Saturday, January 16, 2021

S Peter Thomas, O .Carm., Archbishop and Martyr


This day in the old calendar of the Carmelite Order is the feast of S Peter Thomas.    He's been mentioned in The Inn before and the following is indeed reproduced from a 17 year old post.  But he's even more relevant this year as he is traditionally invoked against pestilence, as his traditional collect reminds us.  (If you're looking for him on the N.O. calendar, he was moved to last week on the 8th.  100 years ago his feast was in February so it seems he travels a lot liturgically as he did geographically when he was alive.)

In any event, herewith S Peter Thomas, O.Carm. from 2003:


The second great bishop of Carmel was St. Peter Thomas, born in 1305, at Perigord. Unlike St. Andrew Corsini, he was of humble parentage and very poor, but with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He made every sacrifice, even depriving himself of necessaries, to obtain his education, and soon was able to instruct himself and teach others, so that the Carmelite Fathers engaged him for their classes, and the young students were the first to avail of his extraordinary genius. Soon he begged for admission, and the Professor became a monk at twenty.


He was sent to the University of Paris and was there at the same time as Andrew Corsini, though history does not record the meeting of the young French and Italian Carmelites. The nations were apt to hold together amid the multitudes there. Peter Thomas was among the first teachers of Bologna. His sanctity was soon recognized as being equal to his learning, and he was given the highest Offices in the Order. His life may be summarized in three words: Mary, Union of the Greeks, and Jerusalem.


“Mary,” for his devotion to Our Lady, his treatises on her Immaculate Conception, his visions, his inexpressible love for her; “Union of the Greeks,” for it was his special mission and for that he was sent to Constantinople by the Sovereign Pontiff; and “Jerusalem,” for the Holy City was his Patriarchal See.


Clement VI had for him a marked affection, and called him to Avignon to be Doctor of Theology for the Papal Court. It was while there, on the eve of Pentecost, 1351, that he had a vision of Our Lady which hung as a bow of promise over the awful years so soon to follow. Even then the sinister shadow was cast upon the Mountain, and the great heart of Peter Thomas was rent with anguish. Prostrate, he prayed and pleaded with Mary his Queen and his Mother, to protect her Order, and she appeared to him in glory saying: “Peter, fear not, the Order of Carmel will endure unto the end of the world; Elias has obtained this from my Son.” We read that promise with joy and devotion, but then, in view of what followed, it was a vision of hope almost necessary to uphold the “Brothers of Our Lady” from despair, as pestilence, heresy, and, worst of all, schism, were to walk abroad and threaten the existence of Carmel on every side. . . . . .


. . . . .He was appointed Bishop of Patti and Archbishop of Candia. Charged by Innocent VI with no less than fourteen important embassies, he was sent to the Court of Louis, King of Pouille, to the Emperor Charles IV, and to John VI, Emperor of Constantinople. This City he reconciled to the See of Rome. In 1356, he was sent as Legate to the East and Examiner on questions of faith. In 1360 he anointed Peter I of Lusignan, King of Cyprus and Jerusalem, and the following year the pestilence attacked the Isle of Cyprus. The population were in consternation at the horrors they witnessed; death everywhere and in a horrible form. Peter multiplied himself, and his devotion during the pest has become a tradition in the Order. He was everywhere and everything; consoler, physician, father to the sick, to the dying, and to those who wept and could not die, for death was easier than life amid such scenes. His history would require a large volume, and through all his embassies, missions and legations, we see the humble servant of Our Lady, the Saint, moving obdurate hearts, inspiring heroic deeds, advancing the interests of the Holy See, and shrinking from the honors that were thrust upon him.


In the midst of the splendor of the times and with his rank as Bishop and Legate, he lived simply like his Brethren; went on foot when possible, lived in his own Monasteries whenever he could, though his presence was claimed as an honor by Kings and Princes.


In 1365, he was made Legate and sent to preach the Crusade against the Turks. He blessed the fleets of the Crusaders amid repeated cries of “Live, Peter of Jerusalem!” “Live, the King of Cyprus against the Saracens!” Thanks to his prudence and prayers, the army of the infidels was routed, and the city of Alexandria taken October 4, 1365. As was his wont, after the battle he went at once to the Carmelite Monastery of Famagusta, to remain for the celebration of Christmas. He had been wounded during the siege, by a Turkish arrow, and this was the cause of his lingering death.


He looked forward with joy to the feast so dear to him, and, just as she did later to St. Andrew Corsini, so did Our Lady appear to Peter Thomas to prepare him and warn him of his coming end, on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. As the hour approached, he commanded his brothers to lay him on the ground with a sack and a cord about his neck, that he might beg pardon of all the Religious gathered about him. He then tried to say the Canonical Hours which he had never missed since his entrance into Religion, but his strength failed. His Confessor finished them with him, and a little after, he died, on January 6, 1366, as Our Lady had predicted. He was buried where he died, in the Church of the Carmelites at Famagusta. He is especially invoked against pestilence and epidemics. In the allocution pronounced by Benedict XIV in 1744, at the Chapter General of the Carmelites, the illustrious Pontiff affirmed that his native city of Bologna was under great obligation to Blessed Peter Thomas, the ornament of Carmel, - “Carmelitanum alumnum et ornamentum,” – because it was owing to his care that peace was established between Pope Urban V, and the Viscount Barnabas, and also because he was the first to have theology taught in the Academy of Bologna, already so famous for its learning.

-from Carmel, Its History, Spirit, and Saints, compiled from approved sources by The Discalced Carmelites of Boston and Santa Clara.(1927)


For your devotion, his traditional collect:

Sancti Petri Thomæ Martyris tui atque Pontificis, quæsumus Domine, meritis et intercessione placatus : veniam delictorum nobis tribue; et ab omni pestilentiæ morbo nos liberos esse concede.  per Dominum nostrum.  Amen. 
Be Thou appeased, we beseech Thee, Lord, by the merits and intercession of Thy blessed martyr-bishop Saint Peter Thomas; grant us the pardon of our sins, and preserve us from the evils of pestilence: through Our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

Ethnicity with a Twist

Twitter can still delight.   In a response to a response to something or other on The Big T that I've forgotten,  a woman claimed to be "of Irish dissent".  O.K., it was probably spellcheck helping out;  "descendants" did occur later in the post.  But never mind.  From now on I am going to be of Irish -- and Scottish -- dissent.  I mostly dissent from whatever's happening anyway.  This makes it sort of genetic.




Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas: The Day That Was In It

 



 It was, as Nero Wolfe would have put it, satisfactory*.

Midnight Mass --  at 7 p.m. rather than midnight.  But that has been rather common in southern California for a few years, with or without the Wuhan Devil  And as it was outdoors  (thank you, Governor Nuisance)  so the weather, albeit chilly, was probably more comfortable than whatever the temperature was at midnight.  After the five or six month sacramental hiatus at the beginning of the year, the liturgical surroundings almost don't matter.  The hunger for the sacraments makes outdoors on a business office patio beautiful.

Today our cousin came by for Christmas dinner and good talk.   No turkey this year but the roast beef of old England, which, I'm told, is an even more ancient custom for Christmas dinner than the turkey or even the goose.  And there was pie and ice cream.  And Christmas cookies (thank you, Ann).  And canoli.   And something else which I didn't quite catch the name of but I think is Greek.


(*For those not familiar with the corpus, "satisfactory" is Mr Wolfe's highest praise.)


(And, no, I don't know how or why the line spacing in the first two paragraphs changed. Mysterious are the ways of Blogspot its wonders to perform.)

Stuff I Didn't Know

Found in my email in-box this morning:


 Myrrh is resin, extracted from small, thorny trees in the Commiphora genus, that was historically used as a perfume, incense, and medicine.


I'd give you a direct link to click on but it was an email.  You might find it here if you search more diligently than I did.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Christmas Music

 KUSC has a streaming Christmas music channel that is well-worth your time.  Lots of Handel and Bach, a bit of Samuel Webb and not a Jingle Bell Rock rendition to be found.

You can access it here.

Don't know if they play any of Perlseer Dirndl.  If not, here's a touch of their seasonal music:



Saturn & Jupiter at Arms Length

Um, no, not the Roman gods.  The planets of the same names.  And not really arms length.  But they'll look really, really close if you cast your gaze in their direction this evening about an hour after sunset.  Closer than they've looked in about 800 years, so they tell me.  Pope Honorius III could've seen this very thing if he'd strolled out to the Vatican gardens before Compline and had a look at the night sky.

The NASA video below will help you find it yourself if you've a mind to find a seat in the garden before Compline.


(No, I don't know if the Vatican actually had a garden in 1220 a.d.  It certainly should have had one.  Would've done everyone a world of good after a hard day planning crusades.)


ADDENDUM: 21 December 2020 at 6:04 p.m. PST  Contrary to expectation I remembered to have a look and just did.   Only have a pair of binoculars so no Saturn rings or Jupiter moons.  But quite a good view of the planets themselves.  Fortunately they were not too low on the horizon.  Things are built-up hereabouts but not, D.g., that built-up.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Something More Than Usually Relevant from Evensong This Evening

 "This, first of all, I ask; that petition, prayer, entreaty and thanksgiving should be offered for all mankind, especially for kings and others in high station, so that we can live a calm and tranquil life, as dutifully and decently as we may."  1Timothy 2:1-2


 

Sunday, December 06, 2020

St Nicholas, Bishop & Confessor


Not only is it the second Sunday of Advent, but it's the feast of St Nicholas, hence the best St Nicholas carol ever composed posted above.  ("Jolly Old St Nick", pfui.)

O, who loves Nicholas the saintly.

O, who serves Nicholas the saintly.

Him will Nicholas receive

And give help in time of need

Holy Father Nicholas!


O, who dwells in God's holy mansions

Is our help on the land and oceans

He will guard us from all ills

Keep us pure and free from sins

Holy Father Nicholas!


Holy saint, hearken to our prayer

Let not life drive us to despair

All our efforts shall not wane

Singing praises to thy name

Holy Father Nicholas!


The traditional collect for his feast day goes right to the point.  No beating around the bush with St Nicholas.  Herewith the old Stanbrook Abbey translation:

O God, who didst glorify the blessed Bishop Nicholas with numberless miracles ; grant we beseech Thee that by his merits and prayers we may be saved from the fires of hell.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

The Anglican Ordinariate translation gets the point across with "the fires of everlasting torment".  Alas, the poor old Bugninian rite can't bring itself to mention the place.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Found in My E-mail Inbox This Morning

. . . along with lebenty-leben appeals for me to save The Republic by sending my correspondent money.  Even if I were going to send off a boatload of money, how do I know he's who he says he is and not a confidence trickster, a miscreant, a ne'er-do-well, a scofflaw?  There's that to consider.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.   A little factoid of no discernible significance but which I nevertheless found interesting:


16th century Spanish explorers referred to the large reptiles they found in the Americas as “el lagarto de Indias,” or “the lizard of the Indies.” Thanks to their phrase and a few phonetic shifts as it made the jump to English, we now refer to those same large reptiles as alligators.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

This Morning's Lection from Mattins

In the Ordinariate Divine Office Maccabees is appointed to be read this time of the year.  This morning's reading seemed .  .  .  appropriate.  This portion is from the first book, the second chapter in Msgr  Knox's translation:

Meanwhile, the life of Mattathias was drawing to an end. And this charge he gave to his sons: Here be days when tyrant and blasphemer have their will, when all is calamity and bitter retribution. The more reason, my sons, why you should be jealous lovers of the law, ready to give your lives for that covenant your fathers knew. Your fathers, what deeds they did in their time! Great glory would you win, and a deathless name, let these be your models. 


Here be days, indeed.


 

S Thomas More Proposes A Plea from the Holy Souls

 To  all good Christian people:  In most piteous wise continually calleth and crieth upon your devout charity and most tender pity for help and comfort, and relief your late acquaintance, kindred, spouses, companions, play-fellows and friends and now your humble and unacquainted and half-forgotten suppliants, poor prisoners of God, silly souls in Purgatory here abiding and enduring the grievous pains and hot cleansing fire that corrodes and burneth off the rusty and filthy spots of sins, till the mercy of Almighty God, the rather by your good and charitable means, vouchsafe to deliver us hence.

-Supplication of Souls, S Thomas More (via "The Heart of Thomas More", selections compiled by E.E. Reynolds)

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Found While Looking for Something Else . . . .

 From E.I. Watkin's The Church in Council, pg 142, [the chapter on  the Council of Constance (3 November 1414 - 22 April 1418)]:


It is extremely difficult in fact to decide how far we can believe the constant and well nigh universal complaints that the papal curia had been degraded into a money-making machine and in consequence had become a fountain head of ecclesiastical corruption.  Not only was gross exaggeration conventional mediæval rhetoric.  We must also bear in mind the widespread pulpit denunciations of the extortion and wickedness of the pope and the Roman curia.  Whereas Catholics today [i.e., 1959-1960] are taught to revere and love the Holy Father as a man -- 'our Pope, the great and good' -- in the later Middle Ages they heard very different teaching.  In short, to point a truth by exaggerated statement, we may say that, as regards popular Catholic estimation of the Pope, as distinct from his office, the pendulum has swung from 'the Pope can do no right' to 'the Pope can do no wrong.'


Aaaaand . . . back again.


 

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Friday, October 02, 2020

2 October -- Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

Bad night last night and got up  way too late this morning.  You wouldn't think someone here in semi-lockdowned southern California, all of whose normal activities have been cancelled, would have so much to do that he would run out of time on their feast day to put something up on his blog about the Holy Guardian Angels to whom he actually has a great devotionn now would you.  

But I did.

Here it is almost 9 p.m. and already the arms of Morpheus are calling.  In lieu of something new, here's a piece The Inn put up a very long time ago from the Blessed Cardinal Schuster.


Sancti Angeli Custodes nostri, defendite nos in prælio, ut non pereamus in tremendo judicio!



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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Weather Suggestion

As is the norm for southern California in September -- and October and even, more often than not, for November -- it is hotter than the hinges of hell today.  The weather guessing thingummy on my phone tells me that it's going to be 104° today and that it is already 109° at 1:41 p.m. PDT.

So what did I receive this morning but a lovely catalogue full of advertisements for great heavy jackets, plush lined trousers, large woolly sweaters worn by rosy-cheeked models drinking  hot, steaming beverages.  I can't bear to look at that stuff on a day like this.  I got over-heated just typing that.

Suggestion for online, direct mail clothing people:  save yourself some money on catalogues and postage  and cut our zip codes out of your mailings.  You'll have much better luck in, say, December.  We don't get an "autumn" here.   We get a turbo-charged summer followed round about December by what passes for winter.  We can't think about thick, woolly sweaters now, never mind wear them.

You're welcome.

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The Big Debate

Didn't watch it.  Saw the news reports this morning.

Breitbart:  Trump won by a landslide.

PMSNBC:  Trump lost by a landslide.

Somebody on my Twitter feed:  "Trump came in first;  Biden came in third."

Somebody else on my Twitter feed wanted to know: "Who was that old guy who kept interrupting the Trump/Wallace debate?"



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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In festo Ss Michaelis, Gabrielis, et Raphaelis, Archangelorum -- a.k.a. "Michaelmas"

 


In the traditional Roman Rite this is the feast of St Michael the Archangel only as all three archangels used to have their own separate feast days.  Hence, today was just "Michaelmas".  In the Book of Common Prayer it's St Michael and All Angels. The Novus Ordo compromised - more than St Michael but less than All: it celebrates the Feast of St Michael, St Gabriel, and St Raphael.    The Ordinariates went along with the N.O. and just name the three archangels.

Chambers Book of Days points out that

In England, it is one of the four quarterly terms, or quarter-days, on which rents are paid, and in that and other divisions of the United Kingdom, as well as perhaps in other countries, it is the day on which burgal magistracies and councils are re-elected. The only other remarkable thing connected with the day is a widely prevalent custom of marking it with a goose at dinner.

In fact, it seems that having a goose for dinner was a harbinger of good fortune for the coming year.  Chambers explains:

 This is also an ancient practice, and still generally kept up, as the appearance of the stage-coaches on their way to large towns at this season of the year amply testifies. In Blount's Tenures, it is noted in the tenth year of Edward IV, that John de la Hay was bound to pay to William Barnaby, Lord of Lastres, in the county of Hereford, for a parcel of the demesne lands, one goose fit for the lord's dinner, on the feast of St. Michael the archangel. Queen Elizabeth is said to have been eating her Michaelmas goose when she received the joyful tidings of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The custom appears to have originated in a practice among the rural tenantry of bringing a good stubble goose at Michaelmas to the landlord, when paying their rent, with a view to making him lenient. In the poems of George Gascoigne, 1575, is the following passage:


And when the tenants come to pay their quarter's rent,

   They bring some fowl at Midsummer, a dish of fish in Lent,

At Christmas a capon, at Michaelmas a goose,

    And somewhat else at New-year's tide, for fear their lease fly loose.'


We may suppose that the selection of a goose for a present to the landlord at Michaelmas would be ruled by the bird being then at its perfection, in consequence of the benefit derived from stubble-feeding. It is easy to see how a general custom of having a goose for dinner on Michaelmas Day might arise from the multitude of these presents, as land-lords would of course, in most cases, have a few to spare for their friends. It seems at length to have become a superstition, that eating of goose at Michaelmas insured easy circumstances for the ensuing year. In the British Apollo, 1709, the following piece of dialogue occurs:


'Q: Yet my wife would persuade me (as I am a sinner)

To have a fat goose on St. Michael for dinner:

And then all the year round, I pray you would mind it,

I shall not want money—oh, grant I may find it!

Now several there are that believe this is true,

Yet the reason of this is desired from you.


A: We think you're so far from the having of more,

That the price of the goose you have less than before:

The custom came up from the tenants presenting

Their landlords with geese, to incline their relenting . . . 

You can find the whole article here  



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Thursday, September 17, 2020

17 September -- St Albert the Lawgiver

In  the brand new (as of last July) calendar of the Discalced Carmelite Order, today is the feast of St Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem who wrote the original Rule of the Carmelite Order.  He  was stabbed to death on September 14, 1214 during a liturgical procession in Acre by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit whom he had dismissed for his licentious life. The old Catholic Encyclopædia tells his life here.

 The good old Catholic Encyclopædia ends with this "curious anomaly":

The Bollandists call attention to this curious anomaly, that not at Vercelli, where he was Patriarch, not among the Canons Regular, to whom he properly belonged, but in the Order of the Carmelites, of which he was not a member, does he receive the honour of a saint. "That holy Order could not and ought not to lose the memory of him by whom it was ranked among the Orders approved by the Roman Church; in saying which", adds the writer, "I in no way wish to impugn the Carmelite claim of descent from Elias." At Vercelli Albert does not even figure as Blessed, and the Canons Regular honour him as a saint, but pay him no public cult.


The old collect, translation taken from "Saints of Carmel, Proper Offices of the Saints Granted to the Barefooted Carmelites", (1896):


O Lord! let the fullness of  Thy blessing come down upon us in abundant showers; and mayest Thou be ever appeased by the prayers of St Albert, Thy confessor and Pontiff.  Through our Lord.  Amen.

The modern one has some beautiful thoughts but, as so often in hoc sæculo, strains to present them in the most pedestrian fashion possible:

Lord God, through St Albert of Jerusalem You have given us a Rule of Life according to Your Gospel, to help us attain perfect love.  Through his prayers may we always live in allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve faithfully until death Him Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Come, darkness, spread o'er heaven thy pall,
And hide, O sun, thy face;
While we that bitter death recall,
With all its dire disgrace.

And thou with tearful cheek was there;
But with a heart of steel,
Mary, thou didst his moanings hear,
And all his torments feel.

He hung before thee crucified;
His flesh with scourges rent;
His bloody gashes gaping wide;
His strength and spirit spent.

Thou his dishonour'd countenance
And racking thirst didst see;
By turns the gall, the sponge, the lance
Were agony to thee.

Yet still erect in majesty,
Thou didst the sight sustain;
Oh, more than Martyr! not to die
Amid such cruel pain.

Praise to the blessed Three in One;
And be that courage mine,
Which, sorrowing o'er her only Son,
Did in the Virgin shine.
Amen.

--This evening's Vespers hymn from the old Stanbrook Abbey edition of The Roman Breviary, in, I think, Fr Caswall's translation.


 

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Monday, September 07, 2020




Sunday Mass has been available for a few weeks now.   And I attended again yesterday.  Hardly worth mentioning.  Except that it was 107° --  that's 41 point something for those of you fluent in celsius.  Which also wouldn't be worth a blogpost as our chapel is air-conditioned.  Except that we can't use the chapel.  The Virus, donncha know.  We were outdoors on the patio.  The unshaded patio.  Well, unshaded for most of us.  Happily someone provided one of those folding tent thingummies for Father.

None of us in the greatly diminished congregation got heat stroke.  But the video equipment that provides the live stream for the house-bound surely did.  It died the death shortly after the sermon.

And the point of all this is?

Well, to let you know how life is progressing for your servant here on the lower-left corner of the Republic.

Oh, all right.  Of course, it's another excuse to post Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun".   (I suppose if Mr Coward is right, attending Church out of doors in 107° heat made us all honorary English for that hour and a half or so.)



Monday, August 24, 2020

It's Bartlemas Day

Did you dash around St Bartholomew's chapel today and get your currant bun?  No, you probably didn't.  Some of the younger folk could have, though.

 The tradition is that after a service in the chapel in honour of Bartholomew, children run around the church (one lap) and are given a currant bun for their efforts, while the adults are given a biscuit stamped with the seal of the hospital.

Read about this and some other St Bartholomew's Day traditions here at the wonderful Clerk of Oxford blog

One of the great medieval fairs was London's St Bartholomew's Fair.  It lasted until 1855.  Ben Jonson even wrote a play about it.

And, as The Inn has mentioned once or twice before, the 24th of August is also a day of significance for the Carmelite Order:

 On this day St Teresa of Avila founded the first of the Discalced Carmelite convents. Today is the feast of St Bartholomew the Apostle; St Teresa's constant companion and secretary during her work as foundress of the Carmelite reform was Sister Ann of St Bartholomew. On this day the Servant of God Anita Cantieri, O.C.D.S. died in 1942; she's one of the few Carmelite seculars proposed for canonization. On this day a brother was born to St Therese of the Child Jesus who died after a very short life. On this day St John of the Cross was proclaimed a doctor of the Church. On this day Pope John Paul II announced that would soon declare St Therese of the Child Jesus a doctor of the Church.

There are a few other events that make this day memorable, too. But I'm doing this from memory. The memory never was all that good and it's been a long day.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

11th Sunday after Pentecost

 Which Sunday features my favourite collect of the Pentecost season.  Maybe my favourite of  all of them:


O almighty and everlasting God, Who in the abundance of Thy loving-kindness art wont to go beyond both the merits and prayers of Thy suppliant people, pour down upon us Thy mercy: that Thou mayest forgive us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and grant us what our prayer does not dare to ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Amen.


 The Prayer Book and the Ordinariate liturgies provide a rather more ornate version for the 12th Sunday after Trinity.  (I'm guessing that the 12th after Trinity is where it occurred in the Sarum Rite.)  The 12th Sunday after Trinity is the 30th of August this year.


Almighty and everlasting God who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our lord.  Amen.


 


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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Bastille Day +1

I missed the actual day, which was yesterday.   But to continue with The Inn's traditional habits of (a) mentioning Bastille Day and (b) being a day late and a dollar short most of the time, herewith the late and much-missed Jerry Pournelle's annual comment on the . . . ahem . . . great day:

On July 14, 1789, the Paris mob aided by units of the National Guard stormed the Bastille Fortress which stood in what had been the Royal area of France before the Louvre and Tuilleries took over that function. The Bastille was a bit like the Tower of London, a fortress prison under direct control of the Monarchy. It was used to house unusual prisoners, all aristocrats, in rather comfortable durance. The garrison consisted of soldiers invalided out of service and some older soldiers who didn't want to retire; it was considered an honor to be posted there, and the garrison took turns acting as valets to the aristocratic prisoners kept there by Royal order (not convicted by any court).

On July 14, 1789, the prisoner population consisted of four forgers, three madmen, and another. The forgers were aristocrats and were locked away in the Bastille rather than be sentenced by the regular courts. The madmen were kept in the Bastille in preference to the asylums: they were unmanageable at home, and needed to be locked away. The servants/warders were bribed to treat them well. The Bastille was stormed; the garrison was slaughtered to a man, some being stamped to death; their heads were displayed on pikes; and the prisoners were freed. The forgers vanished into the general population. The madmen were sent to the general madhouse. The last person freed was a young man who had challenged the best swordsman in Paris to a duel, and who had been locked up at his father's insistence lest he be killed. This worthy joined the mob and took on the name of Citizen Egalite. He was active in revolutionary politics until Robespierre had him beheaded in The Terror.
Alas, I have long since lost the link to the proper page of Dr Pournelle's site.  And they've re-arranged it anyway.  I suspect a search of some kind could find it eventually.

As long as we're regretting ghastly revolutions  (you're not?  Oh, dear.  It's just me then I guess.), here is a good read in honour of the day that is, um, was in it.


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Sunday, July 12, 2020

This Morning's Collect

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee: that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance; that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; 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. Amen.


Interesting how "our regularly scheduled" liturgical prayer is so often  -- you'll pardon the phrase -- relevant.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

What's left of the novena anyway.  Since her feast day is on the 16th of July I should've posted this four or five days ago.

In any event, here is the text of a wonderful old set of prayers from the century before last. i.e., well before the meteor hit.  If you scroll down all nine days are there.



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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Have I Always Been This Forgetful?

Or is it my advanced state of antiquity? 

I'd answer but . . . I've forgotten.

In any event, something occurred to me this morning over my bacon and eggs that really must go in the blog.  And now this evening here I sit at my desk staring at the pc and for the life of me I can't remember what it was.  Not even the general topic.  Church and state?  Piping?  Choir?  RSCDS?  No idea.  I've drawn a complete blank.

Not even typing away almost at random as I'm doing now has helped.  It sometimes jogs the little grey cells into action.  Apparently not tonight.

Shall I press publish anyway even though this hardly counts as content?  Oh, why not.  It'll prove I'm still alive in the unlikely event anyone was wondering.  Then off for a walk with the memsahib in the evening cool.



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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The 21st Century in One Sentence

From the psalter for this morning's Mattins:

They know not, neither do they understand, but walk on still in darkness: * all the foundations of the earth are out of course.   -Ps 82

Or so it seems to me from the evening propaganda news.   At least what little I can tolerate of it.


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Monday, June 08, 2020

And Why Not?

Found this on my Twitter feed via Mulier Fortis:

If there isn't a marked uptick in Corona infections in about 5-7 days time as a result of all the close contact demos, then surely lockdown should be halted with immediate effect.

Precisely so.  Even if, as Mulier herself posits, we need to wait the full 14 days.

(No link as my attempts to link to Twitter posts never come out right.  You could use the search feature and the post should be at or near the top.  For the moment, anyway.)

 

The First Post in June

From lightning and tempest, from earthquake, fire and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine, --Good Lord, deliver us

From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion; from violence, battle, and murder; and from dying suddenly and unprepared, -- Good Lord, deliver us.

Thus sayeth the Litany in a burst of relevance.

Since last we posted we have continued going almost nowhere.  Almost.   Not locked down precisely.  Not like those poor Chinese folk last seen on the television news having the  police weld their doors shut. But careful.  Short constitutionals in the evening and the occasional quick trip to the shops that don't deliver.

And doctors' visits, to be sure.  Even some minor surgery, which made for a little change in the routine.  The wound didn't heal the way it was supposed to which provided yet more opportunities to get out and about, even if only to the doctor's office.  This was followed last Tuesday, new prescription in hand, by a search for a pharmacy that had neither been vandalized and looted nor closed just-in-case.  And a round about out of the way search at that so as to avoid a band of happy peaceful demonstrators, gleefully flinging the odd large metal object at police officers.  At least we got a drive 'round the city on a lovely sunny afternoon.

That's pretty much all the excitement lately.  At least all that I saw, although the television is full of it.  More to come, so they tell me.  Good Lord, deliver us.
 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Locked Down Dead

We made a little trip to All Souls cemetery this afternoon.   We were going to put a little flag on my mother's grave and say a few prayers.  It's Memorial Day on Monday.  You used to be able to get an indulgence for prayer and a cemetery visit but that may be just in the first week of November in these enlightened days.

In any event, we didn't.  It was closed.  The China virus, doncha know.

Whom, one wonders, do the powers that be think I was going to infect in a graveyard?  Or were they worried about us?  Do they think the dead are still blowing out virii through their coffin lids and six feet of earth?

Harrump.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

St Simon Stock




Today, 16 May, is the feast of St Simon Stock, one-time father general of the Carmelite Order and the one to whom  Our Lady gave the gave the Carmelite brown scapular.  The Inn has had something to say about St Simon most years and 2020 is not to be an exception.

This is a traditional look at St Simon's life as recounted by Fr Alban Butler in his classic lives of the saints.  It's been revised in recent years (and all the interesting stuff taken out, IMHO) but this is from the 1864 edition, which EWTN posted a few years ago.   I'd cite you to the page but it's either been moved -- or removed -- since The Inn first reposted it a dozen years ago  and I can't find the original posting any more. 

In any event, here's what The Inn reposted in 2008:

He was descended of a good family in Kent. From his infancy he turned all his thoughts and affections to attain to the most perfect love of God, and studied to devote all his moments to this glorious pursuit. In this earnest desire, in the twelfth year of his age, he retired into a wilderness, and chose for his dwelling a great hollow oak tree; whence the surname of Stock wee given him. While he here mortified his flesh with fasting and other severities, he nourished his soul with spiritual dainties in continual prayer. His drink was only water; and he never touched any other food but herbs, roots and wild apples. While he led this course of life, he was invited by a divine revelation to embrace the rule of certain religious men who were coming from Palestine into England. Albert, the holy patriarch of Jerusalem, having given a written rule to the Carmelite friars about the year 1205, some brothers of this order were soon after brought over from mount Carmel by John lord Vescy and Richard lord Gray of Codnor, when they returned from the Holy Land. These noblemen some time after settled them, the latter in the wood of Aylesford, near Rochester in Kent, the former in the forest of Holme, near Alnewick in Northumberland; which houses continued the two most famous convents of this order in England till their dissolution in the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry VIII. But we are assured by Bale, who before his apostacy was himself a friar of the English province of this order,1 and by Lambert2 and Weaver3 in their accurate descriptions of the Antiquities of Kent, that the first or most ancient convent of these friars in England was that at Newenden in Kent, which was founded for them by Sir Thomas Archer or Fitz-Archer, whose family flourished for many centuries upon that manor. The first arrival of these friars in England is placed in the annals of the order, quoted by F. Cosmas de Villiers,4 in 1212. Simon, who had then lived a recluse twenty years, imitating the Macariuses and Arseniuses in the most heroic practices of penance and contemplation, was much affected with the devotion of these servants of God to the blessed Virgin, their edifying deportment, and their eremitical austere institute, and joined their holy company before the end of the year 1212. After his admission he was sent to Oxford to finish his studies; and having run through his academical course he returned to his convent, where so bright was the example of his piety, that the virtue of the rest seemed to suffer an eclipse by the extraordinary lustre of his sanctity. Such was his reputation, that in 1215 Brocard, prior of mount Carmel, and general of the order, appointed him vicar-general, with full power over all the western provinces. Many clamors being raised against this institute, St. Simon repaired to Rome in 1226, and obtained from pope Honorius III. a confirmation of the rule given to this order by Albertus; and another from Gregory IX. in 1229. Some years after, St. Simon paid a visit to his brethren on mount Carmel, and remained six years in Palestine, where, in 1237, he assisted at the general chapter of the order held by Alanus the fifth general. In this assembly it was decreed, that the greatest part of the brethren should pass into Europe, their settlements in the east being continually disturbed by the persecutions, oppressions, or threats of the Saracens. In 1240 many were sent to England, and in 1244, Alanus himself, with St. Simon, having nominated Hilarion his vicar on mount Carmel, and in Palestine, followed them thither, there being already five monasteries of the order erected in this island. 

In a general chapter held at Aylesford in 1245, Alanus resigning his dignity, St. Simon was chosen the sixth general, and in the same year procured a new confirmation of the rule by pope Innocent IV., who at the saint's request received this order under the special protection of the Holy See, in 1251. St. Simon established houses in most parts of Europe; but this institute flourished nowhere with so great splendor and edification as in England, and continued so to do for several ages, as the annals of the order take notice. St. Simon, soon after he was promoted to the dignity of general, instituted the confraternity of the Scapular, to unite the devout clients of the Blessed Virgin in certain regular exercises of religion and piety. Several Carmelite writers assure us that he was admonished by the Mother of God in a vision, with which he was favored on the 16th of July, to establish this devotion." This confraternity has been approved, and favored with many privileges by several popes.5 The rules prescribe, without any obligation or precept, that the members wear a little scapular, at least secretly, as the symbol of the order, and that they recite every day the office of our Lady, or the office of the church; or, if they cannot read, seven times the Pater, Ave, and Gloria Patri, in lieu of the seven canonical hours; and lastly, that they abstain from flesh-meat on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; or if this cannot be done, that they double for each of these days the seven Paters, &c. St. Simon cured several sick persons by giving them the scapular; the reputation of which miracles moved Edward I., king of England, St. Louis of France, and many others, to enrol their names in this confraternity. 

St. Simon governed the order with great sanctity and prudence during twenty years, and propagated it exceedingly from England over all Europe being himself famous for his eminent virtue, and a great gift of miracles and prophecy. He wrote several hymns and decrees for his order, and several other useful things for its service, says Leland. At length, in the hundredth year of his age, having a call to France, he sailed to Bordeaux, where God put an end to his labors some months after his arrival, in 1265, on the 16th of July. He was buried in the cathedral of that city, and was honored among the saints soon after his death. Pope Nicholas III. granted an office to be celebrated in his honor at Bordeaux on the 16th of May, which Paul V. extended to the whole order. See his authentic life, written soon after his death, also Stevens's Monast. Angelic. t. 2, pp. 159, 160; Leland, de Script. Brit. t. 2, c. 277, p. 294; Papebroke, t. 3, Maij, p. 653; Newcourt's Repertorium, (on the Carmelite friars,) vol. 1, p. 566; Weaver, p. 139; Fuller, b. 6, p. 271; Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 186, ed. 1730; F. Cosmas de Villiers a S. Philippo, Bibl. Carmel. t. 2, p. 750. 
Endnotes
1 Bale, Cent. xii. 20
2 P.139.
3 P.139.
4 Bibliotheca Carmelitana, ed. Anno 1752, t. 2, p. 750.
5 See the bulls of Pius V., Clement VIII., Paul V., Clement X., &c. 

(Taken from Vol. V of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)


St Simon Stock is credited with the composition of the beautiful Flos Carmeli.   Here is an English version from a Calced Carmelite source:


Flower of Carmel, tall vine blosson laden;
Splendour of heaven. Child bearing, yet maiden.
None equals thee. 
Mother so tender, whom no man didst know.
On Carmel's children. Thy favours bestow.
Star of the Sea. 
Strong stem of Jesse. Who bore one bright flower.
Be ever near us. And guard us each hour:
Who serve thee here. 
Purest of lilies, that flowers among thorns.
Bring help to true hearts that in weakness turn:
And trust in thee. 
Strongest of armour, we trust in thy might.
Under thy mantle, hard pressed in the fight.
We call to thee. 
Our way, uncertain, surrounded by foes.
Unfailing counsel thou givest to those -
Who turn to thee. 
O gentle Mother, who in Carmel reigns.
Share with thy servants. That gladness you gainedst.
And now enjoy. 
Hail, gate of heaven, with glory now crowned.
Bring us to safety, where thy Son is found.
True joy to see.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

An Anthem for the Lockéd Down

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Joy to Thee, O Queen of Heaven!




Our Lady's Easter antiphon, prayed until Trinity Sunday.  Sung here at All Saints, Margaret Street in London.


Joy to Thee, O Queen of Heaven! Alleluia
He Whom Thou was meet to bear, Alleluia
As He promised  hath arisen!  Alleluia
Pour for us to God Thy prayer!  Alleluia



Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Day


Hæc dies quam fecit Dominus! Exultemus et lætemur in ea!

A little more difficult to do this year than most:  no Mass, no Holy Communion, no Easter confession, no Easter water, no singing with the choir.

Watching the Triduum and Easter Mass on the computer has its pluses and its minuses.  There is at least a vicarious participation and for a little while one is almost there.  Almost.  And then one is brought up short.  That's not the Blessed Sacrament; it's an electronic representation of an event going on elsewhere, and you, my friend, are not going to be receiving Holy Communion for the . . . what? . . . 4th or 5th Sunday in a row?

At the risk of appearing a bit p.o.d., I am not only missing Mass, I am very much missing Mass.

Ian Paisley is very far from being my favourite politician but I read that he had a little sign on his desk which is very suitable to the circumstances:  

"Hallelujah, anyway."

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Holy Saturday Liturgy

For anyone who may be roving the internet this evening at 7:07 pm PDT looking for an Easter Vigil Service you might be pleased with that being live-streamed at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham here.

To be sure,  you've missed a good bit already.   And this will be a pointless post in a couple of hours but FWIW, the link is above.


Thursday, April 09, 2020

Come Pray the Rosary

My favourite rosary site comepraytherosary.org has finally come up with a new version and is now viewable in all or most browsers.  For a while there as more and more browsers refused to show sites relying on Flash I could only access it on Mickey$oft's Edge.  And now the new Edge version doesn't display Flash sites either.  Fortunately, the Rosary site now sports a new Flashless version.

Take it for a test run.  It's here

(At least once the old site popped up.  Clicking the refresh button cured that.)


Salvator Mundi

From the Daily Office all during Holy Week:

Salvator Mundi.
Antiphon: O SAVIOUR of the world who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us : * save us and help us we humbly beseech thee O Lord.
Thou didst save thy disciples when ready to perish : * hear us and save us we humbly beseech thee.
Let the pitifulness of thy great mercy : * loose us from our sins we humbly beseech thee.
Make it appear that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer : * O save us that we may praise thee we humbly beseech thee.
Draw near according to thy promise from the throne of thy glory : * look down and hear our crying we humbly beseech thee.
Come again and dwell with us, O Lord Christ Jesus : * abide with us for ever we humbly beseech thee.
And when thou shalt appear with pow'r and great glory : * may we be made like unto thee, in thy glorious Kingdom.
Antiphon: O SAVIOUR of the world who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us : * save us and help us we humbly beseech thee O Lord.


It seemed more than usually appropriate this year.