Friday, July 13, 2018

July 13: Bl. James of Voragine, B., C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we make a commemoration of Blesssed James of Voragine, Bishop, Confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  Since today is a ferial day, the ferial office is prayed.  A commemoration is made of Bl. James of Voragine at Lauds only.  The collect prayer for this holy bishop speaks of his love for peace and truth.  In these days where there is very little peace, whether between nations, peoples, citizens of the same country, members of Holy Mother Church, and even within families, due so often to a lack of knowledge of, or regard for, Truth, may this holy Dominican bishop pray for us and our deplorable times.

Blessed James is the author of the famous "Golden Legend", a medieval manuscript of saints’ lives that was extremely popular in the Middle Ages.  From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 9: SS. John, O.P., and Companions , Mm., III Cl.

On this day, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the Feast of SS. John of Cologne, O.P., and companions, the Martyr's of Gorcum. The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed according to the rubrics. This feast is one of those III Class feasts where everything is provided in the Proper of the Saints, so nothing is required from the Common of the Saints. At Pretiosa, the obit of Fr. Thomas Hyacinth Cipolletti of Ascoli, 70th Master General of the Order, is made.

Given the almost complete lack of belief, on the part of Roman Catholics today, in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, this feast gives us reason to pause.  What have we done, or failed to do, that has caused such a reversal of belief in this great mystery of our Faith.  The Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who is eternal and thus outside of time and the material universe, nevertheless becomes present in his flesh and blood for us to receive, for the sole purpose of aiding us in becoming more like him.  What has happened to us, that this is not taught and emphasized to our children in Catholic schools, and at Mass.  Ss. John and your companions, who died for refusing to deny this great mystery, please pray for us.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7: Anniversary of the Bull "Consurgit in nobis"

On this day, in the year 1267, Pope Clement IV issued the Bull "Consurgit in nobis", granting the request of Blessed John of Vercelli to give official approval of the Dominican Office.  From "A History of the Dominican Liturgy, 1944, pp. 197-198:
"We are filled with the greatest spiritual joy, when we behold those who are dedicated to the divine service bonded together in virtuous harmony.  Especially when we perceive them desiring, for the honor of the Divine Name, that the cause of holy unity should prosper among them to such an extent that their state in life may enjoy not only lasting peace and tranquil devotion, but also appear always well-ordered - as propriety demands.  For both reasons there is a great cause for congratulations, since unity of faith and pious deeds so shine forth in these religious that this renowned Order may assume this praise:  it possesses every adornment of surpassing beauty, and it is entirely free of every blemish.
Dominican Office crica 1254-1256
"Gladly have we heard your petition.  When your illustrious Order had, by the grace of Christ, spread its branches from sea to sea, the Divine Office was not uniformly observed throughout the Order owing to the various customs of the different provinces.  Wherefore, as true servants of God and sincere lovers of sound unity, you realized with commendable foresight that this diversity of observance would be prejudicial to devotion or even perhaps become an occasion of grave scandal.  So you unanimously commissioned Our beloved son, Friar Humbert, former general of the Order, to make the said office uniform, that everywhere throughout the world the entire Order might reverently and humbly observe this uniformity.  When at length Humbert had completed a skillful and befitting arrangement of the ecclesiastical office, you carefully examined the work, and then decreed in three successive general chapters that the arrangement of the office should be observed throughout your Order.  For this reason, you have humbly petitioned Us to add the authority of Apostolic protection to this office.
"We being favorable to your supplications and holding as valid and lasting the arrangement of the office, do therefore decree and confirm by Our Apostolic authority that the aforesaid arrangement is to be followed in all your houses and by the protection of these presents We do strengthen it.
"We strictly forbid anyone, without the permission of the Apostolic See, to change anything in the aforesaid office against the tenor of Our Confirmation and Constitution and that of the aforesaid arrangement.
"To absolutely none, therefore, is it permitted to disregard this confirmation, constitution and prohibition, etc..
"Given at Viterbo, on the 7th day of July, in the third year of Our Pontificate (1267)

Happy 750th Birthday to the Breviarium juxta ritum ordinis prædicatorum!!

Friday, July 6, 2018

July 6: Anniversary Of Those Buried In Our Cemetaries

Tangipahoa Parish
Louisiana  USA
On this day, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, the anniversary of those buried in the cemeteries of the Order are remembered.

"Dear Brother and Sister Tertiaries, you have come into an Order which is devoted to the dead.  You will eventually profit by it, and in the meantime the Rule requires you to do your part to maintain this devotion".

Thus Fr. F.D. Joret, O.P., begins his Chapter entitled "Prayer For Our Dead", in his wonderful book "Dominican Life" (The Newman Bookshop, 1947).  He then proceeds to describe each of the four Anniversaries during which the Order prays for her dead.  Of today's Anniversary, he says:

Friday, June 29, 2018

June 28: Vigil of Sts. Peter & Paul - Domine Quo Vadis?

A few years ago, I read the "The Interior Castle" by St. Teresa of Avila.  For anyone who has not read it, I highly recommend it.  It is a beautiful work, in which she gives us the benefit of her deep and penetrating knowledge into the life of prayer, and demonstrates her extraordinary insight into human frailty and the stumbling blocks which hinder us on our path toward spiritual perfection.

In the last chapter (7th Mansion, Ch. 4), as she is recapping the book, and speaking of the trials and sufferings of those to whom Our Lord grants intense spiritual visions and aspirations, she mentions the famous "Quo vadis" legend regarding St. Peter.  The translator of the edition that I was reading (E. Allison Peers, Sheed & Ward, 1946) puts a footnote there, and states:
"In the old Carmelite breviary, which St. Teresa would have used, the Antiphon of the Magnificat at 1st Vespers on June 29 runs "The Blessed Apostle Peter saw Christ coming to meet him.  Adoring Him, he said: 'Lord, whither goest Thou?' ' I am going to Rome to be crucified afresh.'"  The story has it that St. Peter returned to Rome and was crucified.
Since the Carmelite and Dominican liturgical books sprang from the same older Roman Rite that was widely diffused throughout France in the 13th Century, I decided to look up June 29 in my Dominican Breviary (1967) to see if that antiphon had survived through the centuries.  And sure enough, it did.  (See here...bottom left side of p. 574.)

Than antiphon at 1st Vespers for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is:

Beátus Petrus Apóstolus vidit sibi Christum occúrrere, et adórans eum ait:  Dómine, quo vadis?  Vénio Romam íterum crucifígi.
The blessed apostle Peter saw Christ coming towards him, and adoring him, said, “Lord, where are you going?” “I go to Rome to be crucified again.”

This antiphon is not in the 1962 Monastic or Roman breviaries.  Whether or not the legend is true, it has been borne through the ages in the Dominican breviary and is, in my opinion, a wonderful subject for meditation.  This is particularly true in these dark days when living a faithful Catholic life can at best be full of obstacles and, at worst, lead to outright persecution by the State or groups who align themselves with the eternal Enemy of the Church.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Travelers' Prayers from the Dominican Breviary

With the arrival of Summer, I thought I would repost this item about the Travelers' Prayer from the Dominican Brevairy.

There is nothing unique to the Dominicans about the concept of these prayers.  A similar version can be found in the monastic breviary.  However, our version is tailored to our Order by including some of the wonderful antiphons, versicles/responses, and Collect prayers that invoke St. Dominic, the saints of our Order, and our Lady as our patroness.   You can download the English translation here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

LOST FEAST: May 22: St. Servatius, B.,C., Protector of the Order

 One of the feasts removed from the Dominican calendar during the early 20th Century was that of St. Servatius, a 4th Century bishop who lived in Gaul.  He was an unofficial protector of the Order of Preachers.  In the 1909 Dominican Breviary, his feast is a totum duplex.  In his book, "The History of the Dominican Liturgy", Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P., disputes the circumstances surrounding the legendary intervention by St. Servatius at the Chapter at Cologne.  You can find his argument here (beginning on p. 242).