Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday Night Bingo: Special Edition

It may be the only interesting part of tonight's "debate" (sic).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Putting the Cat Among the Pigeons

North Korea admits what everyone has surmised for some time. Do we have sufficient forces to "mind" this outbreak of WMDs on the other side of the world?

[First noticed in Jerry Pournelle's excellent site, for which thanks.]


Or more properly, at least in the traditional rite, Festa "In Dedicatione S. Michaelis Archangeli".

From the old Catholic Encyclopaedia:

The hymns of the Roman Office are said to have been composed by St. Rabanus Maurus of Fulda (d. 856). In art St. Michael is represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with helmet, sword, and shield (often the shield bears the Latin inscription: Quis ut Deus), standing over the dragon, whom he sometimes pierces with a lance. He also holds a pair of scales in which he weighs the souls of the departed (cf. Rock, "The Church of Our Fathers", III, 160), or the book of life, to show that he takes part in the judgment. His feast (29 September) in the Middle Ages was celebrated as a holy day of obligation, but along with several other feasts it was gradually abolished since the eighteenth century. Michaelmas Day, in England and other countries, is one of the regular quarter-days for settling rents and accounts; but it is no longer remarkable for the hospitality with which it was formerly celebrated. Stubble-geese being esteemed in perfection about this time, most families had one dressed on Michaelmas Day. In some parishes (Isle of Skye) they had a procession on this day and baked a cake, called St. Michael's bannock.

In the new rite this is an "amalgamation" feast. This rite suppresses the previous separate feast days and celebrates Sts. Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel the Archangels all on the same day. The Anglicans amalgamated even further an made it the day of "St. Michael and All Angels". The Novus Ordo didn't go quite that far and there remains a separate day in early October for the Holy Guardian Angels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

No soup for you?

That could change. A "Soup Nazi" franchise may be coming to an airport near you.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Michael Davies, R.I.P.

From Una Voce last Sunday morning:

It is with deep sorrow that I have to inform everyone of the death of Mr. Michael Davies, the President d'Honneur of the International Una Voce Federation. Michael suffered a heart attack at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday 25th September an died instantly.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Michael's family will be keeping me informed and I will send out information as I receive it. They have also asked that for the moment no one contacts the family direct until arrangements have been made. Should anyone require any specific information please contact me via email on

Leo Darroch, Secretary, International Federation Una Voce.

Posted 26 Sept 2004

I have been waiting until I had something more fitting to say before I mentioned this very sad news. I should know by now that if I wait for eloquence to strike I shall never say anything.

Notices of Michael's death and tributes to him were starting to appear on the web today. There will be many far more worthy than this one. I only met Michael once or maybe twice; I'm sure he wouldn't remember me at all. But through his writing he was instrumental in keeping my own little barque of faith upright and seaworthy.

Those who didn't live through it wouldn't know how difficult the days after the Vatican Council were for those of a traditional bent. So very much that we had thought was permanent was found to be emphemeral. And so much that we had considered to be good, right, and necessary we were now informed was all but evil and not only unnecessary but harmful to the faith. And this by the very people who had so recently taught us the opposite. Our way of prayer, our method of contact with God was all of a sudden illegal. It would have been a very easy thing to conclude that the Church itself was a fraud, a snare and a delusion. Many did so conclude. If you look at the numbers of people who, as a practical matter, no longer practiced the faith perhaps it may even be said that most people came to that conclusion. At least in this country, over half of those who should have been Catholics no longer bothered attending Mass.

Michael Davies had a major hand in keeping me Catholic. His books and articles in The Remnant were the first reasoned defence of our ancient tradition that I had read. There were certainly people holding evey imaginable opinion on the outcome of the Council and its changes, including a vocal few supporting our traditional heritage. But the more vocal they were, or so it seemed to me, the more unconvincing they were. Formless rage and absurd conspiracy theories led only to the conclusion that there was nothing rational to be said for what I loved.

Davies changed all that. He had facts. Deep into history already, he read himself into a knowledge of theology and especially liturgy. He had sound theologians to advise him. He made the necessary distinctions. And most of all he had an easy and racy style of writing that swept one along in whatever topic he chose to discuss. You cannot imagine the delight it was to find that we had something to say for ourselves. The Remnant, and indeed Christian Order which he also wrote for, was eagerly awaited in those early days in the late '60s and early '70s; the first thing to do when either came was find and devour Davies' articles. (In the very early days he also wrote as "Owen Roberts". If I recall correctly, he didn't want it to look like he was monopolising the traditionalist print media, small as it was. The late Fr.Paul Crane, S.J. told him not to be silly and drop the alias.)

The books came later. And very welcome they were. The Liturgical trilogy was the first comprehensive view, at least in English, of the Council and the liturgical reform from the traditionalist point of view. There is still nothing like it and it is a must-read to understand the common view taken by most English-speaking traditional Catholics. Others include "The Mass That Will Not Die", "The Order of Melchisedech", his volume on the new right of ordination, and many others, including pamphlets and booklets. His other trilogy, "Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre" is a compilation of all the relevant documents involved in the Archbishop's difficulties with the Roman authorities. Whatever your view of the Archbishop and his Society's place in the Church, you won't fully understand it without a serious reading of the "Apologia". (Michael's love and respect for the Archbishop is well-known. Less well-known is the fact that he thought "the consecrations" were a mistake, although not rising to the level of schism. The publishing arm of Archbishop Lefebvre's Society of St. Piux X still publishes some of Michael's books, but many members and adherents of the Society never forgave him for that opinion.)

He eventually became President of the International Federation of Una Voce, whose purpose is the promotion of the celebration of the traditional liturgy with the permission of the Holy Father and in union with the bishops. He gave up the position when he learned he had cancer which would probably be terminal.

He made many speaking appearances. I will miss those. He had a charm and a sparkling wit that delighted. I will miss his careful correction of any compere who had the misfortune to introduce him as "English" instead of "Welsh". A mistake not made twice. I treasure his books, especially the two or three that bear his autograph.

A Mass and a prayer for his soul would be very much in order. And I confess to already having asked his intercession.

In paradisum deducant te angeli
In tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres
Et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat et
Cum Lazaro quondam paupere
Aeternam habeas requiem. . .

Atheism Passe?

Could be. If you really want to be au courant it seems, according to last week's The Spectator, the Supreme Being seems to be where it's at. Although it's rather unfortunate that Islam seems to be the moving player.

Loud Pipes Save Lives

So says the sticker you can buy to place on your Harley or your leather jacket. Sometimes they need to be loud to be heard over the roar of jet engines as Capt. Hesketh Miller, USAF has no doubt found when he plays the Great Highland Bagpipe at Aviano air base in Italy.

Neither Italy nor the United States Air Force are complete strangers to the pipes. The Air Force at one time had the only pipe band authorized by the American services who played as part of their duties. Sandy Jones, who up until a couple of years ago was Pipe Major of the Citadel Pipe Band in South Carolina, was at one time P/M of the Air Force Pipe Band. A fine band, one of the best in the U.S. at the time, it was axed during the Johnson administration as an economy move.

As for Italy, well you might start here. (But this week only! By October 4th the picture shown at this link is likely to be totally irrelevant. That webmaster changes his "Piping Pictures of the Week", well, weekly.)
For a more formal kilted look, try the City of Rome Pipe Band.

Thanks to Mark for the link to Capt. Miller and getting me started on this tangent.


And sent to bed without his supper. Jose Guillen, that is, who threw (another) tantrum of sorts the other day. The Angels sent him to his room for the rest of the season and for any post season games that might come their way.

The Angels never fail to astonish. Who else would choose to dump their second-best run producer (hitting .294 - 27 home runs - 104 RBIs - obp 352 - slugging 497)in a pennant race this close? This writer thinks that's a fine idea. Encourages team work and builds maturity.

Bob Keisser thinks management may have lost touch with reality.

And me? Well, Bauman is probably right but I'm too greedy for numbers in the win column to care. The end of September and one game out of first is not the time to decide to build character.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Life for the Emperor

An odd sort of article but fascinating in its way is in the Times this morning. "They've Outlived The Stigma" concerns the survivors of Japan's kamikazi pilots and their current lives in Japan.

Remember: don't dawdle. It's a Times article. It you wait until next Saturday to have a look it'll be in the archive and you'll have to shell out $2.95 to have a look.

Nota Bene

Christendom College's amatores traditionum seniorum have clubbed together and produced a fine new blog: Fiddleback Fever. Meredith of Basia Me, Catholica Sum is one of the founders.

Well done, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Our Lady of Ransom

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Ransom. This is the principal Marian feast day of the Mercedarian Friars. One of the principal works for which this Order was founded in the 13th century was the ransoming of Christian captives from the Mohammedans, who have apparently been at the kidnapping lark for a good many centuries now.

Our Lady of Ransom was once the only Marian feast proper to England. This feast, however, has now been replaced by that of Our Lady of Walsingham which clearly has a more "English" provenance. It's a shame they wouldn't make room for both. Perhaps the concept was insufficiently ecumenical with its concommitant prayers for the conversion of England.

Here is the feast's original collect:

Oh God, by means of the most glorious Mother of Your Son, You were pleased to give new children to Your Church for the deliverance of Christ's faithful from the power of the heathen; grant, we pray You, that we who love and honor her as the foundress of so great a work may, by her merits and prayers, be ourelves delivered from all sin and from the bondage of the evil one. Through Christ our Lord.

The "reformed" collect as it was just before the feast vanished from the English calendar:

Lord, we have long been the dowry of Mary and subjects of Peter, prince of the apostles. Let us hold to the Catholic faith and remain devoted to the blessed Virgin and obedient to Peter. Through Our Lord.

On the other hand it is an excellent decision to revive the old medieval feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. There is a Roman and an Anglican shrine, each having a website but sharing a common web portal which you can find here. The original shrine was confiscated by Henry VIII, its statues destroyed and property dispersed. The restoration we see now is largely a product of the 20th century. The Anglican shrine has a short history here and the Catholic shrine here.

This is an appropriate place to reprint a little piece of recusant poetry that is fairly well-known, called the "Lament for Walsingham" or just "Walsingham Farewell".

In the wracks of Walsingam
Whom should I chuse
But the Queene of Walsingam
To be guide to my muse?

Then, thou Prince of Walsingam
Graunt me to frame
Bitter plaintes to rewe thy wronge
Bitter wo for thy name.

Bitter was it, oh to see
The sely sheepe
Murdred by the raveninge wolves
While the sheepharde did sleep.

Bitter was it, oh, to viewe
The sacred vyne
Whiles the gardiners plaied all close
Rooted up by the swine.

Such were the worth of Walsingam
While she did stand
Such are the wrackes as now do shewe
Of that (so) holy lande.

Levell, levell with the ground
The Towres doe lye
Which with their golden, glit-t'ring tops
Pearsed oute to the skye.

Where weare gates noe gates are nowe,
The waies unknowen,
Where the presse of freares did passe
While her fame far was blowen.

Oules do scrike where the sweetest himnes
Lately wear songe,
Toades and serpents hold their dennes
Where the palmers did throng.

Weep, weep O Walsingam,
Whose dayes are nightes,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deedes to dispites.

Sinne is where our Ladye sate,
Heaven turned is to helle;
Sathan sitte where our Lord did swaye,
Walsingam, oh, farewell!


Jerry Pournelle provides either a very short history or a very long definition here of this political phenomenon. This is the most useful "pigeon-holing" of that faction that I've seen. Complete but short enough to refer people to who are looking for a framework.


Too sleazy for the Beeb but just right for the U.S. The powers that be at the BBC have apparently found that their new "Popetown" cartoon might be a bit too anti-Catholic for Britain.

The star of the anitmated series is Father Nicholas, a canny fellow constantly battling the helpless bureaucracy of the Vatican, in which The Pope is said to be depicted as a childish septuagenarian whose every fickle whim must be indulged and fulfilled.

Someone took a second look at that concept (and the petition with a couple of thousand signatures protesting the showing) and decided it might not be just the thing after all.

But all is not lost:

The BBC is looking at ways of recouping at least some of the costs of the series through broadcast and video sales with Channel X and BBC Worldwide so the series may be sold to outlets in other parts of the world including the United States.


"The Rabbit-ear Networks"

The funniest take yet on the Honest Dan Rather episode. Steve can be, um, sort of PG-13 rated on occasion. Not a usual sort of link for me, the Savonarola of the Pacific. But much is forgiven for making me laugh until I cry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Being a palmer isn't what it used to be. John Laughland in a recent Spectator finds "serious Christianity is being replaced by New Age 'self-discovery'"

Still, the "Moor-slayer's" shrine is still there and still worth a long walk and the additional penance entailed by the company of the crystal-gazers.

Monday, September 20, 2004

You Can Relax Now

The vial of St. Januarius' blood liquefied on schedule according to a link provided by Fr. Sibley. The actual news article on Zenit seems to be down at the moment, as does all of Zenit. But Naples is apparently safe for another year.

One more thing: I do realize that little picture below is not of the Naples cathedral. In fact, it is of an ancient little church in the Bourbonais region of central France. It's there because, well, I liked it. Sort of a "Sunday" picture.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Volcano Watch

Today – along with being the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, the 15th after Trinity, and the 25th Per Annum – is also the feast of St. Januarius. If God is in His heaven and all is right with the world, the vial of his blood kept in the Cathedral at Naples should liquefy. If trouble is in store – say, an incipient volcano eruption – it won't liquefy.

We await tomorrow’s reports.

[The citation is to the article on St. Januarius in the old Catholic Encyclopaedia. The author is the late Fr. Herbert Thurston, S.J. a renowned investigator of things mysterious and a noted skeptic in regard to the same. The final paragraph reveals that even he thinks the liquefaction is a miracle, which is in itself a miracle of sorts.]

And on the next page. . .

So long as we're muddling through the Times this a.m., the first of their two-parter on Paul and Jan Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network begins today. Fascinating stuff. Hundreds of years ago when I was single and in the bloom of youth, I went with a girl who was sort of in on the ground floor of the Catholic Charismatic movement. She thought TBN and its "Praise the Lord" programme was just about the last word in up-to-date Gospel preachin'. She got me to watch it a couple of times. So far as I could tell, Irish-Catholic ghetto boy that I was, these folks were not just from another Church but another planet. I couldn't imagine sending these folks money any more than I could imagine sending it to, well, the Prohibition Party.

But as the article points out, a lot of folks did. And now they are, not to put too fine a point upon it, rolling in it. The Times doesn't like this wealth one little bit. And, as it happens, I don't care for it either. Especially not the bit about them soaking it out of the poor in order to finance their own lavish comforts.

But. . .

Isn't the Times confusing fundamentalist Protestantism with the Franciscan Order? I don't recall ever reading that Pentecostalists were inclined toward vows of poverty. Quite the reverse.

And one more thing; one has to wonder if the Times' expose of TBN has as much to do with 30 room mansions in Newport Beach as it does with this.

Just asking.

The Third Party Blues

Sunday breakfast and the Sunday papers are two of the great joys in life. Today's Times brings us a full-page article on the woes of the once-mighty Prohibition Party which, if it had its way, would do away with one of the other joys of life, a cold beer. These folks were on the ballot in California not so very long ago; they were still one of the choices when I cast my first vote. These days their membership doesn't seem to run into four figures. Yet they can still manage a party split. One of their two candidates has this to say:

The Rev. Gene Amondson is the candidate for the breakaway party. He's an artist from Vashon Island, Wash., who travels the country reenacting the fiery antidrinking sermons of the late evangelist Billy Sunday.

Amondson, 60, describes himself as a "redneck, Bible-thumping preacher," with a simple message: Drinking alcohol is stupid.

"Alcohol has no taste at all; it's just a burning sensation," he said. "You don't drink to have a good time; you drink to forget a bad time."

And he dismisses the story of Jesus turning water into wine.

"If Jesus turned water into alcohol he wasn't very bright about alcohol was he?" he said. "I think it was grape juice."


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Remembering 9/11

Better late than never. Just read William Luse's meditation on 9/11. He posted it four days ago on the anniversary of the day even if I'm only getting to it now. Take the time to read it all; you won't be sorry. You can find it here.

[Addendum: You have to be on your toes to keep up with Brother William. I had no sooner cited his excellent post than he moved it on me. You have to go here now. Clicke, lege if you haven't already.]

The Female of the Species

"Mama T" mentioned recently that she has never bought into the "women are kinder and gentler" theory. The meanest people I ever worked for were uniformly women. When I read articles that have that old cant "if women just ran the world there'd be universal peace and harmony" it makes me gag. We have, for too long, assumed that any woman involved in terroristic activities was "forced into it" by a husband or boyfriend. Oh, please. Certainly it has been the case at times. But not uniformly and certainly not going forward from here.

Which reminded me that almost 100 years or so ago Kipling had much the same idea:

WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other's tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

". . .the so-called Tridentine office."

Sigh. I used that phrase in the post below. No, it wasn't meant to be an insult. "So-called" doesn't mean I don't like it. It means I don't think "Tridentine" is a very good description. If nothing else, as the late Fr. Bryan Houghton once pointed out, it sounds like something that's meant for people with three teeth. More to the point though, the basic format ante-dates the Council of Trent by, say, a thousand years? But what else to call it? With Cardinal Ratzinger, I very much like the term "classic Roman Rite" and not just because of its analogical resonance with the "Classic Coke" fiasco. "Gregorian Rite" is good, too, since in Pope St. Gregory the Great it refers to a much more relevant originator than the Council of Trent or Pope St. Pius V. Unfortunately, most people think you're only referring to the chant when you use that term. I usually use "traditional Roman rite" here. Not a few, however, think that refers to the Pauline rite done with Latin, incense, and no clowns. But if you want to be immediately understood, everyone knows what you mean when you say "Tridentine rite". Which brings us back to the fact that the term isn't really accurate. Hence "so-called".

So no insult intended. And, yes, I really do need to make up my mind whether "rite" should be capitalized.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Well, sort of urgent. The world will not end if you miss it. But if you are an Oratorian or a lover of the traditional liturgy you will be annoyed with yourself if you do. The BBC's long-running programme "Choral Evensong" this week presents Solemn Vespers of the Feast of the Birth of Our Lady from the London Oratory. You can find it here and listen on line. But you have to hurry. It was presented last Wednesday 8 September. You can only retrieve it from the archive for one week. It will be gone the day after tomorrow. Glorious music: Gregorian psalms and 16th century polyphonic antiphons and hymns. This Vespers is according to the so-called "Tridentine" office.

The piper shown above, more than usually full of hot air, is a gift from Mark. The poor maimed fella - one peg leg and a ferulle missing from his bass drone - is sailing over Bristol for reasons known only to his owner. I have more than my fair share of piping knick-knackery but whoever the said owner is he (Or she? No. Surely not.) may want to take a few deep breaths, relax, have a pint of that good English beer, and perhaps read an article or two on the nature of obsession and the cure thereof.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Not Gone and Apparently Not Forgotten

I received a kind note today lamenting the fact that I had give up my blog. It's very nice to be missed but, in case anyone else wondered, I haven't given it up. When I first started this little project I made myself a promise that this would not become another one of those things that I let take over. The word "obsess" springs to mind. Mostly, I haven't. Unless, of course, you count assessing every event of the day as to how it could work into a blog post. Still, mostly, I haven't let it take over. Which is why you haven't seen anything new here for the past week: I have let other things take precedence.

Not the least of which has been the heat. Last Sunday it was 103f in our little town. And my tiny corner office is not air conditioned. The computer is in the office. The one and only air conditioner is in what we, with only a little exaggeration, refer to as the library. Hence I have been in the library as often as I can. A great artist would suffer for his art and endure the heat. A hack blogger will hang out in another room with the air conditioner.

And I've been rather busier than usual. So the blog is still very much alive. And it will be attended to when time and climactic conditions allow.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Finding a quiet place to tune. . .

. . .isn't easy at a Highland Games. This fellow's solution.

[Update: You're too late. There was a link to a picture of a piper at a recent Highland Games tuning his pipes in, um, "the gents". But the fellow who puts up these weekly piping pictures that I sometimes link to only has them up for a week. This week's picture at that link is nice but. . . .]

Bishop Rifan of the Campos Apostolic Administration

The Orange County chapter of Una Voce will feature Bishop Rifan of the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney at its conference this Sunday. For anyone who has Sunday 12 September free this should be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Apostolic Administration in Campos. This format - the Apostolic Administration - seems most likely to be the way forward for the traditional liturgy and those of us who were formed in it and by it. There is more information on the conference at O.C. Una Voce's website here. A pdf file giving more detail and registration information can be pulled up here.

I'm still trying to work out how I can attend; the logistics are a little difficult at this point.


Beautiful paintings by Ilian Rachov. They are icons of a sort but in a devotional western style. Alas, there are no printed copies for sale so far as I can tell. Enjoy the web-views.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Save the pipers?

But, of course, a thomais. Save them/us, indeed. But a save-the-pipers movement? There are more players of the Great Highland Bagpipe now than there have ever been. So perhaps a Movement for that purpose is not quite as vital right at the moment as that in aid of the apostrophe. Maybe something to preserve the tradition though? Piobaireachd seems to be more vital than it's been in a hundred years. But depending upon who you talk to, the light music tradition is either being enriched or destroyed these days. It's an article of faith among pipers of a certain age that no one can play a proper MSR [march/strathspey/reel] any more.

Albert, called by God's favour to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.

Thus begins the Rule of St. Albert, the "Holy Rule" of the entire Carmelite Order. The "B" whom St. Albert is addressing was long considered to be St. Brocard, the prior of the Carmelite community on Mount Carmel who requested a rule of life for his community from Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. This was St. Brocard's feast day from at least the 15th century until the calendar changes that followed that late Vatican Council. St. Brocard no longer appears on the Carmelite calendar. This short summary appears in the current Magnificat:

A native of Jerusalem born to French parents, Brocard became the superior of a community of French hermits living on Palestine's Mount Carmel. He set an example for his fellow hermits with his devout prayers to Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints. He never went anywhere without bringing his stole, his breviary, and his "Paternoster", a set of beads for repeating the Our Father (a predecessor to rosary beads). Once, Brocard was approached by a Syrian Moslem emir, crippled by leprosy, who hoped to obtain a cure. Brocard told him, "Approach the spiritual water of the Jordan, that your body may be washed, and you shall recover your health." The emir replied: "I understand what you say; I wish to be baptized and to be made a Christian." Immediately after being baptized by Brocard, the emir was healed of his leprosy. The emir spent the rest of his life among the hermits on Mount Carmel, devoting himself to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Brocard obtained a fixed rule of life for Mount Carmel's hermits, thereby laying the foundation for the subsequent establishment of the Carmelite Order.

The ancient collect for his feast is this:

Sanctifica, Domine, famulos tuos, in veneratione beati Brocardi, Montis Carmeli incolae, Confessoris tui, humiliter supplicantes : ut ejus salutaribus patrociniis vita nostra inter adversa ubique regatur. Per Dominum. Amen.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

St. Teresa Margaret Redi

This is the new feast day of the Discalced Carmelite mystic, St. Teresa Margaret Redi and a good day to direct your attention once again to this website devoted to her. Among much else, you will find there all the propers to celebrate Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours in her honour. There is even a holy card you can print out for your prayer book.

Here is the collect from her feast in the traditional liturgy which used to be on March 11:

Deus, qui beatae Teresiae Margaritae Virgini de fontibus Salvatoris inaestimabiles dedisti puritatis et caritatis haurire thesauros : da nobis, quaesumus ; ut, ipsa interveniente, iisdem mereamur donis caelestibus abundare. Per eumdem Dominum. Amen.

My seat-of-the-pants translation:

Oh, God, who didst give the blessed virgin Teresa Margaret to thirst from the font of Salvation for the inestimable treasures of purity and charity, grant to us we beseech Thee, that by her intervention we may merit to receive in abundance these same heavenly gifts. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.