Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Bishops Revive The Traditional Devotions In Response To Abuse Crisis. The Ember Days Are Returned To Pittsburgh And Madison.

Illustration: FR. Z's BLOG

The following Text is taken from NEW ADVENT

Ember Days (corruption from the Latin "Quatuor Tempora" (four times)), are the days at the beginning of the Seasons ordered by The Church as days of Fast and Abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after 13 December (S. Lucia), and after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of The Cross).

The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all Prayer and Fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting, religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: In June, for a bountiful harvest; in September, for a rich vintage; and, in December, for the seeding. Hence, their "feriae sementivae", "feriae messis", and "feri vindimiales".

The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilised for a good purpose. At first, The Church in Rome had Fasts in June, September, and December. The exact days were not fixed, but were announced by the Priests.

The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217 A.D. - 222 A.D.) a law ordering the Fast, but probably it is older. Pope Leo the Great (440 A.D. - 461 A.D.) considered it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth Season was added, cannot be ascertained, but Pope Gelasius (492 A.D. - 496 A.D.) speaks of all four Seasons. Pope Gelasius also permitted the conferring of Priesthood and Deaconship on The Saturdays of Ember Week -- these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius, The Ember Days were known only in Rome, but, after his time, their observance spread. They were brought into England by Saint Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by The Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with The Roman Liturgy in the 11th-Century. They were introduced by Saint Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them.

The present Roman Missal, in The Formulary for The Ember Days, retains in part the old practice of Lessons from Scripture, in addition to The ordinary two Lessons; for the Wednesdays of Ember Weeks, three Lessons; for the Saturdays of Ember Weeks, six Lessons; and seven Lessons for Ember Saturday in December. Some of these Lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

In The Liturgical Calendar of The Western Christian Churches, Ember Days are four separate sets of three days within the same week — specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that are set aside for Fasting and Prayer.

These days, set apart for special Prayer and Fasting, were considered especially suitable for The Ordination of Clergy. The Ember Days are known in Latin as the "quattuor anni tempora" (the "four Seasons of the year"), or, formerly, as the "jejunia quattuor temporum" ("Fasts of the four Seasons").

The four quarterly periods, during which The Ember Days fall, are called The Embertides.

The following Text is taken from, and can be read in full at, FR. Z's BLOG

Bishop Morlino, in his 27 August 2018 Statement, asked The Faithful of The Diocese of Madison to observe The Ember Days as times of reparation for the sins that brought on The Present Crisis. HERE

I read at LIFESITE that Bishop Zubik, of Pittsburgh, which has suffered dreadfully and for a while was a focus of the PA AG Report, has asked The Faithful of that Diocese also to observe The Ember Days.

I am hopeful that this course of events, a return to Tradition and Devotions that work and that have a track record, will bear fruit.

Pittsburgh Bishop Revives Traditional Devotions In Response To Abuse Crisis.

PITTSBURGH, 14 September 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Traditional Devotions, that have all but vanished from the majority of Catholic Parishes, will be revived in one prominent American Diocese on account of the abuse crisis.

Bishop David Zubik, of Pittsburgh, has announced a “Year of Repentance” in his Diocese that will begin on Sunday, 23 September 2018. Bishop Zubik has asked all Clergy to Fast and Pray for The Purification of The Church “in light of the scandal of sex abuse.”

In service of this Fasting and Prayer, the Bishop has instructed the Priests to observe The Twelve Ember Days of the coming year by abstaining from meat and Praying before The Blessed Sacrament for an hour on those days.

Tradition works.

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote to the Irish people, after their world fell apart, he recommended a return to Traditional Devotions.

Maybe he was on to something ?

It is interesting how The Ember Days have been dusted off.

Oh yes . . . there’s more:

In addition, The Bishop of Pittsburgh has asked his Priests to consider leading The Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel after all Masses, a Devotional Practice established in 1884 and discontinued in most Parishes after The Second Vatican Council. Two or three other American Bishops have recently requested its return.

Rather than creep up to it, why not just institute The Leonine Prayers, the whole thing ?

The following Text is from BLOG MY SOUL

The Lenten Ember Days comprise the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the week following The First Sunday in Lent.

Oh, want to know more about Ember Days ?

The handy shortcut for remembering the holidays that herald The Ember Days is:
“Lucy, Ashes, Dove, and Cross:

Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia
Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.

Which is, for those of us who don’t think in Latin:

Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost,
Are when The Quarter Holidays follow.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Saint Januarius And His Companions. Martyrs. Feast Day 19 September.

English: The Martyrdom of Saint Januarius in the Amphitheatre at Pozzuoli.
Artist: Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1653).
Date: Circa 1636.
Current location: Cathedral in Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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

Saint Januarius (San Gennaro) and his Companions.
   Feast Day 19 September.


Red Vestments.

"At Pozzuoli, in Campania, Italy," says The Roman Martyrology, "The Feast of The Holy Martyrs, Januarius (San Gennaro), Bishop of Beneventum, Festus (his Deacon), Desiderius (his Lector), Socius, a Deacon of The Church at Misenum, Proculus, a Deacon of Pozzuoli, Eutychius, and Acutius, who, after having been bound with chains, were cast into prison and beheaded, under Emperor Diocletian (305 A.D.).

"The body of Saint Januarius was taken to Naples and honourably buried in the Church where his blood is still preserved in a glass phial. When the phial is placed near the head of The Holy Martyr, the blood liquefies and bubbles as if it had just been shed."

This Miracle, known as The Miracle of Saint Januarius, still takes place. The blood, contained in two glass phials where it is coagulated into a dark-red mass, increases in volume and weight; on liquefying, it becomes bright-red, while the surface is covered with bubbles, wherefore it is said to boil.

The Miracle takes place three times a year: During the Feast of May, lasting nine days, from the First Sunday in the Month; in September, during eight days, from 19 September to 26 September; and on 16 December.

Mass: Salus autem.
Gospel: Sedénte Jesu.

Zephyrinus Goes To "The Prettiest Theatre In The Kingdom", Whilst Staying With Friends.

Zephyrinus and friends go to the Theatre.

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, England.
Acknowledged to be The Prettiest Theatre in The Kingdom.
Illustration: PINTEREST

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

The Grand was designed by Victorian Theatre Architect Frank Matcham and was opened in 1894, after a construction period of seven months, at a cost of £20,000, between December 1893
and July 1894.

The project was conceived and financed by local Theatre Manager Thomas Sergenson, who had been using the site of The Grand for several years to stage a Circus. He had also transformed the fortunes of other local Theatres.

Matcham's brief was to build Sergenson "The Prettiest Theatre In The Land". The Grand was Matcham's first Theatre to use an innovative '"Cantilever" design to support the Tiers, thereby reducing the need for the usual Pillars, and so allowing clear views of The Stage from all parts of The Auditorium.

Sergenson's successful Directorship of The Theatre ended in 1909, when he sold the operation to
The Blackpool Tower Company for a considerable profit.

The success of The Grand continued through World War I and on until the 1930s. The Theatre now faced stiff competition from the newly-introduced "Talking Pictures" and the building was operated as a Cinema outside the Summer Tourist Season. This practice continued until 1938 when the nearby Opera House was constructed.

The Grand was able to stay open during World War II, but the Post-War rise in the popularity of Television was probably the cause of the Theatre's dwindling popularity toward the 1960s. The Theatre's programme archives show that, from 1964, The Grand was a Summer Seasonal Venue.

Plans were filed for the demolition of the historic site in 1972, but The Grand had become a
Grade II* Listed Building earlier in the year, thanks to the initiative of Jeffrey Finestone, a member of The Victorian Society. This enabled a group of Theatre Friends to successfully oppose any redevelopment.

The Theatre was unused for three years before an agreement was reached with The Grand's owners, EMI, that a refurbishment of the then unused building would take place if it could be used as a Bingo Hall.

After three years of Bingo use, the group of Friends, now called The Friends of The Grand, with the support of Blackpool Borough Council, negotiated to Lease, and eventually Buy, the Theatre back from EMI over a period of a few years.

The purchase was complete by 1 October 1980 and a refurbishment, achieved partly through voluntary effort, was begun. Finally, on 23 March 1981, The Grand re-opened as a Theatre once again to stage an Old Vic performance of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, featuring Timothy West and Prunella Scales. The Theatre's return was further confirmed in May of the same year when a Royal Variety Performance was staged in the presence of Charles, Prince of Wales.

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, England, as it is, today.
Photo: 4 March 2009.
Source: Flickr
Author: Tony Hisgett
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Theatre saw its Centenary in 1994, and a Restoration Project was begun in the 1990s that was completed in 2007 after fifteen years of work and about £3 million of investment.

In 2006, The Grand was named The United Kingdom's National Theatre of Variety. The Title was awarded nationally by Equity who staged an All-Star Gala Performance to celebrate the Theatre's new accolade.

The Friends of The Grand support The Grand Theatre and its programme of events. Formed in 1973, to save the building from demolition, the first Friends were literally "Hands-On". They painted the Dressing Rooms, repaired holes to the Ceiling and helped to get the Theatre into shape.

The interior of The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, England.
Photo: 10 January 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Mdbeckwith
(Wikimedia Commons)

Funds were raised in many ways, including Midnight Matinées; all part of the bid to save the Theatre. Early Friends included Violet CarsonAlistair CookeKen DoddLeslie CrowtherTimothy WestPrunella ScalesBilly Pearce and Johnnie Casson.

The role of The Friends of The Grand has changed over the years. They now raise funds from subscriptions and social events to finance projects within the Theatre, primarily aimed at enhancing the comfort of the patrons. The Friends have contributed in excess of £750,800 towards projects including the provision of new Carpets, Seating and Technical Equipment. By Autumn 2008, The Friends had contributed almost £250,000 to The Sam Lee Appeal to improve the amenities and to renovate the Theatre Interior.

The Friends are also The Founding Angel of The National Theatre of Variety.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Autumn Ember Days This Week.

The following Text is from THE MISSIVE

On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, this week,
we Commemorate the Autumn Ember Days.

The Ember Days take place four times a year, 
near the commencement of the four Seasons: 

On the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 
following Ash Wednesday, and on the same
days following Pentecost, The Feast of The Exaltation
of The Holy Cross, on 14 September,
and The Feast of Saint Lucy, on 13 December.

Observed at Rome, at least as far back
as the 3rd-Century A.D., the practice of The Ember Days aims to offer thanks to God for the gifts of Creation,
to ask for His Grace in using them in moderation,
and to assist the needy.

The Ember Days consist of Prayer, along with Fasting and Abstinence, or other forms of Penance.
The September Ember Days come at a fortuitous time, when a great deal of Reparation and Penance
are necessary to remedy the ills in The Church.

Moreover, The Ember Days were often a time 
during which Ordinations took place, so they are
a good occasion to Pray for Priests.

Although all Penances and extra Prayers on
The Ember Days are voluntary, let us join in, as 
we are able, and Pray for The Church and her Ministers.

Convertére, Dómine, aliquántulum, et deprecáre super servos tuos. Dómine, refúgium factus es nobis, a generatiónes et progénie.

Return, O Lord, a little, and be entreated
in favour of Thy servants. Lord, Thou hast been
our refuge, from generation to generation.

– The Gradual on Ember Friday and after
The Third Lesson on Ember Saturday.

Saint Joseph Of Cupertino. Confessor. Feast Day, Today, 18 September.

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

Saint Joseph of Cupertino.
   Feast Day 18 September.


White Vestments.

English: Saint Joseph of Cupertino is lifted in flight at the sight of The Basilica of Loreto,
Italiano: S. Giuseppe da Copertino si eleva in volo alla vista della Basilica di Loreto.
Artist: Ludovico Mazzanti (1686-1775).
Date: 18th-Century.
Current location: Church of Saint Joseph of Cupertino, Osimo, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)

A humble son of Saint Francis, whose Stigmata we Commemorated yesterday, Saint Joseph also glorifies The Cross of Jesus, which The Liturgy exalted, recently, on 14 September (The Exaltation of The Holy Cross).

Like the Seraphic Patriarch, he strove to remain attached to The Cross by absolute Poverty, heroic Obedience, and Virginal Purity.

Such was his spirit of sacrifice and Prayer, that he accepted with Holy Patience and great serenity to be misunderstood and calumniated (Offertory). Wherefore, God, Who exalts the humble, caused him to pass from the rank of Brother to that of Clerk and to be made a Priest.

He wrought such Miracles that he implored Heaven to withdraw from him the remarkable powers with which he was endowed. He died a Holy Death at Osimo, Italy, in 1663.

Mass: Diléctio Dei.
Gospel: Loquebátur Jesus.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Joseph of Cupertino, O.F.M. Conv. (Italian: Giuseppe da Copertino) (17 June 1603 – 18 September 1663) was an Italian Conventual Franciscan Friar who is honoured as a Christian Mystic and Saint. He was said to be prone to miraculous levitation and intense ecstatic visions that left him gaping.

English: The Nave of the Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice, Italy.
Altarpiece: The Miracle of Saint Joseph of Cupertino.
Français: La partie droite de la nef de la Basilique Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
Tableau du retable : Le miracle de Joseph de Cupertinopar Giuseppe Nogari.
Italiano: Il lato destro della navata della Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
Pala d'altare: Il miracolo di Giuseppe da Copertino daGiuseppe Nogari.
Giuseppe Nogari (1699–1766).
Photo: 30 May 2016.
Source: Own work.Author: Didier Descouens.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Impression Of The Stigmata of Saint Francis. Confessor. Feast Day 17 September.

English: Saint Francis of Assisi.
Polski: Św. Franciszek z Asyżu.
Artist: Cigoli (1559–1613).
Date: 1597-1599.
Current location: Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

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

The Impression of The Stigmata of Saint Francis.
   Feast Day 17 September.


White Vestments.

Two years before his death, Saint Francis retired to Mount Alverno, Italy, where he began a Fast of Forty Days in honour of Saint Michael The Archangel. And lo ! In the midst of his Meditations, he saw a figure, like a Seraphim, with six wings dazzling and burning, whose feet and hands were nailed to a Cross.

Aware that suffering is incompatible with the immortality of a Seraphic Spirit, he understood this to mean that he would become more like Jesus and bear his Cross after Him (Gospel), not by physical Martyrdom, but by a Mystical kindling of Divine Love.

English: Basilica of Saint Francis, Assisi, Italy.
Photo: 7 March 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Berthold Werner.
(Wikimedia Commons)

And, in order that this Crucified Love might become an example to us all, five wounds, resembling those of Jesus on The Cross, appeared on his feet, hands, and side. From his side, blood flowed abundantly.

The facts were so fully authenticated, later, that Pope Benedict XI ordered them to be Commemorated every year, and Pope Paul V, to kindle in The Faithful The Love of Jesus Crucified, extended The Feast to the whole Church.

Mass: As on The Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi on 4 October,
   except Proper Collects and Gospel.
Gospel: Si quis vult.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Saints Euphemia, Lucy, And Geminianus. Martyrs. Feast Day 16 September.

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

Saints Euphemia, Lucy, And Geminianus.
   Feast Day 16 September.


Red Vestments.

"At Chalcedon," says The Roman Martyrology, "the birth in Heaven of Saint Euphemia, Virgin and Martyr, who was condemned to the wild beasts." This happened in 307 A.D.

"At Rome, The Holy Martyrs Lucy, a noble lady, and Geminianus, who were beheaded by order of Emperor Diocletian, about 300 A.D.

Mass: Intret. Of several Martyrs.
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