum non derelinquetur. Corpora ipsorum in pace sepulta sunt, et nomen eorum vivit in generationem et generationem. Sapientiam ipsorum narrent populi, et laudem eorum nuntiet Ecclesia.

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
Eccli. xliv.

These were meu of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed. Good things continue with their seed, their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants; and their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the Church declare their praise.

Our ancestors looked upon holy relics as their greatest riches, the treasure by excellence of their cities. Dew of heaven and fatness of the earth, the blessings of this world and of the next, seemed to distil from the bodies of the Saints. Their presence was a check to hostile armies, as well as to the legions of hell; it guarded morals, fostered faith, and encouragedprayer in the heart of cities, to which they attracted as great crowds as now flock to our centres of pleasure. And with what vigilance was cherished the blessed deposit, the loss whereof would have been considered the greatest of public calamities!

“I have here, my brethren,” says Cardinal Pie, to unfold to you a marvellous design of the God whom Scripture calls wonderful in his Saints. The Lord Jesus, who said to his disciples: Go ye and teach, euntes ergo docete, frequently takes pleasure in sending them forth again after their death; and he makes use of their apostolate from beyond the tomb, to carry the blessings of grace to other nations, besides those whom they evangelized in life. I have appointed you, he said, that you should go and should bring forth fruit: Posui vos ut eatis et fructum afferatis. In obedience to this command, the Saints, even after having reached the blessed term of their mortal pilgrimage, consent to become wayfarers once more. Had I leisure to recount to you all the posthumous wanderings of our illustrious pontiffs and thaumaturgi, for instance the repeated journeys of our own Hilary and Martin during more than ten centuries, I should, though captivating your attention by narratives full of interest, run the risk of wearying you by the length of my discourse.”[10]

The Gradual and its Verse, taken from the Psalms, extol the future glory feebly imaged by that which here surrounds the blessed on their couches of honour.


Exsultabunt Sancti in gloria: laetabuntur in cubilibus suis.
V. Cantate Domino canticum novum: laus ejus in Ecclesia Sanctorum.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Justi epulentur, et exsultent in conspectu Dei: et delectentr in laetitis. Alleluia.

The Saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.
V. Sins ye to the Lord a new canticle: let his praise be in the church of the Saints.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Let the just feast and rejoice before God, and be delighted with gladness. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
Cap. vi.

In illo tempore: Descendens Jesus de monte, stetit in loco campestri, et turba discipulorum ejus, et multitudo copiosa plebis ab omni Judaea et Jerusalem, et maritims, et Tyri, et Sidonis, qi venerant, ut audirent eum, et sanarentur a languoribus suis. Et qui vexabantur a spiritibus immundis, curabantur. Et omnis turba quaerebat eum tangere: quia virtus de illo exibat, et sanabat omnes. Et pise, elevatis oculis in discipulos suos, dicebat: Beati pauperes: quia vestrum est regnum Dei. Beati, qui nunc esuritis: quia saturabimini. Beati, qui nunc fietis: quia ridebitis. Beati eritis cum vos oderint homines, et cum separaverint vos, et exprobraverint, et ejecerint nomen vestrum tamquam malum, propter Filium hominis. Gaudete in illa die, et exsultate: ecce enim merces vestra multa est in coelo.

Sequal of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
Chap. vi.

At that time, Jesus coming down from the mountain stood in a plain place, and the company of his disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judaea and Jerusalem, and the sea-coast both of Tyre and Sidon, who were come to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the multitude sought to touch him, for virtue went out from him, and healed all. And he, lifting up his eyes on his disciples, said: Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake be glad in that day and rejoice, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.

Amen, Amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than these shall he do![11] Our Lord was speaking of his Saints and disciples, who would believe in him so fully as to place their earthly happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution. His word was to be accomplished in them during life; but frequently it was to be still more manifested after death, in the power retained by their relics of driving away demons, healing all diseases, and obtaining every grace. It is not only from the narrow province of Judaea, but from the coasts of the entire world, that multitudes now flock to hear the saints in the silent eloquence of their tombs, and to experience the virtue that goes out from them.

St. Paulinus of Nola thus speaks in his poems: God, in his goodness, has willed that the Saints should be distributed among the nations, so that their aid might never be wanting to us weak mortals. If he has given the principal cities to the greatest Saints for their residence, the grace with which they are endowed for our sake is not confined to the places where their entire bodies rest; where there are but small portions, there is the same power, and God thus gives testimony to their credit in heaven. From the holy deposit the sacred ashes are scattered abroad, and become the seeds of life; let but the least drop be taken from the spring, and it is itself a souroe producing rivers of grace and of love.”[12]

Let us, then, honour our Lord in his Saints; for it is from him, as the Offertory tells us, that all their power originates.


Mirabilis Deus in sanctis suis: Deus Israel ipse dabit virtutem et fortitudinem plebi suae, benedictus Deus. Alleluia.

God is wonderful in his Saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people: blessed be God. Alleluia.

“Whoever adored the Martyrs, or mistook a man for God?” asked St. Jerome, in his defence of the homage paid to sacred relics.[13] And the Church shows, in her Secret, that the cultus of these venerable ashes is rendered to the Saints themselves; while the Saints' own power is but a power of intercession before the Father of the divine Victim who wrought our salvation.


Imploramus, Domine, clementiam tuam: ut Sanctorum tuorum, quorum Reliquias veneramur, suffragantibus meritis, hostia quam offerimus nostrorum sit expatio delictorum. Per Dominum.

We implore thy mercy, O Lord, that by the suffrage of the merits of thy Saints, whose relics we venerate, the sacrifice which we offer may be the expiation of our sins. Through our Lord.

Then follow the Commemorations as above.

He that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, said the Man-God, I will raise him up in the last day.[14] Holy Communion, which places in our bodies the germ of a glorious immortality, justifies the object of this feast, and explains its joy.


Gaudete justi in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.

Rejoice in the Lord yet just: praise becometh the upright.

How could we better conclude our prayers of to-day, than by expressing our desire of living eternally with the blessed, who have been gladdening us with the presence of their holy relics! This the Church does in the Postcommunion.


Multiplica super nos, quaesummus Domine, per haec Sancta guae sumpsimus, misericordiam tuam: ut sicut in tuorum solemnitate Sanctorum, quorum Reliquias colimus, pia devotione laetamur, ita eorum perpetua societate, te largiente, fruamur. Per Dominum.

Multiply thy mercy upon us, we beseech thee O Lord, by these holy mysteries which we have received, that as we rejoice with pious devotion in the solemnity of thy Saints, whose relics we venerate, so, by thy bounty, we may enjoy their eternal fellowship. Through our Lord.

Then the Commemorations as before; and at the end of the Mass, the Gospel of the Sunday is read, instead of that of St. John.




The Vespers are those of the Common for many Martyrs, with the Collect of today’s Mass for the Prayer.

1. Ant. Isti sunt Sancti, qui pro testamento Dei sua corpora testamento Dei sua corpora tradiderunt, et in sanguine Agni laverunt stolas suas.

1. Ant. These are the Saints who yielded their bodies for God's covenant, and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

Ps. Dixit Dominus, page 36.

2. Ant. Sancti per fidem vicerunt regna, operati sunt justitiam, adepti sunt repromissiones.

2. Ant. The Saints by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, and gained the promises.

Ps. Confitebor tibi Domine, page 37.


3. Ant. Sanctorum velut aquilae juventus renovabitur: florebunt sicut lilium in civitate Domini.

3. Ant. The youth of the Saints shall be renewed like that of the eagle: they shall flourish as the lily in the city of the Lord.

Ps. Beatus vir, page 38.


4. Ant. Absterget Deus omnem lacrymam ab oculis Sanctorum: et jam non erit amplius neque luctus, neque clamor, sed nec ullus dolor: quoniam prioria transierunt.

4. Ant. God shall wipe away all tears from the eyes of the Saints : and now there shall be no more mourning, nor crying, nor any sorrow: for the former things are passed away

Ps. Laudate pueri, page 39.


5. Ant. In coelestibus regnis Sanctorum habitatio est, et in aeternum requies eorum.

5. Ant. The dwelling of the Saints is the kingdom of heaven, and their rest shall be eternal.

Ps. Credidi, page 83.

(Wisdom, iii.)

Justorum animae in manu Dei sunt, et non tanget illos tormentum mortis. Visi sunt oculis insipientium mori: illi autem sunt in pace.

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: but they are in peace.


Sanctorum meritis inclyta gaudia
Pangamus socii, gestaque fortia.
Gliscens fert animus promere cantibus
Victorum genus optimum.

Hi sunt, quos fatue mundus abhorruit;
Hunc fructu vacuum, floribus aridum
Contempsere tui nominis asseclae
Jesu Rex bone coelitum.

Hi pro te furias, atque minas truces
Calcarunt hominum, saevaque verbera:
His cessit lacerans fortiter ungula,
Nec carpsit penetralia.

Caeduntur gladiis more bidentium:
Non murmur resonat, non quaerimonia;
Sed corde impavido mens bene conscia
Conservat patietiam.

Quae vox, quae poterit linqua retexere,
Quae tu Martyribus munera praeparas?
Rubri nam fluido sanguine fulgidis
Cingunt tempora laureis.

Te summa o Deitas, unaque poscimus,
Ut culpas abigas, noxia subtrahas,
Des pacem famulis, ut tibi gloriam
Annorum in seriem canant.


Let us together celebrate the glorious delights
merited by the Saints, and their heroic deeds:
for the mind exults to proclaim in song
these the noblest of conquerors.

These are they whom the world in its folly abhorred;
while they, the faithful followers of thy name,
O Jesus merciful King of the heavenly citizens,
despised the world as barren and devoid of fruits and flowers.

For thy sake they scorned the rage of men,
their savage threats and cruel stripes:
the fiercely rending hook, van­quished by their courage,
left the brave heart untouched.

Like sheep, they are slaughtered by the sword:
not a murmur, not a complaint es­capes them;
but with unquailing heart, the soul,
conscious of right, preserves its patience.

What voice, what tongue could relate
the rewards thou preparest for the Martyrs?
For, adorned with the purple of their own blood,
they bind their brows with victory's glittering laurels.

We beseech thee, O supreme and only God,
that thou wouldst cleanse away our sins, remove all evils,
and grant peace to thy servants,
that they may sing glory to thee for all ages to come.


V. Exsultabunt Sancti in gloria.
℟. Laetabuntur in cubilibus suis.
V. The Saints shall rejoice in glory;
℟. They shall be joyful in their beds.

Antiphon of the Magnificat

Gaudent in coelis animae Sanctorum, qui Christi vestigia sunt secuti: et quia pro ejus amore sanguinem suum fuderunt, ideo cum Christo exsultant sine fine.

The souls of the Saints, who have followed the footsteps of Christ, rejoice in heaven: and because for his sake they shed their blood, therefore they exult with Christ forever.

The Canticle Magnificat page 44.

The Prayer is the Collect of the Mass, page 166.

Then follow the Commemorations of the Sunday and of the Octave.

In some churches, the hymn for this Feast is the following composed by Claud Santeul, who must not be confounded with John Baptist Santeul of St. Victor. The compositions of the former are superior to those of his brother in unction and simplicity, as well as by their orthodoxy.


O vos unamines Christidum chori,
Sanctorum tumulos et cineres Patrum,
Charas exuvias, pignora coelitum
Laetis dicite cantibus.

Coelo quando piis aequa laboribus
Felices animae gaudia possident,
Poenarum sociis debita redditur
Hic laus et decus ossibus.

Passim sparsa Deus, policiti memor
Custos, ne pereant, pignora colligit:
Electosque suis providus aggerit
Aptados lapides locis.

Quin et relliquias, et tumulos sibi
Aras ipse Deus consecrat hostia:
Conjungensque suis se caput artubus,
Hos secum simul immolat.

Vos, quorum cineres supplicibus pia,
Tutum praesidium, plebs colit osculis,
Si vos nostra movent, subsidium boni
Vestris ferte clientibus.

Ut cum nostra novis splendida dotibus
Surget juncta choris spirituum caro,
Indivisa Trias sit Deus omnia
Nobis semper in omnibus.


O choirs of Christians, one in heart,
celebrate in songs of joy the tombs
of the Saints and the ashes of our Fathers;
dear relics, pledges left us by the heavenly citizens.

While their happy souls possess in heaven
joys proportioned to their loving toils on earth,
here below meet praise and honour are rendered to their bodies,
sharers anon in their sufferings.

Mindful of his promise, God, their kind protector,
gathers these scattered pledges, lest they perish;
and lovingly collects his chosen stones
to fit them for their places.

Yea, God who is himself our Victim,
consecrates these relics and tombs into altars for himself;
the divine Head unites with these his members,
and immolates them together with himself.

O ye, whose ashes the pious people looks upon as its secure defence,
and honours with suppliant kisses;
if our troubles touch your hearts,
bring aid, in your goodness, to your clients.

So that when our flesh, resplendent with new gifts,
shall rise again and be united with the choirs of spirits,
God, the indivisible Trinity,
may be to us forever all in all.


We next give the beautiful formula from the Roman Pontifical for the blessing of shrines and reliquaries.


Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus inaestimabilis, Deus ineffabilis, Deis misericordiarum, et totius consolationis. Qui Moysi famulo tuo praecepisti, ut juxta exemplar quod ei in monte demonstrasti, arcam de lignis imputribilibus construeret, et eam auro mundissimo circumdare, in qua urna aurea manna coelesti plena, cum tabulis testamenti digito majesestatis tuae conscriptis, in testimonium futuris genertionibus servari deberet. Quiqui nostris saeculis eadem sacratius intelligenda manifestasti, dum corpus unici Filii tui, opere Spiritus sancti de incorrupta Virgine conceptum, et anima rationali vivificatum, omni plenitudine divinitatis replesti:

Te suppliciter imporamus, omnipotens Deus, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ex quo omnis paternitas in coelo et in terra nominatur; ut haec vascula Sanctorum tuorum pignoribus praeparata, eisdem Sanctis tuis intercedentibus, coelesti benedictione perfundere digneris; quatenus qui horum patrocinia requirunt, ipsis intercedentibus, cuncta sibi adversantia, te adjuvante, superare, et omnia commode profutura, abundantia largitatis tuae mereantur invenire. Et sicut illi, te Domine inspirante, spiritualium nequitiarum versutias cavere, et humanitus exquisita tormenta non solum contemnere, sed etiam penitus evincere, Christo Domino confortante, potuerunt; ita ipsorum merita venerantibus, et Reliquias humiliter amplectentibus, contra diabolum, et angelos ejus, contra fulmina et tempestates, contra grandines, et varias pestes, contra corruptum serem, et mortes hominum, vel animalium, contra fures et latrones, sive gentium incursiones, contra malas bestias, et serpentium, ac reptantium diversissimas formas, contra malorum hominum adinventiones pessimas, eorumdem Sanctorum tuorum precibus complacatus, dexteram invictae potentiae tuae ad depulsionem nocivorum et largitatem proficuorum semper et ubique propitius extende.

Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate ejusdem Spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.


It is truly meet and just, right and salutary, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal, inestimable God, ineffable God, God of mercies and of all consolation. Who didst com­mand thy servant Moses to construct, according to the pattern thou didst show him in the mount, an ark of incorruptible wood, and to cover it all over with purest gold, that therein might be preserved, as a testimony to future generations, the golden urn full of heavenly manna, with the tables of the Covenant written by the finger of thy Majesty. In our ages thou didst make known how these same things are to be more mystically understood, when thou didst fill with all the plenitude of the Divinity the Body of thine only Son, con­ceived of the most pure Virgin by the operation of the Holy Ghost, and quickened with a rational soul.

We suppliantly beseech thee, O Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all paternity in heaven and on earth is named; that thou wouldst deign to imbue with thy heavenly blessing, through the intercession of thy Saints, these vessels prepared to receive their sacred remains; so that those, who have recourse to their patronage, may, through their in­tercession and by thine assistance, merit to overcome all adversities, and to obtain all that is useful and profitable from the abundance of thy bounty. And as these thy Saints, O Lord, by the inspiration of thy grace, were able to avoid the snares of the spirits of wickedness, and in the strength of Christ our Lord not only to despise but entirely to triumph over the most cruel tortures from the hands of men: even so, that those who venerate their merits and humbly embrace their relics may be protected against the devil and his angels, against lightnings and tempests, against hail and all sorts of plagues, against unhealthy atmosphere and mortalities among men and cattle, against thieves and assassins, against invasions of nations, against wild beasts and serpents and the innumerable kinds of reptiles, and against the most wicked designs of evil men, — do thou, being appeased by the prayers of the same thy Saints, mercifully stretch forth, always and everywhere, the right hand of thine invincible power, to drive away all that is evil, and to shed abroad all benefits.

Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end.


Lastly, not to forget our dear dead on any of the days of this Octave, let us end with this ancient and tender supplication, used by the churches of Séez, le Mans, Angers, and Rennes, for the Commemoration of the departed.


De profundis clamantes gemimus
Et gemendo preces effundimus: exaudi nos, Domine.

Miserere misertus miseris,
Qui Salvator et Salus diceris, competente munere. 

Sicut serves ad fontes properat
Sicut anima ad Te desiderat, fons misericordiae.

Fontis hujus aquis nos abluas,
Nec secundum culpas retribuas, Deus indulgentiae.

Nec mensuram observes scelerum,
Nec culparum numeres numerum, sed da locum veniae.

Non est opus reis judicio,
Sed affictis detur remissio, dono Tuae gratiae.

Tu dixisti: Vos qui laboribus
Pressi estis, atque oneribus, ego vos reficiam.

Ecce ad Te pressi confugimus,
A Te solo refici petimus, per tuam clementiam.

Nec facturam Tuam despicias,
Sed clamantem pius respicias, dans reis remedia.

Qui venturus es Judex omnium,
Animabus cunctis fidelium des aeterna gaudia.


From the depths crying out we groan,
and groaning we pour forth our prayer : hear us O Lord.

Pitifully have pity on the pitiable,
O thou who art called the Saviour and Salvation, and thy function corresponds to thy name.

As the hart speeds to the fountains,
so does the soul yearn after thee, O fount of mercy;

wash us with the waters of this fountain,
and deal not with us according to our sins, O God of pardon.

Mark not the measure of our crimes,
and count not the number of our sins, but make way for indulgence.

Guilty as we are, it is not judgment we need;
but we are afflicted, grant us forgiveness by the free gift of thy grace.

Thou hast said : All ye that are heavily laden
with labours and with burdens, I will refresh you.

Behold how oppressed we flee to thee;
from thee alone we seek refreshment, through thine own clemency.

Oh! Despise not the work of thy hands;
but look tenderly upon the suppliant, and give healing remedies to the guilty.

Thou, who art to come as Judge of all,
grant to all the souls of the faithful everlasting joys.


[1] Aug. Sermo cccxviii, de Stephano Mart. V.
[2] Ps. cxv. 15.
[3] Aug. Sermo cclxxv, de Vincentio Mart. II
[4] Greg. Nyss. De Theodoro Mart.
[5] Chyrs. In Epist. II. ad Cor. Hom. xxvi.
[6] Chyrs. In Epist. ad Rom. Hom. xxxii.
[7] Conc. Nic. II. cap. vii.
[8] Conc. Trid. Sess. xxv. De invocatione, veneratione et reliquiis Sanctorum.
[9] Aug. Sermo cccxix, de Stephano Mart. vi.
[10] Cardinal Pie, Discourse pronounced at the translation of the relics of St. Latuin.
[11] St. John xiv. 12.
[12] Paulin. Poem. xix, xxvii.
[13] Hieron. Contra Vigilantium.
[14] St. John. vi. 55.