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Dominica III Adventus

THE OLD ROMAN Vol. II Issue XV W/C 13th December 2020

The Third Sunday of Advent

WELCOME to this fifteenth edition of Volume II of “The Old Roman” a weekly dissemination of news, views and information for and from around the world reflecting the experience and life of 21C “Old Romans” i.e. western Orthodox Catholics across the globe.
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The Old Roman View
One of the customs that sets Old Romans apart from other would-be Latin Rite Catholics is our observance of the four Embertides in the liturgical year. Four times a year the Church sets aside three days to reflect upon and thank God for His divine providence made manifest in His creation. These quarterly periods take place around the changing of the four natural seasons and are known as "Embertide" and "Ember Days," or Quatuor Tempora, in Latin.

Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:

Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia
Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.


Which means:

Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost,
are when the quarter holidays follow.


The Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Gaudete Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent) are known as "Advent Embertide," and they come near the beginning of the Season of Winter (December, January, February). Liturgically, the readings for the days’ Masses express the general themes of Advent, opening with Wednesday’s Introit from Isaiah 45: 8 and Psalm 18:2:

"Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior. The heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands."

Wednesday’s and Saturday’s Masses will include one and four Lessons, respectively, with all of them concerning the words of the Prophet Isaiah except for the last lesson on Saturday, which comes from Daniel and recounts how Sidrach, Misach, and Abdenago are saved from King Nabuchodonosor’s fiery furnace by an angel. This account, which is followed by a glorious hymn, is common to all Embertide Saturdays except for Whit Embertide.

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for the ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Winter is a time of reflection, when human activity is stilled and snow blankets the world with silence. For the Christian, Winter symbolizes Hope: though the world now appears lifeless and makes us think of our own mortality, we hope in our resurrection because of the Resurrection of the One Whose Nativity we await now. How providential that the Christ Child will be born at the beginning of this icy season, bringing with Him all the hope of Spring! Also among our Winter feasts are the Epiphany and Candlemas, two of the loveliest days of the year, the first evoked by water, incense, and gold; the latter by fire...

Despite the typical, unimaginative view of Winter as a long bout with misery, the season is among the most beautiful and filled with charms. The ephemeral beauty of a single snowflake... the pale blue tint of sky reflected in snow that glitters, and gives way with a satisfying crunch under foot... skeletal trees entombed in crystal, white as bones, cold as death, creaking under the weight of their icy shrouds... the wonderful feeling of being inside, next to a fire, while the winds whirl outside... the smell of burning wood mingled with evergreen... warm hands embracing your wind-bitten ones... the brilliant colours of certain winter birds, so shocking against the ocean of white... the wonderfully long nights which lend themselves to a sense of intimacy and quiet! Go outside and look at the clear Winter skies ruled by Taurus, with the Pleiades on its shoulder and Orion nearby... Such beauty!

Even if you are not a "winter person," consider that Shakespeare had the right idea when he wrote in "Love's Labours Lost":

Why should proud summer boast
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.


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THE LITURGY
ORDO w/c Sunday 13th December 2020
    OFFICE   N.B.
13.12 S THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Com. Day VI Conception Octave
(V/Rosa) Missa “Gaudéte in Dómino
priv 2a) Oct. Conception
3a) for The Church
noGl.Cr.Pref.Trinity.BD
14.12 M St Lucy of Syracuse VM [Trans']
Com. Day VII Conception Octave
Com. Feria II of Advent III 
(R) Missa “Dilexisti
d 2a) Conception
3a) Advent III
Gl.Cr.Pref.Common.
15.12 T OCTAVE DAY OF THE CONCEPTION
Com. Feria III of Advent II
(W) Missa “Salve Sancta
d 2a) Advent III
Gl.Cr.Pref.BVM.

Missal Supplement*
16.12 W Feria IV Quattuor Temporum in Adventu
Com. St Eusebius of Vercelli BpM
Missa “Roráte, Cœlí
sd 2a) St Eusebius
3a) BVM Advent
noGl. Pref.Com.BD
17.12 T Feria III of Advent III
(V/R) Missa “Gaudéte in Dómino
Vespers Antiphon: O Sapientia
sd 2a) BVM Advent
3a) for The Church
noGl. Pref.Com.BD
18.12 F The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Com. Feria VI of Advent Embertide
(W) Missa “Rorate caeli desuper
Vespers Antiphon: O Adonai
gd 2a) Advent Ember
Gl.Cr.Pre.BVM
19.12 S Sabbato Quattuor Temporum in Adventu 
(V/R) Missa “Veni, et osténde
[Abp Mathew’s Ad Memoriam 19.XII.1919]
Vespers Antiphon: O Radix Jesse
sd

 
2a) BVM Advent
3a) for The Church
noGl.Pref.Com.BD
20.12 S THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(V) Missa “Roráte, coeli” 
Vespers Antiphon: O Clavis David
priv 2a) BVM Advent
3a) for The Church
noGl.Pref.Trinity.BD
Nota Bene
*Conception of the BVM Missal Supplement; as later editions of the Roman Missal contain propers forbidden by Canon 188 of the Codex Iuris Canonici 2017 the more ancient Mass propers are contained in the Missal Supplement.
a) the feast of St Lucy VM Dec 13th is transferred from Sunday to Monday Dec 14th
b) (V/Rosa) it is by custom usual for Rose coloured vestments to be worn this day

c) traditionally in Advent as in Lent, it was customary to only commemorate feast days i.e. the liturgy of the preceding Sunday would be repeated and the saint's day commemorated by the collect. This is certainly a commendable praxis and an option for feasts of double rank or lower at the priest's discretion. 
d) Votive Requiem Masses are not permitted in Advent.

RITUAL NOTES
From Ceremonies of the Roman Rite described by Fr Adrian Fortesque
  • The colour of the season in Advent is purple. (Unbleached candles should be used on the altar.)
  • The Gloria in excelsis at Mass and Te Deum at Matins are not said, except on feasts. (According to the general rule, when Gloria in excelsis is not said at Mass, Benedicamus Domino instead of Ite missa est concludes Mass.) But Alleluia is said in the office, as usual, and on Sundays at Mass. 
  • At Mass of the season the ministers do not wear dalmatic and tunicle, but folded chasubles, except on the third Sunday and Christmas Eve. From 17 December (O Sapientia) to Christmas, votive offices and Masses or Requiems are not allowed.
  • During Advent the altar is not to be decorated with flowers or other such ornaments; nor is the organ played at liturgical offices. But the organ may be played at non-liturgical services, such as Benediction; and it is tolerated, even at Mass, if the singers cannot sing correctly without it. In this case it should be played only to accompany the voices, not as an ornament between the singing.
  • The exceptions to this rule are the third Sunday of Advent (mid-Advent, "Gaudete") and the fourth Sunday of Lent (mid-Lent, "Laetare"). On these two days alone in the year the liturgical colour is rosy (color rosaceus).' On both the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, the altar is decorated as for feasts, 4 and the organ is played. On the week-days after the third Sunday (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), when the Mass is that of Sunday, repeated, the colour is purple, the ministers wear dalmatic and tunicle, the organ is played. The same rule applies to Christmas Eve.
KEY: A=Abbot A cunctis=of the Saints B=Bishop BD=Benedicamus Domino BVM=Blessed Virgin Mary C=Confessor Com=Commemoration Cr=Creed D=Doctor d=double d.i/ii=double of the 1st/2nd Class E=Evangelist F=Feria Gl=Gloria gr.d=greater-double (G)=Green H=Holy Heb.=Hedomadam (week) K=King M=Martyr mpal=missae pro aliquibus locis Mm=Martyrs Pent=Pentecost P=Priest PP/PostPent=Post Pentecost PLG=Proper Last Gospel Pref=Preface ProEccl=for the Church (R)=Red (Rc)=Rose-coloured s=simple s-d=semi-double Co=Companions V1=1st Vespers V=Virgin v=votive (V)=violet W=Widow (W)=white *Ob.=Obligation 2a=second oration 3a=third oration
THE LITURGICAL YEAR
by Abbot Gueranger

The Third Sunday of Advent
Today, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to lessen some what the austerity of this penitential season by the innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first, this Sunday has had the name of Gaudete given to it, from the first word of the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare. The organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-colour; the deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious mitre. How touching are all these usages, and how admirable this condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the graceful poetry of the formulae of her liturgy. Let us enter into her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent, because our Lord is now so near unto us. To-morrow we will resume our attitude of servants mourning for the absence of their Lord and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful and makes love sad.

The Station is kept in the basilica of St. Peter, at the Vatican. This august temple, which contains the tomb of the prince of the apostles, is the home and refuge of all the faithful of the world; it is but natural that it should be chosen to witness both the joy and the sadness of the Church.

The Night Office commences with a new Invitatory. The voice of the Church no longer invites the faithful to come and adore in fear and trembling the King, our Lord, who is to come. Her language assumes another character; her tone is one of gladness; and now, every day, until the Vigil of Christmas, she begins her Nocturns with these grand words: The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

O Holy Roman Church, City of our Strength! behold us thy children assembled within thy walls, around the tomb of the Fisherman, the Prince of the Apostles, whose sacred relics protect thee from their earthly shrine, and whose unchanging teaching enlightens thee from heaven. Yet, O City of strength! it is by the Savior, who is coming, that thou art strong. He is thy wall, for it is he that encircles, with his tender mercy, all thy children; he is thy bulwark, for it is by him that thou art invincible, and that all the powers of hell are powerless to prevail against thee. Open wide thy gates, that all nations may enter thee; for thou art mistress of holiness and the guardian of truth. May the old error, which sets itself against the faith, soon disappear, and peace reign over the whole fold! O Holy Roman Church! thou hast forever put thy trust in the Lord; and he, faithful to his promise, has humbled before thee the haughty ones that defiled thee, and the proud cities that were against thee. Where now are the Cæsars, who boasted that they had drowned thee in thine own blood? where the Emperors, who would ravish the inviolate virginity of thy faith? where the Heretics, who, during the past centuries of thine existence, have assailed every article of thy teaching, and denied what they listed? where the ungrateful Princes, who would fain make a slave of thee, who had made them what they were? where that Empire of Mahomet, which has so many times raged against thee, for that thou, the defenseless State, didst arrest the pride of its conquests? where the Reformers, who were bent on giving the world a Christianity, in which thou wast to have no part? where the more modern Sophists, in whose philosophy thou wast set down as a system that had been tried, and was a failure, and is now a ruin? and those Kings who are acting the tyrant over thee, and those people that will have liberty independently and at the risk of truth, where will they be in another hundred years? Gone and forgotten as the noisy anger of a torrent; while thou, O holy Church of Rome, built on the immovable rock, wilt be as calm, as young, as unwrinkled as ever. Thy path through all the ages of this world’s duration, will be right as that of the just man; thou wilt ever be the self-same unchanging Church, as thou hast been during the eighteen hundred years past, while everything else under the sun has been but change. Whence this thy stability, but from Him who is very Truth and Justice? Glory be to him in thee! Each year, he visits thee; each year, he brings thee new gifts, wherewith thou mayest go happily through thy pilgrimage; and to the end of time, he will visit thee, and renew thee, not only with the power of that look wherewith Peter was renewed, but by filling thee with himself as he did the ever glorious Virgin, who is the object of thy most tender love, after that which thou bearest to Jesus himself. We pray with thee, O Church, our Mother! and here is our prayer: Come, Lord Jesus! “Thy name and thy remembrance are the desires of our souls: they have desired thee in the night, yea, and early in the morning have they watched for thee.”

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The Ember Days of December
Today the Church begins the fast of the Quattuor Tempora, or as we call it, of the Ember Days. As we have seen, this observance is not peculiar to the Advent Liturgy; it is one which has been fixed for each of the four seasons of the ecclesiastical year. The intentions which the Church has in the fast of the Ember Days are the same as those of the Synagogue—namely, to consecrate to God by penance the four seasons of the year. The Ember Days in Advent are known in ecclesiastical antiquity as the fast of the tenth month (the ancient meaning of ‘December’); and St. Leo, in one of his sermons on this fast, of which the Church has inserted a passage into the Office of the Third Sunday of Advent, tells us that a special fast was fixed for this time of the year, because the fruits of the earth had then all been gathered in, and that it behooved Christians to testify their gratitude to God by a sacrifice of abstinence— thus rendering themselves more worthy to approach God, the more they were detached from the love of created things. “For fasting,” adds the Holy Doctor, “has ever been the nourishment of virtue. Abstinence is the source of chaste thoughts, of wise resolutions, and of salutary counsel. By voluntary mortifications, the flesh dies to its concupiscence, and the spirit is renewed in virtue. But since fasting alone is not sufficient whereby to secure the soul’s salvation, let us add to it works of mercy towards the poor. Let us make that which we retrench from indulgence, serve unto the exercise of virtue. Let the abstinence of him that fasts, become the meal of the poor man.”

Let us, the children of the Church, practice what is in our power of these admonitions; and since the actual discipline of Advent is so very mild, let us be so much the more fervent in fulfilling the precept of the fast of the Ember days. By these few exercises which are now required of us, let us keep up within ourselves the zeal of our forefathers for this holy Season of Advent. We must never forget that although the interior preparation is what is absolutely essential for our profiting by the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, yet this preparation could scarcely be real unless it manifested itself by the exterior practices of religion and penance.

The fast of the Ember Days has another object besides that of consecrating the four season of the year to God by penance: it has also in view the ordination of the ministers of the Church, which takes place on Ember Saturday, and of which notice was formerly given to the people during the Mass of Ember Wednesday. In the Church of Rome the ordination held in the month of December was, for a long time, the most solemn of all; and it would appear, from the ancient chronicles of the Popes, that, excepting very extraordinary cases, the tenth month was, for several ages, the only time for conferring Holy Orders in Rome. The faithful should unite with the Church in this Her intention, and offer to God their fasting and abstinence for the purpose of obtaining worthy ministers of the Word of God and of the Sacraments, and true pastors of the people.

The Church does not read from the prophet Isaias on Ember Wednesday; She merely reads a sentence from the first chapter of St. Luke, which gives Our Lady’s Annunciation, to which She subjoins a passage from St. Ambrose’s Homily on that Gospel. The fact of this Gospel having been chosen for the Office and the Mass of today, has made the Wednesday of the third week of Advent a very marked day in the calendar. In several ancient Ordinaries, used by many of the larger churches, both cathedral and abbatial, we find that it prescribed that feasts falling on this Wednesday should be transferred; that the ferial prayers should not be said kneeling on this day; that the Gospel Missus Est, that is, of the Annunciation, should be sung at Matins by the celebrant vested in a white cope, with cross, torches and incense, the great bell tolling the meanwhile; that in abbeys, the abbot should preach a homily to the monks, as on solemn feasts. We are indebted to this custom for the four magnificent sermons of St. Bernard on our Blessed Lady, which are entitled: Super Missus Est.

The Mass of Ember Wednesday was formerly known as the Missa Aurea—the Golden Mass— due to the capital letters in the proper of this Mass being so frequently illuminated with gold ink, in the manuscript Missals of the Middle Ages. It was the custom for a priest in a white cope to sing the Gospel, rather than the deacon vested in violet. The Station for Wednesday was at St. Mary Major, on account of the Gospel of the Annunciation, which, as we have just seen, has caused this day to be looked upon as a real Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On Ember Friday, the Church likewise reads at Matins a sentence from St. Luke’s Gospel on the Visitation, to which She subjoins a portion of St. Ambrose’s homily upon that passage. Before the institution of the Feast of the Visitation in the 14th century, the Office and Mass of this day were the chief commemoration of this Mystery in the Liturgy.

On Ember Saturday, the lessons from Isaias are interrupted on this day also; and a homily on the Gospel of the Mass is read in their place. The primitive custom, in the Roman Church, was to hold ordinations in the night between Saturday and Sunday, just as Baptism was administered to the catechumens in the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. The ceremony took place toward midnight, and Sunday morning was always far advanced before the termination; so that the Mass of Ordination was considered as the Mass of Sunday itself.

Later on discipline was relaxed, and these severe vigils were given up. The Ordination Mass, like that of Holy Saturday, was anticipated; and as the Fourth Sunday of Advent and the Second of Lent had not hitherto had a proper Gospel, since they had not a proper Mass, it was settled, about the tenth or eleventh century, that the Gospel of the Mass of Ordinations should be repeated in the special Mass of the two Sundays in question (that of the 4th Sunday of Advent being the Gospel of St. Luke concerning the mission of St. John the Baptist).
The station of this day was at St. Peter’s on account of the Ordinations. This basilica was always one of the largest of the city of Rome, and was therefore the best suited for the great concourse of the people. 


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SUNDAY MASS PROPERS

Third Sunday of Advent; Commemoration of the Octave of the Conception of the BVM: Missa “Gaudéte

On this day the Church urges us to gladness in the middle of this time of expectation and penitence: the coming of Jesus approaches more and more. This Sunday is called “Gaudete” (Rejoice) from the first word of the Introit. The whole of this Mass is filled with the sentiments of joy with which the Church wishes our souls to be filled at the approach of the Saviour. St. John, the holy precursor, announces to the Jews the coming of the Saviour. “The Saviour,” he says to them, “lives already among us, though unknown. He will soon appear openly.” Now is the time for fervent prayers and for imploring Jesus to remain with us by His mercy. Let us joyfully prepare the way for Him by repentance and penitence and by a worthy reception of the Sacraments.

The Roman Emperor Constantine had erected a Basilica on the hill of the Vatican, on the very spot where St. Peter was martyred and where his body rests. It is there that the Mass of the Third Sunday of Advent was always celebrated in Rome.

Truly we should rejoice in the Lord: Gaudéte in Dómino. This is introduced in the Introit and carried throughout today’s Mass, especially the Epistle where St. Paul tells the Philippians, “The Lord is nigh, rejoice in the Lord.” We pray this day that our faith and hope in Jesus Christ our Lord, always increase! Like St. John, Precursor of Our Lord, who announced the coming of the Messiah, telling of His majesty and greatness, we must join the Baptist in effacing ourselves before Him never be afraid to give testimony of the true Light – the Saviour of the world. At Christmas Christ will come to deliver us more and more from the bondage of sin.

INTROIT  Philippians 4: 4-6

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God.(Ps. 84: 2) Lord, Thou hast blessed Thy land: Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. v. Glory be to the Father…

COLLECT

Incline Thy ear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to our petitions: and, by the grace of Thy visitation, enlighten the darkness of our minds. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God., Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Octave of the Conception
Grant, o Lord, we beseech Thee, to thy servants, the gifts of thy heavenly grace: that as our redemption began in the delivery of the blessed Virgin, so in the solemnity of her conception, we may have an increase of peace.

Collect for God’s Holy Church
Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.

EPISTLE  Philippians 4: 4-7

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. Brethren, Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 49: 2,3, 5

Thou, O Lord, that sittest upon the cherubim, stir up Thy might and come. V. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: that leadest Joseph like a sheep. Alleluia, alleluia. V. Stir up, O Lord, Thy might, and come to save us. Alleluia.

GOSPEL John 1: 19-28

At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the Prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? He said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Isaias. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet? John answered them, saying: I baptize with water: but there hath stood one in the midst of you, whom you know not. The same is He that shall come after me, who is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 84: 2-3

Lord, Thou hast blessed Thy land: Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob: Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people.

SECRET

Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers and sacrifices of our humility: and where we lack pleading merits of our own, do Thou, by Thine aid, assist us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

Secret for the Conception Octave
May the humanity of thy only begotten son, o Lord, succour us, that he (who being born of a virgin, diminished not, but consecrated her virginity), may free us, who celebrate the festival of her conception, from our sins: and render our oblation acceptable to thee.

Secret for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.

PREFACE of the Most Holy Trinity

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Isaias 35: 4

Say, ye faint-hearted and fear not: behold our God will come, and will save us.

POSTCOMMUNION

We implore, O Lord, Thy mercy: that these divine helps may expiate our sins, and prepare us for the approaching feast. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Postcommunion for the Conception Octave
We have received, o Lord, the votive mysteries of this annual celebration; grant, we beseech thee, that they may confer upon us remedies for time and eternity.

Postcommunion for God’s Holy Church
O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.

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How are Old Roman vocations to the Sacred Ministry discerned, formed and realised? If you are discerning a vocation to the Sacred Ministry and are considering exploring the possibility of realising your vocation as an Old Roman or transferring your discernment, this is the programme for you! 
Questions are welcome and may be sent in advance to vocations@secret.fyi anonymity is assured.
MEDITATIONS FOR EVERY DAY IN THE YEAR
BY BISHOP CHALLONER
Richard Challoner (1691–1781) was an English Roman Catholic bishop, a leading figure of English Catholicism during the greater part of the 18th century. The titular Bishop of Doberus, he is perhaps most famous for his revision of the Douay–Rheims translation of the Bible.

ON THE WONDERS OF GOD IN THE INCARNATION OF HIS SON

Consider first, how after the blessed Virgin's consent, and offering herself with a profound humility, with an entire obedience and a perfect conformity to the sacred will of God, by those words: 'Behold the handmaid of the lord, be it done to me according to thy word,' Luke i. 38, the greatest of all the wonders of God, and of all his works, was immediately effected: even a Man-God, the miracle of miracles. For a human body perfect in all its parts, was formed in an instant by the Holy Ghost, out of the purest blood of the blessed Virgin, and a most excellent rational soul was at the same time created; and this body and soul were joined with and assumed by the eternal Word, the second person of the most adorable Trinity. Thus God was made man, and man was made God; and the blessed Virgin was made mother of God. Thus in her womb was celebrated that sacred wedding of our human nature with the divine person of the Son of God, to the feast of which we are invited, Matt. xxii. Thus was our humanity exalted to the very highest elevation, by being united with, and subsisting by the person of, the eternal Word, and we all in consequence of this elevation of our human nature, have also been wonderfully dignified and exalted, by being raised up to a kindred with the most high God, who by taking to himself our nature, has made us all his brothers and sisters; and by assuming our humanity has made us in some measure partakers of his divinity. O my soul, stand thou astonished at these wonders, which will be a subject of the greatest astonishment both to men and angels for all eternity! O admire and adore, praise and love, with all thy power, and with all thy affections, that infinite goodness that has wrought all these wonders out of love to thee!

Consider 2ndly, the wonders of God in all those graces and excellences which he conferred on the soul of Christ and on his sacred humanity, in the first instance of his conception, in consequence of its being united with the divine person - graces and excellences which are all immense and incomprehensible, and which exceed, without any comparison, all the rest of the wondrous works of God, and all whatsoever he has done at any time in favour of any of his saints, or of all of them put together. For God did not give to this his Son his spirit by measure, (John iii. 34,) as to the rest of his saints, but gave all things into his hands, 'and of his fullness we all receive,' John i. 16, even all grace and truth, according to the measure of his giving it to us, Eph. iv. 7. Now these graces and excellences we may reduce under the following heads: 1. An immense purity from all manner of sin or imperfection whatsoever - not as by privilege but in his own right, as being the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world. 2. The grace of sanctity, incomparable exceeding that of all the angels and saints put together; from whence he is called the holy of holies, Dan. ix., that is, the saint of all saints - the Spirit of God resting on him with all his gifts, with an incomprehensible plenitude, Isaias ii. 3. The grace of the beatific vision of the divine essence, and that in the most consummate degree, with proportionable love of the deity and job in God. 4. All the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. 5. The power of working all kinds of miracle and of raising the dead to life by his own will, with a general command over all the elements and over all nature. 6. The power of excellency in forgiving sins, converting sinners, changing their hearts, ordaining sacraments and sacrifices, and distributing amongst men graces and super-natural gifts. 7. The grace of being the perpetual head of all the church, both of heaven and earth, and the source of all blessings, gifts, and graces that either have been, are at present, or shall at any time be bestowed upon this his mystical body, or any of its members. O what subject have we here, my soul, to bless and praise the eternal Father for all these excellent gifts and graces with which he has enriched his Son, the man Christ Jesus! How ought we also to rejoice and congratulate with the sacred humanity of our Saviour on this occasion, and to give thanks without ceasing for all that share or portion of divine grace we continually derive from this overflowing fountain!

Consider 3rdly, in all these graces and excellences conferred on the humanity of Christ in his incarnation, how that of the prophet was verified, Isaias ix. 6, 'A child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.' Yes, Christians, these great titles here bestowed on your Saviour by the Spirit of God abundantly declare both the wonders that God wrought for him and those which, through his incarnation, he has wrought also for you in giving him to you; that he might be not only your Saviour, your redeemer, and your deliverer, but also your king, your lawgiver, your teacher, your model, your advocate, your physician, your friend, your high priest, and your victim, your father, and your head - in a word, the source of all your good; the way, the truth and the life, in your regard, by whom alone you can go to God. And do not all these great things, effected by the incarnation of the Son of God, show forth the power, the wisdom, the mercy, and goodness of God, with all the other divine attributes, infinitely more than any of the rest of the works of the Almighty!

Conclude to honour by a lively faith, by a serious and frequent meditation, and a sincere devotion, all those wonders of God, wrought, in the incarnation of his Son, both in favour of him and of us, and to lead henceforward such lives as become those who, by this mystery, have been so highly exalted, and brought so near to the very source of all grace and sanctity.

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14. On the glory of God in the incarnation of his Son
15. On the glory the Son of God gave his Father in his mother's womb
16. On the charity of the Son of God for us in his mother’s womb
17. On the benefits which the Son of God brings to us by his incarnation
18. On the other benefits of our Saviour to mankind by his incarnation
19. On our Saviour, as our king and our priest
20. On our Saviour as our sacrifice
A SERMON FOR SUNDAY
Revd Dr Robert Wilson PhD
Third Sunday in Advent
At that time the Jews sent priests and levites to John to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny; and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the Prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself? He said : I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaias.

Today is the Third Sunday in Advent, commonly known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means to rejoice for on this day we are rejoicing both in the witness of St. John the Baptist in anticipation of the first coming of Christ, and also in joyful expectation for the second coming of Christ when God’s kingdom will finally come on earth as it is in heaven. 
St. John the Baptist summoned the Jewish nation to repent and be baptised in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Jesus later said that among those born of women there had not arisen a greater than John, but he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. In other words, John was the last and the greatest of the prophets before the coming of the Kingdom of God in the person of Jesus. 

But how did John understand his own role? The Jewish authorities had sent representatives to ask this strange figure who he thought he was. Was he the Christ? No. The word Christ means anointed. It refers to one who would be the true successor of Israel’s greatest king, King David. David had defeated the Philistines and established Jerusalem as the capital city of the kingdom of Israel. His son Solomon had built the temple in Jerusalem and the kingdom had subsequently divided after Solomon’s death, with the kingdom of Israel in the north being conquered by the Assyrians and later that of Judah by the Babylonians. The Christ would be one who would restore the kingdom of Israel by defeating her enemies and establishing a new age of peace on earth when the wolf would dwell with the Lamb. John did not see himself in this role. He was not the Christ, but rather had been sent ahead of him to call the nation to repent and be baptised so that they were prepared for the coming of God’s kingdom.

Was he Elijah? No. He did not see himself in this role either. Elijah was the prophet who in the days of compromise and apostasy in the reign of king Ahab had called the nation to repent and no longer bow the knee to Baal, but return to the original purpose of God’s covenant with Israel. Subsequently, the Jews looked forward to another figure like Elijah, who would be the forerunner of the last things. He would, as the prophet Malachi put it, turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. He would be the restorer prior to the end. It may seem strange at first sight that John should deny that he was Elijah when that was what Jesus would later say he was. But, though Jesus later said that John was the Elijah who was to come, John himself in his humility saw himself simply as the voice of one crying in the wilderness to prepare for the coming of God’s kingdom. 

Was he the Prophet? No. Moses, to whom God spoke face to face as a man speaks to a friend, had led the people from slavery in Egypt through the wilderness, where he received the Law on Mount Sinai. The Jews looked forward to the coming of a prophet like Moses who would more clearly reveal God’s will for his people and inaugurate a new covenant between God and man, which would be written not on tablets of stone, but in the hearts of men. John did not see himself in this role either. He was not himself the agent of God’s final deliverance but rather had been sent ahead of him. He was the voice of one crying in the wilderness to prepare the way for the coming of the Kingdom of God. 

Why then did he baptise, if he was not the Christ, not Elijah, nor the Prophet? John answered that he baptised with water for repentance, but the one who comes after him would baptise with the Holy Spirit. He was one the latchet of whose shoe John was not worthy to loose, one who was already among them, whom they did not know, who though he came after him, was preferred before him. He would be the agent of God’s final deliverance, the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world, the bridegroom in whose presence he was content to stand. He must increase that John might decrease. John was simply the voice of one crying in the wilderness to prepare for his coming.

It was precisely because he knew the limitations of his own role that John could rejoice. He might seem at first sight not the type of person we would associate with rejoicing, an austere and disturbing figure who challenged the nation to either repent and be baptised or face judgement. But he could rejoice because he had fulfilled his vocation within salvation history. Though John had denied that he was a prophet or Elijah Jesus would later say that in fact John was a prophet and more than a prophet. Indeed, among those born of women there had not arisen a greater than John, but he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 

As John rejoiced to bear witness before the first coming of the Messiah, so St. Paul rejoiced to bear witness to the second coming of the Messiah. Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitious: but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh
Awake, and hearken for he brings
Glad tidings of the King of Kings

Then cleansed be every breast from sin 
Make straight the way for God within
Prepare we in our hearts a home
Where such a mighty guest may come

For thou art our salvation, Lord
Our refuge, and our great reward 
Without thy grace we waste away
Like flowers that wither and decay

All praise, eternal Son, to thee
Whose advent doth thy people free
Who with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost for evermore
THIS WEEK'S FEASTS
& COMMEMORATIONS
Saint Lucy of Syracuse
December 13 Virgin and Martyr († 303)

Saint Lucy was a young Christian maiden of Syracuse in Sicily. She had already offered her virginity to God and refused to marry, when her mother pressed her to accept the offer of a young pagan. The mother was afflicted afterwards for several years by an issue of blood, and all human remedies were ineffectual. Lucy reminded her mother that a woman in the Gospel, suffering from the same disorder, had been healed by the divine power. They determined to make a journey to Catania, a port of Sicily, where the tomb of Saint Agatha, martyred in 251, was already a site of pilgrimage. Saint Agatha, Lucy said, stands ever in the sight of Him for whom she died. Only touch her sepulchre with faith, and you will be healed. The Saint of Catania had already saved that city, when Mount Etna had erupted the year after her martyrdom: some frightened pagans, seeing a course of lava descending directly toward the city, had uncovered her tomb, and at once it had stopped.

Saint Lucy and her mother spent an entire night praying by the tomb, until, overcome by weariness, both fell asleep. Saint Agatha appeared in vision to Saint Lucy, and addressing her sister in the faith, foretold her mother's recovery and Lucy's future martyrdom: You will soon be the glory of Syracuse, as I am of Catania. At that instant the cure was effected; and in her gratitude the mother allowed her daughter to distribute her wealth among the poor, and to conserve her virginity.

The young man who had sought her hand in marriage denounced her as a Christian during the persecution of Diocletian, but Our Lord, by a special miracle, saved from outrage this virgin He had chosen for His own. The executioners who would have taken her to a house of ill fame were unable to move her. The exasperated prefect gave orders to attach her by cords to harnessed bulls, but the bulls, too, did not succeed, and he accused her of being a magician. How can you, a feeble woman, triumph over a thousand men? She replied, Bring ten thousand, and they will not be able to combat against God! A fire kindled around her did her no harm, though she was covered with resin and oil. When a sword was plunged into her heart, the promise made at the tomb of Saint Agatha was fulfilled. Saint Lucy died, predicting peace for the Church.

Reflection: The Saints had to bear sufferings and temptations greater far than any of ours. How did they overcome them? By the love of Christ. Nourish this pure love by meditating on the mysteries of Christ's life; and, above all, by devotion to the Holy Eucharist, which is the antidote against sin and the pledge of eternal life.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14; Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, by Abbé L. Jaud (Mame: Tours, 1950).

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Saint Eusebius of Vercelli
December 16 Bishop († 370)

Saint Eusebius was born of a noble family on the island of Sardinia, where his father is said to have died in prison for the Faith. He was brought up in Rome in the practice of piety, and studied in Vercelli, a city of Piedmont. Eusebius was ordained a priest there, and served the Church of Vercelli with such zeal that when the episcopal chair became vacant he was unanimously chosen, by both clergy and people, to fill it.

The holy bishop saw that the best and principal means to labor effectually for the edification and sanctification of his people was to have a zealous clergy. Saint Ambrose assures us that he was the first bishop who in the West united the monastic life with the clerical, living and having his clergy live almost like the monks of the East in the deserts. They shared a common life of prayer and penance, in a single residence, that of the bishop, as did the clergy of Saint Augustine in his African see. Saint Eusebius was very careful to instruct his flock in the maxims of the Gospel. The force of the truth which he preached, together with his example, brought many sinners to a change of life.

When a Council was held in Italy, under the influence of the Emperor Constans and the Arian heretics, with the intention of condemning Saint Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, Saint Eusebius courageously resisted the heretics. He attempted to have all present sign the Nicene Creed, but the paper was torn out of his hands and his pen was broken. With Saint Dionysus of Milan, he refused to sign the condemnation of the bishop of Alexandria. The Emperor therefore had him banished to Scythopolis in Palestine with Saint Dionysus of Milan, then to Cappadocia, where Saint Dionysus died; and finally he was taken to the Upper Thebaid in Egypt, where he suffered grievously. The Arians of these places loaded him with outrages and treated him cruelly, and Saint Eusebius confounded them wherever they were.

At the death of Constans in 361, he was permitted to return to his diocese, where he continued to combat Arianism, concertedly with Saint Hilarion of Poitiers. He has been called a martyr in two panegyrics appended to the works of Saint Ambrose. Two of his letters, written from his dungeons, are still extant, the only ones of his writings which have survived. One is addressed to his church, the other to the bishop of Elvira to encourage him to oppose a fallen heretic and not fear the power of princes. He died in about the year 370. His relics are in a shrine in the Cathedral of Vercelli.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14
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Saint Olympia of Constantinople
December 17 Widow & Deaconess († 440)

Saint Olympia, the glory of the widows in the Eastern Church, was born of a noble and illustrious family. Left an orphan at a tender age, she was brought up by Theodosia, sister of Saint Amphilochius, a virtuous and prudent woman. At the age of eighteen, Olympias was regarded as a model of Christian virtues. It was then that she was married to Nebridius, a young man worthy of her; the new spouses promised one another to live in perfect continence. After less than two years of this angelic union, Nebridius went to receive in heaven the reward of his virtues.

The Emperor would have engaged her in a second marriage, but she replied: If God had destined me to live in the married state, He would not have taken my first spouse. The event which has broken my bonds shows me the way Providence has traced for me. She had resolved to consecrate her life to prayer and penance, and to devote her fortune to the poor. She liberated all her slaves, who nonetheless wished to continue to serve her, and she administered her fortune as a trustee for the poor. The farthest cities, islands, deserts and poor churches found themselves blessed through her liberality.

Nectarius, Archbishop of Constantinople, had a high esteem for the saintly widow and made her a deaconess of his church. The duties of deaconesses were to prepare the altar linens and instruct the catechumens of their sex; they aided the priests in works of charity, and they made a vow of perpetual chastity. When Saint John Chrysostom succeeded Nectarius, he had for Olympias no less respect than his predecessor, and through her aid he built a hospital for the sick and refuges for the elderly and orphans. When he was exiled in the year 404, he continued to encourage her in her good works by his letters, and she assisted him to ransom some of his fellow captives.

Saint Olympia, as one of his supporters, was persecuted. When she refused to deal with the usurper of the episcopal see, she was mistreated and calumniated, and her goods were sold at a public auction. Finally she, too, was banished with the entire community of nuns which she governed in Constantinople. Her illnesses added to her sufferings, but she never ceased her good works until her death in the year 410. She outlived the exiled Patriarch by about two or three years.

Reflection: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, but in heaven, where neither rust nor moth consume. (Words of Our Lord: Saint Matthew 6:20)

The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Principal Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler (Metropolitan Press: Baltimore, 1845), October-December, Vol. IV
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Expectation of the BVM
December 18 
This feast, which in recent times has been kept not only throughout the whole of Spain, but also in many other parts of the Catholic world, owes its origin to the bishops of the 10th Council of Toledo, in 656. These prelates thought that there was an incongruity in the ancient practice of celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation on the 25th of March, inasmuch as this joyful solemnity frequently occurs at the time when the Church is intent upon the Passion of Our Lord, so that it is sometimes obliged to be transferred into Easter time, with which it is out of harmony for another reason. They therefore decreed that, henceforth, in the Church of Spain there should be kept, eight days before Christmas, a solemn Feast with an octave, in honor of the Annunciation, and as a preparation for the great solemnity of Our Lord’s Nativity. In the course of time, however, the Church of Spain saw the necessity of returning to the practice of the Church of Rome and of the whole world, which solemnize the 25th of March as the day of Our Lady’s Annunciation and the Incarnation of the Son of God. But such had been, for ages, the devotion of the people for the Feast of the 18th of December, that it was considered requisite to maintain some vestige of it. They discontinued, therefore, to celebrate the Annunciation on this day; but the faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding Her giving Him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of “the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin’s Delivery.”

This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O, or the Feast of O [Nostra Signora de la O], on account of the great antiphons which are sung during these days, and, in a special manner, of that which begins “O Virgo virginum” (which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation—see below, together with the O Adonai, the antiphon of the Advent Office), was kept with great devotion in Spain. A High Mass was sung at a very early hour each morning during the octave, at which all who were with child, whether rich or poor, considered it a duty to assist, that they might thus honor Our Lady’s Maternity, and beg Her blessing upon themselves. It is no wonder that the Holy See approved of this pious practice being introduced into almost every other country. We find that the Church of Milan, Whose Advent fast lasted 40 days, long before Rome conceded this Feast to the various dioceses of Christendom, celebrated the Office of Our Lady’s Annunciation on the sixth and last Sunday of Advent, and called the whole week following the Hebdomada de Exceptato (for thus the popular expression had corrupted the word Expectato). But it, too, has given way to the Feast of Our Lady’s Expectation, which the Church has established and sanctioned as a means of exciting the attention of the faithful during these last days of Advent.

Most just indeed it is, O Holy Mother of God, that we should unite in that ardent desire Thou hadst to see Him, Who had been concealed for nine months in Thy chaste womb; to know the features of this Son of the Heavenly Father, Who is also Thine; to come to that blissful hour of His birth, which will give glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men of good will. Yes, dearest Mother, the time is fast approaching, though not fast enough to satisfy Thy desires and ours. Make us redouble our attention to the great mystery; complete our preparation by Thy powerful prayers for us, that when the solemn hour has come, our Jesus may find no obstacle to His entrance into our hearts.

O Virgin of virgins! How shall this be? For never was there one like Thee, nor will there ever be. Ye daughters of Jerusalem, why look ye wondering at Me? What you behold is a divine mystery.
Saint Gatian
December 18 First Bishop of Tours
(† First Century)

Saint Gatian, a disciple of the Apostles and the first bishop of Tours, was sent to that city at the same time as Saint Denys to Paris, Saint Trophimus to Arles, Saint Martial to Limoges, Saint Saturninus to Toulouse, Saint Sergius Paulus to Narbonne, and Saint Austremoine into Auvergne. The Gauls in that region were addicted to the worship of their ancient idols, to which they had added the divinities of Rome. He found them enslaved to their various superstitions, and began to teach them the vanity of idols and the impossibility of a plurality of gods. After dispersing the false ideas and fears they had conceived concerning the gods of the empire, he presented to them the faith of the Gospel and the true God. He showed them the necessity of the Redemption and spoke of the Second Coming of the Saviour as Judge, when He will reward the virtue of those who have done good, and exile evildoers to a lamentable eternity.

The Saint was often interrupted in his instructions by harassers, and when denounced to the magistrates, was mistreated and threatened with death; but no contradictions or sufferings were able to discourage or daunt this apostle. By his perseverance he gained several to Christ. He left the city, however, and established a sort of headquarters in a rude grotto surrounded by thorn bushes. There he celebrated the divine mysteries. His splendid virtues, until then unknown to this untaught populace, won many to recognition of the truth of the religion he taught. He traveled in the area, accompanied by his faithful disciples, to preach and to exercise mercy. There were, it seems, no illnesses which he did not cure, nor demons which he did not drive away with the sign of the Cross. The pagan altars began to be abandoned, and it was permitted to establish small oratories where the faithful could assemble. The people learned to sing the praises of the true God, and clerics were formed to officiate. Saint Gatian established outside the city, a cemetery for the burial of Christians.

The holy bishop Gatian died at an advanced age, having seen Our Lord Jesus Christ come to him during his last illness to awake him from sleep and give him Holy Communion in Viaticum; he died seven days later. The Cathedral of Tours still possesses a few fragments of his relics, which Saint Martin had placed in that principal church, but which wars and persecutions scattered and destroyed in large part.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 14

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Saint Nemesion of Alexandria
December 19 & Companion Martyrs († 253)

During the persecution of Decius, Nemesion, an Egyptian, was apprehended at Alexandria upon an indictment for theft. The servant of Christ easily cleared himself of that charge before the judge Emilianus, but was immediately accused of being a Christian. He was twice delivered up to torture, and after being scourged and tormented more than were the true thieves, was sentenced to be burnt with them and other malefactors, in the year 253.

There stood at the same time, near the prefect's tribunal, four soldiers and another person who, being Christians, boldly encouraged a confessor attached to the rack. They were taken before the judge, who condemned them to be beheaded. The prefect was astonished, seeing the joy with which they walked to the place of execution.

Three others, named Heron, Ater and Isidore, all Egyptians, were arraigned at Alexandria with Dioscorus, a youth only fifteen years old, during the same persecution. After enduring the most cruel rending and disjointing of their limbs, they were burnt alive, with the exception of Dioscorus, whom the judge dismissed because of his tender age.

Reflection: Can we call to mind the fervor of the Saints, cheerfully laboring and suffering for God, and not feel a holy ardor glow in our own breasts, and our souls strongly affected by their heroic sentiments of virtue?

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

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Saint Dominic of Silos
December 20th Abbot († 1073)

Saint Dominic, a Saint of the eleventh century, was given the surname of Silos because of his long sojourn in the monastery of that name. He was of the line of the ancient kings of Navarre. He undertook on his own to study his religion, having virtually no teacher but the Holy Spirit. Ordained a priest, he entered a monastery of the Order of Saint Benedict, where his sanctity soon placed him in the first ranks as its Abbot.

The monastery of Silos had greatly declined from its former glory and fervor. The monk Licinian, who was deploring this situation, was offering Holy Mass on the day when Dominic entered the church. By a special permission of God, when the priest turned towards the people at the Offertory to chant: Dominus vobiscum, he said instead: Behold, the restorer cometh! and the choir responded: It is the Lord who has sent him! The oracle was soon to be visibly fulfilled. The charity of the Saint was not concentrated only in his monastery, but was extended to all who suffered afflictions. His gift of miracles drew to the convent the blind, the sick, and the lame; and it was by the hundreds that he cured them, as is still evident today from the ex-votos of the chapel where his relics are conserved. The balls-and-chains, iron handcuffs and the like, which are seen suspended from the vault there, attest also to his special charity for the poor Christians held captive by the Spanish Moors. He often went to console them and pay their ransom, thus preluding the works of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, founded in 1218, 145 years after his death.

After many years of good works, Dominic felt the moment of the recompense approaching, and was advised of it by the Blessed Virgin. I spent the night near the Queen of Angels, he said one day to his religious. She has invited me to come in three days where She is; therefore I am soon going to the celestial banquet to which She invites me. In effect, he fell ill for three days, and then his brethren saw his soul rise in glory to heaven.

At his tomb Saint Joan of Aza, mother of Saint Dominic of Guzman, Founder of the Order which bears his name, later obtained the birth of her son, baptized under the name of his holy patron.

Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, by Abbé L. Jaud (Mame: Tours, 1950).

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Saint Philogonius
December 20 Bishop of Antioch († 322)

Saint Philogonius, born in Antioch in the third century, was educated for the law and appeared at the bar with great success. He was admired for his eloquence, but still more for his integrity and the sanctity of his life. This was considered a sufficient motive for dispensing with the canons which require that time be spent as a priest, before a layman can be placed in the higher echelons of the Church's hierarchy. By this dispensation Saint Philogonius was chosen to be placed at the head of the see of Antioch, following the death of its bishop in 318.

When Arius introduced his blasphemies in Alexandria in that same year of 318, Saint Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, condemned him and communicated the sentence in a synodal letter to Philogonius. Afterwards the bishop of Antioch strenuously defended the Catholic faith before the assembly of the Council of Nicea. In the storms which raged against the Church, caused first by the Roman emperor Maximin II and the Oriental emperor Licinius, Saint Philogonius earned the title of Confessor by his sufferings. He died in the year 322, the fifth of his episcopal dignity. We possess an excellent panegyric in his honor, composed by Saint John Chrysostom.

Reflection: Saint Philogonius had so perfectly renounced the world and crucified its inordinate desires in his heart, that he received in this life the gage of Christ's Spirit, and was admitted to the sacred council of the heavenly King with unhindered access to the Almighty. Let us imitate his zeal for the glory of God and the Church, to share his reward. (Rev. Alban Butler)

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources, by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).
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CORONAVIRUS
UPDATE INFO LINKS
Links to Government websites; remember these are being updated regularly as new information and changes in statuses develop:
For the ORC Policy Document click below
Coronavirus Policy Document
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SUPPORTING THOSE IN ISOLATION
The Coronavirus Policy document [above] mentions specifically consideration pastorally of those in isolation, whether self-isolating i.e. a person or someone in their household has symptoms, or quarantined i.e. positively infected and required to convalesce at home or receive treatment in hospital. As the guidance posits, those who are hospitalised are unlikely to be permitted visitors, but in the section "Pastoral Care of the Isolated" those who are in isolation at home may require regular contact and communication as well as occasional practical assistance e.g. to get supplies.

STAYING IN TOUCH
The Policy suggests that parishioners and clergy... 
  • inform one another as soon as possible of any church member becoming isolated,
  • that the pastor or church secretary records the date of the start of a person's isolation (to calculate the date they should be free of infection),
  • that the pastor make every effort to stay in regular contact with the isolated person.
The Policy also suggests for those parishes/missions with a localised congregation in a neighbourhood, a system of "street wardens" be established. A "street warden" is a nominated member of the church who agrees to become a point of contact between the church and any church member living on their street who is self-isolating, and even perhaps for anybody else as well (as a form of witness and outreach). The "street warden" would let the pastor know of someone becoming self-isolating, would maintain regular contact with the member perhaps through electronic means eg mobile phone, talking through a door or window and be prepared to arrange the supply of provisions eg medicine or food etc. 
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Practical advice for staying at home
You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people.

This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. 

Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Think about your diet. Your appetite might change if your routine changes, or if you’re less active than you usually are. Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can help your mood and energy levels.
  • Drink water regularly. Drinking enough water is important for your mental and physical health. Changing your routine might affect when you drink or what fluids you drink. It could help to set an alarm or use an app to remind you. You should drink enough during the day so your urine (pee) is a pale clear colour.
  • You can use over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on the packet or label and do not exceed the recommended dose.
  • If you are self-isolating, you can ask someone to drop off essential food items for you. If they do this, ask them to leave food at your doorstep, to avoid face-to-face contact with each other.
Take care of your immediate environment
  • If you are spending a lot of time at home, you may find it helpful to keep things clean and tidy, although this is different for different people.
  • If you live with other people, keeping things tidy might feel more important if you’re all at home together. But you might have different ideas about what counts as 'tidy' or how much it matters. It could help to decide together how you’ll use different spaces. And you could discuss what each person needs to feel comfortable. 
  • Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading, including when there are warnings about particular diseases. 
  • When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table tops. This is particularly important if you have an older or vulnerable person in the house.
  • Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
  • Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.
  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load.
  • If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your 7-day (for individual isolation) or 14-day isolation period (for households) has ended when you can then take the laundry to a public launderette.
For parents and carers of children and young people
  • If you are working from home more than usual, you may find it especially difficult if you are also looking after children would usually be in nursery, school or college while you work.
  • Think about how to balance your work with caring for your children. If you have an employer, they may be able to help you balance your work and childcare responsibilities.
  • Some employers may ask if there is another adult who can supervise your children while you’re working. It may help to speak to your employer if you are concerned about this.
  • Think about being more lenient with your children’s social media and mobile phone use during their time at home. If your children would normally go to school or college, they will be used to being around other children for several hours a day. They might find it difficult to be removed from this, especially if they're also worried about their health.
  • Ask their school or college if any digital learning is available while your children are at home, and what technology they may need. Remember to add time in for breaks and lunch.
  • You can also think about card games, board games and puzzles, and any other ways to stay active or be creative.If no digital learning is available, you could encourage your children to select books or podcasts they'd like to explore during their time away from school or college.
  • For older teens, there are free online courses they could try out.
Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing
If you are staying at home more than you usually would, it might feel more difficult than usual to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.

Keeping in touch digitally
  • Make plans to video chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person.
  • You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts.
  • If you’re worried that you might run out of stuff to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a show or read a book separately so that you can discuss it when you contact each other. 
  • Think of other ways to keep in contact with people while meeting in person is not possible. For example, you could check your phone numbers are up to date, or that you have current email addresses for friends you've not seen for a while. 
"Online is the only place I can really make friends, so that helps obviously. For people who cannot get out to socialise, the internet is a link to the outside world. It IS a social life of sorts."

If you're worried about loneliness
  • Think about things you can do to connect with people. For example, putting extra pictures up of the people you care about might be a nice reminder of the people in your life.
  • Listen to a chatty radio station or podcast if your home feels too quiet.
Decide on a routine
  • Plan how you’ll spend your time. It might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. 
  • Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps.
  • If you aren’t happy with your usual routine, this might be a chance to do things differently. For example, you could go to bed earlier, spend more time cooking or do other things you don’t usually have time for.
  • Think about how you’ll spend time by yourself at home. For example, plan activities to do on different days or habits you want to start or keep up.
If you live with other people, it may help to do the following:
  • Agree on a household routine. Try to give everyone you live with a say in this agreement.
  • Try to respect each other's privacy and give each other space. For example, some people might want to discuss everything they’re doing while others won’t.
Try to keep active
 
Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. Most of us don’t have exercise equipment like treadmills where we live, but there are still activities you can do. Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as:
  • cleaning your home 
  • dancing to music
  • going up and down stairs
  • seated exercises
  • online exercise workouts that you can follow
  • sitting less – if you notice you’ve been sitting down for an hour, just getting up or changing position can help.
Find ways to spend your time
  • Try having a clear out. You could sort through your possessions and put them away tidily, or have a spring clean.
  • You could also have a digital clear out. Delete any old files and apps you don’t use, upgrade your software, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
  • Write letters or emails, or make phone calls with people you’ve been meaning to catch up with.
Find ways to relax
There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:
  • arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
  • DIY
  • colouring
  • prayer and meditation
  • playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
  • writing.
Keep your mind stimulated
  • Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles.
  • There are lots of apps that can help you learn things, such as a foreign language or other new skills.
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BIVOCATION AND COVID19
Fr Thomas Gierke OSF shares an insight into his bi-vocation as a priest and an EMS
VOX POPULI
FROM AROUND THE COMMUNION
Divine Mercy, Bacoor
ADVENT
Every Christmas season, Filipino homes and buildings are adorned with star-shaped lanterns, called paról from the Spanish farol, meaning "lantern" or "lamp". These lanterns represent the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi, also known as the Three Kings (Tagalog: Tatlóng Harì). Parol are as beloved and iconic to Filipinos as Christmas trees are to Westerners.

The most common form of the lantern is a 5-pointed star with two "tails" at the lower two tips. Other popular variations are four, eight, and ten-pointed stars, while rarer ones sport six, seven, nine, and more than twelve points. The earliest parols were made from simple materials like bamboo, Japanese rice paper (known as "papél de Hapón") or crêpe paper, and were lit by a candle or coconut oil lamp. Simple parols can be easily constructed with just ten bamboo sticks, paper, and glue. Present-day parol has endless possible shapes and forms and is made of a variety of materials, such as cellophane, plastic, rope, capiz shell, glass, and even recycled refuse. Parol-making is a folk craft, and many Filipino children often craft them as a school project or for leisure.
Santa Isidro Labrador, Laguna
TAGAPO CHAPEL REOPENING
We are delighted to announce that Tagapo Mission Chapel, formerly the chapel-of-ease to St Isidore, Dita is now being restored and reopened once more for regular worship and a focus for the community.

There is much work to be done as the chapel hasn't been in use for some years. However, the faithful are full of enthusiasm for the chapel's complete restoration. For your donation:
GCash Account
Jose Rodelon Porteza
09217501267.
Gmail Account
saintisidore.orcparish@gmail.com

GOD BLESS EVERYONE+++
Revd Fr Jose Rodelon Porteza
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Santa Cruz, Houston
Brighton Oratory
WINTER APPEAL

Persons experiencing homelessness encounter significant barriers to self-care and personal hygiene, including limited access to clean showers, laundry and hand washing facilities. The obstacles to personal hygiene associated with homelessness may increase risk of infectious disease, yet hygiene-related behaviours among people experiencing homelessness receives limited attention. 

Due to COVID the situation for people sleeping on our streets has become more difficult as homeless provision services affected by the pandemic have ceased operating or had to scale back significantly their operations; some unable to operate at all. For Brighton & Hove there is no only one provider of showering and washing facilities for those sleeping rough.

Usually at this time of year, the Archbishop would be planning a Christmas Day lunch with the Salvation Army for the homeless, but due to COVID restrictions, regrettably neither the regular Wednesday drop-in nor Christmas Day Lunch are realisable.

The Archbishop is supporting a new homeless project in Brighton & Hove, “Soup & socks” that will be tackling food poverty and serving the homeless of the city a hot meal four nights a week throughout winter. In addition to socks, His Grace is keen to provide necessary items for personal hygiene, toiletries, sanitiser, change of underwear and particularly women’s health items such as sanitary towels and fresh wipes. These items are often overlooked. Funding for such items is seldom available.

Please help the Archbishop to help others by way of a donation so that necessary personal hygiene items can be purchased wholesale and distributed to those who need them most.

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HOW TO WORSHIP ONLINE
Following last issue's article about "How to participate in online worship" Metropolitan Jerome took the opportunity this past week to record a series of four talks on "How to worship online". In each episode his grace gives both a theological dimension as well as practical suggestions as to the disposition one should have toward worship online and to maximise the spiritual experience.
EPSIODE 1: first principles
EPISODE 2: preparation
EPISODE 3: practicalities
EPISODE 4: Spiritual Communion
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QUESTION: What benefits do I derive from watching the traditional Latin Mass on the internet? I know I don’t get the full benefit I would if I were there in person.

RESPONSE: It is clear, based on the teaching of pre-Vatican II theologians regarding hearing Mass over the radio or television, that one could not fulfill his Sunday obligation by viewing a Mass broadcast over the internet. The law requires physical presence at the Holy Sacrifice, or at least being part of a group that is actually present (in the case of a congregation so large, for example, that it spills out beyond the doors of the church into the street).

So, if you were able to be physically present at Mass under the usual conditions on a Sunday or a Holy Day, you would be obliged to go to it. You could not choose instead to remain at home glued to your computer— or indeed, to remain in the church parking lot, hovering over your I-Phone — and still fulfill your duty to assist at Mass.

Thus the question of the obligation.

However, the spiritual benefit of a broadcast Mass is another matter — you can indeed benefit from it. This is clear from the comment of Fr. Francis Connell, a well-known moral theologian at Catholic University in the 1950s, who addressed the question of hearing Mass over the radio:

“One may participate in the benefits of the Mass without being actually present — namely, by directing one’s intention and devotion to the sacred rite. By hearing Mass over the radio one can certainly foster his devotion, and thus profit considerably from the offering of the Holy Sacrifice. Indeed, it could happen that one who participates in the Holy Sacrifice in this manner will gain much more benefit than many of those who are actually present.” (Father Connell Answers Moral Questions [Washington: CUA 1959] 75–6)

So, in these days when true Masses offered by real priests are few and far between, Catholics can at least have the consolation of knowing that a facet of modern technology so often used for evil can also be used to foster their own devotion — and indeed, to bring to them the benefits of a true Mass, wherever it is offered.
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OLD ROMAN CULTURE
LUMEN GENTIUM
St Martin's Lent
The Feast of St. Martin of Tours occurs every year on November 11th. Also known as Martinmas, this special day offers us the opportunity to celebrate the life of this wonderful saint who had such a profound impact on the history of the Church, and who set an example that is still very relevant today. Martinmas also marks the beginning of St. Martin’s Lent, or the Christmas Fast. In prior ages, Advent was synonymous with St. Martin’s Lent and was observed as a time of fasting and penance in anticipation of Christmas. Want to learn more? The links below should get you started.
St. Martin’s Lent
St. Martin’s Lent Meditations
Celebrate Martinmas
Martinmas Lanterns Tutorial
Photo Post :: Martinmas at Our House
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We continue to love, pray and help each other, whether we are on Earth, in Purgatory on in Heaven.
ADVENT
Advent begins on the Sunday closest to – before or after – St. Andrew’s Day (November 30). The focus of the season is preparation for the coming of the Lord — both in commemoration of His Nativity and His coming again at the end of time. Though most Protestants — and far too many Catholics — see this time of year as a part of the “Christmas Season,” it isn’t; the Christmas season does not begin until the first Mass at Christmas Eve, and doesn’t end liturgically until the Octave of the Epiphany on January 14. It goes on in the spiritual sense until Candlemas on February 2, when all celebrations of Christ’s Childhood give way to Septuagesima and Lent.
The mood of this season is one of sombre spiritual preparation that increases in joy with each day, and the gaudy “Christmas” commercialism that surrounds it in the Western world should be overcome as much as possible. The singing of Christmas carols (which comes earlier and earlier each year), the talk of “Christmas” as a present reality, the decorated trees and the parties – these things are “out of season” for Catholics; we should strive to keep the Seasons of Advent holy and penitential, always remembering, as they say, that “He is the reason for the Season.”

Seasonal baking Advent is also season of preparation in a more mundane sense. Homes are cleaned from top to bottom, and Christmas cakes and cookies are often made by the hundreds for family and to give out to friends and acquaintances when Christmas finally arrives.
Christmas trees shouldn’t be decorated (or at least lit) until Christmas Eve because Advent itself should remain penitential, but time can be wonderfully spent making Christmas Tree ornaments throughout the Season for when Christmas finally arrives.
Seasonal greeting cards Old Romans send Christmas cards at this time of year, usually with religious themes and avoiding the secularised language and images so prevalent today (i.e., “Season’s Greetings” as opposed to “Merry Christmas”; Santa or Rudolph instead of Mother and Child, etc.) Always, the emphasis should be on Christ! Religious-themed Christmas cards are getting more and more difficult to find; buying them early from a Catholic Bookstore is a good idea.
Seasonal greetings Old Romans might avoid greeting people during this season with “Happy holidays!” and the like. “Merry Christmas” is the proper greeting — and if one wants to get technical about it, Catholics may say “Blessed Advent” up until the first Mass on Christmas Eve, and “Merry Christmas” thereafter for the twelve days of Christmas. People might not understand, but this affords Catholics an opportunity to explain (with a smile).
More customs Advent candlesJesse TreesChristmas cribs, and Advent calendars are all used during Advent and each is described on the links.
Christkindl (Christ Child) Many people are familiar with the concept, usually in the workplace, of “Secret Santa” where names on folded paper are drawn from a hat and folk buy presents for the named person they’ve drawn, but anonymously. A similar Old Roman custom in Advent is called “Christkindl” and comes from Bavaria. Maria Von Trapp describes it thus:
Once more the mother appears with the bowl, which she passes around. This time the pieces of paper contain the names of the members of the family and are neatly rolled up, because the drawing has to be done in great secrecy. The person whose name one has drawn is now in one’s special care. From this day until Christmas, one has to do as many little favours for him or her as one can. One has to provide at least one surprise every single day — but without ever being found out. This creates a wonderful atmosphere of joyful suspense, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Perhaps you will find that somebody has made your bed or shined your shoes or has informed you, in a disguised handwriting on a holy card, that “a rosary has been said for you today” or a number of sacrifices have been offered up. This new relationship is called “Christkindl” (Christ Child)…”
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The O Antiphons

An antiphon is a short verse that is used like a refrain, either repeated at points through another text or to begin and end it. Antiphons are often used in Christian worship, for example, during the singing of psalms.

It is also traditional for the Gospel Canticle at Morning, Evening and Night Prayer to have an antiphon said or sung at the beginning and the end. The Gospel canticle at Evening Prayer (also known as Vespers) is the Magnificat, the Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1.46-55).

The ‘O Antiphons’ are the antiphons that are said or sung before and after the Magnificat on the seven days preceding Christmas Eve (17–23 December). They all begin ‘O…’ hence their name. They are known by their Latin titles, for example, ‘O Sapientia…’, is ‘O Wisdom…’

The antiphons use texts from the Bible, both Old and New Testament, that Christians understand to refer to Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah.

People who do not know the antiphons from Vespers may well know them from the Advent hymn ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel’.

In England the medieval rite of Salisbury Cathedral – known as the Sarum Rite - that was widespread before the Reformation, the antiphons began on 16 December and there was an additional antiphon (‘O Virgin of virgins’) on 23 December; so 16 December is designated O Sapientia (O Wisdom). It is not known when and by whom the antiphons were composed, but they were already in use by the eighth century.

17 December – O Sapientia

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,

reaching from one end to the other mightily,

and sweetly ordering all things:

Come and teach us the way of prudence. cf Ecclesiasticus 24.3; Wisdom 8.1

18 December – O Adonai

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,

who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush

and gave him the law on Sinai:

Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm. cf Exodus 3.2; 24.12

19 December – O Radix Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;

before you kings will shut their mouths,

to you the nations will make their prayer:

Come and deliver us, and delay no longer. cf Isaiah 11.10; 45.14; 52.15; Romans 15.12

20 December – O Clavis David

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;

you open and no one can shut;

you shut and no one can open:

Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,

those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. cf Isaiah 22.22; 42.7

21 December – O Oriens

O Morning Star,

splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:

Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness

and the shadow of death. cf Malachi 4.2

22 December – O Rex Gentium

O King of the nations, and their desire,

the cornerstone making both one:

Come and save the human race,

which you fashioned from clay. cf Isaiah 28.16; Ephesians 2.14

23 December – O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our King and our lawgiver,

the hope of the nations and their Saviour:

Come and save us, O Lord our God. cf Isaiah 7.14

SIMBANG GABI
Simbang Gabi (Filipino for "Night Mass") is a devotional nine-day series of Masses practiced by Filipino Catholics in the Philippines in anticipation of Christmas. This is similar to the nine-day series of dawn Masses leading to Christmas Eve practiced in Puerto Rico called Misa de Aguinaldo and the Rorate Caeli votive Masses traditional in Europe.

The Simbáng Gabi Masses in the Philippines are held daily from December 16-24 and occur at different times ranging from as early as 03:00 to 05:00 PST. On the last day of the Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, the service is instead called Misa de Gallo (Spanish for "Rooster's Mass"). It has an important role in Philippine culture.

The Simbang Gabi originated in the early days of Spanish rule over the Philippines as a practical compromise for farmers, who began work before sunrise to avoid the noonday heat out in the fields. It began in 1669. Priests began to say Mass in the early mornings instead of the evening novenas more common in the rest of the Hispanic world. This cherished Christmas custom eventually became a distinct feature of Philippine culture and became a symbol of sharing.

During the Spanish Era and early American Period, the parishioners would mostly have nothing to offer during Mass except sacks of rice, fruits and vegetables and fresh eggs. The Church would share the produce with the congregation after the service.

After Mass, Filipinos buy and eat holiday delicacies sold in the churchyard for breakfast. Bibingka, (rice cakes cooked above and below) and puto bumbong (steamed purple rice pastries, seasoned with butter, grated coconut, and brown sugar) are popular, often paired with tsokolate (hot chocolate from local cacao) or salabát (ginger tea).

Today, local delicacies are readily available in the church's premises for the parishioners. The iconic puto bumbóng, bibingka, suman and other rice pastries are cooked on the spot. Latík and yema are sweets sold to children, while biscuits like uraró (arrowroot), barquillos, lengua de gato and otap (ladyfingers) are also available. Kape Barako (a very strong coffee grown in the province of Batangas), hot tsokolate, or salabat are the main drinks, while soups such as arróz caldo (rice and chicken porridge) and papait (goat bile stew from the Ilocos region) are also found.

The rice-based foods were traditionally served to fill the stomachs of the farmers, since rice is a cheap and primary staple. The pastries were full of carbohydrates needed by colonial Filipinos for the work they undertook in the rice paddies and sugar mills.

Filipinos celebrate this Mass with great solemnity and the Gloria is sung. White is the liturgical colour authorised solely for Masses celebrated within the context of the novena; violet is used for any other Masses said during the day, as these are still considered part of the Advent season. 

Evening celebrations of the Simbáng Gabi which begins at the 15th of December and ends on the 23rd, (erroneously described as "anticipated Simbang gabi" since Vigil or anticipated Masses are only applicable for Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation), are scheduled especially in urban areas. However, the propers and readings used for these Masses are those which are prescribed for the day. Although practiced in some parishes, "Anticipation" of the propers and readings prescribed for the next day is prohibited.

A well-known folk belief among the Filipinos is that if a devotee completed all nine days of the Simbáng Gabi, a request made as part of the novena may be granted.

Similar to the Spanish tradition of lighting small oil lamps on Christmas Eve, Filipinos adorn their homes with paról, which are colourful star-shaped lantern. This is believed to have originally been used by worshippers to light their way to church in the early morning, as well as to symbolise the Star of Bethlehem. Paróls continue to be popular yuletide decorations in the Philippines, as iconic and emblematic as Christmas trees are in the West.

To give the faithful a chance to experience how the Simbang gabi was celebrated during Spanish times, groups which celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass also celebrate the Simbang gabi in candlelight and with locally composed centuries old music for the Mass.
Parish of Jesus the Divine Mercy,
Copper St. Platinum Ville,
San Nicolas III, Bacoor

SIMBANG GABI 2020
Dec.15~24 @ 5:00PM & 7:00PM

MISSA DE GALLO
Dec.16~Dec.24 @4:00AM
Parokya ni San Isidro Labrador
Dita Sta.Rosa, Laguna

SIMBANG GABI 2020
DEC.15~24 @ 8:00PM
RORATE CAELI MASSES
The Rorate Mass got its proper name from the first word of the Introit (Entrance antiphon): "Rorate caeli désuper et nubes pluant justum" ("Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just").

In the Old Roman Rite, this Mass is celebrated very early in the morning on all Saturdays. In some areas, it is celebrated on several or even all weekdays during Advent (the Votive Mass of Our Lady in Advent). 

The Rorate Mass is a Votive Mass in honour of the Virgin Mary for the season of Advent. It has a long tradition in the Catholic Church, especially in German-speaking areas. The Masses had to begin relatively early in the morning when it was still dark due to winter-time and were said by candlelight.

As a votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin, its liturgical colour is white. It is a tradition to celebrate such Rorate Masses in the early morning (before sunrise), accompanied by candle light in an otherwise dark church. In the new Mass of the Conciliar Church, it is often replaced by a Mass with the liturgical texts of the corresponding Advent weekday (consequently with violet vestments), or possibly the day's saint, but with the rest of the Rorate Mass traditions.

As one of the themes of Advent is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the emergence of these devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary were a natural development. The Rorate Mass, in particular, was a favourite of the people. The Introit Antiphon, the Epistle, the Gradual, Gospel, and Communion Antiphon of the Rorate Mass are taken from the Mass of Ember Wednesday in Advent, the Offertory is taken from the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and the orations (prayers) from the Feast of the Annunciation.

The Rorate Mass was also known in the Middle Ages as the Missa aurea (the Golden Mass), because of the various promises added to it (varias enim promissiones adjungebant his Missis), and the Missa Angelica (the Angelic Mass) because of the Gospel reading which, recounting the Annunciation, opens with the words "Missus est Angelus Gábriel (The Angel Gabriel was sent)".

The Rorate Mass is celebrated in the following ways:
  • According to Ordo Romanus XV (8th Century), the Rorate Mass was said on the seven days preceding Christmas.
  • Another tradition is to celebrate this Mass on the nine consecutive days prior to Christmas (Celebratio novendialis Missarum ((aurearum)) / A Novena of Golden Masses). This practice was permitted by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, especially to dioceses in Italy (1658, 1713, and 1718). It is a common Catholic practice to prepare for major events by a novena. This novena has the added symbolism of each day representing one of the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy.
  • In some places, the Rorate Mass is said on the Wednesday during the third week of Advent in place of the Mass of Ember Wednesday in Advent.
In Germany, Austria, Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary the Rorate Mass was celebrated daily through the whole period of Advent. This was forbidden, of course, on the more solemn feasts if the saying of this Mass would cause a conventual Mass or a Mass of precept to be omitted. The Boldvensi Sacramentary (written in Hungary between 1192 and 1195) has a proper Preface text for the Rorate Mass "qui per BVM partum ecclesiae tuae tribuisti celebrare mirabile mysterium (You, who through the Offspring of the Blessed Virgin Mary, granted to your Church to celebrate the wonderful mystery)." Between 1774 and 1960, various permissions were granted regarding this practice by the Sacred Congregation of Rites.

There is also the custom in "Austria, Switzerland, and Germany" that "families walked in the dark of the early morning, (carrying lamps, candles, or later, flashlights) to church, where Mass was celebrated and favourite Advent hymns were sung." This tradition is also alive in modern Poland, however, depending on local custom, it is celebrated either in the early morning or in the late evening of Advent weekdays.

"As a rule the Blessed Sacrament was exposed at the same time" as the Rorate Mass was being said. This was still customary "in many places" in the 1960s.

There is the custom of singing three times the antiphon "Ecce, Dominus veniet" at the conclusion of the Rorate Mass. After the Last Gospel, the Priest (and ministers if it is a Solemn High Mass) goes to the centre of the altar. He then intones the antiphon three times after which the antiphon is continued by those present. Each intonation is begun at higher pitch than the previous one. This mirrors the practice of the three-fold "Ecce Lignum Crucis" on Good Friday and the three-fold Alleluia at the Easter Vigil. The text of the antiphon reads: "Ecce Dominus veniet, et omnes sancti ejus cum eo: et erit in die illa lux magna, alleluia. / Behold, the Lord will come, and with Him all His saints; and on that day there shall be a great light, alleluia." The "Ecce, Dominus veniet" is the third antiphon for the Office of the First Sunday of Advent. The reference to the great light is fitting for a Mass that is just conducted in candlelight and during which the sun has risen.
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Rosary Guild
The Manghera family Rosary Guild is once again taking orders for homemade rosaries, scapulas, Miraculous Medals and holy cards to support their parish mission!  If you are interested to place an order, please contact Fr Kristopher 
How to pray the Rosary
  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed”
  2. Say the “Our Father”
  3. Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity
  4. Say the “Glory Be”
  5. Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”
  6. Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery
  7. Say the “Glory Be” (Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima)
  8. Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat these steps (6 through 8) as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.
  9. Say the closing prayers: the “Hail Holy Queen” and “Final Prayer”
  10. Make the “Sign of the Cross”
If you’ve never prayed the Rosary before, this article will give you the basics; and, if you’re returning to the Rosary after a long time away, you can use this article as a "refresher course." Keep in mind, though, that there are no "Rosary police" checking up on you to make sure that you’re doing it "the right way."

In the long run, you may pray the Rosary however you prefer to pray it. The main objective of the Rosary is the same as any method of prayer—to nourish your intimacy with the triune God and with the communion of saints in this world and the next. So whatever serves that purpose is good.

If you want to pray the Rosary in the customary manner, however, there is a traditional way to go about it. The prayers of the Rosary will be provided here, in case you don’t already know them.

Because praying the Rosary involves repetitive prayer, it’s a good idea to have a rosary. If you don’t have a religious goods store in your area, you can find several sources on the Internet—some of which even offer free rosaries.

There are two basic ways to pray the Rosary—alone or with one or more people. If you are praying the Rosary with others, the custom is for one person to lead the group, primarily by saying the first half of each prayer and announcing each of the mysteries. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll assume here that you are praying the Rosary by yourself. If you join a group, most likely many of those present will understand how to pray the Rosary as a group, so all you’ll need to do is follow along. When praying the Rosary alone, you may either recite the prayers aloud or say them silently—it’s up to you.

The rosary consists of six Our Father beads and five decades (sets of ten) Hail Mary Beads plus one set of three Hail Mary beads. The Apostles’ Creed is said on the crucifix, and the Glory Be is said on the chain or knot after each set of Hail Marys. The Hail, Holy Queen is said at the end of the Rosary. Here’s how to go about it. You may be surprised when you see how easy it really is:

Make the Sign of the Cross

You begin the Rosary by making the sign of the cross using the small crucifix on the rosary. Simply hold the crucifix on your rosary with your fingers and trace the sign of the cross on your forehead, your chest, and then your left and right shoulders while saying,

In the name of the Father [forehead], and of the Son [chest], and of the Holy [left shoulder] Spirit [right shoulder]. Amen.

Say the Apostles’ Creed

Still holding the crucifix, pray the Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Say the Our Father

Holding the first bead of your rosary (the bead closest to the crucifix), pray the Our Father:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

(If you came, or are coming, to Catholicism from a Protestant tradition, remember that Catholics say a doxology—"For the kingdom, and the power, and the glory are yours now and forever"—only in the context of the Mass, and then it is separated from the Our Father by a prayer said by the priest.)

Say Three Hail Marys

Next, hold each of the three beads in the next series one at a time, and pray a Hail Mary for each bead:

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee (you). Blessed art thou (are you) among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy (your) womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Say the Glory Be/Doxology

Holding the chain or knot that comes after the series of three Hail Mary beads, pray the Glory Be:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, it is now and ever shall be, world without end. (now and forever.) Amen.

If you like, you can say the following lines at the end of each Glory Be:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy (your) mercy. Amen.

It’s up to you whether you use this prayer, or not. If it appeals to you, go ahead and say it. If not, skip it.

Say the Five Decades

The next set of prayers—consisting of an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be—is repeated five times, once for each mystery of the Rosary. While holding the next, single bead, announce the first mystery of the kind you are praying today—joyful, sorrowful, glorious, or luminous. For example, "The first joyful mystery, the annunciation." Theoretically, the idea is to meditate or reflect upon this mystery while praying an Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and a Glory Be. If you can do that, great. If not, don’t worry about it. Personally, I suspect that the repetitive nature of the Rosary actually short-circuits conscious reflection on anything—let alone a mystery of faith—and acts something like a mantra does in the meditation methods of Zen Buddhism. The Rosary gives the fingers and tongue something to do, so that your mind and heart can "go deep," as it were, in wordless prayer.

After announcing the first mystery, and still holding the single bead, pray the Our Father. For each of the ten beads in the first decade of the Rosary, say one Hail Mary. When you reach the chain or knot after the tenth Hail Mary bead, say one Glory Be. Then hold the next single bead, announce the next mystery, say an Our Father, say the next set of ten Hail Marys, and say another Glory Be. Do this until you finish all five decades.

Say the Hail, Holy Queen/Salve Regina

When you have completed the fifth decade of the Rosary and said the final Glory Be, say the Hail, Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee (you) do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; (the children of Eve;) to thee (you) do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale (valley) of tears. (in this land of exile.) Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine (your) eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, (lead us home at last and) show unto us the blessed fruit of thy (your) womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

If you wish, you may also add this final verse-and-response prayer:

V: Pray for us, O holy mother of God,
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

And that’s it. That’s all there is to praying the Rosary. After you have prayed the Rosary a few times, you’ll know how easy it is. The more you pray the Rosary, however, the deeper you’ll get into it and the more you’ll discover its spiritual riches.

An excerpt from The Rosary Handbook by Mitch Finley.

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WORK OF HUMAN HANDS
Fr. Anthony Cekada's Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI.
Bp SANBORN CONFERENCES
Spiritual Conferences by Bishop Sanborn
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Old Roman Catholicism In the History Of The One True Catholic and Apostolic Church
NEW serialisation 
Chapter XIV 
 
Convinced long before the Vatican Council [1870] that the doctrines of papal infallibility and the universality of the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome over the Church were absolutely erroneous, Old Roman Catholics did not allow that the simple fact of the dogmatization of these two errors by the pope and the majority of the Council was sufficient to transform them into truths - still less, divine truths; and after, as before, the 18th of July 1870, we rejected these two dogmas. It is hardly necessary to recall the proofs established by Old Roman Catholics of the falsity of these new dogmas - a falsity clearly shown up by the Scriptures, by universal tradition, by the history of the seven Ecumenical Councils, and by several other undoubted facts. Roman Catholic theologians have seriously refuted none of these proofs.

Old Roman Catholics, therefore, by rejecting these false dogmas, remained faithful to the Catholicism of the time before the Vatican Council. We did not leave the Catholic Church to form a new Church, we remained in the Catholic Church of which we had always formed a part; and we continue to set the 'universal' unvarying, and unanimous testimony of the Church in opposition to Roman innovations.

This attitude and the theological works, which we had had to produce to prove the truth of our cause, have led us to discover a number of errors made by Roman theologians and transformed into dogmas in the course of the ages. So that the protest against the false dogmas of the 18th of July 1870, has logically incurred on our part the protest against all the false dogmas previously promulgated by the papacy. [See especially W. Guettee, La Papaute schismatique, Paris, 1863, and La Papute heretique, do. 1874, and E. Michaud, La Papaute antichretienne, do. 1873].

This discovery of the errors of the Roman papacy from the 9th century to the present day, and in all the individual Churches under the jurisdiction of Rome, has given fresh impetus and considerable importance to the Old Roman Catholic movement. It is a complete history of Roman Theology, remade in accordance with authentic sources and contrary to the thousands of Roman falsifications pointed out recently by the most eminent theologians of the Churches, including even Roman theologians.

We may say that these new publications - this veritable resurrection of ancient documents believed to be buried in darkness - have created a new situation and started a thorough reformation of so-called Catholic theology.

After 1870, a truly General Council was no longer considered a remote possibility. The Old Roman Catholic Church [as it was now known] then resolved to bring about many desired reforms within its own organization. Until then it had kept fairly close to the traditional laws and liturgical customs of the Roman Church.
The chief aims of the Old Roman Catholic Church may be reduced to three:
•    1] theological reform;
•    2] ecclesiastical reform;
•    3] union of the Christian Churches.

Theological Reform
This reform was not undertaken arbitrarily; nor is it conducted by each theologian according to his personal opinions on each of the disputed questions. A strict method governs all their actions, a method, which results especially in distinguishing dogma from theology. Dogma, which is the word of Christ as it is recorded in the Gospels, from theology, which is the explanation given by the apostles and scholars to secure the acceptance and practice of the precepts of Jesus Christ.

Christ, being 'the way, the truth, and the life', is the only Scholar, the only Master; He has declared it Himself to His disciples. It is therefore, He alone who, as the only Mediator and Saviour, possesses the words of eternal life, it is He alone who is the light of the world, and it is He alone who has the right to impose His doctrines, decrees, and dogmas on His disciples.

On the other hand, every disciple is entitled and even duty bound to try to understand the dogmas of Christ, to see their depth and beauty, and to derive profit from them for the sanctification of his soul. Dogma is the divine truth which is taught by Christ; theology is the explanation given by man - an explanation more or less luminous, which each one may judge according to the light of his reason, conscience, and knowledge: "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good" [1 Th. 5:21].

This distinction between dogma and theology is made by the application of the Catholic test to every disputed point. The test is the one so well epitomized by Vincent of Lerins: "What has been believed everywhere, always, and by all the Christian Churches is Catholic" [Commonitory, ii..6]. The Catholic faith is the universal, unvarying, and unanimous faith, because, even humanly speaking, all the Christian Churches cannot be making a mistake when they attest, as a fact, they have always believed or not believed, from their very foundation, in the doctrine which the apostle-founders of their particular Church has taught them or not.

It is not a question of settling an important discussion, but of making a simple statement of fact. As to the theological explanations, which may be given of the established doctrine, they depend, like all the explanations in this world, on reason, science, history, and the knowledge which humanity has at its disposal.

Thus faith and liberty are reconciled. The faith which depends not on any caprice or any school, but solely on the historical and objective testimony of the Churches; and liberty of criticism or of reason, which conscientiously speaking, belongs to the religious truths transmitted to all the Churches, to the best of the religious interests of each Church. Thus the faith is a depository. A depository of all the precepts confided by Jesus Christ to His disciples, a depository which does not belong exclusively to any one person, but to everybody, to the preservation of which all faithful Churches carefully attend, so that none of it may be suppressed, and also that no foreign doctrine may be surreptitiously introduced into it [depositum custodi]. And theology is a science which, like other sciences, belong to reason, to history, to criticism, and which also obeys fixed rules.

It is therefore neither a bishop nor a priest nor a scholar that is entrusted with the preservation of dogma, but all bishops, all priests, all scholars - in a word, all the faithful members of the Church. Christ being the only Master of His Church, there is no other rule than His; it is sufficient to guard His doctrine and precepts. The Church was not instituted to found a religion other than that of Christ, but merely to preserve it and spread it throughout the world ["Go ye therefore, and teach all nations"]. The Church is therefore a guardian of the teachings and precepts of Jesus Christ; its title, the 'teaching Church', means not that it has the right to teach any doctrines that it pleases, but that it is its duty to preach openly what Christ taught His disciples in secret.

Real theological reform should consist in communicating to all men the teachings of Jesus Christ, as they are collected in the Scriptures and recorded in the universal tradition of the Church - a tradition, which also belongs to all the members of the Church. It is the duty of pastors and scholars to explain them, and it is the duty of each member to study the explanation, which appear to them wisest and most useful. The good sense and the Christian spirit that prevail in the Church are sufficient to ensure the final triumph of truth over error; "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them".

Since the Church is not a chair to which might be addressed all questions that arise in the minds of the inquisitive and the imaginative, it is not obliged to solve them or to prevent men from discussing among themselves matters which neither God nor Christ has thought fit to make clear. It is the work of scholars to elucidate the mysteries of science; the apostles have simply to preach the truths, which Christ thought sufficient for the edification and sanctification of humanity.

The fruitfulness of the faith does not consist in discovering new dogmas or in transforming the Church into a revealer, charged with completing the revelation made by Christ. The faith is fruitful, it increases, it grows by the closeness of its adherence to the word of Christ, and not by the proclamation of unknown dogmas. It is Christ alone who is the religious light and the religious life of the world - the Church must only be His humble servant.

Ecclesiastical Reform
This reform should consist in reminding the Church what Christ wished it to be. Christ established a hierarchy for the service of the faithful. That hierarchy, therefore, ought to serve, and not to rule. Its offices are a ministry, and not an authority. There is no imperium in the Church of Christ; "neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you"; and the obedience of the disciples must be reasonable, and not servile.

If any member wanted to be first, he had to be the first to serve his brothers, and not to give them orders - to feed the flock, i.e. to lead it into good pastures, and not to enslave it by false dogmas or exploit it by superstitions. The main duties of pastors are to arouse the conscience of the faithful, to enlighten it, to act as if each of them were another Christ. Christ took a firm stand against the Pharisees of His day, but He did not charge any of His disciples to rebuke his brothers, still less to excommunicate them or curse them.

The mission of the Church also is essentially religious and spiritual. Christ did not give it any worldly and temporal authority; He chose apostles and disciples only to lay the most strict duties on them, and thus to make examples of them for the flock. The early bishops or superintendents were only the overseers, and not master: "for one is your Master" [Matthew 23.8].

The primitive Church, then, was simply a gathering or reunion in which the first and only Chief was, in the eyes of the faithful, Christ himself. Pastor5s and people simply formed a school, a body and soul. This was the parish, and, if a dispute arose between any of the members, it was 'the Church' that restored peace: "Die Ecclesiae".

Gradually bonds of brotherhood and charity were formed between the various local churches, and in this way synods came into being - special and very limited synods, before the idea of general councils were heard of. It is not only the idea of the true bishops, therefore, that has to be restored, but also that of the synod and the council.

Because the so-called ecumenical council was believed to be the representation of the whole Church, it was soon confused by the Church, and rights were assigned to it, which the Church itself hardly possessed. Under the pretext that the council was, as it were, the supreme jurisdiction of the Church, this jurisdiction was made a universal and absolute jurisdiction to which was soon joined the privilege of infallibility. The practical consequences resulting from this confusion and the numerous abuses arising from them to the detriment of the Church are well known.

Old Roman Catholics are engaged in restoring the true conceptions of pastor, bishop, synod, council, ecclesiastical authority, and even infallibility according to ancient traditions. The constitution of the Church is monarchical only because Christ is its only monarch. But, inasmuch as it is a society composed of men, the Church has been called from its very beginning a simple 'church' and it has been regarded in its universality, since the time when the question of universality arose, as a Christian 'republic'. It would give a wrong idea of the early bishops to represent their actions as an aristocratic government; the words of St. Peter himself are opposed to that.

The episcopal see of Rome was not long in attaining a certain priority. Rome being the capital of the empire; but it was merely a priority of honour, and not of jurisdiction. Christ did not appoint a master among His disciples. When He told Peter especially to feed His lambs and sheep, it was to restore to him the function of which he had proved unworthy, and of which he had been deprived in denying Christ. As Peter repented, he deserved to be reinstated, and he was, but it is a mistake to transform this reinstatement as a simple apostle into exaltation above all the other apostles. Rome accomplished the alteration of the constitution of the Church by means of grossly erroneous interpretations of texts; the policy and the ambition of the bishops of Rome did the rest.

Such is the spirit in which Old Roman Catholics have set about restoring the true conception of the Church and realizing the ecclesiastical reform claimed for such a long time 'in capite et in membris'.

Union of the Christian Churches
This reform of the Church would have been very imperfect if it had not from the very beginning implied the re-establishment of union among the separate Churches. It has been rightly said that 'it is as difficult to see Christ behind the Church as to see the sun behind the darkness of night'. From the very start of our work we have made it one of our aims to study means of reviving this union. Our efforts during our international congresses, and our writings on this question in Revue internationale de theologie [1893 - 1910], are well known; great reconciliations have been effected among all the Churches that have taken part in these, and, if the union has not yet been sanctioned, it is because there are still administrative obstacles to be overcome, and especially prejudices of a hierarchical kind to be put down - a matter of time, which more favourable social circumstances will undoubtedly help to bring to a successful issue.

It is already apparent to all eyes that the 'union' aimed at is on the 'unity' which many had at first imaged. That the latter is not necessary; and that, moreover, it is impossible, considering the needs of various kinds which are prevalent among the nations and which form part of human nature itself. The chimera of a false unity being removed, matter-of-fact men will return to the real nature of spiritual union and the 'bond of peace' [Eph. 4:3], which will be sufficient to form real Christian brotherhood throughout the world.

A better understanding has already been reached as to the respects in which the Christian Churches ought to be one, and those in which they ought to remain distinct and all. When all are one in loving one another, in working together for the social well-being, in banishing from their theology every trace of anthropomorphism and politics, in becoming more spiritually-minded after the pattern of Christ, and in establishing the reign of God in every individual conscience, then the union in question will be very near being declared.

Revd Fr Charles T Brusca
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On the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The following compiled by Archbishop Lloyd of Selsey explains the Old Roman appreciation of the pious doctrine known as the "Immaculate" Conception. 

According to Prosper of Aquitaine, legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, which is to say, ‘the law of prayer determines the law of belief’ (Prosper used the equivalent term lex supplicandi in place of lex orandi). Prosper treats the church’s prayer as an authoritative source for theology in arguing that salvation must come entirely at God’s initiative since in the liturgy the Church prayed for the conversion of infidels, Jews, heretics, schismatics and the lapsed who would not seek the true faith on their own. (Charles R. Hohenstein, “‘Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi’: Cautionary Notes “. Cf. Prosper of Aquitaine, De vocatione omnium gentium, 1, 12: PL 51, 664C.) The same phrase turns up in an official document of the Holy See, Indiculus, which was a compilation of all the authoritative statements of the Bishops of Rome on the subject of grace with reference to converts, heretics and schismatics, “Let us be mindful also of the sacraments of priestly public prayer, which handed down by the Apostles are uniformly celebrated in the whole world and in every Catholic Church, in order that the law of supplication may support the law of believing.” (Indiculus, chapter 8; Denz., n. 246 [old edition, n. 139]). It is believed that this document was edited by St. Prosper himself, as he was Pope St. Celestine’s secretary at the time. This highlights the grave importance of tradition in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and all the Church’s liturgy. It also shows us that the liturgy itself is a powerful source of Christian truth. When contemporary Rome returns to our liturgical Latin Rite traditions and take this axiom seriously again – as we Old Roman Western Orthodox do – the Eastern Orthodox, for whom tradition, liturgy, and the rule of faith are virtually synonymous – will take Rome seriously again.

The Eastern Christian Church first celebrated a “Feast of the Conception of the Most Holy and All Pure Mother of God” on December 9, perhaps as early as the 5th century in Syria. The original title of the feast focused more specifically on Saint Anne, being termed “sylepsis tes hagias kai theoprometoros Annas” (“conception of Saint Anne, the Ancestress of God”). After the feast was translated to the Western Church in the 8th century, it began to be celebrated on December 8. It spread from the Byzantine area of Southern Italy to Normandy during the period of Norman dominance over southern Italy. From there it spread to England, France, Germany, and eventually Rome.

The proper for the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Medieval Sarum Missal merely addresses the fact of her conception. In 1568, Pope Pius V revised the Roman Breviary, and though the Franciscans were allowed to retain the “Immaculate” Office and Mass written by Bernardine dei Busti, this office was suppressed for the rest of the Church, and the office of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin was substituted instead, the word “Conception” being substituted for “Nativity.” According to the Papal Bull Commissi Nobis Divinitus, dated 6 December 1708, Pope Clement XI mandated the feast as a day of Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation. Prior to 1854, most missals referred to it as the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The festal texts of this period focused more on the action of Mary’s conception than on the theological question of her preservation from original sin. A missal published in England in 1806 indicates the same Collect for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was used for this feast as well [The Roman Missal in English Tr. John England (Philadelphia: Eugene Chummiskey, 1843), p. 529.] If the Rule of Believing really is established by the Rule of Praying, then eodem sensu eademque sententia is right at the heart of whether the doctrine should ever have been dogmatised. The Deposit of Faith, the Tradition handed on through the Apostles, can only ever exist, can only ever be expressed, so that it comes to Christ’s People with the same sense and with the same meaning.

Throughout Christian history, from the rising of the sun to its setting, the forms of the Liturgy rested on the auctoritas of Tradition; of the centuries which prescribed and graciously sanctified what was being done. That auctoritas was guaranteed, strongly backed up by, the (more transient) human structures of power within the Church, which preserved the Liturgy’s integrity and guided its gradual and organic evolution. It was inconceivable that things could be different. Never had it been otherwise. Yet in 1854 Pope Pius IX created a new liturgy with different emphasis to accompany the promulgation of his new dogma.

The following is the Ultrajectine episcopate’s response to the promulgation by Bl. Pius IX of Rome in 1854 of the Bull, “Ineffabilis Deus” dogmatising the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Taken from “A History of the So-Called Jansenist Church of Holland; with a Sketch of Its Earlier Annals, And some Account of the Brothers of the Common Life” by the Rev. J.M. Neale, M.A. published at Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1858. Pope Sixtus IV had left Latin Rite Catholics free to believe that Mary was subject to original sin or not, having “allowed its celebration in the entire Church” by his decree of 1476; this freedom had been reiterated by the Council of Trent.

Most holy Father, — The year of the Incarnation, eighteen hundred and fifty-four, the sixth of the Ides of December, in the church of S. Peter, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Saviour, was solemnly promulgated by your Holiness, as a dogma of the Christian faith. It is impossible to say how much such an event has astonished us; much more, has afflicted us. We might, perhaps, have been reproached for not having sooner made known our sentiments regarding so prodigious an occurrence. The sincere faith of the Church of Utrecht is sufficiently well known in the Catholic world. True Catholics have therefore certainly concluded that she rejected without hesitation the new and false dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. But our Church has not considered this good opinion of her faith a sufficient reason for not publicly manifesting her opposition to the new dogma. We owe to our dignity, to the Catholic faith, to the defenders of the truth, its open rejection. This is why we should think we had failed in our duty if we longer kept silence.

The integrity of the faith in which we have been instructed from our earliest years does not allow us to be silent. The charge which has been entrusted to us, notwithstanding our unworthiness, imposes a very grave obligation upon us, that of openly professing our belief upon the fact in question. We are, indeed, persuaded that the sacred deposit of the faith can neither be augmented nor diminished. In our office of Bishops of the Catholic Church, we have been charged to preserve intact that deposit. “Keep that which is committed to thy trust,” wrote S. Paul to his disciple Timothy, (1 Tim. vi. 20). S. Vincent of Lérins did not think that this was only written for Timothy; all those who should succeed him, by the very fact that they are bishops, ought to receive this commandment as written for them.

Now, the opinion which you have promulgated of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Mother of our Saviour, would add to the faith. In fact, before the eleventh century of the Christian era, no such prerogative was anywhere recognised as belonging to the Blessed Virgin. If we turn either to the Eastern or the Western Church, and interrogate these two parts of the Catholic world upon their faith, we cannot find in either of them the slightest trace of this opinion before the time we have mentioned. If we appeal to the writings of the sovereign pontiffs your predecessors, we are convinced that they did not hold this opinion before the century above-mentioned; still further, it would not be difficult for us to quote some words of the sovereign pontiffs which are contrary to it. Let us only point out Innocent III., Innocent V., and Clement VI. It would be equally easy for us to cite some clear passages of Holy Scripture diametrically opposed to this new opinion. We can gain nothing, then, from the two sources of the Divine Word in favour of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, Mother of God. Therefore, to preserve this deposit as much as in us lies, we raise our voices, and we say that the said doctrine carries on its face the mark of novelty. This is the first and important reason which our judgment induces us to put forth.

The Bishops of the Catholic Church have not been allowed to be judges of this doctrine; and this is the second complaint we have to address to your Holiness. To the Bishops, in short, belongs the right to judge. No notice has been taken of this right attached to the episcopal character. The whole order of Bishops has not been asked its sentiments touching the opinion in question. The letters of those which have been addressed to Rome are only particular writings; the voice of their Churches has not been heard. Now it is certain that the right of judging is inherent in the episcopate. The Council of Jerusalem, the first and the model of all councils, proves the prerogative. For when S. Peter, the first of the apostles, had spoken, S. James rose, and said, “My sentence is,” (Acts xv. 19). Those Bishops, successors and vicars of the apostles, who have heard you, by yourself, proclaiming a new dogma of faith, have they safely kept their right? No, indeed, they have only been silent witnesses or contemptible flatterers. How the episcopal dignity was disgraced in this gathering, illustrious in appearance! No one came forward as the courageous guardian of his order. Without wishing to fail in the respect which is due to you, we will tell you the truth, most holy Father! To raise the head higher than was right, the most illustrious members of the body have been humbled. Thanks be to God, we have not yet forgotten our dignity, and we complain to you of the injury which has been done to it.

The love of our Church: this is the third reason which obliges us to reject publicly the false dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin. This love demands that we should take the greatest care to preserve our Church free from error. Through the grace of God, the faith has been preserved there pure, notwithstanding the events which have too often shaken it in our country. We have therefore thought that it was our duty to put far from her all novelty in that which regards articles of faith. After the confusion introduced, three years since, in the hierarchical order, the integrity of the Catholic faith might have been threatened. Our intention is to ensure ourselves from this danger; and we ought to use all our efforts to present our Church to Christ as a chaste virgin. Our duty is to transmit to posterity the ancient faith, in its simplicity and purity, as we have received it from our predecessors. Removed from all novelty, as friends of antiquity, we distinguish by this, with Tertullian, the true doctrine from the false, — “That comes evidently from the Lord, and is true, which has been from the beginning; but that is strange and false, which has been added in the course of time.” (Praescript, c. 31.) The Apostle of the Gentiles has warned us not less than Timothy, “avoiding profane and vain babblings (1 Timothy vi. 20); babblings, that is to say, novelties of dogmas, of things, of sentiments, which are contrary to truth and to antiquity; if these are admitted, the faith of the holy fathers must be violated in everything, or at least in a great measure.” Thus speaks S. Vincent of Lérins.

About two centuries ago, the ambassador of Philip IV, king of Spain, asked, in the name of his master, your predecessor, Alexander VII, a decision on the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin. This Pope wished to know if he could decide the question, and he interrogated Cardinal Bona on this subject. The pious and learned Cardinal replied to him, that neither the Holy See nor the Church herself could make new articles of faith, but that they could only declare what God had revealed to His Church, after having examined, according to rule, the traditions transmitted from the apostles. “Could I not,” replied the Pope, “under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, decide what we ought to believe on this point?” “Most holy Father,” said Bona, “that which might be divinely discovered to you, could only serve for you, and it would not be permitted you to oblige the faithful, any more than myself, to adhere to your decision.” Would to God that a procedure so wise and so catholic had been followed by all the successors of S. Peter!

We have thought it a matter of honour and duty to offer to your Holiness the pastoral instruction which we have joined to this letter. In order that it may be better and more clearly known in our dioceses what Catholics ought to believe regarding the new dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin, we have published it for the Dutch in the language of our country.

Our Church has often appealed to the Future Oecumenical Council that shall be legitimately assembled. It appears necessary to us to renew that appeal. On account of the violation which this deposit of the faith has suffered, and because of the injury which has been done to the episcopal order, when it has been desired to establish, as a dogma revealed from God, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Saviour, we reserve to ourselves the right to make our appeal in time and place fitting. May the Father of lights give to our hearts enlightened eyes, and may He work in us that which pleases Him!

We have signed with veneration,
Most Holy Father, The most humble servants of your Holiness,
+John, Archbishop of Utrecht; (Van Santen).
+Henry john, Bishop of Haarlem; (Van Buul.)
+Hermann, Bishop of Deventer; (Heykamp).

Given at Utrecht, the 18 of the Calends of Sept., 1856.
The Secretary-General, Henri Loos.


The following provide the references to the three Popes mentioned at the beginning of the letter, Innocent III [1161-1216], Innocent V [1225-1276] and Clement VI [1291-1362].

Innocent III

Sermon on the Purification of the Virgin
But forthwith [upon the Angel’s words, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee’] the Holy Ghost came upon her. He had before come into her, when, in her mother’s womb, He cleansed her soul from original sin; but now too He came upon her to cleanse her flesh from the ‘fomes’ of sin, that she might be altogether without spot or wrinkle. That tyrant then of the flesh, the sickness of nature, the ‘fomes’ of sin, as I think, He altogether extinguished, that henceforth any motion from the law of sin should not be able to arise in her members.

Sermon on the Assumption, Sermon 2 (aka Second Discourse on the Assumption)
Eve was produced without sin, but she brought forth in sin; Mary was produced in sin, but she brought forth without sin.

On the Feast of John the Baptist, i (Sermon 16 on Feast Days)
Of John the Angel does not speak of the conception but of the birth. But of Jesus he predicts alike the Birth and the Conception. For to Zechariah the father it is predicted, ‘Thy wife shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John,’ but to Mary the mother it is predicted, ‘Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bear a Son, and shalt call His Name Jesus.’ For John was conceived in fault, but Christ Alone was conceived without fault. But each was born in grace, and therefore the Nativity of each is celebrated, but the Conception of Christ Alone is celebrated.

Innocent V

Commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences, Book 3, Distinction 3, Question 1, Article 1
The nearer any one approaches to the Holy of Holies, so much the greater degree of sanctification ought he to have, for there is no approach to Him, except through sanctification. But the mother approaches more than all to the Son, Who is the Holy of Holies; therefore she ought to have a greater degree of sanctification after her Son. The degree of sanctification may be understood as fourfold: either that one have sanctity (1) before conception and birth; (2) after conception and birth; (3) in the conception itself and birth; (4) in birth, not in conception. For, ‘in conception and not in birth’ is impossible. The first degree is not possible, both because personal perfection (like knowledge or virtue) is not transfused from the parents; and also because in children the being of grace cannot take place, before the actual being of nature, upon which it is founded. The second degree is common to all, according to the common law of sanctification through sacraments. The third is peculiar to the Holy of Holies, in Whom Alone all sanctification took place at once, conception, sanctification, assumption. There remains then the fourth. But this has four degrees; because the foetus, when conceived in the womb, may be understood to be sanctified either before animation, or in the animation, or soon after the animation, or long after the animation. The first degree is impossible, because according to Dionysius (de div. nom. c. 12) ‘Holiness is cleanness free from all defilement, and perfect and immaculate;’ but the uncleanness of fault is not expelled except through ‘grace making gracious’ [acceptable], as darkness by light, of which grace the reasonable creature only is the subject. The second degree was not suitable to the Virgin, because either she would not have contracted original sin, and so would not have needed the universal sanctification and redemption of Christ, or if she had contracted it, grace and fault could not have been in her at once. The fourth degree also was not suitable to the Virgin, because it did suit John and Jeremiah, and because it did not suit so great holiness that she should have lingered long in sin, as others; but John was sanctified in the sixth month (Luke i.). But the third seems suitable and piously credible, although it be not derived from Scripture, that she should have been sanctified, soon after her animation, either on the very day or hour, although not at the same moment.

Clement VI

Sermon One of the Lord’s Advent (aka “Sigua erunt in sole.”)
But before I divide the theme, it seems that that Conception ought not to be celebrated, first, on the authority of Bernard, who, in his Epistle to the Lyonnese [canons], gravely reprehends them, because they had received the feast and held it solemnly. Because no feast ought to be celebrated, except for reverence of the sanctity of the person as to whom it is celebrated, since such honor is shown to saints on account of the [relation] which they have to God above others; but this is on account of holiness; and not actual sin only, but original sin also [separates] from God. But the Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin, as many saints seem to say, and may be proved by many grounds. It seems that the Church ought not to hold a festival of her Conception. Here, being unwilling to dispute, I say briefly that one thing is clear, that the Blessed Virgin contracted original sin in the cause. The cause and reason is this, that, as being conceived from the coming together of man and woman, she was conceived through passion, and therefore she had original sin in the cause, which her Son had not, because He was not conceived of seed of man, but through the mystic breathing (Luke i.), ‘The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee.’ And therefore not to have original sin is a singular privilege of Christ Alone. But whether she had ‘in form’ original sin, or was by Divine virtue preserved, there are different opinions among Doctors. But however it was, I say, that if, in form and not in cause only, she had original sin, we may still very reasonably keep festival of her Conception, supposing that, according to all most opposed, it was but a little hour that she was in original sin, because according to all she was sanctified as soon as she could be sanctified.


The Ultrajectine bishops suggest there were other Roman Pontiffs they could’ve referred to in their letter to Bl. Pius IX. The noted theologian and ecclesiastical historian Philip Schaff (January 1, 1819 – October 20, 1893) who spent most of his adult life living and teaching in the United States, identified seven Popes in total, as well as various other canonised Doctors of the Church and highly venerated theologians.
(Creeds of Christendom, Volume 1, Chapter 4, Section 29)

Schaff on the Immaculate Conception:
The third step, which exempts Mary from original sin as well, is of much later origin. It meets us first as a pious opinion in connection with the festival of the Conception of Mary, which was fixed upon Dec. 8, nine months before the older festival of her birth (celebrated Sept. 8). This festival was introduced by the Canons at Lyons in France, Dec. 8, 1139, and gradually spread into England and other countries. Although it was at first intended to be the festival of the Conception of the immaculate Mary, it concealed the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, since every ecclesiastical solemnity acknowledges the sanctity of its object.

For this reason, Bernard of Clairvaux, ‘the honey-flowing doctor’ (doctor mellifluus), and greatest saint of his age, who, by a voice mightier than the Pope’s, roused Europe to the second crusade, opposed the festival as a false honor to the royal Virgin, which she does not need, and as an unauthorized innovation, which was the mother of temerity, the sister of superstition, and the daughter of levity. [FN228] He urged against it that it was not sanctioned by the Roman Church. He rejected the opinion of the Immaculate Conception of Mary as contrary to tradition and derogatory to the dignity of Christ, the only sinless being, and asked the Canons of Lyons the pertinent question, ‘Whence they discovered such a hidden fact? On the same ground they might appoint festivals for the conception of the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents of Mary, and so on without end.’ [FN229] It does not diminish, but rather increases (for the Romish stand-point) the weight of his protest, that he was himself an enthusiastic eulogist of Mary, and a believer in her sinless birth. He put her in this respect on a par with Jeremiah and John the Baptist. [FN230]

The same ground was taken substantially by the greatest schoolmen of the Middle Ages till the beginning of the fourteenth century: Anselm of Canterbury (d. 1109), who closely followed Augustine; [FN231] Peter the Lombard, ‘the Master of Sentences’ (d. 1161); Alexander of Hales, ‘the irrefragable doctor’ (d. 1245); St. Bonaventura, ‘the seraphic doctor’ (d. 1274); Albertus Magnus, ‘the wonderful doctor’ (d. 1280); St. Thomas Aquinas, ‘the angelic doctor’ (d. 1274), and the very champion of orthodoxy, followed by the whole school of Thomists and the order of the Dominicans. St. Thomas taught that Mary was conceived from sinful flesh in the ordinary way, secundum carnis concupiscentiam ex commixtione maris, and was sanctified in the womb after the infusion of the soul (which is called the passive conception); for otherwise she would not have needed the redemption of Christ, and so Christ would not be the Saviour of all men. He distinguishes, however, three grades in the sanctification of the Blessed Virgin: first, the sanctificatio in utero, by which she was freed from the original guilt (culpa originalis); secondly, the sanctificatio in conceptu Domini, when the Holy Ghost overshadowed her, whereby she was totally purged (totaliter mundata) from the fuel or incentive to sin (fomes peccati); and, thirdly, the sanctificatio in morte, by which she was freed from all consequences of sin (liberata ab omni miseria). Of the festival of the Conception, he says that it was not observed, but tolerated by the Church of Rome, and, like the festival of the Assumption, was not to be entirely rejected (non totaliter reprobanda). [FN232] The University of Paris, which during the Middle Ages was regarded as the third power in Europe, gave the weight of its authority for a long time to the doctrine of the Maculate Conception. Even seven Popes are quoted on the same side, and among them three of the greatest, viz., Leo I. (who says that Christ alone was free from original sin, and that Mary obtained her purification through her conception of Christ), Gregory I., and Innocent III. [FN233]

And here are the footnotes:
[FN228] ‘Virgo regia falso non eget honore, veris cumalata honorum titulis. . . . Non est hoc Virginem honorare sed honori detraher. . . . Præsumpta novitas mater temeritatis, soror superstitionis, filia levitatis.’ See his Epistola 174, ad Canonicos Lugdunenses, De conceptione S. Mar. (Op. ed. Migne, I. pp. 332–336). Comp. also Bernard’s Sermo 78 in Cant., Op. Vol. II. pp.1160, 1162.

[FN229] . . . ‘et sic tenderetur in infinitum, et festorum non esset numerus’ (Ep. 174, p. 334 sq.)

[FN230] ‘Si igitur ante conceptum sui sanctificari minime potuit, quoniam non erat; sed nec in ipso quidem conceptu, propter peccatum quod inerat: restat ut post conceptum in utero jam existens sanctificationem accepisse credatur, quæ excluso peccato sanctam fecerit nativitatem, non tamen et conceptionem’ (l.c. p. 336).

[FN231] Anselm, who is sometimes wrongly quoted on the other side, says, Cur Deus Homo, ii. 16 (Op. ed. Migne, I. p. 416): ‘Virgo ipsa . . . est in iniquitatibus concepta, et in peccatis concepit eam mater ejus, et cum originali peccato nata est, quoniam et ipsa in Adam peccavit, in quo omnes peccaverunt.’ To these words of Boso, Anselm replies that ‘Christ, though taken from the sinful mass (de massa peccatrice assumptus), had no sin.’ Then he speaks of Mary twice as being purified from sin (mundata a peccatis) by the future death of Christ (c. 16, 17). His pupil and biographer, Eadmer, in his book De excellent. beatæ Virg. Mariæ, c. 3 (Ans. Op. ed. Migne, II. pp. 560–62), says that the blessed Virgin was freed from all remaining stains of hereditary and actual sin when she consented to the announcement of the mystery of the Incarnation by the angel.’ Quoted also by Perrone, pp. 47–49.

[FN232] Summa Theologiæ, Pt. III. Qu. 27 (De sanctificatione B. Virg.), Art. 1–5; in Libr. I. Sentent. Dist. 44, Qu. 1, Art. 3. Nevertheless, Perrone (pp. 231 sqq.) thinks that St. Bernard and St. Thomas are not in the way of a definition of the new dogma, ‘because they wrote at a time when this view was not yet made quite clear, and because they lacked the principal support, which subsequently came to its aid; hence they must in this case be regarded as private teachers, propounding their own particular opinions, but not as witnesses of the traditional meaning of the Church.’ He then goes on to charge these doctors with comparative ignorance of previous Church history. This may be true, but does not help the matter; since the fuller knowledge of the Fathers in modern times reveals a still wider dissent from the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

[FN233] The other Popes, who taught that Mary was conceived in sin, are Gelasius I., Innocent V., John XXII., and Clement VI. (d. 1352). The proof is furnished by the Jansenist Launoy, Prœscriptions, Opera I. pp. 17 sqq., who also shows that the early Franciscans, and even Loyola and the early Jesuits, denied the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Perrone calls him an ‘irreligious innovator’ (p. 34), and an ‘impudent liar’ (p. 161), but does not refute his arguments, and evades the force of his quotations from Leo, Gelasius, and Gregory by the futile remark that they would prove too much, viz., that Mary was even born in sin, and not purified before the Incarnation, which would be impious!
(Creeds of Christendom, Volume 1, Chapter 4, Section 29)


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INTERCESSIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
For health & well-being…
John & Peggy A, Sue D, Bob F, Linda I, Michael & Esther K, Andrew M, Margaret S, Sandra W, Karen W, Paul & Margaret W, John M,  Christopher, Lyn B, Simon G, Dagmar B, Karen K, Debbie G, Finley G, Diane C, Paul, +Rommel B, Penny E, Colin R, John, Ronald, Lilian & family, Ruth L, David G, David P, Fr Graham F, S&A, +Charles of Wisconsin, Fr Terrence M, +Guo Xijin, +John P, Karl R-W, Fr Kristopher M & family, Mark Coggan, Fr Nicholas P, Ounissa, Ronald Buczek, Rik C, Juanita Alaniz & family, Shirley & Selwyn V, Trayanka K, Amanda A, Evelyn B, Matt & Bethan, Ros R, Ralph S, Brenda M, Carmen, Tony, Marie, Ryan, Eva, Tello, Olive S, David, Joyce T, Ray & Ruth M, Diane & Rebecca, Czarina, William H., Zofia K., Sean H., Laura P, +Andrew Vellone, Marvin, Rene, Czarina, Hunter, Audrey, Susie, Ed Julius De Leon, Trayanka, Bayani Antonio, Jovita Villanueva, Migdelio, Tomas, Divina Dela Paz Labayen, Patrick H, Katherine G, Angela & Claire D, Maria, James T, Luke & Mariane, Eugenia B, Cristina H, Marina M,  

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For the faithful departed…
Lauretta (21.01.19), Clive Reed (23.01.19), Fr John Wright (24.01.19), Shelley Luben (11.12.18), Mick Howells (13.12.18), Daniel Callaghan (13.02.19), Alfie (Hub guest), Père Pierre Fournier (08.02.19), Jill Lewis (24.02.19), Cynthia Sharpe Conger (28.02.19), Richard (Ricky) Belmonte (10/03/19), Fr Leo Cameron OSA (29.03.19), Fr John Corbett (30.03.19), Deacon Richard Mulholland (Easter Day), Peter, Bernard Brown (27.06.19), Peter Ellis (01.08.19), Petronila Antonio (10.09.19), Fr Mark Spring (13.09.19), Jean Marchant (15.09.19), Mary Kelly (15.10.19), John Pender (23.10.19), Fr David Cole (17/12/20), Fr Graham Francis (03.01.20), Pauline Sheila White (06/01/20), Wendy Lamb (04/03/20), Sister Sienna O.P. 02.04.20 (COVID19), David Harvey 05.04.20 (COVID19), Fr Antonio Benedetto OSB, Pam Finch, Alejandro Garcia, Mrs Hayes, Kevin Browne, +Amadeus Dion Batain, Anthony Page, Ravi Zacariah, Jeniffer Basbas Lopoz, Amelia Santos Mcasera, Evelyn Tantay Batitis, Teroy Ambrad, Escolastico Ibanez, Angelita Lachica Morales, Amadeus Dion Batain, Fr Beaumont Brandie, Pjerin, Tom, Ambrocio Cruz, Natividad Cruz, Anita Cruz, Alice Juan, Officer Sutton, Peter Sheriff (05.06.20), Walenty Kolosionsek (30.06.20), Fr Bill Scot, Emmanuel Narciso, Remedios Legaspi, Robin Plummer (15.07.20), Eunice Banag (09.08.20), Fr Anthony Cedaka (11.09.20)

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Barbara R & family, Brenda W & family, Joseph S, Catherine L & family, Rev George C & family, Jean C, Margaret & Bonita C, Debbie M & family, Phil E & Family, Adrian Kelly & family, Fr Nicholas Pnematicatos & family, Fr Andrew White & family, Richard Cole & family, the Francis Family, the White family, the Finch Family, the Garcia Family, the Hayes Family, the Browne Family, the Zachariah Family, the Brandie Family, the Manghera Family, the Cruz Family, the Hounsome Family, the Sheriff Family, The Banag Family, The Havelock Family, The Balanescu Family, The Macsim Family,

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PHILIPPINESBacoor Parish of Jesus the Divine Mercy, Copper St. Platinum Ville, San Nicolas III, Bacoor, Province of Cavite

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UK, Brighton The Brighton Oratory of SS Cuthman & Wilfrid, 1-6 Park Crescent Terrace, Brighton BN2 3HD Telephone +44 7423 074517

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THE AMERICAS

USA, Brooklyn, NY Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community, Mustard Residence 440 Lenox Road, Apt 3H Brooklyn, New York 11226

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USA, Phoenix, AZ Santo Niño Catholic Community address: 3206 W. Melvin St., Phoenix, AZ 85009 Telephone +1 623 332 3999

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