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    In the Missal and Breviary of St Pius V, July 13th is the feast of Pope St Anacletus, which was carried over from the pre-Tridentine editions. The 14th is that of St Bonaventure, who died in 1274, while attending the Second Council of Lyon, and was canonized in 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84), his fellow Minister General of the Franciscan Order. His feast was originally kept by the Franciscans on the second Sunday of July, but in the Tridentine books, it was fixed to July 14th. The Acta Sanctorum gives an account of the uncertainty about the proper date of his death, but it is now generally agreed from the earliest accounts that he actually died on the 15th.
    The Lying-in-State of St Bonaventure, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1629
    The Holy Roman Emperor St Henry II died on July 13, 1024, and was canonized by Blessed Pope Eugenius III in 1146. The See of Bamberg, Germany, which he founded, and in whose cathedral he is buried, traditionally kept his feast on the day of his death. He was added to the Roman Calendar in 1631 on the same day, as a commemoration on the feast of St Anacletus. When he was given his own feast in 1668, it was assigned to July 15, then the first free day after that of his death.

    By the time St Camillus de Lellis was canonized in 1746, Our Lady of Mt Carmel had been assigned to July 16th, and St Alexius (whose very existence is rather doubtful) to the 17th. He was therefore place on the 18th, and the Saints previously kept on that day, an early Roman martyr named Symphorosa and her 7 sons, reduced to a commemoration.

    Pope Anacletus is now recognized to be the same person as Pope Cletus, who shares his feast with Pope Marcellinus on April 26th. For this reason, a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued on February 14, 1961, ordered the July 13th feast to be completely removed from the calendar. Although the current EF calendar therefore has July 13th as a feria with no feast at all, and St Alexius as a commemoration, Bonaventure, Henry and Camille all remain effectively displaced by Anacletus. They were reordered in OF Calendar, so that each would be kept on the day of his “birth into heaven,” with St Henry on the 13th, St Camille on the 14th, and St Bonaventure on the 15th. St Alexius has been completely removed.

    An illustration from a 1501 Breviary according to the Use of Bamberg; St Henry and his wife, St Cunegond, holding the cathedral of Bamberg, which they founded in 1002, together with the See itself.
    As I have written before, there have always been Saints’ feasts which were kept on different days in different places, and the divergence between the temporal cycles of the EF and OF is far more significant than the differences in the two calendars of Saints. The principle that a Saint’s feast should be assigned to his death day is a very ancient one, but has never been the sole criterion for choosing a day. A very prominent recent example is Pope St John Paul II, who died on April 2, 2005; since that date often occurs in Holy Week or Easter Week, his feast day is kept on October 22, the date of his inauguration. Nevertheless, we have here in July an occasion where the two calendars might easily be reconciled with no harm done, when and if the time comes to thaw the EF Calendar.

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    Some time ago, I started on a project to make the primary sources of the Second Vatican Council more accessible to the general public. The Acta Synodalia of both the first session and second session of Vatican II have already been made available electronically on NLM, and I am working (albeit slowly!) on the third and fourth sessions.

    However, I can now also present scans of some of the other very interesting material of the Council: the Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando. These volumes, documenting all the discussions and work done leading up to Vatican II, have long been out of print, and provide a major part of the background necessary for a proper understanding of the Council.

    The Acta et Documenta is split into two series: the Antepraeparatoria, covering the pre-preparatory work done in 1959 and 1960 (including the individual responses of the worldwide episcopate to the question of what to discuss at the Council), and the Praeparatoria, which deal with the work of the Central Preparatory Commission and the related commissions between 1960 and 1962. Unfortunately, due to the scarcity of the volumes not all of them are available here, but I do hope to rectify this eventually.

    Pope John XXIII during the preparation of Vatican Council II

    Antepreparatory Period (May 1959 - November 1960)
    Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando. Series I (Antepraeparatoria)

    Volumen I: Acta Summi Pontificis Ioannis XXIII (1960)

    This volume contains all the documents, letters, speeches, etc. given by Pope John XXIII in the antepreparatory period of the Second Vatican Council. It is perhaps worth noting that, at the time, this was the only antepreparatory volume made available to the public; all others were sub secreto for the exclusive use of the pre-conciliar commissions.

    Volumen II: Consilia et Vota Episcoporum ac Praelatorum. Pars I: Europa (1960)

    Volume II contains the written submissions and replies (vota) to the letter of Domenico Cardinal Tardini and the follow-up letters of Mgr (later Cardinal) Pericle Felici, asking the bishops and prelates of the world what they would like to see discussed at the upcoming Council. It is split into eight parts: one part for Italy, two parts for the rest of Europe, one part for Asia, one part for Africa, one part for North and Central America, and one part for South America and Oceania. Three parts are available here: part 1, part 2 and part 8.

    Part 1 contains the vota from the following European countries/territories: United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Gdansk/Danzig (now part of Poland), and Germany.

    Volumen II: Consilia et Vota Episcoporum ac Praelatorum. Pars II: Europa (1960)

    Part 2 of Volume II contains the vota from the following European countries: Gibraltar, Greece, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Yugoslavia (now split into the countries/territories of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia), Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Malta, Norway, Poland, Monaco, Sweden, and Turkey (European).

    (Parts 3-7 of Volume II are unfortunately not available as yet.)

    Volumen II: Consilia et Vota Episcoporum ac Praelatorum. Pars VIII: Superiores Generales Religiosorum (1961)

    Part 8 of Volume II contains the vota from the superior generals of religious congregations.

    Appendix Voluminis II: Analyticus Conspectus Consiliorum et Votorum quae ab Episcopis et Praelatis data sunt. Pars Iand Pars II (1961)

    These two volumes are better known as just the Analyticus Conspectus, and provide an analytic overview of the eight volumes of the vota. All the responses of the bishops, prelates and religious are distilled into 9,348 brief propositions, organised by subject, with each proposition having one or more diocese/religious order cited in the footnotes. The Analyticus Conspectus is a very handy tool, and has been largely neglected by historians of Vatican II due to the anti-curial bias evident in, for example, the Bologna School.

    Part 1 deals with the following subjects: Chief Doctrines; General Norms of the Code of Canon Law; Persons; Clerical Discipline; Seminaries; Religious; Laity.

    Part 2 deals with the following subjects: The Sacraments; Sacred Places; Precepts of the Church; Divine Worship; Magisterium of the Church; Benefices and Goods of the Church; Processes (re. Canon Law); Offences and Punishments; The Missions; Ecumenism; The Activity of the Church.

    (Volume III, a stand-alone volume which contains the responses from the Roman Curia, is unfortunately not available as yet.) 

    Volumen IV: Studia et Vota Universitatum et Facultatum Ecclesiasticarum et Catholicarum. Pars II: Universitates et Facultates extra Urbem (1961)

    This volume contains the vota of the various Catholic faculties and universities around the world. It is split into two parts in three tomes: Part 1 (two tomes) deals with the institutions in Rome, and unfortunately is not available at the present time; Part 2 contains the vota of the institutions outside of Rome.


    The antepreparatory series ends with an index volume, which includes detailed statistics of the responses and response rates for the worldwide Church.

    Preparatory Period (November 1960 - July 1962)
    Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II Apparando. Series II (Praeparatoria) 

    (Volume I, a stand alone volume containing the documents, letters, speeches, etc. of Pope John XXIII in the preparatory period of Vatican II, is unfortunately not yet available.)

    Volumen II: Acta Pontificiae Commissionis Centralis Praeparatoriae Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II. Pars I: Sessio prima (12-20 Iun 1961), Sessio secunda (7-17 Nov 1961) (1965) andPars II: Sessio tertia (15-23 Ian 1962), Sessio quarta (19-27 Feb 1962) (1967) andPars III: Sessio quinta (26 Mar-3 Apr 1962), Sessio sexta (3-12 Maii 1962) (1968) andPars IV: Sessio septima (12-19 Iun 1962) (1968) 

    Volume II, split into four parts, contains the acts of the Central Preparatory Commission, which met over seven sessions from June 1961 to June 1962 in order to discuss and refine the schemata that would be put before the Council at the first session.

    Volumen III: Acta Commissionum et Secretariatuum Praeparatoriorum Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II. Pars Iand Pars II (1969)

    Volume III, split into two parts, details the acts of the ten Preparatory Commissions and two Secretariats involved in drafting the schemata.

    Part 1 contains those prepared by the following five Commissions: Theological Commission, Commission for Bishops and the Governance of Dioceses, Commission for the Discipline of the Clergy and the Christian People, Commission for Religious, and Commission for the Discipline of the Sacraments. 

    Part 2 contains those prepared by the other Commissions and the two Secretariats: Commission on the Sacred Liturgy, Commission for Studies and Seminaries, Commission for the Oriental Churches, Commission on the Missions, Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity, Secretariat for Communications Media, and Secretariat for Christian Unity.

    (Volume IV, the acts of the various Subcommissions of the Central Preparatory Commission, split into four parts, is not yet available.)

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    Right at the end of June and the beginning of July, I had the pleasure of spending a few days with a friend in the city of Innsbruck, Austria, where I had never been before. He wanted to share with me the cultural and religious treasures of his town. I was deeply impressed. As with every other place in Austria, Innsbruck is permeated with the monuments and the spirit of Catholicism. In a number of installments I will share with NLM readers the best and most interesting things I got to see there.

    Today's article will focus on the cathedral church of Innsbruck, the Domkirche St. Jakob, which was rebuilt in the years 1717-1724 in the Baroque manner according to plans by Jakob Herkomer aus Fuessen and since 1964 has been the cathedral of the Diocese of Innsbruck.

    In the sanctuary, directly above the high altar, stands the famous Mariahilf icon, a beloved painting by Lukas Cranach the Elder (1472-1563), which is considered the city's patroness (as we would say in English, Our Lady, Help of Christians).

    (This last one is from Wikimedia Commons)

    Art historians disagree about when this painting was executed. For a long time, it was said to be from 1514, but there is evidence that it dates from much later, when the artist was already close friends with Martin Luther and an artistic propagandist for Lutheranism. Whether the painting dates before or after 1517, one thing is clear: it is a marvelous proof of the truth of St. Thomas Aquinas's claim that we must judge the work of art differently from how we judge the artist as a man. Cranach was a master painter who produced many exquisite images of the Madonna and Child, and this one, full of tenderness, piety, and beauty, has been venerated by Catholics for centuries. Although Luther was not nearly as anti-Marian as later Protestants became (especially in the American evangelical and fundamentalist world), there is still something exquisitely ironic about a famous Marian icon, object of countless pilgrimages and prayers, coming from the brush a fervent Lutheran.

    On July 3, 1650, the Mariahilf painting of Lukas Cranach the Elder was brought in solemn procession from the Hofburg to the then-parish church of St. James (St. Jakob), The centennial celebration ("Saekulumfeier") of the image's translation in 1750 inaugurated an annual custom of observing a feast on the first Sunday of July, called "Saekulumssonntag." Because I was fortunate to be there on the first weekend of July, the candles forming a crescent beneath Our Lady were lit up:

    As I walked through the city, it was touching to see how many buildings featured reproductions of this icon -- a particular example of a devotion to holy images widespread throughout Catholic Europe, though sadly less and less appreciated or continued with new buildings. Here's a sampling from the streets:

    And lastly, a 19th-century painting from the living room of the friend who was showing me around the city:

    Back to the Cathedral of Innsbruck, there are side altars in honor of two recent martyrs. One is Blessed Otto Neururer (1882-1940), the first priest to die in a Nazi concentration camp, who was beatified by John Paul II in 1996. Some of his ashes are reserved here in the side altar:


    The other is Blessed Carl Lampert (1894-1944) was an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime and was finally taken captive in 1943 and guillotined in 1944. He was beatified by Cardinal Amato in 2011 on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.

    Two other side-altars: that of the Sacred Heart, and that of Our Lady of Sorrows. Above the latter stands a larger-than-life and rather theatrical sculpture of St. Peter Canisius, who is indicated as "Patron of the Diocese."


    To one side of the main altar is a tomb of two Archdukes, surmounted with a baldachin:

    The organ is impressive. As part of the cathedral's organ recitasl series, an organist from Munich performed on the evening of the morning on which I took these pictures. My friend and I headed back to the cathedral for the concert of Muffat, Frohberger, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and (of course) Bach.

    The frescoes in the church are well executed and characteristic of the 18th-century provenance, if not particularly memorable:


    Readers of NLM will know of my interest in altar cards as artworks, and the huge variety of such cards one can find in Europe, where, strangely, they often remain at side altars that have not been used for the old Mass in decades. In the Domkirche of Innsbruck, I was delighted to see that all of the side altars had been constructed in such a way that the altar cards were permanently contained within a golden framework that would be impossible to dismantle without rebuilding the altars themselves:

    Fairly small print, but then again, these are supposed to be mnemonic devices... Last but not least, one of my favorite features in any traditional church: the giant pulpit suspended from the wall, out of which the Word of God would thunder forth in ages when the clergy felt confident in their message and the faithful felt in need of it. The fact that these pulpits today loom like benign Baroque tumors while the clergy preach from toothpick lecterns is only one of countless signs of the utter loss of public liturgical-hierarchical conviction. It's like having the worst of both worlds: minimalist liturgy with maximalist bureaucracy. But now I am starting to digress.

    Part 2 will be a visit to the Jesuit church -- including the tombs of a couple of the most notorious residents of Innsbruck.

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    Magnificat-Una Voce Chile will hold its third annual Summorum Pontificum Conference in Santiago, Chile, to commemorate 10 years of the motu proprio, July 27-29, at the church of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, located at Bellevista 37, Recoleta. For the full schedule, see their website, and the posters below. (Click to enlarge.) The liturgical celebrations are all open to the public.

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    The sixth annual Traditional Latin Mass Pilgrimage to the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located at 448 East 116th St. in East Harlem, New York City, will be held this Saturday, July 22nd, beginning at 10 am.

    Exposition at the shrine during a recent all-night series of liturgies held on the vigil and feast of St John the Baptist to pray for nascent life.

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    On Monday, July 10th, the following papers were presented at the tenth annual Fota Liturgical Conference, focusing this year on the Church Fathers and the sources of the Roman Rite.

    Fr Kevin Zilverberg - The Latin Fathers’ Daniel in Antiphons and Responsories

    Medieval liturgical texts of the Mass and Office of the Roman Rite preserve many remnants of the Old Latin version of the Old Testament book of Daniel, which in Bibles was gradually replaced by St Jerome’s new, “Vulgate” version. This study considers the importance of a handful of these remnants, all from Chapter 3, the story of the three young men in the fiery furnace. For example, liturgical texts preserve the Old Latin “spiritus - spirit”, where the Vulgate has “ventus - wind”, each of which lends itself to different theological interpretation. Indeed, the Latin Fathers tended to understand this “spirit” to be the Holy Spirit, even well beyond the initial diffusion of the Vulgate revision “wind”. Not only do such liturgical remnants aid our understanding of patristic theology, but they contribute to progress in fields such as philology and Greek and Latin biblical textual criticism as well.

    Fr Manfred Hauke - The Holy Eucharist in the Life and Work of Pope Gregory the Great.

    St Gregory’s most important texts on the Eucharist are contained in his homilies on the Gospels and in the Dialogues; when treating of St Benedict, he shows the importance of interior preparation to participate at the liturgy and receive Holy Communion. The intercession of St Benedict for two deceased nuns is linked to his participation in the offering which unites itself to the sacrifice of Christ represented on the altar. The last part of the Dialogues is entirely dedicated to the efficacy of Eucharistic sacrifice for the souls in purgatory. Gregory praises the practice of offering the sacrifice of the Mass daily and its relation to the daily offering of our lives to God. His preferred expression when speaking of Eucharistic sacrifice is ‘Missarum solemnia’ which refers not only to solemn liturgies, but also to the ‘simple’ daily Masses.

    The risen Christ does not die any more, but is sacrificed in the ‘mystery of holy oblation’; His passion becomes a mystical presence that feeds the faithful in Holy Communion. The Sacrifice of the Mass is not a ‘repetition’ of the Passion, but the ‘sacramental’ presence thereof. The minister of Eucharistic sacrifice is the priest or bishop, but the faithful also participate in the holy action by their offering and by Communion.

    In the daily offering of our life to God, every element of the Christian existence is important and reaches its apex in Eucharistic sacrifice. The paper also examines the influence of St Gregory on the Eucharistic liturgy, distinguishing historical facts from probable influences and mere hypotheses attached to later imagination. The extraordinary form of the Roman Mass can correctly be called ‘the Rite of St. Gregory’, who represents the classical tradition of Roman liturgy, but is also open to pastorally useful liturgical adaptations.

    Fr Sven Leo Conrad, FSSP - The Christian Sacrifice according to St Augustine: Prospectives taking into Consideration Joseph Ratzinger`s Approach.

    This paper discusses the Christian idea of cultic sacrifice according to St Augustine, focusing on mainstream misinterpretations of the Fathers of the Church, which often totally neglect the dimensions of the clerical back-bone of the Holy Eucharist, its soteriological background and its cosmic dimension. By pointing these out, it refers to Joseph Ratzinger, who is indebted in his entire academic activity to St Augustin for essential insights into cultic  theology, which he himself further developed this theology. His central considerations protect us from a one-side reception of the Church Fathers, which would seek to empty the salvific Cross on the altar.

    Fr Joseph Briody - As He Promised: Davidic Hope Resurgent - the Message of 2 Kings 25:27-30

    This is largely a Scripture-based paper veering in the direction of the Church Fathers and the Roman Liturgy; this direction is natural and organic since the Fathers were steeped in Sacred Scripture and the Roman Liturgy is replete with scriptural and patristic underpinnings. The last four verses of 2 Kings provide not merely the last historical note available to the Deuteronomistic historian after the exile, but rather an intentional and clear note of Davidic hope. After the disaster of 587 BC, a Davidic king is released from prison, exalted and honored. Against all odds, the line of David continues, resilient and resurgent, because of the unconditional promise made by God to David through the Prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 7, a promise which reemerges at the end of a history of sin and loss as a note of hope and even grace. The paper outlines the resurgence of Davidic hope in 2 Kings 25:27-30 and traces this concern within the broader canonical context, concluding with mention of the Fathers and the Roman Liturgy.

    We conclude with some nice pictures taken by Fr Briody’s brother John of the Pontifical Mass celebrated by His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke during the conference on Sunday July 9th, at the Church of Ss Peter and Paul in Cork.

    The wonderful Lassus Scholars; click here to listen to some recording of the Mass.

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    There will be a special High Mass in the Extraordinary Form in honor of the beatification of Ven. Solanus Casey this Sunday, July 23, at 2:00 pm at one of Detroit’s grandest historic churches, Most Holy Redeemer. The celebrant will be Fr Ben Luedtke, locally known for his preaching and retreats; a reception will follow the Mass in the parish hall. The church is located at 1721 Junction Street.

    Holy Redeemer is designed to resemble the Roman Basilica of St Paul Outside-the-Walls. The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity staffs the parish, and their seminarians live there while attending Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary. The parish serves an Hispanic neighborhood and has thousands in attendance every weekend. EF Masses have been held there on occasion over the years, with the support of the pastor and some of the seminarians.

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    This past Saturday, the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, celebrated the funeral rites of His Eminence Joachim Cardinal Meisner, who held that see for over 25 years, from December of 1988 until his retirement at the end of February, 2014; he passed away on July 5 at the age of 83. The website of the archdiocese’s radio station ( has published photos of the ceremony, including the cortege from the church of St Gereon, in which a large number of Catholic associations participated. This selection is reproduced here with the permission of the editors; see the complete set at this link. It is particularly good to see the use of black vestments of a more traditional form, as well as the placement of a miter, chalice and stole on the coffin, signifying the priestly and episcopal office, and the unbleached candles.
    Deus, qui inter apostolicos sacerdotes famulum tuum Joachim, Presbyterum Cardinalem, pontificali fecisti dignitate vigere: praesta, qusesumus; ut eorum quoque perpetuo aggregetur consortio. Per Dominum.

    O God, who among the apostolic priests invested thy servant the Cardinal-Priest Joachim with the pontifical dignity: grant, we beseech thee, that he may also be joined unto their perpetual society. Through our Lord...

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    Fr Dunstan Robertson has reminded me of the pilgrimage being organised by Pluscarden Abbey, the Benedictine house in northeast Scotland. It started in June, and is going on now, but people can still join for the rest or part of the pilgrimage, which will end in September.

    Fr Dunstan himself is a monk at a daughter house of Pluscarden, St Mary’s in Petersham, Massachussets. He writes:
    Our motherhouse, Pluscarden Abbey (founded 1230 AD), is conducting a 1230 mile pilgrimage from their founding monastery in France to the Abbey in an effort to raise funds for a major building renovation. There will be 13 legs of roughly 80 miles with different groups of pilgrims each week, with daily Mass and talks. They’re looking for physical pilgrims (to walk), virtual pilgrims (to pray and offer organizational help), and financial pilgrims (who can help cover costs.) Academic credits available for US college students. For more information contact Fr. Dunstan at St. Mary’s at or 978–724–3350.
    You can read more on a webpage here, or see Fr Dunstan being interviewed by the folks at Catholic TV in Boston (old friends of mine who produced the Way of Beauty TV series which I presented a few years ago). In this interview, he talks about both the monastery in Petersham, and the Pluscarden Pilgrimage.

    Here is a photo of Pluscarden Abbey, built in the 13th century. The pilgrimage has spiritual and material aims - it will raise money for the renovation of the original abbey building. It’s good to see the medieval practice of mixing spirituality and money at work in the 21st century!
    And here is a photo of the interior of the abbey with a San Damiano crucifixion painted by yours truly:

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    Celebrate the patronal feast of the St Ann Choir next Wednesday, July 26 at 8:00 p.m. They will sing the Missa Sesquialtera of Orlando di Lasso and the Gregorian chants for the day at St Thomas Aquinas Church, located at 751 Waverly at Homer, in Palo Alto, California.

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    A few years ago, Shawn Tribe published an article about the presence of Saints of the Old Testament in the Eastern liturgies, and their almost total absence from those of the West. Although a large number of Old Testament Saints are mentioned in the Martyrology, the Seven Maccabees Brothers are the only ones on the traditional Roman Calendar, and their feast was suppressed in the new rite, despite its great antiquity. A number of churches in Venice, a city always marked by strong Greek influences, are dedicated to Saints of the Old Testament, such as San Moisè and San Giobbe. (Moses and Job) The most prominent exception to this absence, however, is the celebration of the Prophets Elijah and Elisha as the founders and patriarchs of the two Carmelite Orders. Of these the former has his feast day on July 20th, the latter on June 14th, the same days on which they are observed in the Byzantine Rite.
    Seen above is the central panel of the altarpiece painted by Pietro Lorenzetti (ca. 1280 - 1347) for the Carmelite church of his native city of Siena, San Niccolò del Carmine. The altarpiece is now dismembered and removed from its original frame; most of the surviving pieces are in the National Gallery of Siena, but the two narrower panels originally on either side of the central one are in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, and a smaller piece from the top is at Yale University.

    To the left of the Virgin stands St Nicholas, to whom the church is dedicated; to the right is the prophet Elijah. On the scroll in his hands are written the words which he speaks in 3 Kings 18, 19: “Nevertheless send now, and gather unto me all Israel, unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty.” The Carmelites have traditionally honored the prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha as their founders; in the liturgical books of both the Old Observance and the Discalced, they are each given the title “Our Father”, as is St Dominic in the Dominican Use, St Benedict in the Monastic Use, etc. Both orders also add the name of Elijah to the Confiteor, the Discalced even before that of St Theresa of Avila. Their feasts were kept with octaves, a traditional privilege of patronal feasts, even before an octave was given to the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16th.

    The tradition behind this is recorded in the lessons of the Roman Breviary for that day, with the cautionary parenthetical note “ut fertur – as the story goes” added at the beginning. In the Books of Kings, there are several references to a group of holy men called “the sons of the prophets”. They foretell to Elisha that Elijah is to be taken away by the Lord, although Elisha already knows this, and afterwards bear witness that “the spirit of Elijah resteth upon Elisha,” who then works several miracles on their behalf. The traditional Carmelite legend claims that a group of men dedicated to God remained on Mount Carmel until the days of the New Testament, when they were “prepared by the preaching of John the Baptist for the coming of Christ”, and “at once embraced the faith of the Gospel.” They are also said to be the first Christians to build a chapel in honor of the Virgin Mary, on the very spot on Mount Carmel where Elijah had seen the “little cloud”, understood as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.

    One of the two pieces now in Pasadena shows St John the Baptist; it was originally placed to the right of the central panel, so that he would be next to Elijah, since John went before the Lord “in the spirit and power of Elijah”, and the Lord Himself said in reference to him, “Elijah has already returned.” On the left was the panel of Elisha, looking very much like an Eastern monk, despite his Carmelite habit; on his scroll is written “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw him, and cried: My father, my father, the chariot of I[srael, and the driver thereof.]” (4 Kings 2, 11-12)
    Even for an age in which the veneration of the Virgin Mary may truly be described as omnipresent, the city of Siena stood out as a place of particular devotion to Her. In 1260, before the crucial battle of Montaperti, the city placed herself by a special vow under the protection of the Virgin, and proceeded to heavily defeat her long-time rival Florence, whose army was nearly twice as large as her own. Both the cathedral and the city hall were prominently decorated with famous paintings of the Virgin enthroned, of the type known as a “Maestà”; the former had that of Duccio di Buoninsegna, commissioned less than twenty years before Lorenzetti’s Carmelite altarpiece, and the latter that of Simone Martini from just twelve years before. When Lorenzetti’s work was finished, the mendicant Carmelites could not afford to pay for it, and so the artist’s fee was provided by the city itself.

    Despite all this, the panels at the bottom of the altarpiece are not dedicated to the principal subject of the main panel, as they would normally be, but rather to the prophet Elijah. In the first, an angel appears to his father, with a prophecy of his son’s future greatness, just as an angel would later appear to the father of St John the Baptist.
    In the second, we see hermits in the desert around a fountain, which was said to have been built for them by Elijah. These would be the spiritual ancestors of the Carmelite Order, men who lived as monks in the Greek tradition in the Holy Land, before being organized under a rule during the period of the Crusader kingdoms.
    The striped mantle which they are wearing is part of the habit worn by the Carmelites when they still lived in the Holy Land; because of it they were often called in Latin “fratres barrati – barred friars”, or “fratres virgulati – striped friars.” A tradition of the medieval Carmelites held that these stripes represented the tracks of the chariot that took Elijah into heaven, and had been inherited as part of their habit from Elisha.

    When the Carmelites were forced to abandon the Holy Land at the fall of the Latin kingdoms, they brought their traditions, including the habit, with them to Western Europe, where the striped mantle was considered completely outlandish for religious of any kind, but especially for medicants. Many of the universities refused to admit them dressed that way; hence, the decision of a general chapter held at Montpelier in 1287 to replace it with the white mantle still worn to this day. This was a matter of some controversy within the order at the time, and the prophets are shown by Lorenzetti in the “new” habit probably as a gesture to persuade the friars to accept it.
    In the central panel, St Albert of Jerusalem, Latin patriarch from 1205-14, presents to the Carmelites the rule which he has written for them at the request of their superior, St Brocard. (click to enlarge) The fountain of Elijah is shown again, but now with a church right next to it, indicating that the hermits of Mount Carmel have now been officially organized into an order.
    In the fourth panel, Pope Honorius IV (1285-87) grants the Carmelites their new habit with the white mantle.
    In the last panel, Pope John XXII (1316-34) confirms the decisions of previous Popes, shown above him among the angels with bulls in their hands, recognizing the Carmelites as an approved religious order.

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    The celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum are an initiative of the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, the organizers since 2012 of the annual Populus Summorum Pontificum international pilgrimage to Rome, of Giovani e Tradizione (Youth and Tradition) and Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum (Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum).

    On Thursday, September 14, Giovani e Tradizione and Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum will organize their fifth colloquium on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI; the first of which took place in 2008. This year’s will be entitled “A Renewed Youthfulness for the Whole Church” and will be held at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, better known as the Angelicum. Among the speakers are announced Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Sarah, Dom Pateau, Martin Mosebach and Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

    On the evening of Thursday, September 14, at the conclusion of the colloquium and to celebrate the opening of the pilgrimage, His Excellency Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Pontifical Household, will celebrate Vespers in the Basilica of St Mark in the Piazza Venezia.

    Here is the official program of this important event, which will culminate on Saturday, September 16, with a solemn procession through the streets of Rome, led by His Excellency Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and a Pontifical Mass celebrated by His Eminence Carlo Cardinal Caffara, in St Peter’s Basilica at 12 noon. We note that, in gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI, Maestro Aurelio Porfiri, Cardinal Bartolucci’s pupil, will direct a Mass especially composed for this occasion.


    Thursday, September 14
    9:00 - 18:00 Fifth Annual Colloquium on Summorum Pontificum: “A Renewed Youthfulness for the Whole Church”, Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)
    18:30 Vespers for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrated by His Excellency, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Basilica of St Mark in Piazza Venezia

    Friday, September 15
    16:00 Way of the Cross (Colosseum area) led by the Institute of the Good Shepherd
    19:00 Solemn Mass celebrated by Rev. Mons. Gilles Wach, Superior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Saturday

    Saturday, September 16
    9:00 Eucharistic Adoration, Chiesa di Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova)
    9:45 Solemn Procession through the streets of Rome led by His Excellency, Archbishop Guido Pozzo
    11:00 Pontifical Mass celebrated by His Eminence, Carlo Cardinal Caffara, St Peter’s Basilica, with choir directed by maestro Aurelio Porfiri
    13:30 Buffet lunch for clergy (registration required), sponsored by Paix Liturgique and FIUV (International Federation Una Voce)

    Sunday, September 17
    11:00 Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite celebrated by Rev. Fr Dominique-Marie de Saint-Laumer, General Prior of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini

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    Card. Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, recently had an article in the French magazine La Nef; in it, he discusses among other things the mutual enrichment of the two Forms of the Roman Rite which Pope Benedict proposed in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The text has not yet been made available on their website, but someone provided Fr Zuhlsdorf with an English translation, which he reads (with an introduction) in a podcast posted here.

    Yesterday, the Catholic Herald published a commentary on the La Nef article by Fr Raymond de Souza, “Cardinal Sarah’s challenge to traditionalists.”
    (Quoting the Cardinal) “ ‘Reform of the reform’ has become synonymous with dominance of one clan over the other, … This expression may then become inappropriate, so I prefer to speak of liturgical reconciliation. In the Church, the Christian has no opponent!”
    Reconciliation means movement from both “clans”, as it were. That is likely to encounter opposition from some, perhaps many, traditionalist quarters.
    Sarah proposes that efforts be made to have a shared calendar and a shared lectionary, so that both the EF and OF would celebrate more feasts together and have the same Scripture readings at Mass.
    That poses a twofold challenge. First, it requires the EF community to acknowledge that some aspects of the OF, particularly its reformed calendar and its lectionary – which includes far more Scripture than the EF one – are actual improvements and possible enrichments for the EF.
    But others, not an insignificant part, consider the entire OF to be an impoverishment with little, if anything, enriching to offer. …
    For example, EF devotees often speak about the simplified OF calendar as being too banal – “Ordinary Time” instead of Sundays after Pentecost – and consider it a mistake to have abandoned Passiontide and the octave of Pentecost. They are right about that, but thinning out the number of feast days of obscure saints and incorporating the more recently canonised is more controversial.
    A shared lectionary would require a shared Sunday calendar at least, which could not be achieved without significant changes in both the current EF and OF calendars. And while there is wide consensus that the OF lectionary is superior, it is not universal, and any move towards it would encounter stiff opposition. Sarah knows of such positions, and warns us against treating the EF as a “museum object” locked forever in 1962.
    The gist of this, therefore, is that the much of the discussion of “mutual enrichment” has really been about unilateral enrichment, the idea that the customs of the EF can obviously enrich the OF in a variety of ways, (he specifically cites ad orientem celebration, greater use of Latin, and more silence, a subject near and dear to His Eminence’s heart) but that the OF brings little or nothing to the table for enrichment of the EF. The challenge to traditionalists would therefore be to accept certain aspects of the OF that can indeed enrich the EF.

    Today, Joseph Shaw of the Latin Mass Society published, also on the Catholic Herald, a reply, “Why Cardinal Sarah’s liturgical ‘reconciliation’ plan won’t work.” Painful as this is to write, I cannot help but agree with Shaw when he says:
    (Card. Sarah’s) reasons are confusing, but his proposals are unworkable. … (he) explains: ‘ “Reform of the reform” has become synonymous with dominance of one clan over the other.’ He prefers the phrase ‘liturgical reconciliation’.
    The ‘Reform of the Reform’ is a movement among practitioners of the Ordinary Form, who argue over Latin, chant, the direction of worship, altar girls, and so on. It is one of the advantages of the Extraordinary Form that we don’t have to get into these battles. Cardinal Sarah, however, seems to want to solve the endless squabbling by bringing the older Mass into the equation as well.
    I would to add some observations of my own to what Dr Shaw goes on to say about the very real practical difficulties of “reconciling” the two features to which His Eminence and Fr de Souza refer. First, I must add that I wholeheartedly concur with him when he concludes by saying that “(a)bove all I would like to suggest that the Church has nothing to fear from a varied liturgical landscape ... Vatican II reassured us on this point (Unitatis redintegratio 17): ‘…from time to time one tradition has come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or has expressed it to better advantage. In such cases, these various theological expressions are to be considered often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting.’ ”

    In consideration of the calendar, an important distinction must first be made, one which Fr de Souza blurs in talking about the octave of Pentecost and “obscure Saints” at the same time. Both Forms of the Roman Rite have within them two calendars, the Temporal and the Sanctoral. The difference between the two calendars of Saints is far less important than the difference between the two Temporal cycles. The Church has always had varying calendars of the Saints; as I noted in this article from 2011, after Pope St Pius X’s Breviary reform, which also affected local calendars in many regards, St Peter’s Basilica still kept almost sixty feasts which were not on the General Calendar of the Roman Rite.

    The Temporal cycle, on the other hand, was one of the stablest parts of the Roman Rite throughout its long and varied history. There are few notable differences between the features of it attested in the oldest Roman lectionaries and sacramentaries in the seventh and eighth centuries, and that of the Missal of St Pius V; those which do exist consist almost entirely of the addition of feasts such as Corpus Christi. It hardly needs repeating that the fathers of Vatican II did not in any way ask for or envision the drastic mutilation of the Temporal perpetrated by the post-Conciliar reformers.

    This brings us to the second point, regarding the lectionary. Since very few feasts are allowed precedence over a Sunday, the average Sunday Mass goer encounters the Temporal part of it much more than the Sanctoral part. Joseph Shaw is also absolutely correct to note that because the two lectionaries are based on two different Temporal cycles, and are therefore incompatible. The integration of either one into the other is simply impossible without damaging it beyond repair; I cannot imagine that those who truly love either Form of the Roman Rite want that to happen. (This does not even begin to address the equally important questions of the number of readings and the three-year vs. one-year cycle.)

    I also cannot imagine why Fr de Souza writes that “there is wide consensus that the OF lectionary is superior,” when almost every feature of it has been argued against and contested from every point of view. The new lectionary’s creators were thoroughly convinced that they were restoring an ancient custom of the Roman Rite when they introduced the three-reading system for Sundays and solemnities; this is now known to be completely untenable. Many years ago, I attended a lecture by the grand doyen of liberal Biblical scholars, Fr Raymond Brown, on the Epistles of St Paul. He pointed out that in Ordinary Time, the first reading is chosen in relation to the Gospel, while the Epistles run between them in broadly canonical order, and are not chosen in reference to them; the new lectionary therefore almost guarantees that priests will rarely preach on the writings of St Paul.

    Even if one regards the new calendar and lectionary as unmitigated triumphs in every way, we simply cannot dismiss as mere partisanship the question of why the phrase “Reform of the Reform” came into existence in the first place. Pope Benedict XVI himself famously described the current state of the liturgy as a “sad ruin,” compared both to what it had been before the Council, and what the most recent ecumenical Council wanted it to be. A great deal of progress has been made to improving the liturgy, but much of it by way of eliminating abuses which ought never to have been inflicted on the faithful in the first place, much less tolerated for a single day. Exemplary celebrations of the OF Mass, such as those of St Agnes in Minneapolis-St Paul or the London Oratory, are extremely rare. It is pointless to deny that many bishops and religious superiors would not tolerate attempts by their clergy to emulate the practices of such churches. Whole nations remain untouched by this progress; model celebrations of the Ordinary Form of the Mass remain vanishingly rare in Italy, for example.

    Fortunately, when Pope Benedict called for “mutual enrichment” of the two Forms, he established no criteria for determining the conditions under which it might take place. I hazard to suggest two such conditions. One would be to put the OF house in order by purging out its many scholarly falsehoods, and deleterious practices like allowing the celebrant to choose the Eucharistic prayer. The other would be to clock in couple of a centuries in which even a substantial minority of the faithful can attend a Mass celebrated according to the mind of the Fathers of Vatican II.

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    At the kind invitation of Dom Mark Kirby, O.S.B., I delivered a lecture this past Tuesday, July 18, at Silverstream Priory in Ireland, entitled "Liturgical Obedience, the Imitation of Christ, and the Seductions of Autonomy." The full audio with Q&A may be found here (the lecture is about 45 minutes, and the Q&A 17 minutes).

    Some excerpts from the as-yet unpublished manuscript:
           Given what I have said about liturgy as inherently hierarchical, otherworldly, ecstatic, and absolute in its demands over us, it is entirely in keeping with the devil’s strategy to destabilize, democratize, secularize, and relativize the liturgy here on earth. He seeks to loosen our bond with a fixed and efficacious tradition. He seeks to smudge in our perceptions, and, eventually, to obliterate in our minds, the distinction between sacred and profane, formal and informal, fitting and unfitting.  He seeks to darken or blot out the manifestation of the heavenly hierarchy in the earthly distinctions of sacred ministers and their complementary but non-interchangeable roles.  He seeks to persuade us — particularly the clergy — that the liturgy is not the font and apex of the Christian life, but only one means among many for advancing a “Christian agenda.”
           The devil knows he cannot prevent some advancement of the Christian faith, but he is well aware that nothing comes close to the liturgy’s power for hallowing the Name of God and establishing His kingdom in our midst, giving us our daily nourishment, and moving us to the forgiveness of sins and the avoidance of sins. In truth, liturgy is an end in itself because it is God’s peculiar possession and makes us His peculiar possession. If the devil can convince us that liturgy is not an end in itself, but rather, that it is a helpful tool we should manipulate for ulterior ends, then he has already won half the battle for souls. He has shaken our fundamental orientation to the heavenly Jerusalem and the kingdom that will have no end. 
           One of the great strengths of the traditional Latin liturgy is that it leaves nothing to the will or imagination of the priest (and the same may be said of every minister in the sanctuary). It choreographs his moves, dictates his words, shapes his mind and heart to itself, to make it utterly clear that it is Christ who is acting in and through him.  In the words of the Psalmist: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: he made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture” (Psa 99:3). Sheep are to follow the lead of their shepherd. The clergy is not and will never be the first principle of the liturgy; as St. Thomas Aquinas says with sobering humility, the priest or other cleric is an “animate instrument” of the Eternal High Priest: “Holy orders does not constitute a principal agent, but a minister and a certain instrument of divine operation.” Ministers are like rational hammers or chisels or saws, by which a greater artisan will accomplish His work of sanctification, while conferring on them the immense dignity of resting in His hand and partaking of His action.
           [...] The clergy are privileged tools, to be sure, but they are still tools; and the liturgy remains the work of Christ, the High Craftsman, the carpenter of the ark of the covenant, the architect of the heavenly Jerusalem, the New Song and its cantor. In its external form, in text and music and ceremonial, the liturgy should luminously proclaim that it is the work of Christ and His Church, not the product of a charismatic individual or a grassroots community.
           [S]ince free choice is antithetical to liturgy as a fixed ritual received from our forebears and handed down faithfully to our successors, choice tends rather to be a principle of distraction, dilution, or dissolution in the liturgy than of its well-being. The same critique may be given of all of the ways in which the new liturgy permits the celebrant an indeterminate freedom of speech, bodily bearing, and movement. Such voluntarism strikes at the very essence of liturgy, which is a public, objective, formal, solemn, and common prayer, in which all Christians are equally participants, even when they are performing irreducibly distinct acts. The prayer of Christians belongs to everyone in common, which means it cannot belong to anyone in particular. The moment a priest invents something that is not common, he sets himself up as a clerical overlord vis-à-vis the people, who must now submit not to a rule of Christ and the Church, but to the arbitrary rule of this individual. 
    Go to this link to listen to or download the audio of the entire lecture.

    (Photo courtesy of Silverstream Priory.)

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    O happy Mary of happy merit, that first among mortals did merit to see the Son of God rising from the dead; for whose love thou disdained the blandishments of the world: * by thy prayer, we ask thee, commend us to Him with diligence. V. That with thee, o Lady, we may merit to enjoy his most happy presence. By thy prayer... (The eighth responsory of Matins of St Mary Magdalene in the Dominican Breviary.)

    The Risen Christ Appears to St Mary Magdalene, by Lavinia Fontana, 1581
    R. O felix felícis mériti María, quae resurgentem a mórtuis Dei Filium vidére meruisti mortalium prima! Pro cujus amore, saeculi contempsisti blandimenta: * sédula nos apud ipsum, quaesumus, prece commenda. V. Ut tecum mereámur, o Dómina, pérfrui felicíssima ipsíus praesentia. Sédula...

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    In the old city of Innsbruck one finds the rather impressive Jesuit church dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, adjacent to the Theology Faculty. This is and has long been a major center for Jesuit studies.

    The Theology Faculty building, abutting the church
    When one enters the church, one is confronted with a highly ornate screen that separates the atrium from the nave:

    A major Marian statue from Belgium, Our Lady of Foja, “Mother of Mercy,” found its way to this church and is now venerated at a side altar, beneath a painting of the Annunciation:
    Not surprisingly, one of the side altars is dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola, with a typically ornate Baroque altar beneath the painting:
    In Austria one sees some of the most marvelous reliquaries. Here are two particularly elaborate ones contained in this church, although I was unable to identify the contents:
    I am not entirely sure who this saint is or what he is doing; perhaps a reader could comment?
    Another side chapel honors the secondary Patron of Innsbruck, St. Pirminius (+753), whose relics are housed here. (The primary Patron is St. Peter Canisius.) This side chapel, like the others, contains carved benches intended for daily Mass-goers at a time when the side altars were used for private Masses.
    Naturally, the church features a wall-mounted elevated pulpit, although not nearly so elaborate as others from the Baroque period:
    The sanctuary of the church features what is perhaps the most hideous contrast between old and new that I have ever seen. The juxtaposition stretched my understanding of aesthetic self-mutilation to new heights. The Jesuits’ own website offers a moralizing interpretation: “The contrast between the reconstructed baroque altar and the modern nave altar of stone and metal expresses the task of a church: it should stand rooted in a long tradition and, at the same time, with both feet in the present.” I leave it to the reader to discern for him- or herself how successfully this task has been achieved:
    (This latter photo is from the church’s own website; I did not have this vantage.)
    We headed downstairs into the crypt where the remains of the Jesuits of Innsbruck are buried behind modest wooden signs. By far the two most famous Jesuits to be buried here are the eminent liturgical scholar Josef Jungmann (1889-1975), whose flawed perspectives on liturgical history were invoked as justification for the wholesale reconstruction of the Roman Rite in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, and Karl Rahner (1904-1984), who disguised his radical revision of Christianity behind a scholastic veneer.
    Later on, my host took me to a restaurant a couple of blocks away that was said to be Rahner’s favorite place to dine. I have only one photo of it -- and I don't know which table he sat at!

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    In response to a query from the Cappella Gregoriana Sanctae Cæciliae, a traditional rite choir based in the Philippines, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has issued a clarification on the subject of the so-called Pontifical Sung Mass. The historical custom of the Church has been that a bishop may celebrate either a Low Mass of the type known as a missa praelatitia, or a full solemn High Pontifical Mass, attended by an assistant priest, deacon, subdeacon, the requisite minor ministers, and of course a choir; there was no provision for a bishop to sing Mass without the major ministers, analogous to the priest’s Missa cantata.

    The first permission for a bishop’s sung Mass was given by the decree Inter oecumenici, which was issued on September 26, 1964, and became legally active on March 7 of the following year. This decree states simply that “It is allowed, when necessary, for bishops to celebrate a sung Mass following the form used by priests.” Wholly in keeping with that era’s nascent liturgical chaos, it says nothing about which, if any, ceremonies of the Pontifical Mass are to be retained, or whether the bishop is to simply pretend to not be a bishop when exercising the fullness of the priesthood vested in him as a successor of the Apostles.

    The PCED has now formally clarified that, since this provision was not in force in 1962, according to the terms of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and the instruction Universae Ecclesiae, is not licit to celebrate a Pontifical Sung Mass. (Click image to enlarge. Thanks to the Capella Gregoriana Sanctae Caeciliae for making this available to us.)

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    I wrote recently about some ideas for guiding principles by which we might create a canon of art for Roman Rite churches, and a schema that would guide the placement of such images in a church.

    I now plan on a series of articles describing the key elements of images of the saints of the Roman Canon - Eucharistic Prayer I - and the major feasts of the year. My hope is that it may stimulate interest in some of you to realize such schemes of art in your church. As I say in the article linked above, the goal is also to engender a manner of worship in which the faithful engage fruitfully with holy images while participating in the liturgy.

    This is quite a big project, and so I don’t expect to do the whole thing in the course of one year. I don’t know if I have the time to do the research and writing for the complete set in that time, but I will do the best I can. I am heartened by the fact that even for our own Shawn Tribe, who for many years was tireless in posting several times a day on this site, two years elapsed between his feature The Saints of the Roman Canon, Part 1 and its reprise The Saints of the Roman Canon, Part 2! My general plan is to cover the Saints first, and then the feasts, but I always go where my curiosity takes me, so I will throw in a great feast from time to time in this first year. I have created the tag “Canon of Art for the Roman Rite”, so that should any be interested, they can access the accumulating body of articles at any time.

    Anyway, so here we go...

    Today, July 25th, is the feast of St James the Greater, the Son of Zebedee.
    The images of St James are simple, and it would not always be easy to recognise him - except that in order to be worthy of veneration, the name of the saint should appear on or beside every image! In traditional iconography, he is depicted bearded with short, brown curly hair. He was martyred only 10 years after the Resurrection, and is ordinarily not seen with grey hair to indicate that he did not live to old age. He holds a scroll, which is an indication of divine wisdom. In Western images, the equivalent might be also the holding of a book. The icon below is from the late 18th century.

    In Western images, he is often depicted with longer hair, still usually brown and curly, and holding a pilgrim’s staff, a reference to the tradition that he is buried at Santiago de Compostela. This is, of course, still a very important pilgrimage site to this day, and many people every year follow all or part of the Way of St James from France to the final destination in Spain.

    Here is a 14th century depiction by Pere Serra, who lived and worked in Cataloniam with Ss Peter, Clare, James, and John the Evangelist.

    Below is one of my favourite images of him, painted by the baroque master, Guido Reni. (1636-38)

    A contemporary painting by the Spanish baroque master, Alonso Cano.

    And a 15th century Spanish statuette in stone.

    For the fullest presentation of the principles of sacred art for the liturgy, take the Master’s of Sacred Arts at www.Pontifex.University.

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    Solemn Dominican Mass at Holy Rosary
    On Thursday, July 26, the Feast of St. Anne, Mother of Our Lady, Fr. Gabriel Mosher, O.P., will celebrate a Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite, assisted by Frs. Vincent Kelber, O.P., and  Augustine Thompson, O.P. as deacon and subdeacon, at the Priory Parish of the Holy Rosary in Portland Oregon, starting at 7 p.m.

    The music will be provided by Cantores in Ecclesiaunder the direction of Blake Applegate. The music for that Mass will be Claudio Montverdi's "Missa "In illo Tempore,” with proper chants from the Dominican Gradual. Cantores will also be singing at the usual 11 a.m. Dominican Rite Missa Cantata the following Sunday.

    Holy Rosary is located at 375 NE Clackamas St, Portland, OR 97232, and there is ample parking.  A reception will follow the Mass in Siena Hall.

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    All Catholics know that the church of Santiago di Compostella in Spain is one of the most important pilgrimage shrines in the world. Far less well known today is the fact that the Tuscan city of Pistoia was once another major locus of pilgrimage in honor of the St James the Great. Since the middle of the 12th century, the cathedral of St Zeno has possessed a relic of the Apostle, a small piece of his skull acquired by Bishop Atto in 1145. Last November, I took a nighttime tour of the cathedral, during which the archpriest, Don Luca Carlesi, gave an extremely interesting presentation on its history. During the Middle Ages, the relic was a major draw for pilgrims who could not travel all the distance to Compostella. Large crowds of pilgrims were often a source of great prosperity to medieval cities, and, as Don Luca phrased it to a mostly local group of visitors, “Everything that our ancestors were able to make of the city of Pistoia in the High Middle Ages is due to the presence of this relic.”
    The reliquary of St James the Apostle, made in the 15th century; it also contains relics of Maria Salome, traditionally identified as his mother, St Martin of Tour, and two local early martyrs, priests named Rufinus and Felix.
    The relic was formerly kept in a special chapel gated off from the rest of the church at the back of the right nave; this chapel was the property of the city, and under its jurisdiction, not of the cathedral and its bishop and canons. The city’s governing council held its meetings in it, as a sign of the Apostle’s protection and patronage, and its constitution was kept in the small safe-room which also stored its precious objects.

    Between 1287 and 1456, the chapel’s altar was commissioned in different stages. The various parts of it have been dismantled, reassembled and reordered on several occasions; during the Second World War, it was taken apart and removed to a deposit for safe-keeping. and afterwards reassembled. The current arrangement dates from the year 1953. Since the panels are made of silver, it is now kept behind rather thick glass to prevent people from touching them, which makes a certain amount of lens flare unavoidable.
    Several parts of this upper panel were originally a frontal. Two of the figures were stolen and never recovered; this is why the figures which were inserted in the niches to either side of St James’ head to replace them are slightly too large.
    St James with a pilgrim’s hat and staff.
    The panels of the frontal have also been rearranged. The upper register shows the Annunciation and Visitation, the Birth of Christ, Christ in majesty between the Virgin and St James, the arrival of the Magi, and their adoration of the Christ Child. The middle register shows King Herod ordering the Massacre of the Holy Innocents, the arrest of Christ, the Crucifixion, the Angel’s appearance to the Three Marys at the tomb, and Christ’s with St Thomas. The lower register sows the Ascension, the Presentation in the Temple, and the Sermon on the Mount, followed by the condemnation and beheading of St James.
    Stories of St James on the left side panel (originally on the right). From top to bottom: his calling by Christ; his mother asks for her sons to sit at Christ’s sides, the Gospel of his feast day (Matthew 20, 20-23); James and his brother John are named “Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3, 13-19); James preaches to the crowds after the Resurrection; his arrest; his condemnation by King Herod; his prayer before his execution; his beheading. The last panel shows the transportation of his relic to Pistoia.
    Stories of the Old Testament on the right side panel (originally on the left). From top to bottom: the Creation of Adam and of Eve; the Fall of Man and Expulsion from Paradise; Cain and Abel; Noah’s Ark; the blessing of Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac; Moses receives the Law and preaches it to the children of Israel; the election and coronation of King David. The final two switch to the life of the Virgin Mary: her Birth, her Presentation in the temple, and her espousal to St Joseph.
    In the year 1780, Pistoia suffered the great misfortune of receiving as its bishop one Scipione de’ Ricci, a creature of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. It was he who called the infamous Synod of Pistoia, whose program for liturgical reform (inter alia) was condemned in 1794 by Pope Pius VI beatae memoriae in the bull Auctorem Fidei. Like all good Jansenists of the era, he was a strident opponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart, and like all truly modern liturgical reformers, filled with contempt for the ordinary faithful and their prayer life. On the fatuous pretext that devotion to St James was distracting people from the Eucharist, since the chapel of the latter always had more candles lit around it, the entire chapel of St James was destroyed. This groove on a column at the back of the church is one of the few remaining signs of its presence; part of the metal gate that sectioned it off from the rest of the church was formerly mounted into it.
    This window was of course formerly open, and the door with the fresco of Christ between St James and St John was the entrance to the chapel.
    The façade and bell-tower of the cathedral.

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