Catholic devotions for the 1st October

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Saint of the Day
Reading of the Martyrology
Dedication of the Month
Dedication of the Day
Five Wounds Rosary in Latin
Seven Sorrows Rosary in English
Latin Monastic Office
Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict
Celebration of Mass
Reading from the School of Jesus Crucified

Feast of Saint Remigius of Rheims

Remigius was born in 437, traditionally at Cerny-en-Laonnois, near Laon, Picardy, in northern Gaul, into the highest levels of Gallo-Roman society. He is said to have been the son of Emilius, count of Laon (who is not otherwise attested) and of Celina, daughter of the Bishop of Soissons, which Clovis had conquered in 486.

After studying at Reims for awhile, devoting himself to secular and sacred learning, he withdrew to a small house near Laon, to live in reclusion and prayer. However when a bishop was needed in Rheims, the clergy and people, having noted Remigius for his learning and sanctity, in addition to his high status, carried him off from his hermitage and made him their bishop in his twenty-second year, in 459 AD, though still a layman.

The holy bishop soon became renowned throughout northern Gaul. He converted heretics, brought Arian heretics back to the Orthodox Faith, and cared for the many who suffered at the hands of barbarian marauders. Wherever he went, miracles attended him. He healed the sick, and once, when a town was on fire, threw himself into the flames and quenched them. Birds would come to his table whenever he ate, and he would share his meal with them.

In 482 the young warrior Clovis became leader of the Frankish tribes in that region. Though he was a pagan, he knew and admired St. Remigius, and was married to a Christian, St. Clotilde (June 3). Once, when his army faced defeat by the Alemanii, Clovis prayed to "the God of Clotilde and Remigius" and won a great victory. This answer to his prayers convinced him of the truth of the Christian Faith, and he asked St. Remigius to instruct him. Two years later he gathered all his chieftains in Rheims to attend his baptism. The baptism was accompanied by many miracles, seen by all in attendance. Two of the king's sisters and three thousand of his lords and soldiers were baptized at the ceremony. This event is considered the birth of France as a Christian nation.

St. Remigius also zealously opposed Arianism. Though Remigius never attended any of the church councils, in 517 he held a synod at Rheims, at which after a heated discussion he converted a bishop of Arian views.

In great old age, St Remigius went blind, but miraculously recovered his sight. He reposed in peace at the age of 105, immediately after serving the Divine Liturgy.

St. Remigius' relics were kept in the Cathedral of Rheims, from where the Archbishop Hincmar had them translated to Épernay during the Viking invasions and from there, in 1099 to the Abbey of Saint-Remi.

The Reading from the Martyrology

At Rheims, in France, St. Remigius, bishop confessor, who converted the Franks to Christ, regenerated Clovis, their king, in the sacred font of Baptism and instructed him in the mysteries of faith. After he had been many years bishop, and had distinguished himself by his sanctity and the power of working miracles, he departed this life on the 13th of January. His festival, however, is kept on this day, when his sacred body was translated.

At Rome, blessed Aretas and five-hundred-four other martyrs.

At Tomis, in Pontus, the holy martyrs Priscus, Crescens, and Evagrius.

At Lisbon, in Portugal, the holy martyrs Verissimus, and his sisters, Maxima and Julia, who suffered in the persecution of Diocletian.

At Tournay, St. Piaton, priest and martyr, who, with blessed Quinctinus and his companions, went from Rome to Gaul to preach the faith, and afterwards, in the persecution of Maximian, having consummated his martyrdom, passed from earth to Heaven.

At Thessalonica, St. Domninus, martyr, under the same Maximian.

At Ghent, St. Bavo, confessor.

At Orvieto, St. Severus, priest and confessor.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.

October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary
Rosary Origins – Father Johann Roten, S.M.

What is the Origin of the Rosary?

The complex history of the Roosary deals normally with the following stages of development:

1. Repetition of the Hail Mary, in the twelfth century, related to the joys of Mary, first five (Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, Assumption) then seven, later fifteen (reflecting the twenty decades of the Psalter). We later find instances on celestial joys as opposed to joyful historical events in Mary's life.

2. For the next two centuries (thirteenth and fourteenth) a similar development regarding Mary's sorrows (five, later seven) takes place (from Franciscan and Servite influences).

3. In the fourteenth century the rosary also has the meaning of florilegium, a collection of pious thoughts or little poems about Mary. The stanzas (varying in number, 50, 150...) rhymed with Ave and were followed by the recitation of the Hail Mary.

4. The fifteenth century sees the appearance of the Carthusian and the Dominican rosary, both still prayed today. The Carthusian rosary (Dominic the Carthusian of Trier, Germany, ca. 1410) is a succession of 150 Hail Marys with appended references to the lives of Christ and Mary (for example: Annunciation...). The Dominican rosary (from Alain of Roche, Douai, ca. 1460) is structured in three groups of mysteries related to the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ. This latter rosary recitation became the most common, even the norm, since the end of the fifteenth century, not least thanks to the confraternities of the rosary (since 1475).

The Rosary Beads

1. Originally, this tallying device served to monitor penitential exercises. Penitents used strings or little cords with knots to count the number of "Our Fathers" to be recited. The name given to this tallying device was Paternoster or Pater. The Paternoster is older than the physical rosary but co-existed with the latter throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There existed a profession of Paternoster-Makers, specializing in the manufacture of Paternosters and Rosaries.

2. The transfer of the name rosary from the prayer form to the physical object took place at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Long before this occurred, the tallying devices, later called "rosary," were either simple cords or closed chains of various lengths, with or without subdivisions, and made of a variety of materials (wood, bone, coral, mother of pearl, pebbles, seeds, pits ...). Around the year 1500 we find two major types of "rosaries":

a) Prayer chains with fifty beads/pearls symbolizing the fifty Aves, clustered in five groups of ten, each of these groups separated from the next by a bigger/larger bead/pearl;

b) The so-called tenner, a short string or cord with ten beads and some additional Paternoster beads. Affixed to one end, there was a ring to slip the tenner from one finger to the other (5 x 10). The opposite end was decorated with a tassel, medal or special knot.

3. Special devotions, fashion and local customs brought forth a variety of forms. The short form of the "tenner" was usually reserved for men; it was the typical tallying device for monks as late as the eighteenth century. Women resorted to the longer version and adorned their prayer chain with miniature figurines, images, scented dried fruit and flowers, and also pearls and gems. Among the better known varieties there are the ring-rosaries, Bridget- rosaries (six groups of ten plus three pearls), the Psalter-rosaries (fifteen groups of ten), rosaries based on the five wounds of Christ with symbols of the wounds hooked into the rosary. Some rosaries were made by goldsmiths (Altotting, Germany, sixteenth century); others made with pits from apricots engraved with the portraits of civil rulers. Mass production started early (fifteenth/sixteenth century) and allowed for cheaper rosaries from wood, jet, bone, glass, pewter, lead and iron. The eighteenth c knows of filigree rosaries, the nineteenth century produced chainstitched rosaries. During these centuries beads for faith, hope and charity were added, and the Greek cross was replaced by the Latin cross. The Orthodox tradition knows the komposkoini (literally a rope with knots). Known since medieval times the komposkoini is used by monks and nuns for the recitation of the Jesus Prayer. The cord is attached to a cross and has from thirty-three (years of Jesus’ earthly existence) to fifty and up to three-hundred (number of genuflections) knots. Mary plays a central intercessory role in the longer formulas of the Jesus Prayer.


Sunday is the Day dedicated to the Resurrection & the Holy and Undivided Trinity

Sundays are, of course, the day for renewing Christ's once and for all Sacrifice during the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. Because Christ rose from His tomb on Sunday, Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sundays, or "the Lord's Day." On this day we fulfill God's Third Commandment, to "remember the sabbath day (which means "rest", not "Saturday"), to keep it holy." We refrain from unecessary servile work and fulfill our "Sunday Obligation" to attend Mass.

Easter Sunday - Sermon given at the Latin Mass at St. Peter's Catholic Center

That the sun rises every morning is something we can easily take for granted. Usually, we’re either too busy getting ready for the new day to take any notice of it, or if we’re not too busy, we might prefer to spend a little longer in bed than watching the sun rise. But sometimes making a special effort to watch this phenomenon can be a very edifying experience. In today’s Gospel we’re told that the three woman set out very early in the morning, and that coming to the tomb the sun was then risen. This detail suggests there is something deeply symbolic about the rising of the sun.

Mindful of this symbolism, a few years ago, when I was a chaplain at Edinburgh University, some of the students invited me to join them on a hike up Arthur’s seat to see the sun rise on Easter Sunday morning. This involved setting out in darkness at around 4:30 in the morning to make the hour-long journey to the summit. And once we arrived at the summit, as the sun began to peek over the horizon, we started reading the four Gospel accounts of the resurrection. By the time we’d finished, the day had dawned. It was a beautiful experience.

Now of course there are some pagan connotations with watching the sun rise. Last year at the summer solstice, around 10,000 pagans went to Stonehenge to greet the rising sun. And regarding the word Easter itself, according to St Bede this word comes from the name of a German pagan goddess Ostara which may have been worshiped as a goddess of the dawn. Yet in the context of the Holy Triduum, the pagan understanding of the rising sun and the meaning of Easter have been totally superseded by Christ’s resurrection.

For today we celebrate the rising of the Son of God. He is the light of the world, His resurrection marks a new dawn in creation, and so the sunrise is powerfully evocative of this Easter celebration.

A tradition that goes right back to the beginning of the Church is that of praying towards the East, facing the rising sun. It is because of this tradition, that liturgical East still means the direction facing the altar, regardless of the actual orientation of the altar.

But the tradition of facing East, whether liturgical or literal, really gives expression to the Christian synthesis of cosmos and history. The creator of the sun and moon and the stars has revealed himself in the once and for all events of salvation history. Our lives are now touched by the Incarnation, by Christ’s death and resurrection, and when we gather together for Mass, we participate in these events.

Now it is very sad that so many people around the world are unable to gather together and participate in the Mass this Easter. For some people, it will be a real struggle. But if you are struggling, just think of the struggles of those three women who set out in darkness to anoint the body of their beloved Jesus. A couple of days earlier they had witnessed Jesus undergoing the most cruel and tortuous death, and all they could do now was to give expression to their sorrow by anointing His dead body. Yet when they got to the sepulcher, to their utter amazement, Jesus was nowhere in sight. But instead, they saw a young man there who told them that Jesus had risen. And we’re told that they were so overcome with fear and astonishment, that they fled. Thus, as well as being filled with fear, they were also bewildered and confused. They would have wondered what on earth was going on. But if there is any time in the day in which people feel confused, it is at the beginning, when the day is dawning, and they still haven’t shaken off the effects of sleep.

So, with these first three witnesses of the Resurrection, it was a struggle for them as they came out of the darkness, and this is a struggle we all have to go through if we are to experience the risen Christ. In a way, it is analogous to the struggle some of us feel in waking up in the morning, but only much harder. But we know that it is worth it. For the reward is to participate in the light of Christ, and in comparison to this glorious light, the ordinary natural light of our world will seem like darkness.

The death and resurrection of Christ is therefore our wake-up call. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we can be shaken out of our soporific state and thus recognize how much better it is to be awake than to be asleep.

This theme of waking from sleep is very prevalent in the New Testament, and St Augustine picked up on this analogy when he wrote about his own conversion in his confessions. There he writes the following:

The burden of the world weighed me down with a sweet drowsiness such as commonly occurs during sleep. The thoughts with which I meditated about the Lord were like the efforts of those who would like to get up but are overcome by deep sleep and sink back again. No one wants to be asleep all the time, and the sane judgement of everyone judges it better to be awake. Yet often a man defers shaking off sleep when his limbs are heavy with slumber. Although displeased with himself he is glad to take a bit longer, even when the time to get up has arrived.

Thus, the resurrection of Christ is indeed our wake-up call. As Christ’s light breaks into our world, our conversion means opening our eyes of faith and seeing the whole of reality with this new light. This awakening is something we all have to go through, even though in the hours of twilight we may struggle greatly and find it difficult to stay awake. But this struggle is the prelude to actually getting up, to rising with glorified bodies, and Christ’s resurrection will be the cause of our own resurrection.

And so Easter Sunday is really the model and archetype of every Sunday – we face liturgical East to greet the risen Lord, the son of God, we listen to His Holy word, we celebrate the Eucharist, and we give thanks that Christ died and rose for us so that we can share in the Easter joy of His resurrection.

The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary are prayed on Sunday
The Rosary in Latin

Chaplet of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ in Latin 

Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady in English

The Reading of the Rule of Saint Benedict for October 1
VII. De humilitate
34 Tertius humilitatis gradus est, ut quis pro Dei amore omni obedientia se subdat majori, imitans Dominum de quo dicit apostolus: Factus obediens usque ad mortem.

Chapter 7 Humility 
34 The third step of humility is that for the love of God one submits himself in all obedience to his superior, imitating the Lord of whom the apostle says: He was made obedient even unto death (Phil 2:8).

Today's Celebration of the Mass

Jesus XPI Passio sit semper in cordibus nostris
May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts


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