If ever such a wonder can be called that. It is the Vigil of the feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, praecursor Domini (Introibo); the Mass is Ne tímeas, Zacharía. Since YT won't cough up a recording of the Introit for today, this is one of the first part of the famous hymn, sung at both Vespers of tomorrow's feast, Ut queant laxis, by Victoria. The second part, Antra deserti, teneris sub annis, is sung at Matins and the third, O nimis felix, meritique celsi, at Lauds.
In the Martyrology this morning, notice is made of the feast tomorrow of the martyrs made by Nero, including those who were covered in pitch and tar (tar and pitch?) and set alight, used as torches in the night, which concludes,
Erant hi omnes Apostolórum discípuli, et primítiæ Mártyrum, quas Romána Ecclésia, fértilis ager Mártyrum, ante Apostolórum necem transmísit ad Dóminum.
All these were the disciples of the Apostles and the first fruits of the Martyrs that the Roman Church, fertile field of Martyrs, sent to the Lord even before the death of the Apostles.
Time for Prime.
It finally happened. I have wondered what would be the fallout if I reached for a peanut on the window sill to toss out to the jays and squirrels at the same moment as one of them jumped up or flew up to get one; nothing much, beyond the remarkably fast reaction time that I displayed, with the peanut ending up crashing into the bedroom wall eight feet behind me, ha, and the squirrel jumping to the ground. No damage done, her confidence remained unshaken and she's been back already. I had had visions of my blood dripping after the fingers were mauled by an enraged squirrel-- this must have had to do with a 'news story' that appeared on Twitter recounting the gory details of a squirrel pack suddenly attacking a poor woman on a park bench who had been peaceably feeding them. It has become quite overcast with a hint of rain in the air. While the weather mages continue to predict highs in the upper 80s and 90s, with a 104 degrees on Sunday-- there is an 'excessive heat watch' from Friday to Monday-- I may perhaps doubt, given this morning's chill and clouds.
Post Sextam. Have been re-reading the lessons of Saint Ambrose from Matins (well, alternately with the current Commissario Brunetti story). Saint Ambrose observes that the parents of Saint John, Zacharias and Anna, "were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless". He goes on to comment that, yes, no one is sinless (he would have specified 'saving the dignity of the great Mother of God' if he thought that was necessary but it wasn't, of course), but, no, the witness of Job and others doesn't mean that the faithful cannot lead lives of righteousness and blamelessness after repentance and penitence. Anyway, I was diverted to looking at the word heirloom and its constituent words. Loom is 'any tool', long ago, having also the same sense then that a specific slang usage of the word 'tool' ('he is a major tool' i.e. 'dick', "and large was his odd lome þe lenthe of a ȝerde") expresses today.
Ante Completorium. Bedtime rather earlier than usual this evening since I have to go out at some time after eight in the morning for an appointment with the doctor-- the annual 'physical', whatever that may actually mean.
It is the feast of Saint Aetheldreda of Ely (7th century), of Saint Libertus of Cambrai (11th century), and of Saint Thomas Garnet (17th century).
V. Et álibi aliórum plurimórum sanctórum Mártyrum et Confessórum, atque sanctárum Vírginum. R. Deo grátias.