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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In honour of St. Peter, Apostle

Simon Peter saith to them:
"I go a fishing."
(Jn. 21:3)

On the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul
Brother Ivan said that it would be a good day
to go a fishing.

Three set out in the boat at three o'clock.
They returned home in the evening
with a catch.

Jesus saith to them:
Bring hither of the fishes
which you have now caught.

(Jn. 21:10)

157 Mackerel
25 Coley Fish
11 Cod

At 10.10 p.m. the fish were nearly all processed
for the freezer.

In honour of St Peter:
193 Fish.
The best catch in a long time.

Deo gratias!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, Sunday 27 June

Solemn First Vespers.

(Ps. CXXI.)

Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi :* ...
I rejoiced at the things that were said to me:
We shall go into the house of the Lord.

Magnificat Antiphon:
Sancta Maria, succurre miseris, ...
Holy Mary, succour those in misery,
strengthen the faint-hearted, comfort the sorrowful,
pray for the people, intercede for the clergy,
plead for all women consecrated to God.

... sentiant omnes tuum iuvamen, ...
May all experience Thy help -
all who are celebrating Thy holy feast.

Benedicamus Domino.
Let us bless the Lord.

Mass of the Feast.

Celebrated by Father Anthony Mary, F.SS.R.
on his 19th anniversary of Ordination.

Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris, ...
We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation,
beseeching Thy clemency,
that it may ascend in the sight of Thy divine majesty
with a sweet savour,
for our own salvation and for that of the whole world.

Haec quotiescumque feceritis,
in mei memoriam facietis.
As often as ye shall do these things,
ye shall do them in remembrance of Me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The end of the Roman pilgrimage

Although we have now returned from our pilgrimage, we were not able to post our last photos since we had no internet access, so here they are now.

We visited several churches. First on the list was St.Peter in chains.

The chains of St.Peter with which he was bound while in Rome.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the book of Acts describes the story well:
“Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. (Acts 12:5-7)

We were able to say mass on the altar before the chains. St. John Chrysostom’s words on St. Paul’s chains apply equally to St.Peter’s: “No glittering diadem so adorns the head as a chain borne for Christ. Were the choice offered me either of heaven or of this chain suffered for Christ, I would take the chain. If I might have stood with the angels above, near the throne of God, or have been bound with Paul, I should have preferred the dungeon. Had you rather been the angel loosing Peter or Peter in chains? I would rather have been Peter. The gift of chains is something greater than power to stop the sun, to move the world, or to command the devils.” In the crypt behind the chains there is an altar with the relics of the 7 Machabees brothers, martyrs.

After mass we visited the Basilica of St. Mary Majors, the chief Marian Basilica in the world…

…and venerated the relics of our Lord’s crib which are kept there. The wood from the crib can be seen through the glass in the silver reliquary.

We next visited the church of St. Alphonsus, and prayed before the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour.

From there we visited the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

The table of the Last supper. The wood of the table can be seen through the transparent part of the reliquary.

Santa Maria in Aracoeli, built on the site of the ancient Roman capital, rises above the ruins of a temple to Juno Moneta. According to legend, the Emperor Augustus, disturbed by rumors that the Senate was about to honor him as a God, consulted the Tiburtine Sibyl, who prophesied the descent from the skies of "the King of the ages." As she spoke, the Emperor beheld a marvelous vision - the Virgin standing on an altar in a dazzling light and holding the baby Jesus in her arms - and heard a voice which said: "This is the altar of the Son of God." The Emperor immediately raised an altar on the site, the Ara Coeli, or altar of the heavens. The original altar now stands in the transept chapel in which St. Helena is buried and bears an inscription: Struxit Octavianus hanc aram coeli sacra proles dum patet ei. (Octavian built this altar when the offspring of heaven appeared to him.) The richly gilded ceiling was presented by the Roman senate in 1571, in thanksgiving to Our lady for the Victory over the Moslems at the Battle of Lepanto.

Father Anthony saying mass in the side chapel of St. Gregory in the Ara Coeli.

The body of the Franciscan Martyr St. John of Triora, martyred in China in 1816 lies below the altar.

There are 124 steps that one needs to climb in order to reach the Ara Coeli, which was once the highest point in Rome, until Mussolini built his monument to Victor Emmanuel. We were however told that the distinction of being the highest point in Rome now belongs to the Vatican Radio tower.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

18 June 2008 - A good day!

"18th June, 2008 -
A good day!"

I received a kind message from Jean-Paul,
a Catholic in France,
regarding our canonical status.

He alerted me to this post:
and the response made to it by
Professor Luc Perrin of the Strasbourg University.

I made the following reply to Jean-Paul:

Dear Jean-Paul

Thank you for your kind email and your hope that our community will flower in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Thank you too for your concern and fraternal charity. Please thank Professor PERRIN on our behalf for his insights and expertise on these matters.

On Friday, 18 June, we will celebrate the second anniversary of our coming into undisputed Communion with the Holy See through his Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. Professor PERRIN says that it is a long time to have waited without a canonical structure; a record. ("Bref deux ans sans statut, c'est à ma connaissance unique dans l'histoire des sociétés traditionnelles.")

Still, to all our friends we say that since we continue to rejoice in our decision of two years ago and have not the slightest regret for making such a good choice, and since 'patience hath a perfect work', I invite you to be glad with us this Friday, 'being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in' us 'will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus'.(Phil. 1:6)
To Whom alone be Glory, Praise and Thanksgiving for ever.

Fr. Michael Mary

P.S. I will post this also on our blog.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Help Bishop Coutts fight a Pakistani - Islamic law that permitted a 5 year old child to be burned to death for blasphemy.

Bishop Coutts has received death threats.
"We will not let ourselves be terrified by intimidation."

(Translation of the image)
Say No to the anti-blasphemy law of Pakistan

[Sign the petition] -Button
With Bishop Coutts and the AED (Aid to the Church in Distress)
let us denounce persecutions!

The French section of Aid to the Church in Need is urging people worldwide to sign a petition denouncing a "blasphemy law" that allows for grave injustices in Pakistan.

The aid agency explained on its Web site that 1,000 Pakistanis have been condemned because of their faith due to this law, such as a 5-year-old child who was burned alive for being a Christian, and is calling for support and worldwide prayer for the victims of this law as well as their families.

The petition, which was launched June 7, gathered more than 4,600 signatures in the first week. Supporters can add their signatures to the appeal against the blasphemy law and send messages of support, prayers and donations to the Catholic Church in Pakistan through the Web site.

The petition states: "We appeal to the government of Pakistan to repeal immediately the law on blasphemy, in particular paragraph 295 C of the criminal code, which establishes the death penalty for the offenders; we appeal to the government to guarantee the rights of all religious minorities of the country."

Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Pakistan, said that this law "has been used for some time to oppress and persecute the religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians," who represent 1.6% of the population.

The prelate, president of the Pakistani bishops' conference Justice and Peace Commission, is calling for the withdrawal of the anti-blasphemy law.

According to the bishop, the problem of the law against blasphemy worsened dramatically in 2001, when anti-Western feeling increased in Pakistan, reaching its peak with recent American interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The law on blasphemy, which is included in Pakistan's criminal code, allows for imprisonment and even capital punishment for those who are seen as insulting or profaning the name of the prophet Muhammad or the Qur'an.

In 1927, paragraph 295 was added to the criminal code to address "deliberate and malicious acts with the intention to offend the religious sentiments of any group by insulting their religion or their religious belief."

General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq

However, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistani president from 1977 to 1988, introduced several amendments to the code, including life imprisonment for anyone who profanes the Qur'an and the death penalty for anyone who insults the prophet.

Since then, many Christians have suffered humiliations and persecutions as a result of false accusations of violating this law.
Marc Fromager, director of the French section of Aid to the Church in Need, said that this law is not precise in its formulation as it does not differentiate between a deliberate and a non-deliberate action.

Moreover, he said, according to this law, a person can be accused without proofs and the claimant has a status of impunity.

He noted that there have been an increasing number of sham trials and greater harshness in the punishments.

Arrests, murders and massacres have increased since the promulgation of these laws, Fromager said, and hundreds of places of worship have been destroyed.

The bishops' conference Justice and Peace Commission estimated that there have been 993 innocent victims of this law between 1986 and 2010, 120 of whom were Christians.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Leaving Rome for two days, we have extended our pilgrimage to Loreto.

After a 5 hour train ride we reached Loreto at around 2 p.m. and climbed the hill with Mass kit and luggage, all this with the temperature at 35 degrees centigrade and dressed in our “Orkney weather proof” woollen habits.

Quite an exhausting climb overall in order to reach this “city on the top of a hill”.

The square in front of the Basilica of Loreto that holds the flying Holy House of Loreto, transported by angels first from Nazareth to Croatia and then to the top of the hill of Loreto.

The holy House of Loreto is encased in a beautifully carved marble structure that acts as a sort of giant reliquary for the Holy House.

The interior of the Holy House of Loreto. The stones on the walls are smooth from the touch of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims over the centuries. The darkness of the chapel and the prohibition of flash photography make it hard to get a clear picture.

In this picture it can be seen that the Holy House has remained standing for centuries without any foundations. The dimensions of the Holy House correspond exactly to that of the foundations of the House that remain in Nazareth.

In the evening there is a candlelit procession for the sick around the square with the statue of Our Lady of Loreto borne in procession. The procession may have lacked the numbers of the processions in Lourdes and Fatima, but certainly not the enthusiasm and devotion.

The next morning we were woken up around 5 a.m. to the sound of the Litany of the Saints over blaring loud speakers and the enthusiastic singing of 40,000 marching pilgrims! They had walked all night from Macerata to Loreto ,a distance of around 30 miles. The Macerata – Loreto pilgrimage is an annual event that takes place every year on the 2nd Sunday of June and attracts a crowd of 40,000 to 60,000 pilgrims.

The square in front of the basilica and the basilica itself were packed with pilgrims for the next 2 hours.

It is quite fitting that Our Lady of the flying House of Loreto is the patron of aviators. Here She is borne on the shoulders of pilots with great solemnity through the streets of Loreto at the end of the procession.

Father Anthony said Mass in the chapel of the Sacred Heart which is right next to the Holy House.

We were privileged to join the long list of pilgrims and saints (including St. Alphonsus, St. Clement and St. John Neuman) who carved these deep ridges in the marble floor around the holy house with their knees.

- A pilgrim

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More from Rome

Some more photos from our pilgrimage for the closing of the year of the priest.

A view of St Peter's prayer vigil before adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and benediction.

The exterior of the church of St. Cecilia run by Benedictine nuns.

Thanksgiving after Mass. We were very blessed to be able to say Mass in the beautiful crypt before the tomb of St. Cecilia on the feast day of the Sacred Heart. Directly behind the altar are the incorrupt relics of St Cecilia. Also found there are the relics of her chaste husband, St. Valerian as well as several other saints including St. Valerian's brother.

Some of the confreres in prayer before the tomb of St. Cecilia. The altar at which we said Mass is directly below, with the relics situated under the statue.

Today’s gruelling afternoon walk in the relentless Roman sun started off with a visit to the Basilica of St. Bartholomew situated on the Isola Tiberina, an island in the Tiber. The church is run by Franciscans and the body of St. Bartholomew, Apostle and martyr lies in the main Altar.

We visited several other churches, one of which was the Church of S. Maria dei Monti.

The side altar to the left had the body of St. Benedict Joseph Labre.

The Basilica of St.s Cosmas and Damian.

The eternal city!

- A pilgrim


We have been visiting a number of chuches in Rome during our pilgrimage. Here are some photos.

The church of St Nicholas in Carcere. For more information see this previous post.

The exterior of S. Maria in Cosmedin. It is a composite monument which has been greatly transformed through the centuries, and was built on the foundation of temples dedicated to Hercules and Ceres.

The interior of the same church.

S. Maria in Cosmedin houses the relics of St. Valentine.

Mass in the church of San Benedetto in Piscinula.

The little room which can be seen at the back in the picture is the room St. Benedict lived in while in Rome. This is where he lived his life of prayer and penance and was inspired to leave the world and become a monk. This tiny room, then, was the place which gave birth to the rise of Western monasticism.

The Transalpine Redemptorist confreres with the Heralds of the Gospel who look after the church of San Benedetto in Piscinula.

- A pilgrim.

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