Thursday, 24 August 2017

Pope Benedict XIV.

Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless stated otherwise.

Pope Benedict XIV.
Date: 18th-Century.
Current location: Palace of Versailles, France.
Source/Photographer: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Benedict XIV (Latin: Benedictus XIV; 31 March 1675 – 3 May 1758), born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, served as Pope of The Catholic Church from 17 August 1740 to his death in 1758.

[Pope Benedict X is now considered an Anti-Pope. At the time, however, this status was not recognised, and, so, the Pontiff that The Roman Catholic Church officially considers the tenth true Pope Benedict took the official Papal Number of XI, rather than X.

This has advanced the numbering of all subsequent Popes Benedict by one. Popes Benedict XI to Benedict XVI are, from an official point of view, the tenth to the fifteenth Popes by that name.]

Perhaps one of the greatest scholars in Christendom, yet often overlooked, he promoted scientific learning, the Baroque Arts, re-invigoration of Thomism, and the study of the human form.

Coat-of-Arms of Pope Benedict XIV,
the 247th Pope of The Roman Catholic Church.
Date: 20 August 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: P-JR
(Wikimedia Commons)

Firmly established with great devotion and adherence to The Council of Trent and authentic Catholic teaching, Benedict removed changes previously made to The Breviary, sought peacefully to reverse growing Secularism in certain European Courts, invigorated Ceremonies with great pomp, and throughout his life and his reign, published numerous Theological Treatises.

In terms of the governance of The Papal States, he reduced taxation and also encouraged agriculture. He also supported free trade. A scholar, he laid the groundwork for the present Vatican Museum. Benedict XIV, to an extent, can be considered a polymath due to his numerous studies of ancient literature, the publishing of Ecclesiastical Books and Documents, the study of the human body, and his great devotion to Art and Theology.

Horace Walpole described him as "a Priest without insolence or interest, a Prince without favourites, a Pope without nephews."

Lambertini was born into a noble family of Bologna to Marcello Lambertini and Lucrezia Bulgarini, the third of five children. At the time of his birth, Bologna was the second-largest City in The Papal States. At the age of thirteen, he began attending The Collegium Clementianum in Rome, where he studied Rhetoric, Latin, Philosophy, and Theology.

English: Tomb of Pope Benedict XIV, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican.
Português: Tumba de Bento XIV, Basílica de São Pedro, Vaticano.
Photo: 2006.
Source: Taken by Ricardo André Frantz.
Author: Ricardo André Frantz (User:Tetraktys).
(Wikimedia Commons)

During his studies as a young man, he often studied The Works of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who was his favourite author and Saint. While he enjoyed studying at Collegium Clementianum, the bent of his mind was well towards Ecclesiastical and Civil Law, and actively enforcing it. Soon after, in 1694, at the age of nineteen, he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology and Doctor Utriusque Juris, (both Ecclesiastical and Civil Law).

On the death of Pope Innocent XII in 1700, he was made a Consistorial Advocate by the new Pope, Clement XI, with whom he worked closely. Shortly after, he was created a Consultor of The Supreme Sacred Congregation of The Roman and Universal Inquisition, then, in 1708, Promoter of The Faith; in 1712, a Theologian of Canon Law and Assessor of The Sacred Congregation of Rites; in 1713, he was named Monsignor; in 1718, Secretary of The Sacred Congregation of The Council; and, in 1725, Titular Bishop of Theodosia.

Lambertini was Consecrated a Bishop in Rome, in The Pauline Chapel of The Vatican Palace, on

16 July 1724, by Pope Benedict XIII. The Co-Consecrators were Giovanni Francesco Nicolai, Titular Archbishop of Myra (Vicar of The Vatican Basilica), and Nicola Maria Lercari, Titular Archbishop of Nazianzus (Papal Maestro di Camera).

He was made Bishop of Ancona in 1727. He was created a Cardinal in pectore, his name being published on 30 April 1728, and was subsequently made The Cardinal-Priest of Santa Croce-in-Gerusalemme on 10 May 1728. He also served as The Archbishop of Bologna.

After the death of Pope Clement XII in 1740, Lambertini attended the Papal Conclave to choose a successor. It would last for six months. At first, Cardinal Ottoboni, Dean of The Sacred College, was favoured to be Elected, but a number of Cardinals were opposed to this on account of the Cardinal being "Protector of France".

After long deliberation, Lambertini was put forth to the Cardinal Electors as a compromise candidate, and it is reported that he said to the Members of The College of Cardinals: "If you wish to Elect a Saint, choose Gotti; a Statesman, Aldrovandi; an Honest Man, me".

(Vincenzo Ludovico Gotti (1664–1742) was Professor of Philosophy at The College of Saint Thomas, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, and perhaps the leading Thomist of his time. Aldrovandi was a Canon Lawyer and Cardinal of The Catholic Church).

This appears to have assisted his cause for winning the Election, which also benefited from his reputation for deep learning, gentleness, wisdom, and conciliation in policy. On 17 August 1740, he was Elected in the evening and took his new Pontifical Name of Benedict XIV in honour of Pope Benedict XIII.

In 1750, Pope Benedict XIV Consecrated The Colosseum as a Sacred site,
where Early-Christians had been Martyred. Thus began the preservation and restoration 
of The Colosseum, and prevented further scavenging of its material for other buildings.
Photo: 7 June 2014.
Author: daryl_mitchell from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
(Wikimedia Commons)


He was Crowned on 21 August 1740, and, by 30 August 1740, the famous ephemeral Baroque structures of The Festival of The Chinea and The Triumphal Arch of Benedict XIV were erected by Charles III of Spain, who was then a Pontifical Vassal and Monarch of The Kingdom of Naples.

[The Chinèa was the name attached to a Tribute paid by The Kings of Naples as Vassals to The Popes. The Tribute was apparently first recognised by The Norman King of Naples in 1059. The Chinea reached its greatest magnitude from about 1550 to 1776, with grand temporary structures being erected during the celebration all over Rome in honour of The Pope. The Chinea ceremony was instituted under Charles I of Naples and Pope Clement IV, and lasted in ceremonial form till 1776, and as a monetary obligation until 1855.

The ceremony included the gift of a white horse, elegantly attired and carrying, by the Late-1700s, the equivalent of 7,000 Ducats in Silver. The Presentation took place annually on 29 June, The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and was followed by elaborate festivities in Rome. The horse was paraded in Saint Peter's Basilica. The Presentation was always made by a Neapolitan Nobleman, including, over the years, members of The Colonna, Sanseverino, or, Carafa Families. The term "Chinea" is thought to derive from the French word for a Hackney horse: (haquennée).

In 1776, on the pretext of mob rowdiness during the ceremony, King Ferdinand IV of Naples and his Foreign Minister, Bernardo Tanucci, as well as the Philosopher Domenico Caracciolo, attempted to eliminate the Tribute, but, in the end, while the ceremony and accompanying sanction of Royal Rule were eliminated, a simple monetary Tribute continued.

A Half-Scudo Coin of The Papal States (1740-1748).
Crossed Keys and Tiara above BEN XIV (Benedict XIV) on The Left.
Bust of Saint Peter on The Right.
[Editor: In The Papal States, The Scudo was the currency until 1866.
It was divided into 100 Baiocchi (singular Baiocco), each of 5 Quattrini.
It was replaced by the Lira, equal to the Italian Lira.]
Source: CNG.
Author: CNG.
This File: 31 March 2008.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1855, during The Papacy of Pius IX, in the hope of abolishing the Tradition altogether, Ferdinand VII of Naples paid 10,000 Scudi for The Column of The Immaculate Conception, in Piazza di Spagna, Rome.]

Lambertini's Papacy as Pope Benedict XIV began in a time of great difficulties, chiefly caused by the disputes between Catholic Rulers and The Papacy about governmental demands to nominate Bishops, rather than leaving the appointment to The Church. He managed to overcome most of these problems — The Holy See's disputes with The Kingdom of Naples, Sardinia, Spain, Venice, and Austria, were settled.

He had a very active Papacy, reforming the education of Priests, The Calendar of Feasts of The Church, and many Papal institutions. Perhaps the most important act of Benedict XIV's Pontificate was the Promulgation of his famous Laws about Missions in the two Papal Bulls, "Ex quo singulari" and ""Omnium solicitudinum".

In these Bulls, he ruled on the custom of accommodating non-Christian words and usages to express Christian ideas and practices of the native cultures, which had been extensively done by The Jesuits in their Indian and Chinese Missions. An example of this is the Statues of Ancestors – there had long been uncertainty whether honour paid to one's ancestors was unacceptable 'ancestor worship,' or, if it was something more like the Catholic Veneration of The Saints.

This question was especially pressing in the case of an ancestor known not to have been a Christian. The choice of a Chinese translation for the Name of God had also been debated since the

Early-17th Century. Benedict XIV denounced these practices in these two Bulls. The consequence of this was that many of these Converts left The Church.

The Apostolic Constitution "Sacramentorum Poenitentiae", of 1741, assigned to The Supreme Sacred Congregation of The Roman and Universal Inquisition the responsibility of safeguarding the Sanctity of The Sacrament of Penance.

On 22 December 1741, Benedict XIV promulgated The Papal Bull "Immensa Pastorum Principis" against the enslavement of the indigenous peoples of The Americas and other Countries.

On 18 May 1743, Benedict XIV signed a document, addressed to The Archbishops and Bishops of The Kingdom of Poland, regarding Marriage, communicating his dissatisfaction with the dissolution of Christian Marriages, even long-stable ones, by The Ecclesiastical Courts of Poland without due cause or in violation of Canon Law.

English: Letter of Pope Benedict XIV by which he grants The Brotherhood of The Holy Sacrament, Founded in the Church of Perledo, Lombardy, permission to Celebrate Holy Masses in his Oratory.
Italiano: Breve, Roma, 1757 maggio 10. Breve di papa Benedetto XIV con cui si concede
alla confraternita del SS. Sacramento eretta nella chiesa prepositurale di Perledo la
celebrazione di messe nel proprio oratorio. 
Archivio Pietro Pensa, Pergamene 1, 39.
Date: 10 May 1757.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Benedict XIV was also responsible, along with Cardinal Passionei, for beginning The Catalogue of The Vatican Library. Benedetto, Duke of Chablais, a Military Commander of The French Revolution and Member of The House of Savoy (Rulers of The Kingdom of Sardinia), was named after Pope Benedict XIV. Infanta Benedita of Portugal was also named after him.

In The Apostolic Constitution "Pastoralis Romani Pontificis", promulgated on 30 March 1741, he is one of many Popes to enforce and declare that he, his predecessors, and all his successors, hold Papal Infallibility, and that Ecumenical Councils should be discouraged, as they can undermine one of the principal pillars of The Papacy - Infallibility.

Pope Benedict XIV Consecrated the expensive Gilded Baroque Chapel (Chapel of Saint John the Baptist), on 15 December 1744, in Sant'Antonio dei Portoghesi. The Chapel was designed by Nicola Salvi and Luigi Vanvitelli, and was then shipped to Portugal to be placed in the Igreja de Sāo Roque.

In 1750, Pope Benedict XIV declared a Holy Year. During the month of April 1750, 43,000 meals were served to The Poor at The Trinita Hospital. Later that year, he banned Card Games.

In his Encyclical "Allatae Sunt", Promulgated on 26 July 1755, Benedict XIV, echoing the words of Pope Gelasius I, Universally banned The Act of females Serving The Priest at The Altar, noting that the practice had spread to certain Oriental Rites.

During his Papacy, Benedict XIV commissioned a team of architects, led by Nicola Salvi and Luigi Vanvitelli, to design a large Palace that was to be 'more complex and with greater Baroque Style than the "box of a Palace" Vanvitelli designed in Caserta'. The Palace was to be built South of Saint Peter's Basilica, but was never built, as The Plans were quietly ignored by Benedict's successor, Pope Clement XIII. They were brought up once more by Pope Pius VI, late in his Papacy, but had to stop due to the possibility of invasion.

Pope Benedict XIV improved the finances of The Papal States, reduced taxes, encouraged agriculture and free trade, and drastically cut the Military Budget, but was unable to completely reform the administration, still corrupt from previous Papacies. At the University of Bologna, he revived the practice of Anatomical Studies and established a Chair of Surgery. He had a clear view of Ecclesiastical problems, had respect for differing opinions, and an ability to distinguish between Dogma and Theory.

Benedict XIV's health worsened in 1758 and, after a battle with gout, he died on 3 May 1758, at the age of eighty-three. His final words to those surrounding him on his deathbed were: "I leave you in The Hands of God."

Following his funeral, he was interred in Saint Peter's Basilica, and a large Catafalque was erected in his honour.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Vigil Of Saint Bartholomew. Apostle. Today, 23 August.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

The Vigil Of Saint Bartholomew.
   23 August.


Violet Vestments.

Saint Bartholomew.
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
"Copyright Brunelmar/Ghent/Belgium".
Used with Permission.

English: Saint Bartholomew the Apostle.
By Pierre Le Gros the Younger.
The Nave of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Italy.
Français: Saint Barthélemy par Pierre Le Gros le Jeune.
Photo: 7 September 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Jastrow.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Feasts of The Apostles are spread throughout The Liturgical Cycle, as if to show that The Apostles are The Foundation on which The Whole Church rests.

Saint Bartholomew is the sixth in the List of twelve, as given by The Evangelists.

Like the other Apostles, he learned the secrets of The Divine Law and made them known to the World, confirming them by his Martyrdom (Gospel). On this day, The Liturgy prepares us for his Feast of tomorrow (Collect).

Mass: Ego autem.

Saint Philip Benizi. Confessor. Feast Day, Today, 23 August.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint Philip Benizi.
   Feast Day 23 August.


White Vestments.

Saint Philip Benizi.

We honour on this day a Saint to whom The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared, to announce to him that he was to enter The Order of Servites, whose object is to honour The Sorrows, through which The Virgin attained the Glory that we have rejoiced in (Editor: The Assumption) during the last eight days.

Born at Florence, Italy, of the illustrious family of Benizi, Saint Philip gave signs from the cradle of his future holiness. The Order of The Servants of The Virgin Mary, called The Servites, had been instituted fifteen years before. The little Convent was not far from his town. There, while hearing Mass on The Thursday in Easter Week, Saint Philip was struck by the words of the Epistle, addressed by The Holy Ghost to Philip The Deacon.

As he bore that name, he applied to himself the Scriptural Text, and, feeling himself invited by The Holy Ghost to enter that Order, he left everything to purchase the Imperishable Treasure of Heaven (Gospel). Entering as a Lay Brother, he was, later on, Ordained a Priest, and became General of The Servites.

English: Statue of Saint Philip Benizi 
on The Charles Bridge, Prague, The Czech Republic.
Čeština: Sousoší Svatého Filipa Benicia na Karlově mostě.
Date: 31 July 2006 (original upload date).
Source: Originally from cs.wikipedia; description page is/was here.
Author: Zp, slightly cropped by Diligent.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Cardinals, assembled at Viterbo, wished to Elect him Pope, but, out of humility (Collect), he refused the honour and hid himself in the mountains. There, he flourished like the Palm Tree and grew like the Cedar of Libanus (Introit). God then called him to evangelise Italy, France, and Germany. On his return, he was confirmed in his Office for life.

He tried to calm the animosity which existed between the Guelfs, partisans of the Pope, and the Ghibellines, partisans of the Emperor, and ran serious danger to which the Epistle alludes.

He was seized by a burning fever on Assumption Day, and died at Todi, in 1285, on The Day of The Octave, contemplating The Crucifix.

Let us ask God to grant us the humility of Saint Philip Benizi, so that, despising, as he did, the riches of the World, we may always seek the riches of Heaven (Collect).

Mass: Justus.
Commemoration: Of The Vigil of Saint Bartholomew from the Collects of The Mass: Ego autem,
of which the Gospel is read at the end of Mass.

Saint Philip Benizi.
One of the 140 Saints on The Colonnade of Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy.
Statue created: Circa 1671.
The statue is part of a group of sixteen that were installed between August 1670 and March 1673.
It was made immediately after the statues of Saint Cajetan and Saint Philip Neri,
and simultaneously with Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Charles Borromeo.
Sculptor - Lazzaro Morelli.
The Saint, in the Habit of The Servite Order, holds a Crucifix in his Left hand.
At his feet, is the Papal Tiara that he shunned.
Philip Benizi, a Florentine physician, became the fifth Superior-General of The Order of Servites. The story is that he tried to become a Lay Brother by pretending to be illiterate, but was found
out and told that he could only remain in The Order if he were Ordained.
When an 
influential Cardinal named him as a possible Papal candidate, Philip was so distressed
by the idea that he hid in a cave until the Papal Election was over.

Servant Of God, Cardinal Rafael Maria Merry Del Val. Appointed Secretary Of State In 1903 By Pope Saint Pius X.

Cardinal Raphael Merry Del Val.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia - unless stated otherwise.
Rafael Merry del Val y de Zulueta (10 October 1865 – 26 February 1930), was a British-born, Spanish, Roman Catholic Cardinal.

Before becoming a Cardinal, he served as The Secretary of The Papal Conclave of 1903 that Elected Pope Saint Pius X, who is said to have accepted his Election through Merry del Val's encouragement.

Pope Saint Pius X later appointed him as The Cardinal Secretary of State. Merry del Val's writings inspired The Litany of Humility.

A cause for his Canonisation was opened in 1953 at the behest of Venerable Pope Pius XII. He now has the Title of Servant of God.

"Our Lady of Ushaw",
Saint Cuthbert's Chapel, 
Ushaw Seminary,
Ushaw, County Durham, 
Where Cardinal Rafael Merry Del Val Y De Zulueta studied.
Illustration: Zephyrinus.
Photo: April 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Zephyrinus.

He was born Rafael María José Pedro Francisco Borja Domingo Gerardo de la Santíssima Trinidad Merry del Val y Zulueta, at The Spanish Embassy in London, England, son of Rafael Carlos Merry del Val, as the second of four sons. 

His mother was Sofia Josefa de Zulueta (died 1925), elder daughter of Pedro José de Zulueta, Count of Torre Díaz, of The London bank of Zulueta and Co., and his wife, Sophia Ann Wilcox, who was of Scottish and Dutch ancestry. 

The Zuluetas were an old Basque family, ennobled as Counts de Torre Díaz in the 19th-Century. His father was Rafael Carlos Merry del Val (1831–1917), Marquess of Merry del Val, Secretary to The Spanish Legation in London, a Monarchist supporter of King Alfonso XII and Nobleman. 

The del Vals were an Aragonese family, originally from Zaragoza, claiming descent from a 12th-Century Breton Crusader; the surname, Merry, came from a Line of Irish Merchants from County Waterford, Ireland, who settled in the Late-18th-Century in Seville, Spain. His elder brother, Alfonso, Marquess of Merry del Val (born 1864), was Spanish Ambassador to The United Kingdom between 1913 and 1931.

Ushaw Seminary, County Durham, England,
where Cardinal Rafael Merry Del Va Y De Zulueta studied.
Solemn High Mass 1960.
Available on YouTube at

Merry del Val lived in England until 1878. His mother's family owned a large villa in Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, Dorset. He attended a Jesuit Preparatory School in Bournemouth at the time The Society was establishing what were to become five Parishes and a School. 

He received his First Holy Communion at Sacred Heart Church on Richmond Hill, and later enrolled at The Northern Seminary of Ushaw College in County Durham in Northern England. He was Ordained a Priest on 30 December 1888, after receiving a Doctorate in Philosophy at The Pontifical Gregorian University. He later received a Doctorate in Theology, and then a Licentiate in Canon Law.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Immaculate Heart Of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Feast Day 22 August.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

The Immaculate Heart of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Feast Day 22 August.

Double of The Second-Class.

White Vestments.

The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Illustration: WALLPAPER CAVE

According to a Tradition, sanctioned by authority, it was at Jerusalem, near the room of The Last Supper, at the spot where now stands a Church committed to the care of The Benedictines, that Mary breathed her last (Secret).

And it is at the foot of The Mount of Olives, in a place where, about 1130, a Monastery of The Benedictine Monks of Cluny was built, that her mortal remains were laid and "she was carried up to Heaven" (Alleluia).

The Pilgrimages, made to this tomb, originated The Feast of The Assumption, which was already Solemnised in The East at the end of the 6th-Century A.D. At the beginning of the 7th-Century A.D., The Feast was also Solemnised at Rome, and it spread with The Roman Liturgy over The Whole West. Pope Leo IV instituted The Octave in 847 A.D.

The Virgin and Infant with Angels.
Artist: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905).
Date: 1900.
Current location: Petit Palais, Paris, France.
Source/Photographer: Art Renewal Centerdescription
Copied from the English Wikipedia to Commons.
(Wikipedia Commons)

"We have accompanied thee with all our Prayers, when thou didst ascend towards thy Son," says Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, "and we have at least followed thee at a distance, O Blessed Virgin ! May thy goodness make known to the World, the Grace bestowed on thee by God: Obtain by thy Holy Prayers, the forgiveness of the guilty, health for the sick, strength for weak Souls, consolation for the afflicted, help and deliverance for those in peril.

O Mary, Queen of Clemency, on this joyful Solemnity, may thy humble servants, who praise and invoke thy sweet name, be overwhelmed with Graces by Jesus Christ thy Son, Our Lord, Who is The Sovereign God, Blessed throughout the ages. Amen." [Fifth and Sixth Lessons at Matins.]

Let us honour Mary with special confidence during these Feasts, which Celebrate her Triumph.

Mass: Adeamus.
Commemoration: Saints Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian. Martyrs.

The Virgin and Infant of The Lilies.
Artist: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905).
Date: 1899.
Author: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Liturgical worship of "The Most Pure Heart of Mary" was suggested by The Fathers who commented The Canticle of Canticles; it was first joined to that of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the 17th-Century, by Saint John Eudes; however, it was only at the beginning of the 19th-Century that Pope Pius VII allowed some places to keep a Feast in its honour, on The Sunday after The Octave of her Assumption.

Blessed Pope Pius IX granted it a Proper Mass and Divine Office (Mass: Omnis Gloria).

In other places, it was kept on the Sunday, or, rather, (since the present Edition of The Roman Missal, made in 1920 in the spirit of Pope Saint Pius X) [Editor: This Text is from the 1945 Edition of The Saint Andrew Daily Missal] on The Saturday after The Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"Regina Caeli"
(Queen of Heaven).
By Marco Frisina.
Available on YouTube at

On 8 December 1942 [Editor: The Feast Day of The Immaculate Conception], during the terrible World War, Pope Pius XII Consecrated the whole of mankind to "The Immaculate Heart of Mary"; consequently, he extended The Feast to The Universal Church and gave it a new Mass and Divine Office by Decree of 4 May 1944.

That Feast, of The Immaculate Heart, is fixed, not to a Sunday, but to the very Octave-Day of The Assumption: Mary in Heaven goes on interceding lovingly on our behalf. Her Heart is the symbol of the ardent love, which she fosters first for God and for her Divine Son (Epistle), but also of her maternal care for all human Souls, which Jesus entrusted her when He died (Gospel, Communion).

We exalt the particular Holiness of her Heart (Gradual, Offertory), and we Pray her (Introit, Collects) to obtain "Peace for all Nations, freedom for The Church, conversion for the sinners, and for all Faithful, love for Chastity and the practice of all Virtues" (Decree 4 May 1944).

The Blessed Virgin Mary 
is Crowned Queen of Heaven 
by Her Beloved Son,

The following Text is from DRUMCREE PARISH

In the midst of The Second World War, Pope Pius XII made an Act of Consecration of The Church and The Whole World to The Immaculate Heart on 31 October 1942, which was then Solemnly proclaimed on 8 December 1942.

Two years later, by a Decree of 4 May 1944, The Holy Father extended The Feast of The Immaculate Heart of Mary to The Universal Church.

[Editor: Prior to which, 22 August had been "The Octave Day of The Assumption". Greater-Double. White Vestments.]

Missa Papae Marcelli. Composed By Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina (1525 - 1594).

Text from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

Pope Marcellus II.
Date: 16th-Century.
Author: Onofrio Panvinio 1529-1568.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Missa Papae Marcelli, or "Pope Marcellus's Mass", is a Mass by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. It is his most well-known and most often-performed Mass, and is frequently taught in University Courses on music. It was always sung at The Papal Coronation Mass (the last being The Coronation of Pope Paul VI in 1963).

"Missa Papae Marcelli".
Composed by: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525 - 1594).
Sung by: The Tallis Scholars.
Director: Peter Phillips.
Available on YouTube at

The Mass was composed in honour of Pope Marcellus II, who reigned for three weeks in 1555. Recent scholarship suggests the most likely date of composition is 1562, when it was copied into a Manuscript at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

The third and closing Sessions of The Council of Trent were held in 1562-1563, at which the use of polyphonic music in The Catholic Church was discussed. Concerns were raised over two problems: First, the use of music that was objectionable, such as secular songs provided with religious lyrics (contrafacta) or Masses based on songs with lyrics about drinking or lovemaking; and, second, whether imitation in polyphonic music obscured the words of The Mass, interfering with the listener's devotion.

Some debate occurred over whether polyphony should be banned outright in worship, and some of the auxiliary publications by attendants of The Council caution against both of these problems. However, none of the official proclamations from The Council mention polyphonic music, excepting one injunction against the use of music that is, in the words of The Council, "lascivious or impure".

Starting in the Late-16th-Century, a legend began that the second of these points, the threat that polyphony might have been banned by The Council, because of the unintelligibility of the words, was the impetus behind Palestrina's composition of this Mass.

It was believed that the simple, declamatory, style of Missa Papae Marcelli convinced Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, on hearing, that polyphony could be intelligible, and that music such as Palestrina's was all too beautiful to ban from The Church.
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