Thursday, December 23, 2010

New archbishop and bishop

After being sed vacante for just about a week longer than a year, my "home" diocese, the Archdiocese of Pretoria, South Africa has a new archbishop, William Slattery O.F.M.

Until now Archbishop elect Slattery has been the bishop of Kokstad, and the bio below comes from the website of that diocese.

Bishop William Slattery OFM was born in Tipperary , Ireland, 6 Sept 1943. He Studied secondary school with the Franciscans and then joined that Order in 1962 and made final vows in 1966. Studied for a B.A. at the National University of Ireland in Galway. Studied theology and got licence in S Th in Rome 1970. Came to South Africa in 1971. He worked in Sebokeng, Sharpeville, Boipatong in the Vaal Triangle of Johanessburg diocese.

Appointed novice master of the Franciscans and parish priest Besters 1975-1983, in the diocese of Dundee. Set up formation program in Malawi. Superior of the Franciscans in the Transvaal and then appointed by the Bishops' Conference as Rector of St John Vianney Seminary 1984-1991. General visitator of the Franciscans in East Africa. Postulant Master and parish priest in Amatikhulu\Gingindlovu in the diocese of Eshowe.

Returned to Besters 1993 and appointed Bishop of Kokstad Nov 1993, consecrated bishop Feb 19, 1994. On the Board of the SACBC 1997-2006 as Chair of the department of Seminaries and now 2006-2009 Head of Department of Evangelisation. Have published religious and spiritual books in Sotho, Zulu, Xhosa and Sepedi.
The Holy Father has also announced a new bishop for the Diocese of Kimberley, our old parish priest, Mgr Abel Gabuza, who has served as the Apostolic Administrator for Pretoria for the last year.

An Advent hymn

This is most beautifully sung. It's well worth listening to.

O come Emmanuel

In our Evening Prayer today we use the last of the 7 great O Antiphons, O Emmanuel.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

O Immanuel, you are our king and judge,
the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.
O come and save us, Lord, our God.

Isaiah prophesied:

"The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and shall give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The King of the Nations

O Rex Gentium, theKing of the Nations - the sixth of the great O Antiphons.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King whom all the peoples desire,
you are the cornerstone which makes all one.
O come and save man
whom you made from clay. 

Isaiah tells us:

"For there is a child been born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace." (Isaiah 9:5)

"He will wield authority over the nations, and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war." Isaiah 2:4

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Rising Sun

The fifth of the great O Antiphons - O Oriens

O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Rising Sun,
you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice.
O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Enough already

O Clavis David

The fourth of the great O Antiphons, O Clavis David - O key of David

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O key of David and sceptre of Israel;
what you open no one else can close again;
what you close no one can open.
O come to lead the captive from prison:
free those those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Isaiah's prophesy says:

"I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open." Isaiah 22:22

"His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore." Isaiah 9:7

"...To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."Isaiah 42:7.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Radix Jesse

The third O Antiphons, O Radix Jesse - O stock of Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations;
kings fall silent before you
whom the peoples acclaim.
O come to deliver us, and do not delay.

Isaiah says:

"A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots." (Isaiah 11:1)


"That day, the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples. It will be sought by the nations and its home will be glorious." (Isaiah 11:10)

Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of David's line and be born in David's city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

O Adonai

The second of the great O Antiphons - O Adonai

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
O Adonai, and leader of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in a burning bush
and you gave him the law on Sinai.
O come and save us with your mighty power.

Isaiah says:

"... but [He] judges the wretched with integrity, and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land. His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless, his sentences bring death to the wicked. Integrity is the loincloth round his waist, faithfulness the belt about his hips." (Isaiah 11:4-5)

"For the Lord is our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king and our saviour." (Isaiah 33:22)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Just another dead blog and the "O" Antiphons

OK, I know what you're thinking - 5 weeks and no new post, obviously this is just another dead blog!

Sorry to disappoint but it's not (dead that is). St Malachy has had a very busy end to 2010, Deo gratias, and blogging has fallen by the wayside.

As from 17 December we enter the second "part" of advent. Each evening from today until 23 December we use the one of the great "O" Antiphons before and after the Magnificat during Vespers (Evening Prayer).

Each of the "O" Antiphons is a name of Christ, one of His attributes from Scripture and each contains a prophecy from Isaiah concerning the coming of the Messiah. The well known hymn "O come, O come, Emmanuel" is a paraphrase of the "O" Antiphons.

Today we start with O sapienta - O wisdom:

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

In English:

O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High.
You fill the universe and hold all things together
in a strong yet gentle manner.
O come to teach us the way of truth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

The Lateran Basilica, or more properly the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Sts. John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran is the seat of the Bishop of Rome, that is, the cathedral church of Rome. This surprises many people who assume that the cathedral of Rome is St Peter's Basilica.

9 November is the feast day of St John Lateran, and it's an important feast day for all Catholics as St John Lateran is our mother church - the highest "rankintg" church in all Christendom.

Happy feastday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stealing pictures from other blogs

Sometimes a picture is just to good to resist.

Pinched from Fr Tim Finigan

Great news for the Ordinariate

The Catholic Herald this morning is reporting that 5, yes 5, Anglican bishops are to join the Ordinariate!

From the headline article on the Catholic Herald website:

This morning, the Rt Rev Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury accepted the resignation of three flying Church of England and two retired assistant bishops in what is a major development in the move towards establishing an Ordinariate in Britain.

The Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough and Rt Rev John Broadhurst Bishop of Fulham as well as the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes the emeritus Bishop of Richborough and the Rt Rev David Silk, an emeritus assistant bishop of Exeter released a statement announcing their resignations.

They said: “As bishops, we have even-handedly cared for those who have shared our understanding and those who have taken a different view. We have now reached the point, however, where we must formally declare our position and invite others who share it to join us on our journey. We shall be ceasing, therefore, from public episcopal ministry forthwith, resigning from our pastoral responsibilities in the Church of England with effect from 31st December 2010, and seeking to join an Ordinariate once one is created.”
Nearly home now Bishops! You are assured of our prayers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Feast of St Malachy

Today, 3 November is the feast day of St Malachy.

Here's a snippet from the very first entry on this blog:

Malachy born in Armagh in 1094 and was bapised Maolmhaodhog Ua Morgair, usually Anglicised as Malachy O'More. He was successively vicar-general to St Cellach, abbot of Bangor, then bishop of Connor before becoming archbishop of Armagh in1094. His primary achievement as a bishop may well have been his success at replacing the Celtic liturgy with the Roman.

In 1138, Malachy resigned as archbishop of Armagh to go on pilgrimage to Rome, meeting and staying with St Bernard at Clairveaux for a time.

Malachy attempted a second Rome pilgrimage in 1148 but only made it as far as Clairveaux where he died in the arms of St Bernard. He was formally canonised by Pope Clement III in 1190.

No doubt most people know of Malachy because of his "prophecies of the popes". These prophecies are a list of 112 short Latin phrases supposedly describing 112 popes, beginning with Celestine II (1143) and ending with Peter II, who is of course, yet to be elected. After the election of Peter II or Petrus Romanus will come the destruction of Rome and the final judgement.
Malachy died in the arms of St Bernard of Clairveaux on 2 November 1148. His feast day is celebrated on 3 November so that it doesn't clash with All Souls Day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saint Simon and Saint Jude

28 October is the deast day of two of the apostles, Saints Simon and Jude.

The introductory note for todays Divine Office entry reads:
The name of Simon is placed eleventh in the list of apostles and nothing is known of him except that he was born at Cana and was known as the Zealot.
Jude, also known as Thaddeus, was the apostle who, at the Last Supper, asked the Lord why he showed himself only to his disciples and not to the world (John 14:22)
Saint Simon - pray for us
Saint Jude - pray for us

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Return of the Papal tiara

Well sort of anyway.

A revised coat of arms appeared hanging from the window of the Apopostolic Palace during the Angelus address on Sunday.

Repeat the refrain - Restoration of our Catholic identity, restoration of our Catholic identity....

h/t: Transalpine Redemptorists and of course Fr Z

Friday, October 8, 2010

Antiquated dogma

So far as a man may be proud of a religion rooted in humility, I am very proud of my religion; I am especially proud of those parts of it that are most commonly called superstition. I am proud of being fettered by antiquated dogmas and enslaved by dead creeds (as my journalistic friends repeat with so much pertinacity), for I know very well that it is the heretical creeds that are dead, and that it is only the reasonable dogma that lives long enough to be called antiquated... I am very proud of being orthodox about the mysteries of the Trinity or the Mass; I am proud of believing in the Confessional; I am proud of believing in the Papacy.

G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

St Bruno and happy birthday!

6 October is the memorial of St Bruno, priest and founder of the Carthusians. It is also the birthday of this blog which has been online for one year today. I suppose it's therefore appropriate to place the blog under his co-patronage henceforth!

According to the Divine Office entry, St Bruno was:

Born at Cologne about the year 1035. After being educated at Paris and ordained priest, he taught theology; but wanting to lead the life of a solitary he founded the monastery of La Grande Chartreuse. He was called to Rome by Pope Urban II to be his adviser and helper in the needs of the Church. He died at Squillace in Calabria in the year 1101.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Labour Party and family friendly policy

The election of Ed Miliband as Labour leader shows exactly how far the moral compass of Britain has skewed from centre.

Presumably Miliband has been chosen as leader because the Labour Party (or at least the unions) believe he can lead the party back into government. In other words Labour believe Miliband is electable.

Here’s where the moral issue arises. Ed has a “partner” - Justine Thornton – not a wife. Ed and Justine have a son, born July 2009, and they're expecting their second child in November. Now it may very well be that Ed and Justine are very happy together and it may very well be that they are committed to each other but they are not married.

Clearly the Labour Party doesn’t think it matters to the Great British public that Ed and Justine will soon have two children without being married and the statistics seem to show they are right. After all nearly half of children in England and Wales are born out of wedlock.

And so the Labour Party firmly nail their real family policy colours to the mast.

Image from:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saint Vincent de Paul

27 September is the memorial day for the well known saint, St Vincent de Paul. The Divine Office note about him says:
Born in Gascony in France in the year 1581. He completed his studies and was ordained priest in Paris. He founded the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) for the purpose of the spiritual formation of the clergy and the relief of the poor, and with the help of Saint Louise de Marillac he founded also the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity. He died at Paris in the year 1660.
Catholic Encyclopedia entry

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Awesome ball skills!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Comfortable bedfellows

From In Hoc Signo Vinces comes this snippet to the effect that luvvies Johann Hari and Peter Tatchell are far more comfortable bedfellows than we could have imagined.

In writing about issues he "cares" about, Johann tells us:

I could also mention climate change, prison reform, drugs legalization, human rights abuses in Colombia, higher taxes here in Britain, rights for transsexuals, against religious fundamentalism of all stripes, against the World Bank, in favour of understanding and embracing despised minorities like gypsies and paedophiles … I could go on with issues I've written about any you haven't.
Pots and kettles and all that....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Praise to the Holiest in the Height

Only someone with a head buried in the sand wouldn't know that John Henry Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in Birmingham yesterday.

By happy coincidence the hymn for evening prayer last evening - (Sunday week 1 in the 4 week Divine Office cycle) - was the new Blessed's "Praise to the Holiest in the Height".

We also happened to sing the hymn at usual Sunday Mass yesterday but I have a sneaking suspicion that was more by design than by chance!

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to the rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.

And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s Presence and His very Self,
And Essence all divine.

O generous love! that He, who smote,
In Man for man the foe,
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
And on the Cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all His words most wonderful,
Most sure in all His ways.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The breathtaking hypocrisy of Peter Tatchell

The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.

Peter Tatchell, letter to The Guardian, 27 June 1997.

Would you trust this man with your 9 year old son? I thought not
A hidden agenda? Surely not!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Golden Mouth

Today is the feast day of St John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. The introductory note in the Divine Office says:
Born at Antioch about the year 439. After a brilliant course of studies he began to lead a life of austerity. He was ordained priest and laboured in preaching, with great fruit. In 397 he became Bishop of Constantinople and showed himself a true pastor, striving to reform the morals of both clergy and people. He incurred the hatred of the imperial court and his work was undermined because of jealousy, and twice he was sent into exile. Overcome by exhaustion he died at Comana in Pontus on 14 September 407. Because of his sermons and writings to explain the faith and to encourage the practice of Christian life he was called John of the Golden Mouth.
Under the old calender, his feast day was 27 January.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Nativity of Our Lady

Giotto's painting "Birth of Mary"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Novena for the visit of the Holy Father

It's not long now until the Holy Father arrives. In fact he'll be in Scotland in just 10 days meaning the novena for the success of his trip starts today.

This is from The Catholic Herald:

Parish novenas for the Pope’s upcoming visit to Britain begin today.

The Magnificat booklet of liturgies and events recommends a brief time of silent prayer followed by the prayer of preparation after Mass for the success of the visit, nine days before the visit. There is a more extended version which suggests using readings taken from the lectionary and divine office sections for the Chair of Peter and the feast of St Peter and St Paul or to simply use readings from chapters 14 to 17 of the Gospel of St John.

As another alternative, the book recommends that faithful prepare for the papal visit with evening prayer from the Divine Office or Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass.

The prayer of Preparation follows here:

God of truth and love, your Son, Jesus Christ, stands as the light to all who seek you with a sincere heart.
As we strive with your grace to be faithful in word and deed, may we reflect the kindly light of Christ and offer a witness of hope and peace to all.
We pray for Pope Benedict and look forward with joy to his forthcoming visit to our countries. May he be a witness to the unity and hope which is your will for all people.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.
Our Lady, Mother of the Church pray for us.
St Andrew pray for us.
St George pray for us.
St David pray for us

To access the full Magnificat booklet online, go to the papal visit website to download it.

"Catholic" charities

Fr Philip Neri Powell at Domine, da mihi hanc aquam has had two snippets on "Catholic" charities over the last few days.

Have a look here where he suggests we should start again and paragraph 4 of this post.

It's probably worth mentioning that CAFOD is the English and Welsh "version" of Caritas International.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New blog

If you don't laugh, you'll cry!

Extra-Ordinary Monkeys

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oh dear!

Whenever I begin to moderate my feelings towards the Bishops Conference of England and Wales, they do something so spectacularly obtuse that it's back to square one. Every time. Without fail. This time it's a cracker.

The monstrosity that is the sanctuary for the beatification Mass for John Henry Card. Newman.


The Fishal website

Saturday, August 28, 2010

St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Yesterday we had the feast day of St Monica. Today we celebrate the feast of her son, St Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

The life of Augustine is well documented. He was born at Thagaste, in present day Algeria, in 354 and raised as a Christian by his mother but left the Church as young man, becoming first a Manichaean, then a Neoplatonist. He took a concubine (whom he later abandoned for an arranged marriage - which never took place) and fathered a son, Adeodatus. After a distinguished academic career at Carthage, Rome and Milan, he was drawn back to Christianity and was baptised in 387.

Returning to Africa, he sold his possessions and gave the money to the poor. He was ordained to the priesthood in 391 and made coadjutator Bishop of Hippo in 395, becoming Bishop in 396, a position he held until his death 34 years later in 430.

Augustine was a prolific writer, including copious apologetic works and texts on doctrine and against the various heresies of his day. His best known work is certainly his Confessions.

As an aside, Thagaste remains a titular see today, with Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Rwanda, the current holder of the see.

Friday, August 27, 2010

St Monica

27 August is the feast day of St Monica, mother of St Augustine. From Universalis:

She was born at Thagaste in Africa of a Christian family. She was married young, to Patricius, and among her children was Augustine. He had a brilliant intellect and uncertain morals and his wayward spiritual career saw him at one time a Manichee and then a Neoplatonist. With many tears she prayed unceasingly to God for his conversion and her prayers were answered shortly before she died. She had a deep faith and outstanding virtue and is a wonderful example of a Christian mother.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Official prayer of preparation for the Papal visit

God of truth and love,
your Son, Jesus Christ, stands as the light
to all who seek you with a sincere heart.
As we strive with your grace
to be faithful in word and deed,
may we reflect the kindly light of Christ
and offer a witness of hope and peace to all.
We pray for Pope Benedict
and look forward with joy
to his forthcoming visit to our countries.
May he be a witness to the unity and hope
which is your will for all people.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church - pray for us
St Andrew - pray for us
St George - pray for us
St David - pray for us 


Friday, August 20, 2010

Good old Sharia law

And the really scary part is the liberals in Europe and America who love to preach to us about "the relion of peace" or "it's only a minority of extremists" and who see no problem with Sharia as a system. Even in this report the suggestion is there that this barbaric behaviour is some kind of unusal or occasional occurence in Sharia - aye right.

From The Guardian:

A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals whether they would punitively damage a man's spinal cord after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralysing him, local newspapers reported today.

Saudi Arabia enforces strict sharia law and occasionally metes out punishments based on the ancient code of an eye for an eye.

Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralysed after a fight more than two years ago, and asked a judge to impose an equivalent punishment on his attacker under sharia law, reports said.

The newspaper Okaz said the judge in northwestern Tabuk province, identified as Saoud bin Suleiman al-Youssef, asked at least two hospitals for a medical opinion on whether surgeons could render the attacker's spinal cord nonfunctional.

The attacker, who was not identified, has spent seven months in jail. The reports cited the letter of response from one of the hospitals and the victim.

Two of the hospitals involved and the court were closed for the Saudi weekend beginning today and could not be reached for comment.

Okaz reported that a leading hospital in Riyadh – King Faisal specialist hospital – said that it would not do the operation. The article quoted a letter from the hospital saying "inflicting such harm is not possible", apparently refusing on ethical grounds.

The story was also reported by Saudi English-language paper Arab News, though neither paper carried any response from a second hospital that reportedly received the request, King Khaled hospital in Tabuk province.

Sharia law in Saudi Arabia allows defendants to ask for a similar punishment to harms inflicted on them. Cutting off the hands of thieves, for example, is common.

Under the law, the victim can receive blood money to settle the case.

Human rights group say trials in Saudi Arabia fall far below international standards. They usually take place behind closed doors and without adequate legal representation.

Those who are sentenced to death are often not informed of the progress of legal proceedings against them, or of the date of execution until the morning on which they are taken out and beheaded.

The headless body can then be crucified in a public place as a way to set an example, according to the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has been trying to clamp down on extremist ideology, including unauthorised clerics issuing odd religious decrees.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Harriett the Horrid, and Horrid Hymns

Damian Thompson has this piece on his blog today.

Here's a taster:

There was no way the organisers of the papal visit could have protected Pope Benedict XVI from a “courtesy call” by the Acting Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman. That detail was confirmed today and I guess it’s just one of those things. The poor man.

Also confirmed today: the music for the Hyde Park Vigil on Saturday September 18 – and it’s a victory for the cloth-eared philistines of the Bishops’ Conference.

Everything from from the awful "Shine, Jesus, Shine" to (Protestant) Taizé "chant" with precious little in between.

How Tantum Ergo managed to slip in we'll never know!

And as for the Holy Father being subjected to that poisonous creature Harperson...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Can I hitch a ride?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No comment

Got my son an iPhone for his birthday the other week, and recently got my  daughter an iPod for hers, and was dead chuffed when the family clubbed together and bought me an iPad for father’s day.Got my wife an iRon for her  birthday.  

It was around then the fight started......

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

St Laurence, Deacon and Martyr

Saint Laurence was one of the seven deacons martyred during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian in 258. 10 August is his feast day. The breviary entry about him says:

Laurence was one of the seven deacons of the Church of Rome and was executed on 10th August 258, four days after Sixtus II and his companions. By now, few of the facts of his life are known for certain: he was probably a Spaniard from Toledo.

A basilica was built over Laurence’s tomb fifty years after his death, by the Emperor Constantine, and the anniversary of his martyrdom was kept as a solemn feast – with considerably more solemnity than that of Pope Sixtus II (we do not know why). By the sixth century, it was one of the most important feasts throughout much of western Christendom. His name occurs (with Sixtus’s) in the Roman Canon of the Mass.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Remarkable photographs

Have a look at these amazing photos here.

Basically what the photographer has done is source a lot of old photos from 1941, then gone out and taken new photos from the same positions, same perspectives, etc, and photoshopped them together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saint Joachim and Saint Anne

Today is the memorial of the parents of our Lady, Saints Joachim and Anne. As the breviary note about them says:

An old tradition going back to the second century gives these names to the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The veneration of Saint Anne dates from the sixth century in the East and spread throughout the West in the tenth century; that of Saint Joachim is more recent.
Tradition has it that Saints Joachim and Anne were childless until Saint Joachim went into the desert for fasting and penance for forty days. Angels then appeared to both saints promising them a child. Joachim returned to Jerusalem meeting Anne at the city gate.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just because

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Seraphic Doctor and St Swithun

Today is the memorial of the great Franciscan, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, St Bonaventure. From Universalis we see:

He was born at Bagnoregio in Etruria in about 1218. He became a Franciscan in 1243 and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Paris. He became a famous teacher and philosopher, part of the extraordinary intellectual flowering of the 13th century. He was a friend and colleague of St Thomas Aquinas.
  At this time the friars were still a new and revolutionary force in the Church, and their radical embracing of poverty and rejection of institutional structures raised suspicion and opposition from many quarters. Bonaventure defended the Franciscan Order and, after he was elected general of the order in 1255, he ruled it with wisdom and prudence. He is regarded as the second founder of the Order.
  He declined the archbishopric of York in 1265 but was made cardinal bishop of Albano in 1273, dying a year later in 1274 at the Council of Lyons, at which the Greek and Latin churches were (briefly) reconciled.
  Bonaventure wrote extensively on philosophy and theology, making a permanent mark on intellectual history; but he always insisted that the simple and uneducated could have a clearer knowledge of God than the wise.
  He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V.

In our diocese it is also the memorial of St Swithun, the Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester who died in 862. Probably the most well known thing about St Swithun is the folk lore that says whatever the weather may be on St Swithun's Day is the what the weather will be for the next forty days.
St Swithun's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain no more
As it's pretty grim today, I think I'll take the view it's all an old wifes tale!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vuvuzelas - annoying people for thousands of years

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Sash My Father Wore

Something completely different in celebration of "the Glorious 12th"


Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Devil would take a terrible beating in there


Update: Well so much for that then. Oh well

In 1982:

  •  Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest
  • German football side Bayern Munich lost in the final of the European Cup / Champions League
  • The (West) German side won the World Cup
In 2010:
  • Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest
  • Bayern Munich lost in the final of the European Cup / Champions League
  •  Three out of three?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

St Maria Goretti

St Maria Goretti was a 12 year old Virgin and Martyr. Today is her memorial.

The breviary note about her says, simply:
Born at Ancona in Italy of a poor family in the year 1890. She spent her childhood near Nettuno in poverty, helping her mother in the domestic chores. She was a religious girl and much given to prayer. In the year 1902, while defending her chastity against a man attempting to violate her, she preferred to die rather than give way, and was repeatedly stabbed with a knife.
She was canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

More on Wikipedia here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The First Martyrs of the See of Rome

30 June is the memorial of The First Martyrs of the See of Rome. We do not know the names of those martyrs, nor do we know their number. The breviary entry for today says about them:
In the first persecution against the Church, that of the Emperor Nero, after the City of Rome had been burnt in the year 64, many of the faithful suffered death after terrible tortures. Testimony to their deaths is found in the writings of the pagan Tacitus (Annales, 15, 44) as well as in the letter to the Corinthians of Pope Saint Clement (cap. 5-6)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saints Peter and Paul

29 June is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

What fairer light is this than time itself doth own
The golden day with beams more radiant than brightening?
The princes of God's church this feast day doth enthrone,
To sinners heavenward bound their burden lightening.

One taught mankind its creed, one guards the heavenly gate.
Founders of Rome, they bind the world in loyalty;
One by the sword achieved, one by the cross his fate;
With laurelled brows they hold eternal royalty.

Rejoice, O Rome, this day; thy walls they once did sign
With princely blood, who now their glory share with thee.
What city's vesture glows with crimson deep as thine?
What beauty else has earth that may compare with thee?

Anniversary of Ordination

Today, 29 June, is the anniversary of the ordination of Pope Benedict XVI. He was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 1951.

 Pope Benedict on the day of his ordination. He is the one on the far right. h/t Cultural Catholic

Thursday, June 24, 2010

His name is John

So wrote the mute Zachary when those around would not listen to Elizabeth when she said the child was to be called John.

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father but his mother said in reply,
"No. He will be called John."
But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name."
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote,
"His name is John" and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.
Luke 1:59-64
Happy Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ss John Fisher and Thomas More

Today is the feast day of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, martyred in the fallout over Henry VIII's desirre for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

St John Fisher was Bishop of Rochester and Chancellor of Cambridge University. He was created a cardinal while awaiting execution and remains the only member of the College of Cardinals to suffer martyrdom.

St Thomas More was a lawyer and Lord Chancellor of England.

Ultimately, both men were executed as a result of their obedience to the Pope, and their refusal to acknowledge Henry as head of the Church in England.

On a note of enormous irony both men are recognised as saints by the Anglican Church.

Monday, June 21, 2010

St Aloysius Gonzaga

21 June is the memorial of St Aloysius Gonzaga. The breviary note about him says:

Born in the year 1568 near Mantua in Lombardy, of the noble family of Castiglione. He was brought up piously by his mother and had a vocation to the religious life. He resigned his birthright to his brother and at Rome entered the Society of Jesus. While working among the sick in a hospital he was stricken by the plague and died in the year 1591.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do you know Pope Benedict?

I think this is really, really good

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Papal visit to the UK

There is a new, unofficial, website for the visit of the Holy Father to the UK.

Have a look at it, and bookmark it, HERE.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Andrea Bocelli tells a "little story" about abortion

h/t: Teresamerica

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

May Thy Heart dwell always in our hearts!
May Thy Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls!
O sun of our hearts, Thou givest life to all things by the rays of Thy goodness!
I will not go until Thy Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus!
May the Heart of Jesus be the King of my heart!
Blessed be God. Amen.

(Prayer to the Sacred Heart by Saint Francis De Sales)


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The strange tale of a murdered bishop and the Religion of Peace

The sad story of Bishop Luigi Padovese murdered by stabbing in Turkey keeps getting weirder.

Initially we were told that the murder had nothing to do with Islamist extremism. The suggestion was that the murderer who was the Bishop's driver was "depressed".

Then yesterday suggestions started emerging that Islamism may well have been a factor after all. Reports appeared saying the Bishop was stabbed numerous times, including 8 times in the heart, and then decapitated. Witnesses said the killer, Murat Altun, followed up the murder by climbing on the roof of the house shouting: "I killed the great Satan! Allah Akbar! "

This morning CNA really ups the ante in this report claiming the Turkish Government knew Altun was unstable and knew "he had embraced the fundamentalist cause". An astounding claim is made that +Padovese cancelled his planned trip to Cyprus to see Pope Benedict because he feared Altun, who was due to join the Bishop on the trip, might attack the Holy Father.

This story seems set to run.

RIP + Luigi Padovese

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko

Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko, Polish priest and martyr was beatified today in Warsaw in the presence of 120 bishops and over 1600 priests! His 90 year old mother was there to take part in the celebration.

Blessed Fr Jerzy, pray for us.

This video is in Polish but you'll get the idea.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Habemus Papam

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
Habemus Papam!
Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum Iosephum,
Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Ratzinger,
Qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictus XVI.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

When norms are optional?

There is a very interesting post on the A Minor Friar blog on the all too common malady of the norms for the liturgy being ignored and optional elements becoming, in effect, the norms.

Brother Charles writes:

.... the use of illicit matter for Mass is praised as 'greater attention to symbol.' The use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion while clerics are readily available is praised as 'inclusive.' Elements which are normative on certain days, like the Gloria or the Creed, are omitted according to personal taste. ...*snip*...

On the other hand, while it's o.k. and even praised to ignore norms, it's not o.k. to question certain options. In some cases, one may not even raise a question about how certain options seem to have hardened into unassailable norms; e.g. the offering of Mass versus populum or in translation, or of replacing the actual texts of the Mass with songs and metrical hymns. These options for the celebration of Mass have become such de facto norms that a lot of people, including priests, don't remember that they are options and might not even believe you when you tell them. ...
 The whole post is worth a read - you can find it here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Saints Marcellinus and Peter

Saints Marcellinus and Peter the Exorcist were martyred in 304. Today is their memorial and we read in the breviary:

The account of the death of these two martyrs, who died in the persecution of Diocletian, comes from Pope Damasus who in turn obtained it from the executioner. The were beheaded in a wood and then buried in the cemetery called The Two Laurels on the Via Labicana. When peace came to the Church a basilica was erected over their tomb.
More info here (Wiki entry) and here (Catholic Encyclopedia).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

St Justin, Martyr

1 June is the memorial of St Justin, Martyr, a significant early apologist.

In the anonymous Acts of the martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companion saints, which was written shortly after Justin's martyrdom in the year 165 we read:

The saints were seized and brought before the prefect of Rome, whose name was Rusticus. As they stood before the judgement seat, Rusticus the prefect said to Justin: "Above all, have faith in the gods and obey the emperors." Justin said: "We cannot be accused or condemned for obeying the commands of our Saviour, Jesus Christ."

Rusticus said: "What system of teaching do you profess?" Justin said: "I have tried to learn about every system, but I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians, though these are not approved by those who are held fast by error."

The prefect Rusticus said: "Are those doctrines approved by you, wretch that you are?" Justin said: "Yes, for I follow them with their correct teaching."

The prefect Rusticus said: "What sort of teaching is that?" Justin said: "Worship the God of the Christians. We hold him to be from the beginning the one creator and maker of the whole creation, of things seen and things unseen. We worship also the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was foretold by the prophets as the future herald of salvation for the human race and the teacher of distinguished disciples. For myself, since I am a human being, I consider that what I say is insignificant in comparison with his infinite godhead. I acknowledge the existence of a prophetic power, for the one I have just spoken of as the Son of God was the subject of prophecy. I know that the prophets were inspired from above when they spoke of his coming among men."

Rusticus said: "You are a Christian, then?" Justin said: "Yes, I am a Christian."

The prefect said to Justin: "You are called a learned man and think that you know what is true teaching. Listen: if you were scourged and beheaded, are you convinced that you would go up to heaven?" Justin said: "I hope that I shall enter God’s house if I suffer that way. For I know that God’s favour is stored up until the end of the whole world for all who have lived good lives."

The prefect Rusticus said: "Do you have an idea that you will go up to heaven to receive some suitable rewards?" Justin said: "It is not an idea that I have; it is something I know well and hold to be most certain."

The prefect Rusticus said: "Now let us come to the point at issue, which is necessary and urgent. Gather round then and with one accord offer sacrifice to the gods." Justin said: "No one who is right thinking stoops from true worship to false worship."

The prefect Rusticus said: "If you do not do as you are commanded you will be tortured without mercy." Justin said: "We hope to suffer torment for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so be saved. For this will bring us salvation and confidence as we stand before the more terrible and universal judgement - seat of our Lord and Saviour."

In the same way the other martyrs also said: "Do what you will. We are Christians; we do not offer sacrifice to idols."

The prefect Rusticus pronounced sentence, saying: "Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the command of the emperor be scourged and led away to suffer capital punishment according to the ruling of the laws." Glorifying God, the holy martyrs went out to the accustomed place. They were beheaded, and so fulfilled their witness of martyrdom in confessing their faith in their Saviour.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The sin within

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No always means no

Well not always according to this story from The National Catholic Register.

No means no, except maybe when you’re talking to abortionist Abraham Hodari.
The abortionist in Michigan is being sued for allegedly forcing an abortion after the woman changed her mind and asked him to stop. The abortionist even reportedly instructed assistants to hold the woman down while he completed the abortion.
The whole story and a video news report is here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Pope's revenge!

I've just seen an article which appeared in The Telegraph this past Saturday, describing the appointment of ++ Jose Gomez as Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles as "...the Pope's revenge on Hollywood for filming The Da Vinci Code."

While that really is a pretty cool thought, I suspect the Holy Father had deeper reasons for replacing Roger Cardinal Mahoney with an orthodox shepherd!

The orginal article is here with a h/t to Is Anybody There?

St Philip Neri

26 May is the memorial of St Philip Neri.

The breviary says about him:
Born in Florence in the year 1515. He came to Rome and began to devote himself to work among the young men, while at the same time he led a Christian life and formed a brotherhood to look after the sick poor. In 1551 he became a priest and formed the Oratory in which he held services consisting of spiritual readings and hymns, as well as performing charitable works. He was outstanding for love of his neighbour, and evangelical simplicity and joyfulness in the service of God. He died in the year 1595.
More at his Catholic Encyclopedia entry here and his Wiki here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The war in Heaven

Friday, May 21, 2010

Abortions R Us

Giles Pinnock at One Timothy four blog has a good commentary on Channel 4 taking blood money from the abortionists at Marie Stopes.

He also has 5 good suggestions:

1) Sign the petition against the Channel 4 abortion advert.
2) Contact Channel 4 in advance and after the ads are screened to protest:
Channel 4 Enquiries
PO Box 1058
BT 1 9DU
Phone: (44) (0) 845 076 0191
Email using the webform page
3) Complain to the Advertising Standards Authority, the web site of which carries this rather mealy-mouthed statement.
4) Join the Society of the Protection of Unborn Children.
5) Contribute to and promote the work of LIFE, a charity which offers free, confidential information, counselling and support for women contemplating abortion, suffering after pregnancy loss or struggling to cope after abortion, and can can also provide financial and practical help and support before and after birth.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The cult of Moloch continues to grow

More evidence that our society is broken to the point of destruction comes today with the news that Channel 4 will be taking blood money from the eugenicists and child killers at Marie Stopes to show abortion adverts on television.

It's sickening that the Marie Stopes organisation, which already makes £30 million a year from the British taxpayer for it's part in the ongoing genocide, can advertise it's "services" on a publically funded broadcaster.

Truly the gates of hell have been flung open by Satan and as a society we continue to rush headlong towards him.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some thoughts on the new translation and the South African experience

St Malachy and his family are just back from an extended holiday in South Africa.

The new English translation of the Missal is already (partially) in use in that country and I understand it's been a rough ride.

During our holiday we had the opportunity of attending Mass at two different parishes over 5 weeks, including the Easter Triduum. Also, St Malachy went to a number of week days Masses at both parishes. Our experiences at the two parishes (which are probably less than 5 miles apart) could not have been more different.

In parish number one it was evident before the greeting was over that the new translation was very much partially in use! I'd say the response to the greeting was a 50/50 split between "And also with you" and the new "And with your spirit". The Confiteor could best be described as interesting with most people having sinned through their own fault with a smaller number having greatly sinned through their threefold fault! And so it went on including use of the present translation of "pro multis" in the words of consecration as "...for all".

On the other hand, in parish number two, the new translation was very much in use. The responses of the people were clear and confident. The entire experience was utterly different. Incidentally parish 2 also seems a more welcoming place (although that's a very subjective view).

So what was the underlying reason for the difference between the two parishes? I would say two things:
1. Catechism - it was evident in parish 2 that the people had some explanation of the reason for the changes; and
2. The attitude of the parish priest. Clearly in parish 1 the priest - incidentally an important man in the diocese - is of the "What if we just said wait" variety.

I suspect we have interesting times ahead!