Carissimi; Today’s Mass: Vigil of the feast of St Matthias, Apostle

Vigil of the feast of St Matthias, Apostle: Missa “Ego autem” The Church attaches great importance to the feasts of the Apostles, which are preceded by a Vigil (Collect). Saint Matthias, elected by the will of God (Gospel) received Judas’ share in the inheritance of the Church which was figured by the Promised Land divided into…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Feria VI of Septuagesima

Feria VI of Septuagesima: Missa “Circumdederunt me” Septuagesima Sunday is the third Sunday before the start of Lent, which makes it the ninth Sunday before Easter. Traditionally, Septuagesima Sunday marked the beginning of preparations for Lent. Septuagesima and the following two Sundays (Sexagesima, Quinquagesima) were celebrated by name in the traditional Roman Catholic liturgical calendar,…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Cuthman of Steyning

S. Cuthman, Hermit & Confessor; Patronal Festival: Missa “QUIS DABIT MIHI” Steyning in West Sussex is quite unique in having its most famous Saxon son’s legends thrive despite Norman attempts to obliterate his memory. Such was, and indeed is, St Cuthman’s  popularity that he has been accredited with several “miraculous” legends, usually incurring the wrath of god…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Dorothea of Caesarea, Virgin Martyr

St Dorothea of Caesarea, Virgin Martyr: Missa “Me expectaverunt“ According to her apocryphal tradition, Dorothy was a resident of Caesarea, Cappadocia, who when she refused to sacrifice to the gods during Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of the Christians, was tortured by the governor and ordered executed. On the way to the place of execution, she met a…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Blaise

St Blaise, Bishop & Martyr; Comm. St Laurence of Canterbury, Bishop & Confessor: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus” St Blaise: Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Saint…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Ignatius of Antioch

S. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr: Missa “Mihi autem absit” Today is the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr. This Bishop of Antioch, like St. Polycarp, was a disciple of St. John the Apostle. St. Ignatius was the third successor of St. Peter at Antioch; a tradition says that he was held on…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Bathildis, Queen

S. Bathildis (Batilde), Queen: Missa “Cognovi, Domine” Wife of Clovis II, King of France, time and place of birth unknown; d. January; 680. According to some chronicles she came from England and was a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon kings, but this is a doubtful statement. It is certain that she was a slave in the…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; S. Agnes Virgin and Martyr

S. Agnes Virgin & Martyr (Octave Day): Missa “Vultum tuum” As it coincided with her “octave day” a legend grew, saying that Agnes appeared on this day to her parents praying at her tomb, surrounded by a “bevy of virgins” (Introit), resplendent with light. “On her right hand was a lamb whiter than snow: it was…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Timothy, Bishop & Martyr

S. Timothy, Bishop and Martyr: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus” Saint Timothy was a convert of Saint Paul, born at Lystra in Asia Minor. His mother was a daughter of Israel, but his father was a pagan, and though Timothy had read the Scriptures from his childhood, he had never been circumcised. On the arrival of Saint Paul at…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; S. Agnes Virgin and Martyr

S. Agnes Virgin and Martyr: Missa “Me exspectaverunt peccatores” Martyred for her faith at the early age of twelve, Saint Agnes was one of the youngest-known named martyrs in the Communion of Saints. She was born into a wealthy Roman aristocratic family and was remarkable for her beauty as a child. But the true beauty was…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; S. Anthony, Abbot

S. Antony, Abbot: Missa “Os justi” After St. Paul the Hermit, father of the Anchorites or hermits, the Christmas Cycle honours Saint Anthony, father of the Cenobites, who live in common. When he was 18, he retired into the Egyptian desert and led the life of a hermit. The devil, in order to frighten him…

Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Pope St Marcellus I, Martyr

Pope Saint Marcellus I, Martyr: Missa “Statuit ei Dominus” Nothing of Marcellus’ life before his papacy has survived the centuries. He became Pope at the end of the persecutions of Diocletian in aound 308-309. The persecutions had disrupted the Church so much that there had been a gap of over a year with no Pope. Once…