Spring is here, I guess...

Since it is 50 degrees F. and a gentle rain has fallen through the night-- it did indeed smell 'like Spring' just before 0500. Am having to work at telling myself it is February. Today is the feast of the martyrs Saints Faustinus and Jovita; I am fairly sure that Saint-Eugene, in the middle of their celebration of Forty Hours, won't be streaming again until the Mass of Deposition tomorrow morning. Am going to put a coffee cake into the oven and perhaps eat breakfast before Terce. At 1130, a concert of The Sixteen will be streamed from Wigmore Hall.

The cultus of these martyrs was already very popular at Brescia, when in the time of Gregory II it was introduced also into the Abbey of Monte Cassino and its numerous dependencies by Petronax of Brescia, the restorer of the monastery. Towards the end of the Middle Ages the feast even found its way into the Roman Missal; indeed, in 1575 the Brescian colony residing at Rome built a church (now destroyed) in honour of the two patron saints of their native city. The church stood near the Via Giulia, which, in consequence of the great buildings erected by Julius II (1503-13), had become then one of the finest thoroughfares of the city. 

The Mass is that of the Common of many Martyrs. The Introit is from Psalm XXXVI: 'The salvation of the just is from the Lord: and he is their protector in the time of trouble'. He protects them, says St Augustine, in reference to their last end, for as regards the mortal body, since he did not spare that of his only-begotten Son, still less does he promise to his saints material safety and worldly prosperity: 'Do not, therefore', said in conclusion the great Doctor of Hippo, when preaching to his flock, 'do not, therefore, expect to have that which the Gospel itself does not promise you'. 

The Collect is as follows: 'O God, who dost gladden us by the yearly festival of thy holy martyrs Faustinus and Jovita, grant in thy mercy that we who rejoice in their merits may be inspired by the example of their lives. Through our Lord'. This is the spirit in which the Church celebrates the festivals of the saints. Without this spiritual aim of the reformation of our lives, these religious solemnities would be meaningless, for they were established by the Popes precisely as an inducement to the faithful to walk in the footsteps of those whose virtues they praise. The Lesson is drawn from the Epistle to the Hebrews (X, 32-38), as on January 19, the feast of the martyrs Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum. The Gradual comes from Psalm XXXIII. In the hour of trial the martyrs realized all the feebleness of their frail nature; they therefore invoked the help of God’s grace and the Lord heard them. He heard them, but he did not withdraw them from the trial, for it was the strengthener of their virtue. Instead he caused them to become stronger than the temptation, and they, with the help of his divine grace, triumphed over the weakness of their nature, over the threats and torments of the tyrants and even over death itself. The Lord was at their side to support them; he saved them because humbly distrusting themselves, they put all their confidence in him.... After Septuagesima the Tract, from Psalm CXXV, is read as on February 12.... 

In the Roman Missal... the Gospel Lesson was derived from St Matthew (XXIV, 3-13), in which Jesus foretells to the apostles the signs which shall precede the end of the world, one of which was to be the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. In those latter days the devil will make a supreme assault upon the kingdom of Christ. The struggle which is to be the prelude of the final triumph of Jesus will become more fierce, and the martyrs, facing death in great numbers for the Faith, will then also furnish before the whole world this apologetic argument in proof of the divine nature of the Christian religion. This argument will be rejected, but it will not on that account lose any of its force, for it will appeal with all the eloquence of a blood melius loquentem quam Abel; whilst in the designs of God that will be the last attempt to convert the unbelievers and save them from perdition. All this is comprised in the simple word martyr, which means literally (to be) a 'witness' for Christ and his Gospel by the shedding of one’s own blood....

Ah, Saint-Eugene is streaming Holy Mass, the votive Mass for reparation for injuries done to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, proper to Paris, added to the Paris Missal by Monseigneur Charles de Vintimille in 1738 in response to the requests of the Sacred Heart as reported by Saint Marguerite Marie at Paray-le-Monial. In Paris, this Mass is traditionally celebrated on the Monday of Quinquagesima during the Forty Hours. Abbé Grodzinski is celebrating on one of the side altars because the Sacratissimum is exposed on the High Altar. Dr DiPippo wrote about this at New Liturgical Movement in 2012 (in the context of the feast of the Sacred Heart).

Dr Peter Kwasniewski posted an essay at New Liturgical Movement earlier that attempts to deal with the question 'how do sins against Our Lord in the Sacratissimum cause Him to suffer?'-- the short answer is, of course, they don't. "On the one hand, we know that Christ, having conquered sin and death, is no longer subject to suffering in His glorified state". The longer, more complete and correct answer must take into account the many saints who have used this way of speaking and writing, to the effect that our sins and failings cause Our Lord grief and pain. "On the other hand, in many approved private revelations over the span of many centuries, beginning in the Middle Ages and coming down to our own times, the Lord says that the sins of men cause Him to grieve, sorrow, and suffer. We must accept this as true in a mysterious way that we will never fully grasp in this life". It is an interesting read.