Notre Dame de Rouen. The façade of the Gothic Church in France. Photographer: Hippo1947. Licence: SHUTTERSTOCK.

Sunday 2 March 2014


Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Illustrations, unless stated otherwise, are taken from 
The Saint Andrew Daily Missal at UNA VOCE OF ORANGE COUNTY
and are reproduced there with the kind permission of ST. BONAVENTURE PRESS

Quinquagesima Sunday.
Station at Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome.

Privilege of the Second Class.
Violet Vestments.

Jesus said to him: "Receive thy sight, thy faith hath made thee whole".

In the same way that the first three Prophecies of Holy Saturday, with their accompanying Prayers, are concerned with Adam, Noah and Abraham, so, during the Septuagesima Season, our attention is called in Missal and Breviary to these same Patriarchs, known respectively by the Church as the father of the human race, the father of future generations and the father of those who believe.

Adam, Noah and Abraham were types of Christ in the Paschal Mystery, a fact which we have already shown to be true in the case of the first two, in our notes on Septuagesima Sunday and Sexagesima Sunday. That it is true of Abraham, also, we shall see today.

In the Ambrosian Liturgy, Passion Sunday was called "Abraham's Sunday" and the "Response of Abraham" was read in the Office for that day; in the Roman Liturgy, also, he is still the subject of the Gospel for Passion Sunday.

The Introit
for Quinquagesima Sunday.
Available on YouTube at

Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, 
ut salvum me facias: quoniam firmamentum meum, 
et refugium meum es tu: et propter nomen 
tuum dux mihi eris,
et enutries me.

Ps. In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum: 
in iustitia tua libera me, et eripe me. 

V. Gloria Patri.

"Abraham, your father", says Our Lord, "rejoiced that he might see My day, he saw it and was glad
. . . Amen, Amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am". God had indeed promised Abraham that the Messias should descend from him, and he was overwhelmed with great joy, when, by Faith, he contemplated beforehand the day of the Redeemer's coming.

Again, when this was fulfilled, he still contemplated it with a fresh joy in Limbo, where he was waiting, with the Just Men of the Old Law, for Jesus to come and deliver them after His Passion. When the three weeks of the Septuagesima Season were added to Lent, Quinquagesima became the Sunday on which the Liturgy is devoted to Abraham, so that, in the Lessons and Responses for today, the whole history of the Patriarch is described.

The Offertory
for Quinquagesima Sunday.
Available on YouTube at

Psalm CXVIII.12-13.
Bendictus es, Domine, 
doce me iustificationes tuas: 
in labiis meis pronuntiavi 
omnia iudicia oris tui.

With the desire of forming a people, who should be specially His own in the midst of the idolatrous nations of the world (Gradual and Tract), Almighty God chose Abraham as its Head and gave him his name, which means father of many nations. "And He took him from Ur, in Chaldee, and kept him from harm in all his wanderings" [Prayers taken from the Rituale Romanum, for the Recommendation of a Soul, and before a journey].

The Communion
for Quinquagesima Sunday.
Available on YouTube at

Psalm LXXVII. 29-30.
Manducaverunt, et saturati sunt nimis,
et desiderium eorum attulit eis Dominus:
non sunt fraudati a desidero suo.

A man is not saved by being a son of Abraham, according to the flesh, but by being Abraham's son by means of a Faith like his. So Saint Paul writes: "In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision (to be a Jew) availeth anything, nor uncircumcision (to be a Gentile), but a new creature". "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness".

If the custom of allowing ourselves a little relaxation of spirit, before undertaking the Lenten Penance which binds us all, is of Liturgical origin, let us not forget that the Church condemns all excess. To atone, therefore, for those sins that are committed, let us make a Solemn Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, besides saying this Prayer of Reconciliation known as the Forty Hours' Prayer, which was instituted, either, by Saint Anthony-Mary Zaccaria († 1539), or by the Capuchin Father, Joseph Piantanida da Fermo (about 1636), a Prayer richly Indulgenced by Pope Clement XIII (1765).

The Forty Hours' Devotion originated from the Forty Hours that Jesus passed in the tomb. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was included but at a later date, and regulated by Pope Clement XI, in 1705.

Every Parish Priest celebrates Mass for the people of his Parish.

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