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XXIV. Post Pentecosten

St Gertrude the Great

THE OLD ROMAN Vol. II Issue XI W/C 15th November 2020

WELCOME to this eleventh 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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  • ORDO w/c Sunday 15th November 2020
  • THE LITURGICAL YEAR Sunday XXIV Post Pentecost
  • TODAY's FEAST St Gertrude the Great
  • SUNDAY MASS PROPERS St Gertrude & XXIV Post Pentecost 
  • On the Ten Virgins & the Mustard Seed - Bishop Richard Challoner
  • A SERMON FOR St Gertrude & Sunday XXIV Post Pentecost - Revd Dr Robert Wilson PhD
  • THIS WEEK'S FEASTS...  St Gertrude the Great, St Edmund Rich, St Hugh of Lincoln, Dedication of the Basilicas of SS Peter & Paul, St Elizabeth of Hungary, St Felix of Valois, St Edmund King & Martyr, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


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  • Blessings in the Philippines
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  • ARTICLE Martinmas - Advent fast
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IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Published in Rewards and Fairies (1910) where it follows "Brother Squaretoes"

This is probably the best known and loved poem by Rudyard Kipling. He commented on the response to it in his autobiography:
Among the verses in Rewards was one set called `If--', which escaped from the book, and for a while ran about the world. They were drawn from Jameson's character, and contained counsels of perfection most easy to give. Once started, the mechanization of the age made them snowball themselves in a way that startled me. Schools, and places where they teach, took them for the suffering Young - which did me no good with the Young when I met them later. (`Why did you write that stuff? I've had to write it out twice as an impot.').They were printed as cards to hang up in offices and bedrooms; illuminated text-wise and anthologized to weariness. Twenty-seven of the Nations of the Earth translated them into their seven-and-twenty tongues, and printed them on every sort of fabric.' (Something of Myself page 146)
"As a matter of form" or “for the sake of form”... to do things in the proper way, typically by following all the steps — even when such steps may not be entirely necessary...
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The XXIV Sunday Post Pentecost
St Gertrude the Great
Abbess of Eisleben
November 14th

Saint Gertrude of Eisleben is the most celebrated of several Saints of the same name, and for this reason the ancient authors named her Gertrude the Great. She was born in the year 1264 of a noble Saxon family, and placed at the age of five for education with the Benedictines of Helfta. She dwelt there as a simple religious, very mistrustful of herself, under the direction of an Abbess having the same name as herself. The Abbess' sister was Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn; and she was the mistress and friend of the young Saint Gertrude, who consulted her excellent teacher whenever she was tempted by vain and useless thoughts, or troubled by doubts suggested by the ancient enemy.

Saint Gertrude learned Latin in her youth, as in those days was customary for persons of her sex who consecrated themselves to God, and she wrote Latin with unusual elegance and force. She also had an uncommon knowledge of Holy Scripture and of all the branches of learning having religion as their object; but one day Our Lord reproached her with having too great a taste for her studies. Afterwards she could find in them nothing but bitterness; but soon Our Lord came to instruct her Himself. For many years she never lost His amiable Presence, save for eleven days when He decided to test her fidelity. Prayer and contemplation were her principal exercise, and to those she consecrated the greater part of her time.

Zeal for the salvation of souls was ardent in the heart of Gertrude. Thinking of the souls of sinners, she would shed torrents of tears at the foot of the cross and before the Blessed Sacrament. She especially loved to meditate on the Passion and the Eucharist, and at those times, too, could not restrain the tears that flowed in abundance from her eyes. When she spoke of Jesus Christ and His mysteries, she ravished those who heard her. One day while in church the Sisters were singing, I have seen the Lord face to face, Saint Gertrude beheld what appeared to be the divine Face, brilliant in beauty; His eyes pierced her heart and filled her soul and flesh with inexpressible delights. Divine love, ever the unique principle of her affections and her actions, was the principle by which she was crucified to the world and all its vanities.

She was the object of a great number of extraordinary graces; Jesus Christ engraved His wounds in the heart of His holy spouse, placed rings on her fingers, presented Himself to her in the company of His Mother, and in her spirit acted as though He had exchanged hearts with her. All these astonishing graces only developed her love for suffering. It was impossible for her to live without some kind of pain; the time she spent without suffering seemed to her to be wasted.

During the long illness of five months from which she would die, she gave not the slightest sign of impatience or sadness; her joy, on the contrary, increased with her pains. When the day of her death arrived in 1334, she saw the Most Blessed Virgin descend from heaven to assist her, and one of her Sisters perceived her soul going straight to the Heart of Jesus, which opened to receive it. Saint Gertrude is one of the great mystics of the Church; the book of her Revelations, recorded out of obedience, remains celebrated. In it she traces in words of indescribable beauty the intimate converse of her soul with Jesus and Mary. She was gentle to all, most gentle to sinners; filled with devotion to the Saints of God, to the souls in purgatory, and above all to the Passion of Our Lord and to His Sacred Heart.

Reflection: No preparation for death can be better than to offer and resign ourselves constantly to the Divine Will, humbly, lovingly, and with unbounded confidence in the infinite mercy and goodness of God.

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

ORDO w/c Sunday 15th November 2020
    OFFICE   N.B.
15.11 S St Gertrude the Great
Com. Sunday XXIV Post Pentecost*
(W) Missa “Dilexisti
d 2a) Sunday XXIVPP
16.11 M St. Edmund Rich of Canterbury
(W) Missa “Gaudeamus
d Gl.Pref.Common
17.11 T St. Hugh of Lincoln
Com. St Hilda of Whitby
(W) Missa “Sacerdotes
d 2a) St Hilda
18.11 W Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter & Paul
(W) Missa “Terribilis est
gd Gl.Cr.Pref.Common
19.11 T St Elizabeth of Hungary W
Com. St Pontianus of Rome
(W) Missa “Cognovi
d 2a) St Pontianus 
Gl. Pref.Common
20.11 F St Felix of Valois C
(W) Missa “Justus” 

UK St Edmund of East Anglia 
(R) Missa “In virtute tua


21.11 S Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary*
(W) Missa “Salve sancta parens” 
gd Gl.Cr.Pref.BVM
22.11 S St Cecilia of Rome V&M
Com. Sunday XXIV & Last Post Pentecost
(R) Missa “Loquébar de testimóniis
d 2a) Sunday XXIVPP
From Ceremonies of the Roman Rite described by Fr Adrian Fortesque
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
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Sunday XXIV Post Pentecost
The number of the Sundays after Pentecost may exceed twenty-four, and go up as far as twenty-eight, according as Easter is each Year, more or less near to the vernal equinox. But the Mass here given is always reserved for the last; and the intervening ones, be their number what it may, are taken from the Sundays after the Epiphany, which in that case were not used at the beginning of the year. This, however, does not apply to the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion, which, as we have already said, are repeated from the twenty-third Sunday.

We have seen how that Mass of the twenty-third Sunday was regarded by our forefathers as really the last of the Cycle. Abbot Rupert has given us the profound meaning of its several parts. According to the teaching we have already pondered over, the reconciliation of Juda was shown us as being, in time, the term intended by God: the last notes of the sacred Liturgy blended with the last scene of the world’s history, as seen and known by God. The end proposed by eternal Wisdom, in the world’s creation, and mercifully continued after the Fall by the mystery of Redemption, has now (we speak of the Church’s Year and God’s workings) been fully carried out—this end was no other than that of divine Union with Human Nature, making it one in the unity of one only body. Now that the two antagonist-people, gentile and jew, are brought together in the one same New Man in Christ Jesus their Head, the Two Testaments, which so strongly marked the distinction between the ages of time, the one called the Old, the other the New—yes, these Two Testaments fade away and give place to the glory of the Eternal Alliance.

EPISTLE Col 3:12-17
The praise which the Apostle here gives to the Thessalonians for their fervour in the faith, they had embraced, conveys a reproach to the Christians of our own times. These neophytes of Thessalonica, who, a short time before, were worshippers of idols, had become so earnest in the practice of the Christian religion, that even the Apostle is filled with admiration. We are the descendants of countless Christian ancestors; we received our regeneration by Baptism at our first coming into the world; we were taught the doctrine of Jesus Christ from our earliest childhood; and yet, our faith is not as strong, or our lives as holy, as were those of the early Christians. Their main occupation was the serving the living and true God, and the waiting for the coming of their Saviour; our Hope is precisely the same as that which made their hearts so fervent; how comes it that our Faith is not like theirs in its generosity? We love this present life, as though we had not the firm conviction that it is to pass away.

As far as depends upon us, we are handing down to future generations a Christianity very different from that which our Saviour established, which the Apostles preached, and which the pagans of the first ages thought they were bound to purchase at any price or sacrifice.

GOSPEL Matthew 13:24-30
Our Lord here teaches us, under the symbolism of two parables, what we are to believe concerning his Church, which is his Kingdom, - a Kingdom that rises indeed here on the earth, but is to be perfected in Heaven. What is this grain of mustard-seed, which is hid under ground, is unseen by man's eye, then appears as the least of herbs, but, finally, becomes a tree? It is the Word of God, at first hidden in Judea, trampled on by man's malice even so as to be buried in a tomb, but, at length, rising triumphantly and reaching rapidly to every part of the world. Scarcely had a hundred years elapsed since Jesus was put to death, and his Church was vigorous even far beyond the limits of the Roman Empire. During the past nineteen centuries, every possible effort has been made to up-root the Tree of God; persecution, diplomacy, human wisdom, - all have tried, and all have but wasted their time. True, - they succeeded, from time to time, in severing a branch; but another grew in its place, for the sap of the Tree is vigorous beyond measure. The birds that come and dwell upon it, are, as the Holy Fathers interpret it, the souls of men aspiring to the eternal goods of the better world. If we are worthy of our name of "Christians," we shall love this Tree, and find our rest and safety no where but beneath its shade. - The Woman, of whom the second parable speaks, is the Church, our Mother. It was she that, from the commencement of Christianity, took the teaching of her Divine Master, and hid it in the very heart of men, making it the leaven of their salvation. The three measures of meal which she leavened into bread, are the three great families of mankind, the three that came from the children of Noah, who are the three fathers of the whole human race. Let us love this Mother of ours; and let us bless that heavenly leaven, which made us become children of God, by making us children of the Church.

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Saint Gertrude the Great, Virgin and Abbess; Commemoration of Sunday XXIV Post Pentecost: Missa “Dilexisti”

The Roman Martyrology commemorates, today, the virgin St. Gertrude, who is to be distinguished from another virgin of the same name, whose life is recorded in the month of March. The Breviary relates of her, as follows: Gertrude was born at Eisleben, in Saxony, the same place where, two hundred years later, the unhappy Luther came into the world. When hardly five years old, she went into the Benedictine convent at Rudersdorf, to consecrate herself entirely to the service of the Most High. From that time, she despised all that was worldly, and striving only after virtue, led an almost heavenly life. The meditation of the divine mysteries, to which she was much devoted, served her as an incitement to virtue and perfection. In all her actions, she sought only the honor of God. Her conversations on our Lord and His holy life were most edifying, and her devotion to the Holy Eucharist, and the bitter passion and death of Christ was so fervent, that she frequently shed floods of tears in contemplating them. The Virgin Mother, whom in a vision, Christ had given her as mother, she venerated with filial affection. She daily offered all her prayers and other good works for the souls in purgatory, many of whom she freed from their sufferings.

When thirty years of age, she was chosen abbess or superior, and successively governed two convents, with so much mildness, wisdom and zeal for the maintenance of the Rule, that the houses under her charge were justly regarded and praised as true dwellings of religious perfection. Although the holy virgin, as superior, stood above all, she would be the least of them, and endeavored to show those under her all possible kindness. The Almighty favored her with extraordinary gifts. She had many visions of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and other Saints. The revelations which she had of secret and future events were almost numberless. She often went into ecstasy during her prayers and continued in it a considerable length of time. But notwithstanding these and other divine gifts, she was so humble that she frequently said that one of the greatest miracles of divine goodness was the fact that God suffered her to serve Him.

Quite different was the judgment of heaven; for, to say nothing of many other proofs of the favor with which she was regarded, we will only relate, that Christ Himself revealed to another holy person, that He had chosen for Himself a most lovely dwelling in the heart of Gertrude. God made the hour of her death known to her; and the nearer it approached, the more her zeal in the Lord’s service increased; until a happy death called her home, in 1292. She was during her life, venerated as an example of all virtues, among which her love of God was the brightest. This love was so great, that her death was caused rather by its ardor than by the sufferings of her malady. Before and after her death, God wrought many and great miracles by her intercession.

INTROIT Psalm 44: 8

Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be to the Father.


O God, Who didst prepare for Thyself a pleasant dwelling-place in the heart of blessed Gertrude, do Thou, through her merits and intercession, mercifully wipe away from our hearts every stain of sin, and grant us to enjoy her companionship. 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.

Commemoratio Dominica VI quæ superfuit Post Epiphaniam IV. Novembris
Grant us, we beseech You, almighty God, ever to think of spiritual things and in every word and work always to do what is well pleasing in Your sight. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE  II Corinthians 10: 17-18

Brethren, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commandeth himself is approved: but he whom God commandeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly, but do bear with me: for I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 44: 5,15,16

With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Because of truth, and meekness, and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Alleluia, alleluia. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee with gladness. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Matthew 25: 1-13

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of Heaven shall be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise: but the five foolish having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering, said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.


The daughters of kings are in thine honour, the queen stood on thy right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.


May the offering of Thy consecrated people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honour of Thy Saints, by whose merits it knoweth that it hath received aid in time of trouble. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Dominica VI quæ superfuit Post Epiphaniam IV. Novembris
May this offering, O God, we beseech You, cleanse and renew us, govern and protect us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. 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:


The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with the lamps: and at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the Bridegroom cometh: go ye forth to meet Christ the Lord. .


Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession whose festival we celebrate. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God world without end. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Dominica VI quæ superfuit Post Epiphaniam IV. Novembris
Nourished by Your heavenly food, O Lord, we beseech You that we may always strive after those things that give us true life. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the crowds: The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. This indeed is the smallest of all the seeds; but when it grows up it is larger than any herb and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and dwell in its branches. He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and buried in three measures of flour, until all of it was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and without parables he did not speak to them; that what was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled, I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.
R. Thanks be to God.

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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.
Consider first, that these ten virgins, in this parable, represent to us the state of Christians in this mortal pilgrimage. We are all, by our vocation or calling to the Christian faith, appointed to go forth, with our lamps, to meet the bridegroom: because the business of a Christian in this life is to make the best of his way, by the help of the light of faith, towards his God and a happy eternity; and to be always in readiness for the coming of Christ, the great bridegroom of our souls. The lamps with which we are to go forth to meet Christ are the light of faith and all the divine truths of the Christian religion; the oil with which these lamps are to be kept burning are the works of faith, that is, the good works prescribed by the gospel, and particularly the works of mercy and charity, and the love of God above all things. Where this oil is wanting the lamps are extinguished, because faith without good works is dead. And thrice unhappy they who at the approaches of that uncertain hour of their departure hence, when they shall be called upon as in the middle of the night, to go forth to meet the bridegroom, shall find no oil in their lamps! Alas, where shall they then go to buy it? In all appearance, before they shall be in a condition to procure any, the bridegroom will come, and take along with him those whom he finds ready to his wedding feast; and shut the door against the rest, never, never to be opened, to all eternity!

Consider 2ndly, that all Christians belong to one or other of those two companies represented in this parable under the denomination of wise and foolish virgins. The good are truly wise, because they are wise according to God; and they are wise in order to eternity; inasmuch as they wisely provide for eternity. But O, how truly foolish are the wicked and all the children of Babylon, who continually forget both God and eternity! For what greater folly or what greater madness can there be, than to believe as Christians, and to live as infidels; to expect to go to heaven by the road that leads to hell; to be daily preferring darkness before light, slavery before liberty, misery before happiness, Satan before God; by preferring the state of sin before the state of grace? In a word, what can be more foolish than blindly to exchange all that is really good, both in time and eternity, for the very worst of evils, and such as will never have an end? And yet, alas! as we daily see, the number of such fools as these is infinite. But the folly that is here particularly censured in this parable, is that of Christians who make no provision of the oil of good works for the nourishment of their lamps, but go out to meet their Lord with expectation of being admitted by him to his eternal feast with Christian faith, without Christian charity; with believing in God without loving God, and keeping his commandments. Ah! my soul, take good care thou never be so foolish.

Consider 3rdly, that the great lesson designed for us in this parable is expressed in those words with which our Lord concludes, 'Watch ye, therefore, because ye know not the day nor the hour.' The bridegroom in the parable came in the middle of the night, that is at a time when he was least expected; according to what he has often signified, that he will come 'like a thief in the night,' and that we shall not know the hour of his coming. Nor that he desires to surprise us, for if he did he would not so often warn us; but that he desires we would always watch, and be always ready, that so we may never be surprised. 'What I say to you,' said he to his disciples, 'I say to all: Watch,' and again: 'Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen, I say to you that he will gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and passing he will minister to them.' Luke xii. 37. O! who can express or conceive the greatness of these heavenly rewards, of these highest honours, of these never-ending joys, signified here by our Lord's ministering in this manner himself to the servants whom he shall find watching? But O, the dismal case, on the other hand, of all them that instead of watching, and being always ready, are quite asleep as to all that relates to God and their souls; and are not awakened, either with the love or fear of God, till death opens their eyes, when 'tis too late; and then, like the foolish virgins, they find the door shut against them, and are sent away, with 'I know you not,' into the exterior darkness.

Conclude to bear always in mind this indispensable duty of watching, so frequently inculcated by the Son of God; that so thou mayest never be surprised and sleep in death; carrying always with thee the lamp of faith to enlighten thee; but never forgetting that this light must be kept in with the oil of good works.

Consider first, that under this humble similitude of so small a thing as a grain of mustard see, great and divine truths are delivered to us by truth itself, when he tells us that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed. The kingdom of heaven, in the gospel, is taken in three different ways; sometimes for God's eternal kingdom, to which the just are invited, Matt. xxv. 34, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you,' & c., of which also it is said, Matt. xiii. 43, 'The just shall shine, as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.' At other times the kingdom of heaven is taken for the church of Christ, in which he reigns for ever, as in his kingdom; and the institution and intention of which is to bring men to heaven: and thus the kingdom of heaven is likened to 'a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kinds of fishes,' & c., Matt xiii. 47; 'and to ten virgins who went out with their lamps to meet the bridegroom,' Matt. xxv. & c.: and of this kingdom it is said, that our Lord shall send his angels, (at the end of the world,) and 'they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity; and shall cast them into the furnace of fire,' & c. At other times again the kingdom of heaven is taken for the kingdom by which God reigns, by faith, grace, and love in the soul of good Christians: and thus 'the kingdom of heaven is likened to a treasure hidden in a field;' and to 'a pearl of great price,' Matt. xiii. 44, 46; and of this kingdom it is said, Luke xvii. 21, 'Lo, the kingdom of God is within you.' Now, the kingdom of heaven, according to all these three acceptations, is likened to a little grain of mustard seed; because all our good, faith itself, grace, and all our happiness, both for time and eternity, is grounded on humility. We must be little and humble upon earth; and we must become 'as little children, or we shall never enter into the kingdom of heaven,' Matt. xviii. 3.

Consider 2ndly, how well this similitude agrees to this spiritual kingdom of Christ in his church. Take a view of the beginning of this kingdom of heaven in a few poor fishermen, utterly destitute of any one of those advantages that might recommend them according to the world; see its very founder himself, a poor man, rejected, condemned, and put to a most disgraceful death, by public authority, at the unanimous desire of both the senate and the people of his own nation: then observe the most fundamental principles and practices upon which this kingdom was first founded and established: its doctrines most shocking to human pride; its maxims and precepts most insupportable to the natural inclinations of flesh and blood: and you shall find in all this the resemblance of the mustard seed; small, mean, inconsiderable, and contemptible in the eyes of the world. But then observe how quickly this little grain, after it had been buried, as it were, in the earth, sprung up, and even grew up into a large tree, which spread it branches far and near, by the wonderful progress of the church and kingdom of Christ made in short time over all the earth; see the many thousands of martyrs and other saints, of all states and conditions, it quickly produces; with innumerable examples of the most heroic virtues, such as none of the schools or sects of the philosophers, or any of the ancient or modern sages of the world, with all their learning and eloquence, and all their pretensions to wisdom, could ever come up to. And in all this admire and adore the wonderful ways of God, who ever delights in showing forth his greatness in things that are little; and in choosing the foolish things of the world and such as are weak, mean, and contemptible in the eyes of the world, to be the instruments of his greatest works.

Consider 3rdly, that this grain of mustard seed is also very expressive of the kingdom of God, by which he reigns by grace in our souls. The beginnings of this kingdom are small, like the mustard seed; the very first foundation of it must be laid by humility, of which the mustard seed is the emblem: for a contrite and humble heart is the most essential ingredient of the conversion of the soul to God, without which the kingdom of divine grace can never be established in the soul. Then this divine grace, like the grain of mustard seed, before it can spring up and produce the tree of Christian perfection, must first be sown, and as it were buried in the earth, by letting it sink deep into the soul and by harbouring it there, by the means of serious and frequent meditations, and the practice of mental prayer. For it is thus only that the soul can be qualified to grow up in all Christian virtues, till she become herself the kingdom of God, and a kind of heaven upon earth; the very temple in which God chooses to dwell; the house of God and the house of prayer. And thus the little grain of seed will grow into a great tree.

Conclude with a serious resolution to seek henceforward in good earnest this kingdom of heaven, represented by the mustard seed; which, as thou here seest, is not out of thy reach, since it may be found here upon earth, and that too without going any farther to seek it than into thy own interior; where, if thou properly seek it, by recollection and mental prayer, thou shalt quickly come at it, and be put in the possession of it. And all good things shall come to thee together with it.
Revd Dr Robert Wilson PhD
St. Gertrude/Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Gertrude, as well as commemorating the Twenty Fourth  Sunday after Pentecost.  St. Gertrude was born of a noble family at Eisleben in Saxony in 1264. Her life was almost entirely spent in the cloister. She became an oblate at the age of five in the nunnery at Rodalsdorf. According to the Breviary “from that time forth she was utterly estranged from earthly things, ever striving for things higher, and began to lead a kind of heavenly life. To learning in human letters she added knowledge of the things of God…. In the thirtieth year of her age she was elected Abbess of Rodalsdorf, where she had professed herself in the religious life, and afterwards of Heldelfs. The office she bore for forty years in love, wisdom and zeal for strict observance, so that the house seemed like an ideal example of a sisterhood of perfect nuns….The love of God oftentimes threw her into trances, and she was given the grace of the deepest contemplation, even to union of spirit with God.” On January 27, 1281, when she was just over twenty five, Christ revealed himself to her as the spouse of her soul and consoled her in a trial which tormented her. She received remarkable visions during the following eight years, subsequently related in a book entitled, “Revelations of St. Gertrude”. She died in 1334.

But what is the place of mysticism in Christianity? To describe someone as a mystic suggests that they are far removed from ordinary life and experience, and may suggest something esoteric. It should be said at once that Christianity is not primarily about mystical experience, but rather service of God and neighbour. The revelation of God recorded in the Law and the Prophets and incarnate in the Word made flesh is a public revelation addressed to all, rather than a mystical experience only addressed to some. The Law received by Moses on the mountainside was addressed to the people of Israel as a whole. It was not an esoteric or private mystical experience only attainable by certain elect souls. The prophets likewise addressed themselves to the people as a whole, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear. Since Christ came to fulfil the Law and the Prophets he too addressed himself to the people as a whole, not just an elect few. The Christian faith is for all nations, tribes and tongues. That is why the early Church rejected Gnosticism (the belief in salvation by esoteric or secret knowledge inaccessible to the multitude). The message of the Incarnation is all about the Word becoming flesh in time and history, so that the human race can be redeemed from sin and death. The message of redemption is for all, not just some. It is not like the impassioned serenity of the Buddha, detached from the world of suffering in an impersonal nirvana.

However, though Christianity is not primarily about mystical experience, this does not mean that there is no place for mysticism in the Christian life. What distinguishes Christian from non-Christian mysticism is that it is focused on Christ, and takes as its basis the Scriptures and liturgy of the Church. Precisely because it is centred on Christ it is a mysticism that is addressed and accessible to all, not just a private revelation for the few. It is not about withdrawal from the world of suffering, but about redemption through suffering. St. Gertrude embraced the way of the Cross and sought redemption through it. It was from this experience that she could write about the life of holiness, and the need to become detached from worldly attitudes to focus on God. The human race has fallen from grace because it has sought for happiness in the things of this world. Redemption can only be found through detachment from the things of this world and being reborn in Christ. Yet, as we are reborn and renewed and less absorbed by worldly standards and attitudes, we are able to become more, not less, involved in this world because we are able to see what really matters. We can become by grace what Christ is by nature.

But what of the particular mystical experiences of St. Gertrude herself? They clearly belong within the Cistercian tradition within which she was formed and in particular the devotion to the Sacred Humanity which can be traced back to St. Bernard of Clairvaux in particular. They belong on the same level as other mystical experiences of other saints such as St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Theresa of Avila. They are not part of the public revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a message received always, everywhere and by all. Acceptance of their particular mystical experiences and spirituality is not an essential part of the Christian faith, but we acknowledge their witness and the testimony of their lives as saints precisely because they are so clearly deeply rooted in the faith received always, everywhere and by all. Ultimately, the criterion we must use is not so much an analysis of the type of experience itself, which may be related to the particular personality of the individual Christian believer, but the fruit that it bore both in their own lives and in the lives of others. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

If the Christian believer claims to have particular mystical experiences, and yet they do not strive to lead a life of service to God and neighbour then there would seem to be good grounds for questioning the genuineness of the experiences. If on the other hand the Christian believer claims to have particular mystical experiences, and they strive to lead a life of service to God and neighbour then there would seem to be good grounds for accepting the genuineness of them. If they are truly faithful to Christ they will not claim to base their faith on their own particular experience, though it may well give them added strength and consolation in times of adversity, but rather on the public revelation of the faith once delivered to the saints, and received everywhere, always and by all. If we are to remain steadfast to that faith and live in love and service to God and neighbour, then we will be truly following the example of St. Gertrude and of all the saints who have been the chosen vessels of God’s grace and lights to the world in their several generations.

“O God, who in the heart of the holy virgin Gertrude didst provide for thyself a pleasing abode; through her merits and prayers, do thou cleanse from our hearts every stain of sin, and grant that we may enjoy fellowship with her for evermore, through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.”
Saint Edmund Rich
November 16 Archbishop of Canterbury († 1240)

Saint Edmund, Edmundus, or Edme, was born at Abingdon in England towards the end of the twelfth century, the son of very virtuous Christians. His father withdrew from the world before many years passed, and entered a monastery, where he later died; and his pious spouse raised her children in the love and fear of God, accustoming them to an austere life, and by means of little presents, encouraging them to practice mortification and penance.

Edmund, the oldest, with his brother Robert, left his home at Abingdon as a boy of twelve to study in Paris. There he protected himself against many grievous temptations by a vow of chastity, and by consecrating himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary for life. While he was still a schoolboy there, he one day saw the Child Jesus, who told him He was always at his side in school, and accompanied him everywhere he went. He said he should inscribe His Name deeply in his heart, and at night print it on his forehead, and it would preserve him and all who would do likewise, from a sudden death.

His mother fell seriously ill while he was still studying in Paris; he returned home for her final benediction, and she recommended that he provide for his brother and his sisters. When the latter were all received by the Superior of a nearby convent, Edmund was able to return to Paris to complete his studies. He began to profess the liberal arts there and acquired an excellent reputation, striving also to teach virtue to his students and to aid them in all their difficulties. After six years, he was advised by his mother in a dream to abandon the teaching of secular disciplines, and devote himself to learning to know God better. He then became a Doctor of sacred learning, and many who heard him teach left their former occupations to embrace religious life. When ordained a priest, he was the treasurer of the Church of the diocese of Salisbury. There he manifested such charity to the poor that the dean said he was rather the treasure than the treasurer of their church.

The Pope, having heard of his sanctity and his zeal, charged him to preach the Crusade against the Saracens. He was raised in 1234 to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. There he fearlessly defended the rights of Church and State against the avarice and greed of Henry III. The complacent ecclesiastics and lords persecuted him in various ways, but could not alter his patience. Finding himself unable, however, to force the monarch to relinquish the benefices which he kept vacant on behalf of the royal coffers, Edmund retired into exile at the Cistercian monastery of Pontigny, rather than appear as an accomplice to so flagrant a wrong. After two years spent in solitude and prayer, he went to his reward. The miracles wrought at his tomb at Pontigny were so numerous that he was canonized in 1247, only a few years after his death. His body was found incorrupt in that year, when it was translated in the presence of Saint Louis IX and his court to Pontigny, from its former resting place in the church of Soisy.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13

Saint Hugh of Lincoln
November 17 Bishop, confessor († 1200)

A native of Burgundy, Hugh was born in Avalon, near Grenoble in 1140 and joined the Carthusian Order at the age of 20. He was highly regarded for his intellectual ability, his integrity and caring nature. At the request of Henry II, he came to England in 1175 to found the first English Charterhouse at Witham in Somerset, which he did in the face of obstacles of all kinds. It flourished so well under his care that in 1181 the King chose him to be Bishop of Lincoln. Hugh was reluctant to leave the monastic life but agreed and moved to Lincoln in 1186. He set about rebuilding the part of the Cathedral which had been damaged in an earthquake the previous year.

The diocese was vast and Hugh travelled ceaselessly round it on horseback, ministering to the needs of the people. He stayed at small diocesan manors, as he travelled through the countryside. The most central of these was what has become Buckden Towers. He also had a manor at Biggleswade.

Hugh was known for his love of justice and his kindness to the oppressed, children and animals. Throughout his ministry he tended to lepers and in 1190 he risked his life to protect a group of Jews from violence. He also upheld the rights of the peasants against the King’s harsh and unjust forestry laws. Although he was highly principled and outspoken, his conciliatory nature and sense of humour helped him to win over his opponents.

Hugh was held in great affection by everyone from peasants to monarchs and on his death in 1200, at the age of 60, he was greatly mourned. At his magnificent funeral the kings of England and Scotland helped to carry the bier. He was buried in Lincoln Cathedral and canonized soon after, in 1220.

St Hugh is usually depicted as a bishop, sometimes as a Carthusian. In either case he is accompanied by a swan, as it was reported that a fierce swan at his manor at Stow became very tame and attached to him, although it was still aggressive towards everyone else!

Saint Gregory Thaumaturge
November 17 Bishop, confessor († 270)

Saint Gregory was born in the Pont, of distinguished parents who were still engaged in the superstitions of paganism. He lost his father at the age of fourteen, and began to reflect on the folly of idolatry's fables. He recognized the unity of God and was becoming disposed to accept the truths of Christianity. His father had destined him for the legal profession, in which the art of oratory is very necessary, and in this pursuit he was succeeding very well, having learned Latin. He was counseled to apply himself to Roman law.

Gregory and his brother Athenodorus, later to be a bishop like himself, had a sister living in Palestine at Caesarea. Not far from that city was a school of law, and in Caesarea itself, another which the famous Origen had opened in the year 231 and in which he was teaching philosophy. The two brothers heard Origen there, and that master discovered in them a remarkable capacity for knowledge, and more important still, rare dispositions for virtue. He strove to inspire love for truth in them and an ardent desire to attain greater knowledge and the possession of the Supreme Good; and the two brothers soon put aside their intentions to study law. Gregory studied also in Alexandria for three years, after a persecution drove his master, Origen, from Palestine, but returned there with the famous exegete in 238. He was then baptized, and in the presence of a large audience delivered a speech in which he testified to his gratitude towards his teacher, praising his methods, and thanking God for so excellent a professor.

When he returned to his native city of Neocaesarea in the Pont, his friends urged him to seek high positions, but Gregory desired to retire into solitude and devote himself to prayer. For a time he did so, often changing his habitation, because the archbishop of the region desired to make him Bishop of Neocaesarea. Eventually he was obliged to consent. That city was very prosperous, and the inhabitants were corrupted by paganism. Saint Gregory, with Christian zeal and charity, and with the aid of the gift of miracles which he had received, began to attempt every means to bring them to the light of Christ. As he lay awake one night an elderly man entered his room, and pointed to a Lady of superhuman beauty who accompanied him, radiant with heavenly light. This elderly man was Saint John the Evangelist, and the Lady of Light was the Mother of God. She told Saint John to give Gregory the instruction he desired; thereupon he gave Saint Gregory a creed which contained in all its plenitude the doctrine of the Trinity. Saint Gregory consigned it to writing, directed all his preaching by it, and handed it down to his successors. This creed later preserved his flock from the Arian heresy.

He converted a pagan priest one day, when the latter requested a miracle, and a very large rock moved to another location at his command. The pagan priest abandoned all things to follow Christ afterwards. One day the bishop planted his staff beside the river which passed alongside the city and often ravaged it by floods. He commanded it never again to pass the limit marked by his staff, and in the time of Saint Gregory of Nyssa, who wrote of his miracles nearly a hundred years later, it had never done so. The bishop settled a conflict which was about to cause bloodshed between two brothers, when he prayed all night beside the lake whose possession they were disputing. It dried up and the miracle ended the difficulty.

When the persecution of Decius began in 250, the bishop counseled his faithful to depart and not expose themselves to trials perhaps too severe for their faith; and none fell into apostasy. He himself retired to a desert, and when he was pursued was not seen by the soldiers. On a second attempt they found him praying with his companion, the converted pagan priest, now a deacon; they had mistaken them the first time for trees. The captain of the soldiers was convinced this had been a miracle, and became a Christian to join him. Some of his Christians were captured, among them Saint Troadus the martyr, who merited the grace of dying for the Faith. The persecution ended at the death of the emperor in 251.

It is believed that Saint Gregory died in the year 270, on the 17th of November. Before his death he asked how many pagans still remained in the city, and was told there were only seventeen. He thanked God for the graces He had bestowed on the population, for when he arrived, there had been only seventeen Christians.

Reflection: Devotion to the blessed Mother of God is the sure guarantee of faith in Her Divine Son. Every time we invoke Her, we renew our faith in the Incarnate God, we reverse the sin and unbelief of our first parents, and we establish communion with the One who was blessed because She believed.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13

Dedication of the Basilicas of
Saint Peter and Saint Paul

November 18

The ancient basilica of Saint Peter stood, like the present one, on the hill of Rome called in Latin Mons Vaticanus, at the northwestern extremity of the city, on the right bank of the Tiber. What we call the Vatican is a Roman palace, the ordinary dwelling of the Pope. Near the Lateran palace where the early Popes dwelt, which was itself built by Constantine the Great or Saint Liberius, Constantine built on the same hill, over the tomb of Saint Peter called the Confession, the Church of the first Vicar of Christ, where once a Roman circus had stood. This first Christian emperor placed there a plaque to honor Saint Peter, on which he had inscribed:

Because the world under your guidance has risen triumphant to the very heavens, Constantine, victorious, has built this temple to your glory.

The Divine Office for this day narrates its origins as follows:

The Emperor Constantine the Great, on the eighth day after his baptism, after deposing the diadem and prostrating himself, shed a great many tears; then taking up a pick and a shovel, he dug into the soil and drew out twelve loads of earth in honor of the twelve Apostles, thereby designating the site of the basilica he desired to build to honor their Prince. This basilica was dedicated by Pope Saint Sylvester on the fourteenth day of the calendes of December, just as on the fifth of the ides of November he had consecrated the Church of the Lateran, but here he did so by raising a stone altar which he anointed with sacred chrism... When the old Vatican basilica became decrepit, it was rebuilt, through the piety of several Pontiffs, on the same foundations but larger and more magnificent. And in the year 1626, on this same day, Urban VII solemnly consecrated it.

As during the earliest centuries, still today from all corners of the world Christians go to venerate the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles.

The tomb of Saint Paul is on the Ostian Way, at the southern extremity of the city. The characters indicating the Apostle buried there, which clearly date from the epoch of Constantine, are engraved in the marble which closes the sarcophagus: PAULO APOSTOLO ET MARTYRI.

On the same day, Saint Sylvester dedicated the Basilica of Saint Paul the Apostle which the emperor Constantine had also built with magnificence on the Ostian Way, enriching this one, too, with revenues, ornaments and valuable gifts. In the year 1823, a violent fire totally consumed this Basilica, but it was raised again, more beautiful than before, by the persevering zeal of four Pontiffs, who recovered it from its ruins. Pius IX chose for the time of its consecration the blessed occasion of the definition of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which he had just proclaimed, and which had drawn to Rome from the farthest places of the Catholic world, a number of Bishops and Cardinals. It was on the 10th day of December in 1854, that amid this beautiful crown of prelates and princes of the Church, he carried out the solemn dedication, and fixed its annual commemoration for the present day. (November 18)

Thus the city is laid out between the two pillars of the Church, the two Apostles who from Rome made the Word of God resound throughout the entire world.

L'Année liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger (Mame et Fils: Tours: 1919), The Time after Pentecost, VI, Vol. 15. Translation O.D.M.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
November 18 Widow (1207-1231)

Elizabeth was the daughter of the just and pious Andrew II, king of Hungary, the niece of Saint Hedwig, and the sister of the virtuous Bela IV, king of Hungary, who became the father of Saint Cunegundes and of Saint Margaret of Hungary, a Dominican nun. Another of her brothers was Coloman, King of Galicia and prince of Russia, who led an angelic life amid the multiple affairs of the world and the troubles of war.

She was betrothed in infancy to Louis, Landgrave of Thuringia, and brought up from the age of four in his father's court. Never could she bear to adopt the ornaments of the court for her own usage, and she took pleasure only in prayer. She would remove her royal crown when she entered the church, saying she was in the presence of the Saviour who wore a crown of thorns. As she grew older, she employed the jewels offered her for the benefit of the poor. Not content with receiving numbers of them daily in her palace, and relieving all in distress, she built several hospitals, where she herself served the sick, bathing them, feeding them, dressing their wounds and ulcers. The relatives of her fiancé tried to prevent the marriage, saying she was fit only for a cloister; but the young prince said he would not accept gold in the quantity of a nearby mountain, if it were offered him to abandon his resolution to marry Elizabeth.

Once as she was carrying in the folds of her mantle some provisions for the poor, she met her husband returning from the hunt. Astonished to see her bending under the weight of her burden, he opened the mantle and found in it nothing but beautiful red and white roses, though it was not the season for flowers. He told her to continue on her way, and took one of the marvelous roses, which he conserved all his life. She never ceased to edify him in all of her works. One of her twelve excellent Christian maxims, by which she regulated all her conduct was, Often recall that you are the work of the hands of God and act accordingly, in such a way as to be eternally with Him.

When her pious young husband died in Sicily on his way to a Crusade with the Emperor Frederick, she was cruelly driven from her palace by her brother-in-law. Those whom she had aided showed nothing but coldness for her; God was to purify His Saint by harsh tribulations. She was forced to wander through the streets with her little children, a prey to hunger and cold. The bishop of Bamberg, her maternal uncle, finally forced the cruel prince to ask pardon for his ill treatment of her, but she voluntarily renounced the grandeurs of the world, and went to live in a small house she had prepared in the city of Marburgh. There she practiced the greatest austerities. She welcomed all her sufferings, and continued to be the mother of the poor, distributing all of the heritage eventually conceded to her, and converting many by her holy life. She died in 1231, at the age of twenty-four.

Reflection: This young and delicate princess made herself the servant and nurse of the poor. Let her example teach us to disregard the opinions of the world and to overcome our natural hesitation, in order to serve Christ in the person of His poor.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13; 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).

Saint Felix of Valois
November 20 Co-Founder

Saint Felix was the son of the Count of Valois. His mother carried him to Saint Bernard at his monastery of Clairvaux, to offer him there to God, when he was three years old; she kept him, however, under her own care and took particular care of him, permitting him, still young, to distribute the alms she was pleased to give to the poor. When the exiled Pope Innocent II sought refuge in France, the Count of Valois, father of Felix, offered his castle of Crepy to the Pontiff, who often blessed the young child whom he saw being trained in virtue. One day when Felix gave away his own habits to a poor beggar, he found them that evening neatly laid on his bed; and he thanked God for this sign of His divine goodness, proving that one loses nothing when one gives to the poor.

When he was ten years old he obtained grace for a prisoner condemned to death, by means of his prayer and his pleadings with his uncle, a lord of whom the man was the subject. Felix had a presentiment that this man would become a saint; and in fact, he retired into a deep solitude where he undertook severe penance and died the death of the just.

The unfortunate divorce of the parents of Felix, and the excommunication of his father, who had remarried and whose condemnation raised serious troubles on his domains, caused to mature in the young man a long-formed resolution to leave the world. Confiding his mother to her pious brother, Thibault, Count of Champagne, Felix took the Cistercian habit at Clairvaux. His rare virtues drew on him an admiration such that, with Saint Bernard's consent, he fled from it to Italy, where he began to live an austere life with an aged hermit in the Alps. For this purpose he had departed secretly, and the servants his uncle sent believed him dead, being unable to trace him; they published the rumor of his death. About this time the old hermit procured the ordination of his disciple as a priest.

After his elderly counselor died in his arms, Saint Felix returned to France. He built a cell in the diocese of Meaux in an uninhabited forest; this place was later named Cerfroid. Amid savage beasts he led an angelic life of perpetual fasting. Here God inspired him with the desire of founding an Order for the redemption of Christian captives. The Lord also moved Saint John of Matha, a young nobleman of Provence, to seek out the hermit and join him. The two applied themselves to the practice of all virtues. It was John who overtly proposed to Saint Felix the project of an Order for the redemption of captives, when his preceptor was already seventy years old. The latter gladly offered himself to God for that purpose, and after praying for three days the two solitaries made a pilgrimage to Rome in the middle of winter. They were kindly received by the Pope, after he read the recommendation which the Bishop of Paris had given them. He too prayed and became convinced that the two Saints were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and he gave his approbation to the Trinitarian Order

Within forty years the Order would have six hundred monasteries. Saint John, who was Superior General, left to Saint Felix the direction of the convents in France, exercised from the monastery which the founders had built at Cerfroid. There Saint Felix died in November of 1212, at the age of eighty-five, only about six weeks before his younger co-founder. It is a constant tradition in the Trinitarian Order that Saint Felix and Saint John were canonized by Urban IV in 1260, though no bull has ever been found. In 1219 already the feast of Saint Felix was kept in the entire diocese of Meaux. In 1666 Alexander VI declared that veneration of the servant of God was immemorial.

The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Principal Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler (Metropolitan Press: Baltimore, 1845), Vol. IV, October-December; Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13

Saint Edmund, King & Martyr
November 20 King & Martyr († 869)

St Edmund was king of East Anglia from about 855 until his death. Almost nothing is known of Edmund. He is thought to be of East Anglian origin and was first mentioned in an annal of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written some years after his death. His kingdom was devastated by the Vikings, who destroyed any contemporary evidence of his reign. Later writers produced fictitious accounts of his life, asserting that he was born in 841, the son of Æthelweard, an obscure East Anglian king, whom it was said he succeeded when he was fourteen (or alternatively that he was the youngest son of a Germanic king named ‘Alcmund’). Later versions of his life relate that he was crowned on 25 December 855 at Burna, an unidentified location, and that he became a model king.

In 869, the Great Heathen Army advanced on East Anglia and killed Edmund. He may have been slain by the Danes in battle, but by tradition he met his death at an unidentified place known as Haegelisdun, after he refused the Danes’ demand that he renounce Christ: the Danes beat him, shot him with arrows and then beheaded him, on the orders of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubbe Ragnarsson. According to one legend, his head was then thrown into the forest, but was found safe by searchers after following the cries of a wolf that was calling, “Hic, Hic, Hic” – “Here, Here, Here”. Commentators have noted how Edmund’s death bears resemblance to the fate suffered by St Sebastian, St Denis and St Mary of Egypt.

A coinage commemorating Edmund was minted from around the time East Anglia was absorbed by the kingdom of Wessex and a popular cult emerged. In about 986, Abbo of Fleury wrote of his life and martyrdom. The saint’s remains were temporarily moved from Bury to London for safekeeping in 1010. His shrine was visited by many kings, including Canute, who was responsible for rebuilding the abbey: the stone church was rebuilt again in 1095. During the Middle Ages, when Edmund was regarded as the patron saint of England, Bury and its magnificent abbey grew wealthy, but during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, his shrine was destroyed. The mediaeval manuscripts and other works of art relating to Edmund that have survived include Abbo’s Passio Santi Eadmundi, John Lydgate’s 14th century Life, the Wilton Diptych and a number of church wall paintings.

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 21 

Religious parents never fail by devout prayer to consecrate their children to God, His divine service and love, both before and after their birth. Some among the Jews, not content with this general consecration of their children, offered them to God in their infancy, by the hands of the priests in the Temple, to be brought up in quarters attached to the Temple, attending the priests and Levites in their sacred ministry. There were special divisions in these lodgings for the women and children dedicated to the divine service. (III Kings 6:5-9) We have examples of this special consecration of children in the person of Samuel, for example. Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple of Jerusalem. It is very probable that the holy prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna, who witnessed the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, as we read in the second chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke (verses 25 ff.) had known His Mother as a little girl in the Temple and observed her truly unique sanctity.

It is an ancient and very trustworthy tradition that the Blessed Virgin was thus solemnly offered in the Temple to God at the age of three by Her parents, Saint Anne and Saint Joachim. The Gospel tells us nothing of the childhood of Mary; Her title Mother of God, eclipses all the rest. Where, better than in the Temple, could Mary be prepared for Her mission? Twelve years of recollection and prayer, contemplation and sufferings, were the preparation of the chosen one of God. The tender soul of Mary was adorned with the most precious graces and became an object of astonishment and praise for the holy Angels, as well as of the highest complacency for the adorable Trinity. The Father looked upon Her as His beloved Daughter, the Son as One set apart and prepared to become His Mother, and the Holy Ghost as His undefiled Spouse.

Here is how Mary's day in the Temple was apportioned, according to Saint Jerome. From dawn until nine in the morning, She prayed; from 9:00 until 3:00 She applied Herself to manual work; then She turned again to prayer. She was always the first to undertake night watches, the One most applied to study, the most fervent in the chanting of Psalms, the most zealous in works of charity, the purest among the virgins, Her companions, the most perfect in the practice of every virtue. On this day She appears as the standard-bearer for Christian virginity: after Her will come countless legions of virgins consecrated to the Lord, both in the shadow of the altars or engaged in the charitable occupations of the Church in the world. Mary will be their eternal Model, their dedicated Patroness, their sure guide on the paths of perfection.

Reflection: The consecration of Mary to God presented all the conditions of the most perfect sacrifice: it was prompt, generous, joyous, unregretted, without reservation. How agreeable it must have been to God! May our consecration of ourselves to God be made under Her patronage, assisted by Her powerful intercession and united with Her ineffable merits.

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

Links to Government websites; remember these are being updated regularly as new information and changes in statuses develop:
Coronavirus Policy Document
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.

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. 
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.
Fr Thomas Gierke OSF shares an insight into his bi-vocation as a priest and an EMS
The faithful of San Isidro Labrador, Dita, Sta. Rosa celebrated the end of the month of the Holy Rosary (October) with a procession of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary through the local streets as the parish priest blessed passers by with Holy Water. 
Readers may remember that the faithful of Jesus the Divine Mercy, Copper St. Platinum Ville, Bacoor did a similar procession with Our Lord of the Resurrection after Easter, with Bishop Joash Jaime blessing onlookers with Holy Water.
The Faithful in the Philippines are much comforted by the use of sacramentals and celebrating their faith during lockdown amid Coronavirus.
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
Sunday 0830 The Angelus
  1300 The Daily Mass -
 1800 The Angelus & Rosary
Monday 0830 The Daily Mass -
  1200 The Angelus
  1800 The Angelus & Rosary
 1830 Wondering Bishop
Tuesday 0830 The Daily Mass -
  1200 The Angelus
  1800 The Angelus & Rosary
Wednesday 0830 The Daily Mass -
  1200 The Angelus
 1800 The Angelus & Rosary
 2100 Late Night Catechism
Thursday 0830 The Daily Mass -
  1200 The Angelus
  1800 The Angelus & Rosary
Friday 0830 The Daily Mass -
  1200 The Angelus
  1800 The Angelus & Rosary
 1830 Contra Mundum
Saturday 0830 The Daily Mass
  1300 The Daily Mass -
  1800 The Angelus & Rosary
 1830 Old Romans Unscripted

Timings are BST (British Summer Time) i.e. GMT+1
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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.
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
We continue to love, pray and help each other, whether we are on Earth, in Purgatory on in Heaven.
November Month of All Souls
The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life, but have not yet attained the joys of heaven. St. Paul warns us that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, "even as others who have no hope ... For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven ... and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.

The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity. Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought "well and religiously concerning the resurrection." It was believed that "they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them" and that "it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven.
Crisis Series #5 with Fr. Reuter: What is Liberalism?
Weekly News Roundup (Nov. 13, 2020)
Wisdom, Naïveté, Treachery, and Standing Against Evil
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.

Old Mass or New: What's the Fuss?

This lecture was given at Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish in Pittsburgh, which is run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The topic is what the Roman rite lost between 1948 and 1962 and why we should recover it today. In order to impose reasonable limits, the focus is on the Mass, and, more particularly, Palm Sunday, the Easter Triduum, the Vigil of Pentecost, Corpus Christi, and the feast of the Holy Innocents, followed by five general features of Mass. Lastly, Dr. Kwasniewski turns to some practical and canonical issues, including the question of what kind of permission is necessary in order to recover these lost elements.
Archbishop Jerome's weekly Conference broadcast on Mondays
Old Roman Catholicism In the History Of The One True Catholic and Apostolic Church
NEW serialisation 
Chapter XIII

Opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility and universal ordinary jurisdiction that were proclaimed at Vatican I led to the formation of the "Old Catholic Movement." Father Ignaz van Doellinger, Professor of Church History, led the "Old Catholics" at the University of Munich.

In 1870 an assembly was held at Nuremberg at which the Vatican declaration was rejected publicly by a large number of professors. Early in the next year Doellinger made his famous declaration in which he explained that "as a Christian, as a theologian, as an historian, as a citizen" he could not accept the new Vatican doctrine. This declaration came to be regarded in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France as the authoritative reply of the Old Catholics to the Vatican claim.

In September 1871, a conference of Old Catholics was held in Munich, and was attended by eight hundred delegates. The program adopted was as follows: "The retention of the old Catholic faith, assertion of rights as Catholics; rejection of the new dogmas. Retention of the constitution of the ancient Church, with omission of such declarations of the faith as were not in harmony with the actual belief of the Church. Reform of the Church, with such co-operation of the laity as was consistent with its constitution; efforts towards the reunion of Christian confessions. Reform of the training and position of the clergy; allegiance to the State, in opposition to the attacks of ultramontanism; rejection of the Jesuits; solemn protest in favour of claims as Catholics upon the endowments of the Church.

Against the wishes of Doellinger, however, the convention elected to erect rival parishes to those already in canonical existence. Thus, from the beginning, this "Old Catholic Movement" was a schismatic one.

No bishop had joined their ranks so they were at the very outset presented with a problem of securing
the Apostolic Succession.

They rightly surmized that the bishops of Holland were at their lowest psychological ebb, having been just recently so grossly humiliated by the ultramontances. They went to the Bishop of Deventer [within the Province of Utrecht] and represented that their position was exactly that of the ultrajectines. He was prevailed upon to consecrate a bishop for them, Father Joseph Hubert Reinkens, a Professor of Theology at Breslan. The Bishop of Deventer consecrated him at Rotterdam according to the Roman rite.

Autonomous national churches were established in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Poland and

Utrecht did not join this "Old Catholic" movement at first. Indeed, she remained in isolation, but was drawn into Old Catholic affairs by her deep concerns about the rapidity with which the Swiss repudiated the decrees of the Council of Trent; adopted married clergy, and broke with Roman Catholic tradition.

The Archbishop of Utrecht, Johannes Heykamp, performed his greatest service to the Old Catholic cause by summoning the conference, which led to the Declaration of Utrecht. [see Appendix V] This conference met on September 24, 1889. It consisted of the five Old Catholic bishops, the Archbishop of Utrecht, the Bishops of Haarlem and Deventer, and Bishops Reinken and Herzog, together with theologians representing the Dutch, German and Swiss Old Catholic Churches.

The Archbishop of Utrecht took the chair. The Conference reached complete agreement, and decided to take three steps to unite the churches.
1] The five bishops agreed to establish a Bishops' Conference for mutual consultation. No church was
to have priority or jurisdiction over any other; all the bishops agreed that they would not consecrate any
bishop without the consent of all the Old Catholic bishops.
2] An international Old Catholic Congress was to be held every two years.
3] The five bishops issued a declaration of doctrinal principles by which all Old Catholic bishops and
priests were to be bound. This document, known as the Declaration of Utrecht [Utrechtserklarung], is
still the doctrinal basis of Old Catholicism and Old Roman Catholicism.

Revd Fr Charles T Brusca
Old Roman Clergy discuss spirituality and the Christian life in the 21C
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A 21C bishop wonders aloud about contemporary Christian life, the Gospel mission and the Church from the perennial perspective of Tradition and the Apostolic faith...
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 anonymity is assured.
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,  

For those vocationally discerning…
James, Breandán, Manuel, Vincent, Darren, Akos, Roger, James, Adrian, Carlos, Thomas, Yordanis, Nicholas, Tyler, Micha, Michael, Pierre, Bryan, Abel, Neil, Austin, Dan, David, Adam, Brian, Felix, Paul

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)

For those who mourn…
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,

For those defending the faith...
Aid to the Church in Need (supporting persecuted Christians)
Association of Christian Teachers (Christians who work in – or care about – education)
Centre for Bio-ethical Research (pro-life) UK / USA
Christian Hacking (pro-life)
Christian Legal Centre (safeguarding the legal freedom of Christians)
Barnabus Fund (supporting persecuted Christians)
Jerusalem Merit (supporting the Iraqi refugee community in Jordan)
40 Days for Life (pro-life)


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

Sundays 0600 Mass
  0800 Mass
  1030 Mass & Children’s Catechesis
  1130 Baptisms
  1700 Mass
Wednesdays 1800 Mass (1st Weds’ Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Devotions)
Thursdays 1800 Mass
Fridays 1800 Mass (1st Fri’ Sacred Heart Devotions)
Saturdays 1800 Holy Hour

PHILIPPINES, Lagunas Parish of San Isidro Labrador, Dita, Sta. Rosa

Sundays 0730 Mass
  1000 Baptisms
1st Wednesday 1800 Mass & O.L. Perpetual Succour Devotions
1st Friday 1800 Mass & Sacred Heart Devotions


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

Sundays 0830 Mass & homily
Daily 0800
Mass & homily
Compline & Benediction
Wednesdays 1730 Holy Hour & Benediction
  1900 Conference
Saturdays 0830 Mass & homily
  1000 Catechism Conference

Full schedule of services for Lent & Easter at

UK, Bristol The Little Oratory of Our Lady of Walsingham with Saint Francis, 11 The Primroses, Hartcliffe, Bristol, BS13 0BG

Sundays 1030 Sermon & Holy Communion
  1500 Vespers


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

USA, Chicago IL Parish Mission of St Anne, Church of the Atonement, 5749 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL 60660 Telephone: (773) 817 – 5818

Sundays 1800 Mass & homily (2nd of the month)
Wednesdays 1930 Catechism & Reception Class

USA, Chicago IL Missionary Franciscans of Christ the King, The Friary

Sundays 1100 Mass

USA, Glendale AZ St. Joseph’s Mission Contact address: 7800 N 55th Ave Unit 102162 Glendale AZ 85301 Telephone +1 310 995 3126

Sundays 1115 Mass

USA, Houston, TX Santa Cruz Mission address: 13747 Eastex FRWY, Houston, TX 77039

Sundays 1100 Mass
    Confessions 1015-1045
    1st Sunday, Adoration 0945-1045
Fridays 1200 Via Crucis devotions

USA, Las Vegas, NV Christ the King 4775 Happy Valley Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121 Telephone 702 379 4320 or 702-215-3930

Sundays 0800 Mass (Spanish)
  0945 First Communion and Confirmation Catechesis / English and Spanish
  1100 Mass (Bilingual)
  1300 Mass (English)
  1700 Mass (Spanish)
Thursdays 1900 Holy Hour

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

Sundays 1000 Mass (English)
  1100 Escuela para Primera Comunion y Confirmaccion
  1130 Misa en Espanol
  1700 Misa en Espanol

CHILE, Santiago Child Jesus Chapel Tegualda #321, La Florida. Santiago de Chile

Sundays 1200 Mass
Fridays 1930 Stations of the Cross & Mass
Please be aware that orthodox and authentic Old Roman Catholic jurisdictions, bishops and clergy are usually listed with the Old Roman Catholic Clerical Directory, which the faithful and enquirers are strongly invited to contact if unsure as to the credentials of a cleric presenting himself as “Old Roman Catholic”.
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