Pope Benedict XVI

"Beauty... is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God Himself and His revelation."
(Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 35)

24 October 2011

Sunday 30 October - Christ the King

Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Feast of Christ the King 


In the 'traditional' Calendar the feast of Christ the King is celebrated on the last Sunday of October, the Sunday which precedes All Saints. 

The feast was instituted on this day in 1925 by Pius XI in his Encyclical Quas Primas, which reminds us that "once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony" (Quas Primas, # 19).

The encyclical has lost none of its importance, or relevance, as it speaks of the Eternal Truth, of Him, whose empire embraces all men (cf. Quas Primas, #18). It is in, and through, Him alone that there "is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society" as:
"...there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved [Acts iv, 12]. He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord? [S. Aug. Ep. ad Macedonium, c. iii. ] If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ" (Quas Primas, # 18).
We are reminded, and never more true than now, that it is through, and in, Christ that there are to be found all the remedies needed in society. It is through the understanding of this feast that one "shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society " (Quas Primas, # 24). A plague that has only spread:
"We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit... has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences" (Quas Primas, # 24).
As exhorted in the encyclical there follows after the Mass a Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as-well-as a Litany and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. 

In praying the Consecration, and under all the usual conditions, the faithful receive a plenary indulgence.

Prayer of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus 
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever." Amen. 

22 October 2011

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Image source: Jerome Nadal SJ
"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who made a marriage feast for his son... the king went in to see the guests, and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen."
Extracts from the Sunday Gospel, Matt 22:1-14

Mass at 5pm, St Patrick's Church, College Rd, Kilkenny.

18 October 2011

Upcoming Holydays - Mass schedule in Kilkenny

1. Christ the King (Sunday 30th of October), 5pm - Sung Mass. 

Celebrant: Very. Rev. A. O'Connor PP.
St. Patrick's Church, College Rd., Kilkenny

Mass is followed by exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament , during which the prayer consecrating the human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is recited.
The faithful are reminded that praying the Consecration on this day (and under all the usual conditions) they will receive a plenary indulgence.

2. All Saints (Tuesday 1st of November), 5pm -  'Low Mass'. 

Celebrant: Rev. Thomans O'Toole. CC.
St. Patrick's Church, College Rd., Kilkenny

3. All Souls (Wednesday 2nd November), 7.30pm. 
Sung Requiem Mass with Absolutions at the catafalque. 

Celebrant: Rev. Thomas O'Toole. CC. 
St. Patrick's Church, College Rd., Kilkenny

17 October 2011

The desecration of the church of St. Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano

Barbarians and vandals once more in Rome! 
Pray for these people, and the Holy Father. 
The church is situated near the Lateran basilica and was targeted during the so called “day of rage”.

Saturday’s violent clashes in central Rome included an attack by protesters on the church of Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano in which a crucifix and a statue of the Virgin Mary were destroyed.

The Vatican described the violence of the 'protest' as horrific, during which the church w
as desecrated by some protesters, other property damaged, and over 130 people injured throughout the course of the day.

The 18th-century church is near St John Lateran square where much of Saturday’s violence occurred.

“When I came down, I saw the entrance door had been smashed in,” the church’s parish priest, Father Giuseppe Ciucci, was quoted by Italian media as saying.

“The Virgin Mary’s statue, which was near the entrance, had been taken away and I saw it had been thrown into the street and smashed,” he said.

“I went into the sacristy and I saw the door there was also destroyed. The large crucifix at the entrance had been vandalized,” he added.


15 October 2011

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

"And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven you... that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins,
- then He said to the paralytic - Arise... But when the crowds saw it, 
they were struck with fear, and glorified God Who had given such power to men.
Extracts from the Sunday Gospel, Matt 9:1-8
Mass at 5pm, St Patrick's Church, College Rd, Kilkenny.

13 October 2011

Our Lady of Fatima

Today is marked as an anniversary in the 1917 apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady warned that soon an atheistic form of government, life, and society would spread through out the world, and that the Holy Father and Church would have much to suffer unless there was a conversion to Christ through her Immaculate Heart.
We now see the increasingly aggressive forms of secularism, and the attacks on life, the family, and religious freedom. 
For five months the mother of Christ had first appeared to three children to make a series of requests and predictions about prayer, penance, war and peace. She pleaded that we amend our lives and turn to Christ, through her Immaculate Heart, She also asked especially for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

The solar miracle accompanied her last appearance on October 13, 1917, included one of the most dramatic public miracles of modern times, a well-documented event known today as the “Miracle of the Sun.” On that day, 70,000 people watched as the sun appeared to make three circles and “dance” in the sky in a zig-zag pattern.
We were all asked in particular to pray the Rosary daily, work towards our own personal sanctification, to do reparation for offences against God, penance, and the practice of attending Mass on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.

08 October 2011

Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

"... which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him, 
‘You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. 
And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself." 
Extract from today's Gospel - Matt 22:34-46 

Mass at 5pm, St Patrick's Church, College Rd, Kilkenny,

Celebrant: Rev Thomas O’Toole CC

07 October 2011

Feast of the Holy Rosary

The Battle of Lepanto
O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has merited for us the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech You, that, 
meditating on those mysteries in the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.

Today we recall the countless conversions and miracles that have been attributed to the intercession of Our Lady through praying the Most Holy Rosary. There is however one particular historical event, which caused the Pope to institute this feast, on this day, in the Churches calendar.

The feast was instituted after the naval victory of Lepanto. A victory in which the combined papal, Spanish, Venetian, and Genoese fleets, under Don John of Austria, conquered the Turkish fleet on 7 Oct., 1571. On the same day, the first Sunday of October in 1571, processions had been made at Rome by the members of the Rosary confraternity praying for the intersession of Our Lady of the Rosary. St. Pius V, upon hearing of the victory ordered that a commemoration of the Rosary should be made by the Church on this day. It was of great importance as being the first great defeat of the infidels on the sea.

At the request of the Dominican Order Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the Holy Rosary. In 1671 the observance of this festival was extended by Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Clement XI after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August, 1716 (the feast of our Lady of the Snows), at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the Rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church. A set of "proper" lessons in the second nocturn were conceded by Benedict XIII. Leo XIII has since raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class and has added to the Litany of Loreto the invocation "Queen of the Most Holy Rosary". 

On this feast, in every church in which the Rosary confraternity has been duly erected, a plenary indulgence toties quoties is granted upon certain conditions to all who visit therein the Rosary chapel or statue of Our Lady. This has been called the "Portiuncula" of the Rosary.

Thurston, Herbert. "Feast of the Holy Rosary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912.
Vailhé, Siméon. "Lepanto." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910

San Martino - Venice, Italy. Battle of Lepanto Crucifix 
At 'the Battle of Lepanto', a certain Sebastiano Venier commanded the Venetian fleet. The image above depicts a 14th Century wood crucifix is called the 'Lepanto Cross' by the Venetians. Ship builders and Venetian soldiers in the nearly adjacent 'Arsenale' were devoted to the crucifix. It was moved to San Martino after the destruction of the nearby church of the Madonna dell’Arsenale. The local tradition is that it was carried on a Venetian galley at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Europe’s great victory against the Ottoman Empire. 

It was the custom that all Catholic vessels carried a crucifix at the quarterdeck, from which the custom of saluting the quaterdeck in-fact originates in our modern naval services. This battle was also the largest (and probably the last on this scale) naval battle in which galleys were used.

03 October 2011

Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi

The chapel of the Transitus is a simple stone building, which served as the infirmary for the first friary now with the basilica of Our Lady of the Angels.
Saint Francis died during the evening of October 3. The Church observes the feast of Saint Francis on October 4, the day of his death.

"Two years thereafter he fell sick unto death, and was fain to be carried into the Church of St Mary-of-the-Angels, that he might give up the breath of life in the same place where God had breathed into him the breath of the life of grace. Being there (laid on the earth, sprinkled with ashes, and covered with an old habit,) he exhorted the Friars to be poor and lowly, and to cleave to the faith of the Holy Church of Rome. (He then caused the Gospel of St John to be read from the words Now before the feast of the Passover to the end,) after which he began to recite the 141st Psalm: I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and in uttering the words, the righteous wait for me, till Thou deal bountifully with me, he gave up the ghost... "

This human and liturgical event is solemnly remembered each year by Franciscans, to honour their holy Father's entrance into the joy of being with the Most Blessed Trinity.
O God, you granted our blessed Father Francis the reward of everlasting joy: 
grant that we, who celebrate the memory of his death,
may at last come to the same eternal joy; 
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The church of Our Lady of the Angels - Portiuncula, now enclosed in the Basilica
Interior of the church.

02 October 2011


"For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, 
and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
 Extract from today's Gospel - Luke 14:1-11

Mass at 5pm, St Patrick's Church, College Rd, Kilkenny,
Celebrant: Rev Thomas O’Toole CC
Today is also the feast of the Guardian Angels. It is not commemorated in the Mass (in the 1962 Missal), but it is fitting that especially today we remember the presence of our, and all the Holy Angels.
O God, Who in thine unspeakable Providence hast been pleased to give thine holy Angels charge over us, to keep us, mercifully grant unto our prayers, that we be both ever fenced by their wardship here, and everlastingly blessed by their fellowship hereafter.