Monday, 30 March 2015

Lenten Station At The Basilica Of Saint Praxedes. Monday In Holy Week.

Roman Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Italic Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Monday in Holy Week.
Station at Saint Praxedes's.

Indulgence of 10 years and 10 Quarantines.
Privileged Feria.

Violet Vestments.

Basilica of Saint Praxedes,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: December 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Lalupa.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Lenten Station was originally held at Saints Nereus and Achilleus, but the tottering state of this Church caused it to be Transferred in the 13th-Century to Saint Praxedes. The precious Pillar of The Flagellation, so called, brought over from The Holy Land by Cardinal Colonna at the time of The Fifth Crusade, was placed by him in this, his Titular Church, where it is still kept. In exchange for the iron ring attached to this Pillar, Saint Louis presented the Church with The Three Thorns of The Holy Crown, that are still preserved there. The Relics of many Martyrs, gathered from the suburban Catacombs, were brought into this Church during the Reign of Pope Paschalis I.

In the Epistle, Isaias, typifying Jesus, prophesies His Obedience and the indignities of His Passion. He, likewise, foretells His Triumph, for He has placed His trust in God, Who will raise Him to life again. Finally, he shows how the Jews were to be confounded. Then the Gentiles, through Baptism, the Public Penitents, by being reconciled, and The Faithful, by their Easter Confession and Holy Communion, will pass from Darkness to the Light, of which Jesus is The Fount.

File:Interior of Basilica di Santa Prassede, Rome.JPG

Interior of the Basilica di Sante Prassede,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: March 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Sixtus.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Gospel tells of the supper, of which Jesus partook in the house of Simon the Leper, six days before the Pasch. While Martha, all activity, served at table, Mary, more loving, went up to Christ, and, breaking the long narrow neck of an alabaster vase, filled with an ointment of great price, poured the contents over His Feet. And Jesus commends her for having thus Anticipated The Embalming of His Body. The indignant protests of Judas lead us to fear the crime into which he will fall as a result of his avarice.

Pope Paschal I,
wearing a Zuchetto and Pallium,
depicted in the Apsidal mosaic
at Santa Prassede.
He is presenting a model of the Basilica
to Christ, and wears a Square Halo,
which means he was alive
at the time of the mosaic.
Photo of mosaic: August 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Marcus Cyron.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Finally, the presence at the supper of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised to life, is a forecast of the coming Victory of Christ over Death.

The choice of this Gospel is not without connection with that of The Stational Church: Saint Praxedes and Saint Pudentiana put their house at the disposal of Pope Saint Pius I, just as Mary and Martha received Jesus into their house.

File:Apsis mosaic S Prassede Rome W1.JPG

English: Saint Praxedes'
Ciborium and Apse mosaics.
Deutsch: Santa Prassede, Rom;
Triumphbogen und Apsis.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Welleschik.
(Wikimedia Commons)

File:Girolamo Sicciolante - Paus Julius III.jpg

Pope Julius III
(Papacy 1550 - 1555).
One-time Titular of the
Basilica of Saint Praxedes.
Artist: Girolamo Sicciolante.
(After Sebastiano del Piombo).
Photo of Painting: March 2013.
User: Mathiasrex.
Current Location: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Basilica of Saint Praxedes ( Latin: Basilica Sanctae Praxedis, Italian: Basilica di Santa Prassede all’Esquillino), commonly known in Italian as Santa Prassede, is an ancient Titular Church and Minor Basilica in Rome, located near the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major. The current Cardinal Priest of Titulus Sancta Praxedis is Paul Poupard.

The Church, in its current form, was Commissioned by Pope Hadrian I around the year 780 A.D., and built on top of the remains of a 5th-Century A.D. structure. It was designed to house the bones of Saint Praxedes (Italian: S. Prassede) and Saint Pudentiana (Italian: S. Pudenziana), the daughters of Saint Pudens, traditionally Saint Paul's first Christian Convert in Rome. The two female Saints were murdered for providing Christian burial for early Martyrs, in defiance of Roman Law. The Basilica was enlarged and decorated by Pope Paschal I, circa 822 A.D.

Pope Paschal I, who Reigned 817 A.D. - 824 A.D., was at the forefront of The Carolingian Renaissance, started and advocated by The Emperor Charlemagne. They desired to get back to The Foundations of Christianity, theologically and artistically. Pope Paschal thus began two, linked, ambitious programmes: The recovery of Martyrs' bones from The Catacombs of Rome and an almost unprecedented Church building campaign. Paschal dug up numerous skeletons and transplanted them to this Church. The Titulus "S. Praxedis" was established by Pope Evaristus, around 112 A.D.

This Church provided the inspiration for Robert Browning's poem, "The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church."

Saint Charles Borromeo
(one-time Titular of the Basilica of Saint Praxedes).
Artist: Giovanni Ambrogio Figino (1548–1608).
(Uploaded by User:Lupo to en.wikipedia).
This Photo: December 2009.
User: Thomas Gun.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The main Altarpiece is a Canvas of Saint Praxedes Gathering the Blood of The Martyrs (circa 1730 - 1735) by Domenico Muratori.

The most famous element of the Church is the 
Mosaic decorative programme. Paschal hired a team of professional Mosaicists to complete the work in the Apse, the Apsidal Arch, and the Triumphal Arch. In the Apse, Jesus is in the Centre, flanked by Saints Peter and Paul, who present Prassede and Pudenziana to God. On the far Left, is Paschal, with the Square Halo of the Living, presenting a model of the Church as an offering to Jesus. Below, runs an inscription of Paschal's, hoping that this offering will be sufficient to secure his place in Heaven.

File:Apsis mosaic S Prassede Rome W6.JPG

English: The Triumphal Arch.
Interior of Basilica of Saint Praxedes,
Rome, Italy.
Deutsche: Santa Prassede, Rom;
Triumphbogen (Panorama).
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Welleschik.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On the Apsidal Arch, are twelve men on each side, holding Wreaths of Victory, welcoming the Souls into Heaven. Above them, are symbols of The Four Gospel Writers: Mark, the Lion; Matthew, the Man; Luke, the Bull; and John, the Eagle, as they surround a Lamb on a Throne, a symbol of Christ's eventual return to Earth.

Though those Mosaics, as well as those in the Saint Zeno Chapel, a Funerary Chapel that Paschal built for his mother, Theodora, are the best-known aspects of the Church, an intriguing and relatively hidden aspect are ancient frescoes. Ascending a spiral staircase, one enters a small room, covered in scaffolding. However, on the wall is a fresco cycle dating, most likely, from the 8th-Century A.D. The frescoes depict, probably, the life-cycle of the Saint of the Church, Praxedes.

Representation of Saint Louis IX, considered to be true to life. 
Early-14th-Century statue from the Church of Mainneville, Eure, France.
Saint Louis IX, King of France (1226 - 1270), presented the Basilica of Saint Praxedes 
with three alleged Thorns from The Holy Crown.
Photo: December 2007.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Santa Prassede also houses a segment of the alleged Pillar, upon which Jesus was flogged and tortured before His Crucifixion in Jerusalem. The Relic is alleged to have been retrieved in the Early-4th-Century A.D., by Saint Helena (mother of The Roman Emperor, Constantine I), who, at the age of eighty, undertook a Pilgrimage to Golgotha, in The Holy Land, to Found Churches for Christian worship and to collect Relics associated with The Crucifixion of Jesus.

File:Roma Santa Prasede BW 1.JPG

English: Basilica of Saint Praxedes.
Italiano: Roma, Santa Prasede.
Photo: May 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Berthold Werner.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Among these legendary Relics, retrieved by Helena, which included pieces of The True Cross (now housed in the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, also in Rome) and wood from Jesus' Crib, was the segment of the Pillar, now housed in Santa Prassede. The authenticity of these Relics, including the Santa Prassede Pillar, is disputed by historians and Christians, alike, due to lack of forensic evidence and the massive proliferation of fake Relics during The Middle Ages.

Among known Titulars of this See, are Lambertus Scannabecchi (later Pope Honorius II, circa 1099), Ubaldo Allucingoli (later Pope Lucius III, 1141), Alain de Coëtivy (1448), Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte (later Pope Julius III), Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584), Rafael Merry del Val (1903 - 1930).

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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Lenten Station At The Papal Arch-Basilica Of Saint John Lateran. Palm Sunday.

Roman Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Italic Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Palm Sunday.
Station at Saint John Lateran.

Indulgence of 25 years and 25 Quarantines.

Privilege of The First Class.

Violet Vestments.

File:Facade San Giovanni in Laterano 2006-09-07.jpg

Papal Arch-Basilica of Saint John Lateran.
Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris et Sanctorum Iohannes Baptistae et
Evangelistae in Laterano Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput.
English: Main façade of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran
(by Alessandro Galilei, 1735).
Italiano: Facciata principale della Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (Roma)
progettata da Alessandro Galilei (1735).
Français: Façade principale de la basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran 
(Rome) par Alessandro Galilei, 1735.
Photo: 2006/09/07.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jastrow.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On Palm Sunday is reproduced The Triumphal Procession,
which accompanied Our Lord, when He entered Jerusalem.

In today's Liturgy, the two-fold point of view, from which The Church regards The Cross, is expressed in two Ceremonies. One is marked with joy and the other by sadness.

First, comes The Blessing and Procession of Palms, in which everything overflows with a Holy Joy, which enables us, after two thousand years, to revive the spirit of the magnificent scene of Our Lord's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Then follows The Mass, whose Chants and Lessons relate exclusively to The Sorrowful Memory of Our Redeemer's Passion.

File:Roma-san giovanni03.jpg

The Pope's Chair,
Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: October 2005.
Source: Flickr.
Author: Ern.
Reviewer: Mac9.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Blessing and Procession of Palms.

At Jerusalem, in the 4th-Century A.D., on the very spot where the event took place, was read the Gospel narrative in which we see Christ hailed as King of Israel and taking possession of His capital, Jerusalem, which is really no more than the type of Jerusalem, above.

After this, a Bishop, mounted on an ass, rode up to The Church of The Resurrection on the summit of The Mount of Olives, surrounded by a multitude carrying Palms and singing Anthems and Hymns. This Ceremony was preceded by The Solemn Reading of the Passage from Exodus, in which The Flight from Egypt is related.

File:Lazio Roma SGiovanni1 tango7174.jpg

English: Basilica of Saint John Lateran.
With its length of 400 feet, this Basilica ranks fifteenth among the largest Churches in the world.
Français: Basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran, Vatican, située à Rome, Latium, Italie. Avec sa longueur de 121,84 mètres, cette Basilique se classe au 15è rang parmi les plus grandes églises au monde.
Photo: September 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tango7174.
(Wikimedia Commons)

God's people, encamped under the shadow of the palm trees, near the twelve fountains where Moses promised them the Manna, is a type of the Christian people, who, breaking off branches from the trees, bear witness that God's Son, Jesus, comes to deliver Souls from sin, leading them to the Baptismal Font and nourishing them with the Manna of The Eucharist.

File:Petrus San Giovanni in Laterano 2006-09-07.jpg

English: Saint Peter, by Pierre-Étienne Monnot.
Nave of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran,
Rome, Italy.
Français: Saint Pierre, par Pierre-Étienne Monnot.
Nef de la basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran (Rome).
Photo: 2006/09/07.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jastrow.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Church of Rome, it would seem, adopted this practice about the 9th-Century A.D. and added to it the Rite for The Blessing of The Palms, which has given to this Sunday the name of "The Easter of Flowers".

In this Benediction, The Church Prays for health of mind and body for those who dwell in houses where the Palms are preserved.

This Procession of Christians, who, with Palm in hand and songs of Hosanna on their lips, proclaim Christ's Kingship every year, throughout the whole World and in all generations, is composed of all Catechumens, of public penitents and of The Faithful. All of whom will be united at The Easter Feast to this Glorious Victor, through The Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Penance.

File:St John Lateran ceiling.jpg

The decorated Coffered Ceiling 
of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: March 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Grenouille vert.
(Wikimedia Commons)

It is this that is represented by the Procession of Palms, when it stops at the door of the Church, into which some Members of the Choir have already found their way. They Chant, alternately with the Clergy; on the one side, "The Angelic Choir", and, on the other, Christ's Soldiers, still plunged in the strife of battle, hailing The King of Glory, each in his turn.

Soon, the door opens, after the Sub-Deacon has knocked on it three times with The Foot of The Cross, and The Procession enters the Church; so does The Cross of Christ open Heaven to us and so will The Elect, one day, enter with their Lord into Eternal Glory.

We should carefully keep a Blessed Palm in our home. It is a Sacramental, which will obtain for us Graces in virtue of The Church's Prayer and strengthen our Faith in Christ, Who, Full of Mercy, has conquered sin, death and the devil, in a victory of which these sacred Palms are the type.

File:Chor Apsis San Giovanni Laterano Rom.jpg

English: The Choir and Apse
in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran,
Rome, Italy.
Deutsch: Chorraum und Apsis
von San Giovanni in Laterano, Rom
Photo: September 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Stefan Bauer,
(Wikimedia Commons)

Mass for Palm Sunday.

The Blessing of Palms takes place at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore), which, in Rome, represents Bethlehem, the birthplace of Him Whom The Magi hailed as "King of the Jews." Thence, The Procession goes to Saint John Lateran, in which Church, in former times, The Lenten Station took place, since, by its Dedication to Saint Saviour, it calls up memories of The Passion, which is the Subject of Today's Mass.

The Redeemer's Triumph must be preceded by His Humiliation, "even to The Death of The Cross" (Epistle), which is to serve as a model for us, that, "instructed by His Patience", we may "partake in His Resurrection".

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Lenten Station. Saturday In Passion Week. At Saint John's-Before-The-Latin-Gate.

Roman Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Italic Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Saturday in Passion Week.
Station at Saint John's-Before-The-Latin-Gate.

Indulgence of 10 years and 10 Quarantines.

Violet Vestments.

English: The Portal of the Basilica
of Saint John's-before-the-Latin-Gate,
Rome, Italy.
Italiano: San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Français: Puits et portique de l'Église
San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Lenten Station, on this Eve of Palm Sunday, is of a comparatively late origin; formerly [before the Station at Saint John's-before-the-Latin-Gate was appointed in the 12th-Century], the Pope spent a part of the day distributing alms [in his Palace, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran] to the poor, and rested in preparation for the tiring functions of the following days. When, later on, a Mass was appointed for this day, the parts to be sung by the Choir were borrowed from the Mass of yesterday.

The Stational Church chosen for this day was at Saint John's-before-the-Latin-Gate. It is near the place where The Appian Way branches off, forming, to the Left, The Latin Way.

File:Nef de l'église San Giovanni a Porta Latina.JPG

English: The Nave of the Basilica
of Saint John's-before-the-Latin-Gate,
Rome, Italy.
Français: Nef de l'église San Giovanni
a Porta Latina à Rome.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

[According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics), Saint John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome (by order of Emperor Domitian) and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the entire Colosseum audience were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this Miracle. This event would have occurred during the Reign of Domitian, a Roman Emperor who was known for his persecution of Christians in the Late-1st-Century A.D.]

The Mass sums up all the great Mysteries which are about to fill Holy Week.


English: The Garden of Gethsemane (referred to, below) 
with the Church of Maria-Magdalene in the background.
Deutsch: Bild des Garten Gethsemane mit der
Maria-Magdalena-Kirche im Hintergrund.
Photo: July 2006.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Gospel shows us Jesus "The King of Israel" acclaimed by the Jews and, some days later, "raised from the Earth" and Crucified. In the few Gentiles, who expressed to Philip their desire to see Christ, let us foresee the many recruits that The Church is to make among the heathen nations.

Jesus is going to die, like the grain of wheat, that He may produce much fruit. For the moment, "His Soul is troubled", as It will be in The Garden of Gethsemane. But, "it is for that He has come", "to Glorify His Father". And, as a voice from Heaven tells us, this Glorification will be complete, for "the prince of this world shall be cast out" and The Saviour Raised upon a Cross and, reaching to Heaven, "will draw all things to Him".

The Saviour here reveals to us His whole Heart, Which wishes, at the price of such cruel sufferings, to ruin our enemy and secure our salvation.

File:Intérieur de San Giovanni a Porta Latina.JPG

The five Pairs of Columns
in San Giovanni a Porta Latina,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Finally, Jesus speaks of those who refuse to follow Him and who walk in darkness, not knowing where they go, and, by the mouth of Jeremias, He anathematises "those who plot against the Just. Their children will be delivered up to famine and their husbands put to death, for an unforeseen enemy will fall upon them and exterminate them" (Epistle). This Prophecy was fulfilled. During The Siege of Jerusalem, by the Romans, in 70 A.D., the Jews, who had not died of famine, perished by the sword.

To avoid the effects of Divine Justice, let us die to sin and we shall produce much fruit unto eternal life.

File:Mur du Narthex église San Giovanni a Porta Latina.JPG

English: The wall of the Narthex in the Basilica
of Saint John's-before-the-Latin-Gate,
Rome, Italy.
Français: Mur du Narthex de l'Église
San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

San Giovanni a Porta Latina (Saint John-before-the-Latin-Gate) is a Basilica Church in Rome, near the Porta Latina (on the Via Latina) of the Aurelian Wall. It is currently the Titular Church of Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, former Archbishop of Kraków.

According to Tertullian, as quoted by Saint Jerome, in 92 A.D., Saint John the Evangelist survived Martyrdom at Rome, under the Emperor Domitian, by being immersed in a vat of boiling oil, from which he emerged unharmed. He was later exiled to the island of Patmos. This event was traditionally said to have occurred at The Latin Gate (located on the Southern portion of the Roman Wall). The nearby Chapel of San Giovanni in Oleo is said to be on this very spot.

File:Kardynał Macharski.jpg

English: His Eminence, Franciszek Macharski,
Cardinal-Priest of San Giovanni a Porta Latina.
Polski: Homilia kardynała Franciszka Macharskiego
w sierpniu 2002 r. (21?) w sanktuarium Miłosierdzia
Bożego w Łagiewnikach Krakowskich.
Photo: April 2005.
Source: Own work.
Author: Robert Wrzesiński.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The event was referred to in The Roman Martyrology, which was begun in the 7th-Century A.D., when already there was a celebration of the event.

The Tradition, for the building of the Basilica of Saint John-before-the-Latin-Gate, places its construction during the Pontificate of Pope Gelasius I (492 A.D. - 496 A.D.). This is consistent with the oldest of the roof tiles, which have the imprint of a taxation stamp for the Ostrogoth King and Ruler of Italy, Theodoric the Great (reigned 493 A.D. - 526 A.D.). One of these ancient roof tiles is now used in the Basilica as a Lectern.

In the 8th-Century A.D., the Basilica was restored by Pope Adrian I, and, later, the Bell-Tower and Portico were added. At the end of the 12th-Century, the Basilica was re-Consecrated by Pope Celestine III. In the 16th- and 17th-Centuries, a Baroque Ceiling and other Baroque features were added to the Interior.

File:Fresques San Giovanni a Porta Latina.JPG

English: Apsidal frescoes
in San Giovanni a Porta Latina,
Rome, Italy.
Français: Fresques de l'abside de l'église
San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Photo: November 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1940 - 1941, the Baroque features were removed and the Basilica was returned to a more primitive simplicity. This last renovation was carried out by The Rosminian Fathers, who, in 1938, were given care of the Basilica and the nearby building, where they opened The Collegio Missionario Antonio Rosmini, which houses their International House of Studies.

The main entrance to the Basilica is fronted by a small Piazza, with a 100-year-old Cedar and an 8th-Century A.D. Well-Head, nearly reproducing this aspect of the Basilica that would have been seen at the re-Consecration by Pope Celestine III in the 12th-Century.

The Portico (or Porch) of the Basilica is supported by four re-used Classical Columns (each of a different marble) supporting five Arches. The main door is framed with a simple mosaic of red and green porphyry.

The Well-Head, from the time of Pope Adrian I, has a double row circular design around its barrel and a Latin inscription completely around its crown: IN NOMINE PAT[RES] ET FILII ET SPI[RITUS SANT]I "In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" and a quote from the Prophet Isaiah: OMN[E]S SITIE[NTES VENITE AD AQUAS] "All you who are thirsty come to the water" and the name of the stone-carver: EGO STEFANUS "I am Stephen".

File:Colonnes église San Giovanni a Porta Latina.JPG

English: Marble Columns in the Nave of the Basilica
of Saint John's-before-the-Latin-Gate,
Rome, Italy.
Français: Les colonnes de la nef de l'Église
San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Interior of the Basilica is divided into three Naves, divided by two rows of Columns, on which rest semi-circular Arches. The two Columns closest to the Sanctuary are of white marble with deep fluting. The other Columns are of various types of marble and granite, capped with a diverse collection of Ionic Capitals. The central Nave terminates with a half-hexagon Apse. Each of the three sides of the Apse opens with a large window, filled with honey-coloured onyx.

Occupying the Ledge of the central window, is a carved wooden Crucifixion scene, including Saint John the Evangelist and The Blessed Virgin Mary. In front of the Altar, is a mosaic Pavement in Cosmatesque Style. The geometric pattern of red and green porphyry is framed in white marble (as well as re-used fragments of white marble with Latin lettering) and is thought to have been created before the 12th-Century. Inserted in the front step of the Altar, is the “Title” of the Basilica, of ancient origin, discovered during the renovations of 1940: "TIT. S. IOANNIS ANTE PORTAM LA[TINAM]".

In the years 1913-1915, then recently-discovered frescoes were restored above The High Altar. After this work, another search of the face of the Central Nave revealed the presence of a full circle of Mediaeval frescoes. The restoration of these frescoes was completed with the full restoration of the Basilica in 1940-1941. The Central Nave is decorated with about fifty scenes representing The Old and New Testaments, from The Creation of the World to the glorious Apocalypse of the New Jerusalem. The frescoes were executed by several artists under the direction of one master.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Solemn High Requiem Mass Celebrated At Saint Catherine Labouré, Farington, Lancashire, For King Richard III.

This Article can be read in full at OFFERIMUS TIBI DOMINE

Fr Simon Henry gives Communion during The Solemn High Requiem Mass
for King Richard III. The Mass was Celebrated, yesterday, at
The Church of Saint Catherine Labouré, Farington, Lancashire, England.

Feria VI Post Dominicam Passionis.

Illustrations of Gospel Stories,
from Jerome Nadal, S.J.,

The Council deliberates the death of Jesus

The Author and His Books:

Jerome Nadal (1507-1580), a Spaniard from Majorca, was one of the first ten members of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). For many years, he served as the personal representative or "delegate" of the Founder, Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), in visiting Jesuit Houses throughout Europe, especially to explain and implement the Constitutions of The Society of Jesus.

Ignatius urged Nadal to compile and distribute an illustrated guide for Prayerful meditation on The Gospels, in the tradition of The Spiritual Exercises, although the work was not completed until after both men had died. Nadal selected the Biblical scenes to be included, commissioned and directed the layout of the illustrations, and composed Notes to accompany each scene. With the co-operation and support of Antwerp publishers Christophe Plantin and Martinus Nutius, 153 engravings were eventually produced by Bernardino Passeri, Marten de Vos, and Jerome and Anton Wierix.

In 1593, these illustrations were published in a volume entitled Evangelicae Historiae Imagines ("Illustrations of the Gospel Stories"), arranged in chronological order of The Life and Ministry of Jesus. In 1594 and 1595, they were again published in larger volumes, entitled Adnotationes et Meditationes in Evangelia ("Notes and Meditations on The Gospels"), with more extensive accompanying Text, and rearranged according to the order of Readings used in The Liturgical Year, as prescribed in The Roman Missal. (See the Bibliography for details about Nadal's books. See also the Web-Page on The Roman Missal.)

These books became very influential in Counter-Reformation Europe, since the illustrations were among the first to use the new techniques of "perspective drawing," which more realistically depicted three-dimensional shapes in two-dimensional drawings, such as used in the scientific drawings of the day. These techniques made The Gospel Stories much more vibrant and realistic, and thus more effective as aides for Evangelisation and Meditation. The influence of these engravings can clearly be seen in the work of later Bible illustrators, such as Gustave Dore.

The Seven Sorrows Of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Friday In Passion Week.

Roman Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal for Friday in Passion Week.

Italic Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

The Seven Sorrows of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Friday in Passion Week.


White Vestments.

Nederlands: Linkerluik van een diptiek Onze-Lieve-Vrouw
der Zeven Weeën door Adriaen Isenbrant (circa 1490-1551); KMSKB, Brussel.
English: The Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by The Seven Sorrows.
Photo: June 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Georges Jansoone (JoJan) - 
artwork by Adriaen Isenbrant.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Christmas Cycle celebrated the part taken by The Blessed Virgin in The Mystery of The Incarnation, glorifying both The Divinity of Jesus and The Divine Maternity of Mary.

The Easter Cycle tells us how The Mother of The Saviour co-operated in The Mystery of The Redemption. It shows her in this Season of The Passion at The Foot of The Cross, where Christ is dying (Introit, Sequence, Gospel). “An ineffable union is established between The Oblation of The Incarnate Word and that of Mary; The Divine Blood and The Tears of The Mother flow together and are mixed for the redemption of the human race.” [The quoted text is taken from “The Liturgical Year” by Dom Guéranger: Friday in Passion Week.]

“The Prophecy of Simeon is fulfilled: A Sword of Grief pierces The Most Gentle Soul of The Glorious Virgin Mary (Collect), who, by her unequalled love, becomes The Queen of Martyrs” (Communion). [The quoted text is taken from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux: Sixth Lesson at Matins.]

As Judith had delivered Israel by killing Holofernes (Epistle), The Virgin is our Deliverer, with Jesus. Wherefore, the Gospel shows us, at The Foot of The Tree of Passion, in a scene which recalls The Tree of Prevarication, The Maternity of Mary with regard to The Church personified by Saint John.

“Let us Venerate The Transfixion of The Glorious Virgin Mary at The Foot of The Cross, in order to gather the happy fruit of The Passion of her Son” (Collect).

Our Lady Of The Seven Sorrows.

Friday in Passion Week.

Illustrations and Italic Text taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Our Lady of Sorrows (Latin: Beata Maria Virgo Perdolens), 


The Sorrowful Motheror Mother of Sorrows(Latin: Mater Dolorosa, at times just Dolorosa),


Our Lady of The Seven Sorrowsor Our Lady of The Seven Dolours,

are names by which The Blessed Virgin Mary is referred to, in relation to sorrows in her life. 

As Mater Dolorosait is also a key subject for Marian art in the Catholic Church.

File:Dolorosa Estévez.jpg

Español: Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, 1816.
Fernando Estévez de Salas. 
Parroquia de San Juan Bautista,
Villa de La Orotava.
English: Our Lady of Sorrows.
Photo: April 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: JosuHdez.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Francaise: La descente de Croix,
les larmes de Marie (Detail).
Current location: Unterlinden Museum,
Colmar, France.
Archetypal Gothic Lady of Sorrows
from a Triptych by the Master of the Stauffenberg Altarpiece,
Alsace, France, circa 1455.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are a popular Roman Catholic Devotion. There are Devotional Prayers, which consist of Meditations on her Seven Sorrows. Examples include the Servite Rosary, or the Chaplet of The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. Also, there is a corresponding Devotion to The Seven Joys of Mary. The term "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary" refers to the combined Devotion of both The Immaculate Heart and The Seven Sorrows of Mary as first used by the Franciscan TertiaryBerthe Petit.

The Seven Sorrows (or Dolors) are events in the life of The Blessed Virgin Mary, which are a popular Devotion and are frequently depicted in art. It is a common Devotion for Catholics to say, daily, one Our Father and seven Hail Marys for each of The Seven Sorrows, which are:

The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34-35) or the Circumcision of Christ;

The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13);

The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43-45);

Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary.;

Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19:25);

Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms. (Matthew 27:57-59);

The Body of Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb. (John 19:40-42).

These Seven Sorrows should not be confused with The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of The Rosary.

File:Mater Dolorosa with open hands.jpg

English: Mater Dolorosa with open hands, 1555,
Prado museum (Madrid, Spain).
Español: Tiziano, Dolorosa con las manos abiertas, 1555,
óleo sobre mármol,
museo del Prado (Madrid, España).
Author: Titian (1490–1576).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows was originated by a Provincial Synod of Cologne in 1413 as a response to the iconoclast, Hussites. It was designated for the Friday after The Third Sunday after Easter. It had the Title: Commemoratio angustiae et doloris Beatae Mariae Virginis. Before the 16th-Century, the Feast was celebrated only in parts of Northern Europe.

Earlier, in 1233, seven youths in Tuscany founded The Servite Order (also known as "The Servite Friars", or "The Order of The Servants of Mary"). Five years later, they took up "The Sorrows of Mary, standing under The Cross", as the principal Devotion of their Order.

Over the Centuries, several Devotions, and even Orders, arose around Meditation on Mary's Sorrows. The Servites developed the two most common Devotions to Our Lady's Sorrows, namely The Rosary of The Seven Sorrows and The Black Scapular of The Seven Dolours of Mary. The Black Scapular is a symbol of The Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows, which is associated with The Servite Order. Most Devotional Scapulars have requirements regarding ornamentation or design. The Devotion of The Black Scapular requires only that it be made of black woollen cloth.

File:Ymyagchenie zlix serdec.jpg

English: Our Lady Umyagchenie zlih serdets
(Softening The Evil Hearts).
Русский: Икона "Умягчение злых сердец".
Date: Mid-19th-Century.
Author: Anonymous.
(Wikimedia Commons)

On 2 February, the same day as The Great Feast of The Meeting of The Lord, Orthodox Christians and Eastern Catholics commemorate a wonder-working icon of The Theotokos (Mother of God) known as "The Softening of Evil Hearts" or "Simeon's Prophecy."

It depicts The Virgin Mary at the moment that Simeon The Righteous says: "Yea, a Sword shall pierce through thy own Soul also . . ." (Luke 2:35) She stands with her hands upraised in Prayer, and Seven Swords pierce her heart, indicative of The Seven Sorrows. This is one of the few Orthodox icons of The Theotokos which do not depict The Infant Jesus. The refrain, "Rejoice, much-sorrowing Mother of God, turn our sorrows into joy and soften the hearts of evil men!" is also used.


Artist: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Description: Dolorosa,
Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla.
Date: circa 1665.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The first Altar to The Mater Dolorosa was set up in 1221 at the Monastery of Schönau. Especially in Mediterranean Countries, Parishioners Traditionally carry statues of Our Lady of Sorrows in Processions on the days leading to Good Friday.

No Feast in her honour was included in Pope Saint Pius V's 1570 Tridentine Calendar. Vatican approval for the Celebration of a Feast, in honour of Our Lady of Sorrows, was first granted to The Servite Order in 1667.


English: Our Lady of Sorrows,
El Viso del Alcor,
Seville, Spain.
Español: Nuestra Señora de los Dolores.
Capilla del Sagrario de la Iglesia Parroquial
de Santa María del Alcor. El Viso del Alcor (Sevilla).
Procesiona bajo palio en la tarde noche del Viernes Santo.
Photo: December 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ajjb
(Wikimedia Commons)

By inserting The Feast into The Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints in 1814, Pope Pius VII extended the Celebration to the whole of The Latin Church. It was assigned to The Third Sunday in September. In 1913, Pope Pius X moved The Feast to 15 September, the day after The Feast of The Cross. It is still observed on that date.

Another Feast, originating in the 17th-Century, was extended to the whole of The Latin Church in 1727. It was originally celebrated on Friday in Passion Week, one week before Good Friday. In 1954, it still held the Rank of Major-Double (slightly lower than the Rank of the 15 September Feast) in The General Roman Calendar.

The 15 September Feast is known as "The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows" (Beatae Mariae Virginis Perdolentis). The Sequence, known as Stabat Mater, may be sung at Mass on that day.

File:The Madonna in Sorrow.jpg

The Madonna in Sorrow.
Author: Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1609–1685).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Our Lady of Sorrows, depicted as "Mater Dolorosa" (Mother of Sorrows) has been the subject of some key works of Roman Catholic Marian art. Mater Dolorosa is one of the three common artistic representations of a Sorrowful Virgin Mary, the other two being Stabat Mater ("The Mother Stood") and Pietà.

In this iconography, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows is, at times, simply represented in a sad and anguished mode by herself, her expression being that of tears and sadness. In other representations, The Virgin Mary is depicted with Seven Swords in her heart, a reference to the Prophecy of Simeon, at The Presentation of The Child Jesus in The Temple.

Our Lady of Sorrows is the Patron Saint of:


The Congregation of Holy Cross;

The village of Mola di Bari and the Molise region of Italy;

The State of Mississippi, USA;

Dolores, in the Philippines;

LanzaroteCanary Islands.

Mater Dolorosa (Berlin-Lankwitz).

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