And by 'up north' I mean Portland and the upper Willamette River Valley. Here, we see the meteorologists' warnings but, pft, there's a bit of rain and it's 34 or 35; snow, conceivably, but very unlikely. Ten inches in Omaha, or so I'm told. It is the feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr (CE, Introibo, Wikipedia), disciple of the Apostle and Evangelist Saint John and Apostolic Father; Gregory DiPippo has written a post at New Liturgical Movement. The third lesson at Matins recounted the story that, the saint meeting the heresiarch Marcion, Marcion asked, 'do I know you?' to which Polycarp replied, 'cognosco primogenitum diaboli'-- I know the firstborn of the devil. Perhaps by his intercession, the Bishops seated on their thrones today will begin speaking the truth more forthrightly. Holy Mass will be streamed from Saint-Eugène at 1000.
Let us look at what Cardinal Schuster has to say this morning in his Liber sacramentorum.
The remembrance of this famous Father of the newly born Church occurs at a very opportune moment in the Christmas cycle, when it seems as though the most illustrious defenders of Christian doctrine had gathered together around the crib of the Infant Jesus. The Church of Rome least of all could omit the feast of Polycarp from her calendar. In times gone by she had received him as a pilgrim when, during the lifetime of Pope Anicetus, he had been brought to the banks of the Tiber by the controversy regarding the date of Easter. On that occasion the Pope, in order to do still greater honour to the aged disciple of St John the Evangelist, had granted to him the privilege of celebrating the eucharistic synaxis in his stead. Polycarp suffered martyrdom in the amphitheatre of Smyrna about the year 155 on February 23, but his feast occurs today in the Roman Martyrology, since it is the date given in that of St Jerome.
The Mass is that of the Common of a Martyr and Bishop, as on the feast of St Eusebius on December 16, but as it commemorates a disciple of St John the Evangelist the Lesson is taken from his master’s First Epistle, in which the apostle of sacred love speaks of the mutual charity which we should have for one another, and by which we must imitate that which our Saviour has showed towards us. God is love, therefore he who loves dwells in God and God in him. The devil, on the contrary, is hatred, for he hates God, he hates himself, he hates everybody and everything. 'I am that wretched being who cannot love,' Satan said one day to St Catherine of Siena. Let us, then, beware of harbouring in our hearts thoughts of rancour, of envy and spite, in a word, of anything that is contrary to the kindly charity of Christ's precepts, since all these feelings come, like those of Cain, from the wicked one...
The highest praise which can be given to St Polycarp is contained in the words shouted out by the people of Smyrna as they raged against him in the amphitheatre: 'This is the father of the Christians, the Master of all Asia'. Without God we can do nothing, but a soul empty of self which lends itself willingly to the inward influence of the Holy Ghost is capable of converting and sanctifying the whole world.
Amen, indeed. Am listening to Jean Sibelius's Violin Concerto from the Concertgebouw, with the violinist Liviu Prunaru, himself of the Concertgebouworkest. But I must after say Terce and get some breakfast.
The melodic construction of our Gradual, in the 5th mode, is particularly symbolic, since it vigorously lays on the tonic F the foundations as of the Church on Peter: Qui operatus est Petro in apostolatum, he who acted on Peter to make him an Apostle, is entirely built on this melodic pillar. What was established by Providence in Peter will also be established in Paul: the same melodic vigour is established, as an echo, on the second pillar of the modality, namely the fifth, C, before descending, in successive steps via Peter’s modal string, to the F.It is remarkable to note that this symbolism of the two inseparable pillars of the Church could be observed in the calendar until 1969 [dies irae, dies illa...-- MP], as the time of preparation for Easter, which then lasted nine weeks [Septuagesima...], began at the earliest on 25 January, Saint Paul’s Day, and at the latest on 22 February, on Saint Peter’s Day (the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter in Rome), according to the extreme dates of the feast of Easter. The calendar celebration of the Work of Redemption was therefore based on these two pillars.