A light rain now and again through the morning...

But the most noticeable consequence is the general greyness, as looks to be the case now; of course, it being only just after 0700 who can be sure. Probably some sunlight later on in the afternoon. Perhaps. It is the feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Saint Paul (CE, Introibo, Wiki). The feast is unknown to the Byzantines, apparently, and probably marks the day when relics of the Apostle were transferred from X to Y. 

Cardinal Schuster, in his Liber sacramentorum:

This feast, which in the Martyrology of St Jerome is simply called Romae translatio Sancti Pauli is altogether missing in the ancient Roman Sacramentaries and Capitularies, and appears to have been adopted by the Papal Court under Frankish influence only about the 10th century. As a matter of fact the Mass in conversione sancti Pauli apostoli is to be found in the Gothic Missal, in which it follows that of St Peter’s Chair, a connection sufficiently significant for us to be able to exclude the hypothesis that the feast really commemorates the chronological date of the conversion of the great apostle of the Gentiles on the road to Damascus. It is not easy to determine the origin and development of the festival. The translatio sancti Pauli in the martyrologies may possibly refer to one of the hypotheses given below: 

(a) The translation of the sacred body of the apostle from its secret place of burial ad catacumbas on the Via Appia to its primitive tomb on the Via Ostiensis after Gallienus had restored their cemeteries to the Christians; 

(b) The rebuilding of his sepulchral basilica on the Via Ostiensis, begun by Theodosius, continued by Valentinian and Honorius, and completed by St Leo I; 

(c) The occasional alteration of the date of his festival station on account of some impediment, as when the Romans once during the absence from Rome of Pope Leo I put off celebrating the feast of SS Peter and Paul until his return; 

(d) Lastly, and more probably, a transference in some way to Gaul of veils which had been applied to the tomb of St Paul and of filings from his chains. These objects of devotion were also incorrectly described as 'relics' and were deposited in the altar under the designation of translatio, which word was inscribed even in the local martyrologies, and thanks to a kind of fictio juris, they came to be regarded as an annex or extension of the real tomb of the apostle at Rome. 

The indication Romae must have slipped into the Laterculus through the ignorance of the amanuensis who, when he read the words translatio sancti Pauli, instead of associating them with some church at Autun or Arles, etc., took it for granted that they could only apply to Rome. This winter festival of St Paul, whether of Roman origin or not, was connected in Gallic countries with the feast of St Peter’s Chair, and this at a time when Rome was no longer celebrating either of them, if the Apostolic See had ever at any time kept this translatio of St Paul. Little by little, however, the historical facts were forgotten, and for the idea of a material translation of the relics of St Paul there was substituted that of a psychological and spiritual translation or change which befell the apostle on the way to Damascus; so from his physical translatio there was evolved his mystical conversio. The feast of the Conversion of St Paul is noted as being on this day in the Bernese Laterculus of the Martyrology of St Jerome: Translatio et conversio sancti Pauli in Damasco. In the Ordo of Peter Amelius of the fourteenth century this solemnity is given precedence even over the Sunday Office. In the Patriarchal Basilica of St Paul a most solemn station is held today, and, in the absence of the Supreme Pontiff, the abbots of that famous monastery which once gave to the Church St Gregory VII celebrate in accordance with ancient tradition the divine Sacrifice with Pontifical rites, upon the same Papal altar which still stands over the sepulchre of the apostle.... 

I do find the attitude of the Romans in (c) endearing: if our papa isn't here, we'll just delay the feast rather than celebrate it without him. 

Holy Mass for the feast from Saint-Eugène is at 1000, and at 1130 a piano recital at Wigmore Hall by Christian Blackshaw, Mozart (Fantasia in D minor K 397, Rondo in D K 485, Adagio in B minor K 540) and Schubert (Piano Sonata in D D 850), that I'm looking forward to. 

Father Hunwicke has begun what will I hope be a series of posts concerned with 'minor orders' (following upon the Pope doing some mischief or other last week or whenever it was). 

... So ... all those in minor orders could walk away, grow their hair, and get a different, secular, job, and (this seems to be implicit) find a wife. I am afraid that I cannot follow Bishop Schneider's opinions, expressed in a recent article, that "to carry out any, even a more humble, service in public worship, it is necessary that the minister receive a stable or sacred designation" [My emphasis]. The pre-Conciliar Pontificale makes it perfectly clear that those in minor Orders are at liberty, if they feel like it (pro arbitrio), just to walk away from (transire) that ministry and grab a votum saeculare. When the Pontiff made clear that subdeacons were semper mancipati (like pieces of merchandise permanently purchased), he implied that this had not previously been their status....

We shall see what tomorrow brings. Am listening to Schubert's Piano Sonata in D and then (late!) will pray Sext.

Time for Vespers before too much longer. It has been sunny almost all the afternoon, which tends to make it seem warmer than it is. The annual snow will fall upon us unawares sometime in February. 

Began today (what I ought to have begun doing a few months ago) wearing 'compression socks' which are meant to promote circulation in the legs. Have no idea whether these stockings work or not but, fairly unexpectedly, they are not uncomfortable and haven't fallen down. A couple of washings will tell how well they're made, I reckon; finally I closed my eyes and picked a brand of the correct boa constrictor-ness and within the acceptable range of price, there being approximately 1,019 on Amazon to select from after factoring in those two desiderata.