Saint Joseph, ayant été choisi par Dieu pour être son image envers son Fils unique, n’a point été établi pour aucune fonction publique dans l’Église de Dieu, mais seulement pour exprimer sa pureté et sa sainteté incomparables qui le séparent de toute créature visible ; de là vient qu’il est le Patron des âmes cachées et inconnues.
Saint Joseph, having been chosen by God to be His image in the human experience of His only begotten Son, was not appointed any public office in the Church of God, but only to express his incomparable purity and holiness which separates him from all mortal creatures; hence it is that he is the Patron of hidden and unknown souls.
... Promoted instead, as even Noam Chomsky described a generation ago, are people with the digestive systems of jackals or monitor lizards, who can swallow even the most toxic piles of official nonsense without blinking. Still, those reporters once had to at least pretend to be something other than courtiers, as it was considered unseemly to openly gush about a party or a politician....
At the Vatican Basilica, Franciscus's creatures have now suppressed the so-called private celebrations of Holy Mass. I am appalled but the judgments of God are inevitable and certain in their justice.
This is an appropriate occasion to note, at Arouca Press, the collection of appeals made to Pope Francis in view of some of his public nonsense, edited by John Lamont and Claudio Pierantoni. Father Hunwicke repeated his own erudite and eminently charitable adherence on the 10th and yesterday, the 11th.
Saint Mary ad Martyres [where is the collecta] is the name given to the beautiful Pantheon of Agrippa when it was turned into a Christian Church by Boniface IV (608-15). The Romans of the Middle Ages loved this majestic sanctuary, where among other relics was preserved in a casket locked with thirteen keys the image of the Holy Face, and in the 13th century the Senator Urbis, when taking possession of his office, swore to defend and preserve for the Pope Mariam Rotundam. The Basilica of St Lawrence in Lucina [the statio] dates from the 4th century; but unfortunately the personality of Lucina has been so obscured by legends, which first relate that she took her part in the Acta of St Peter and St Paul, and then afterwards mention her as a contemporary of St Lawrence, St Sebastian, and St Marcellus, that it is difficult to decide how much historical truth is contained therein. Most probably the subject of these legends was a matron living in the time of Pope Marcellus (304-9), who placed her houses in the Via Lata at the disposal of the ecclesiastical authorities; these erected there the titulus Marcelli, and, when the church was confiscated, built another not far off, in Lucina. In the list of churches St Lawrence in Lucina is the first of the presbyteral titles; Pope Celestine III (1191-98), who consecrated it on May 26, 1196, placed under the altar a large piece of the gridiron on which St Lawrence was martyred. The most ancient document which guarantees the authenticity of this holy relic is a sermon by St Leo the Great, who, on the feast of St Lawrence, speaks of it as an object of veneration to all Romans. The martyrs of the Via Nomentana, Alexander, Eventius, and Theodulus, the Popes Pontian and Eusebius, with the saints Vincent, Peregrinus, Gordian, Felicola, and Sempronius, all rest in this venerable basilica.
In the Introit from Psalm LXXXV the Psalmist calls upon God for a token of his protection, not for himself indeed, for he has perfect faith in Jehovah, but in order to confound his adversaries, who are also the adversaries of the glory of God. The Collect repeats once more the prayer that God would assist our fasts, so that we may not only abstain from bodily food, but may also restrain our evil passions.
Today’s Lesson (Num. XX 1-13), describing how Moses caused water to spring forth from the rock, was very familiar to the early Christians, for it was constantly reproduced in paintings on the walls and arcosolia of the extramural cemeteries. In primitive Christian art at Rome, Moses sometimes bears the lineaments of Peter; indeed, there are examples in the catacombs, especially in glass, where the word petrvs is written around the head of the figure which is striking the rock with his rod, as though to point out that the scene described in the Book of Numbers was a symbol of the Christian baptism of regeneration, whose first minister was the Prince of the Apostles himself. This comparison drawn in early Christian art between Moses and Peter is of exceptional importance from a theological point of view in the history of the papal primacy. As Moses was the first prophet and lawgiver of the Old Testament, so the Galilean fisherman is the first Pontiff and Vicar of Jesus Christ, in whose name and by whose authority all the other pastors of the Church feed each one his own flock. At Rome baptism is connected especially with St Peter. He is said by Tertullian to have baptized in the Tiber, and in the 4th century an ancient tradition pointed out a chair in the cemetery of the Via Nomentana as having been used by the Apostle, while the neighbouring Nymphae retained the memory of his having administered baptism on this spot. The Popes of the 4th century baptized near the tomb of St Peter at the Vatican, long before they did so at the Lateran; indeed, this fact of the sacrament of regeneration being administered near the sepulchre of the Prince of the Apostles, and by his authority, appeared to be of such great importance and to confer such great honour on the Roman Church, that it was commemorated in the following verses formerly carved in marble in the baptistery of St Damasus at the Vatican: Auxit Apostolicae geminatum Sedis honorem/ Christus et ad coelos hanc dedit esse viam/ Nam cut siderei commisit limina regni/ Hic habet in terris altera claustra poli. Christ willed to give increased honour to the Roman See, rendered illustrious by the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, by making this the path to heaven; so that he to whose care he had already committed the threshold of paradise should also guard here on earth the first door of heaven.
The Gradual comes from Psalm XXVII, and alludes to the sufferings of Jesus, and to his glory in his resurrection: 'In God hath my heart trusted, and I was helped; my flesh flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to him. Unto thee, O Lord, have I cried; O my God, be not thou silent, depart not from me'. The Liturgy now becomes permeated with the thought of baptism. After hearing of the water gushing from the rock in the desert, we now read in the Gospel (John iv 5-42) of the living water which our Lord promised to the Samaritan woman.
This second scriptural scene was also familiar to the faithful as a type of the sacrament of baptism, and we see it represented as early as the second century in the cemetery of Praetextatus. The whole of St John’s narrative is full of the greatest charm. Jesus goes forth first to seek the sinful soul, then for three-and-thirty years he treads the weary path of redemption, and towards midday, that is, when the oppression of earthly cares drives the tired heart to seek refreshment in the things of the spirit, he awaits the wanderer by the wayside well and offers her the living water which allays all thirst for human affections. Let us learn from one who had drunk deeply of that water of life, the great St Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote: ' I feel within me as it were a fountain springing up on high, and I hear a voice which says: Come to the Father'.
The Offertory from Psalm V is a humble prayer: 'Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God; for to thee will I pray, O Lord'. God is always mindful of our prayers as often as we, on our part, are mindful of them, and ask from him with lively faith those things which will forward our eternal salvation. The prayer over the oblations-- the Secret-- which also serves as a prelude to the anaphora of thanksgiving-- praefatio-- is as follows: 'Look down favourably, we beseech thee, O Lord, upon the offerings we consecrate; that they may be pleasing to thee, and ever prove salutary to us'. The Antiphon ad Communionem, with the promise of the Redeemer that the water of grace shall be to him who drinks it as a fountain jet raising him on high, is one of the few Lenten antiphons which break in on the usual psalmodic cycle and are derived from the Gospels. The same thing occurs in tomorrow’s Mass. If, however, we take note that the Communion of last Wednesday was taken from Psalm XV-- that of Thursday, having been introduced later, does not count-- whilst the Communion for next Monday is from Psalm XVIII, we must come to the conclusion that the beautiful Gospel antiphons of today and tomorrow are not the original ones, but that they have taken the place of two other antiphons from the Psalms which have disappeared from the series. The Post-Communion is of a general character, and asks that through the participation of the divine sacrament God will purify us from sin and lead us to eternal life.
In the final Oratio super populum the priest prays God that, trusting in his protection, we may be given grace to overcome all adversities. Jesus announces to the woman of Samaria the new commandment for the true worshippers of God, who are to adore the Father in spirit and in truth, whether on Mount Zion or on Mount Garizim. This perfect worship belongs to Jesus Christ alone, the Pontiff of the New Testament. He alone adores the Father in truth, because he knows him perfectly. He alone adores the Father in spirit, because on him alone the Holy Ghost has rested with the plenitude of His gifts. Therefore all Christians, in order to render to God a perfect worship, must unite themselves to Jesus Christ and offer the sacrifice of their spirit and their hearts to the Father through him. It is for this reason that the Church ends all her collects with these words addressed to the Father: 'Through Jesus Christ our Lord' --this is the adoration in the truth-- 'who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost'-- this is the adoration of the spirit.
It is also the feast of Saint Corman (8th century), of Saint Simeon the New Theologian (11th century), and of Blessed Angela (20th century).
V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum. R. Deo grátias.