Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Irish Bishop celebrates Latin Mass

Bishop Colm O'Reilly of Ardagh & Clonmacnois is to offer the Latin Mass (delete Extraordinary form substitute Ordinary form for almost two millenia) on Sunday, 23 September 2007.

This Mass will take place at 11am in St. Mary's Church, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford as part of a commemoration of the Bicentenary of the death of Monsignor Henry Essex Edgeworth de Firmont. A schedule of the Bicentenary Events for the Abbé Edgeworth, who accompanied Louis XVI to the Guillotine in 1793, willl follow shortly.

Bishop O'Reilly will be the fourth Irish diocesan bishop to offer traditional Mass in recent years, following Bishops Daly and Hegarty of Derry and Archbishop Martin of Dublin.

When the Archbishop of Paris was obliged to fly in 1792 in order to save his life, he vested the Abbé Edgeworth with all his powers, making him his grand vicaire, and committed the great diocese to his care. In answer to the urgent entreaties of his friends to seek safety in Ireland or England, at this time, the abbé replied: "Almighty God has baffled my measures, and ties me to this land of horrors by chains I have not the liberty to shake off. The case is this: the wretched master [the king] charges me not to quit this country, as I am the priest whom he intends to prepare him for death. And should the iniquity of the nation commit this last act of cruelty, I must also prepare myself for death, as I am convinced the popular rage will not allow me to survive an hour after the tragic scene; but I am resigned. Could my life save him I would willingly lay it down, and I should not die in vain"


When the axe of the guillotine was about to fall, consoled his beloved master with the noble words: "Son of St. Louis, ascend to heaven"

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