Sunday, July 24, 2016

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

This Tuesday, July 26, is the last Tuesday of our 15 Tuesdays' devotion in honor of Our Holy Father St. Dominic that we began way back in April.  It also 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 anounce 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.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 14: Obit V.B. Humbert de Romans, 5th Master General of the Order

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, at Pretiosa we make a commemoration of the 5th Master General of the Order, Humbert de Romans.

No single person, in the history of the Dominican Order, is so closely linked to the Dominican Rite of Mass and Office as the 5th Master General, Humbert of Romans. Though all of the Masters General, after out Holy Father St. Dominic, had a hand in completing the project of securing a universal Mass and Office for the Order, it was during Humbert's Master Generalship that the liturgical books were formally accepted and the project brought to completion.  Recently, a beautiful digital edition of his Codex has been made public by a Dominican Friar who carefully photographed the original.  Now, all of us can see this treasure of our Order which was bequeathed to us by this humble and holy Master General.

Very little is actually recorded about the process of adopting and revising the various editions of the Missal and Breviary, and what changes were sought by whom. In his book on the history of the Dominican Liturgy, Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P., notes that "Not only are we hampered by a dearth of liturgical books, but even the historians and authors of that period seem to have entered into a conspiracy of silence regarding the history of the rite, so that we have only the scantiest materials with which to reconstruct the first two-score years of Dominican liturgical history (pp. 18-19). He gives, as a possible reason for this silence, "the disturbance which the question [of the universal liturgical books] had caused the Order for over a quarter of a century."

During these days of liturgical banality, in which our Order has abandoned the very Rite of Mass and Office that it once so fiercely defended, may the prayers of the holy and blessed 5th Master General obtain for us a return to our glorious liturgical patrimony.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

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):

Saturday, July 9, 2016

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.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

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 748th Birthday to the Breviarium juxta ritum ordinis prædicatorum!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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:

Monday, July 4, 2016

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.