Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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

This past 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.
I immediately recalled reading that when the Carmelite Order moved from Jerusalem to Europe in the mid-13th century, they had adopted the Dominican liturgical books.   So I looked 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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

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: