Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 17: St. Hyacinth, C., O.P., III Class


Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Hyacinth.  The feast is III Class so the Ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.  Like many III Class feasts of Dominican saints on the calendar, the office for St. Hyacinth contains a full set of propers, as if the office were II Class.  So there are antiphons and responsories at all of the hours, and the Sunday Psalms are prayed at Lauds, rather than the Psalms of the ferial office.


The feast was announced yesterday, at the reading of the Martyrology:
At Cracow in Poland, St. Hyacinth, confessor, of the Order of Preachers. Having received the religious habit from the hands of our Father St. Dominic, he excelled in learning and in a life of admirable innocence. He was celebrated for the glory of his miracles, especially for walking dryshod across wide rivers. Thought deserving of sweet converse with the holy Mother of God, distinguished for his spotless life, and filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, he died at an advanced age. He was called to his eternal reward on the very feastday of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was canonized by Pope Clement VIII.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 15: Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I Class


Last year, while reading "Christ the Savior" by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. on the Assumption of the B.V.M., I came across the following passage:
Therefore the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Mother of the Savior and the new Eve, is also most closely associated with Christ's perfect victory over death, so that "she could not be held down or detained by the bonds of death, " as the liturgy says[19]; otherwise she would have been vanquished by death and would not have been the vanquisher, and her parallelism with Christ's resurrection and ascension, before the general resurrection of the dead, would be destroyed.  Moreover, the exceptional benediction, "blessed art thou among women," excludes the malediction "into dust thou shalt return." (emphasis mine)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dominican Tertiary Indulgence Alert - Feast of the Assumption of the B.V.M.

Dominican Tertiaries are reminded that a plenary indulgence may be acquired, provided the usual conditions (confession, Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) are properly fulfilled, who make or renew, at least privately, the promise to faithfully observe the statutes of the Third Order (Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic) on the upcoming Feasts of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on  Monday, August 15th.

In your charity, please consider offering the indulgence for a deceased fellow Tertiary, or perhaps a deceased friar or nun/brother who is suffering in Purgatory.

The complete list of days when the plenary indulgence may be obtained, can be found here, at the Australian Province Website.

Friday, August 11, 2017

LOST FEAST: August 11: The Octave of our Holy Father St. Dominic

Prior to the revision of the Breviary and liturgical calendar instituted by Pope St. Pius XII, the Octave of Our Holy Father St. Dominic would be celebrated today, August 11.  This would be the final act in our long celebration of the feast of St. Dominic.  A fitting tribute to the saintly founder of the Order of Preachers, if I do say so myself.  When you add up all of the preparation (the 15 Tuesdays, the Novena, the feast itself, the commemoration in the octave, and finally, the octave day itself) it is a sure and salutary means of developing a loving devotion to our holy father through our liturgical celebrations.

In the pre-1962 Breviarium S.O.P.'s, the feast had the rank of "solemne", which would be considered at least a 2nd Class Feast in the ranking system that was adopted with the 1962 breviary.  For Lauds, Vespers, and the little hours, the office of the feast was prayed.  At Lauds, a commemoration was made of St. Tiburtius.  At Matins the office was that of three (3) lessons.  For the first nocturn, the responsories are proper, and the lessons from the previous Sunday are used.  At the second nocturn, the lessons and the responsories are proper; the lessons being taken from the life of St. Dominic by Theodoric.  The third nocturn is like the first, with the responsories being proper, but the Gospel and homily on the Gospel are taken from the previous Sunday.

At Pretiosa, on August 10, the octave was announced thus "The Octave day of our holy Father Dominic. A solemn octave."

I am going to depart from my 1962/1967 calendar today, since it is a ferial day, and pray the office of his feast again, as a way of closing out this wonderful liturgical celebration of St. Dominic.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

LOST TRADITIONS: August 5 - 11: Octave of Our Holy Father St. Dominic

Prior to the revision of the Breviary instituted by Pope Pius XII, the Octave of Our Holy Father St. Dominic would be celebrated from August 5 till August 11.   This is one of the many octaves of the Dominican saints that were casualties of the liturgical revisions of the mid-20th centuries.  Not all of the Dominican saints had "solemn" octaves after their feast day, but the major ones like St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Peter Martyr did.

Once again, I will restate my bewilderment at the Order giving up some of these wonderful feast days on their calendar, when the calendar was updated in 1961.  Even if they wanted to reduce the sanctorale a bit, to make room for new saints and the ferial office, they could still mark the octave of our Holy Father's feast day with a commemoration at Lauds and Vespers.

On August 5, at Pretiosa, we read in the Martyrology for August 6 the commemoration of his death on the actual day that he passed to his eternal reward:
At Bologna, the birthday of St. Dominic, confessor and founder of the Order of Friars Preachers. He was a man of great renown for holiness and learning. Until death he preserved without stain his virginity, and by the singular grace of his merits raised three dead men to life. By his preaching he curbed heresies, and established many persons in a religious and godly manner of life. He died on this day, but his festival, by an ordinance of Pope Paul IV, is celebrated on August 4.
At the very least, the extension of Our Holy Father's solemn feast day is a wonderful way in which to deepen our devotion to him.  Every day during the octave, a commemoration was made at Lauds and Vespers using the proper versicle/responsory, Benedictus/Magnificat antiphons from the Dominican Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the collect from the feast. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

August 4: Our Holy Father St. Dominic, C., O.P., I Class

O happy parent, Spain, rejoice in giving to the world the joy of new offspring!  But, rejoice still more, Bologna, because you are favored with the glory of so great a father.  O universal Mother Church, sing in praise as you celebrate the festival of this new source of fame!  (Super psalmos antiphon to the Laudate psalms at First Vespers.)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August 3: The Vigil of the Feast of St. Dominic

After weeks of preparation, including the 15 Tuesday's devotion to St. Dominic, and the Novena to our Holy Father, we have arrived at the eve before his feast day! (Yes...I know this is not an actual "vigil").  Traditionally, this was also a day of fasting and abstinence for Tertiaries of our Order.  At Pretiosa today, we announce the feast to be celebrated tomorrow:
At Bologna, our most holy Father St. Dominic, confessor and founder of the Order of Friars Preachers. He was most illustrious, being distinguished by nobility of birth, sanctity and learning. Until death he preserved without stain his virginity and by the singular grace of his merits he raised three persons from the dead. By his preaching he curbed heresies and established many persons in a religious and godly manner of life. On August 6, his soul soared to heaven, there to receive a reward commensurate with his extraordinary works. His feast, however, is celebrated on this day, by an ordinance of Pope Paul IV. A totum duplex feast of the first class with a solemn octave.

That last sentence is a holdover from the pre-1961 calendar, when a solemn octave was celebrated for 8 days after his feast day. On August 5, I will be posting on the manner of celebrating the octave of his feast according to the 1909 Breviarium juxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum.

The office begins at 1st Vespers with the super psalm antiphon....Gaude (O happy parent, Spain,...), followed by the special arrangement of Psalms that are used in the Dominican Office for 1st Class feasts (Psalms 112, 116, 145, 146, & 147, a.k.a, the "laudate Psalms).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dominican Tertiary Indulgence Alert! - Feast of St. Dominic

Dominican Tertiaries are reminded that a plenary indulgence may be acquired, provided the usual conditions (confession, Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) are properly fulfilled, who make or renew, at least privately, the promise to faithfully observe the statutes of the Third Order (Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic) on the upcoming Feasts of Our Holy Father St. Dominic on August 4th (if you are attending a Dominican Rite Mass) or August 8 (if you are attending a Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite).

In your charity, please consider offering the indulgence for a deceased fellow Tertiary, or perhaps a deceased friar or nun/brother who is suffering in Purgatory.

The complete list of days when the plenary indulgence may be obtained, can be found here, at the Australian Province Website.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Novena To Our Holy Father St. Dominic: July 26 - August 3

Next Tuesday, August, is the last Tuesday of our 15 Tuesdays' devotion in honor of Our Holy Father St. Dominic that we began way back in April.  And today happens to be the first day of the traditional Novena to St. Dominic, if you follow the liturgical calendar of the Order from the 1962 Breviarium juxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum as we do here.   We will say this prayer every day from July 26 through August 3...the Vigil of our Holy Father's feast.  On August 3, we will announce his feast at Pretiosa (after Lauds or Prime) and then at 1st Vespers, the liturgical office of his feast begins.  (If you follow the new liturgical calendar, the novena begins on July 30, to coincide with the new date for St. Dominic's feast on August 8).

Though this novena prayer does not appear in the Breviarium S.O.P. it is, nevertheless, a wonderful exercise of piety to our Holy Father St. Dominic, who we know advocates for all of us in heaven before the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ.

O renowned champion of the faith of Christ, most holy Saint Dominic, who didst renounce the honour and dignity of an earthly principality to embrace the poor, laborious, and mortified life which should distinguish a disciple of Him Who has said: "If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me."
O burning torch, who being thyself consumed with the fire of divine love, didst incessantly labor to enkindle that sacred flame in the hearts of others, look down upon me from that throne of glory where thou enjoyest the reward of all thy labors, and obtain that some sparks of that blessed fire may be lighted in my soul, to animate and encourage me under any crosses or trials with which it shall please the divine goodness to visit me.
Thou, O great Saint, regardest as nothing all the afflictions thou didst endure, and all the toils thou didst undergo for the promotion of God's holy cause; obtain, I beseech Thee, that the same ardent love which strengthened thee, may make sweet to me labors, humiliations, disgraces, or whatever other mortifications I may have to suffer for the Name of Jesus. May I ever bear in mind that nothing can happen to me but by the particular dispensation of a God Who is infinitely wise, and therefore knows what is best for my welfare; infinitely powerful, and consequently able to effect it; and above all, infinitely merciful and loving, Who has laid down His life for my redemption, and continues daily to give new proofs of His love and bounty.
O tender Father of the poor who, when all other resources were exhausted, didst offer thyself for their relief, obtain for me that true spirit of compassion for the suffering members of Jesus Christ, which shone forth so conspicuously in thy holy life. May I, by charity to those whom Jesus so dearly loves, lay up for myself treasures in heaven, where thou now enjoyest that which the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, but which God has prepared for those who love Him, and who prove themselves His Disciples by the observance of His Divine precept "love one another."
I praise and thank God for the high degree of sanctity to which He had raised thee, and the special privileges by which He has distinguished thee. I conjure thee, by that gratitude with which thou shalt for all eternity be penetrated for thy Divine Benefactor, implore for me the grace to root out of my heart whatever is not agreeable in His sight, especially that evil habit by which I most frequently offend Him. Obtain likewise the favors I request in this Novena, through thy powerful intercession.
(Mention your intentions here)
O glorious Mother of God, Queen of the most sacred Rosary, thou who didst love Dominic with the affection of a mother, and were most tenderly loved and honored by him, look upon me, for his sake, with an eye of pity, deign to join with him in presenting these petitions to thy most Blessed Jesus. I sincerely desire from this moment to love Him with all my heart, and serve Him with all my strength, and now place myself under thy powerful protection, as a sure means of obtaining all the graces necessary to serve Him faithfully here, that I may eternally rejoice with Him hereafter. Amen.




Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17: Bl. Ceslaus, C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we make a commemoration of Blessed Ceslaus, Confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  Since today is a ferial day, the ferial office is prayed according to the rubrics, and a commemoration is made of Bl. Ceslaus at Lauds only.


From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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):

Friday, July 7, 2017

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!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

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:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4: Anniversary of the 1962 Breviarium juxta ritum ordinis prædicatorum


Today is the anniversary of the approval of the last official Breviary of the Order of Preachers.  On July 4, 1961, Master General of the Order Michael Browne, O.P., approved the new revised Breviary.  His letter of approval and introduction is in the front of the Breviary.  It is reprinted below.  The copyright date on the title sheet, however, is 1962 which explains why it is always referred to as the 1962 Breviarium sacri ordinis praedicatorum.  This particular breviary is the one that is authorized, under Pope Benedict XVI moto proprio "Summorum Pontificum", for use by the Order should a friar, or group of friars, or even a whole priory should decide to use it either occasionally, or even adopt it permanently.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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

Last Winter, 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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22: Blessed Innocent V, P, C, O.P., Comm.

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the commemoration of Blessed Innocent V, one of the four Dominican Popes.  The ferial office is prayed, and a commemoration is made of Bl. Innocent at Lauds only.

File:C o a Innocenzo V.svg
Coat of Arms of Bl. Innocent V
We anticipated his feast yesterday at Pretiosa, during the reading of the Martyrology:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Compline from Pentecost to Trinity Sunday

We have finally arrived at the end of the period, in the liturgical year, where the office of Compline takes on a specific character that is proper to the seasons we have just passed through.  Beginning with the 1st Sunday of Lent, all the way through Passion-tide, Eastertide, Ascension-tide, it finally comes to an end after the week of Pentecost.

Compline begins as usual.  After the responsory, which is said with the Alleluia's as noted in the rubrics, the following hymn is said.  This is the same hymn that was prayed during Paschaltide, with the exception of the last two (2) stanza's, which change during Ascensiontide.

Friday, June 2, 2017

June 2: BB Sadoc and Companions, M., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the feast of Blessed Sadoc and his companions, martyrs of Poland.   The ferial office is prayed, according to the rubrics and at Lauds and Vespers, the commemoration of Blessed Sadoc and his companions is made.  A second commemoration is made of Ss. Marcellinus, Priest and Peter, Exorcist, both of whom were martyrs.

Beginning today, we have back-to-back feasts of Dominican martyrs, celebrated today and tomorrow.  However, we should recall the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, regarding the perfect charity of those who shed their blood, or indeed forfeit their lives, for our Lord's sake:

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Ferial Office in Ascension-tide

We are now in the brief liturgical season of Ascensiontide. This year, we will pray the ferial office 4 times. In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Ascension season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences. The invitatory at Matins is different, as is the Benedictus antiphon at Lauds is different, and the hymn at Vespers, to name a few.

Though this season is short, and is overshadowed by the looming arrival of Pentecost, it is a beautiful liturgical season nonetheless.  The ferial days in Ascensiontide are IV Class, so when a III Class feast occurs on the calendar, no commemoration is made of the ferial office.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Compline from the Ascension to Pentecost

Continuing our series on the unique features of the Dominican Breviary at Compline, we now come to the period between the Ascension and Pentecost.

  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 24: Translation of Our Holy Father St. Dominic, III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Translation of the Relics of Our Holy Father St. Dominic.  Since today is the Vigil of the Ascension, only a commemoration of the feast is at Lauds.  This is one of the three (3) traditional feast days in the Dominican calendar that were dedicated to our holy Father St. Dominic.  The other two being his feast day (August 4) and the miraculous appearance of a painting attributed to him at the Convent of San Domenico in Soriano Calabria in 1530 (feast day September 15 in the 1909 calendar, and September 25 in later calendars).


This feast was the last of the “translation” feasts which used to glorify the liturgical calendar of the Order.   In years past, the calendar included feasts for the translation of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Peter Martyr.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

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).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 13: Blessed Imelda, V., O.P., Comm.

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Imelda Lambertini, virgin, of the Order of Preachers.  Since today is the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, we may pray the II Class office from the Common of the Saints, or the Saturday office of the B.V.M.  A commemoration is made of Blessed Imelda at Lauds only.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10: St. Antonius, B., C., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the beloved archbishop of Florence, St. Antonius, bishop, confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class and the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.  At Lauds and Vespers, a commemoration is made of SS. Gordian and Epimachus, martyrs.

From the Martyrology:
At Florence, St. Antoninus, archbishop of the same city and a member of the Order of Preachers. On account of the excellence of his doctrine and his holiness, he was compelled to become bishop, although he was unwilling. He was illustrious for his mercy and his piety. He likewise excelled to a remarkable degree in sacerdotal zeal. He was so celebrated for his prudence and good counsel, that he was justly called "Antoninus the Counsellor." Famous for his virtues and his miracles, he departed for Heaven in the seventieth year of his life, on May 2. He lies buried in the Church of San Marco where he is held in high veneration by the people.

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8: Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces, III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces.  The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed.  Like many III Class feasts in the Dominican Breviary, this office contains the full propers as if the feast were II Class.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.

May is the month of Mary, our blessed Lady and Mother of God.  Today we celebrate a wonderful Marian feast, with a beautiful Office. It honors our Blessed Lady's role in the salvation of mankind as mother of our Savior, and recognizes her universal mediation in the dispensing of all graces that come to us from Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In his encyclical Octobri Mense (On the Rosary, September 22, 1891), Pope Leo XIII declared "We may affirm that nothing, by the will of God, is given to us without Mary's mediation, in such way that just as no one can approach the almighty Father but through His Son, like wise no one, so to speak, can approach Christ but through His Mother".

Sunday, May 7, 2017

LOST FEASTS: May 7 - Octave of St. Catherine of Siena, V., O.P.

Prior to the revision of the Breviary instituted by Pope St. Pius X, the Octave of St. Catherine of Siena would be celebrated today. This is one of the many octaves of the Dominican saints that were casualties of the revision of St. Pius X. Not all of the Dominican saints had octaves after their feast day, but the major ones like St. Catherine did. I think this is something that could have been retained, particularly as it was merely a commemoration at Lauds and Vespers. For the life of me, I do not see the harm in adding a commemoration, particularly of a saint that exemplifies so much of what the Order stands for.


In the 1909 Breviarium S.O.P., the octave was a solemn one, meaning that it ranked with other great octaves like that of St. Dominic and St. Thomas Aquinas. According to the Proper of the Saints, all was taken from the saints feast day, with the exception of Lessons i, ii, and iii at Matins, which were proper. These Lessons are extracts from the Bull of her Canonization.  So today, we conclude our octave of St. Catherine of Siena.


Prayer

O God, you enabled the blessed Catherine, graced with a special privilege of virginity and patience, to overcome the attacks of evil spirits and to remain unshaken in your love; grant, we beseech you, that following her example by treading underfoot the wickedness of the world, and overcoming the wiles of our enemies, we may pass tin safety to your glory.  Through our Lord…

Saturday, May 6, 2017

LOST FEAST: May 6: The Octave of St. Peter Martyr

Prior to the revision of the Breviary instituted by Pope St. Pius X, the Octave of St. Peter Martyr would be celebrated today.  This is one of the many octaves of the Dominican saints that were casualties of the revision of St. Pius X.  Not all of the Dominican saints had octaves after their feast day, but the major ones like St. Peter Martyr did.  I think this is something that could have been retained, particularly as it was merely a commemoration at Lauds and Vespers.  For the life of me, I do not see the harm in adding a commemoration, particularly of a saint that exemplifies so much of what the Order stands for.

In the 1909 Breviarium S.O.P., the feast had the rank of "simplex", which would be considered a commemoration according to the rubrics of the 1962 Office.  At Vespers and Lauds, an antiphon, versicle/response and collect pray are given in the Proper of the Saints.  They are the same as those from the saints feast day on April 29.

Also, if you get a chance, check out this wonderful article that was recently posted about St. Peter, and how his feast is celebrated in Milan, over at New Liturgical Movement.

From the 1909 Breviarium juxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum:

Commemoration at 1st Vespers:

Magnif. ant:  O Peter, renowned martyr, glory of the Preachers, endowed with virginity, eloquence, miracles and grace, when our earthly life has been completed and the loving mercy to which we are accustomed has been granted to us, bring us to the heavens, alleluia.

. Blessed Peter pray for us, alleluia.  . That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, alleluia

Prayer:  Grant, we beseech you, almighty God, that we may earnestly and with fitting devotedness follow in the faith of the blessed Peter, your martyr, who for the spread of that same faith merited to obtain the palm of martyrdom.  Through our Lord...

Commemoration at Lauds:

Bened. ant.:  Possessing the highest purity and distinguished by grace of doctrine, renowned by the victory of martyrdom, Peter is resplendent in the glory of a threefold crown, alleluia.

.  A gold crown upon his head, alleluia.  .  Inscribed like a signet with "Holiness," alleluia.

Prayer: Grant, we beseech you, almighty God, that we may earnestly and with fitting devotedness follow in the faith of the blessed Peter, your martyr, who for the spread of that same faith merited to obtain the palm of martyrdom.  Through our Lord...




Friday, May 5, 2017

May 5: St. Pius V, P., C., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Pius V, Pope and Confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class, so the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics

St. Pius V is one of my favorite saints (I often wonder if that is a Dominican Breviary in his hand in the photo above!).  Anyone who has been unwillingly thrust into a position of leadership, can sympathize with this humble man who wanted nothing more than to be a humble Dominican friar, yet found himself enmeshed in world affairs.  He is also another example of a canonized Inquisitor, the presence of whose feast in the liturgical calendar helps to dispel some of the toxic myths that the enemies of the Church have spread to further their war against almighty God and his one true Church.

As surprising as it may seem, given the reputation this holy Pope and friary had, it took nearly a century and a half after his death before he was canonized!  In his "History of the Dominican Liturgy", Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P., relates the story of his canonization:

Monday, May 1, 2017

LOST TRADITIONS: April 30 - May 7: Octave of St. Catherine of Siena

One of the stark differences which are apparent to anyone who has sat down and compared the calendars of the 1909 and 1962 editions of the Dominican breviary is the utter lack of octaves of saints in the latter edition.  The 20th Century took its toll on the wonderful liturgical practice which extended the feasts of so many saints beyond their feast day. Yesterday would have begun the Octave of St. Catherine, which would have been celebrated from April 30 - May 7.


I do understand the concern about the sanctorale crowding out the temporale, but is it that difficult to make a commemoration at Lauds and Vespers for seven days?


Even though the Order no longer celebrates this octave, it is a wonderful private devotion that we can make to St. Catherine, one of the most famous and glorious of the saints who adorn our wonderful Order and an effective mans of deepening our devotion to her.  Every day during the octave, a commemoration was made at Lauds and Vespers using the proper versicle/responsory, Benedictus/Magnificat antiphons from the Dominican Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the collect from the feast. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 30: St, Catherine of Siena, V., D., O.P., I Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the illustrious St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor of the Church, Patroness of the Third Order of  St. Dominic.  At the time the 1962 Dominican Breviary was published, her feast was II Class, though it could be celebrated as I Class by Tertiaries and Churches which bore her name. By the time of the publication of the English translations of the Breviarium S.O.P. in 1967, the Order raised her feast to I Class.  Accordingly,  the festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.


As today is Sunday, we make a commemoration of the II Sunday after Easter at Lauds this morning.  At second Vespers tonight, we will make a make a commemoration of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April 29: St. Peter Martyr, M., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the illustrious St. Peter Martyr, martyr, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class and the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.


Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28: St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, C., O.P., Comm.

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Paul of the Cross.  In addition, we make a commemoration of St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class and the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.  At Lauds and Vespers, the commemoration of St. Louis M.G. de Montfort is made.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Devotion of the 15 Tuesdays to St. Dominic

The tradition of dedicating Tuesdays to Our Holy Father St. Dominic takes its origins right from the beginnings of the Order.  The first translations of the relics of our holy Patriarch took place on Whit-Tuesday (May 24) in the year 1233 at Bologna.  Successive Chapters from 1239 to 1282 introduced various liturgical practices into the rubrics of the Mass and Office of the Order, as a means of fostering devotion to him.  This process culminated in the act of the Chapter of 1362, which introduced the practice of dedicating the 3rd day of the week (Tuesday) to the holy Patriarch.  From this point forward, on every Tuesday outside of Lent, the Mass of the day was to be his Mass, with a commemoration of him in the Office.

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24: Feast of the Most Holy Crown of Thorns, II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of The Most Holy Crown of Thorns.  The feast is II Class, so the Semi-Festive Office is prayed.  This is one of the oldest feasts, unique to the Order, that is on the Order's calendar.  In his history of the Dominican Rite, Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P. notes that this feast is actually listed on the oldest surviving Dominican liturgical calendar, which dates back to the time when Humbert de Romans was Master of the Order.

The history of the feast is detailed in the third lesson of Matins:
"When Saint Louis, king of France, accepted from Baldwin II, emperor of Constantinople, the gift of the Lord’s crown of thorns, he sent to Constantinople two brethren, Stephen and James, of the Order of Preachers.  In the year 1239, on the day following Saint Lawrence’s feast, they brought the crown to Sens, to the king.  With great solemnity, it was borne to Paris and was finally placed in the royal palace, in a chapel built by Louis himself.  The precious treasure, profanely stolen during the unhappy days of the French Revolution towards the end of the eighteenth century, was later restored and transferred to the metropolitan basilica.  Louis however, made a gift of some thorns of the sacred crown to the Dominicans and commissioned them to celebrate, in the chapel dedicated to the crown, the anniversary of its reception there.  The feast of the most holy crown of thorns was inserted into the calendar of the Order of Preachers about the middle of the thirteenth century."
Among some of the more beautiful elements of the Office of this day are:

Matins:
Invit.  The solemnities of the Lord's crown are begun. * Let the church applaud with abundant praise, alleluia.
Ant to psalms:  An unbelieving people mocks Christ as he wears the crown of thorns; by his red blood the crown of glory is conferred, alleluia.
R. i.  The thornless Flower is pierced with the thorn through which the thorn of sin is broken; * the thorn of death is blunted by thorns, as Life itself is dying, alleluia.  V.  Through this mockery, the enemy is mocked; through death, the power of death is taken away. - The thorn of death.
 Lauds
Before Lauds V. Plaiting a crown of thorns, alleluia.  R. They put it on the Lord's head, alleulia.
Ant. 1.  This is the joyful day on which the crown of thorns, red with Christ's blood, is recalled to mind, alleluia, alleluia.
Ant. 3.  How happy the puncture, how blessed the thorn, from which flows that unguent, the cure for the world!  Alleluia. 
Prayer

Almighty God, we who on earth recall the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ by honoring his crown of thorns, beseech you that we may be worthy to be crowned with glory and honor in heaven, by him;  who lives and reigns with you…


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Compline from Low Sunday to the Ascension

Continuing our series on the unique features of the Dominican Breviary at Compline, we now come to the period between Low Sunday and the Ascension. The changes began during the first week of Lent, and we have followed along as the hymns, and responsories, and antiphons have changed during Lent, Passion Tide, and now Paschaltide. These changes continue through the octave of the Trinity, after which Compline returns to its normal form.

Compline begins as usual. After the responsory, which is said with the Alleluia's as noted in the rubrics, the following hymn is said.
Jesu, nostra redémptio,
Amor et desidérium,
Deus Creátor ómnium,
Homo in fine témporum:

Quæ te vicit cleméntia,
Ut ferres nostra crímina,
Crudélem mortem pátiens,
Ut nos a morte tólleres?

Inférni claustra pénetrans,
Tuos captívos rédimens,
Victor triúmpho nóbili
Ad dextram Patris résidens:

Ipsa te cogat píetas
Ut mala nostra súperes
Parcéndo, et voti cómpotes
Nos tuo vultu sáties.
Redemption, Jesus, all divine,
Whom here we love, for whom we pine,
God, working our creation’s plan,
And, in the latter time, made man:

What love of yours was that which led
To take our woes upon your head,
And pangs and cruel death to bear,
To ransom us from death’s despair!

You pierced the halls of Limbo bare,
Gave freedom to your captives there;
And now you sit in victor’s pride
Triumphant at the Father’s side.

Let very mercy force you still
To spare us, conquering each ill;
We pray you grant us our request,
That seeing you we may be blest

From Low Sunday to the Ascension the last two versus are:

Quǽsiumus, Auctor óminum,
In hoc pascháli gáudio,
Ab omni mortis ímpetu
Tuum defénde pópulum.

Glória tibi, Dómine,
Qui surrexísti a mórtuis,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spíritu
In sempitérna sǽcula.  Amen

Ant. At Nunc Dimittis :  Allelúia.     Resurréxit Dóminus, allelúia,  sicut    dixit vobis, allelúia, allelúia.

Creator great, be you our guide
In this the joy of Easter-tide;
Whenever assaults of death impend,
Your people strengthen and defend.

All glory, Lord, to you we pay,
Arisen from the dead, today;
With Father and the Spirit be
All glory yours eternally.  Amen.

Ant. at Nunc Dimittis: Alleluia.  The
Lord has risen, alleluia, as he told you,
alleluia, alleluia.

The last two versus of the hymn change, during Ascension-tide and the octave of Pentecost.